Final Genesis: 08/03/12 – Besides seeing the movies Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Grey, and Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace in 3D, it seems I wasn't the only one to have an operation – it was my mother's turn at the end of February. Only this time it was a hysterectomy operation. So now, she has to recover for about six weeks before she's able to get back to work. While it's not easy looking after her, its Godspeed to a full recovery for her, and I hope things will be okay. Now that I've recovery and returned to work, I should be back to some important matters at hand, like job searching or studying. Plus, I recently got a new computer too! :D
Other than that, it's that time again, and yesterday I'm officially 25 now! How time passes, though it would have celebrated a bit more as one's getting older. Then again, my mother and sister were kind enough to get tickets to see Cirque du Soleil – Ovo in July – I do say it'll be interesting since it'll be the third time I see a Cirque du Soleil performance, after Dralion and Saltimbanco.
Once again, we have the disclaimer!
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Digimon 02, aka. Digimon Adventure Zero 2, it belongs to Toei Animation. Other than that, the characters like Setsuna, Yuzuriha and Tsubaki are the only ones I own. This is mainly on the Japanese version, so some of the characters would have retained their Japanese names. This chapter is set during the events of Episode 18, "Track down the Kaiser's Base!" (Aka. Run Yolei, Run).
Once again, a new chapter ignites…
Digimon Adventure Zero 2: White Reflection
Chapter 13: Preparation
Multiple thoughts of varying forms fluttered inside Setsuna's mindset as once again, he was back in the Digital World.
For the time being, he didn't care that he was climbing up a mountainous slope, nor how high he, Iori, Koushirou, and their Digimon are. Even some of the crumbling gravel that became loose when his hands and feet grasped at the ledges didn't faze him. The only thing that was inside his mind right that is practically felt like yesterday since he first arrived in Odaiba, along with the recent events that he and the Chosen Children were involved in.
After the warning they received and before commencing on their scouting mission, the Chosen Children, along with Taichi, Yamato and Koushirou and the Digimon, first made their stop to Hajimari no Machi, to deposit Wizarmon's data to Elecmon, the caretaker. Because it was the first time the Mammal Digimon witnessed a strange phenomenon like the Digivice Astral's Raise Vent, they would have to be prepared for the worst. Mainly with the chances that if Wizarmon would be reborn, his memories would be reborn without any traces of his past life, depending on the substantial amount of data remaining after three years. While Tailmon was disheartened with this fact, a part of her was adamant, as with Patamon three years ago. In the case of an unexpected attack, Piyomon, Sora's Digimon Partner, volunteered to safeguard Hajimari no Machi until the battle is over.
So at that moment, the Chosen Children were divided into three in order to cover more ground, and to find the location of the Digimon Kaiser's base. With Daisuke's and Takeru's groups (the former having Taichi, Hikari, V-mon, Tailmon and Agumon, and the latter with Miyako, Yamato, Hawkmon and Gabumon), elsewhere at differing spots, Iori, Koushirou and Setsuna were on their own. There were times they almost wished they could have brought along some mountain-climbing equipment. And it would have been necessary as a ledge gave way, causing Iori to slide dangerously down until Koushirou and Armadimon managed to save him.
"Iori-kun, daijoubu desuka?"
"Y-yes," The slightly-shaken kendōka replied, glad that his senior was able to catch him in time. "I'm fine."
On Iori's left, Setsuna let out a sigh of relief, as he and DORUmon were about to assist when the near-fatal fall begun. "That was a close one. Much as this one doesn't want to admit it, but it's too late to turn back for now de gozaru."
"We're almost at the top you two. Let's go for it." As the computer expert reassured them, they then received a warning call from the third Digimon in the small party.
"Koushirou-han, hurry over here!"
"What is it, Tentomon?" As the Kansai-dialectic Insect Digimon lead them to the spot, the three humans, along with Armadimon and DORUmon peered over the ridge, which was strangely decorated with derelict tram carriages around the mountainside. But it wasn't the carriages that caught their eyes, after a brief breeze – it's what was below that caught their attention.
Below the cliff they were standing on, a vast valley was spread out, with a stretch of forest near the horizon. Ordinarily, it would have been left untouched - a grassless plain filled with a large pack of spiked green T-Rex-like Digimon roaming inside the area, in which the occupants would have been hunting for food as with most carnivorous dinosaur Digimon. Alas, for the Theropoda Digimon called Tuskmon, like with the other areas, that peace was shattered as there was a massive cluster of Dark Towers planted around the area beforehand. What was even more bizarre was an unusual structure, in which the main body seemed to be submerged, and yet there was a massive point raised behind it, as if it had a solidified tail of sorts.
"That's…" Koushirou began, with Iori finishing for him, "So many Dark Towers…" But the six beings' viewing experience is about to take quite a turn as something frightening was about to surface. A sudden, momentary glow was emanating from the bottom of the structure, and slowly, multiple shapes began to emerge. Unfortunately, the combined army of Evil Spiral-controlled Dark Tyranomon and Kuwagamon is going to make this battle problematic for the Tuskmon, setting upon them in an instant. Even though some of the green Dinosaur Digimon began fighting back, they were being steadily overwhelmed due to the power of the Evil Spirals controlling the opposition.
Level: Adult (Champion)
Attacks: Panzer Knuckle, Horn Driver, and Bayonet Lancer
Tuskmon – a Dinosaur Digimon built for heavy close combat. His special technique – Panzer Knuckle.
Level: Adult (Champion)
Attacks: Scissor Arms, Power Guillotine, Trap Scissors, and Tai Atari
An Insect-type Digital Monster, Kuwagamon. Its Special Move, Scissor Arms, can tear through even the hardest of objects.
"How cruel…" Iori's expression was clouded as the group watched the horrible battle take place.
