Chapter 1: Tamers of Japan

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.

Also, thanks to CrazyEight for betareading.

Four weeks before tournament

Rika Makino just had one last card to play. She digivolved her Taomon to Sakuyamon and then proceeded to use a Dark Training Manual to defeat her opponent's Garurumon, thus reducing his points to nothing. Her opponent, a silver-haired boy from Koto and fellow Tamer, Ryouma Mogami, didn't flinch. Instead, he simply waited for the announcement.

"Rika Makino is now the winner of the Japanese National Tournament!" the announcer shouted excitedly.

The red-haired girl couldn't believe it. She had made it this far, even beating Ryo at the Prefecture level. The girl gathered up her cards and walked up to receive her prize. She, Ryouma and another player received their trophies. Hers was gold with the number one on the side as well as the words 'Japanese Champion' on the side.

"Also, Rika Makino and her runner up, Ryouma Mogami will each receive two plane tickets so that they can participate in the World Championships in August and bring a friend along as well. Rika gets the entire set of new Digimental cards, the Digimentals of Darkness, Pride, Desire and Tenacity while Ryouma gets Darkness and Tenacity. Please give a round of applause to the new Champion of Japan!"

Rika felt honored to receive her prizes as well as the cheers from the other participants and audience members. She smiled. She finally made it to this level.

Unfortunately, she also felt something was missing, though she didn't know what.

"You did an outstanding job at the tournament today, Miss Makino," Ryouma complimented as the two were leaving, walking towards the subway station. The boy had been a Tamer since just before the Parasimon incident when numerous children around the world received partners. The digimon themselves were sent by the sovereigns in order to defeat an enemy in the digital world, however they ended up not being needed since the Tamers had already fought and defeated it. Much to Rika's dismay, it ended up being Kazu who dealt the final blow.

"Thanks," the red-head responded. "So, are you going straight home?"

"Yes. I'm going to celebrate with Ren and Airu. You?"

"I'm probably just going to have a nice dinner with my mom and grandma."

Ryouma smiled. "You're not going to have any friends over?"

"Well, not tonight. I'm just thinking of taking a nice, relaxing bath. It was nerve-racking getting to this point. At least we have a month before the next tournament," Rika said while envisioning that.

"Yes, we do. Out of curiosity, who are you going to bring?" the silver-haired teen inquired, curious as to her answer.

Rika was taken aback by that question. She really hadn't thought about it. Ever since shortly after the Parasimon incident, she hasn't really been around her friends very much, save Jeri. But now that girl had a new boyfriend, though Rika had yet to meet him. She knew, however, that he definitely wasn't Takato.

Takato… that stupid gogglehead had to ask her out on a date even though she already told him not to a couple weeks before. She couldn't handle the thought, even though she did sort-of like him.

She snapped out of that thinking when she heard Ryouma's voice again. "If you don't have anyone in mind, you could always take one of my friends."

Rika didn't know what to say to that. For all she knew, Ryouma was going to have her take Airu Suzaki. The other female tamer with an Opossummon kind of got on the red-head's nerves with her obsession with cuteness. So, all Rika could respond with was a simple "I'll think about it."

Ryouma nodded. "I understand if you don't want her around. Still, if you decide not to bring anyone else…"

Rika gave him a slight nod, thinking she'd probably bring one of her teammates, Miki, Ayaka or Jeri instead. Looking up, she found out they were already at the subway station. "Well, I guess this is where we part. Good job on your match, today."

"Likewise. Good bye," then Ryouma sat down to wait for a train heading for Koto while Rika boarded the train for Shinjuku.

Takato Matsuki was seriously struggling on his test. He really was hoping that the eighth grade wouldn't be so difficult, but here he was, working on an Algebra exam.

Thankfully, he got it done a few minutes before the bell rang so he could cool off after that exam. So, when that was all over with, he just sat down, and drew. His art was getting better and his people were definitely more realistic. Basically, he just wanted to blow off his nervousness by drawing something random.

He thought a lot while he drew. He thought about the numerous Tamers that now existed in the world, wondering what their lives were like. He somehow imagined each of those three Tamers he met two years before having reached the Ultimate stage. Unfortunately, none of the tamers other than him, Rika, Ryo and Henry could reach the Mega level. Thankfully, there haven't been any Mega-level bioemergences lately, so Takato could rest easy.

When Takato looked around his classroom, he saw all the other students. He spotted Kazu, who had made great strides towards maturity since defeating TysiachaGlazkovmon two years earlier. That was a battle that Takato would like to forget.

