Meanwhile, as the kids were walking towards Chloros Forest, a certain someone else was nowhere near Chloros Forest. Lucero sat behind a big grey rock, panting and gasping for breath in exhaustion.
"It...it seems...I've finally...lost them," Lucero panted as he tried to catch his breath. After resting for a while, he decided to stand back up. He looked behind the big rock so he could see if the Numemon were still chasing him. To his joy, however, they weren't. Lucero beamed.
"Good! Now I can--huh?" Lucero was about to walk away from the big rock, which is about 13 feet tall and VERY long and wide, when he saw a small white light in the distance. Something fell out of it. Although it was small, Lucero could see it, even from his distance. It fell behind another big rock. Lucero, hoping that what his gut was telling him is wrong, decided to run over there and see what fell out of that white light.
Lucero approached cautiously, hoping that the Numemon weren't there. Although he was relieved that the Numemon weren't chasing him anymore, he still wanted to keep his guard up for in case they were about to willfully chase him again. Slowly and calmly, he got closer to the big rock and looked behind it. What he saw shocked him. Someone is lying on the ground unconscious! Another human! About his size and stature, with white skin, thin and slender arms and legs, with dark brown hair covered by a blue snow hat, cobalt blue eyes closed and hidden by round glasses. He's wearing a short-sleeved red shirt with the number 11 written on it in white, along with olive green shorts, black and white sneakers, and pale blue socks. A white weasel with yellow markings is trying to wake him up.
Right when Lucero laid eyes on the unconscious child, it hit him. He immediately recognized who it was.
"Hokuto-dono!!" Lucero ran from the rock and approached Hokuto, who is unconscious. Kudamon was surprised upon seeing him.
"Lucero! You're alright!" Kudamon exclaimed, sounding rather relieved. But Lucero didn't listen. He cradled the dormant Hokuto in his arms and shook him.
"Hokuto-dono!! Wake! Wake up! Art thou alright!?" Lucero pleaded as he tried to wake him up, but to no avail. It's here that Hokuto's hair and hat both slipped off. Kudamon wasn't surprised, but Lucero became shocked upon seeing that the hair and hat is just a wig, and that Hokuto is bald! Well, not totally and completely bald. Lucero could see some small tufts of brown hair beginning to grow on his perfectly round head. Lucero calmed himself down and grabbed onto the wig so it wouldn't get dirty. Kudamon seemed to notice Lucero's blatant shock upon seeing Hokuto's head.
"In case you're wondering, Hokuto's lost his hair because he had to go through chemotherapy, which is used for fighting cancer. Cancer is a sickness. He's better now, and his hair will grow back in due time, so do not be frightened," Kudamon explained softly but in a matter of fact manner. Lucero smiled.
"I thank thee for thy veracity. I have no problem with this at all," Lucero told him. "But more importantly...what art thou doing here?"
"Looking for you, of course. The Digimon Brigade too, but we accidentally separated from them," Kudamon replied calmly.
"Separated!? Are they alright!?" Lucero asked, becoming a bit more perturbed.
"Worry not. I don't believe they're in great danger so I see no need to worry. Besides, Hokuto and I have found you," Kudamon explained calmly. Lucero didn't feel any better knowing that the rest of the Digimon Brigade is looking for him. The Digital World is probably more vast than he expected. Who knows how far away they are from them. Suddenly, he felt Hokuto stirring.
"Urgh...I...I'm not...worthy..." Hokuto croaked in his sleep.
"Hokuto-dono! Wake up!"
"Are you alright?"
Finally, Hokuto opened his eyes and found Kudamon and Lucero looking down at him, now with jubilant and relieved faces.
"You're awake! Thank goodness!" Kudamon said.
"Hokuto-dono! I'm glad thou hath awakened!" Lucero said as he helped Hokuto up.
"Urgh...how did--?" Hokuto rubbed his head...and realized his wig wasn't on. He felt more around his head, and the more he realized his wig is off, the more perturbed he became. Lucero saw the wig in his own hands and gently handed it to Hokuto.
"Uhh...thy wig came off. Here," Lucero handed the wig to Hokuto, who calmed down and put the wig back on his head, making sure it was in the right position.
"Thank you..." Hokuto muttered as he put his wig back on. Lucero found this to be the perfect opportunity to interrogate them (gently) about why he and the Digimon Brigade came.
"So! Question! Kudamon here says that the Digimon Brigade and thou hath come to the Digital World to rescue me. Explain thyself. Is what they say true?" Lucero asked.