Carefully finishing his triple information gathering (A/N: Dark Tyranomon was scanned in episode 9), Setsuna seethed in a silent rage as he clipped his D-Astral back onto his waist. "Oppressive force always seems to Ichijouji's strategy in mind, isn't it, de gozaruka?"
"Yeah," Armadimon added, also pointing out one fact. "They came out of that weird place, da'gya."
"I'm just guessing, but that must be the Digimon Kaiser's base." Koushirou noted, after witnessing this development. For the time being, they had the element of stealth when it came to distance as the battle raged on. Unfortunately, the course of downwind must have changed direction, because all of a sudden, one of the Dark Tyranomon caught sight of the interlopers.
"Shit! We're been spotted!" cursed out DORUmon, grasping wind of the action as Koushirou pulled out his Digivice in response. Regrettably, due to the power of the multiple Dark Towers, normal evolutionary means is impossible. That was the least of the problems with one of the Kuwagamon suddenly making its appearance known!
"Leave this to me, da'gya." Armadimon volunteered, with Iori nodding in acknowledgment. Armour-evolving into Digmon, he managed to intercept the incoming Insect Digimon, holding the fray while his companions made their escape via two large pieces of scrap metal as makeshift sleds, save for Tentomon, who flew. At the moment, they hoped not only to gain as much distance away from the area, but also for Armoured Insect Digimon to catch up afterwards.
Pulling out his Digivice, Koushirou hoped this moment would be now as he sat behind Iori. "We should be far enough…" Needless to say, on the other sled DORUmon was piloting, Eiji's personality surfaced, not because he wanted get back into the fight, but of sighting an entirely different reason.
"Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. If you look carefully to your left, you should see what appears to some… freaky-looking dragon creature, piloted by some fashion-deranged male stripper." His four other companions' expressions were pretty much undetermined; either they were stunned that someone had the decency to wisecrack at a dangerous situation like this, or that Ichijouji Ken, the Digimon Kaiser finally made his entrance.
Level: Adult (Champion)
Type: Evil Dragon
Attacks: Crimson Nail, Evil Eye, and Demonic Gale
Devidramon – this dark dragon is known and feared as the "Many-eyed Demon" 「複眼の悪魔Fukugan no Akuma. Its tactics are to freeze its adversary with Evil Eye and then strike with its Crimson Nail attack.
Due to his position above them, the boy emperor was lucky nobody noticed his face resisting the urge to contort angrily, as he manically laughed out loud. "Long time no see."
"Digimon Kaiser!" Iori exclaimed angrily.
The boy genius turned his attention to the group, noticing the newest members for the first time, face-to-face. "So you must be the one who's been giving my troops trouble lately. What are you doing here?"
"We have no intention of answering you!" The nine-year-old retorted, hoping that the group wouldn't be at the receiving end of an attack. While the villain was distracted, Tentomon called out for his partner to activate his evolution to Kabuterimon. But alas, a dark pulse prevented the sequence from happening.
"Did you forget that the Dark Digivice keeps you from evolving?" While most of the escapees were frustrated at that advantage their opposition had, only an unimpressed Eiji was left unfazed by the smug attitude.
"You know, Ichi-Bum, I was kind of expecting something more sinister. And if you're the so-called titled Kaiser, shouldn't you be wearing something more regal? Besides, what in Hitler's fucking grave were you supposed to be depicting?"
"I could easily say the same for you and your uncouth mouth, freak, and my attire's original. Also, did you design your outfit, or did you rip it off from the manga Naruto?"
Carefully standing up, Setsuna's dark personality nonchalantly checked himself out in his ninja suit, his back steadily about to face the egomaniacal figure that slowly grew angry at the apparent lack of respect. "Hmmm… I don't know what the heck was in my idiotic light side's mindset, but I'd have to say, it's better than the crap you're wearing right now. And you know what else I like about it? IT FEELS LIKE I'M WEARING NOTHING AT ALL!"
"What the… don't you dare show me that, you little…!" The desired result practically struck gold. What composure remaining on the Digimon Kaiser's face left him, as suddenly he was screaming and flinching in horror from whatever last action Eiji did along with a horrible thought that was imprinted inside his head. But the worst wasn't over as even in its possessed state; somehow the Devidramon was freaked out after peeking for a brief moment, causing it and the rider to lose control and crash-land down the slope in the most humiliating moment of Digital villainy.
Koushirou, Iori, Tentomon, and DORUmon absolutely could not believe it. They were vastly at a disadvantage due to the Dark Digivice's evolution negation powers and the current lack of their only Armour Digimon, and all it took was a single insult from a Chosen Child with identity issues to momentarily thwart the deranged child overlord into suffering a humiliating defeat. As far as the volatile youth was concerned, that was worth a good laugh, and he was still laughing it up even as Digmon unexpectedly opened up a hole to save them.
"Ah, with that could I have that sound lull me to sleep each night!" Ignoring Eiji's rambunctious behaviour the group made it a few more metres before surfacing above ground in a safer location.
"You saved us. Thanks." Iori greeted, allowing Digmon to shrink back into Armadimon.
"No problem. But what was Eiji laughing about, da'gya?"
Koushirou was sorely tempted to try his hand at applying physical trauma to the Osaka White Tiger. But since the latter stopped laughing for the time being, it was time for their escape. "We'll discuss this later. Tentomon!"
"Koushirou-han!" The Child Insect Digimon acknowledged, as he began to glow with power. "Tentomon shinka… Kabuterimon!" Now that he was out of the Dark Digivice's energies, a large blue Digimon, which looked like a humanoid rhinoceros beetle, carried his five companions out of harm's way. While they out of danger, they were unaware that the Digimon Kaiser was watching, even in his battered state.
"Ken-chan! Ken-chan! Are you alright?" Wormmon's worried voice called via the Dark Ring's frequency.
