Chapter 15: Doubts
It was a few days after the event in the Spiral Mountain. Ken was at home. He felt drained. He was holding up the blank Crest of Courage in daze. He was never able to activate it again. He did not have the courage to even face his own fear.
Agumon approached him again stating that he would fight for the Digital World. Even though he could not see him as his partner but he was still his partner. He reminded Ken that he was able to evolve into MetalGreymon via Dark Evolution because of the Crest even though it was the wrong attribute. Agumon believed that if Ken put his mind into it, he would be able to evolve again, this time through normal mean.
Ken could not give Agumon his answer nor could he tell him there was someone else who would be able to grant him the power. He was afraid to contact the true owner of the Crest after what he had done to him.
His line of thought was disrupted when his D-Terminal beeped.
"We know where Archnemon is. Sorry if we are being intrusive. Yagami Hikari." He read the e-mail. "Thanks." He whispered. He was grateful that not just Motomiya-kun and Miyako, Hikari began to trust him.
"Let's go, Minomon!"
Agumon felt ashamed. He actually approached somebody else to grant him the power to evolve. He wondered if Taichi would be mad at him. But, he wanted to be useful to the Chosen Children. Agumon looked at his trembling claw.
He was actually afraid. It took him a lot of courage to approach Ichijouji Ken. He did not know if he was strong enough to protect Ken. He was afraid he would fail again and let him die like he did for Taichi.
He could never forget the moment Taichi died. He could see his tears. Taichi must be really scared even though he was unable to say so. Agumon shut his eyes tight.
The presence of Wormmon actually gave him some security. With two Digimon protecting a Chosen Child, maybe he would be okay.
Ken did not give him an answer right away.
Nevertheless, he would still want to do something for the Chosen Children. He had been looking for a certain Dark Tower Digimon who was searching for his meaning of life, BlackWarGreymon.
"We meet at last." He greeted the Ultimate Level Digimon, BlackWarGreymon. BlackWarGreymon turned his head up at the direction of the voice. "I've been looking for you." He said.
"For me? To fight?" BlackWarGreymon asked.
"Well… How about we talk first?" Agumon requested. "Ah, I haven't introduce myself yet. I'm Agumon. When I evolve into Ultimate, I become a WarGreymon."
"Could it be… You are born from Dark Tower too?" BlackWargreymon asked.
"No, I was born from a Digiegg." Agumon said in response.
"Then it would be useless to talk." BlackWarGreymon was crestfallen as he walked past Agumon. He stopped suddenly.
"No, we can talk." He decided. "However, I want you to answer my questions."
"Questions?" Agumon pondered.
Hikari and Daisuke arrived on Nefertimon and XV-mon. A Knightmon was hitting on a stone.
"What's that stone?" Daisuke asked. Hikari and Daisuke thought he might be practicing swordsmanship.
"No, I feel some power." Nefertimon disagreed. It could be the stones she heard rumour about, Holy Stone.
"What's that?" Daisuke wondered.
"I don't know. But according to the rumours, a frightening disaster will happen in this world when a Holy Stone is destroyed." Nefertimon explained.
"Then we have to stop him." Hikari decided.
"Okay, we'll do it. Hikari-chan will contact Takeru and the others." Daisuke suggested. He had become more decisive and matured since his trekking trip with just Yamato and Jou to the Spiral Mountain where he found and inherited the Digimental of Courage. The fact was he felt insecure. He wondered if he could really hold his own team together like what he told Taichi-san or whether he had the courage to bear the weight of his goggles. Of all his teammates he sent the SOS to, only Ken responded to him.
Agumon who was chatting with BlackWarGreymon was trying to figure out where their hearts were.
"Sorry, I don't really know where the soul is?" Agumon admitted.
"Even though you're alive, you don't know?" BlackWarGreymon asked. "Do souls really exist? Aren't they just an illusion?"
"They're not an illusion." Agumon said in a firm voice. "Caring about someone, believing in them. Those feelings aren't illusion at all!" Memories of his times with Taichi appeared in his mind as he explained.
"Then, let me ask. What is the purpose of a soul?" BlackWarGreymon asked in response to his answer.
"To let Digimon be Digimon, and human be human." Agumon answered.
"But I'm just a lifeless body. Why would I have a soul?" BlackWarGreymon questioned. Agumon scratched his head.
"Your questions are so tough… I'm not good at this." He admitted. "Let's see. That's because." Agumon folded his arms.
"Sorry. Can you repeat the question?" Sound of the wind was heard.
XV-mon held the blades up from Knightmon.
"Go for it, XV-mon!" Daisuke cheered him on. His friends with the exception of Ken arrived to assist him.
"I'm not alive. Not a living creature. If I have a soul, what can I gain from it?" BlackWarGreymon asked. Agumon knew the answer.
