Chapter 12: The First Jogress Evolution
"It's done, it's done! We worked hard and we had done it." Daisuke commented feeling satisfied with their work. He returned to his usual self.
"Let's go on to the next one!" Miyako suggested.
They spotted a Digimon walking towards the bridge they had repaired after walking a certain distance.
"Daisuke!" V-mon called. Daisuke nodded.
"Digimental Up!" V-mon armour evolved into Lighdramon and led an assault on that Digimon. Miyako was really pissed that that Digimon was destroying their hard work. Hawkmon evolved to Aquilamon to try move the Digimon out of the area only to break the bridge. Miyako facepalmed. Because of that, the Digimon was discovered to be created from a Dark Tower. Pegasmon, Nefertimon and Lighdramon worked together and destroyed the Digimon.
Daisuke sank to his knee feeling demoralized as the bridge was damaged. All his hard work had gone down the drain.
"We'll just have to fix it again."
If we worked together, it'll be fine. We can fix it." Takeru and Hikari try to cheer him up.
"That's right. Iori and I are still up for the challenge." Miyako said.
"If we worked together huh?" Daisuke repeated their words. That was right. He would take their words to try and convince his team to accept Ken into their team.
"I'm sure he'll help us if we ask." Daisuke assured them.
"Well… I'm not sure about that." Iori was not ready to accept him. He could not think like Daisuke.
"Back then I heard it. That time, when Ichijoiji Ken's Crest of Kindness turned into the Digimental for the first time. I didn't understand what it was saying but it seemed to be asking for something. I don know how to put it in words." Daisuke looked up to the sky. "How do I say it? I just felt that I could trust that Crest. I'm not sure but, I think that Crest was Ichijouji's heart itself."
"In other words, Daisuke understood Ichijouji-kun's heart?" Hikari asked.
"Well, when you put it that way." Daisuke replied.
"You may be able to understand but I still don't get it." Takeru looked down.
"Hey, can we speak in simpler terms? Whether it's crest or heart, can we not make things so complicated?" Miyako asked.
Izumi Koushirou was gulping down his water in disappointment. He could not believe that he had lost the National Code Breaking Competition. He was so close into winning a new Pineapple Laptop. Someone with the nickname of T.T. did it before him. Coincidentally the code encoded was related to an area of Digital World, "File Mountain". As it was, he was good but there were always someone who was just better. He ruffled his head. How he wished he could show Miyako the laptop they had wanted to get.
Suddenly, some kind of reaction appeared in an area on the computer catching Koushirou's attention. He contacted Iori and the rest immediately asking them to check it out.
"The dark power is growing." Iori realized.
"Let's check it out. Daisuke suggested.
Meanwhile, Ken and Stingmon finished their work for the day. On their way home, Ken confided to Wormmon that he wished that there was more he could do.
"I can evolve as long as Ken-chan is here. Don't worry about it." Wormmon assured him.
"Let's go home and eat lots of snacks!" Ken suggested. They did not notice that Agumon had been tailing them behind their back.
Daisuke and his friends arrived at the area where negative energy was concentrated. It was where the base of Digimon Kaiser was left after his defeat.
"At this rate, an explosion with a radius of a few dozen miles will occur!" Koushirou warned them.
"An explosion?" Daisuke could not believe his ears. They had to stop it somehow but how? An idea came to Daisuke.
"It must be because the Crest of Kindness is missing. So if we can bring it back, I'm sure we can stop it." Daisuke concluded. With that in mind, Daisuke tried to contact Ichijouji Ken. He would get him to bring his Crest of Kindness back.
However, Ken did not respond. Things were getting serious and they did not have much time. Never did they realise that he was being distracted by the mysterious woman back at home. Ken had many questions for her. She could be the related to why he became Digimon Kaiser.
"Ken-chan, the phone." Wormmon called. The phone rang in Ken's room rang. Ken was too distracted to hear him. He just wanted to get his answers and the woman continued to make a fool of him. Ken realized was just being used to build the Dark Towers.
Wormmon had no choice but to answer the phone on Ken's behalf. He sounded like the phone operator in order not to arouse any suspicion. It was Koushirou who was on the other line.
"Is that a voice message?" He asked.
"It's not a voice message, it's a Digimon message." Wormmon was smart but not that smart but that helped Koushirou in figuring out that he was Ken's partner Digimon.
"Yes, that's right. But right now, Ken-chan is." Wormmon wanted to tell him Ken was busy.
