Flint, Rex, and Dan made their way through the woods so thick they were barely 20 yards in and they couldn’t see where they entered from. Traveling was becoming increasingly difficult as Dan’s backpack full of supplies wouldn’t fit between two trees too close together so they had to weave around a lot so he could find some place to fit through.
“How are we doing?” asked Rex after an hour of traversing the forest. He turned to Dan expecting he knew the answer. “Are we near this maple tree or whatever we are looking for again?”
“Don’t look at me,” he replied. “Flint has all the information on his DigiPad.”
“I’m still trying to get used to all the features on it,” Flint told them. “Let’s see, do this and… aha, here’s the map of the area and here we are.” He showed them the screen. They expected it to be more informative, but all they saw was a red dot surrounded by a large patch of green.
“We’re doomed,” sighed Rex.
“Don’t lose faith yet,” replied Dan. “We just need to get a different perspective on the situation. If one of us can take a look from the top of a tree we should be able to figure out where to go.”
Rex gulped nervously and asked, “Since you thought of it I guess you’ll volunteer to…” Rex stopped midsentence when Dan showed him his claws hands which were hardly good for climbing. “Uh, Flint, you’re the leader so…” Flint did the same as Dan showing he was in the same boat. Knees shading and a worried look in his eyes, Rex knew he was the only choice.
Dan and Flint waited around for ten minutes as Rex attempted to climb a tree.
“Don’t worry guys I’m almost there,” he groaned as his arms were sore from all the climbing.
“Why don’t you take a break,” replied Flint, sitting at a nearby tree stump.
“I’ve come this far so I can’t stop now,” he commented. Dan then walked up to Rex and plucked him off the tree. His attempt to climb the tree had given little results. He was barely two feet off the ground before he stopped making any progress at all.
“I don’t get it,” stated Flint, “You were never afraid of climbing back home. You would scale the side of a building every day if you could.”
“Well, those were buildings,” replied Rex. “This is a tree. How does anyone even climb on of those things?”
“Well, I have another idea,” suggested Dan. “But you’ll have to do everything I tell you. That goes for you to Flint. Flint nodded and after a moment’s hesitation Rex nodded as well. “Good. Rex, put your arms at your side and close your eyes. Flint, cover your eyes.”
They did what they were told as Dan got behind Rex and grabbed his arms. He dug his feet into the ground and took a deep breath as he concentrated. With a grunt he threw Rex straight up in the air. He struggled to open his eyes, but he was too busy screaming at the top of his lungs. He finally managed to open them as he got over the trees. His vision started out blurry at first, but then he able to see everything clearly. It only lasted a moment as he began his descent and started screaming again. He couldn’t watch as he was going to go “SPLAT!” on the ground. After several seconds of screaming yet never feeling like he had just become a pancake he opened his eyes to find that Dan had caught him again.
“Did you see anything?” asked Flint.
“Uh, yeah,” replied Rex. “There’s looks to be a clearing coming up not too far from here. We just have to keep going the way we’ve been going.”
“Sorry, I did that,” Dan apologized. “If there’s anything I can to do make it up to you just ask.”
“In that case,” said Rex turning his head to face Dan. “Let’s go again!” He began chuckling and Flint sighed and smiled. Dan was a bit confused though.
“But you seemed terrified,” commented Dan.
“Are you kidding? That was great. I may not like climbing up trees, but that was awesome. Come on, higher this time.”
As they progressed further into the forest (Dan tossing Rex into the air like a ragdoll every few yards and catching him every time) they arrived. But what Rex claimed was a clearing was not entirely true. The trees did start thinning out, but it was because the ground began descending into a cave. Standing a few yards away and it would be completely unnoticeable.
“Down here, you think?” asked Flint as he looked through the DigiPad. “There isn’t any data talking about a cave, but we’ve already gone through what we were given.”
“It could be risky,” explained Dan. “I doubt anyone set up lighting in it and we don’t have any candles or lanterns to illuminate it. It would be better it we…”
“I say we go,” Rex answered, already running ahead.
“Hey,” shouted Flint at Rex. “I’m the leader so I go first!”