"I know that. Friends!"
"Yeah, if you have a soul, you're just not a thing anymore. You're a living thing like us. So, we can become friends." Agumon said.
"What else? Is there anything more?" BlackWarGreymon continued asking.
"Anything more? What do you want?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know? It's not friends and of course not fame either. It's something more important. Yes, the reason why I exist."
"The reason why you exist?" Agumon frowned.
"Yes, what should I do in this world? No, what must I do?" BlackWarGreymon raised his claw. "If it's fighting those who are powerful, that's fine. I'll devote myself to fighting and defeat my opponents."
"But." BlackWarGreymon actually tried to protect a small flower which was about to be trampled upon by Archnemon's Dark Tower Digimon. "If I have a soul which gets in my way of fighting, I'll get rid of it." BlackWarGreymon stepped on the flower he saved at the end.
"You…You can't! You can't get rid of your soul!" Agumon said anxiously.
Archnemon and Mummymon joined in the fight. They could not have the Children to stop their plan in destroying the Holy Stone. They managed to immobilize all of them. The Chosen Children were anxious. They could not do anything. It was only the arrival of Ken and Stingmon, they could turn the table.
"Alright!" The Digimon could retaliate.
"Sorry, I'm late!" Ken ran to Daisuke. XV-mon, Stingmon and Aquilamon, Tailmon could finally jogress evolve.
You can't get rid of your soul. It can't be a coincidence for you to have a soul. Besides, it's ridiculous to get rid of your soul for fighting. I think we can be friends. I'm sure that's the reason you have a soul." Agumon believed.
"Can you prove it?" BlackWarGreymon asked.
"I can. Definitely. It may take some time though." Agumon offered his claw for a handshake. BlackWargreymon was tempted. He was about to shake his claw when he found himself in pain.
"What… What's wrong?" Agumon asked worriedly.
"I'm in pain. Something is hurting me." He grimaced. The pain was excruciating.
The seal of the Holy Stone broke and Holy Stone was reacting. BlackWarGreymon could not take the pain anymore. With that he took off to the air.
"Where are you going? Wait!" Agumon shouted in despondence. He had failed again.
Archnemon and Mummymon ran away as soon as they spotted BlackWarGreymon coming. They had already given up on him since he would not obey Archnemon.
The Chosen Children watched in horror as BlackWarGreymon destroyed Knightmon in an instant, defeated their Digimon reverting them back into baby or in-training form and destroyed the Holy Stone.
"In an instant?" To think Miyako thought they might have a chance with two Jogressed Digimon.
"They are really no match for him?" Daisuke and Ken were shocked.
With the Holy Stone destroyed, a whirlpool was formed and it was sucking the Chosen Children in.
"Everyone run!" Takeru urged.
Archnemon and Mummymon were surprised to see BlackWarGreymon still helping them in their plan even though they did not order him to. BlackWarGreymon looked at the whirlpool.
"Is this the reason why I exist?" He pondered.
Takenouchi Taichi often pondered about his purpose in life. As a student council president, he fought for opportunities for his schoolmates to have a fulfilling school life but yet he felt empty. He wondered why he had forgotten his life. For now, all he could do was to create new memories and move on for his new life.
Taichi was meeting his foster father, Professor Takenouchi Haruhiko and his student, Kido Shu-san for lunch.
Taichi went to a normal school after he was taken in by the orphanage. He was naturally intelligent when came to code decoding and folk analogy about monsters which caught Professor Takenouchi's attention when he came over to give a talk to the Elementary students.
Taichi had a little debate with him about darkness and light. This boy seemed promising to him. When Professor Takenouchi found out that he was an orphan, he decided to take him in under his wing as his apprentice, supporting Taichi in his studies. Even though he was his foster son, Taichi was unwilling to meet his family in Odaiba. Taichi somehow was afraid of Odaiba. He did not want Mrs. Takenouchi and her daughter to have any misconception about him. More importantly, he was afraid he would lose his current peace should he go there.
He wore his favourite two-pieces blue shirt with a star on his sleeves and headed out of the apartment with a sling bag where he kept the pineapple laptop he won in a code breaking competition. He did not expect that today was the day when he would find clues about his previous life when he would encounter creatures from another world, Digimon.
The brother of his old friend, Osamu, Ken had recovered from his memory loss. He had wanted to meet him but due to his hectic schedule in school, he had never been able to do so.
"Maybe I'll call him today." Taichi thought.
Miyako was on a school field trip. All 6th grade students would get to go on one before they graduate from the Elementary. She was really excited for her trip. She sent an e-mail to Koushirou to share about her experience.
