Chapter 26: The Eighth Holy Stone
*1st January 2003*
The battle with BelialVamdemon ended in victory for Daisuke and the rest. The Chosen Children were cheering and celebrating their victory. The Dark Seed Children became Chosen Children or rather the Children with Digimon Partner. As long as they had dreams, the Dark Seed would not spout.
The eleven original Chosen Children were celebrating their victory when they returned to the Real World. They decided to have a steamboat gathering. The only Digimon which returned with their Partners were the usual six and Taichi's Agumon. Agumon did not want to part with his partner as much as possible especially Taichi was still having nightmares lately. He wanted to stay with him to comfort him.
"With BelialVamdemon defeated we'll have a peace of mind for the time being, we'll continue to count on Daisuke and the new Chosen Children in defending the Digital World." Koushirou announced.
"Leave it to me!" Daisuke pointed to himself with his thumb confidently.
"Our Daisuke had grown up!" Yamato complimented. Sora and the rest including Taichi laughed causing him to blush in embarrassment.
"Taichi-san is also laughing at me." Daisuke frowned. Now he must have known a lot of embarrassing sides of him after hearing from the rest.
"Don't worry. I'm sure you'll be fine." Taichi replied. "It's you who kept me going, remember? It's because of you, I'm able to gain my courage and move on." Daisuke smiled in response of his encouragement.
"Taichi-san, we're now friends, right? Let's play soccer some day. I'm sure you play, we will play together with Ken." Daisuke suggested. Taichi glanced over at the blushing Ken who was reminded of what he had done to Taichi regarding soccer.
"Ken, don't worry about that. I'm over with it. I know you weren't yourself back then. Let's play together." Taichi comforted Ken. Taichi then turned to Daisuke telling him how good Ken was and how Daisuke could counter his way of playing. The boys were laughing away as Ken pouted like a younger brother. Hikari stole a glance at Ken and felt a tinge of jealousy. Even though her brother came back but he saw Ken as his younger brother than her who was her sister related by blood. The children conversation continued respectively.
There was no warning when the assault occurred.
Taichi was chatting with Agumon about their New Year steamboat when Taichi sensed incoming malice, the same fear he had from his dream running from the enemy. He was aiming for Ken who was busy debating with Daisuke about what to eat.
"Give me the Dark Seed, Ichijouji Ken!"
"Ken-kun, watch out!" Taichi shoved the boy out of harm's way taking his position when he felt a searing pain tearing through his chest. He gasped when he felt his heart punctured. He could not even scream. His eyes widened in terror as his face contorted in excruciating pain when he saw a Digimon dug his claw deep into his chest where the wound began to bleed. He knew this Digimon.
Time slowed as Daisuke, Ken, their Digimon and Agumon were watching in horror when the Digimon raised Taichi's limp body up in the air with his claw pierced through his body as though it was a prize of victory. He crushed his Crest of Courage with the other arm ripping the Crest off from him and threw him aside like a rag doll.
"TAICHI-SAN!" Daisuke cried to gain the attention of the group who were walking in front. Yamato and the rest ran towards where Taichi was lying on the ground in a pool of blood. Taichi's gaze seemed unfocused and he was having a fit as blood began to spill heavily from the corner of his mouth. His eyes were rolling backwards. His head had hit the ground hard and was bleeding profusely.
"No, Oniichan, you can't sleep. Not when we have just reunited." Hikari cried shaking her brother trying to keep him awake. It was happening again. It felt like what happened with the battle against Piemon three years ago.
"How dare you?!" Daisuke approached and glared at the Digimon angrily as V-mon evolved into XV-mon springing into action.
"Ken, let's go!" Daisuke yelled in fury to only see Ken falling in his knees shivering in fear. It was happening again. Scenes of his brother being knocked down by a car replayed before him. Ken screamed. The Digimon did not stop his assault; he knocked XV-mon crashing him to a van on the road as he headed to Ken's direction.
"I thought so. It's indeed that boy. He survived my first assault." The Digimon whipped his blood-stained claw and allow droplets of blood to drip to the ground.
"I thought I shall get Ichijouji Ken first, but it's alright, it's just a matter of sequence." The Digimon stated aiming his claw at him. Ken's hand was trembling so much that he dropped his D3. Wormmon was unable to evolve like this. Daisuke stood in front of his jogress partner without thinking bracing for the attack to hit him.
"Daisuke!" XV-mon cried as he could not reach him on time. He would lose him like he did for his previous partner even though he knew he was safe and sound somewhere in another dimension and Matsuda-kun promised to arrange for them to meet. Seemed that he would not be able to fulfill his wish to meet him again at the same time he would fail Daisuke.
"Lightning spear!" A spear of lightning was fired in between the Digimon and Daisuke. XV-mon was really grateful.