"Of course not, you idiot!" Ken snarled angrily, noticing the damage the newest Chosen Child caused, even without laying a finger. "Get me another ride, my current one's totalled! Oh, and there's bloody dirt in my boots! But at least I was able to get some nice data." For a while, he hoped that he was able to get his focus back. Regrettably, Eiji must have decided to add one more final insult to injury, because the familiar distant taunt of, 'Feels like I'm wearing nothing at all! Nothing at all!' echoed throughout the landscape. It also vibrated into the Digimon Kaiser's brain, and his focus wavered, allowing him to let out a scream of frustration once more!
"GAAAAH! STUPID SEXY SETSUNA!" He exploded, smashing his head repeatedly on the slope in a failed effort to rid himself of this mental menace.
"SHOULD HAVE… AHAHAHAHAHAHA… SEEN… AHAHAHAHAHAHA… WHAT HIS 'CRAPPED-IN-PANTS'… AHAHAHAHAHA… FACE EPICALLY LOOKED LIKE… WHEN HE SCREAMED… AHAHAHAHAHAHA! OH WHAT AN ABSOLUTE RIOT!"
Nobody knew what was with Setsuna's dark side since his group made their return. All they knew that while Koushirou and Iori were crouching slightly upon landing when they returned to the former's bedroom (with Upamon and Dorimon in tow), the white-haired prepubescent was on his back, clutching his sides and crying pearls of insane laughter as he rolled across the floor repeatedly. "So… what's with the comic relief, Koushirou?" Taichi pointed out, wondering what the laughter was about. Heaving a huge sigh, the former computer analyst decided to give out the answer slowly.
"Would you believe Eiji-san's been watching too many reruns of The Simpsons?"
Hearing that statement perked Daisuke's interest. "Why is that?"
There was a pregnant pause before Koushirou finally decided to spill the beans, albeit reluctantly. "Because he managed to get the Digimon Kaiser off our tail via the 'Stupid Sexy Flanders' moment, bum-dance included."
Upon hearing the answer, Taichi and Daisuke joined Eiji in roaring in laughter, Yamato's lips was twitching, and nearly everybody was snorting in response. Now Eiji was on his stomach, thumping the floor repeatedly with his right fist so hard it almost caused the apartment to quake.
"Wow – that was either brave or suicidal of you to demean the Digimon Kaiser like that!" Daisuke choked back, already giving in to the hilarity.
Opening his crimson eye for a brief moment, Eiji decided to reply with, "I was gonna go with an oversized 'F-you' sand message but that would have been a huge waste of energy for the Ehrgeiz Gemini anyways! I'd rather save my best for last! Besides, Ichi-Bum deserved it!" Those who were snorting now gave in to the laughter, even Yamato. It almost took some time before everything was back under control, and only because Iori couldn't take it anymore, this time switching Eiji back to Setsuna by hitting his skull hard with his bokken.
"Where's Okaa-san?" Koushirou asked in concern.
"Don't worry!" Taichi replied, having his laughter finally under check, "She's not back yet."
Sighing in relief Koushirou made his way to the computer terminal. Even though his mother, Izumi Yoshie was one of the few humans to get involved with Digimon three years ago, the former Child of Knowledge was worried about involving her in events once again. "We made it…
"So, how did it go?"
Now that Iori managed to settle, he was able to properly answer Taichi's question. "There were Dark Towers everywhere."
"I knew it!" Miyako exclaimed, with Daisuke also adding, "They were all over our area too!"
"It was like they were telephone poles." Takeru piped in, as he was bandaging Setsuna's head. While he was doing it, the latter decided to add his own words.
"Hordes of hostile Digimon aside, we also found it – Ichijouji's base of operations de gozaru."
"The base?" Hikari inquired, as Iori settled Upamon on the bed, with Dorimon following.
Before closing communications from the real world, Koushirou was able to receive the final words of reply for today from Tentomon. "Then, I'll continue to scout the area."
"Onegai shimasu." His human partner pleaded, as he switched off the Digital Gate. Typing up some additional commands, the redhead brought up a familiar map that was known to the group all too well. "Everyone, please look at this. First off, this is the area where Daisuke-kun's group went…" The screen next switched over to another area, which looked similar to the first diagram shown. "This is where Takeru-kun's group went… And this is where we went." But after showing the third grid, he wasn't finished as he then came to a conclusion while typing once more. "When you connect them together…" Merging the three images carefully, the topography was formed. But what was shown was enough for many of the occupants of the room to be stunned by the display – which showed what looked to be a huge snakelike trail of Dark Towers.
"This is…" Takeru began.
"It's like some huge slug passed through…" remarked Miyako. Nonetheless, the news did not settle well with the Digimon.
"The areas are being conquered systematically…" noted Poromon, his expression sour.
"Our Digital World…" Patamon growled, with Chibimon adding, "That Kaiser!"
Even though Dorimon wasn't as familiar with the current Digital World, his expression clouded. "It may not have been my home, but there are still innocents. What is that aho trying to accomplish?"
While Upamon's answer wasn't as precise, he also concurred with his companions. "It looks like he's ramping it up, da'gya." As they were watching the display with displeasure, Tailmon was pacing behind them, thinking about what Wizarmon said before.
"The time is near…" The Holy Beast Digimon murmured, with her human partner finishing for her.
"Hurry, all of you. I wonder if this is what Wizarmon was telling us."
Nodding, Takeru remembered that time their old friend appeared to them with the warning. "It must be."
"Then, what are we doing wasting our time here?" Daisuke suddenly demanded, snapping to attention and holding his fists at the ready. "We found the Kaiser's base, so we should just strike! Right, Chibimon?" While Chibimon agreed with him, it was Setsuna's turn to object to the idea, slowly standing up to face his senior. While his expression was primarily benevolent, there was certain firmness at times when he spoke.
