Chapter 6: The Spreading Clutches of Evil
Taichi listened to what the man in the robe, who had come from the Digital World, had to say. He hung his head, dejected.
“…So it’s true, Gennai-san?” muttered Taichi.
Sitting on the bed, the man — Gennai — gave a small nod.
Gennai lived in the Digital World, and had been a patron to Taichi and his friends during their adventure in the Digital World. Whenever they had been in crisis, he had always helped them out with advice.
Are we really going to have to separate from our partners at this rate?
Taichi asked Gennai, who was supposed to know everything there was to know about Digimon.
Gennai’s answer was: yes.
“Unfortunately, there are indeed cases of partnerships ending.”
“Why didn’t you tell us something as important as this…”
Gennai responded to Taichi calmly.
“It’s like talking about life expectancy; that’s the kind of thing you have to wait until the right time to talk about, right?”
Taichi, who was out of words to say, took his smartphone-type Digivice out of his pocket.
“So this ring really is…”
“Yes. It’s the remaining time you have left together.”
“So when our partnership ends, what’s gonna happen to us…what’s gonna happen to Agumon?” Taichi asked, hoping for even a little bit of hope.
But Gennai couldn’t give Taichi the answer he wanted to hear.
“The Digimon will probably no longer appear in that form.”
Taichi gulped, and could no longer say anything.
Gennai continued to stare straight at Taichi, and added one more thing.
“…But, if you guys still happen to have infinite possibilities, then maybe…”
Taichi couldn’t face the reality that he’d been struck by, and was unable to hear any more than that.
Meanwhile, Yamato was still tailing Imura in the pouring rain, watching an important-looking location.
“What on earth is he doing…”
Yamato and Gabumon were hiding themselves on the staircase of a building, and were looking down at a single car.
Imura and a man they couldn’t see were having some kind of talk. Naturally, Yamato and Gabumon couldn’t hear them, but they continued to watch, feeling how suspicious this was.
The sound of thunder rang out, and the rain continued to pour down on Yamato and Gabumon.
“Are you okay, Gabumon?”
Yamato, who seemed to be very worried, looked at Gabumon.
“I’m fine, Yamato. More importantly, we’ve gotta keep a close eye on them.”
They turned to look back at Imura, and the two of them unconsciously made a noise.
Imura was receiving a pistol from the other man in the car.
“Yamato! That’s a gun, isn’t it?”
Next to the flustered Gabumon, Yamato gulped and swallowed his saliva.
Yamato was starting to tap onto something much more serious than any of them could have imagined.
At the same time, Daisuke and his friends, having crossed the ocean from Japan to New York in the US, continued their investigation.
They’d snuck into Liberica University, where Menoa served as an assistant professor.
“Looks like just asking around didn’t get us the information that Yamato-senpai wanted.”
As they walked around the university, the tall young man let out a sigh. Following right behind him at his feet was a Digimon that looked like a hornworm, who said, with teary eyes and a worried voice, “Don’t feel bad, Ken-chan.”
The young man, Ken Ichijouji, looked at his partner, and gave him a little smile.
“Leave it to me! I came here to help you find out more, after all!”
Next to Ken, winking at him, was Miyako, who had used Digital Gates to come to New York from Spain. Next to her, Hawkmon added, “I’m here, too!”
“The Internet has so much range, but there’s only so much you can do about things you don’t know…So where are we going next, Iori?”
As Daisuke’s shoulders slumped, he addressed a boy who was leading them around.
“If we aren’t making any headway, then let’s try using a different approach.”
The boy, wearing a neatly-tied necktie, was Iori Hida. He turned around to face Daisuke and the others.
Iori was standing in front of Menoa’s research laboratory.
“I get it, we’ll cut to the chase and search the actual person’s lab ourselves.”
Miyako seemed impressed as she nodded, but Daisuke was looking around frantically.
“But how are we even gonna get in? You need a key to get in, right?”
The door had a device attached to it, and would not open unless a designated key card was swiped through it.
“Want me to break down the door, Daisuke?”
The hot-blooded voice came from a cute little Digimon who was hopping up and down in front of him, with ears that made you think of a rabbit’s. Jumping in front of his partner, Daisuke, he started pumping his short arms, brimming with motivation.
“What do you mean, V-mon?! If you do that, people are gonna crowd around us!”
Giving an aside glance to Daisuke scolding his partner, Iori called out to his partner, whom he was holding in his arms.
“Armadimon, if you will.”
Armadimon, a Digimon with a hard back and claws who looked like an armadillo, slid a claw through the machine.
Click. The door unlocked.
Miyako snapped her fingers.
“That’s all it took to open it…”
Ken was still worried about Liberica University’s security, but decided to look the other way so that they could continue their investigation.
The four of them entered the research lab as if they were ninja. On the wall were bookshelves with difficult-looking books all lined up in a row.
Iori found Menoa’s personal computer sitting on top of her desk.
“All right, here’s where I come in.”
Miyako pulled back her sleeves, and turned to look at the computer.
Just then, Miyako spotted something on the wall of the room.