Then there was Kenta, who, despite having a mega-level partner was still fairly weak. Still, he showed excellent support for the other tamers, even healing their partners after battle. He had also grown more confident.

Henry was still thoughtful as ever. In the three years since becoming tamers, he had been able to loosen up, partially due to his partner, Terriermon. His sister has also grown and is able to digivolve her partner to Antylamon when needed. She has also managed to take on a number of opponents on her own and had gotten past the point of dressing Terriermon up in a dress.

And then there was Jeri, who was finally reunited with a reborn Leomon a few months after the deployment of Shibumi's Village of Beginnings program. The digimon's data had been extracted from Impmon and used against the Tamers as a MadLeomon, but then he got deleted a second time, this time his data floated through the digital world until the Village of Beginnings was installed.

Now she had a boyfriend, though nobody knew who he was. This was a bit of a letdown for Takato. He also had a crush on Rika, but when he revealed his feelings for her…

He didn't want to think about that.

He also looked at the various other tamers around the room. They had truly become a group to be reckoned with. Now Miki, Ayaka, Yuji, Taizou and Tadashi were tamers, though they could only reach the Ultimate level. At least the rest of Takato's group let them grow into their roles.

He knew about tamers all over Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, though he still hasn't met most of them.

Takato finally finished his drawing as the bell rang. To his dismay, it was a portrait of Rika. Kazu saw this from next to him and couldn't help but chuckle.

Guilmon was glad to see Takato again. He spent most of his days hanging around the brown-haired tamer's room and occasionally helping the boy's parents. "How was your day, Takato?" he asked as his partner walked in and plopped on the futon.

"Good. I accidentally drew another picture of Rika."

The small dinosaur tilted his head. "Why don't we go and visit her?" he asked.

"That would just be awkward." Takato closed his eyes and tried not to think about the girl he still had a strong attachment to years later. Still, she constantly came up. At that moment, he still wished that Jeri was single so that he could ask her out. He hasn't seen her boyfriend, but he knew that he was a pretty big guy from what she had said about him.

The boy knew that he should have been doing homework, but he just didn't have the ambition to do so.

"What's wrong, Takato?" Guilmon asked, his ears twitching. He hated seeing his Tamer like this.

"It's nothing… just Rika again."

After a few more seconds of silence, he heard his parents call out to him. "Takato, we have customers!"

And so he popped up out of bed and downstairs, his partner digimon following him. He rang up a few customers at the register, being sure to be accurate in his calculation of their money and change. At least he was using his math for something. Guilmon just sat next to him. He was a common sight for customers and they had long since gotten used to the red dinosaur who sometimes delivered bread to them.

"Okay, that will be 600 yen," Takato told the black-haired man in front of him.

"Here's a debit card," the man said. Takato took the card, slid it through his card reader, and printed out a sheet of paper to sign.

"Alright, here you go, Mr... Minamoto," he said, handing the black-haired man the paper. He signed it and gave it back to him. Noticing there were a couple of people behind him, the man just waited until they left before he made his proposition.

"Excuse me, Mr. Matsuki," he said. "I know that you're a Digimon Tamer. I have a job for you."

Takato was surprised at this. Hypnos was the only group that gave him jobs. Usually he got about 10,000 yen for every rookie he apprehended, 20,000 for every Champion-level, and 50,000 for each Ultimate. Most of the time, the digimon were hostile, but every so often he encountered one that wouldn't fight and would simply let it go. Sometimes they even found partners. In fact, that was how Yuuji, Taizou and Tadashi got theirs.

It was a good job.

"What do you want me to do?" he asked, cautiously.

"I'm actually the tournament organizer for the World Championship and I need security. There's one contestant in particular I need to have protected. Would you like to help?"

The World Championship… Takato had dreams of going to the first official World Championship tournament for Digimon. Unfortunately those dreams were crushed at the Shinjuku tournament when he lost to Ryo.

Still, this was a once in a lifetime chance. "How do I know this is legit?" Takato inquired.

"Meet me in my offices," the man said, handing Takato a card with his name on it. He apparently worked at the offices for Bandai as a promoter. Takato had no idea of the full extent of his connections with the various Tamers around the world.

He would accept.

Koji Minamoto's plan was going well. And now his mind was on the tournament that he was having. He bought out a place called Santa Corona for a few days so that they could have their tournament in peace. The island was also in an area where they couldn't possibly have any bioemergences and there was also no way that anyone from any subversive organization (such as the remnants of the recently defeated Digimon Academy, for instance) could possibly interfere or even find them. The only problem was getting there, since Osamu Ichijouji was now in the custody of Echelon for supposed terrorism and his partner was a good means of transport in his higher levels.