"Ichijouji, Daisuke!" A boy came running and stood right in front of them and Gargomon acted as their bodyguard as Wallace got both of them aside.
"Wallace…" Daisuke managed to force his name out. He did not expect to see him here.
"Cherubimon, go get him!" Wallace shouted glancing at Taichi as his eyes narrowed in realisation before turning back to Daisuke and Ken. "We need to defeat Demon here and now!" He informed urgently.
"Demon?" Daisuke realized what Digimon was it but it looked different. Demon should have a red cloak over him.
"No, that is Demon Beast Mode. His uncloaked form." Wallace explained.
"He did manage to get out from the Dark Ocean then." Takeru froze at the thought of it. Wallace nodded.
"Which was why I remained here in watch. But I can't stop him." Wallace explained. "I'll explain later, right now, we have to defeat him. Ichijouji, snap out of it! Your power is needed if we want to have a chance in defeating him!" Wallace shook Ken vigorously.
"I'll help in the evacuation of people around this area. Aquilamon!" Miyako did not dare to see but she managed to have Poromon evolve into his adult form. Armadimon on the other hand could not fight. Iori was trembling too much in tears.
"We can't evolve either." Tailmon exclaimed to Patamon who nodded anxiously looking at Hikari and Takeru. They were in no condition to activate their evolution.
"Why? Why is he here?" Ken asked in despondence. He failed to lock him away. He struggled to get to Taichi's side where his friends were desperate to help him.
"We need to get him to the hospital." Jou did what he could for him.
"I already called the ambulance." Koushirou informed incoherently. He was too stunned.
"Taichi, you hear me, do not sleep." Yamato shouted at him. If he lost him, that was it. They were in the Real World; there was no deletion or reconfiguration of data. Taichi struggled to open his eyes to focus on the Digimon Cherubimon was engaging in battle.
"It's… him…" Taichi struggled to speak as blood continued to spill from his mouth.
"What?" Yamato and Agumon tried to hear while trying to stop his bleeding.
"He was the… one who tried… to strangle me… to death three… years ago." Yamato's eyes widened in shock hearing that.
"He said… something about… my Digivice… that I… am not allowed to live." Taichi tried to get his words out despite choking on his blood.
"Taichi, it's okay. Don't speak. The ambulance is coming. You'll be fine and you can tell us later." Sora tried to comfort him by wiping off his sweat. Taichi removed her hands off his head. He held on to the towel which was used to stop his bleeding and struggled to sit himself up in the increasing pool of blood much to his friends' horror. Taichi glared at the Digimon in his drooping yet defiant eyes. His dark eye ring was evident in contrast to his paling and bloodied face.
"Oniichan…" Hikari wanted to stop him from overexerting himself with his injuries that serious.
"Agumon… time to… evolve." He pulled out his Digivice which glowed in orange. Agumon felt a surge of power. It was the same even though Taichi just lost his crest.
"Agumon warp evolved… WarGreymon!" WarGreymon would fight to avenge Taichi.
"How dare he hurt Taichi like this?" In an instant, WarGreymon knocked Demon to a distance away catching Daisuke, Ken and Wallace by surprise. The elder Chosen Children realized Taichi like them no longer require his crest to have Agumon to evolve.
However, WarGreymon and Cherubimon together was still no match to Demon. Cherubimon's attacks were effective but not good enough as he had been fighting for hours to protect Wallace as he was also a target of Demon.
"Ken!" Ken was stunned but he finally pulled himself together as his D3 glowed.
"Wormmon evolve … Stingmon!"
XV-mon jogressed with Stingmon and evolved straight to Imperialdramon Fighter Form.
"As long as the three prototype Digivices exist, you are a threat to our plan of taking over the world." Demon revealed his reason. "I should have killed Ichijouji Ken when I can. He's just lucky that I still have use for him unlike the other two."
"Yagami Taichi was the easiest target. I had wanted to give him a painless death but he was just plain unlucky. As for the third one, he shouldn't have shown himself since I hadn't intended to search for him. But with all Chosen Children in the Digital World, I just know where to find him. I know his partner Digimon is jinx." Demon said looking at Cherubimon's direction.
"Despicable!" Daisuke yelled.
"He's mocking at me." WarGreymon yelled in fury. Imperialdramon stopped him from attacking Demon blindly from his provocation.
"But, how will you feel if you failed to protect your partner and had to watch helplessly as he dies? I failed Taichi twice!" WarGreymon cried in frustration while looking at Taichi who was struggling to stay awake and coughing while enduring so much pain.
"I know the pain of losing my partner!" Imperialdramon replied yelling to only hear Demon laugh even more.
"Your partner was the one who perished with Millenniumon, right? That really helped me in the advancement of the plan to seek out the Legacy of the Chosen Children where the bank of Children's negativity is in order to feed my pet, Diaboromon."