"No offense Daisuke-dono, but don't you think even Eiji-han would go 'Anta Baka' to that idea? Not without a plan we aren't de gozaru."
"He's right," Takeru corresponded, "If the information about the hostile Digimon is true, we need a plan if we are to attack the Kaiser's base."
"Sorry, I know… I was just saying how I felt about it."
Now Miyako was just as concerned. Compared to the situations when the Chosen Children had to deal with the Evil Ring and Spiral-controlled Digimon while simultaneously taking down the Dark Towers, the next time would be much different than before. "It won't be as easy as before, huh?"
The response that Takeru was able to give was, "That's right… we may not be able to do it in one day like always."
"R-right," The Child of Love and Purity responded, the realisation hitting her, "if we're worried about the time, we won't be able to take down the base."
"Yeah." Hikari added, "We won't return until we beat the Kaiser. That's the sort of determination we need."
"Determination?" Despite the worried look, Miyako allowed the opinions of others to be heard, starting with Iori.
"I am determined, but if I'm not back for dinner, my mother will get worried…"
"Just make something up," Daisuke nonchalantly said, "Like you're staying at a friend's or something."
Unfortunately for the goggle boy, Hikari gave him a look of disdain, causing the former to recoil. "Daisuke-kun, you would do that?"
"It-it's just an idea…"
But for once, Setsuna had to disagree. "While this one is not an advocate of lying either, I would have to differ with you on that one, Onee-chan. As long as it doesn't involve any interlopers, we should be able to focus on taking down the Kaiser without any trouble. Besides, how else would this one have trained with Yuzuriha-dono in secret, de gozaru? It's like Tsubaki-dono once said…" he chimed, pointer finger raised with Dorimon and Iori suddenly joining in, "Sometimes, even the greatest lie can become the greatest truth."
Everybody stared at the two youngest members and one Digimon in disbelief at what was being said. Despite differing ideologies, this is one of the few rare occurrences that the former two agreed on something, as everybody thought; I can't believe they just said that…
Even Setsuna turned to Iori at the unexpected support, knowing that the latter usually would never tell a lie. "Tsubaki-dono told you that, right Iori-dono?"
"Well," Iori stammered, slightly embarrassed at the sudden moment as well, "she did help me get Jou-san out of class at that time… and thanks again, Setsuna-san."
Back near the computer Koushirou, Taichi and Yamato were also pondering on what to do in order to help out. Due to their experiences, they knew multiple facts: One, the energies from the Dark Tower and the Dark Digivice were able to negate normal means of evolution. And two, even if they were able to evolve, if they encountered a strong enemy, their Digimon were unable to evolve past Adult level compared to three years ago for reasons unknown, so the new group are mainly on their own for their possible next mission. The reason for that second disadvantage would have to be told some other time.
"Our Digimon wouldn't be able to evolve with the Dark Towers around." Koushirou noted, as he was scanning the data once more.
"If we went to the Digital World, we'd be of no help." Agreed a dismayed Yamato, as he realised the grim truth to their current situation. But a smile had just appeared on Taichi's mind as he was carefully listening to both sides' views on their next plan of action, as he sat on the office chair backwards.
"No, we can help them even if we don't go with them." Sliding backwards, he turned towards the current generation of Chosen Children. "Daisuke, good idea with staying over at a friend's place, but here's something better! So, camping! We should all go camping!"
That got everybody's attention. "Camping?" asked Hikari.
"You mean, say we're going camping and go to the Digital World?" inquired Takeru.
"Exactly. But, we'll be in trouble if our parents call, right? So, the three of us are going camping."
"So we'll be their alibi?" Yamato asked, walking up to hear more of the plan.
"Great idea, huh?"
But it was then that a knock on the door sounded, and along with the other Chosen Children, Koushirou knew who it was. When everybody were in their places (Daisuke and Hikari in a faux dancing couple pose, Takeru and Miyako pretending to arm-wrestle with Iori watching on, Setsuna calmly meditating on the bed, Yamato helping Taichi put away a globe and Koushirou holding the Digimon in plush toy poses), the latter nervously announced, "Douzo!" As it opened, it revealed Izumi Yoshie, the boy's mother.
"Minna-san, irrasshai!" She greeted warmly.
Excepting the Digimon, Koushirou announced, "Okaerinasai," followed by the rest of the humans, who greeted, "Ojamashitemasu!"
"What were you all discussing?"
Everybody, even Setsuna, who opened his left amber eye, looked nervously at the computer whiz for ideas. "Ah… well, we were thinking about going camping."
"That's a great idea. But, would a chaperon be accompanying you?"
This time, Koushirou didn't know what to say, until Yamato intervened. "My dad is going with us!" But inside, his mind too, was screaming, as he hid his mouth behind the globe he was 'helping' Taichi put away.
Speaking of Taichi, the latter quickly whispered, "Is that alright, Yamato?"
"I'M THE CAMP CHAPERON?" Hiroaki screamed out, upon hearing the news. It was just about 7:30pm, and he had only just finished work for the day. Then again, it wasn't usually seeing that the patriarch was suddenly roped into a faux camping trip for tomorrow, but it wasn't as bad as dealing with the haunting a few days ago.
"Please, I promised everyone…" Yamato pleaded, as he and Takeru met up with their father at one of the cafes below the Fuji TV Headquarters. "You said you had a lot of paid vacation time, right?"
There was no doubt that the Fuji TV reporter couldn't believe the additional stress added to his shoulders, just as he was settling back to work. But Takeru decided to also add his own little demands.
"Hey, hey, didn't you say you got a pretty good bonus?" After hearing what the younger of the siblings had to say, Hiroaki almost seemed to be unable to take it anymore.
"YOU WANT A COMPUTER TOO!"