Then again, maybe the boy shouldn't have gone to Vegas to blatantly manipulate the team there in the first place.

When Koji entered into his office, however, he had a rude surprise in the form of a black-haired, sunglass-wearing, fifteen-year-old and his Dobermon. "Hello, Mr. Minamoto. Fancy seeing you here."

Koji raised an eyebrow. "Don't you have any better things to do than harass me. You know now that I wasn't the one…"

"I don't care," the boy interrupted, smiling and adjusting his dark, circular sunglasses. "It's the fault of your underling that I'm considered a fugitive."

"And what do you want me to do about it, Ezekiel?"

"Simple… I need you to erase my criminal records and remove the warrant out for my arrest from every list in the world." The boy walked over to Koji's desk and sat down in the executive's chair. "You can do it. I know you can. You had to have added records of your own when you came through time with your other three teammates, if that actually happened."

"And what do you want to do in return?" Koji asked, hoping to take advantage of the situation.

"To be honest… I don't know. What do you want me to do? I can reach Ultimate, so I'm probably one of the best Tamers in the world." The fact that the tamer in front of him made the claim of being one of the best made him twitch, especially considering that there were dozens of tamers out there that could reach that stage. On the other hand, if he could reach the Mega level…

"You do a job for me. You will perform guard duty during the World Championship Tournament," Koji said, smirking a little at the thought.

Ezekiel's eyes widened a bit. "That's it? This will be easy."

Koji smirked a little bit. Apparently this boy hadn't heard about the debacle that was the National Tournament in the United States. Still, he hoped that this tournament didn't have as many problems.

Some days later, after school, Takato was stopped by Kazu on the way out. "Hey, man! What are you doing this afternoon?" he asked, holding the handles of his backpack.

"Uh, I don't really have anything planned. My parents might want me to help out at the bakery. Why, what do you have in mind?" Takato inquired, curious.

Just then, Jeri walked past them, waving them good-bye. After she was out of earshot, Kazu's eyes narrowed and his grin widened. "What do you say we follow her and find out who her boyfriend is?"

Takato's eyes widened. "What?"

"No seriously, she's been dating this guy for how long? And she has yet to introduce us? Come on, don't tell me you're not curious about that?" the visor-wearing teen said, egging his friend on.

"Maybe she has a good reason…" Takato started to say before getting interrupted by Kazu.

"Yeah right. Watch, he's probably some tattooed American who's way older than her and smokes," he suggested, hoping that the disturbing image would work its way into his friend's mind.
Takato still didn't buy into it. "But… seriously. Who else would want to do this?"

Just then, Kenta and a familiar blond boy from their class came up. "So, ready to find out who she's dating?" he asked.

"Oh, yeah, I'm just trying to convince Takato. Where's Taizou and Yuji?"

"I think they had plans already," the blond, Tadashi, said.

"Yeah, so we're just going to head back home, get changed out of our school uniforms, get our Digimon partners and then meet you guys at Jeri's place. That cool?" Kazu informed the group.

"Yeah!" Kenta and Tadashi cheered. Takato still wasn't convinced.

"Come on, Takato, you want to know who Jeri is dating, don't you? Besides, it's not like you have anything else planned," Kazu taunted him.

Takato blushed a little bit. "Sure. I guess I'll come."

A few minutes later, the gang finally met just down the street from the tavern that Jeri's parents ran. "Now, all we have to do is wait until she leaves and then keep our distance," Kazu whispered as the team watched from an alleyway.

They waited for a good ten minutes before, finally, Jeri walked out of the Tavern. "See you later! I'm just going to a friend's house!" the brunette called to her parents just as she was leaving with Elecmon in tow.

Unfortunately, the girl ran into a nearby alley. "Wait! What's she doing?"

And out came a large, white flying bison with six limbs and a massive tail. The quartet and their digimon were stunned.

"What? Since when could she do that?" Kazu fumed.

"That was Appamon, an Armor-level, Vaccine attr-" Kenta read from his digivice before he was rudely cut-off by his angry best friend.

"Still, she shouldn't have been able to do that!"

"Maybe she had the digimental card," Tadashi suggested.

"You should do that to me!" his partner, Coronamon said.

"You can already reach Ultimate," his Tamer shot back, glaring.