Dark Seed was just another elements to expand the darkness after the Vault was destroyed. Diaboromon was part of Demon's plan to harvest darkness from the innocent children. He had been targeting the vault and planned to find it. V-mon's previous partner perished with Millenniumon and the information was lost since then. He had wanted to gain the info through Ken after he thought he had killed Taichi who might have remembered three years ago. Who would have known Ken became the Digimon Kaiser because BelialVamdemon and Oikawa was faster than him.
"I have to compliment all of you for defeating my pet and my minions but you won't get past me at your level today." Demon extended his claws.
Imperialdramon was trying to get a hold of himself.
"Cherubimon." Wallace whispered. He would launch his attack while Demon was distracted.
"Heaven's Judgment!" Cherubimon summoned a gigantic thundercloud and bolts of lightning fell on Demon who screamed in pain. Cherubimon's attacks were very effective against Dark Digimon like him. That was why Demon did not dare to target Wallace in the first place.
"Now!" Daisuke yelled.
"Don't lose." Taichi shouted as he clutched his wound and grimaced in pain.
"Get him, Imperialdramon!"Ken rooted for his partner.
"Chaos Flare!" Demon attacked creating a huge tower of flame. The Digimon attacks clashed resulting in an explosion. Demon was laughing despite he could sense that he was losing.
"I may have lost today but don't you think you have defeated me today? Before you know I'll be right back when I'm reborn! Until then, Chosen Children." Demon's body turned into data and faded into a Digital Gate he had opened just in case. Wallace wanted to give chase but he tripped and fall as he was giddy due to his head injury. He could only watch as the gate closed up.
"We're going to find you before you are reborn and have you sealed." Wallace declared to the sky his Digiegg disappeared into.
"Taichi…" Sora's voice was heard desperately trying to wake Taichi who had finally fell limp on Yamato's lap from his wound due to massive loss of blood.
"Oniichan, no…" Hikari shook her head trying to wake her brother up in tears. "Don't leave me."
"Taichi." Yamato could not imagine losing him again. Jou was shaking his head while Koushirou was too stunned to even move.
"TAICHI!" WarGreymon screamed in despair.
*30th December 2006*
"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. "And my D3 is the first prototype out of our generation."
"Yeah, your D3 has the power to open Digital Gate anywhere and even the Dark Ocean if a gate point is available." Daisuke commented.
"So is Taichi-san's Digivice. First prototype of the Digivices has some functions other Digivices from the same batch do not possess. That was why he could open a Gate on his own to get back to Japan even without our help back then while the Digivice of Yamato-san and the rest can't." Ken added.
"Demon and his army saw your Digivices as a threat hence he sent his minion after you and Taichi-san but he can't kill you before that because he needed your Dark Seed." V-mon explained running back to their partners. They were done catching up.
"My D3 can seal the Digieggs infected by the darkness with the same function for dark evolution." Ken explained. "It's just like Wallace and his Cherubimon fallen form you have encountered four years ago and for Taichi-san, it was SkullGreymon and Diaboromon. Wallace could choose not to get involved as he was never discovered."
"But he did as we are all out in the Digital World fighting BelialVamdemon. He's technically the only Chosen Child in the Real World who could hold him off. I just didn't expect that he had been in Japan all those time since the battle with Diaboromon." Daisuke explained. Wallace never stepped into the Digital World before back then.
"In conclusion, the three of you, you, Wallace and Taichi-san are the chosen ones with digivices with the power to prevent the rebirth of Dark Digimon. Daisuke finished. Daisuke wished he could be of help to Ken. All he could do was to boost his fighting power with Imperialdramon.
"I'm grateful for your understanding, Daisuke-kun. We'll not stop until we find that Digiegg."
"Speaking of which, shall we go and visit Taichi-san?" Daisuke asked. Ken nodded. It had been a while since they had visited him.
That night, Daisuke and Ken arrived in Odaiba General Hospital with their Partner Digimon. It had been a while since they last came here. It was still reeking of medicine. V-mon could not help but to cover his nose. He could not stand the smell. Wormmon felt sorry for all the patients who were injured and sick.
They arrived to the room where Taichi had been staying in since the assault four years ago. It had become Taichi's personal bedroom with all the get well-wishes and origami from the Chosen Children all over the world and Nagaoka Middle School. Many of them had turned yellow due to age.
On top of his head concussion, Taichi's heart was badly damaged from Demon's attack landed him into vegetative state. It was already a miracle that he held out till the end of the battle with Demon and even stayed alive till now even though he required life support since then. Especially Taichi had suffered from oxygen deprivation before, the complication just became much more serious.
