Chapter 11: Test of Leadership
The Ichijouji were having their dinner. Ken had just finished his food. Since Ken had returned, he had been having dinner with his parents at the dining table.
"Ken-chan, want some more?" Mrs. Ichijouji asked.
"Um…" Ken was full from his dinner.
"You're still growing so eat more." Mr. Ichijouji urged. Feeling bad to say no. Ken asked more another bowl.
"Then, I'll have some too, dear." Mr. Ichijouji raised his bowl.
Mimomon greeted Ken when he returned to his room. Ken sighed. He was feeling bloated from eating too much.
"Why?" Minomon asked.
"Papa and Mama are so happy when they see me eat a lot like a normal boy." Ken replied.
"You shouldn't force yourself." Minomon commented.
"I'm not forcing myself. I'm just glad to Papa and Mama happy." Ken smiled at his partner.
"Well, then, after eating, it's time to exercise!" Minomon started bouncing on Ken's bed. "Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!" Ken blinked in surprise. He could help but to laugh.
"Hey, don't jump on the bed!"
Unknown to them, a mysterious woman was watching Ken. She appeared in his room waking up Ken in the middle of the night.
"You're done and over with." The woman who stood in front of his computer said. Ken's widened his eyes. Minomon woke up hearing her voice. "You're not worth anything." She continued.
"Who… are you? Ken asked. The woman turned to face him.
Her words reminded him of the mysterious e-mail he received when he was using his brother's computer not long after he died. Before Ken could react, she vanished from his room.
"Ken-chan…" It was when Ken realized a new threat was imminent.
The new school term had started Daisuke and his friends got on with their normal lives. Of course, in addition of their after school activities. The summer holidays had been really exciting. They were something, Daisuke, Miyako and Iori could never forget.
Peace had returned to the Digital World since the defeat of Digimon Kaiser, the Chosen Children volunteered to help to rebuild the Digital World destroyed during Digimon Kaiser's reign. They rebuilt building, restored the lost agriculture, cooked for the Digimon who were helping out.
"You can't eat if you don't work, dagyaa." Armadimon fell flat on the ground feeling all worn out.
Daisuke on the other hand was annoyed at the fact that Takeru and Hikari went off somewhere together without informing him. He is their leader now.
"Because you are acting like a kid. That's why they don't take you seriously." XV-mon said carrying a pile of wood walking past him.
"What did you say?"
Hikari and Takeru were off to an area where Digimon Kaiser had never touched on during his control. Hikari placed some flowers in front of a tombstone. It was a memorial the seven original Chosen Children had built for her brother who gave his life to the peace of the Digital World. Hikari came to talk to her brother about all that had happened during their battle with Digimon Kaiser. She and Tailmon prayed that he could rest in peace.
On their way back to where they had left Daisuke and the rest, Takeru and Patamon would like to discuss about something important with Hikari. It had been on Takeru's mind for some time.
"It's about the reason we can come to the Digital World."
"That's because we are needed here, right?"
"That was true three years ago."
"Then, what about now?" Hikari asked. Takeru and Patamon wondered if they were still needed here.
"But, aren't we needed to help rebuild the Digital World?" Tailmon questioned.
"We're just volunteering to help." Hikari realized. The fact that they could come to the Digital World means that Digital World needed them. Takeru felt that a crisis was coming.
"You mean a new enemy?" Hikari asked feeling worried.
"I don't know but I think we should tell others about this." Hikari and Tailmon agreed. They would talk to them tomorrow since they were all worn out by the time they returned to them.
Hikari could not help but laughed at Daisuke whose face was covered with poo because he fell on a pile of it when he just wanted to take a nap.
"That's it for today!" Daisuke declared. They would continue tomorrow as it was already late in the evening.
Hikari felt bad. There were still many broken houses.
"Not just in this town. In other places too. " Takeru said quietly. Daisuke commented how the Dark Tower was an eyesore and they should take it down.
"But let's rebuild the town first." Takeru advised. Daisuke stared at the rest who agreed with Takeru. He wondered now who is the leader? Hikari looked up to the sky. She wondered what would Ichijouji Ken do from now on?