Flint ran after Rex and they both vanished into the dark. Dan just sighed as he began to follow after him. He then heard the faint sound of a twig snap and turned around quickly. He tensed up and got a beastly look in his eyes. He did his best to quiet his breathing to listen for the slightest indication of other Digimon watching them. Nothing occurred for several seconds and reluctantly decided to dismiss it. He then resumed following Flint and Rex into the cave.
Dan expected to catch up to Flint and Rex in the cave or at least hear their echoing voices, but everything had become seriously silent. His only relief was the cave was very straightforward. In no time at all he emerged on from the cave where Flint and Rex were standing in awe. He soon joined them when he was the Maplewood Temple was before them. The area surrounding them was surrounded by extremely tall maple trees next to each other so tightly the area was completely sealed off from the rest of the forest save for the cave that ran under it. Once they got an eye full they made their way to the steps of the temple.
“We found it,” Flint remarked, the feeling of accomplishment was immeasurable to him. “And we all know what lies inside.”
Flint and Rex began fantasizing a large chamber filled with mountains of thick slabs of meat and began to drool in anticipation.
“Race you to the top,” shouted Rex.
“Say hello to my butt cause you’re going to be chasing it the whole way,” replied Flint. The two of them ran up the stairs as fast as they could, but stopped a few steps up when Dan wasn’t coming. “Is something wrong?”
“Looks like we’re going to have to fight for our prize,” he replied turning back towards the cave. Flint and Rex looked as well and saw Meramon, Ogremon, and Seadramon were there. Team Matrix walked back over to meet with Team TerrorByte.
When they arrived they saw their foes had dressed for the occasion like they did. Meramon was sporting a yellow fireman’s coat. Ogremon had on a pair of purple jeans that were completely torn off past his knees. Seadramon was decorated like a Christmas tree with tinsel wrapped around his long narrow body.
“You guys again,” moaned Flint. “Did you have to come all this way just to bother us?”
“If we let you get away with what you did then that would invite others to do as well,” hissed Seadramon.
“Well, we were here first, so get lost,” shouted Rex, brining up his fists getting ready for a fight.
Dan put his arm in front of Rex. “Now fellows,” he negotiated. “There are more than enough spoils for everyone. Fighting over more than any of us could even carry out combined is stupid. So, let’s just bygones be bygones.”
“We aren’t here just for the treasure,” explained Ogremon. “We’re here to show you that you don’t mess with us. Whether you decide to continue your work with the Treasure Guild or not is up to you, but you won’t dare mess with us again.”
“Doesn’t look like we have much choice, Dan,” Flint said.
“Yeah, we’re going to have to fight,” he replied. He took off his backpack and tossed it back towards the temple so it wouldn’t get in the way.
The two teams then began to size up their opponents; Flint vs. Ogremon, Rex vs. Meramon, and Dan vs. Seadramon.
Ogremon swung his arms at Flint wildly. “What’s the matter, rookie? Are you having second thoughts about fighting someone stronger than you at everything?”
His next attack was caught by Flint. “Actually, I’m feeling pretty good with myself.”
“You sure?” While Flint was still holding onto him he flung his arm shaking off Flint and sending him headfirst at a tree. Flint managed to steady himself and flip himself around hitting the tree feet first and bouncing off it back at Ogremon.
“Positive!” he shouted as landed a strong kick at Ogremon’s face.
“Uh, isn’t it kind of ironic for a creature made of fire to be dressed like a firefighter?” asked Rex. “I mean wouldn’t you have to put yourself out?”
“I’m not a real firefighter,” replied Meramon. “But this outfit does have its advantages. Normally it keeps the wearer from getting burned, but in this case it protects the fire from being doused. Not like you have any way to put me out in the first place.”
Meramon swung his arm out creating a whip of fire aimed at Rex. He jumped back to dodge. One attack came after another as Rex continued to dodge.
“What’s the matter?” snickered Meramon. “We’ll never get anywhere if you keep dodging.”
“You have a point,” Rex replied as he charged forward. Meramon unleashed another attack, but this time Rex jumped into it with his arms shielding his head. He burst out of the flames, much to Meramon’s surprise. Meramon may have been protected from having his fire put out, but it allowed Rex to head butt his torso without getting burnt by his fire.