“Hm? I wonder if we should tell Yamato-senpai about this, too…?”
After muttering those words to herself, Miyako turned on the computer.
Eosmon’s clutches of evil were starting to converge on Taichi’s friends.
At a certain warehouse, a girl was humming to herself as she walked. Her long hair was tied behind her, and she was completely in work mode.
“Okay, Palmon! Let’s get this inventory check done in a flash, and we’ll be done!”
The girl in high spirits was talking to the Digimon next to her. Her name was Palmon, and she was a plant Digimon with a large flower blooming on her head. She looked up at the girl with her big round eyes.
“Okaaaaaaaay! Leave it to me, Mimi!”
Hearing Palmon’s cheerful repsonse, the girl, Mimi Tachikawa, smiled sweetly back at her.
Mimi managed an online shopping site while traveling the world, and it was vital for her to do inventory inspections. Running it together with Palmon was part of her daily routine.
“…five, six, seven, eight…”
As Palmon was counting the goods, she noticed Mimi’s smartphone ringtone going off.
“Mimi, phone call!”
“Coming, coming, I can hear it!”
Mimi casually took her smartphone out of her bag, but just then…
A light came out of Mimi’s smartphone, and Mimi instinctively closed her eyes.
“Mimi, what’s wrong?”
Mimi called out to Palmon, who had suddenly stuck her face out from where she’d been covered.
Mimi was unable to say anything else after that, and fell to the floor on the spot, as if she were sleeping…
After getting a call from Koushirou, Yamato drove as fast as he could on his motorcycle, with Gabumon sitting behind him.
“Dammit! It even got Mimi…!”
Yamato arrived at the hospital.
He ran to the room where he was told she was in, and opened the door so hard that it made a loud noise.
Taichi and Koushirou were already there in the room. Right beside the bed was a young man wearing glasses and clean white clothes.
On the bed itself lay Mimi, quiet and still.
Yamato called out to the young man with glasses.
Jou, the oldest in Taichi’s group, and a medical student studying to become a doctor, explained Mimi’s situation.
“There was a report of a huge noise, and the police were called, and Mimi-kun was found all by herself in the warehouse, all alone.”
Gabumon, who had arrived with Yamato, called out to a Digimon that looked like an earless seal.
“How have you been, Gomamon?”
“Hey! I’m doing fine.”
Gabumon and the other Digimon were talking with Jou’s Digimon partner, Gomamon, whom they hadn’t seen in a while.
Looking aside at the Digimon, Taichi faced Jou with a serious expression on his face.
“So what’s Mimi’s condition?”
“Still nothing at all…Conversely, there’s nothing abnormal going on with her, other than the fact she’s lost consciousness.”
But Taichi and the others knew what the actual cause was.
“Eosmon did this,” muttered Koushirou irritably, with his hand firmly planted on his mouth.
Yamato broke the silence in the hospital room by pointing at the door.
“…Taichi. Koushirou. Got a minute?”
Yamato led Taichi and Koushirou to the men’s bathroom.
“Why did you bring us here?” Koushirou asked.
Yamato looked around the bathroom, and said, “There won’t be any cameras watching us.”
“So you’re saying we’re being watched.” Taichi frowned.
“It’s just in case.”
With that answer, Yamato took out two cell phones from the backpack he’d been carrying.
“These are prepaid phones. Don’t use the smartphones for now.”
“Prepaid phones…what is this, a spy movie?”
Yamato gave Taichi and Koushirou the phones, which, unlike smartphones, couldn’t connect to the Internet, and could only take calls and text messages.
“Use these as much as you can whenever you need to get in contact.”
“All right…So, why don’t we each report on our current situations?”
Yamato nodded at Koushirou’s proposal.
The first to speak was Taichi. “I met with Gennai-san.”
Upon hearing Gennai’s name, Yamato and Koushirou bent forward.
“Did he say anything?”
“Anything about stopping the progression of partnerships ending, or cancelling it?!”
Yamato and Koushirou barraged Taichi with questions, but Taichi shook his head.
After biting his lip morosely, Yamato started on what he wanted to say.
Yamato took out copies of a number of news articles from his backpack.
Taichi, receiving some from Yamato, asked, “What’s this?”
“Look at the photo on the lower right.”
Taichi and Koushirou followed what Yamato said and looked at the picture.
It showed a very young Menoa, featuring her as the youngest person to win a certain award. At the feet of the smiling Menoa was something that looked like a Digimon. It looked like a butterfly with bluish-white whings, and seemed to be hiding behind Menoa.
“Is that a Digimon?”
Yamato nodded in response to Koushirou’s question.
“Yeah, no doubt about it.”
“So that means…Menoa is a ‘Chosen Child’?”
Menoa was a Digimon researcher, but she had also shared her own heart with a Digimon. But now, that butterfly-like Digimon was no longer beside her.
“So the fact we haven’t seen her Digimon partner yet, means that…”
Koushirou started to mutter while thinking about it, but Yamato cut him off.
