Chapter 4: Genius Kid, Ichijouji Ken
Miyako was reading out the profile of Ichijouji Ken. "He had 45 goals in the last tournament which led his team to victory."
"Seems like calling him a genius is not an exaggeration." Iori added.
"He'll be a great opponent! Too bad we didn't get to face off last year." Daisuke lamented by the loss of his team last year. They were so close to the Final.
"You would have, if you made it to the Final." Takeru realized. He was a transfer student but he was not ignorant.
"Don't remind me!" Daisuke knew obviously. "It's not about winning or losing. Right now, all the boys playing soccer in this country wants to be like him. Just thinking of playing him is making me all excited." Instead of focusing on Ichijouji, his thought shifted to the Senior with the huge hair he met few days ago.
"Does he play soccer?"
"Hey, Dai-chan!" His line of thought was interrupted by Miyako who wanted Ichijouji's autograph. She took his hands on hers and asked him nicely.
"I thought you said you didn't like younger boys?" Iori questioned suspiciously.
"What's 1 year? My mother is 3 years older than my father." Miyako retorted with an annoyed look.
"Why don't you get it yourself? Daisuke asked frowning.
"You got a point." Miyako realized Daisuke was right.
"Then, we all will go and support you." Hikari suggested.
"Really?" Daisuke glanced around gratefully. This would be the first time he had friends coming over to watch him play.
He was determined to show the genius kid what he was capable of. If possible, he would like to show Nagaoka's Takenouchi-senpai if he would be coming.
Chibimon on the other hand was looking forward to meet Ichijouji Ken, to see how he had been doing since the last time they met in the Digital World. Why was he not part of the group of the Chosen Children? He would like to know.
"If they could retain their memories after their mission three years ago, Ken would be able to, right?"
"Obviously not." Daisuke felt a little disappointed when he arrived at the field. "Kyoto is too far away." If they were coming, their coach would have reserved special area for them.
At the audience area, Daisuke saw Hikari and the rest who came and support him when Daisuke's team was warming up.
"Yamato-sempai too?" Daisuke's jaw dropped. Yamato did not play soccer, right?
"What makes you want to come?" Takeru asked his brother who was sitting behind him.
"I don't have band practice today. No harm taking a look at the next Captain of Odaiba Elementary team. Did I mention I was about to join Soccer Club a few years back?"
"And Koushirou-san wouldn't let you."
"Yeah. I'm glad that he did that and I started playing with my guitar again."
The bus of Tamachi Boys F.C. had arrived but Ichijouji Ken was nowhere in sight. Daisuke ran to the opponent to find out.
"He's supposed to know there is a game today but I don't know if he will come. Unlike us, he's very busy."
"Why?" Daisuke really wanted to play him. He was disappointed.
"Daisuke!" Yamato called out.
"Even if Ichijouji is not here, they are still the champion, don't let your guard down." Yamato advised. According to Sora, playing soccer was similar to fighting battles in Digital World. He would be sure to pass the knowledge to Daisuke.
"Yes." Daisuke looked crestfallen.
"Daisuke-kun, today you have a chance of beating the champions! "
"Do your best!" Takeru and Hikari cheered.
"Why is Ken not here today?" Miyako whined and pinched Poromon. "Why did I come all the way here for?"
"Don't ask me." Iori replied. Miyako was obviously a fangirl.
The first half was a breeze with Daisuke scoring a goal. Hikari caught the moment perfectly on her camera.
"Daisuke, you looked pretty cool." Chibimon commented.
And then Ichijouji Ken arrived in a cab during the break. Fangirls were surrounding him cheering for him.
Ken grimaced when he spotted Daisuke and his friends. He turned to his team coach to talk to him instead. Chibimon noticed his disgusted expression and was concerned.
Daisuke finally got to face off with the famous Ichijouji Ken.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Motomiya Daisuke."
Ken glanced around and spotted the Chosen Children who came here to support Daisuke and turned back to Daisuke, "Nice to meet you too."
And the second half of the game started.
Ken easily got past the players from Daisuke's team and scored goals after goals. Calling him a genius was really not exaggerating. It was 9-1 with Tamachi winning.
"The play was a different level. Ichijouji Ken was not at an elementary school level." Takeru noted. "His move is different from the others and he sees the whole field of play."
"You can tell, Takeru-kun?" Hikari asked.
"It's like basketball. He knew where his opponents and his teammates are at, at all times, that's why he can score easily." Takeru explained.
"That's why Ken-kun is so cool." Miyako said excitedly while she continued to squeeze Poromon.
