Chapter 25: Seed of Darkness
"Hi, everyone! How have you been?" Miyako asked energetically when she arrived at the Odaiba Railway Station carrying Poromon. Daisuke and Iori had been stoning for a long time just to wait for all of them. Takeru was laughing at how uniform their action was. Iori must have forgotten that he was his jogress partner instead of Daisuke.
"It had been a while since we last gathered together." Hikari exclaimed walking over.
"Hikari-chan!" Miyako jumped and hugged her jogress partner lovingly passing Poromon to Daisuke who was annoyed. Daisuke was not a babysitter even though he could play this role really well. "Long time no see."
"Sorry I'm late." Ichijouji Ken was the last to arrive with Wormmon on his arms. Hikari pretended not to see him. Ken looked away in understanding. This did not escape their leader who decided to lighten up the mood.
"Ken, which Dark Digimon had a date with you today?" Daisuke asked sarcastically. Ken felt sorry to only have his neck locked by Daisuke, "I'm just joking with you." Daisuke understood that his mission was something he could not get involved in even if he wanted to. But, Ken promised to ask him for help if he required the power of Imperialdramon.
"Well, let's grab some food, ok? Then we shall watch movies…" Daisuke suggested. Miyako put her arms over Daisuke's shoulder.
"Yes! But I want to decide what to eat. Definitely not Kanpyomaki ok, Poromon?" Miyako whined and engaged with her conversation with Daisuke, V-mon and Poromon. Takeru began to come up with conversation with Hikari. Ken was walking with Iori wondering what they should talk about. Ken wanted to say something before Iori cut him off.
"It's feels like that time, when you feel awkward in inviting me to your Christmas Party." Iori was the last one who accepted him into their group.
"Yeah, time flies. It had been four years since we defeated BelialVamdemon. The final battles had been really crazy." Ken recounted. "If it isn't for Daisuke-kun's strength and Taichi-san's faith, we would have been all wiped out."
"We all thought that Oikawa Yukio or BelialVamdemon was the culprit who attacked Taichi-san seven years ago." Iori started his conversation with Ken.
"But it wasn't him all along. Wallace and I have been working hard all these years to keep the darkness from growing because of Digimon like him." Ken said looking back to something Wallace said earlier while glancing at the back of Hikari and Takeru.
"When the time comes, I'll speak to Hikari. Remember I'm good with girls. I'm taking it to the Real World." Ken wondered if Wallace was serious even though he claimed to be joking earlier. Wallace did mention the time would come when the power of all prototype Digivice needed to come together when they found that Digiegg they had been searching for four years.
Wallace was the acting leader of Chosen Children all over the world. Which meant even Daisuke as the leader of the Chosen Children of Japan took orders from him when came to global-wide emergency. He had the final say even though Chosen Child like him and Koushirou could give him advices. Ken could not even convince himself to get Daisuke's help. Wallace was someone who would go all out to get things done even if he needed to piss someone off but he always had a way with girls. He even got his Crest of Kindness back for him even though it was usually used by Daisuke for armour evolution for example in a certain hunt mission they had three years ago.
His line of thought was cut off by Iori who had a request for him.
"Ichijouji-san, I have a request. Will you accompany me to my dad's grave?" Iori asked suddenly. Ken was surprised at his request but he would accept it since he asked.
*30th December 2006*
Ken, Wormmon, Daisuke, V-mon, Iori and Upamon came to pay their respect to Iori's father. It could not be helped that Iori was reminded of his father on this day even though it was not his dad's death anniversary. Iori's father, Hida Hiroki was killed for protecting an important political figure.
"Speaking of which, it's BlackWarGreymon's death anniversary. As a Dark Tower Digimon, he could not be reborn. He used his body as shield for his grandfather from BelialVamdemon's attack from Oikawa Yukio's body. Iori could not believe that BlackWarGreymon who had tried to kill him before saved his grandfather. He really had a soul.
The three of them talked about some of the events four years ago.
"To think we fought BlackWarGreymon because he was an obstacle for us to capture Oikawa. He wanted to kill Oikawa. Taichi-san's WarGreymon could only force him to a stalemate. BlackWarGreymon did come up with a funny request in order to try living the so-called miserable life V-mon, Wormmon and Agumon spoke of which pisses Agumon off." Daisuke chuckled reminiscing about it.
"We chased Oikawa Yukio because he implanted the Dark Seed copied from mine to the innocent children to get him to remove it from them as I didn't want the children to end up like me." Ken felt for the back of his neck.
