Chapter 18: The Unexpected Encounter
Ken spent the night at Daisuke's place. He could not sleep and Daisuke could notice that he was troubled. Daisuke decided to take this chance to get to know more about him.
"Ichijouji, do you think you want to talk? I mean we're partners. It's just two of us now. Um… of course, that's if you are willing to talk. Daisuke trailed off. Ken sat up on the futon Daisuke's family had prepared for him to stay for the night.
"Motomiya-kun, you mentioned earlier about looking for allies to increase our firepower, right?" Daisuke who was lying on his bed nodded.
"Yeah. You have an idea?" He asked excitedly.
He thought for a while and finally pulled out a tag and showed it to Daisuke.
"T-That's?" Daisuke's eyes widened. Even though it was blank, Daisuke knew it was a crest. Daisuke frowned in disappointment as he thought it was his Crest of Kindness. "So you're trying to say you want to get Wormmon to evolve to Perfect Level but you decided not to tell us just not to disappoint me." Daisuke struggled to find his words.
"Don't worry about me. I had been the weakest one all these while. I had been a burden to the rest since day one. I think I can..."
"Motomiya-kun, this is not the Crest of Kindness." Ken clarified. Leafmon felt a tinge of jealousy. Ken paused a while before he continued, "As you see, Wormmon is not my only partner…" Ken began to confide in Daisuke.
"So that was the legendary Crest of Courage. A-Agumon is your partner Digimon now?! Wait let me digest it!" Daisuke messed up his hair trying to get it together. "Come to think of it, Agumon's partner was…" Daisuke covered his mouth before he said something wrong. He promised Yamato-san and Jou-san not to say a word about what happened to his partner to the rest but Ken's words caught him by surprise.
"Killed." Ken laid back to the futon.
"You-You know about it." Daisuke stammered. Ken did not say anything.
"In any case, with the Crest of Courage on hand, I may be able to get Agumon into his Perfect Level like I did before." Ken closed his eyes trying not to remember his cruelty when he forced Agumon to dark evolve into MetalGreymon. Daisuke stared at the blank crest.
"It's set! Let's have Agumon onboard. Who knows he might be able to evolve into WarGreymon. WarGreymon VS BlackWarGreymon. We can win." Daisuke exclaimed excitedly lying back on his bed. "Let's sleep now and we'll head to the Digital World tomorrow to speak to Agumon and try out the evolution with the crest." He suggested eagerly turning his back from Ken and got himself to sleep.
Ken, on the other hand sighed. He had something else he wanted to share with him. But it was okay. He did not know if he could even get the Crest of Courage to glow. Nevertheless, they would do what they could for now. With that in mind, Ken greeted good night to his jealous partner Digimon.
"I promise we'll always be together, Leafmon." Ken smiled to reassure his partner.
"Then it's okay." Leafmon closed his eyes and fell asleep.
The next morning, Daisuke received a phone call from Hikari. It was an emergency. Ikkakumon had found the sixth Holy Stone. Tentomon contacted them saying BlackWarGreymon was already on his way and they needed to hurry.
Daisuke and friends gathered by the seaside.
"Iori, we're leaving the ocean to you." Daisuke said. When comes to ocean, Daisuke and the rest were helpless. They could only count on Iori.
"Okay, we'll join forces with Ikkakumon and the rest and protect the Holy Stone. Let's go Submarimon!" Iori ordered.
"Let's do it, dagyaa." Submarimon submerged into the water. As for the rest of them, they would stand by with their Digimon evolved into their adult forms.
"We can't let BlackWarGreymon get near the ocean!" Daisuke ordered. At this juncture, there was no time to talk to Agumon to even say try to get his help.
"Yeah, we'll do what it takes to stop him from destroying the Holy Stone!" Takeru agreed.
Iori and Submarimon had arrived where Ikkakumon was waiting. Even MegaSeadramon they had saved from Evil Spiral control months ago had joined them.
"Submarimon is here! Victory is ours!" Ikkakumon was confident with the power of the new Chosen Children.
"No, we can't let our guards down." Iori replied. They had failed too many times. BlackWarGreymon was too formidable to beat.
"You can't imagine how strong that guy is, dagyaa!" Submarmon added. Ikkakumon nodded in agreement reminded of the power of their own WarGreymon.
"BlackWarGreymon has arrived!" Angelmon reported. Daisuke and the rest watched fearfully.
"I sense it. The Holy Stone."
XV-mon and Stingmon, Aquilamon and Tailmon proceeded to jogress evolve into their perfect forms.