There was a long pause after that, and it seemed Hokuto took a long time answering not just this question, but all questions. Nonetheless, Lucero and Kudamon patiently waited until Hokuto answered.
In a way, Lucero was relieved to know that the Digimon Brigade are here in the Digital World, looking for him. He had never had such a thing happen to him before, and knowing that there are people who care about him enough to look for him in a new and foreign world made his heart leap. But something about Hokuto didn't feel right to Lucero, so he decided to bring it up, inappropriate as it may sound.
"I also heard that thou hast separated from them as thou came here. Is that true as well?" Lucero asked gently.
The two boys stood up. Kudamon wrapped himself around Hokuto's neck.
"The current in the bridge between the two worlds was perhaps too strong for Hokuto, and we got separated as a result," Kudamon explained. Lucero couldn't help but smile.
"I see. Well, thou hast found me, and thou art alright too, so we should be thankful for that. I believe it's time--" Lucero wanted to lift their spirits by sounding upbeat and jaunty about the positives behind the whole situation, but an interruption stopped him from finishing his sentence.
"No. It wasn't...an accident," Hokuto whispered, softly but loud enough for both Kudamon and Lucero to hear.
"What do you mean it wasn't an accident?" Kudamon asked. Lucero said nothing out of fear he might set Hokuto off. They waited so Hokuto can take his time to answer.
As Lucero looked at Hokuto's face, he noticed that Hokuto's cobalt blue eyes practically always looked indifferent, abject, and dejected regarding almost everything around him. They didn't change, even now. They didn't change even as Hokuto hung out with the other kids and their Digimon. He wondered why Hokuto looked so pessimistic and impassive all the time...and he was about to find his answer.
"I...I let go. On purpose."
Kudamon and Lucero's eyes widened.
"What!? Are you saying--!?" Kudamon yelped, shocked by this new revelation.
"Yes. I separated from them. Intentionally," Hokuto muttered shyly.
Lucero and Kudamon were both appalled.
"Why!? Why wouldst thou do such a thing!? This isn't like thee! Yun would most certainly-!!" Lucero wanted to go on a mild tirade about Hokuto's reasons for intentionally separating from the group, but Hokuto quickly interrupted.
"No! It IS like me. I...I'm not worthy of being with them," Hokuto's voice trembled, his eyes shook and looked very sad, and his hands were balled into little scrawny fists.
"But thou art! Thou art truly worthy of being a member of the Digimon Brigade! Yun likes thee! A lot! Doth that not count for something? Thou hast thy intelligence and modesty! Modesty is a wonderful trait that thy humans have amongst themselves! Thou hast one of the smartest Digimon around! Why--"
"Hokuto! Don't you dare!!" Kudamon snapped. This confused Lucero.
"Why doth thou scream so, Kudamon?" Lucero asked innocently.
"I apologize. Hokuto keeps saying things about not being human, and it irritates me greatly," Kudamon explained calmly.
"But I'm not...human!"
"Hokuto! You are! Stop saying you aren't!" Kudamon scolded like a strict parent.
Lucero agreed with Kudamon. "Kudamon is right, Hokuto-dono. Thou art human! Thou art very human! Why wouldst thou thinkist not so? Thou look like a human, thou talk like a human, thou walk and eat and behave like thy species. What idea is in thy head that makes thee not human?"
"The Digimon Brigade kids are more human than I could ever be! I can't even say hello without sounding like I have vocal chord paralysis!"
"That's irrelevant! Thou art the same as them! They're the same species as thee! Oh! Speaking of the Digimon Brigade..." Lucero explained rather loudly. He grabbed onto Hokuto's hand and dragged him away from the rock.
"Wha-What are you doing?" Hokuto yelped.
"We shouldn't be standing around. The Digimon Brigade must be very worried about us! Let us depart from this place and find them!" Lucero told him boldly.
Stunned silent by Lucero's display of audacity, Hokuto said no more and decided to go along with Lucero with Kudamon wrapped around his neck. Kudamon, despite his calm exterior right now, continued to worry about Hokuto on the inside.
'Hokuto...what Lucero says is true. You're human, just like everyone else. What you went through doesn't decide whether you're human or not. Of course you've been deprived of normal human contact, but should that really decide how you should see yourself? Oh, Hokuto...if only I could help you see the other way...' Kudamon thought pensively as he sat on Hokuto's shoulder.