Chapter 2: Menoa Bellucci, Digimon Researcher
Even though Taichi was in the middle of class, he was looking at his smartphone while hiding it behind his laptop screen.
He tapped on a news headline that caught his eye, and read the details in the report.
“As of the early morning of the 20th, cases have been reported of people in scattered areas around Tokyo losing consciousness and requiring hospitalization. Eight of them were men, and five women. There have been no clues as to identifying the cause, and all have yet to regain consciousness.”
Taichi was in the middle of reading the article when he was interrupted by an email.
The sender was “Koushirou Izumi”.
Taichi read the email, and, once class had ended, immediately headed to the office of the company Koushirou headed, “IZUMI Corporation”.
“Everyone, thank you for gathering here in spite of being busy.”
Computers were lined up against the wall of the room. Koushirou had contacted Taichi, Yamato, and Takeru via email, and the four of them and their Digimon partners were there in the room.
“Have y’all been well?”
Addressing everyone was Tentomon, an insect Digimon who looked like a ladybug, and Koushirou’s partner.
“It’s an emergency, right? So don’t worry about it.” Taichi pushed the conversation forward, and Koushirou, with a serious expression, nodded at him.
“It is. Firstly, please look at this.”
Koushirou turned around his chair, and showed everyone the screens of his computer.
He clicked on something, and a video started playing, showing a girl with bright clothes, a smile like she didn’t have a care in the world, and round glasses.
“¡Hola! It’s been a suuuuuuper long time! It’s me, Miyako, still studying abroad! The paella here is the best!“
The girl was Miyako Inoue, a junior “Chosen Child” to Taichi and his friends. Currently, she was studying abroad in Spain, and the open-minded environment there seemed to be enabling her free-spirited personality.
“Wait a minute, Miyako-san! If you move around like that, it’ll get blurry!”
“Huh? Hawkmon, you’re just bad at this! Gimme that!”
The screen showed Miyako grabbing the camera. The screen wobbled for a bit, and when it was finally stable again, the Digimon that she had taken the camera from was looking glum while sitting next to Miyako.
His name was Hawkmon, and he was Miyako’s partner, a bird Digimon wearing a headband. He was a Digimon who was always being dragged around by Miyako, to the point one would feel a bit sorry for him.
“So I’m studying abroad right now, but I was working on communication and consultation with the Digimon-related community, and then I suddenly got this email!”
A close-up of an email appeared on the screen.
“So I was wondering what to do with this, and I figured the best thing to do would be to dump…I mean, consult you guys on what to do, so I’ve forwarded it to Izumi-senpai!”
The screen wobbled again, and settled on a beaming Miyako, who had snapped up into a salute.
“Well, that’s that, so I’ll leave the rest to you! ¡Adiós!”
The video ended on Miyako and Hawkmon’s closing salute.
“…She said she’s dumping this on us.”
Taichi blurted out his quip about the overly free-spirited Miyako without even thinking about it.
“So then, what does the email say?” Yamato asked Koushirou, pulling himself together.
“I think, rather than hearing it from myself, it would be better to get a firsthand explanation from the relevant person.”
Hearing Koushirou say this, Takeru tilted his head to the side.
“Huh? Is the sender here?”
“Please come in.”
Upon hearing Koushirou call them in, two adults entered the room.
The first was a woman, who seemed to be around the same age as Taichi and his friends. She had dark red hair tied in a braid tied into a butterfly hairpin that immediately stuck out at you.
She looked over Taichi with a keen eye, and greeted them in a clear voice.
“Good morning, everyone!1 Nice to meet you all. I’m Menoa Bellucci. I’m an assistant professor at Liberica University in New York!”
Following her was a man wearing a neatly-fit suit, who was standing next to Menoa. He was an expressionless man who seemed to be about a head taller than Taichi and Yamato, and had a perpetual intimidating air around him.
“I’m Kyoutarou Imura. I work as her assistant. Pleased to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you. Menoa-san, you’re very good at Japanese.”
Menoa responded brightly to Takeru’s compliment. In contrast, Imura’s expression didn’t budge at all, and he began speaking in an uninterested tone.
“I’ll cut to the chase. We’re not physicists nor are we chemists, but Digimon researchers.”
Taichi and Yamato gulped at the same time, and started leaning forward.
Menoa looked directly at Taichi and the others, who had their mouths open like they were about to protest.
“We’re here to ask you to help us with resolving a certain incident going around! You’re the heroes who have saved the world multiple times, after all!”
“You’ve been looking into us, I see.”
Seeing that Yamato still didn’t trust her, Menoa shrugged, shamelessly.
“Research is our specialty, after all.”
Imura, still standing next to her with a completely fixed expression, continued the conversation.
“The incident in question happens to be in regards to the mass cases of lost consciousness all over the world.”
Hearing Imura’s words, Taichi and Yamato remembered what had happened at the horumon restaurant, and instantly looked up at each other.
- Menoa peppers her speech with random English words, so any time one comes up in dialogue, I’ve put it in italics.