"It's an emergency and I need to speak with Ichijouji-kun!" Koushirou said anxiously.
The woman continued distracting Ken. Ken was easily manipulated. He got worked up rather easily.
"Why did it have to be me?" He demanded slamming on his desk.
"Didn't I tell you, it can be anyone? It's just a coincidence that you are chosen." The woman played with her hair.
"I'm not convinced."
"Ken-chan, Ken-chan. There is a phone call from Izumi Koushirou-san. He says Digital World is in danger and they need your help!" Ken was shocked. He took the phone from Wormmon.
"Ichijouji-kun, I think Daisuke-kun had e-mailed you the details. You can get to the Digital World on your own right? Please hurry up!" Koushirou requested. Ken stared at the woman. So that was just a distraction from the woman to hold him up.
"That's why I say little boys like you are too easy to manipulate." She said and Ken glared at her angrily.
Explosions at the base was getting more rapid. It was a matter of time before the big explosion. Ken and Wormmon ran. Digimon Kaiser's base was something painful to Ken. Ken was blaming himself. He thought he was the greatest and he let it get to his head. He was lonely and he chose to run away and it resulted to this.
"That's why I'll be the one who will put an end to this!" Ken decided.
"Is Ichijouji-kun coming?" Miyako asked anxiously.
"He's coming. I'm sure he is!" Daisuke believed in him.
And then, the woman Palmon mentioned appeared before them. "I don't want any kiddos to mess up my explosion." Pulling strands of her hair and combined with ten Dark Tower, she created a Perfect Level Digimon, Ookuwamon. Daisuke and the rest finally knew how the creation of Digimon from Dark Tower worked. V-mon, Hawkmon and Armadimon evolved into their adult forms and sprang into action.
"If only I could evolve to Perfect Level." Tailmon said in disappointment. They had wasted their only opportunity to evolve into Ultimate at Summer Memory.
"It can't be helped. We'll do what we can." Takeru said. There was no point fretting about it. Patamon evolved into Angemon and Tailmon went for amour evolution. But Angemon and Aquilamon were defeated quickly reverting back to their Child form.
"Angemon's attack is only effective against Dark type." Hikari explained. Daisuke could only watched as Ankylomon and Nefertimon were defeated. XV-mon was the only one left but not for long unless Ichijouji Ken would show up.
Ken and Stingmon finally arrived. Stingmon managed to stop Ookuwamon's assault on XV-mon who was trying to escape.
"Sorry I'm late." Ken came to Daisuke's side.
"I knew you'd come. And the Crest?" Daisuke asked. Ken showed it to him.
"That's it. Come on. Let's hurry." Daisuke urged but Ken was unwilling to get them involved.
"You should all get away from here." He said.
"There's no time. We'll take care of this!" Ken insisted. He caused the mess and he would deal with it alone.
"Everyone, hurry up and get out of here." Stingmon urged.
"If we're running away, you'll come with us." XV-mon said to his old friend.
"I can't do that." Stingmon raised his voice.
"What are you talking about? What do you intend to do?" Daisuke demanded.
"I won't let people suffer anymore because of what I did." Ken replied. "Why did I have to become the Digimon Kaiser?"
"I wasn't able to stop Ken-chan after you guys were gone." Stingmon blamed himself.
"Stingmon…"Stingmon still remembered their times together.
"I want to restore the Digital World with my own hands. But things just keep getting worse. I can't stand it! I don't want any more destruction in this world." Ken looked his his trembling hands.
"Is there any way I can atone for the sins I've committed?" Stingmon wondered.
"I don't care what'll happen to me. Right now, I have to stop this reactor!" Daisuke slapped him.
"Idiot! How can you say that?" Daisuke demanded angrily.
"Don't be stupid!" XV-mon yelled at his friend up in the air.
"Think of who would be sad if you were gone?" Daisuke scolded recalling Wallace's tears when Cherubimon died. "If I let you go now and you never come back, I'll regret it forever." An image of Yamato looking up at the sky alone came to his mind. "So I won't let you go!"
"You think you can let your partner die like this?" XV-mon could not believe that Stingmon would allow that. He might not be able to return until his next partner came for him and he would regret like him. XV-mon recalled his time briefly with his previous partner sitting around the fire at night. He was a boy with short brown spiky hair.
"I made a wrong choice before and I won't let you repeat my mistake." XV-mon decided.
"You may be okay with it, but I'm not!" Daisuke continued to lecture Ken.
"Live…" Daisuke requested.