"Demon wants it too. We were cornered by two sides of enemies. Lives were almost lost because of him and his minions. Miyako-san was almost killed by LadyDevimon." Daisuke added.
"She faced death close up like me." Iori recounted.
"Me too. If it wasn't for Wallace and Cherubimon I might be already... Because I'm weak." Ken said quietly. Daisuke and Wormmon wanted to speak but were stopped short by Iori's grandfather who had just arrived.
He came over to greet them. He too was affected by the event on the same day four years ago when he came close to death. If it was not intervention by BlackWarGreymon, today would be his death anniversary. Both Ken and Daisuke looked at him in gaped mouth.
"Grandpa!" Iori shouted. He should not joke about it.
"Hahaha! I'm just joking. Anyone wants Chuchu2?" He asked passing around the Chuchu drinks he brought along. Iori's grandfather sighed. If only he had tried to understand his son and his friend better instead of trying to separate them, Oikawa might not have fallen into darkness.
Oikawa Yukio was a good friend of Iori's father. In fact, Hiroki was Oikawa's only friend. Both of them were obsessed with a video game as they could communicate with the creature within. Despite being forced to separate later, the two of them promised to each other that, one day, they would go to the Digital World together.
However, the promise was broken when Hiroki died. Even so, Oikawa had never forgotten his dream. He was possessed by the spirit of the destroyed Vamdemon seven years ago who tricked him into believing that he could go to the Digital World. Oikawa was the one who sent Ken e-mail after his brother's death and manipulated him to become the Digimon Kaiser.
Daisuke gave Ken a pat on his shoulder when they watched Iori left with his grandfather with Upamon. Ken's guilt of weakness was still eating into him after all these years.
"Do you want to go and get a drink?" Daisuke invited Ken. It had been a while they could talk like this after all. Ken was always busy with his mission in the Digital World with Wallace.
"There are just some things you can't control, you know it." Daisuke trailed off when the two chatted by the riverside with V-mon and Wormmon catching up with one another.
"It's because of the Dark Seed within me; I caused everyone so much trouble." Ken reiterated.
"And Hikari-san's resentment towards me because of the Dark type Digimon I had attracted." Ken closed his eyes in guilt.
*26th December 2002*
It was a day after the World Tour. Demon and his army began to attack Tokyo to seek out Ken who had the Dark Seed.
Daisuke and the rest were at a loss as they were no match for these Digimon. One of the minions, SkullSatamon had disabled Imperialdramon by corrupting his data paralysing him. The Partner Digimon of Yamato and the rest were unable to fight properly due to some reason. AlterKabuterimon and the rest reverted back to their child form all the sudden despite still having the power Qinglongmon had lent them.
Taichi was away with Agumon after his mission in Paris because he wanted to clear his mind for a while. He would not make it in time as Daisuke and Ken had no time to pick him up via Digital World.
SkullSatamon took a bus of crying children as hostage.
"Damn it… why at a time like this?" Yamato said in frustration.
"Why did we turn back to Child Level?" Gabumon wondered.
"Imperialdramon, wake up, please!" Daisuke begged his partner.
Koushirou came up with the conclusion that the Partner Digimon of Yamato and the rest were unable to fight properly as they had stayed in the Real World far too long than they should.
"They can't stay any longer." He informed Yamato. "If we don't send them back to the Digital World soon, they will be in danger!"
"What?" Yamato could not believe his ears.
"Well then, what should I do?" SkillSatamon was going to toss the bus. Lives of the children would be lost if they did not do something soon.
Koushirou decided to send their Digimon back to the Digital World. Gabumon and the rest decided to transfer the power they had received from Qinglongmon to Imperialdramon before they left.
"We too." HolyAngemon added as they transferred their power to Imperialdramon.
"Please, move!" Ken begged his partner desperately along with Daisuke as it did not seem to be working.
"Imperialdramon!" Daisuke yelled. This time, Imperialdramon had reacted. Imperialdramon changed his mode into fighter mode allowing him to stand on two legs and increase his fighting power. Thus, Imperialdramon defeated SkullSatamon in one hit and saved the bus of children. This was also the first time Miyako and Iori witnessed the destruction of a real Digimon right before their eyes.
"He's gone." Miyako commented.
"We destroyed them." Iori said.
"We destroyed our enemy." Ken affirmed it
"But if we didn't, the kids in that bus will…" Daisuke did not want to continue further.
"That time had finally come." Hikari said to Takeru behind them. They had discussed about that earlier about Daisuke and the rest would have to destroy the enemies one day in order to preserve they peace they had and to save the Digital World.