Daisuke felt bad which was why he rarely came here. Ken placed his hands on Daisuke's shoulder for support. Daisuke appeared to be more affected even though he should be the one feeling guilty. They came to his bedside. Glancing at the monitors of machines monitoring his condition, they were grateful that Taichi was still breathing despite being so deathly still and quiet. They would not give up as long as he was still fighting for his life no matter how long it would take. Taichi's features did not change much with his mother's trimming his hair and done some shaving for him regularly. They did wonder if Taichi had grown any taller.
"Isn't it Daisuke-kun and Ken-kun?" A voice of a lady was heard. It was Taichi's mother.
"Mrs. Yagami, sorry for intruding!" Daisuke replied standing up straight.
"It's okay. I believe Taichi will be really happy to hear you." His mother placed a towel on Taichi's head. He was running a fever due to various complications resulted from his coma.
"Taichi, your friends are here to see you." Mrs. Yagami whispered to her son's ear while she ruffled his hair gently.
Watching how much a mother would do for her child, Daisuke tried to hold back his tears.
"Sorry, I got to go." With that Daisuke ran out with V-mon running after him. Ken nodded at Mrs. Yagami apologetically. Daisuke was crying. He could not take it anymore. When came to this Taichi, all he could feel was despair.
"I wish he is like the other Taichi from the other timeline. Maybe it won't hurt so much." Daisuke found himself crying against the tree in frustration. Ken understood who he was talking about. He, Daisuke, Miyako and Iori would be attending an annual gathering where they would meet the group of Chosen Children from various dimensions. The portal would only be opened for six hours yearly.
"Do you know how hard it is to avoid talking about our Taichi-san to the other Taichi-san? He is a soccer captain in Odaiba Middle School and had all his memory intact. Everyone in that world seems happier."
"They are not called the strongest version for nothing like us. We are the strongest version out of all possible timelines." Ken placed his hand on Daisuke's shoulder for comfort. "The meeting in March will be critical. Be confident. I think Taichi-san and the rest in that timeline may be able avert what had happened to us."
Daisuke's mood was brightened up instantly. "Come to think of it, it's time for them to meet us from their timeline in 2002. How do you my version at the other side is like?"
"Probably not as smart as you." Ken said in purpose to cheer Daisuke up.
"He probably relies on Taichi-san a lot more unlike you. Yamato-san from that timeline must be really relaxed." V-mon added.
"Come to think of it, how is Ken-chan like in the other timeline?" Wormmon asked suddenly earning a punch on his head. "You choose not to warn them about the other Ken-chan, isn't it?" Wormmon rubbed his head.
"It's for their growth. Their growth." Ken explained. "The other Daisuke may not as wise…"
"What did you say?" Hence, Daisuke and Ken ended their day debating with laughter. Looking up to the sky, Daisuke wondered if he would be able to meet the other Taichi-san who was 15 like him would be safe and sound right?
*1st January 2007*
Wallace and a few Digimon arrived at Spiral Mountain in the Digital World. As Wallace finally had a role in the Digital World, naturally he wanted to visit all the areas the "disqualified" had perished in or been to.
"Are we going to climb the mountain?" Terriermon asked feeling a little lazy.
"Yeah, of course, it's the famous mountain where the last decisive battle of the Dark Masters was fought." Wallace said. "Daisuke was said to have found the last Digimental here." Wallace turned to Agumon who had joined them in this expedition.
"I felt a really strong barrier in this place. Should we have to deal with powerful Dark Digimon here, I'll need your help." Wallace informed. He had diverted the evolution functions of Taichi's Digivice from Ken's D3 to his Digivice as Ken would not be joining him today.
"Yeah, I'll not fail you, Wallace." Agumon replied firmly.
The mountain had not been easy to climb due to corrosion of the slope over the years. Wallace who did not bring his trekking equipment had slip and fall a number of times. He decided to keep going despite Terriermon's protest. On the summit of the mountain, what was waiting for them was not what they had expected. Wallace shook his head. A familiar 11-year-old boy was waiting for them.
"Taichi." Agumon cried as he ran to hug him but could only pass through his body. Agumon wondered why.
"He's just a Digital Projection created through the strong feelings Taichi has which is why he could materialize here once again. Digital World is a world that integrates people's emotions and digital data." Lopmon explained. "His physical body is still in the Real World."
"What is your request?" Wallace spoke to the boy who smiled sadly. He pointed at something in the cave.
"Seal it." Taichi said.
A Digiegg was found unborn in the cave blocked off by the barrier formed by the Crest of Courage. Wallace smiled at Taichi's figure who faded into the light because his mission was completed.
"Thank you." Wallace whispered quietly realising that it was not just he and Ken and their Digimon, Taichi had been doing his part even though his physical body was lying in coma in the Real World.
The Crest of Courage reverted to its true form as a Holy Stone which made Wallace awed in response.
There were just too much wonders not even Wallace knew about. That made his journey much more meaningful. He was glad that he had become Chosen Child and had continued to remain so.