Even when the sun has set in summer, the humidity at times still lingered. Depending on the conditions, some people either stayed indoors, or did an outside activity like stargazing or for a night out. But for three beings, even though it was an outside activity, they were doing neither of those mentioned. Especially when it comes to martial arts, sometimes it is essential to train in various conditions in order to endure future situations.
"So, you want me to accompany you guys to camp, while you and the other Chosen Children and Digimon go to the Digital World?" Tsubaki asked, as Setsuna warmed up for his kata once again, dressed in his karate gi while Dorimon watched on. At the moment, they were on the rooftop of their apartment, and since there was no class training tonight, the white-haired boy opted to have some additional preparation for tomorrow.
"That's right. Yamato-dono did a calculation on the number of seats in his father's van, and unfortunately there wasn't enough room to fit all of us in this little diversion. And so, this one was wondering that if you could also come along to Lake Yamanaka as a secondary escort de gozaru."
There was no pause as the assistant karate master gave out her answer, while holding a bag of training equipment she took along with her. "Well it's a good thing I've finished all my studies for this semester, and so, I'll be happy to happy to help. Besides, I could do with some fresh air after all this work. I might have to ask Asato-sensei and Inoue-san for the time off, just in case."
"That's good to hear," added Dorimon in relief. "I just hope we'll be able to take down the Digimon Kaiser as soon as possible. But who knows what he might plan on unleashing?"
"In other words, something unstoppable would be released? What else is on your mind, you two?"
Finishing his warm up, Setsuna had many questions in his amber eyes. "Well, it's just that most recently we paid a visit to a ghost of an old friend. Other than the 'Kindness will release the golden radiance' and the threat of a greater darkness clue, he also told us that it is best to use the Ehrgeiz Gemini function of my D-Astral as a last resort. But if facing a strong opponent, even if Eiji utilises caution or not, what would this one do de gozaruka?"
"I can think of a few ideas. If the adversary is a giant and hard hitting, then speed would be a major factor. You can try to see if you can wear him out so you could get your attacks in. But if he's small and speedy, time your moves carefully so you'll be able to know when he'll strike next. Either way, he could be combination of many attributes. Another major factor would be the battleground – if it's a cramped area and/or has any surroundings, try avoiding the brunt of the attacks or endure as much as you can. If in an open area, agility is your best bet. But all in all, Se-chan, thinking smart is essential in a battle – without a plan, you're most likely to end up being dead, and your friends, Yuzuriha-chan, and I wouldn't want it to end that way. Unlike a video game, you only get one chance at life, and even in a different world, it is not a game."
"I'll keep that in mind, Tsubaki-dono. No doubt that this one has to be careful of the opposition's next move." As he said so, he quickly took a swig from his water bottle he took with him to the rooftop. "Is there anything for me to do next, de gozaruka?"
Allowing the boy to give the bottle over to the cream-haired assistant master, she then announced, "for starters, I need you to revise kata Heian Youdan (Peaceful Mind Level 4), okay? I'll be watching you to see how well your performance would be, so take your position." Watching her student bow as a signal for readiness, she then witnessed him going over to the centre of the rooftop for his ignition. Finally, she then proclaimed her own signal to start. "BEGIN!"
Observation of a student's actions often gave the teacher insight on what the student is capable of: depending on how much dedication was placed in their studies, with all their heart and soul. Depending on intentions, the outcome of those lessons would vary, whether the person would use it properly, or that someone would misuse it for dissention, in which case, expulsion. In the case of the former and Setsuna, Tsubaki saw that being a young prodigy, he could make it very far. At the beginning of the three years in Nishinari-ku, sometime before she was accepted at the Toudai University, Tsubaki was the one who suggested to the disillusioned youth to practice karate in secret via private lessons as way to heal his heart after his parents' passing. When he first started, he was an innocent, reflected in his initial rank as a white belt. There were times in which he only made a mistake once, and perfected them after either the second or third times. Even though Yuzuriha started a little earlier before, Setsuna slowly rose up to the ranks. Now recently graduated to a green belt and surpassing his childhood friend's current rank as a blue belt, he was a few levels closer to being a black belt. When Tsubaki's university entry was then accepted, she set up residence in Odaiba before arranging for the ten-year-old to move in with her, as a new life would be more suitable then the past one.
As she and Dorimon watched their companion perform a Hidari-ashigatana and Hidari-uraken, she was glad that this is the path taken so far compared to the other option. If Setsuna was still bound by the 'rules' of the family, and didn't meet Dorimon, his emotional development would have stunted, including possible signs depression and suicidal tendencies, even with this 'contract' she vaguely heard. If he didn't have any friends, his memory would have been left forgotten by almost every soul on Earth. But luckily, he had not only his childhood friend, his Digimon partner, and herself included, but for the past month he had become friends with the best circle of companions he has met. Sometimes, Tsubaki and Dorimon wondered if this new increase in growth is what made the boy's martial arts become more fluid lately – even though his dark side had changed a little bit in a strange manner of sorts. At the same time, the latter wondered whether the knowledge his human partner accumulated was either the latter's own merits, or whether it was the power of the first contract. Then again, depending on which personality is in control – their fighting styles vary in battle greatly, Setsuna firm, Eiji/Black Setsuna brutal.
Continuing her surveillance, Tsubaki noticed that while the routine wasn't perfect, Setsuna's focus increased greatly over the three years. Witnessing the flowing cycle of stances, punches, kicks, blocks, and twists, sometimes in rapid succession, Tsubaki conjectured that since karate was his main style, it was the style he was focused on. Other times, she also saw the youth dig through various books of martial arts and learning them via self-teaching allowed her to also ponder what forces were at work. Finally, after a step forward with the right foot followed by a Migi-tegatana-uke, Setsuna's routine finished with the boy returning to the default Fudo-tachi stance, with Tsubaki announcing the routine's end. It wasn't just the declaration that was heard, however. Judging by the sound of clapping a second afterwards, Setsuna had an audience. And that audience consisted on a group of three he knew very well…
"Oro? Onee-chan, Tailmon, Taichi-dono? What are you doing here, de gozaruka?" He was able to say that after catching a breather and the bottle of water Tsubaki threw to him.
