Chapter 20: Taichi's Resentment
With the threat of the Digital World averted, the Chosen Children got their well-deserved break.
Hikari was having a family outing with her parents to ride on the Ferris Wheel. It had been a long while since they had an outing together. Hikari was enjoying her ice-cream after the ride and she thought of Tailmon whom she entrusted to Takeru with. Tailmon would like the strawberry flavour.
"How is it?" Mrs. Yagami asked her daughter. With her husband's support, she was gradually able to get over the loss of her son even though she would miss him at times. But it would be unfair to Hikari if she could not move on.
Time flies and Hikari was now at Taichi's age when she lost him. She patted her head and her father got them some waffles. Hikari was delighted. She felt lots of loves from her parents.
A teenage boy with huge brown hair was watching from afar. His heart was thumping hard when he stalked the Yagami's family out for their family day. He could not believe he had come to Odaiba, a city he had been avoiding. Watching how much fun and laughter the Yagami family had, he could not get the words from his friend out of his head.
"The family that abandoned you."
"It doesn't matter if you are around, they don't even bother to search or care about you. Your sister is the one who they care about."
Takenouchi Taichi clenched his fist and looked down in resentment for a while before leaving the premise as he recalled that he had an appointment in Odaiba Middle School with their Student Council President.
Patamon and Tailmon were resting on top of a tree waiting for Takeru to finish his basketball practice. Tailmon was to stay with Takeru as Hikari was on a family outing.
"Hikari looks full of energy." Patamon chatted with Tailmon. "She seems happier these days. We had a really exciting period. So many things had happened."
"Yeah. I'm glad. I'm grateful to Miyako and the rest. Hikari is strong because she has her friends. So is Takeru. He's much independent now, isn't it? The children just keep growing up even though we stay the same." Tailmon told Patamon. On the other hand, something caught Patamon's attention.
"What's wrong?" Tailmon asked when she saw Patamon rubbing his eyes.
"Yamato has grown taller over the years too right?" Patamon asked.
"You are very funny. The children are growing up, of course they'll grow taller." Tailmon commented.
"Wait!" Patamon flew off. Tailmon was confused but she followed him.
Patamon lost the boy he thought he saw at a clearing. Tailmon caught up to him.
"What's wrong, Patamon?" She asked.
"Nothing. I think I must be imagining things. It must be because I've been eating and sleeping too much lately." Patamon forced a laugh.
"It can't be Taichi, right?"
Yamato's band had called it a day for their practice in the Middle School band room. There was a knock on the door.
"Come in!" Yamato called out as he was packing up from his practice. The door opened revealing Kido Jou who just finished his cram school and arrived as requested.
"You're here, Jou." Yamato greeted. Yamato asked Jou to drop by to talk to him about an encounter he had at Tamachi.
"What? You met Taichi?" Jou exclaimed. Yamato covered his mouth with his hand.
"Shh! You don't want anyone else to hear that." Yamato reminded. Not that anyone around knew Taichi.
"He's the Student Council President from Nagoka Middle School, President Ishizawa is collaborating with for school event. Unfortunately, he had no memories prior to three years ago." Yamato explained.
"It shouldn't come off as a surprise. He's a natural leader even if he lost his memories." Jou commented. "I can't believe he's the guy Shu-niisan talks about and he's the kid Sora-kun's dad had taken in."
"Speaking of which, does Sora-kun and Koushirou-kun know?" Jou asked sitting on a desk opposite where Yamato stood. Yamato shook his head. Koushirou would not speak to him at all. As for Sora, he did not have much chance to meet her due to their conflict of schedule lately from their practices. Sora had a number of competition coming up.
"I attempted to call her last night but she changed our subject of conversation when I started to talk about her "brother". Apparently, her mother doesn't like him which is why they never met." To think he was so close to them.
"In any case, I don't want to disappoint them. Taichi doesn't remember them and I don't want to pressure him especially we had just become friends. Besides, I still don't know if he still has his Digivice with him. Let's just watch him for the time being." Yamato suggested. That was why he could not inform Hikari either.