"Not bad, Chosen Children." The leader of the Demon Army's Demon had shown himself. He was here for Ken.
"What? Why do you need Ken?" Daisuke demanded.
"You have something in your body we need." Demon explained. Ken felt for the back of his neck. It was the Dark Seed he needed.
"If you don't want any more victims, come with me." Demon said. At the same time, Archnemon came with a truckload of children who were missing since the day before when they were out all over the world.
Ken decided to go with Archnemon since she had the bargaining chip despite how Wormmon and Daisuke tried to stop him.
"Are you opposing the force of darkness?" Demon asked Archnemon. If he really wanted to fight, Archnemon and the rest would not be his match.
"Of course not, why will I think of fighting the great Demon? I'm just completing my mission." With that they left in the truck.
"Let's see what you can do." Demon declared as he was not going to give up right here as he disappeared into the ground.
"Ken! Ken! Ken!" Daisuke was not going to lose his partner, his friend right here as he ran after the truck with V-mon and Wormmon.
*30th December 2006*
"You all chased the truck desperately." Ken recounted looking across the river. "You don't need to do that for me actually. I…" Daisuke cut him off.
"Miyako and the rest destroyed MarineDevimon and LadyDevimon in the process. Miyako and Iori were scared stiff. But I don't care. I must save you. You are our precious friend."
"I feel the same too, Ken-chan." Wormmon agreed with Daisuke.
*26th December 2002*
When Daisuke and Wormmon finally caught up to the truck on Lighdramon in Hikarigaoka, Demon appeared before him. He came for Ken's dark seed.
Demon and Oikawa Yukio had a negotiation and Oikawa agreed to give Ken to him. As Oikawa had got what he had needed from Ken, he no longer needed him anymore.
Daisuke , V-mon and Wormmon took the chance to save Ken as Archnemon was escorting Ken to where Demon was. V-mon and Wormmon evolved into their adult form.
"Give me the Dark Seed!" Demon demanded as he took out both XV-mon and Stingmon when they tried to attack him.
"Ken, leave this to me. You get out of here!"Daisuke ordered his stiffened friend.
"I won't." Ken of course would not leave. He would not leave the children who were infected by the Dark Seed in the lurch. Demon would want them as well.
Oikawa, Archnemon and Mummymon took the chance to escape when Takeru, Iori and the rest had arrived and met up with Daisuke and Ken with Shakkoumon and Silphymon. Paildramon had evolved into his Ultimate form to take Demon on. Even with the three Digimon, they were no match for Demon. Daisuke and his team were shocked.
"So, will you come with me, Ichijouji Ken?" Demon asked again. Ken took a step forward reluctantly. His friends would be in danger if he did not do what he said.
"You can't go. Don't do it!" Daisuke would not let him go again.
"Let me change your mind then!" With that Demon aimed his Flame Inferno at the apartment with people residing in along the road they were in.
"Stop it!" Daisuke cried when Demon fired at the innocent people. Imperialdramon switched into his Fighter Form and blocked Demon's attack with his shield of light. It was the same shield when he first saved Daisuke and Ken from falling debris when Paildramon evolved for the first time.
Demon's flame which spilled out was absorbed by Shakkoumon.
"It won't last long." Imperialdramon informed Daisuke. They needed a plan of action.
"Damn, now what?" Daisuke's mind was blank. Things happened too quickly. Takeru was extremely pissed.
"Why? Why did you appear? Why can't you leave us be?" He asked in fury. "If you are a part of darkness, stay in the world of darkness! Don't come out as you please!" Takeru yelled. Iori understood Takeru's pain turned to Miyako, wondering if they could somehow send him back to the Digital World.
Miyako recalled that Kido Shu who drove Takeru and Iori to Hikarigaoka had a laptop in his car. She suggested that they would open a gate with it. She was interrupted by Demon before she could finish.
"That won't be necessary." Raising his arms to the night sky, he opened a rogue gate.
"See, I opened the gate as you desired." Demon said displaying his power. "How do you think we entered this world in the first place? Chasing me back to the Digital World is meaningless! I can appear at anytime using my own will, fools."
Miyako was shocked. She fell on her knees in defeat. "It's no use, we can't win." Miyako had given up. She was still in shock from the battle against LadyDevimon when she was almost killed. It was just too much for her.
"Hey, what are you talking about?" Daisuke demanded. Not now. If they gave up now, lives would be lost. As their leader, he needed to lift their spirit no matter what it took. "We can't give up! There has to be a way that we can beat him."
"Please stop trying to console us." Iori cried.
"What? You too, Iori?" Daisuke demanded turning to him. He was shocked to see Iori in tears.