“I don’t know, but her assistant is actually the more suspicious one.”
“Her assistant? You mean that Imura guy?”
In response to Taichi’s question, Yamato pointed at one of the documents he had given him.
“Look at the second page.”
Taichi turned the page, where there were a number of articles covering Menoa’s research results.
All of the pictures had Menoa and Imura in them.
“Imura became Menoa’s assistant at around the exact same time Menoa released her research results.”
Taichi mulled over Yamato’s words.
“Yeah, you’re right…!”
“And on top of that, he’s been doing weird things. I don’t know who or what he is, but I’m gonna get to the bottom of this,” Yamato said to Taichi and Koushirou, making his statement firmly.
Koushirou topped it off with “we’ll leave that to you, then,” and moved onto telling Taichi and Yamato what he wanted to say.
“I’ve been analyzing remnants of Eosmon that we collected during our last fight with it. I’ve also been trying to narrow down its location.”
In response to Yamato’s question, Koushirou hung his head.
“Still nothing…As a precaution, I’ve already sent a warning to all of the ‘Chosen Children’ in our database.”
“Yeah, that’ll help.”
Listening in on Koushirou and Yamato’s conversation, Taichi glanced at his Digivice.
The ring of light was getting smaller and smaller. And yet…nobody knew how to stop it.
Yamato warned Koushirou that he should be careful, too.
“Koushirou, look out for yourself, too. Try to limit how much you connect to the Internet outside of the building, as much as you can.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Next to the nodding Koushirou, Taichi raised his head.
Looking both of them in the eye, Taichi spoke in order to strengthen their resolve.
“Let’s put an end to this incident. No matter what.”
At the same time Taichi was gaining his resolve to fight, Agumon and Gabumon were in the hospital corridor.
Since it was raining outside, the evening was getting dark, even though it was in the middle of summer.
Agumon sat on a bench beside the corridor, and muttered a single sentence.
“Taichi and Yamato got really big.”
Gabumon, sitting next to him, nodded.
“Yeah. They got really big.”
Agumon remembered the time he’d spent with Taichi, and suddenly looked down.
“Taichi lives by himself now. He’s even got alcohol in the fridge. That means he’s an adult now, right?”
“Yeah. They’re adults.”
“So they’re not kids anymore.”
There was a short pause, and then Gabumon muttered a few words.
“…So we’re gonna have to separate from them.”
Hearing Agumon’s response, Gabumon looked down at his own feet.
“Lately, I’ve gotten to hang out with Yamato more often, and it makes me happy. It makes me happy, but…being with him brings back all of the fun memories I have with him.”
Gabumon liked the time he was spending with the current Yamato, but he loved his memories of the old Yamato even more.
From the time they’d met back in the Digital World, all the way up to now.
“All of the time I’ve spent with Yamato is like a precious treasure to me.”
Agumon felt the same about Taichi.
“I want to be with him forever…”
Gabumon’s voice was shaky. He was voicing his true feelings, bursting from the depths of his heart.
Agumon couldn’t say anything, and fell completely silent.
Despite the timing, Agumon’s stomach started growling, as usual.
Gabumon and Agumon burst out laughing.
They kept laughing for a while, until Agumon finally said, “Hey, Gabumon. It’s not just Taichi, I’m just as glad I got to meet everyone else, too!”
Agumon looked up at the sky, thinking about all of their friends.
Memories of the kids and their Digimon were coming back, one after another. Of their adventures, and their daily lives with nothing in particular, all of them irreplaceable treasures to them.
And Taichi, his partner, was in all of those memories.
“It’s thanks to Taichi that I got to meet everyone,” Agumon muttered, as if talking to himself.
Gabumon nodded firmly.
“Yeah. Yamato did the same for me.”
Hearing Gabumon’s words, Agumon was silent for a while, and then said only a few words.
“…The time we spent together won’t ever disappear.”
Seeing Gabumon’s worried face, Agumon looked up at the sky, as if trying to shake off the gloomy feelings.
Agumon had his usual smile on his face.
“I’m never gonna forget.”
“…Yeah. Even now, I’ve been worrying about things with Yamato, and fighting alongside him. That’s not going to end, not even now.”
Even Gabumon’s usual forward-facing attitude was starting to return.
Seeing that, Agumon jumped off the bench they were sitting on.
“We stay together, and we think through problems together. And I’m sure Taichi will find the answer.”
Gabumon followed up by also jumping off the bench, and stood next to Agumon.
“They’re our partners, the most important people to us, so let’s walk with them onto the path they’ve chosen.”
Agumon was smiling so hard that his eyes were small. Gabumon held out his hand to him and said, clearly to him, “Let’s make sure we don’t have any regrets, and make the most out of our time with our partners.”
“…We’re kinda like adults now.”
Gabumon scratched his head, a little embarrassed, but Agumon took his hand.
- Armadimon speaks in Nagoya dialect; “~dagya” (alternatively, sometimes ~da ga ya) refers to the particle stuck onto his speech as part of that. Naturally, it’s not actually correct usage, but a “TV dialect” version.