Chapter 22: Birth of Holy White Knight
"Why are you doing this, Taichi-san?" Daisuke confronted the teenage boy who was behind the release of the seal of Diaboromon.
"Is there anything wrong? I just want to meet my friend. Someone whom I can trust." Taichi replied coldly. "Kuramon and I are alone, always alone. We were abandoned and no one will care what happens to us. We can keep each company."
Daisuke was shocked to hear that. The kind, independent and strong Taichi had a weak side on him. If it was not that he had met his lingering soul back in the Digital World, he would not have believed it. His mind was already weakened in the first place. If not, he would not have been trapped in his own cave of darkness.
"Taichi-san. " Daisuke tried to reach for him to only have his hand swept away by Taichi.
"Leave me alone."
"Yes, we are always alone, Taichi." In the screen, a message appeared typed by Diaboromon.
"You shut up, monster. You must be the one who corrupted his mind." Daisuke yelled to be only punched by Taichi.
"Stop saying that about my friend, you had no right! You won't understand how I feel like him! My family, my friends abandoned me and even you had taken something important from me." Taichi shouted.
At this moment, on the screen, MetalGarurumon seemed to have the upper hand.
"Finish him off!" Yamato ordered.
"Taichi, it is time now. Bring me to the place where you have your first memory." Diaboromon typed. Taichi's Digivice had reacted. In the nick of time before MetalGarurumon's attacks hit him he disappeared from the net into a portal taking Taichi along.
"Taichi-san." Daisuke did not have time to think but to follow.
"Daisuke." V-mon shouted grabbing on to him as he jumped into the portal Taichi had vanished in.
"What?" Yamato and MetalGarurumon could only watch as Diaboromon disappeared from their view.
"What happened?" Takeru asked nursing his injured Patamon.
"I'm afraid we have been logged out from the "game." Miyako replied quietly. Every computer all over the world had shut down. "The rest is up to them."
A bright light emitted from the insides of the Vault causing Ken, Stingmon and Agumon who were blocking it with their arms from blinding them.
"What do we do now, Ken-chan?" Stingmon asked.
"Let's go." Ken decided. That was his initial mission as a Chosen Child. To defend the vault from evil Digimon who wanted the negative powers in it.
Taichi watched as his friend, Diaboromon was eating the data from the vault itself. It was like a Digital server where data and information were kept. Taichi could sense the darkness within him growing stronger.
"Diaboromon, that is?" He stammered.
"Thank you, Taichi. You are a great friend. Thanks for leading me to the vault where I can feast on the negativity of the Chosen Children and grow stronger. " Diaboromon typed. "We will head separate ways from now."
"What the…" Taichi could not believe his eyes. "We are friends, isn't it?"
"No, he's not!" Daisuke and V-mon fell out replied.
"He is just using you to come here." V-mon could never forget this place. His previous partner left him to come here and faced the Digimon who had targeted this place two years ago because he could not fight here. No partner Digimon could evolve normally here. "He came here to feast on the negativity of the former Chosen Children who had perished in the Digital World."
"You're lying." Taichi tried to convince himself. "Diaboromon, we will always be together right?" He reached for Diaboromon who bound him with his tentacles and threw him a distance away.
"Taichi-san!" Daisuke ran to catch him from falling.
"Daisuke, use the Digimental of Courage!" V-mon advised quickly.
"Digimental up!" He yelled.
"V-mon armour evolve… Fire of Courage, Fladramon!" Fladramon jumped into action to catch Taichi before he crashed to the ground on time.
"Are you okay, Taichi-san?" Daisuke asked him in concern. Taichi obviously was in shock. He could not speak. He was almost killed by his only friend.
"Look at me, Taichi-san." Daisuke urged grabbing his shoulder. "It's going to be okay. I'll be with you."
"W-What have I done?" Taichi finally spoke up glancing at his hands. He had come back to his senses. "I didn't realise he had been feasting on the negativity on my mind. Because of me, Ai-chan, Kou-chan and the rest…" Taichi cried smashing his fists onto the ground.
"Look at me, Taichi-san!" Daisuke grabbed his shoulder. "It's not your fault, you are just being cheated by him. Right now, you still can do something to save them. "
"I still can do something to save them?" Taichi repeated Daisuke's words.
"Yes." Daisuke assured him. "Look at this." He pulled out the Crest of Courage to show Taichi. Taichi recognized as the protective charm he had given to Ken but the symbol of the sun was missing. It was one of the only items which accompanied him since he lost his memories.