"We'll stop you right here!" Angemon declared as he took BlackWarGreymon on. Angemon was outmatched.
"We need to join our powers." Silphymon reminded Angemon who had gotten too hot-headed.
"Let's attack together." Paildramon suggested. Even so, the three Digimon could not even scratch him.
"Gaia Force!" BlackWarGreymon threw his fire ball at them. The turmoil from the attack could be felt by the group of Digimon under the ocean.
BlackWarGreymon entered the ocean to meet resistance from Ikkakumon and the other sea Digimon and was forced back to the surface where Paildramon and the rest took over. BlackWarGreymon crashed on the side of the cliff.
"We did it!" Daisuke and the rest watched excitedly. However, their happiness was short-lived when BlackWarGreymon who was buried under the debris stood up and retaliated in fury.
"Gaia Force!" The ocean split open with his attack throwing those who were under the ocean away.
The Holy Stone was revealed to the surface. BlackWarGreymon walked towards it.
"Holy Stone." BlackWarGreymon could not wait to destroy it to only find Iori and Armadimon ran towards him
"Stop it already, please!" Iori cried.
"Move, if you don't want to die." BlackWarGreymon ordered.
"No, we won't!" Iori said adamantly with his arms spread out.
"Iori-kun!" Miyako, Hikari and Takeru cried out in unison. They were worried for his safety.
"Don't be reckless!" Angemon cried.
"Iori, no!" Paildramon yelled. Silphymon grabbed Paildramon urging him to wait.
"Iori will be in danger if we make the wrong move." Silphymon explained. They had no choice but to wait and see as Iori confronted BlackWarGreymon.
"Despite being born from the Dark Tower, you have a soul, right?" Iori asked. "Then please stop destroying the Holy Stones!"
"I can't do that." BlackWarGreymon said. If he did not destroy it, he would not get to fight powerful Digimon and he would not be able to stay true to himself.
"Please stop disrupting the balance between the Real World and the Digital World!" Iori tried to talk reason with BlackWarGreymon.
"Shut up! Anything you say is useless." BlackWarGreymon was angered. Right now all he could think was to destroy the Holy Stones.
"No, I don't want to think. I won't torture myself anymore. We're done talking. Move!" BlackWarGreymon gave Iori his final warning.
"I won't" Iori refused. "I don't want to fight you if you have a soul!" BlackWarGreymon noticed that Iori was looking at him with sympathy. He wondered why. The image of the little flower he had protected came to him. But why?
"Why? Why do I hesitate killing him? Is it because I have a soul? Is that what I want?"
"Iori, move, dagyaa!" Armadimon begged.
"Iori!" Daisuke yelled.
"I… I never wanted a soul!" His golden eyes narrowed and started running towards Iori direction. The rest were helpless.
"That's bad. I need to log Hida-kun out of here now! If he gets deleted in the Digital World, he won't be able to return to the Real World intact. And there is no telling if he can return to the Real World." Ken told Daisuke and pulled out his D3 desperately. Daisuke was shocked. Ken would open up a portal right here to log Iori and Armadimon back to the Real World before that happened.
Angemon got Iori and Armadimon out of the way in the nick of time much to Ken's relief and BlackWarGreymon destroyed the Holy Stone with his Black Tornado attack. A whirlpool was formed devouring all in the range.
The Digimon Partners had no choice but to grab the daunted children and leave the area.
They had failed again. Only one remaining Holy Stone was left.
Takeru accompanied Iori throughout the day. Takeru had a really bad scare. Iori almost lost his life. If anything had happened to Iori, he would not know what he would have done. He did not want to go through that again. He could never forget Taichi's last moment and the despair felt when they found that no one else other than them and his family could remember his existence.
Takeru and Iori stared at the sea in silence while Patamon and Upamon played with the sand. Upamon decided to break the silence.
"Hey, Iori. Is it bad if Digimon come to this world?" Upamon asked. A happy family of four passed by them and laughter could be heard.
"We need to prevent that at all cost." That's right. Should the balance between the Digital World and the Real World collapse, they would lose the peace they had now. Upamon felt demoralized. He was a Digimon too.
Iori took him into his arms, "I wish all Digimon are like you, Upamon."
"There's no good or evil to a life. A life is wonderful by existing." Takeru said walking over to pick Patamon up.
Yamato's band, the Teenage Wolves held a concert in an orphanage in Tamachi. The Teenage Wolves was a well-known rock band among the Middle Schools in Tokyo.