"Poromon, how are you? Hello, Koushirou-san. Thank you for taking care of Poromon. The second day of our field trip is in Kyoto. The character for "Miyako （京）" is the same as "Kyo（京）" in "Kyoto（京都）". Kyoto was more modern than I thought and the food is great. Poromon, I'll buy you…"
Koushirou paid a visit to Ichijouji Ken in Tamachi. He would like to learn more about him and what he knew about the Digital World he did not know about. It had been some time since he had been assisting Daisuke and the rest in protecting the Digital World for threat and Koushirou felt that he was a reliable teammate.
"I see. It was the Dark Ocean where the Digivice turned into the D3. In order to match your D3, Daisuke and the rest needed the same type of D3 unlike the ones we have." Koushirou showed his Digivice to him. "The shape of the D3 must have been something that you wish for. Takeru-kun and the others' Digivice changed after that to match that shape."
"A shape I wished for?" Ken repeated his words. He called Osamu's jealousy towards Takenouchi who had the Digivice. He would like it to be different from his just like what his brother would have wanted. It became the first of the batch of D3 the Chosen Children had on hand.
"When the Digital World gathers data, there's a system that controls shape. It reads the person's thoughts and organizes the data in that same way. That's probably why Daisuke's and the others' clothes change." Koushirou explained.
"So the Kaiser's clothes were something I wished for." Ken realized.
"And my hairstyle changed to match oniisan's."
"Subconsciously, yes! The question is who sent the e-mail." Koushirou was trying to get as much information as possible from Ken to help them.
"I don't know yet. Maybe it has something to do with that female Digimon." Ken said.
"Archnemon, right? There probably is a connection. Also, the Dark Towers may have function which we don't know yet. There's still a lot to look into."
"I'm sorry. My memory of those things is unclear." He had forgotten things since he was defeated as Digimon Kaiser.
"No, don't worry. We were supposed to find you before the sender, in any case. We were careless. We never thought that there was still another Chosen Child so close to us." Koushirou admitted. If only he could live and let live and the whole group of them would not be so disorganized. He could not help but to hold grudges against Yamato, Jou and Mimi. If they had not left, things might not end up this way.
"So close?" Ken did not expect to hear this.
"We're not the Chosen Children. There are quite a lot of them all over the world. We still don't know all the details. Most of them meeting the Digimon when they first appeared in the Real World in 1999 were only the start. We are children with Digimon Partners rather than being known as the Chosen Children. " Koushirou explained. Ken looked down.
"For me." Ken struggled to think. "I can't remember clearly." Like Miyako, he could not remember his previous experience with Digimon before he was chosen. The only image he had was a white holy knight Digimon fighting a blue monster.
It could not be helped. Koushirou opened up his D-Terminal to find a message from Miyako to Poromon who was not feeling good.
"What's wrong? Are you not feeling well?" Koushirou asked in concern.
"I'm sure it's because he had been in this world away from this partner from too long." A more experienced Minomon explained. "I also get tired staying here as Wormmon for so long."
"I see. It's been three days since Miyako-kun left on her trip." Koushirou learnt as he picked up Poromon on his arms. "It's only been three days but being away from her must be tiring. Digimon had a hard time just trying to exist in this world."
"Then, I'll take him to the Digital World." Ken offered. Besides, Motomiya-kun and the rest were already there.
"Yes, please do." Koushirou handed Poromon to Ken. "Also, when you are there, please look out for the distortion of the worlds."
"Yes, I understand. By the way, why did you want to tell you about this?" Like Koushirou, Ken wanted to know what he knew which he did not know.
"Because I wanted to know. When I first went to the Digital World, I had my own theory about what the world was. But I was younger than you back then and had little information, I didn't quite understand it. I want to know the true nature of the Digital World. It would also give us insight into our world." Koushirou said firmly.
With that Ken took Poromon and Minomon to the Digital World. Koushirou was about to leave when the phone rang. As he was worried if Ken's mother who headed out to work when he arrived at his house called, so he picked it up on his behalf and he cover for Ken.
"Hello. Ichijouji Residence." Koushirou said.
"Hello, it's Takenouchi. May I speak to Ichijouji Ken-kun, please." The voice at the other side said.
"Takenouchi? He has same surname with Sora-san's."
"I'm sorry. Ichijouji Ken is out at his friends' house to study." Koushirou lied.
"Who are you? Why are you there?" The person at other side asked him in a low tone. Koushirou realized he seemed to know he was lying.
"I'm his friend, Izumi." Koushirou had no choice but to elaborate his lie. "He and I are studying together. He has headed to my place first while I drop by to pick up the exercise book he had forgotten." Koushirou laughed over the phone to make it sounded more real. The person seemed to have believed him.
"I see. I'm sorry about my manner earlier. I'll call him back again. Bye!" With that he hung up.
Koushirou placed the phone back on his table slowly. The voice on the other side of the phone sounded awfully familiar even though the voice sounded deeper. His breath felt constricted. Why did it scare him so much?