As we left the Committee's base, Sora once again took his natural position at lead.
"First order of business," he said cheerfully, "is to buy you a weapon, Miri. Luckily, I know just the shop." He led us along yet another familiar route toward the town's main square. Again, that strange sense of déjà vu pervaded everything, the strange feeling of actually being somewhere you had only seen in video games.
We walked up to a stall with the familiar emblem of a staff and fleur-de-lis above it. Underneath, a sign proclaimed, "Dewey's Weapons - We serve heroes!" I smiled. That's original, I thought.
"Sora!" shouted a small duck in blue, sitting on a barstool behind the counter. "Good to see my favorite customer! How's Unca' Donald?"
Sora smiled and leaned on the counter. "Living it up back at Disney Castle," he said. "How's business?"
"Not as good as when you were buying," he said, sighing. "Could I convince your friends to buy something?"
"Actually, you're in luck," he said, pushing me forward. "Miri here needs a weapon."
"Well, then, she's come to the right place!" he proclaimed with a beam. How a duck can beam is a mystery to me, but he managed. "What's your specialty?"
I shook my head. "I don't know. I'm kinda new at this."
He glared at Sora. "What's an experienced hero like you doing taking a raw beginner out on adventures with you?" he asked.
"This whole thing is kinda my fault," I said, rushing to the defense of the boy standing next to me. "It's not like he had a choice." Riku look at me sympathetically. He had gone through something similar.
The tiny duck jumped off his stool, disappearing for a moment before the gate opened and we were led inside the tiny stall. "We'll find you a weapon."
The atmosphere at the back of the shop was cool, filled with the smell of steel. I noticed Riku unobtrusively beginning to gauge the quality of the weapons, evidently pleased. I could tell he liked it back here. Slowly, I walked around the stall, picking up and testing out weapons.
"Somewhere in here should be one just for you," Dewey told me, following me around the stall. I picked up one after another, searching for one that felt right in my hands. I closed my eyes and ran my fingers along the sheathed pieces of deadly metal. Suddenly, my hand found one, hidden among the rest, buried in a pile of swords. I opened my eyes.
It was a longsword, about a yard long, perfectly fit to my hand. It was balanced perfectly, and I examined it. It was in a back sheath, crafted from plain, yet good-quality, leather. What little decoration there was was at the top, a stamped pattern that looked like Celtic knotwork. The patterns seemed to flow and move, and they somehow gave me strength.
The sword itself was also plain, the hilt inlaid with metal for grip. It had no handguard, making it one, long, flowing shape. I looked at the pattern on the hilt and noticed what looked like writing in the work, but I couldn't read it, and with another shift of the light, it was gone. On the pommel was a little loop of wire, a half-circle that looked like you could attach something to it. I looked out of the corner of my eye at Sora, but the Keyblade was away so I couldn't compare the two. However, I had drawn it enough to know that the fixtures were identical. What was a longsword doing with a keychain loop, but no keychain? I shook my head. That didn't matter right now.
The little duck saw me looking at it. "That's an interesting piece, I'd nearly forgotten I had it. Hmm. Normally, I'd ask 2000 munny, but since you're with a friend, I'll mark it down to 1500."
Sora mumbled something under his breath, but rummaged in his pouch until he had 1500 munny worth of the little golden balls.
Dewey took them, once again beaming in the way that, somehow, ducks beam. "Huey and Louie asked me to pass along that should you need any armor or accessories, to let them know!"
"I'm sure they did," Sora replied. "Let's go, guys. I don't think we need any yet, considering the fact that Miri here probably can't wear too many yet."
I shook my head as we walked out of the store. "I've always wondered what the explanation of that is."
Riku laughed. "Each accessory contains magic. The more magic you wear, the more it weighs you down. If you use too many, you can pass out. The 'limit' is how much you can safely wear. The more you fight and are exposed to magic, the easier it is to carry." He smiled. "Armor is based on physical strength. You'll be gaining a lot of that."
"Oh, joy," I muttered. "This is gonna be fun."
After we arrived at Merlin's house once more, we said goodbye to everyone. Aerith came up to me and I smiled. Aerith is impossible to hate once you get to know her.
"Here," she said, handing a small pouch to me. "A place to keep your own munny so you don't have to rely on Sora… and so he doesn't use it all for him."
"Hey!" Sora's retaliating comment brought on giggles from all the girls in the room, and snickers from Riku.
"Well, we really have to go now," I said, smiling at them all. "I can't wait to see you all again."
Aerith smiled back – it seemed like she was always smiling, really – and clasped her hands in front of her. "It was wonderful meeting you," she said. "Please come back safely." She looked at Riku. "You too; you make sure Sora takes care of her and Kairi."
Sora blushed; Riku laughed.
"Of course," he said.
"You guys be safe too, alright?" Sora added. "I don't want to come back and find you all under attack again, now!"
Leon snorted. "We'll handle it," he said, deadpan.
Yuffie grinned. "Bet on it!"
And with that, we waved our farewells, and left.
It was strange, I thought to myself. Nothing had even happened yet, but I could feel the feeling of adventure starting to set in. It hadn't even really been a day, I had only barely met any of them, but I was starting to feel at home, and welcome.
I grinned. This was going to be an amazing journey.
A/N: Of course, not much to say after that hugely long AUthor's Note chapter back there, but just here to talk a little bit.
Only a little bit of that chapter was written recently; most had been languishing on my hard drive for a very long time, unfinished and unfinishable. I know the chapter is incredibly short, and I apologize for that, but the original section that was to follow this will be coming next chapter. I'm also taking votes through reviews as to what worlds Miri should and should not visit. We'll start to get into the real meaty plot next chapter, so I hope you like it. R&R!