"It's your duty as a partner to live together, no matter what." XV-mon came to this conclusion. "If you want to atone for your sins, you have to keep living."
"You're right. I can't do that unless I live." Stingmon realized.
"If you die now, you won't be able to accomplish anything. I don't want that!" Daisuke said in frustration. Ken flinched. He was wavering from his decision. He thought he was prepared to give up his right as a Chosen Child as a price. But he would miss Wormmon and he must not be selfish.
"I don't want that." Ken said finally. "There are still many things I must do. I can't die here. Besides, I don't want to make my family sad anymore." There was some chance that he could not make it back home like his other friend who came to explore the Digital World with him a few years ago.
All the sudden, Ken and Daisuke's D3 glowed. XV-mon and Stingmon glowed as well. Daisuke and Ken found themselves able to hear each other's heartbeat. Hence, a new evolution, Jogress Evolution was born. XV-mon and Stingmon jogress evolved into Paildramon.
"Paildramon." Daisuke and Ken said in unison. That was said to be the first. With the same pair of Digimon, Ken was never able to do the same with XV-mon's previous partner. Daisuke had surpassed him.
"They combined." Takeru found his words. He and Hikari stared at Paildramon in awe.
With Paildramon's strength, he was able to hold Ookuwamon back while Daisuke and the rest headed to the base. Despite giving up the Crest of Kindness, they were unable to stop the impending explosion. In the nick of time, Paildramon who had destroyed Ookuwamon came in any destroyed the core of the reactor altogether stopping the explosion successfully.
In the Real World, Koushirou fell on his butt in huge relief. They managed to avert another disaster in Digital World. The distortion was fixed.
"Everything should be okay now." Koushirou sent an e-mail to them.
The mysterious woman on the other hand, swore that she would make them pay.
And so, Paildramon destroyed the base completely while the Children waited outside.
"Destroy it, please don't leave a trace." Ken said quietly. From now on, perhaps he could move on.
Their partners returned in Baby form due to excessive use of their powers. Ken greeted Leafmon while Daisuke who had never seen V-mon in Baby form was surprised.
"I'm Chicomon now." V-mon introduced himself. "So? Weren't we strong?" Chicomon asked his partner.
"Yeah, you are the best!" Daisuke gave a thumbs-up. Leafmon and Chicomon laughed happily together. They had finally reconciled and reunited.
"We'll help each other from now on." Chicomon said to Leafmon.
"Yeah we will." Leafmon nuzzled Chicomon.
"We did it, Ichijouji." Daisuke invited Ken for a handshake. Ken hesitated. He wondered why their Digimon could combine.
"What are you talking about? That's because we're partners." Daisuke explained. Their Digimon laughed. Perhaps, jogress evolution was the reason why both of them were activated together a few years ago.
"Partners?" Ken was in doubt.
"When our Digimon combined, our thoughts and feelings flowed through one another bodies. Our hearts beating as one. It was an amazing feeling of unity." Daisuke explained. "That's when I knew we're partners." Ken looked away.
"I'm not qualified to be your partner yet."
"What do you mean by "qualified"? Wasn't that feeling of unity, good enough?" Daisuke asked.
"I'm sorry." Ken was not ready yet. "Can you give me some time to think?" Ken asked picking up Leafmon.
"Wait a second, Ichijouji!" Daisuke was disappointed. He finally found an opportunity to invite him over.
"You're too straightforward, Daisuke-kun." Hikari explained. "When you push him like that, he can't answer right away." Daisuke did not understand. They just fought together.
"Maybe he was too wrapped up while fighting, but when it's over, he was all "what's going on here?" and panicked." Miyako tried to explain. Even Iori had no idea what happened as he was also distracted by the battle just now. Hikari advised Daisuke to wait and see. She had a point. Daisuke had no choice but to wait.
"He's doing his best in his own way." Daisuke commented.
"I just hope the effort is not just to satisfy himself." Takeru said.
Ken was on the way home with Leafmon dozing off in his arms. He stopped after a certain distance when he sensed someone following him.
"You can stop hiding already." Ken spoke up. Agumon who was hiding appeared behind a rock. Ken recognized that Agumon as the one he had captured and experimented on. Agumon was a little panicky.
"Sorry for following you but I can't help it." Agumon found his words. A crest in Ken's pocket glowed. Ken took it out and showed it to Agumon. Agumon was taken aback. That was the reason why he could not help but to follow Ken.
"That… That is… Why did you have it?" Agumon asked. Leafmon blinked in surprise.