"Stupid digivice upgrades!" Kazu shouted at the top of his lungs.

"Well, I guess that was all of that. Ready to go, Guilmon?" Takato asked his partner as he was about to walk off.

"Sure thing, Takato," the dino said. Unfortunately, Kazu decided to grab him by the collar.

"We're not done yet!"

"We're not?" Takato asked, astonished.

"We still need to find her boyfriend. And it turns out she's heading directly west of here. We can take the subway if we need to," Kazu suggested. "Let's go!"

Later on, while they were on the subway, Kazu checked Jeri's location again. "Let's see… she's in Musashino. What the heck's in Musashino?"

"Her boyfriend," Kenta suggested.

"Other than him!" the visor-wearing tamer shouted.

Suddenly, their digivices started to beep, signifying a nearby bioemergence.

"Guys, there aren't any other Tamers in this area. I think we should go check it out," Takato told the group.

"Okay, next stop, we get off!" Kazu exclaimed, partially frustrated by how everything seemed to get in the way of him finding out the identity of Jeri's boyfriend.

It turns out, though, that they weren't the only ones headed for that bioemergence. At that very moment, a heavy man on a motorcycle noticed his digivice starting to beep. Thankfully, he had his partner in his in-training form in his backpack. So, at a light he checked the location of the realized digimon, calculated the best route to get there, and then proceeded to head in that direction.

As one of the developers of the current version of the digivice, he had a few things to test out on it as far as the new app system was concerned. Thankfully, as a Tamer, quite possibly the first one, he could test out its various features.

He arrived at the sight of the bioemergence well ahead of the tamers and got off his motorbike. Then he opened his backpack and let his partner, a small, blue dragon named DemiVeemon, out of it.

"Digivolution Activate," the man said, holding out his white digivice and causing his partner to evolve.

"DemiVeemon digivolve to… Veemon!" The digimon was now a larger, stronger version of his in-training form. "So, what are we going to do now?"

"We have an application to test," the heavy man explained.

The two walked into the digital field where there was a large Brachiosaurus-like digimon adjusting itself to its surroundings.

The man's analytical mind went through the steps for a successful contact with a newly-realized digimon. He had had to deal with only a handful of bioemergences in the past, so he felt a little nervous.

Step one: ascertain whether the digimon is hostile or benign. The man wandered over to the digimon, who looked straight at him and hissed.

Just as it started to charge, the man grabbed onto his white digivice and shouted "Digivolution Activate! ExVeemon!"

The first new feature he had developed was the use of alternate digivolution lines. His Veemon usually became Veedramon, but this time he decided to mess around with the ExVeemon line. The digimon he was up against, Brachiomon, was about to charge at him when a white-winged dragon got in between it and his tamer.

"You know, this form isn't nearly as strong as my other one," ExVeemon complained, barely holding onto the enemy digimon.

"Don't worry, you won't have to have that form forever. I'm just doing this for testing purposes."

"Yeah, got it! Great, you're all about testing your newest crap on me, aren't you?"

The man with the ExVeemon realized that his partner was no match for the Ultimate-Level digimon in front of him, so he decided that he had better try a different program to beat him. Thankfully, he and Shibumi realized that the Tamers around the world wouldn't always have access to cards to create blue cards, so they came up with a different solution: crests programs. Each Tamer was assigned a different crest and they had the option of using either a blue card or a crest to reach the Ultimate stage.

The man's crest turned out to be Knowledge.
"Super Digivolution Activate!" he shouted, causing a purple light to flow out of his digivice.

"ExVeemon Digivolve to… Arresterdramon!" The new form was a dragon with bluish-purple scales and spikes along the back of his head. He also had red chest

armor and yellow gloves and footwear.

"Well now I know: ExVeemon's ultimate form is something named Arresterdramon," the man said, smiling. Thankfully he didn't have to jot anything down on a piece of paper since his digivice already kept track of that information.

As far as the battle was going, Arresterdramon was finally starting to push Brachiomon back. Then the dragon let go of the dinosaur and unleashed a flurry of punches. "Mach Flicker!" This caused Brachiomon to be thrown back even further, falling on its back in the process. Then the enemy digimon turned its head and opened its mouth.

"Brachio Bubble!" it yelled out, unleashing a series of bubbles against Arresterdramon. Thankfully his tamer was out of the way. Arresterdramon responded to the bubbles by simply punching through each one until he made his way to Brachiomon to unleash a final attack.