"Damn it's tough." Daisuke acknowledged. Ken was able to command his team into position effectively. He was going to score a tenth.
"A sliding tackle will be better." Daisuke decided to give it a shot.
Daisuke, in the nick of time, managed to trip Ken to stop him. There was no foul in the way he played.
"That's a nice move, Daisuke!" Takeru cheered. Yamato nodded in agreement. According to Sora, it was a move Taichi often would have used to stop his opponent. The whistle was blown signaling the end of the match. The match ended in 9-1.
Daisuke ran over to Ken as soon as the match ended to ask about his well-being as well as to apologise for the tackle earlier.
"Are you alright? About your leg?" Daisuke was guilty for bruising his ankle.
"Ahh, that's not a big deal." Ken replied.
"I'm glad, but you do live up to your reputation. I can't be compared to you at all." Daisuke scratched his head awkwardly.
"You made a remarkable play at the end. I thought you would be coming at the opposite side."
"Well, at the way we are losing, I figured I could only go after the Captain." Daisuke explained his rationale.
"But this is the first time we couldn't score in that formation."
"Motomiya Daisuke-kun, was it?"
"Until next time!" Ken extended his hand for a handshake. Daisuke was feeling all awkward when he took his hands.
"Until next time."
Daisuke had lost but he did not seem to be frustrated. He had a satisfying game and Ichijouji Ken remembered his name. Miyako on the other hand was frustrated having not able to obtain his autograph.
"But sliding tackle at the end was great." Takeru praised and Hikari and Chibimon agreed with him.
"Really? Maybe I'll get chosen for Japan's National Soccer Team." Daisuke started to brag.
"You can't say that until you can play a decent game." Yamato spoke up. He had been listening to their conversation. Even he could see that game was one-sided.
"As expected, Yamato-san can't cut me some slack." Daisuke complained.
At this moment, Ichijouji Ken was watching on the bridge as the Daisuke and his friends walked by. He had decided to get even with Daisuke.
Back in the computer lab the next day, Miyako was struggling to shake Daisuke's hand.
"If I hold your hand, I'll be closer to Ken-kun." Daisuke sweatdropped. She gulped.
"No, I can't! My aesthetic sense won't let me shake hands with Daisuke!" Miyako screamed on top of her lungs.
"What's wrong, Iori?" Upamon asked. While the rest were watching the drama between Daisuke and Miyako, Iori had noticed a new dark area right in the middle of nowhere. It was probably built last night. The rest were puzzled wondering what Digimon Kaiser was up to.
"What's that place?" Takeru asked.
"Death Valley." Iori replied. He deduced that Digimon Kaiser might be setting up a foothold and expand his territory from there.
"We should do something about it." Takeru suggested. Hikari and Iori nodded.
"Let's go, Daisuke-kun." Takeru called out to only realise Miyako and Daisuke were still in the drama.
"Will you hurry up and decide?" Daisuke asked.
And so the group finally arrived at the Digital World in the area of nothingness.
"But we really have to be careful. We don't know where the enemies are hiding?" Takeru reminded everyone.
"That's true." Iori agreed.
It was not long after, everyone except Daisuke had fell into a worm hole.
"What the?" Daisuke paced around for sign of his friends. "What's going on?"
"Be careful, Daisuke! It could be a trap."
Daisuke was busy digging hole to find his friends but was in vain.
"Daisuke, shouldn't we call Yamato and the others?" V-mon asked worriedly. The could not do this alone.
"No, it will take too long! Damn Digimon Kaiser!" Daisuke yelled in frustration.
"You seem to be in quite a bit of trouble." Digimon Kaiser finally showed up claiming that he had held his friends hostage.
"If you want to see them again, you better hurry up."
Daisuke ran quite a distance before he finally caught Digimon Kaiser in sight.
"Where are they?" Daisuke demanded.
"Can't you see them? They are right in front of you." Digimon Kaiser laughed. Daisuke saw his friends all tied up at the other side above the valley. Daisuke wanted to help them right away but was stopped by Digimon Kaiser.
"Don't you care about your friends' lives?"
"What?" With that, Digimon Kaiser sent out Deltamon right behind his friends waiting for his meal.
"Stop it! I'll not let you do that!" Daisuke yelled in anger. With the Dark Tower up there, V-mon was unable to evolve. He had to do something.
"Who do you think you are talking to? The lives of your friends are in my hands now. If you want to save them… let's see. Bow down to me."
"What?" V-mon could not believe his ears. But what he could not believe was when Daisuke really bowed down to him.