Suddenly, Yamato thought he heard sound of the sliding door closing abruptly. He raced out to take a look but could see no one. Maybe he was imagining things as he was afraid that someone had heard them. He returned to the room and shook his head. Jou smiled in relief.
"Keep me posted if anything." Jou said.
Outside the school premise, Taichi found tears streaming down his cheek uncontrollably. He could not believe that his new friend was also someone who knew him before he lost his memories. He got close to him because of that and he was keeping tabs on him.
He came by to the seaside. Watching the family of three and fours having fun together, he yearned to have that. He thought he was the one who was making the family he could not remember sad.
The Digiegg was probably right. His real family did not care about him. Taichi just did not want to believe it.
First Ken, then his family and even Yamato.
"How dare he?" Taichi kicked a ball which came into his path in frustration into a net before walking off in a huff.
"Um…" Taichi felt someone poked his shoulder. He turned around to see a familiar goggle boy who was holding the ball he just kicked. He was the soccer captain from Odaiba Elementary he met a few months ago, Motomiya Daisuke.
"Hey, Motomiya-kun." Taichi greeted him with a smile. His line of sight fell on the goggles Daisuke wore on his head. His heart ached at the memory he could not recall.
"It's a surprise to see you in Odaiba, Takenouchi-san." Daisuke said excitedly. He frowned to see Taichi looking so distracted and he seemed to have cried.
"What's wrong?" Daisuke asked in concern. Taichi came back to his senses hearing his voice.
"I'm here for an errand for my school." Taichi answered. Yeah, he was supposed to be meeting the Student Council President of Odaiba Middle School to discuss on some collaboration with their school clubs. Nagaoka Elementary and Odaiba Elementary had a close working relationship, which was why they could have friendly matches once in a while despite being so far away from each other and their Middle Schools hoped to do that as well.
"That's why you said we'll meet again. You knew you'll be coming." Daisuke exclaimed. Daisuke did not know why. He had something which made him look up to him.
"Well, I have to go." Taichi said as he walked away. He stopped after a certain distance remembering something.
"Taichi. It's Taichi." He said waving before walking away. He promised to tell him his first name the next time they met after all.
"Taichi…" Daisuke repeated his name. He was thrilled. His idol actually remembered him and his promise. But he had forgotten at the moment that it was the same name of the Chosen Child he had inherited the Digimental of Courage from.
"Taichi-san. Let's be friends!" He shouted word by word to him hoping that he could hear him. Taichi reacted a little and continued on his way.
"I told you. Even if no one cares about you, you still have me." The Digiegg in his laptop typed.
Taichi found himself crying at his desk after reading the message. Why did it hurt so much even though he could not remember them?
It took Taichi some time before he decided to confide with him. He told him how he felt towards his family, his friends who hurt and betrayed him. The Digiegg hatched which caught Taichi by surprise.
A one-eyed creature who called himself Kuramon was hatched. It was kind of cute to Taichi and he would be Taichi's only true friend.
Wallace was messaging his current girlfriend, a "disqualified" or rather a former Chosen Child who no longer had a Digimon Partner. He was glad she was doing well in Canada. Terriermon was making a lot of noise playing with Lopmon while trying to whip up breakfast for the three of them.
"Gumimon, stop making a mess out of my room. Momma will get angry when she comes back." Wallace complained. Ever since Chocomon returned to him, his room became livelier. Of course he was biased for doting on Lopmon more than Terriermon but nevertheless he loved them altogether.
Just then his laptop beeped. His face turned pale when he opened up an e-mail from Izumi Koushirou, stating that the egg had hatched.
Terriermon just cracked an egg on the frizzling pan. "Egg?" Terriermon turned his attention to the one in his pan.
"No, it's the Digiegg." Wallace did a facepalm.
It was finally time to head to Japan.
Koushirou called an emergency meeting with the original Chosen Children with the exception of Mimi, Sora and Jou. Sora had a tennis match that day and Jou had an exam.