"He should help too." Daisuke thought so since he made the mess.
"But he probably won't come to the Digital World anymore." Miyako stated. They did not think the Digimon would forgive him either.
"Exactly. I can't forgive him for everything he did." Iori said.
Daisuke was late the following day. He broke a window playing soccer. He had apologized but his teacher would not forgive him and he was made to stay later than usual.
"Again?" Iori asked.
"Daisuke had done it so many times. He's lucky that he need not stay back for detention." Hikari agreed with Takeru. Because of him, they forgot to talk to them about the probable crisis they discussed the day before.
"Not you too, Hikari." Daisuke groaned. The group headed to the Digital World after they had enough laugh.
They returned to the village they had been rebuilding halfway. By then, many baby Digimon had moved in.
"We did that?" Daisuke asked feeling dense about their achievement so far. It was because they had rebuilt the town, the Digimon started to come back.
"They are energetic." Takeru commented.
"They're just noisy." Daisuke disagreed. Hikari picked one up.
"They're cute." That was all she had to say and Daisuke changed his mind.
"Yeah, they are." He said. Takeru could not believe him.
"Daisuke's attitude changes too much." V-mon said teasingly. Daisuke was pissed by his words. He decided to change the subject.
"Let's get to work!" He commanded. He was made a leader as agreed among the elder Chosen Children after the defeat of Kaiser and Chocomon incident. He would take charge on the rebuilding of the Digital World.
"Let's go V-mon!" He raised his D3 up to get V-mon to evolve. To their dismay, he failed. He still failed when they tried again. Everybody was puzzled. They wondered why.
"I got it. Maybe it had been a while since you fought. All you have been doing is to eat. Maybe you need to go on a diet." The rest gathered while Daisuke was trying to cheer V-mon up.
"Cheer up! Want to try armour evolution?" Daisuke hung his arms over his partner.
"Ah, it's fine. You don't have to evolve. Iori and I will do it." Miyako suggested.
Daisuke raised his head over to Hikari and Takeru who were leaving.
"Where are you going, Hikari-chan?" Daisuke cried. They were always leaving together. Takeru and Hikari decided to investigate. Miyako acted as a distraction.
"Hey, hey! There's a job for you guys!"
"Why me?" Daisuke frowned in disappointment.
Indeed, Patamon could not evolve normally either. They wondered if it was due to the Dark Tower a distance away. Maybe it started working again.
A mysterious woman was standing at the bottom of the tower planning something.
Miyako prepared a ball for Daisuke and V-mon. They would babysit the Baby Digimon while Miyako and Iori headed to the underground to continue their repair.
"Why do I have to be a babysitter?" Daisuke asked in doubt.
"Because someone is needed to take care of them. Besides, they seem to like you." Miyako explained. The baby Digimon agreed with them cheering and jumping about.
"See?" Miyako added.
With that Miyako and Iori took off. Daisuke was reluctant to babysit them. Babysitting was not his forte.
Suddenly, a pooping sound was heard. Daisuke paused for a moment before turning to the source where the noise came from.
"Did you just poo?" He asked.
Miyako was observing Daisuke and V-mon when Takeru and Hikari returned. Daisuke and the Digimon were having lots of fun. Hikari commented how Daisuke still ended up as the leader even among the baby Digimon.
"I left it to them. I knew he'd be perfect." Miyako said.
Takeru informed Miyako about their findings. Patamon could not evolve normally either. Even so, Takeru decided to just see how things go for now.
Meanwhile, Iori and Digmon were underground. Digmon was commenting the complete wreck Digimon Kaiser had made. He could not stand him.
"Iori?" Iori was interrupted from his own thought.
"Let's start, Digmon." Iori suggested. As soon as they began work, they were ambushed. Iori was shocked a little on his cheek by a small Thunderballmon with his spark of electricity. Thunderballmon attacked them aggressively. Iori wondered why he was attacking them. He did not have an Evil Ring nor he had an Evil Spiral on him.
"What should we do, Iori, dagyaa?"
Iori wondered if it was alright to fight him. Before they could react, Thunderballmon had created an explosion causing Digmon to revert to his child form. The explosion was noticed by Daisuke and the rest on the surface.