"We thought we'd see how you are doing, but you weren't home." Taichi answered, warmly greeting the karateka. "Hikari knew where you were, and so here we are now!"
"And what an amazing display we saw!" Hikari complimented after witnessing the routine. That earned a brilliant blush to Setsuna's face as a result. It was then that Dorimon decided to join in on the conversation.
"But I assume it's more than just a visit to see a free show, right?" His answer was confirmed as Tailmon spoke next.
"I think Hikari wanted to also have a word with Tsubaki-san about something important alone. So is it okay if we leave you two for a moment?" she asked, turning to the other two females.
The twenty-two-year-old already pulled out two sets of equipment, which consisted of a pair of focus mitts and a kicking shield. "It's okay. As long as you guys do something just to keep yourselves occupied, then it'll be just fine. Taichi-kun, are you okay with handling defence?"
"Sure. Just tell me what to do." After being handed the training equipment, along with Setsuna some wrist wraps, the two boys received instructions on the exercise: Taichi being the brace, while Setsuna practices his move set. Depending on which equipment and moves were being used, the time would vary on each segment.
When the instructions have been given, Tsubaki headed over to see what Hikari needed, as the training session recommenced. "So, what's there to talk about, Hikari-chan?"
For a brief moment, the Child of Light was uncertain on what to say. Slowly be steadily, she was able to get the words out. "It's hard to believe that it's been a month since I first met you, Dorimon, and of course, Setsuna-kun. When I first met him, I found him to be nice, sweet, and innocent at the same time. You almost couldn't tell that he was hiding the darkness within himself. But in the battle after helping Takeru-kun to save me, even though we seem different, not just in skills and strengths, we seem to be a lot closer than we thought, especially in similar personalities and the connection with the Dark Ocean. But at the same time, I'm worried. As Setsuna-kun called Takeru-kun and I Onii-chan and Onee-chan respectively, I wonder how I'd go, being a good older sibling."
"Hmm. That's rather intriguing. Though I might have to ask you, just in case: how would you describe your relationship with Taichi-kun, being the little sister?"
"Onii-chan wasn't only good at leading us three years ago - he was good at looking after us, especially when I was sick back then. He's smart and dependable. I'm grateful for that, and there are situations that I try to make sure he's happy that he was doing okay. I just… wish I could be like him sometimes… so I can help to understand Setsuna-kun more."
That caused Tsubaki to raise an eyebrow. Judging by what was being said, Hikari mentioned much praise about her older brother, but has yet to mention the flaws. In fact, she noticed that the eleven-year-old is quite selfless. While the assistant master noticed that the Yagami siblings had quite a good relationship, she noticed that Hikari held her regard for Taichi quite high. In other words, she loves her brother too much; not to the point of incest, but to the point where it warps her view of reality. Because of these reasons, Hikari can't see any faults in Taichi. This would require a gentle approach.
"Well, it's good to have someone to look up to as a role model, but at the same time, it's best not to overdo it. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, but at times it's better not to depend too much."
"I think I recall Takeru-kun telling me that," replied Hikari, watching Setsuna utilising Jab, Hook, Dodge, Uppercut, and Uppercut in a sequence against Taichi's focus mitts, and then turned her attention back. "But what are you teaching me, Tsubaki-san?"
"I may not know completely what your sibling bond to Taichi-kun is like, but as one's growing up," Tsubaki began explaining, "Sooner or later, you have to learn to stand on your own two feet and walk, and there are moments you have to have your own style of leadership. But that doesn't mean you don't need anybody to help you. If one recalls, there goes the English saying that 'Nobody is perfect'. Like for me, I'm a terrible cook, but I have my karate skills to make up for it. Sometimes, in order to be a good friend or sibling to the fellow man or woman, you have to understand not only each other's strengths, but also their flaws too. Otherwise, we couldn't learn from each other's mistakes, or any major problems we have that could affect a team, and a person who's completely flawless would be boring. As long as you're able to remember this lesson and don't keep your fears bottled up inside too much, I'd say your heart is in the right place. You, Setsuna-kun, Takeru-kun, and your friends have to look out for one another, particularly in whatever tomorrow's mission is."
Hikari was wide-eyed in amazement. Hearing this lesson made her wonder what Tsubaki had learned back then as a kid herself. "Tsubaki-san…"
It was then that suddenly a hint of a mischievous smirk appeared on the caretaker's face. "Anyhoo, know a good place to take Takeru-kun out for a dinner date once the battle's over?" The resulting crash was pretty much the answer.
"TSUBAKI-SAN!" A blushing Hikari yelled embarrassingly, quickly getting up along with her temporarily spiking hair. "We're just friends – aren't we a bit young for a date?"
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding!" giggled Tsubaki, which later erupted into full-blown laughter. "Considering how much Setsuna-kun looks up to you both as his siblings, I just wanted to know if there's more to you both than meets the eye!" After she composed herself, the bluish-green eyed woman gently reveals her pinkie finger. "Promise me that you guys will look after Setsuna-kun for your trip to the Digital World tomorrow, okay? I may not have a partner, but just make sure he doesn't overstress himself. Then again, a part of you reminds me of him too."
While it wasn't easy taking the burden of responsibilities, the serene smile returned to the Child of Light as she heard that promise. "I promise, Tsubaki-san." She replied, pinkie-promising in return. "And thank you for your help too."