Seadramon circled Dan who watched his movements carefully. The whole time the others had been fighting they had just to make a move yet.
“What’s the matter?” asked Seadramon. “Aren’t you going to attack?”
“I’m still voting we forget this whole thing and just get what we came here for,” he explained.
“Well, then I’ll make the first one then,” he answered and began circling Dan faster. As he did so the tinsel was flung at Dan and began wrapping around his body. More and more of the tinsel got caught on Dan till he was wrapped up from head to toe. “Go on. Just try and break out of that.”
Dan sighed before saying, “That was my last warning.” With the greatest of ease he freed himself from the tinsel that was binding him much to Seadramon’s terror. He then grabbed the tinsel that was still connected to Seadramon and with a single arm dragged him into the air over his head and smashed him into the ground.
Watching the battle from behind a cluster of trees was the leader of Team Terrorbyte and he was anything but pleased. “I see those clods can’t get anything done without my assistance. I guess I’ll have to give them a hand.” With a snap of his finger a tiny orange flame appeared over his fingers.
Flint and Ogremon continued their fight. Ogremon was quite annoyed after Flint introduced his foot to his face and fighting even more wildly. Flint was having trouble getting close again since getting hit with a single punch would send him flying. He figured he’d let his opponent exhaust all his stamina before making his next move.
Flint dodged another attack and just as his feet were about to touch the ground he noticed a flame fly straight to where his left foot was about to go. He was unable to avoid it as it seared the bottom of his foot. Immediately, he stood on his right legs to try and soothe the burn, but it left him wide open for Ogremon to attack him and knock him to the ground.
Seadramon was back up and blasting Dan back with blasts of water. Unable to get in close Dan was forced to continue backing up and just like Flint felt his left foot burn. And just as with Flint it distracted him as Seadramon took the opportunity to get him while his guard was down and send him over towards Flint.
“Are you two alright?” asked Rex, seeing them both on the ground.
“You better worry about yourself before others,” shouted Meramon as he attacked Rex in this opportune moment. He ended up with Dan and Flint.
“Is everyone alright?” asked Flint, getting back to his feet. The pain was still present under his foot, but not enough to hinder him much.
“Yeah,” replied Dan getting up as well. “They aren’t as strong as they look, but we have to get control of the situation.”
“What happened?” asked Rex dusting himself off. “We were in control a minute ago and now we’re getting kicked around.”
“It’s strange. Something burned my foot,” Dan explained. “I’m guessing the same thing happened to you Flint.”
“Yeah, I saw it. A flame appeared right where I was standing, but I didn’t see where it came from. Was it Meramon?”
“Can’t be,” stated Rex. “He was too busy fighting me. Besides do these guys look smart enough to think up this?”
“That’s it exactly,” answered Dan. “Remember they mentioned that we had only rookie level Digimon on our team while they already had three at adult level. It would be presumptuous for us to believe this was their entire team so they have to have one more member. Probably no more than one by the way things look.”
“I guess if they had any more they’d be able to do more damage,” added Rex. “Whoever is doing it is probably a rookie as well since he’s hiding out somewhere, but there aren’t many places for him to hide around here.”
“It’s good we figured this out,” commented Flint. “But they’re coming again. Dan, you sneak off to find their fourth member while we mop the floor with these three.”
“Are you sure you two can handle it?” he asked.
“Don’t worry,” Rex said with confidence. “Back home we faced worse odds then these. We haven’t even brought out our ‘A Game’ yet.”
“Okay, I’ll sneak out the second there’s an opening.”
Flint and Rex moved a few steps away from Dan watched their opponents close in. They then swung their arms at one another just like they were crossing swords.
“Been a while since we did this,” mentioned Flint. “Hope you aren’t rusty.”
“You better hope you got stronger like I did,” replied Rex.
“Our first target should be Ogremon,” stated Flint.
“You read my mind,” commented Rex.
With that Flint and Rex pulled their arms away and dashed at Ogremon at full speed.
“Lucky me,” Ogremon chuckled. “I get to finish off two of them.”