"Use your courage and defeat Diaboromon." Daisuke advised.
"But I…" Taichi trailed off. He had too much doubts. He was scared. But why was he afraid? Come to think of it he almost died. Taichi tried to take the crest from Daisuke but his hands were trembling too much.
"Daisuke! Move away from here!" Daisuke managed to get both of them away from the crashing Diaboromon from Fladramon's attack creating a hole out of the building. Diaboromon in his fit of anger slapped Fladramon to the ground reverting him to V-mon.
"V-mon!" Daisuke cried.
With a hole created in the building, Ken's D3 reacted and Wormmon could evolve into Stingmon again.
"Motomiya-kun!" Ken shouted from Stingmon's arms in surprise. He did not expect to see him here.
"Why are you here?" Stingmon tried to hold off Diaboromon after putting him and Agumon down. V-mon managed to pick himself up and evolve into XV-mon. XV-mon and Stingmon jogressed into Paildramon and took Diaboromon on.
"Well, it's a long story." Daisuke scratched his head turning to Taichi who curled to himself.
"Taichi-san?" Ken knelt before him.
"It's my fault. Because of me everybody will die." Ken heard him muttered.
"Taichi, is it really you? I'm Agumon." Agumon came to his side unable to believe that his partner was right before him. He was only convinced when he touched his knee.
"I HAD IT!" Daisuke shouted all the sudden. "Stop it with your mantra and I had heard enough of it from Spiral Mountain. You made a mistake, so what? Everyone makes it. Big deal. What we can do is to learn from our lessons and move on. You still can make things right if you want to." Ken and Agumon blinked in surprise. Daisuke snapped.
"I can't believe a coward like you hold the Crest of Courage. Curling yourself up hiding in your turtle shell, and you call yourself a Child of Courage? Don't joke with me." He snarled. Agumon wanted to stop Daisuke but was held back by Ken who shook his head.
"Believe in Motomiya-kun!" Ken whispered to Agumon.
"Courage to me is not just to have the courage to fight. Courage is needed to move on when faced with adversity. Courage is needed to accept all the Good and the Bad side of yourself and Courage is needed to move on even if all is lost. We are not going to give up yet. We'll fight to the end!" Daisuke lectured. Taichi turned his head up slowly to Daisuke's direction. He wondered since when he had become like this.
Taichi was scared when he first woke up more than two years ago to realise he could not remember anything. His first name was the only thing he remembered. All he had was the Digivice, the Crest, his blue head band and his binocular. He had always been alone since then. No one knew him. His family and friends he could not remembered did not even bother to come for him.
He was sent to Tamachi Orphanage and he was always picked on by the children in the neighbourhood and the school he was attending because he had no family name. It was until his first friend, Ichijouji Osamu reached out for him before he eventually came out from his shell.
"What was past is over, you can't create them but we can create all kinds of futures. Let's create new memories together!"
The good time was short-lived. Osamu met into an accident and died. Taichi was left alone again. Even though Professor Takenouchi adopted him, he did not get to see him often due to the nature of his job. Taichi who was forced to quit soccer ran for the Student Council President. He spent his time trying to fight for opportunity to maximize his schoolmates' potential just to get his mind off his loneliness.
He finally snapped after realizing that Ken whom he saw as younger brother lied to him. The meeting with Diaboromon was the last straw to convince him that he was always alone.
His line of thought was interrupted when Agumon hugged him much to his surprise.
"Taichi, I'm so sorry. Because I'm weak I can't protect you and I caused you to suffer so much." Agumon cried. Taichi hesitated with his trembling hands. He finally hugged him back. He did not know why. This Digimon felt warm to him. Suddenly he felt really secure hugging him.
Their attentions were diverted when Paildramon was defeated and reverted to their baby forms.
"Paildramon!" Daisuke and Ken cried in unison.
"In this case, it's my turn." Agumon would evolve into Greymon on his own to avenge Taichi. He was not going to forgive Diaboromon for hurting Taichi's feelings and his friends.
"Wait…" Taichi called. "Let me fight with you." Taichi stood up turning to Daisuke.
"I can still make things right, right?" He asked Daisuke again. Daisuke paused for a moment and nodded.
"Well, then. Let's me give him a thrashing for cheating on my feeling." Taichi cracked his knuckle as his Digivice reacted. The Crest of Courage on Daisuke's hand glowed suddenly and returned to his owner. The symbol of the sun reappeared within it. With the protective charm, maybe Taichi had the courage to move on.