"Spiral Shredder," he yelled, spinning at high speed and cutting up the enemy digimon. Brachiomon disintegrated into data which started to float off.

"Now, Excess Data Absorption!" the man yelled, holding out his digivice and causing the digital matter to float into it. This new application merely took away the data that wasn't part of Brachiomon's digicore and loaded it into the digivice.

The man looked at the device and noticed the display: "400 % of Data Required."

"Looking good. Okay, you can revert to Rookie again, Arresterdramon," the man said with a smile.

The man's partner did so, becoming Veemon again. "You know, I still prefer my normal line but that was kind of fun too."

The man smiled at his partner. "Glad it worked out for you. It's a shame we had to put this one down."

Veemon shrugged. "You gotta do what you gotta do."

"Imagine if there were any other Tamers when you emerged, though," the guy said, remembering their first meeting.

The small blue dragon shuddered at the thought. "You've got a point there. Ugh! I don't want to go there." Suddenly, the digimon's eyes grew wide. "Somebody's coming."

"That's strange. There aren't supposed to be any other Tamers in the area." The man looked at the radar screen on his digivice just as the other Tamers came into the junkyard where he was.

Takato couldn't believe his eyes. First off, there was another tamer in the area, one that he didn't know. He thought he had met all the Tamers in Japan. Then again, the Tamer in question definitely wasn't Japanese. In fact, he looked very European. Another thing was that the man was way older than any other Tamer he had met.

The middle-aged man that Takato's team met was a bit on the heavy side and had curly, black hair and long sideburns. He was wearing a black, leather motorcycle jacket over a white dress shirt and a blue tie along with some dark blue dress slacks. His accent was a bit strange, since he seemed to stress his Japanese words on the second-to-last syllable and roll his R's whenever they appeared at the beginning of words and tap them in the middle, unless the R's came after an N, in which he would roll them up again.

Takato's first guess was that the man was American, since he was speaking to his partner in American English, though he greeted them in his peculiar Japanese.

"Hello," the man said.

"Uh, hey, I thought there weren't any Tamers in this area," Kazu responded.

"I am not from here." The man's Japanese speech also seemed to be overly formal as well.

"You speak English?" Kenta asked.

"Yeah," the man said in English, changing his unsure facial expression to a smile. "Far better than Japanese, at any rate."

"So, I take it you're an American who just moved here," Kazu assumed.

"Nah, I just got a job offer here at a place called Hypnos. I'm actually from Chile."

"Eh, never heard of it. That in Africa or something?" the brown-haired boy said, eliciting a laugh from the man.

"Chile's in South America," Takato told his friend, appalled at the guy's lack of geography knowledge. "So, how old are you?" Takato asked. "And how long have you been a Tamer?"

"I'm 39 and I've been with Veemon for 20 years."

Kazu's eyes lit up at that. "Wow, you must have a lot of cool stories if you've been a Tamer for that long!"

The Chilean laughed. "Yeah, right. To be honest, there were never any bioemergences where I was at, my partner stayed in his Champion form for almost the entire time until recently when I figured out how to get him to Ultimate and I have a really boring home life. So, no, I'm not the experienced one with the cool stories. You guys are. Although there was the D-Reaper invasion, but I really just left town for that one when it hit Santiago."

The Tamers and their partner just stood there with their mouths wide open. "This is crazy!" Tadashi exclaimed.

"What, you mean that we met a tamer from before the Japanese team got their partners and he turned out to be totally boring?" Coronamon asked.

"Pretty much…" Kazu commented.

"Still, I've been working on the Digivice with Shibumi, so we may meet again someday. Vee and I got to go get something to eat, so see you later!" The man said, waving and walking toward his bike.

"Hey, what's your name?!" Takato asked.

"Antonio Guevara! Don't worry, I already know all of yours." The man waved with a grin as he got on his motorcycle and drove off.

"Antonio… I wonder if there were any more from before us," Takato wondered.

"Maybe we'll get to meet them someday," Guilmon suggested.

"So, are we gonna go find out who Jeri's boyfriend is or what?" Kazu asked. "Watch, she's probably already making out with him on the couch or something!"

"Doubt it," Kenta said. "They have their digimon there, remember?"

"How do you know the guy's a Tamer?" Tadashi asked.

Kazu shrugged.

"Perhaps we should get going right away before it gets dark," Guardromon suggested.

"Agreed," Takato said. "Tadashi, any chance you can get Firamon to hold all of us?"