"Please… let them go…"
"Please? You mean I beg you?" Digimon Kaiser clarified.
"I beg you, please let them go!" Daisuke begged humbly. Digimon Kaiser smirked
"V-mon, step on his head." He ordered. V-mon was shocked.
"It doesn't matter, do it, V-mon!" Daisuke ordered.
"But?" V-mon was reluctant.
"Everyone's lives depends on us… hurry up!" Daisuke requested.
"I'm sorry, Daisuke!" V-mon apologized repeatedly. Digimon Kaiser laughed louder.
"This is such a pathetic scene. I may just release them."
"But it can't be everyone. Deltamon is hungry after waiting so long. You can only save one. You choose." Digimon Kaiser offered.
"What?" Daisuke could not believe his ears. "Just one?" He looked at his friends all tied up waiting to be eaten. Digimon Kaiser gave him an hourglass of time to decide.
"If you don't answer by then, they all will die."
Daisuke bit his lips. Digimon Kaiser was too much. What should he do? Digimon Kaiser continued to pressure him. Despite his friends' plea not to choose them, Daisuke could not decide. Whoever survive this will suffer the survivors' guilt. If so…
"I... I…" He stuttered.
"Are you going to risk all of them? You're not worthy of friends." Digimon Kaiser insulted.
Daisuke messed up his head in frustration. "Damn it damn it!"
Digimon Kaiser just wanted to humiliate Daisuke for hurting his pride.
"You deserve this suffering and much more." The time was up.
"Chosen Children, blame your death on Motomiya Daisuke!" Digimon Kaiser declared.
"Wait! Instead of everyone…" Daisuke was desperate. "Choose me instead!"
Just as expected. Digimon Kaiser was expecting that answer from him. He smirked.
"You are asking too much, but I will grant you that wish." He ordered Deltamon's attack on Daisuke. Daisuke resigned his fate. V-mon could not evolve in this condition. As Deltamon was approaching him, the land cracked tripping it. Digmon arrived at the scene.
Not just Digmon, the rest had arrived in their armour evolution. Everyone are safe.
"Then who are they?" Daisuke turned to his friends who were tied up and was horrified when he realized that all of them were actually Bakemon in disguise.
"You idiot! Why couldn't you hold them up a little longer?" Digimon Kaiser yelled at Wormmon which arrived at the scene.
"I'm sorry Ken-chan." Wormmon apologized.
"Using a dirty trick like that?" Daisuke could not stand it any longer. Digimon Kaiser started to command Bakemon to attack the Holsmon and the rest. Takeru was surprised that Digimon Kaiser knew both enemies and allies movement and gave effective orders. Upon hearing that, Daisuke decided to go for Digimon Kaiser directly while the rest were distracting him by throwing himself on him and threw him down the slope.
"We won't lose to cowards like you who take prisoners, picked on those who are weak!" Daisuke yelled at him while both fell down the slope.
"I'm different from you. I'm a genius." Digimon Kaiser defended.
"Who cares" said Daisuke as they fell to the bottom of the hill and separated. Digimon Kaiser ordered an attack on Daisuke immediately.
"Farewell, Motomiya Daisuke. I shall delete you here and now." Digimon Kaiser got sick of playing with him. As Digimon Kaiser was distracted, the group of Bakemon were confused. Holsmon, Nerfertimon and Digmon took the chance to destroy the Dark Tower while Pegasmon took care of Bakemon.
V-mon evolved as soon as the Dark Tower was destroyed and XV-mon was able to stop Deltamon's assault on Daisuke in the nick of time.
Digimon Kaiser could not believe himself that he would fall for the same trick.
"I didn't think I'll fail the same way twice." He said mockingly. Daisuke was confused.
"I miscalculated. I forgot that you will go for the leader without thinking twice when you are losing."
It was then Daisuke noticed the bruise on Digimon Kaiser's ankle. It was the same wound he inflicted on Ichijouji Ken the day before. It must be a coincidence.
"It's no coincidence. It's exactly what you are thinking." Digimon Kaiser removed his dark glasses revealing himself as Ichijouji Ken before Daisuke.
"You may have won today but I will fight seriously from now on." He leapt on to an Airdramon as soon as he finished declaring a challenge to Daisuke. His laughter echoed through the air. V-mon watched Wormmon which gave him a sad look.
Daisuke's mind turned blank. He was disillusioned. He had admired him but yet he had to be the evil Digimon Kaiser. He sank to his knee and yelled in desperation. V-mon flinched seeing Daisuke this way. He himself could not believe that the kind Ken he knew turned out this way and wondered what had happened to him.