"Agumon warp evolve… WarGreymon!"
WarGreymon leapt off immediately and gave Diaboromon some thrashing. At the same time, Yamato and MetalGarurumon who had finally arrived through the rogue portal Ken had opened earlier and engaged him. The two Ultimate Digimons attacked simultaneously.
"That's right. Taichi, you are not alone. You still have us." Yamato said. Koushirou who was following behind nodded. He could not believe it until he saw Taichi in person.
"Taichi-san." He greeted feeling grateful that he was alive. Now he realised that he was talking to Taichi over the phone at the Ichijouji's. No wonder he was so afraid when he found the voice that familiar back then.
After eating the negativity from the orphanage as well as from the vault, Diaboromon became too powerful for them.
"This is bad. The vault contains memories of the former batches of Chosen Children and Chosen Children who was deleted from the Digital World. It contains negative feelings from their last moment such as fear, resentment and regrets. Diaboromon feeds on these data to grow stronger." Ken realized watching the battle.
MetalGarurumon and WarGreymon were both defeated and broken on the ground while Diaboromon continued to eat all the data from the vault.
"WarGreymon!" Taichi and Yamato yelled in unison.
Taichi fell on his knees weakly to only be caught by Yamato. "He ate my memories about here too." He mumbled as some memories such as the name "Agumon" and the pink ball Digimon even though vague was broken like a glass in his mind. But why did it hurt so much to see the partner he just knew defeated and broken?
Nevertheless, Yamato was not going to give up. He stood up and walked towards his partner. He climbed on to him to try and wake him up.
"MetalGarurumon, it's me, Yamato. Can you hear me? Open your eyes."
"Ishida-kun…" Taichi struggled to stand up.
"Taichi-san." Daisuke put down his unconscious partner wanted to help him to only be stopped by Taichi who signaled he was alright. He climbed on to the unconscious WarGreymon as well.
"I'm here too. Let's fight together." He tried to wake him up. He did not know why he felt close to WarGreymon. "I… I won't let you fight alone. I'll be here with you. I'm with you, WarGreymon." WarGreymon stirred. At the same time, MetalGarurumon had responded. Taichi and Yamato's Digivice had reacted.
"Light of evolution." Koushirou noticed.
"It's jogress." Daisuke figured.
"No, it's fusion." Wallace remarked over his laptop. He had the access to the surveillance camera to the vault as the "Guardian" of the "disqualified". He sent the video feeds to Miyako and the Chosen Children affected so that they would have their "initial" experience with Digimon as a requirement in order to become a Chosen Child.
A holy white knight Digimon emerged from the egg of light. Daisuke, Ken and Koushirou watched in awe.
"Omegamon." Ken called his name much to Daisuke's confusion as he had not even introduced himself. Ken did not know why but he just knew his name.
Taichi and Yamato who stood on the shoulder of Omegamon were ready to fight. Diaboromon could sense immense power of his strength was afraid. He started firing at him when Omegamon drawn his Grey sword and blocked it and Diaboromon was cornered with Garuru Cannon pointed on his head. Just when Omegamon was about to fire it, Diaboromon spoke to Taichi.
"If you delete me here, the memories of the children of the orphanage and the destroyed Chosen Children will never return to them. The children of the orphanage will no longer remember you and you and the "disqualified" children will no longer be able to retrieve your lost memories. Your choice." Taichi hesitated upon hearing his words.
"That's despicable." Daisuke shouted.
Yamato glanced at Taichi. He would not make any hasty decision. If he were to go ahead and kill it, those who were close to Taichi at the moment would lose all memories about him and Taichi would lose his chance of regaining his own memories. Is there anyway to defeat him without destroying the memories?
Taichi closed his eyes and tried to think. He spoke up.
"Diaboromon, you are just like me. We are alone. In fact, we could be friends actually yet you choose to hurt me and those around me. I don't think friends should do this to one another."
Memories of Osamu came flowing back to him.
"Let's make new ones, then. What was past is over, you can't create them but we can create all kinds of futures. Let's create new memories together!" Osamu extended his hand to the boy, Taichi for a handshake.
"Yeah, together! Let's be friends!" Osamu said. Taichi paused for a moment.
"Friends?" He took his hands.
"That's right, Osamu. What was past was over, I can't create them but I still can create new memories with new friends, right?" Taichi thought to himself looking at Daisuke, Ken and Koushirou's direction. They would respect his decision.