"Could it be Kaiser?" Iori wondered. He realized he could not fight that Digimon due to moral reason. Just when a huge rock was about to crash on Iori, Armadimon evolved into his adult form, Ankylomon. He protected Iori from the falling rock and from the hostile Thunderballmon who came piercing at them. Iori was amazed. They wondered why they could evolve even though they did not know why V-mon could not.
"Anyway, we have to get out of here, dagyaa." Said Ankylomon and he carried his partner to the surface.
"Iori, hide somewhere." Ankylomon advised.
"You're going to fight?" Iori stammered. He was hesitant. Ankylomon looked back to where he last saw Thunderballmon for a second to find him gone to only realise that he was targeting Iori. Iori was thrown up to the air calling out for help. He was caught by a green Digimon in the nick of time. The newly arrived Digimon took the hostile Digimon on after returning Iori to Ankylomon.
"Who's that Digimon?" Iori asked in Ankylomon's arms.
"I've never seen him before, dagyaa." Ankylomon replied. The rest came over to him to see if he was ok. V-mon was surprised the see the green Digimon.
"It can't be…" He muttered.
Holsmon realized Armadimon had evolved. The rest were surprised.
"Then what are those?" Patamon asked about the two Digimon which were fighting up in the air. None of them know but the green one saved Iori.
"Spiking finish!" Right before them, the green Digimon finished Thunderballmon and destroyed him.
Daisuke and the rest were shocked. How could he do that?
"That's horrible." Miyako remarked.
A boy appeared from the roof of a house.
"Ichijouji Ken." They recognized feeling shocked that he came back to the Digital World. The green Digimon flew past them and appeared behind Ken
"Watch out!" Miyako thought he was going to attack Ken and they were shocked once more when the green Digimon reverted to his child form revealing to them that he was Wormmon. Ken jumped off the roof as soon as he was done. The rest were surprised that they had saved Iori.
After the incident, Daisuke continued from where he left off. He was giving out orders when Takeru started teasing for him for his popularity.
"Tsk…" Daisuke gave him an annoyed face. "Okay, here I come." He ran after the group of Baby Digimon.
"That's our Daisuke." Miyako could not help but to comment. Iori stood up suddenly.
"It's gone." He said. The Dark Tower they saw the day before was gone.
"Since when?" Takeru wondered. Maybe that was the reason why Armadimon could evolve. Iori was still bewildered by the fact that Ken, the former Digimon Kaiser had saved him.
"Are you alright, Wormmon?" Ken asked in concern. They were unable to catch her.
"Can't be helped. We'll get another chance."
It was not long after Ken caught up to the woman. Daisuke's leadership was challenged that day when the rest found out the truth behind his merciless killing of Digimon.
Mimi had a chance to come to the Digital World to visit Palmon and had a little picnic with Yukimibotamon. Digital World should be safe since Kaiser was defeated. Mimi barbequed Marshmallow for them and was glad that they loved them. Mimi realized Palmon had been away for some time. Palmon was actually somewhere picking herb. Mimi would love the tea made from this herb.
On her way back, Palmon saw an adult woman and she hid behind a tree. She was shocked. Could human other than children come to the Digital World? The woman plucked a strand of her hair and inserted it to the Dark Tower. A Digimon was created from it. Palmon watched in horror.
"Go… destroy the dam and flood the town down the river." She ordered. Palmon dropped her herbs and started running. She needed to find Mimi and evolve.
"Mimi... Mimi!" Palmon cried for help. Mimi came to the edge to see Palmon running towards her direction and a shadow loomed over her. The Digimon, Golemon created was ordered to silence her. Palmon managed to dodge the first attack on time before was hit on the next. Palmon was badly wounded as a result.
"Palmon!" Mimi and the whole Yukimibotamon ran to her side.
"Hurry… we have to stop him…" Palmon said to Mimi weakly. "He's… trying to… destroy the dam." She tried to get her words out. Yukimibotamon exclaimed that they would be in trouble. Many lives would be lost if they did not stop Golemon.