Taichi and Setsuna…
"What do you think Onee-chan wanted to talk to Tsubaki-dono about de gozaruka?" Setsuna inquired, exercising his punches from above & head height, followed by a couple of uppercuts, and repeating the process eight more times by increasing and later decreasing each step by two.
"Maybe a bit of last-minute advice before the trip tomorrow," Taichi replied, enduring the hits as much as he could with the focus mitts. "So, what did Tsubaki-san say?"
"She said she'll come along to help. But speaking of last-minute advice, do you have any advice when it comes to experiencing the Digital World, Taichi-dono?"
Just like with the anniversary a few days ago, there was much Taichi wanted to explain. But because tomorrow Setsuna, Hikari and their friends would be on their own, he decided it would be best to explain the best piece of advice to the latter. "I remember the days when I was 11 years old; I used to jump first into danger without any regards to what happened to me and my friends. That almost cost me dearly when Sora and Piyomon got kidnapped by Nanomon, as I grew overconfident due to the fact Koushirou told us that since we were in the Digital World, it was possible that we left our real bodies behind at that time. Even so, there was also the warning that dying in the Digital World would also affect our real bodies so I felt scared. Eventually I got over my fear, but unlike Digimon who are reborn in their world, we humans only have one life. It's best not to waste your life, and at times heed the warnings of others, depending on the situation."
Having finished the current routine, and preparing for the next, Setsuna allowed himself to catch his breath once more to prevent fatigue, and to allow the information he was told to settle in. "Sounds like a good piece of advice to me, de gozaru. This one just wonders if everybody could just heed it nowadays. It's not like I'm some knife-wielding maniac or something, I'm just a normal human being. Well, minus the bit with an additional personality. So what next?" he asked, taking another quick slip of water.
"I think she wanted you to practice Mawashi-geri for thirty seconds with each foot." The reply came, as the former goggle boy switched the focus mitts with the kicking shield, ready for the beating it had to endure.
Tailmon and Dorimon…
"It feels like yesterday since I first arrived at this realm and met Setsuna-kun roughly three years ago. Then the time I finally met you guys last month. And now finally, tomorrow will be the start when we finally take down the Digimon Kaiser. I wonder if I'm ever able to recover my old memories completely."
"I'm sure you'll be able to, someday." Tailmon reassured, as the Adult and Baby II Digimon watched the training under the stars. "Though it will take time for those memories to recover, and you weren't the only one who lost them before."
"Really?" The purple Digimon inquired, his ears perking up. On rare occasions he was able to share a few stories, but only between missions and his partner's schoolwork.
"Yes. Back then I wasn't always part of the Chosen Children's Digimon, where we were part of a project to balance the good and evil in the Digital World. It turned out that when a man called Gennai was carrying the eight of us from the Dark Masters that my Digitama separated by accident. I grew up alone as both Yukimi Botamon and Nyaromon, waiting for that someone to partner with. After evolving to Plotmon, I began to actively search, when regrettably, Vamdemon took me under his wing. During that time, I was routinely abused, and as a result, I forgot what my mission was at the time." To prove her point, the white cat Digimon revealed her X-shaped scars under her left glove that she received long ago. Understandably, Dorimon felt a kindred spirit with the former, though their causes of amnesia were different.
"It wasn't until after I evolved into who I am and befriended Wizarmon that I was able to remember my purpose three years ago. I was reunited with Hikari, but the battle took its toll, as you know what happened. Afterwards, I became a full member, helping to defeat the Dark Masters."
Nodding, Dorimon felt awestruck by the story. "I'm glad that you were able to find a happy ending, even though this story continues right now. But at the same time, I'm curious as to whether my memories would either be of happiness or sadness."
"I'm sure your memories would be tolerable. Even if the old memories wouldn't be the most happy, you still have your current memories with us to fill the gap. And I thank you for listening too." Reassured, the Baby II thanked his fellow teammate. Returning to the default scene as spectators, they, along with Hikari and Tsubaki, couldn't help but be stunned at the reason why Setsuna's training ended abruptly.
"This one doesn't suppose the rooftop has a bin, does it?" The Osaka White Tiger asked nervously, as Taichi shakily held up the tattered remains of the kicking shield, wrecked by the continual force of the former's multiple kicks.
"Honesty, even without turning into Eiji-han and having the Ehrgeiz Gemini active, I still couldn't believe you were able to turn that kick shield into futon stuffing." A bemused Dorimon murmured, thinking about the events that transpired two hours earlier. In that two hours that passed, after picking up the pieces and Setsuna finishing his stretches, the duo, Tsubaki, Taichi, Hikari, and Tailmon finalised their plans in which to share with the rest of the Chosen Children; after dropping the former off, Tsubaki was to act as a decoy to 'transport' the Chosen Children from Koushirou's apartment to Lake Yamanaka tomorrow. After she left for her head start, this would provide the cover for the team to go to the Digital World, while Taichi, Koushirou, Yamato, and his father followed afterwards. Luckily, the assistant karate master had a GPS installed inside her vehicle along with a map book so she could find her way to the landmark. The plans settled, the two groups went their separate ways until tomorrow.
"To be honest Dorimon, this one couldn't believe it myself de gozaru." The amber-eyed boy chuckled, resuming to packing up his backpack with the essentials for tomorrow. After returning home, having dinner, bathing and changing to his pyjamas, he took the time to call Yuzuriha for the last time before D-day. While they were packing up, their caretaker was having her shower. "Luckily, Tsubaki-dono had a spare kick shield somewhere, and the one that broke only costed about 3,778 yen." (A/N: Equivalent to $45AUD/$46.54USD)
"Even so, don't get overconfident. We don't know what we're going to face in the next few days, and sometimes there isn't time for strategy once something unpredictable comes up."
