Since the release of the Digimon Seekers web novel, I have taken it upon myself to rework the English translation to fix some of its awkwardness. At this point, it’s clear that Bandai only throws the original story into Google Translate and doesn’t bother to hit spell check. While I will do my best to keep the core story elements the same, I’ll be making changes that I hope make the story read better. My version will always go up the Monday after the official release.
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Hungry snarls echo off the tunnel walls. Heavy hurried steps crash onto loose gravel. Thick black claws dig deep into the earth as they reach through the darkness. An old light flickers. Its dirty yellow light washes over a large dinosaur. For that moment, its red scales shine and the light catches the glint of hungry blue eyes. The creature snarls as another light reveals its figure. The creature looks like Tyrannosauruses Rex, but not like the ones you’d see in a museum. Thick black stripes decorate its body and a row of pale emerald scales run down its back. Behind it, two identical beasts follow.
A subway car zooms past the trio, illuminating them for moments before leaving them to continue their pursuit in spotted darkness. The Tyrannomon are on a mission.
A tiny shadow scurries ahead of them. With each passing moment, the Tyrannomon inch closer to their prey. The scent grows stronger with each talon full of gravel. Their fangs blare as foamed drool drips down prehistoric jaws. Their prey is trapped.
The first Tyrannomon lets out as he lunges, but a passing train brings it to a halt. Gravel and dirt shoot from under it. The panging of pebbles against the metal is heard briefly before the screeching of the wheels drowns it out. Dust and dirt kick around the lead Tyrannomon as the remaining two come to a stop behind it. They pace impatiently for the few seconds it takes for the train to pass them. They waste no time continuing their chase. This was their turf, there was no getting away.
The Tyrannomon move deeper into the tunnels. Darkness settles around them heavily. There are no lights to shine a path, but they don’t need them. Instinct guides them through the shadows.
Talons sink into a cold thick liquid. The sensation slows them, but the Tyrannomon do not stop. They wad furiously through the sewage. The putrid rotting scent of the canal begins to mask the scent of their prey. They stop, taking a long sniff at the air in search of the eluding scent. Suddenly, the sound of gusting air appears in the darkness. Before the Tyrannomon can react, a tornado forms around their leader. The water around it kicks up into an angry whirlpool before sending the Tyrannomon flying. It lands on its back, its stomach left vulnerable as the waves from its landing settle around it. It struggles to return to its feet.
A shockwave of energy pierces into Tyrannomon’s stomach, leaving behind a deep hole. The Tyrannomon lays there motionless as its bright blue eyes grow pale and lifeless.
Eiji moves through the lobby of a fast-food burger joint to grab a seat by the window. He carries with him a small Coke he got free with a coupon. He looks out the window and watches the people walking below him. Behind him, a digital 3D pop-up advertises the restaurant’s newest burger. “Don’t forget to supersize it!” The mascot commands as it enjoys the last bite of its burger. The advertisement trails off and is replaced with a generic Pandora station, as it fills the lobby with soft music.
Eiji pulls out his phone from his jacket. “Let’s see if there’s any work,” he says to himself. Aside from a few people sitting in the booths away from him, there was no one around to hear him.
Eiji logs into his GriMM account and begins scrolling through the threads.
GriMM is the world’s most popular social network. Most people use GriMM for its normal social network features like chatting, streaming, and message boards. GriMM’s most distinctive feature is its support for the proprietary cryptocurrency Digicoin (DC). But like anything that exists on the net, there are parts of GriMM that are quite illegal.
For freelancers like Eiji, having a GriMM account is mandatory. GriMM is where freelancers find job postings, sales, and other tools of the trade. Eiji scrolls through the job listings as he mutters to himself.
He scrolls over an image of a BlackAgumon “One -Hundred Million DC for the capture?” It was a lot more money than he made on his usual hunts. The bounty excites as he thinks about all the meat he’ll get to eat. He swishes the coke in his other hand as his stomach grumbles.
But Eiji’s heart begins to sink as he begins to read over the comment section. Instead of helpful tips, it was full of trolls and people asking for money. GriMM is a dumpster fire, but a necessary one.
Eiji stares out the window as he debates taking the assignment. “Maybe this is some sort of urban legend. An Agumon isn’t worth a million. And if it were black, it wouldn’t be an Agumo..” A faint beeping interrupts his trance.
“My Tyrannomon!” Eiji shouts involuntarily. A group of high school students sitting at the other end of the restaurant turn to stare at Eiji. Eiji doesn’t notice as he fiddles with the palm-sized LCD screen in his hand.
Eiji puts down his phone to focus on the small toy-like device in his hand. A deformed pixel version of Tyrannomon fills the screen. There is an “X” on its eyes, and its vitals are gone.
“Gah! I’m so stupid!” Eiji growls. He’d become too distracted, and it was going to cost him. “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” He grumbles.
The two remaining Tyrannomon look up from the LCD screen at Eiji, then at each other in confusion. Eiji starts pressing the keys on the screen, replacing the downed Tyrannomon and entering new commands.
“Capture the target or no food for you!” Eiji growls at the Tyrannomon. If the Tyrannomon doesn’t capture the target, he won’t get to eat either. Such is the life of a freelancer.
The high schoolers shift in their seats as they steal awkward glances at Eiji. They find it strange to see him so worked up over a game. But this isn’t a game for Eiji. Eji is a Code Cracker, and this is his job.
Eiji continues furiously entering commands into the small device.
Tool Settings….Capture! Reassign target to Modoki Betamon
“You’ll pay for underestimating Cracker Fang,” Eiji says, referring to himself as his alias. Eiji clicks the Execute button. The Tyrannomon disappears from the screen. Eiji takes a sip from the half-empty paper cup. Moments later, a chime sounds. Eiji looks down at the LCD screen and smiles. The Tyrannomon have captured their prey. Eiji picks up his phone and continues to scroll through GriMM as he finishes his drink.