"Hurry… tell… others." Palmon fell limp on Mimi's arms. It took Mimi some time to register what was happening.
"Everyone, HELP!" Mimi's voice reached the new Chosen Children who were in Real World. They came to the Digital World as soon as they heard her.
The Chosen Children and the Digimon in their armoured form came to Mimi.
"What happened?" Daisuke kneeled before Mimi and asked.
Mimi turned to the direction of the dam. "He's trying to destroy the dam." The group saw a Digimon climbing the dam.
"Please protect the town!" Yukimibotamon requested Daisuke. The town would be flooded killing many should the dam was to break.
"Don't worry. Leave it to us." Daisuke said confidently.
"We are counting on you!" He ordered their Digimon Partners. Five armoured Digimon set off to stop Golemon.
"In any case, we need to get him off the dam." Lighdramon noted. Pegasmon and Nerfertimon used their Sanctuary Bind to bind Golemon while the rest of them attack him at once. However, there was not even a scratch on him.
"He's tough." Lighdramon realised in dismay. Shurimon shot up to the height Golemon was on to scan for any sign of Evil Spiral but he could see none. Digmon concluded that it was the same case with Thunderballmon. Golemon swinged his head and shook Pegasmon and Nefertimon off and they crashed on the dam.
"Nefertimon!" Takeru and Hikari cried.
"I won't let you!" Lighdramon attempted to attack him but was shot down instead. Shurimon was punched a distance away when he took over. Golemon managed to punch a hole through the dam and water flowed through the hole.
"What should we do now?" Lighdramon asked. They could only watch as the water flowed through the valley in the town's direction.
"Everyone, protect the town." Mimi instructed.
"Understood!" The armoured Digimon headed to their respective position. Nefertimon managed to choke the hole punched by Golemon, while Lighdramon, Shurimon cut down the trees for Pegasmon and Nefertimon to bind it to create a blockage. Digmon finished the job by created a crack on the ground to collect the water which had flowed through. They succeeded in stopping the first wave of water.
Golemon would not give up. He was serious in destroying the dam and to destroy the lives in the town. They wondered why Golemon would do such horrible things.
"If he's serious, we'll have to get serious now. " Daisuke decided.
"What do you mean by "serious"? Miyako demanded.
"Defeating him." Daisuke finished assertively. But Miyako was hesitant about destroying a life.
"Daisuke, calm down and think!"
"Calm down to think what?"
"To protect the dam of course."
"Without destroying him?" Daisuke questioned. But Miyako would not give up in trying to talk Daisuke out from taking the drastic action.
"We may only be able to stop him for a little while." Takeru backed Daisuke's decision. Hikari wondered if destroying him like Ichijouji Ken and Stingmon was the only way out. That really hit Miyako hard.
In her mind, she was running through the reasons why Ken could do it. Was it the only way? Or was it that they were to naïve?
"I won't do it!" Iori declared. "If we do that, we're no different from him."
"Exactly!" Miyako agreed. Daisuke begged to differ. He had given it a thought about what Ken did the other day. He decided that Ken had a reason why he had to destroy the enemy. He believed that Ken was not the same as before but Miyako had doubt.
"Anyone of you has Ichijouji Ken's e-mail address?" Mimi spoke up suddenly.
"I have it." Miyako said and Mimi took her D-terminal and sent an e-mail to him. Mimi would seek his help.
"Is there a problem?" It was an emergency and Mimi understood that. It was not the time for them to squabble. They had to do what they had to do before the worst happened. All the Digimon partners were defeated as Mimi expected. If it was her group three years ago, they would have gone for the kill.
"No good, if the dam is destroyed, the town is done for!" Daisuke cried out. He berated himself. If only Daisuke could convince his team to listen to him, they would not have landed in this state. All these happened because he was not confident enough. Yamato-san must have overestimated him by asking him to take the reign.
Golemon was about to land a hit when Stingmon grabbed his arms on time.
"Go, Stingmon!" Ken had arrived. Daisuke was relieved.
"See? He's a dependable friend." Mimi proved to them. Palmon stirred in her arms. Palmon asked to the status as soon as she recovered her consciousness.