"I've decided. I know it's going to hurt but for the sake of protecting the friends who are currently around me, encouraging me, fighting with me, I'll destroy you! Omegamon. " Taichi ordered.
As ordered, Omegamon fired his "Garuru Cannon" and stabbed Diaboromon's head with his "Grey Sword", effectively finishing him off thus fulfilling the last mission; the 8 Original Chosen Children had to bear.
"That's right. I shall bear the sin for the trouble I had caused and make things right."
"W-W-We…" Koushirou tried to get his words out. He could not believe it. The enemy they had been trying to prepare for was defeated.
"We did it, Koushirou-han!" Tentomon tugged on his pant.
"Yeah, Tentomon, we did it!" He hugged his partner.
"Awesome!" Daisuke exclaimed hugging Chicomon in excitement. "I'm so glad I'm on duty today." Ken who had Leafmon on his arms smiled at Taichi and Yamato feeling relieved.
Omegamon reverted to Agumon and Gabumon separately and they ran to their respective partners.
"Gabumon, you did well." Yamato commended, glancing over to only find Taichi collapsing all the sudden with Agumon crying for him.
"Taichi! Taichi!" Agumon tried to shake him and wake him up.
"Taichi!" Yamato shouted.
Back in the Real World, Yamato and the rest rushed Taichi to the hospital. The day's event must be too much for him to handle.
While waiting in the waiting room, Yamato and Koushirou discussed about Taichi and talked longer and far more than they could have for the past three years. Their dispute almost cost them the Digital World, their World and their lives. They had agreed that they should not keep secret from one another in order to stay strong.
Daisuke and Ken were back from the orphanage. Ken had closed the portal on Taichi's laptop and taking it with him. They shook their heads after talking to the head of the orphanage. True enough, none of the children of the orphanage knew Taichi. They had forgotten about his existence. Their memories were eaten.
"But this is so frustrating." Tears were seen running down Daisuke's cheek when he confided with Ken crying at the wall back at the entrance of the orphanage.
Miyako and Takeru had arrived at the hospital. They did not manage to get to Kyoto but to take a detour back after the defeat of Diaboromon.
"Oniichan, is it true that Taichi-san is alive?" That was the first thing he asked. He was really glad when Yamato nodded.
"He's inside. The doctor says he's running a high fever. But he's Taichi, I believe he'll be fine. Professor Takenouchi is on his way here."
"I can't believe that Takenouchi Taichi is a Chosen Child like us." Miyako exclaimed.
"I'm right about it." Poromon praised himself. Patamon whose body was bandaged by a paranoid Takeru stuck his tongue out scratching his head. He should have told Takeru earlier on his possible sighting of Taichi.
"Are we going to inform Mr. and Mrs. Yagami and Hikari-san?" Koushirou asked Yamato. Their relationship had improved since the end of the battle. Koushirou was back to himself.
"We have to break the news to them in some way or another. It's good news anyway other than the fact that he didn't have any memory of them." Yamato answered. "But we have to consider Taichi's feeling about it."
"By the way, where is Wallace?" Miyako asked.
"I haven't seen him since we entered the Digital World through the portal Ichijouji-kun had opened." Koushirou replied to only realise Wallace had sent him an e-mail to commend them on the job well done.
"Wallace, is it alright not to say goodbye to them?" Terriermon asked Wallace who was travelling on road by foot. They were tip-toeing playing in the playground.
"Goodbye, goodbye." Lopmon was playing with himself.
"No, it's okay. Their dispute is resolved. Let them reconcile with one another. Thanks to them, I've been released from my responsibility as the "Guardian" of the "Disqualified". The Vault is destroyed; there is no chance of the "Disqualified" children of regaining their memories so other than chit-chatting as per normal, I don't have watch out for them. As for Takenouchi Taichi or, should I address him, Yagami Taichi, he is the only one who still has his Digivice which means his responsibility in the Digital World is not yet over. But I think he'll be fine from now on." Wallace explained to only see Hikari and Sora who just returned from Kyoto. Hikari was surprised when he waved at her.
"If you say so, Wallace." Terriermon replied.
"I'm glad that I don't have to send both of you out." Wallace said as Hikari and Sora walked towards them.
"The rest is up to them." Lopmon chanted. While Wallace was "flirting", Lopmon looked out to a Dark Tower across a distance in Odaiba.
"That evil shall show itself by the time another Chosen Child rejoins you."