As they came within range he slammed both his arms down with all his might to smash them to the ground. His hand stopped midair to his surprise and found that Flint was holding them both up hand to hand, but just barely they were starting to lower again.
“Hah!” chortled Ogremon. “I already told you I was stronger than you. Did you think you could overpower me?”
“No, but I figured I could stopped you for a moment.”
“What?” Ogremon shouted as he forgot about Rex. He then looked down to see the blue dino all set to propel upward. A second later, Ogremon was seeing stars as he was knocked for a loop and fell backwards.
Meramon and Seadramon rushed in to help their comrade giving Dan the opportunity to sneak off and look for their fourth member. While Rex was still in midair he said, “Seadramon is next.”
“You got that right,” replied Flint as he grabbed Rex’s arm and sent him flying headfirst at Seadramon.
As he flew towards his target Meramon got in front to intercept him. He threw off his firefighter outfit in order to prevent his little oversight from before.
“Sorry, but you won’t get the drop on us this time,” he shouted.
Rex quickly undid his bandana and used it to break his flight and avoid Meramon. Rex stuck his tongue out in victory that they fell for their trap. Meramon and Seadramon didn’t know what it was until Flint grabbed Seadramon by the tail.
“I may not be as strong as Dan or even Ogremon, but I’ve guts!” he shouted as he swung Seadramon around catching Meramon on the first rotation and continued to swing them around making them dizzy. Faster and faster he swung them around until he finally let them go flying off. Ogremon got back to his senses just in time to see his allies crash right into him.
“Useless,” growled their boss from behind his cover. “Do I have to do everything myself?”
“There you are,” stated Dan as he came up from behind. He was quickly able to identify the Digimon as an Impmon. Over his face he had a mask that was black on one side and white on the other. The black side was smiling and the white said was said with a tear make under the eye.
Impmon could only watch terrified as Dan cracked his neck in preparation for what he was about to do to him. All that could be heard was Impmon shouting “No!”
Team Matrix finished tying up their opponents to keep them out of trouble. Impmon had a large lump on his head. He had expected Dan to do much worse beyond smacking him over the head and felt quite embarrassed that he screamed for something like that.
“So who are you?” asked Flint to Impmon.
“I’m Jack. Don’t think this is over. I’ll get even with you for this.”
“What about us?” asked Ogremon. “You met us earlier and you never asked for our names.”
“Go ahead,” replied Rex, ignoring Ogremon completely. “You can try all the times you want and we will always wipe the floor with you. Cause we are...”
“Flint!” Flint said at his cue and made a pose.
“Rex!” Rex exclaimed as he made his own pose.
“Uh, Dan,” Dan added though he wasn’t sure what to do.
“And we are Team Matrix!” Flint and Rex said together. Team Terrorbyte just stared for a moment then burst into laughter. Flint and Rex then proceeded to the Maplewood Temple. Dan turned to them and smiled. They were goofy and at times immature, but they were filled with surprises as well. He picked up his backpack and ran after to catch up to them.
As they finally reached the summit of the temple’s stairs and saw what laid inside the temple they gasped at the sight they saw before them. Mountains of gold and jewels filled the temple. It was worth more than anyone could possibly spend in their lifetime. It brought a tear to Rex and Flint’s eyes, but it wasn’t out of joy.
“I wanted meat,” they cried, their dreams of a temple full of food crushed before their very eyes.
“We’ll still be able to cash this treasure and buy a banquet of food later,” said Dan, trying to cheer them up. “In fact, I know just the place to go tonight.”
That seemed to work as Flint Rex began collecting as much treasure as they could carry. Dan took out some empty sacks in his backpack and gave them to his teammates so they had something to carry their loot.
“Just think, with all the money we get from this treasure we will never have to worry about going hungry,” commented Rex.
“Don’t get overexcited,” replied Dan. “We’re only going to keep as much as we can carry with us. The rest is going to be pocketed by the Treasure Guild.”
“What!” exclaimed Flint upon hearing this. “They can’t do that after we went through all the trouble.”
“That’s how the guild works,” explained Dan. “We do all the footwork and they collect the money. Our reward is whatever we can carry out which, is hardly a lot compared to how much treasure gets left behind.”