"WHY?!" Daisuke yelled on the top of his lung.
Back in his base, Ken replayed the interview of himself for being genius and so on. He recalled how he was disgusted by the Real World. People fawning on him just because he was a genius. On the other hand, no one will care if he was a nothing. To him, people were just insects.
He made a major decision about his future.
Daisuke had reported the real identity of Digimon Kaiser to Koushirou.
"Why would someone so talented and capable do all that?" Hikari and the rest just could not believe it.
Koushirou was thinking hard. He did not think that Digimon Kaiser was this close to them. He decided to look into it. He decided to make a direct contact with Ichijouji Ken but he did not know how he look like.
Miyako arrived with the food for the Digimon. She was frowning at her fussy Digimon which could not stop thinking about Iori's mother handmade Kanpyomaki. At the same time she had a magazine which featured Ken. Everyone was still unable to believe a genius like him with a gentle smile could do such horrible things.
Daisuke was annoyed at the fact that Miyako was implying that a Chosen Child had to be smart and all.
"Not just smart, he got the looks too." Miyako said teasingly as Daisuke did not have the qualities like him.
"And he is athletic too." Iori had to rub salt into Daisuke's wound.
Koushirou decided to stop them before this got out of hand. They had more serious issue on hand. They had to try and contact Ichijouji Ken. First they have to find out where he was staying.
Ken's parents were worried. Their son had locked himself up in the room since the soccer game. They were actually afraid of him to even check up on him. Usually, Mrs. Ichijouji would leave his dinner outside his room in order not to disturb him but the food was left untouched.
Glancing at the direction of his room, they discussed about Ken. They were originally a family of four and Ken had an elder brother, Osamu.
Osamu was a natural genius. He was good at everything. Their family was happy until the tragedy strike. Osamu had met with an accident and passed away. Since then Ken kept to himself. Not to them. He shunned all his friends away.
Over time, Ken became a genius just like his brother. No one knew what he was thinking. A friend of Osamu had also been checking up on Ken on a regular basis, telling them that Ken had not been acting like himself and persuaded them to double check on him. They had waved it off trying to evade the issue.
"Do you think we should take his advice and check up on Ken?" Mrs. Ichijouji finally asked. Mr. Ichijouji put down his newspaper.
As it had been too long since he cooped himself up in the room, they decided to check up on him in his room. To their horror, Ken had left home for good. He had left a message.
"I have nothing to do with this world anymore. Farewell, insects."
His parents were devastated.
Daisuke and his friends arrived at Tamachi. Iori was reading the map Koushirou had made. They would meet up with him today.
Miyako noticed quite a number of police cars were stopping not far from them. Something must have happened and they decided to check it out.
"They say Ken-chan of the Ichijouji family is missing. Poor thing. They just lost a son two years ago, and now." Daisuke and his friends overheard the conversation of the neighbours when they ran to the apartment where the police was taking statement from his parents.
"Where did he go?" Everyone looked at one another. As there was no point staying since Ken was not around, the group decided to head back.
Just then Daisuke's D3 had some brief reaction. His D3 picked up a signal.
"What's up?" Iori asked when Daisuke picked up his D3.
"There's something. Let me check it out. I'll catch up with you all." Daisuke ran off with that. Iori was worried and he decided to follow him.
"You guys head back first." Iori said.
"Iori-kun?" Takeru frowned. They decided to head back first nevertheless.
Iori bumped to someone as he ran after Daisuke. "Ahh... Daisuke-san, why did you stop suddenly?"
"Excuse me?" A voice was heard. He was not Daisuke.
"I'm sorry." Iori looked up to see a teenage boy with huge brown wild hair. He blinked. He actually mistaken him as Daisuke.
"It's okay." The boy said and sped past him. Iori watched as the boy ran up to Ichijouji's parents.
"Was it my imagination?" Daisuke stopped running at an alley. He was shaking his D3 for some reaction.
"What's wrong?" Iori caught up with Daisuke panting after running a certain distance.
"Nothing. I thought my D3 picked up something." Daisuke complained. "I thought there might be a clue or something even though it's weak or maybe my Digimental." Iori sighed in response.
"Let's get back before the others get worried." Iori suggested. It was late evening already. Daisuke followed Iori out of the alley reluctantly. They walked past Ichijouji's apartment and took a look again. His parents had already left.
Guess they had to inform Koushirou to discuss about the next course of action.