"I know. Even so, I hope we don't have to resort to drastic measures…"
As Dorimon dragged a sleeping bag, a brief but grim realisation came to him when it came to 'drastic measures'. Ever since their first meeting, they carefully went over some of the basic abilities the boy's Digivice had, before Koushirou was able to uncover more and dub the 'D-Astral' a month ago. But while there are some features that have yet to be revealed, there were some existing functions that were only known by a select few before they arrived in Odaiba – the duo for one. Nevertheless, the amnesiac Digimon showed a flicker of concern. "But what if we forced to reveal my ability? As much as it pains me to say this, I have a feeling it wouldn't stay hidden forever, especially if the enemy's an Adult, Perfect, or Ultimate level…"
Thanking his partner after being handed over the sleeping bag, Setsuna concurred. "This one shares your sentiments too. I'm sure there's a way to counteract it, even if an enemy finds out about this weakness. No matter what happens, together we have to stay strong de gozaru."
That eased the Digimon's mind a little bit. Just to lighten matters up, he then decided to ask a question. "So what did you and Yuzuriha-san talk about, Setsuna-kun?"
"Talking about what's going to happen tomorrow. Before that, it was good to hear Sakura-dono as well – she really liked playing with you before we left. Other than the usual trading of details after the… anniversary, Yuzuriha wished the both of us good luck, and to come back safe once again de gozaru."
"As long as it helps to keep our spirits up and do our best, then I'm grateful we'd possibly have a fighting chance. So, is everything all set?"
Other than underwear, spare pillow, sleeping bag, food, and possible medical supplies that Tsubaki gave beforehand, everything was just about ready for tomorrow. Just as Setsuna was about to reply, the duo heard a knock on the door. "It's open!" With that, his now-refreshed guardian peeked from behind.
"Is everything packed and ready to go, you two?"
"We're all set!" The simultaneous response sounded, with the pigtailed prepubescent sealing his backpack's clasps. That gave a reassuring smile to Tsubaki.
"Tomorrow, before we leave, I'll lend you a thermos with some hot water just in case. You'll never know when you'll need it. Also, I wish you both good luck for the journey and not only that, be careful and remember your training, alright?"
"We will. I hope things will go well the next day." Dorimon replied. Even though Tsubaki managed to pay for Setsuna's aunt's medical order earlier, they hoped that the next set of event would go without a hitch.
"Indeed. Get some sleep you two, tomorrow's going to be a big day, and so I'll pack too. Oyasumi Nasai." After Setsuna and Dorimon responded in kind, she left to sort out her own preparations as well.
As the human and Digimon tucked themselves in for the night, the former couldn't help but think. Depending on how the next few days will go, things could get ugly if something were to go wrong. Even with the recent discovery of the Digivice Astral's abilities would not be enough, as only Eiji seemed to be aware of how to use the offensive capabilities. But what could the Chosen Children be facing? Like the meeting discussed before, this is no other mission they accomplished every day. They could face a few strong enemies, they could free hostages, but most importantly, they have to defeat the Digimon Kaiser so to prevent any more innocent lives being lost needlessly. Expect the unexpected, someone once said. The last stand could take place inside, or outside the base for all they could know. Plus, he vaguely remembered the one forbidden ability he and Dorimon discussed long ago, and to be honest, a part of him showed fear.
He was about to null off to sleep when he faintly noticed one more item. His mind sharp from his training, Setsuna couldn't help but think. Yes, packing this particular item would be crazy. But he would have to test them out first before taking them along with him. Should they be used properly, he could gain a possible advantage when inside the Digimon Kaiser's base. After all, he managed to make it to school with them, right?
Setting the alarm a little early for tomorrow, the boy's amber catlike eyes gently closed peacefully for the night. Tomorrow is another day.
To be continued…
FG: I hope the chapter was to your liking once more; I wasn't sure when it came to explanations and the karate training scenes at first (I got a book that helped hopefully). Well, once again, the excitement builds! Of course, we know what happens originally, but within this story – some new element or so would be involved! I just hope Jun wouldn't give the chaperons, Taichi, Yamato and Koushirou too much trouble, but with Tsubaki with them who knows what'll happen?
Much I dislike some of the Digimon Kaiser's actions, I know partially how he feels about traumatic experiences - especially when it sickens me that even with the strict setting on when searching online, a viper always decides to raise its ugly head... eww. Speaking of the Kaiser though, want to know the reason why I came up with his nickname Ichi-Bum? The answer came years ago when it came to a 1992 Leon Lai (a Hong Kong-based actor and Canto pop singer) album my family owned called 'I Love You, OK?' and there was a track called, I Love Ichiban (Number One), and my mother mistakenly thought it was 'Itchy Bum'! That's how it came to mind! XD So no need to add this to the glossary, in which I'll type in once again!
Onegai shimasu – Please do.
Aho – Impolite term meaning idiot, stupid, food, or dumbass, somewhat stronger in sense. It is often used in a native Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto) dialect.
Douzo – Please.
Minna-san, irrasshai – Everyone, welcome! (In a causal form)
Okaerinasai – another form for 'Welcome home'.
Ojamashitemasu – past tense of ojamashimasu, which is said when entering someone else's house (lit. "I'm in your way")
Hidari-ashigatana – Left Footsword.
Hidari-uraken – Left Back Fist.
Migi-tegatana-uke – Right Handsword Block.
Fudo-tachi – Ready Stance.
Mawashi-geri – Roundhouse Kick.
Futon – According to Wikipedia, it is a traditional style of Japanese bedding consisting of padded mattresses and quilts pliable enough to be folded and stored away during the day, allowing the room to serve for purposes other than as a bedroom.
Positively, that should be all for tonight. What will tomorrow bring for the six Chosen Children and Digimon? You'll just have to wait and see. Until then, Oyasumi nasai!
This is Final Genesis, signing out!
P.S. Please read and review!