Antonio got home to find a surprise waiting for him inside his apartment. His TV was on, even though he never watched it. Walking in, he found a certain black-haired boy sitting on his couch, cruising through channels with his leg on his knee. "Oh, hello, Uncle, how are you today?"

"Ezekiel? What are you doing here?" the curly-haired man asked in total shock.

"Well, it seems that I'm now an exile and since you live here, I figured I'd do that too until I can get back to the States. You don't mind, do you?"

"Does Geraldo know you're here?" the man asked, narrowing his eyes and putting his bag on the ground and letting DemiVeemon come out.

"No, nobody does. Besides, if I entered the States, I'd get arrested as soon as customs caught sight of me. I haven't even had a chance to get a hold of them in a while," Ezekiel said casually.

"I'll let Geraldo know…" the man said, heading toward the phone next to a pile of phone cards.

"Please don't. If you tell dad, then I'm sure that Echelon will be right on me. He pretty much drilled into us that if we did anything illegal, the cops would know," Ezekiel begged, his eyes getting wide as he turned to look at his uncle.

Antonio's eyes twitched as he thought of that.

"So, what did you do that got you stuck here?" DemiVeemon asked, jumping on the lap of his partner's nephew.

"Oh, it's a long story…" Ezekiel said, turning toward the television instantly.

"Tell me everything," Antonio ordered rather gruffly.

Ezekiel chuckled a bit. He was definitely not the protagonist of that story.

The Tamers of Shinjuku finally reached the apartment building where Jeri was. They went through the lobby, up the elevator to the thirteenth floor where she was and then out the elevator doors just to see Jeri walk into the other elevator.

"Wait, what?" Kazu asked upon seeing those doors close. "We're this close and she's leaving? Did any of you guys remember from the map which apartment she went into?"

Takato shook his head. Yuuji just shrugged. Kenta was the only one to say anything.

"We didn't know we needed to," he said.

"Ah, man, we came all the way over here and we still don't know who Jeri's boyfriend is!" Kazu exclaimed, his voice echoing through the halls.

"Kazu, I worry that your sudden outburst will disturb the tenants in this building," his partner, Guardromon warned him.

"Yeah, you don't want us to get kicked out," Takato agreed.

Just then, the elevator opened again to reveal a sharply-dressed man in a business suit wearing his hair in a ponytail. Takato recognized him immediately. "Mr. Minamoto, I didn't know you lived here!"

"Oh, Takato Matsuki. What brings you to this apartment building?" the man asked in surprise.

"Oh, nothing much. We're trying to find out what a friend of ours is up to."

"Who's this guy?" Tadashi asked in confusion.

"Oh yeah, guys, this is Mr. Minamoto. He's the one in charge of the World Championship Tournament," Takato said, introducing the man.

"What?" Kazu's mouth opened in disbelief.

"He's telling the truth. I've been preparing for the tournament that's going to happen in a couple of weeks. So, Takato, did you decide whether you were going to help with security?" the man inquired with a smiled.

"Sure. I'll be on Summer Break at the time. I just need to ask my parents."

"Wait, security?" Kazu asked. "I want to help!"

"Me too!" Coronamon exclaimed.

"Hey, Coronamon, remember we're going on a trip to Osaka at about that time?" Tadashi told his partner.

"Ah, no fun!"

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go home. Kazu, you're more than welcome to come to the tournament as security if you want. We need all the help we can get. Here's my card." Mr. Minamoto handed a small business card to the brown-haired boy and wandered down the hall. "Have a nice day," he said while standing in front of his apartment's door.

"Alright, seeya!" the boys said goodbye before going back down the elevator.

Still, one thing came to Koji's mind as he walked into his apartment: what were those kids doing here, exactly?

Next Chapter: Exile

A/N: Well, there you have it. I hope this was a somewhat decent first chapter for you all. Now, onto a few explanations:

One of the things I'm going to be exploring as far as characters is concerned is the various limitations they have, either self-set or otherwise. For instance, there's Rika, who's set herself apart from her friends because of her fear. Then there's Antonio who feels he can't truly be a part of his team because of his age. Also, there's how he's actually a lot less experienced than a lot of the newer tamers despite how long he's been one (let's face it: if there aren't any bioemergences anywhere else in the world other than Shinjuku, how the heck is he going to develop skills to the level of the other characters). And then there's Ezekiel, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Also, everyone except for Takato, Rika, Henry and Ryo have a limitation in the form of a 'level cap' if you were. I actually stole that from CrazyEight's Tamer's Requiem series, though it's a pretty logical thing as far as the series is concerned.