"The Digiegg had hatched." Koushirou said solemnly walking around checking his computer at home.
"It's about time, isn't it?" Hikari said worriedly.
"I'm afraid so." Koushirou admitted. "He is just like virus which we can't get rid of by right-clicking and deleting it."
Yamato stared out of the window.
"I'm sure things can work out. Even though the Digiegg has hatched it can't rampage as he is locked up and without our Digivice to remove the lock, he can't do a thing." Takeru tried to lighten up the atmosphere.
"There are two ways he can break free from the lock. The first one requires us to fight him head-on when he managed to evolve to Ultimate Level. He would be able to break the lock himself. By then, his power is way beyond us. That's why Gennai got us the one-time evolution for the three of you."
"But we had used up our chance." Hikari felt bad. Takeru consoled her.
"Don't worry, I'll handle him when the time comes." Yamato spoke up suddenly.
"Yeah, we'll support with Angemon and Nefertimon." Takeru added.
"The other way, he can be freed with the use of our Digivice which won't work as the seven of us know about his threat." Koushirou reiterated the information he had from Gennai two years ago.
"On top of that, I had received an e-mail from my American friend." Koushirou continued.
"Wallace, right? How's he?" Takeru asked.
"He's well and he'll like me to tell you guys that Chocomon had evolved into Lopmon and he and Terriermon just look so similar." Koushirou relayed his message.
"That's great." Hikari commented in response.
"Wallace says he'll be coming to Japan to assist us to obliterate Diaboromon to repay Takeru-kun and Hikari-san for your help. He had a tag and crest. His partner, Lopmon could evolve into Ultimate if need be."
"Wow! That's awesome." Tailmon exclaimed.
"If all doesn't work, he'll be getting his friend's help. I'm guessing there'll be another Chosen Child who will join us in the battle. At least Yamato-SENPAI would not have to bear the burden alone." Koushirou said sarcastically.
Yamato slammed the table all the sudden scaring Hikari and Takeru. "I had it. I know you're blaming me for what happened three years ago. I'm okay if you don't speak to me but I hope you stop being so hostile."
"If you had known this will happen earlier, you shouldn't have come to pick a fight with Taichi-san and left the team in the first place. Your power is needed in order to defeat the Dark Masters and Taichi-san was forced to carry all those burden alone." Koushirou stated Yamato's regret.
Yamato glanced at Koushirou. He could not bear to tell him. He knew Taichi was suffering to the extent that part of his soul lingered in the Spiral Mountain for three years before Daisuke released him. The Taichi he met in the Real World on the other hand could not remember them. He couldn't say. Especially Koushirou was like this.
"This mission is a retribution for you. In fact, Taichi-san's power is needed if we want to have a chance to defeat Diaboromon. You should reflect on yourself. Now that we had lost him, how are you going to handle it yourself?" Koushirou asked coldly.
"Yeah right. I don't need his help even if he's around anyway." With that, Yamato left his room in a huff.
"Oniichan." Takeru ran after his brother.
"We'll take our leave. Let us know if there's any update." Hikari apologized for the boys.
"I should be the one apologising, Hikari-san. You're the one most affected yet I'm not sensitive enough." Koushirou said feeling sorry about it. He could not help but blame what happened to Taichi on Yamato. Perhaps that would make him feel better. If only he could do something back then even if he had to defy Taichi's wishes. Maybe things would be different now.
"We will always be together, Taichi." -Kuramon
"You are just like me. You are alone, isn't it?" - Taichi
"Will you be able to materialize in the Real World like Miyako-san's Poromon?" Taichi replied. Taichi recalled seeing how much Poromon enjoyed being around Miyako. He could not help but imagine himself with a pink ball Digimon with two ears sticking out.
Just then, Taichi's mobile phone rang. It was Ichijouji Ken.
"Why do you bother to call now?" Taichi hissed but he took it anyway.
"Hello. Ken-kun, what's up?" He said in his usual cheerful tone.
