In the eleven years the tournament had been held, Twilight Town had never seen a Struggle battle this vicious. It wasn't even the semifinals, but the two contestants were fighting for their lives. Twelve-year-old Hayner kept trying to bounce around and dodge his thirteen-year-old opponent, Seifer, while hitting back as hard as possible. Both were badly bruised and tired, and neither had anymore Potions after their previous Struggles. All around the ring, the spectators were whispering worriedly:
"We'll need to put a time limit on these battles," murmured the promoter.
"Those kids are going to kill themselves," noticed Setzer, the regional champion for several years now.
"I don't think those weapons are going to hold out much longer," confessed Wallace, owner of the local weapons shop, who made the bats in the first place.
Olette and Pence didn't say anything, but watched on in fear. In fact, the only reason they hadn't torn their eyes away from the battle was because Hayner was their best friend. They knew nothing good could come from this fight.
"Oh no!" Wallace cried, seconds before it happened. Being the weapons creator, he saw the strain on Hayner's bat as Seifer brought his down on it. The bat bent and finally broke in two.
But a broken Struggle bat wouldn't stop Hayner. In any other context, this would be a ballad to his courage. In the context of a Struggle tournament, however, it was just a testament to his bullheadedness. He continued on fighting, determined to defeat Seifer. Seifer didn't back down either, returning blows furiously. No one knew quite how it happened, but in those few minutes, a rivalry was born.
As Seifer's bat hit Hayner's broken one once again, the two boys entered in a battle of strength, trying to push the other to the ground. Deciding to try something new, Hayner put one foot in back and broke free of the strength competition. It threw off Seifer's balance, giving Hayner a chance to get in as he twisted to the side. But his aim was off, and his splintered bat hit Seifer's face. Bleeding and enraged, Seifer swung hard at Hayner, throwing him to the ground and forcing him to land on his arm. He heard a sickening crack, followed by blinding pain.
Everyone finally jumped in to help. Wallace seized the weapons while Setzer headed over to restrain Seifer and the promoter checked Hayner. Olette and Pence ran to their friend while Fuu and Rai, who had been cheering on Seifer the whole time, ran to their unofficial leader, with little Vivi following closely.
"Looks broken to me," the promoter said as Hayner winced, clutching his arm. "How's the other boy, Setzer?"
"He's got a bad cut on his face," Setzer noticed calmly. Seifer was still bleeding between his eyes, grimacing at the pain. "I'd say he's going to have a scar there after this."
"Hey, Seifer," Hayner called, his voice raspy from pain. His new rival looked over at him. "Owned."
As always, I do not own Kingdom Hearts or its characters, who belong to either Square Enix or Disney, or a combination of both. This takes place two years before Kingdom Hearts II, during the Eleventh Struggle Tournament.