Knuckles makes his way to the edge of the forest, opening up to the vast horizon of sandopolis zone. He looks out to try and spot what he saw in the sky as the sun sets across the island. Finally he spots what seems to be two people laying in the distance. He wastes no time sliding down from the large mushroom he stood on and dashed out into the desert sands to see who it was.
Knuckles runs through the life filled jungle, jumping from mushroom to mushroom to gain more momentum in his speed. He bounces up high into the air over the tree line to look out at the horizon.
"At this rate I should get there before nightfall." he thinks to himself as he falls back down into the jungle and spin dashes onward.
Knuckles awakens from his slumber, oversleeping longer than expected. He looks up to see an immense portal open up in the distance.
"What in the ancestors name is that? I better go check it out." he thinks as he notices a figure be spit out from it and into the distance land. He takes a glance to the Master Emerald, then turns to run off into the woods.
"I'll have to get through the mushroom hill zone before I can find where that thing landed. Hopefully I'm not too late and it causes any trouble to the island." he says to himself as he leaves the shrine to embark on his journey.
Knuckles walks up to the shrine, placing his hands on the Master Emerald to deepin his bond with the gem. He looks out over the sky horizon and then lowers his head in prayer.
Forgive me, gods and ancestors. I am still not strong enough to fulfill my duty as Guardian and protect the Master Emerald, as well as my people, from all who wish to harm them. I must train my body and mind to become stronger, so that such incidents from the past will never happen again."
Knuckles raises his head and steps back from the Emerald. He then looks over to Angel Island.
"I'll have to go find Relic and Fixit to watch over the Emerald once more while I'm away. Once they have the time, I can do a run through of Angle Islands zones and traps to hone my skills." he says to himself as he begins to walk down the stairs. However he begins to stagger the further he moves until he finally falls over.
"But first, ugh. I need to recover from that fight earlier." he says as he lays back on the staircase and begins to sleep.
Knuckles pries himself out the side of a wall, battered and outplayed by the new power Metal Sonic possessed. By the time he regain consciousness, the overlord was already long gone, with the emerald he desired in hand. Knuckles could only punch the ground in anger as he let a robot get the best of him in battle. With no other lead on Metal Sonics whereabouts, and the still current issue of his kind being trapped away by Thrash, Knuckles decides his only option is to return back to the Master Emerald and recuperate from his injuries. He stands up and looks around a bit, then proceeds to exit out of the temple, his head lowered in shame.