"I'm wondering if you're free sometime this week." Ken on the other line stared up to the ceiling in his room thinking of a nicer way to put it. "I have something to discuss with you."
Ken needed to speak to him as he was the Chosen Child Qinglongmon referred to and they would require his power for the upcoming threat and Ken wanted to do something for Daisuke and the rest to make it up to them.
"Sure. When? Alright. See you then." Taichi hung up and sighed. He had forgotten his conversation with Kuramon. Kuramon wanted to come out of his cage but Taichi did not know how to use that so-call Digivice he had on hand. He raised precious item he had up and stared at it before falling back to sleep.
Ken met Taichi in the orphanage he stayed in chatting in a stairway. Ken apologized to Taichi about what he did to him with Minomon's encouragement the day before.
"Before I realised, I had gone overboard. You can still play soccer like you do before." Ken tried to get his words out. "I'm really sorry about it." He bowed to him.
"It's okay. I don't really play it anymore. I can do everything else." Taichi laughed. "I accept your apology anyway." Ken heaved a sigh of relief. As Minomon had analysed for him, Taichi was an easygoing person, a trait Motomiya-kun had. That was why he had the courage to come to him.
"Taichi-san, I have something to discuss with you." Ken pulled out his black D3 and showed him. "What you see in Kyoto is a fact, I won't deny it. I'm involved with the Digimon. I'm one of the Chosen Children chosen to defend the Digital World like you."
"You have a Digivice, don't you?" Ken asked politely. Taichi paused for a while before shaking his head. He had hidden it in his bag. After what he had eavesdropped from Yamato, he did not think he could trust them, the Chosen Children.
"I had seen Digimon but that doesn't mean I have it." Taichi found himself lying. Ken seemed to have believed him. He pulled out the protective charm Taichi had given him.
"How about this? Do you recognize it?" Taichi stared at the tag and nodded. He could not lie for this. "It was something I had left after losing my memories. I didn't know where it came from anyway." He said quietly.
Ken eyed Taichi suspiciously in hope that it would glow since he had heard that Digivice and tag would light each other up. He was hoping to find his Digivice with his Crest. Ken was disappointed. It was then he heard a familiar voice.
"Takenouchi-kun!" It was Yamato. He brought Shu's younger brother, Jou along.
"Ishida-kun." Taichi waved at them.
"Ichijouji-kun?" Yamato was surprised to see Ken here. Ken nodded at them in acknowledgment. "Taichi-san was a friend of my brother." He explained.
Yamato had introduced Jou to Taichi. Ken observed that Taichi seemed to be disgusted even though he did not show it. Minomon looked at Ken who seemed troubled.
"We'll meet up again." Yamato told Taichi who nodded. Especially when their school collaborate for events, they were likely to meet up more often.
"Sure. Until then!" Taichi waved goodbye to them.
"Now I understand why you wouldn't tell the rest." Jou whispered to Yamato. Taichi seemed quite tensed up talking to them.
"Well, I shall get going too." Ken said to Taichi. "But if you happen to find your Digivice, do let me know."
"Yeah, of course." Taichi said forcing a smile.
"Ken-chan." Minomon called out sounding worried.
"Don't worry. I'm fine. I'm just surprised that he lied to me." Ken recalled his brother, Osamu telling him about the Digivice Taichi had and Osamu had been jealous because of it.
"Yes, they are just using me, keeping tabs on me. I don't understand them at all." Taichi confessed to Kuramon. "I don't need any of them as friends."
"I will be with you. I'm your partner, Taichi." Kuramon said.
"Use your Digivice and unlock me. We will be together forever." Taichi was tempted.
Kuramon materialized on his lap but he was not the pink ball Digimon with two antenna he was expecting.
"This is bad." Wallace realized when he reached Japan Narita Airport carrying Terriermon and Lopmon inside his bag along. The seal had been broken.
"Oh my god." Koushirou's eye widened. Kuramon had evolved. He had started eating computer data and causing havoc for cash registers worldwide. He should not be able to do that unless the seal was broken but how?
Not if one of their own had betrayed them.