"Because I'm your current partner." Ken replied recalling that he had taken the Partner right from his previous partner when he was the Digimon Kaiser when he chose to activate the crest with the power of Darkness.
Right now the crest was blanked out due to the corruption from excessive dark evolution. Until he could revert the crest to its original state, even if Agumon planned to stay with him, he would not be able to evolve to his perfect form. He was sorry for everything he did to Agumon. He promised he would make it up to him somehow. Until then…
Agumon could only watch as Ken and Leafmon disappeared into the TV.
An image of a white holy knight Digimon appeared in Ken's mind.
"Just what's that?" Ken wondered. The name of that Digimon was Omegamon.
"Yes, and the Digimon combined!" Miyako said excitedly over the phone to Koushirou-san. That was the first time they witnessed such evolution.
"What did Koushirou say?" Takeru asked after Miyako hang up.
"He asked us to keep him posted if the next Jogress Evolution happened. I feel that he may be keeping something from us as he sounded worried." Miyako described. "I wanted to ask him for more details but he hung up on me. It's okay. I'll talk to him again."
"What do you think, Daisuke-san?" Iori asked walking beside Daisuke. He wanted to hear his opinion.
"No idea." He said.
Hikari and Takeru who were walking behind glanced at each other worriedly.
"I'm hungry, Daisuke." Chicomon who had evolved into Chibimon whined.
"It's late. We'll talk about it tomorrow." Miyako suggested. As it was bothering Iori, he suggested that they would see Koushirou now. It was Upamon who reminded that they needed to be home before dinner that Iori had to let it go.
The children dispersed leaving Takeru and Hikari. They decided to pay Koushirou a visit.
"The time is getting closer." Koushirou realized. The lock was breaking. Takeru and Hikari looked down regretting their action at Summer Memory.
"Don't blame yourself. It was an emergency back then and both of had done what you can." Koushirou consoled them.
"But we wasted the ability which could be of help to the upcoming battle against Diaboromon." Hikari said quietly. At this rate, both Digital World and the Real World could be at risk. Koushirou pinched his chin in thought. Even though MetalGarurumon was powerful, he did not have the confidence that he could defeat him alone. Besides, they did not know what kind of destruction that Digimon could cause or what he was after.
Two years ago, Gennai had called the seven of them back to the Digital World. They had thought that the distortion of the Digital World was fixed after the defeat of the Dark Masters but it was not. In order to fix the distortion, they had to release the force that protected the Digital World which was trapped by the Darkness. Until now, they did not know what it was. All they knew was that the power of the Darkness in the Digital World would increase if that force was weakened.
And so the power of their Crests was needed. The power from seven out of eight crests were barely enough to fix the distortion but their Partner Digimon had lost the ability to evolve to their Perfect form.
Other than fixing the distortion, Gennai had called them to tell them about a threat from the birth of an Digimon known as Diaboromon. His existence would cause break down of the network and the consequences would be dire. Gennai and his comrades were working to slow down the time of his appearance but eventually they would have to take him on. He was aware that due to loss of the power of their Crests they would be powerless against him so they granted Yamato, Takeru and Hikari an one-time use of their power to allow their partner Digimon to evolve into Ultimate Level in order to fight Diaboromon.
Gennai had estimated its appearance to the time when the new group of the Chosen Children was able to activate a brand new evolution naturally which Hikari and Takeru had linked it to Jogress Evolution.
The time for the fated battle was getting closer and like it or not, they could only count on Yamato and Gabumon when the time comes.
That night, Miyako had a dream. It was the same dream again. A white holy knight was fighting an ugly dark blue monster. She could vaguely see two boys riding on the holy knight. The blonde boy looked really familiar to Miyako. It was when the boy finally looked her into the eyes and Miyako realized who he was.
"Yamato-san!" She jumped up in bed.
"Are you okay, Miyako-san?" Poromon asked rubbing his eyes. He was awakened by her voice.
Miyako was excited. She was wondering if it was the incident related to Digimon she could be involved and that was why she became a Chosen Child as Yamato seemed to be younger in her dream.
At the same time, Ken had the same dream Miyako had. He was bathing in sweat. He pulled out his Crest of Courage which was still blank. It was not a coincidence.
Agumon was Takenouchi-san's Digimon. He had been nice to him to give him the Crest of Courage as a protective charm but he had fallen out with Takenouchi-san when he became Digimon Kaiser. He wondered how he could make it up to them.