"Isn't it true? Imperialdramon, Silphymon and Shakkoumon can't beat him together." Iori stated the fact. "Sending him back to the Digital World is useless. What other way is there? It's the end!"
"Don't say that! There has to be a way!" Daisuke yelled at him. He looked around desperately, if Taichi and Agumon could reach them now, they would be able to enlist WarGreymon's help. He had sent Taichi an e-mail with their location and Taichi had replied him that he would be right there claiming that he could come on his own. Daisuke did not probe any further as it was an emergency but he could count on him, right?
Takeru came up with another solution. "A place he can't return from. It's not the Real nor it's the Digital World." If they could find a place like that.
"Dark Ocean." Hikari realized.
"That's it! it's supposed to be a different world beyond the Digital World." Takeru exclaimed. "If we lock him up there, I don't think he'll be able to get out easily."
"Even then, how do we open a gate to the Dark Ocean?" Miyako asked. She did not think it would work. She had given up. "Can we even do that?"
"Well…" Hikari wanted to explain but Miyako had a point. She was taken there not by her own will.
"No one will want that gate open." Takeru agreed.
"I knew it, it's impossible." Iori concluded. All was lost.
Demon laughed, "That's why I said just give me the Dark Seed. If you do that, I promise to return to the Digital World and never appear in your world again."
"You shut up!" Daisuke shouted in annoyance. Meanwhile, Ken was looking at his D3. He told everyone he had opened a gate to the Dark Ocean with his D3 before.
"Oikawa said there's a gate point at Hikarigaoka. If it's true, I'll be able to open the gate to the Dark Ocean here." Ken said as he pointed his black D3 at the Digital Gate Demon had opened. Even so, the fear from opening the dark gate was too much for Ken alone to bear. Hikari ran to him as soon as he started screaming holding his hands.
"Don't give in!" Hikari encouraged. Takeru felt that it might work. He joined in too. Iori and Miyako realized Ichijouji was fighting his fear of darkness doing all he could to open the dark gate somehow. Miyako and Iori felt really ashamed. They both ran to him to support him.
"I'm scared. Is this the fear Ken-kun has been fighting against?" Miyako could feel his fear.
"Please hang in there, Ichijouji-san!" Iori encouraged. Daisuke finally came in to support. How could he not join in when all his friends were fighting to help Ken.
"That's right, Ken. Don't give up! You're not your old self anymore. You're not the Digimon Kaiser. You've suffered and finally broke free from the darkness, right? Haven't you atone for what you did? So there's nothing to fear anymore!" Daisuke's words finally touched Ken. Hikari could feel the warmth from Daisuke's heart as Ken's fear is disappearing.
"Believe in yourself! You can't lose to the power of the darkness! We're here for you! Send Demon back to the Dark World!"
The gate to the Dark Ocean was opened.
"That's Dragomon's Ocean." Demon recognized. Imperialdramon noticed that it was their chance. Together with Silphymon and Shakkoumon, they sent Demon into the Dark Ocean.
"Insolent fools, you will come to regret this." he disappeared he saw another Chosen Child in blue trench coat and a blue head band running towards them with his orange lizard Digimon in a distance. He recognized the child.
"So the boy managed to survive." Demon was made known of his failed attempt in eliminating him a few years ago when they found him near a certain campground. Demon gave out a menacing laugh before disappearing into the dark gate.
The battle ended in victory for Daisuke and his team. But that was not the last time the Chosen Children see of him.
*30th December 2006*
"We should have realised that it was not the end." Ken said. He looked at his D3 and he continued.
"We thought we have achieved the peace when we defeated BelialVamdemon by combining the power of our Digimon and WarGreymon with all the Chosen Children all over the world who came with their belief in dreams. But when Oikawa, Mummymon and Archnemon claimed that they were not the ones who assaulted Taichi-san seven years ago causing him to lose his memories before they passed on, I can't help but to feel uneasy."
"It doesn't help when Taichi-san couldn't remember back then." Daisuke added.
"In the end, he did remember everything, right?" Ken said.
"Really?" Daisuke asked.
"That I really wonder. That Digimon got to him before we realised when he was actually targeting me." Ken commented in guilt.
"And if it wasn't for Wallace's intervention revealing himself as the Chosen Child with the Digivice v1, I'll be dead." Ken glanced at his trembling hands.
"Because my D3 is the first prototype out of our generation."
"Which the Digimon from darkness saw as a threat." Daisuke finished. Looking at the river, their line of thought shifted to a certain battle which changed all their lives.