They were invited an orphanage from Tamachi to perform for the orphans residing there. They were having their own "School festival". Since Yamato and the rest could do some community work and, they took up the job.
"What? Hibiki couldn't come?" Yamato questioned.
"Yeah, he said his grandmother passed away and he needs to attend her funeral." The drummer explained.
"Why didn't you tell me earlier? I'll require another guitarist for the song we had been practicing." Yamato grumbled. "Forget it, I'll use the song we had prepared for the competition."
"But, Inoue-chan will be mad." The drummer protested.
Their arguments were overheard by a certain teenage boy who was returning his toolbox to the storeroom of the backstage. As he had happened to read their music sheet, he wondered if he could be of help. He could play a little guitar after all.
"I'll take the responsibility." Yamato decided. At most he would answer to Koushirou.
"Alright then." The drummer relented and called Inoue-chan to apologise.
He approached Yamato who was sitting on a chair tuning his guitar from the back.
"You must be the lead singer, Ishida-kun right? I think I can help." The boy began. Yamato turned to his back where the voice came from. His eyes widened and he dropped his guitar abruptly as he stood up facing the boy with a huge brown hair.
"It can't be?" He muttered slowly.
"Are you okay, Ishida-kun? It's okay if you think I'll get in the way of your teamwork. I'll take my leave." The boy scratched his head and turned to leave.
"Y-You are T-Taichi…" Yamato stammered in disbelief. Memories of Taichi dying in his arms came flowing back to him. So what Mimi told Jou was not her imagination. Taichi was well and alive right before him.
"Yes?" The boy with the huge brown hair responded.
Miyako and Ken headed to Tamachi together. Ken was going home while Miyako was headed to the orphanage Yamato's band was performing in. She received a call from the drummer of the band about the change of the music sheet. She did not mind but there was some little touch up done by Koushirou which she had yet forwarded to the band. She was on the way to pass it to over and at the same time to watch their performance for the first time.
Both of them remained silent throughout the trip on the railway. They were still affected by the incident earlier where Iori was almost killed.
Miyako was bothered about Ken's words to Daisuke about logging Iori out of the Digital World. What she could deduce was it was a reason why Ken thought Digital World was a game when he was the Digimon Kaiser where he could go back and reset the game after he was defeated.
"Ken-chan?" Minomon tried to gain his attention. Ken looked really depressed.
"Daisuke-kun, are you feeling better now?" Hikari asked in concern. Daisuke playing soccer, kicking the ball into the net harder than usual and Hikari was worried. Usually, Daisuke was the one who had been comforting her, so this time she would watch over him.
All of them were still in shock about what happened but no one dared to reprimand Iori for his foolishness.
"Damnit! No matter what we do, we can't stop BlackWarGreymon. At this rate, we'll be in trouble when he finds and destroy the last Holy Stone. So much for being a Chosen Child if we can't do anything to stop him." Daisuke yelled in frustration.
"Daisuke…" Chibimon was worried.
"It's about time we seek Agumon's help." Daisuke decided.
"Why did you punch him, Ishida?" The drummer came pulling Yamato back. He just punched someone. The teenage boy with huge brown hair, Taichi landed to the ground on his butt rubbing his swollen cheek. The sensation felt familiar to him. He blinked in confusion before coming back to his senses.
"It's okay. Let him go." Taichi laughed. "This is our way of "getting to know each other"". Taichi blurted out suddenly attempting to stand up and Yamato pulled him up.
"I haven't introduced myself. I'm Takenouchi Taichi, 8th Grade from Nagaoka Middle School, Kyoto. And you must be the vocal, Ishida Yamato." Taichi extended his hands for a handshake with Yamato. Yamato was hesitant.
"Takenouchi? That's Sora's?"
"Takenouchi of Nagaoka? Are you the legendary student council president who fought for their students' right?" The drummer asked. Taichi scratched his head. "I think you guys must have overrated me." Taichi replied laughing.
"You don't play soccer?" Yamato asked suddenly.
"No, I stopped playing it." Taichi looked a little disappointed talking about soccer. "Student council is my focus. I can participate a little on a variety of school clubs."
Yamato who was watching Taichi laughing and chatting with his band mates realized in horror that not only Taichi did not know him, he could not remember his past life as Mimi had mentioned.