“Then why does anyone even join the guild then?” asked Rex.
“Because nobody would be able to find these places so easily,” added Dan. “We only got here so quickly because of the information they gave us. The guild also offers protection in case we get in over our heads and do their best to keep thugs like the ones we dealt with to a minimum. In the end the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks.”
“I don’t care,” shouted Flint. “If that’s true then when we find the Infinity Zone we’ll basically be handing it over to them. What’s the point of searching for a treasure we don’t get to keep?”
“You’ll have to figure that out for yourself,” stated Dan. “But you know that you won’t be able to find it without getting any information on it. You won’t have much choice but to stay with the guild.”
“I don’t like it, but guild or not we’re still a team. We’ll know what to do when the time is right.”
“I don’t know,” commented Rex. “The Treasure Guild is starting to sound like a big scam? Who even started it up?”
“You don’t know?” replied Dan. “It is an Angemon known as Sauron. “He must be the richest Digimon in the world at this point, but nobody knows too much else about him. Still, he has to be a good guy since he’s keeping everything organized. You guys listening?”
They weren’t. Partway through his explanation Flint and Rex returned to collecting treasure, making extra effort to carry as much treasure as possible. As Flint was in the middle of collecting some gold coins he noticed his Chimera Fang began moving on its own. It began spinning on the string and glowing. Flint called the others and told them about the phenomenon. The wall by Flint began shaking and the tiles started moving around on the wall. When they finished a spot with a missing tile was let within reach for Team Matrix to examine. Looking in on it they discovered a slot for a USB Drive to be installed. Curious, Flint plugged the DigiPad in and in an instant it loaded information onto it.
“What do you guys make of all this?” asked Flint.
“I’ve never heard of anyone finding anything beyond treasure at one of these locations,” replied Dan. “What did you download?”
Flint began searching for the data and then discovered something on the map. “It looks like a point was marked on the map,” he said.
“Maybe it is the location of more treasure,” suggested Rex.
“I doubt it,” replied Flint. “It is over the ocean. Besides, if these places keep jumping around won’t it end up somewhere else before long?”
“Well, these places aren’t from the Digital World so maybe it was pointing to a location in the world it came from.”
“Well, we can’t do much about that, but this may be worth investigating down the road,” said Flint. “You said you got the Chimera Fang on your last adventure. Do you remember what the place was called?”
“It’s been too long,” Dan replied. “It was in Rank 3 so even if I remembered we can’t go.”
“Well, until then, let’s keep it a secret between the three of us,” said Flint.
And so, Team Matrix gathered up some more treasure and made their way back. They made it out the other end of the cave before they realized the burden of carrying all that heavy treasure.
“I hate treasure!” cried Rex.
It was some time later that Team Matrix reported their find and the Treasure Guild went to collect the rest of the treasure and Team Terrorbyte. The group was shamefully suspended from the guild for a month.
“You can’t suspend us!” shouted Jack. “I quit!”
“But, boss,” began Ogremon. “It is just a suspension. It isn’t forever.”
“Yeah and maybe we could stop trying to bully the others. It isn’t like anyone is going to be afraid of us after the beating we endured.”
“You guys can do what you want, but I’m out,” shouted Jack running off. He vanished from sight in a wooded area. He only stopped when he had to catch his breath. Then he realized he wasn’t alone.
“I thought told you mugs not to bother me,” he shouted, but when he turned it wasn’t his gang, but three hooded figures. They all wore the same cloak only it was tailored for their different heights and widths. Whoever they were they were completely hidden under their cloaks. “Who are you?”
“Digimon who want to make you an offer,” the leader figure answered. He held out a briefcase and opened it to reveal it lined with RAM; quite a lot too.
Jack grew very excited, but remained skeptical. “What do you want from me?”
“Information about your latest exploits, particularly about the other group. Anything you know would be most helpful to our organization.”
“I may have a thing or two I can tell you. Where to begin?”
“Save it for later. Our master will want to hear it with his own ears. There is one other thing we would like to ask you. Have you ever met a Digimon by the name of Dante?”