"Stingmon is protecting the dam with Golemon." Mimi stated. What Palmon said next was a shocking revelation to Mimi and the rest. She told them what she saw earlier about the mysterious woman and that she created Golemon with the Dark Tower.
Miyako was enlightened. So that was the reason why Ken could destroy these Digimon without batting his eyes and why Daisuke said that he was no longer the Ken from before. He was their comrade. Her realization activated her D3 and allowed Hawkmon to evolve to his adult form, Aquilamon.
"Aquilamon! His true form is a Dark Tower. He's not a Digimon!" Miyako shouted to her Partner.
"Really? Then there's no holding back!"
Aquilamon came to Stingmon assistance. Together, they managed to destroy the Dark Tower Digimon, Golemon and thus saving the town from being flooded.
Ichijouji Ken bowed at all of them. He would not make any excuses for the cruel things he had done.
"I'm really sorry." He apologized sincerely from his heart.
The children looked at one another no knowing how they should react. Palmon broke the silence.
"By the way, who was the woman?" Palmon asked. Ken shook his head. He did not know. All he knew that she could create Digimon from Dark Towers and Dark Tower would regain their functions when she was nearby.
"Why didn't you tell us since you knew?" Mimi asked.
"We thought we should take care of this by ourselves. Wormmon answered on his behalf.
"You don't have to be that way." Daisuke said.
"But it was my fault."
"That's why you wouldn't join us." Daisuke noted. The truth was he had approached Ken to invite him to join them since the Thunderballmon incident but Ken had rejected his offer.
"Well then... I'll be going." With that, Ken and Wormmon left.
"Hey, Ichijouji!" Daisuke called out. Ken paused for a while to read a message Miyako had sent him before continuing to his way home.
The rest were going home too. It was already late in the evening. The group started to walk to the TV they came from when Mimi stopped Hikari. She had something important to tell her.
"Mimi-san, what's wrong?" Hikari asked as Mimi looked her into the eyes. She had been struggling in her mind since the incident with Cherubimon.
"How should I put it?"
"No, nothing. I just want to say take care." Mimi said. Hikari tilted her head in confusion.
"I'll be going then." Hikari said feeling a little uneasy. Mimi smiled at her for assurance. She wanted to tell Hikari about someone important she had met in the unknown dimension but she gave up halfway. What if it was just an illusion? She decided that she did not want to give Hikari any false hope.
"Mimi?" Palmon tugged her arms.
"I'm okay. Don't worry, Palmon." Mimi smiled looking the back of the leaving children.
Daisuke was gazing at the sunset at the riverside alone with Chibimon. The rest had gone home. He thought about the day's event. He had doubt in his ability to lead no matter what Yamato-san said.
Yamato's words rang in his mind that day during the debrief meeting with Koushirou, Jou, Sora and everyone on the incident with Cherubimon. Yamato announced that he would pass the leadership to him. He was bewildered. Why not Takeru who was the most experienced of all of them? He confronted Yamato after the meeting.
"You'll lead the team from now on. I believe in you, Daisuke. You have the potential to even surpass him."
"Do you mean you yourself?" Daisuke rolled his eyes. Yamato paused for a moment.
"I'll tell you when the time is right."
"Daisuke, I'm starving. Let's go home." Chibimon complained. He was worried about Daisuke.
"I understand I can't force Ichijouji to join us in a short notice. That's okay. But I can't even get my own team to listen to me. I even had them led me by the nose. What kind of leader am I?" Daisuke confided in Chibimon. "If it wasn't for Mimi-san's assertiveness and Ichijouji who arrived on time, lives would be lost. I'll have failed as a leader."
"Daisuke, you didn't have the enough information to make the right decision. It comes with experience." Chibimon replied in a serious tone. "Like Yamato-san, I believe in you. Come on, let's go home, I'm starving!"
"I got an idea! I'll try and convince everyone into accepting Ichijouji in our group and then I'll invite him over!" Daisuke decided feeling motivated. With that in mind, Daisuke picked up his bag and raced home.
"I know you can even surpass my previous partner in time to come." Chibimon thought watching Daisuke from his side in his bag.