"Takenouchi-kun, right?" Yamato spoke up. "Nice to meet you, I'm Ishida Yamato, 8th Grade of Odaiba Middle School, Tokyo, vocal of Teenage Wolves." Yamato introduced himself officially extending his hands for a handshake. Taichi paused for a while. Yamato thought he must be shocked as he would not shake his hands earlier to only offer his now. Taichi took it anyway.
"Let's work together to make the performance a successful. Ai-chan and Kou-chan will be excited." Taichi said.
"Ai-chan and Kou-chan?" Yamato asked.
"They are my little brother and sister in this orphanage." Taichi explained.
"Yamato-san!" Miyako finally arrived with the revised music sheet. Poor Pururumon could not breathe properly stuck in her bag.
"Ah… Miyako-chan, why are you here?" Yamato greeted.
"You guys asked for a change of song, isn't it? As Koushirou-san had revised something in here and I haven't sent you so I thought I'll bring it over." Miyako explained. Yamato realized he forgot to inform them that he would use the song they previously agreed on and Miyako would not need to come all the way.
"We failed to protect the sixth Holy Stone." She whispered trying to update Yamato on their current situation.
"I see. BlackWarGreymon did it again." Yamato turned to Taichi who was tuning his guitar.
"Ahh!" Miyako cried out pointing at Taichi. "Takenouchi-san?"
"Yo! Miyako-chan! How have you been?" Taichi greeted recognizing the hyper energetic girl.
"You know each other?" Yamato asked in surprise.
"Yes, we met during my school field trip to Kyoto." Miyako replied. Pururumon watched Taichi closely. He did not have a good feeling towards him.
Miyako had a chat with Taichi at the rooftop. Yamato was eavesdropping on them at the door. She finally got to know his usual self. Taichi seemed to have recovered from the Kyoto incident and had been laughing out more. Miyako was glad.
"I didn't have any memories prior to three years ago." Taichi wondered why he could confide with her. "I'm sent here because of that, no one knew me and I don't remember anything other than my name, "Taichi." I met my foster father Professor Takenouchi in the Elementary School and I had a debate with him. I didn't expect him to adopt me. I had never met his family because I don't feel ready. I think they'll hate me thinking I'm a love child of him and some other woman."
"I don't think Sora-san is such a person though. She's really nice." Miyako laughed. Talking to Taichi too allowed her to forget her problems and issues with the Digital World.
"I'll introduce you to her when you come by to Odaiba." Miyako offered.
Pururumon who was watching them noticed Yamato. He decided to whisper to him his suspicion.
"That boy, I think he is suspicious. He can see the shadow of the Digimon travelling in between dimension only Chosen Children can see."
"What?" Yamato stared at Pururumon before looking towards Taichi's direction. There were more needed to be found out now. If Taichi still had his Digivice, what should they do next?
That night, Yamato and his band had a successful performance and the kids in the orphanage enjoyed. Even though Yamato and Taichi had only one rehearsal together, they could complement one another rather well. What surprised Yamato was, Taichi could really play guitar and he played well.
Miyako was impressed sitting in the audience area. Pururumon was shocked to see her fangirling mode switched on fantasizing on Takenouchi-san.
"If only our Daisuke is half like Takenouchi-san. Ken-kun is just as cool as Yamato-san." Miyako commented. While watching Yamato and Taichi, she thought she saw an image of their younger versions riding on a white holy knight Digimon. It must be her imagination again for dreaming too much. But the dreams were getting more frequent.
On the other hand, Daisuke sneezed back at home lying on his bed. "Damn it! Someone must be badmouthing me!"
He had a lot in mind. Other than his frustration, he was curious about what Ken had told him in haste earlier when Iori was almost killed.
"Does that mean Chosen Child who died in the Digital World might end up back in the Real World?" He asked Chibimon. Chibimon stared at Daisuke and shook his head. He did not know much detail. He did not even know what had happened to his previous partner.
It was due to his "death" he was forced back to sleep until Daisuke woke him up. Speaking of which, Agumon who lost his partner managed to stay active even before he was taken by Ken.
"What does that mean?"
There were too many questions yet to be answered.
Taichi pulled out his laptop on his way home to Kyoto after the event to chat with the mysterious Digiegg telling him the happening about his day. It had been some time since they got to know each other and the Digiegg inside his laptop kept him company when Taichi felt lonely. Professor Takenouchi doesn't come home everyday due to the nature of his job. Besides, he was just his foster father. It was hard to feel close to him and even see him as his father.
"Do you miss your family?" The Digiegg messaged. Taichi blinked.
"I know where your real family is." It typed. "The family that abandoned you." It added. "I can lead you to them."