Prologue – The Life of Roxas
They say that being a Nobody is the best thing that could happen to a servant. The prospect of serving only one single aristocrat is better than serving an entire family of snobby nobles. Yet, being a Nobody is not as glamorous as some may think. Sure, they may have an easier time working for only one person rather than a family of people; the Nobodies are the most pathetic group of people one could imagine.
You see, Nobodies are trained from birth to shed their emotions and to behave with only one purpose in life: to protect and serve the man (or woman) they are assigned to serve. Years of training in combat, servitude, and hardship had broken the spirits of even the strongest willed child alive. Nobodies do not feel and are not truly alive. To have emotions even as a child would mean further discipline and potential death. No one who is to become a Nobody can leave the training until they have become complete Nobodies.
Why is that, you ask? Why, the Nobodies look so similar to their masters (or mistresses) that to let them live would bring shame to the aristocrats. To see a familiar face of a noble in servitude never sat well with the nobility. As such, a child of servitude who resembled a noble always resulted in the death of the child, either physically or spiritually.
That is the case with Roxas.
Born into a family of six in Twilight Town, Roxas was known to become a Nobody. His bright blue eyes and gravity-defying hair were the trademarks of a well-known babe not yet a year old in the nearby kingdom of Destiny Islands. His parents knew, the rulers of Twilight Town knew, and the rulers of Destiny Islands knew. And it is because of these trademarks that Roxas was taken away from his parents before he was but a year old to become a Nobody.
Before he was five years old, Roxas had already learned the ways of a servant.
By the time he was ten, Roxas had been broken spiritually.
By the time he was eleven, Roxas had learned how to stay in the shadows.
By the time he was thirteen, Roxas had learned how to act like Sora.
By the time he was fourteen, Roxas had learned how to handle a sword much like that of Sora's.
And it was when he was fourteen that his life changed, but we'll get to that soon.
At The Castle That Never Was, Roxas had met several other Nobodies. Of course, as he was a Nobody, he didn't care about the other Nobodies. The other Nobodies didn't care about him either.
The first Nobody he met was Axel, a teen older than him who was practically the mirror image of Lord Reno of Midgar. He often worked with Larxene, the Nobody of Lady Elena, also of Midgar. The only reason why those two Nobodies trained together was because they were to server under the same court, coincidentally.
Both of them left before Roxas had turned twelve.
Another Nobody he met was Naminé, a ghostly image of Princess Kairi of Radiant Garden. She too was emotionless and well-trained in the skills as a Nobody. Ironically, despite her younger age than Roxas, she had left to serve Kairi before Roxas was fourteen.
Roxas knew where they went, but he never knew where they came from. Not that he cared of course.
Everyday, he went through the same training, being constantly reminded of his position. It was a wonder that Roxas didn't grow to resent the same people who oppressed him. Yet, it was the only way of life that he knew and he continued to live everyday in hardship.
So when his primary trainer announced shortly after his fourteenth birthday that he was to leave The Castle That Never Was, he acknowledged the fact and continued to live the day like he normally do. Everyone said he was the perfect Nobody, and maybe he was, with his apathetic personality.
No one can stay perfect forever. No one can stay the same forever. And if Roxas had truly preferred his life as a Nobody, then he should've never left The Castle That Never Was.
The sun had not risen yet when Roxas was already awake. He went through his predawn routine with ease, having done them for the fourteen years he's lived at The Castle That Never Was.
It wasn't long before he completed his self-appointed tasks and exited his room to break his fast with the other Nobodies in training. Out of habit, Roxas was always one of the earliest people to arrive at the small dining hall. Two long tables enough for twenty people stood side by side in the dreary rectangular room.
He sat down at his usual place and closed his eyes to meditate, not bothering to greet the other Nobodies. After all, he reasoned, what was the point of greeting someone you don't care about?
"Morning, Roxas," came a soft tenor voice void of emotions. The blond-haired Nobody opened his eyes and saw another blond-haired teen not much older than himself: Demyx.
"Morning, Demyx," he replied offhandedly, closing his eyes again.
Demyx was an odd Nobody in that the one who he was supposed to serve had unfortunately died in a freak drowning accident. When asked if the king and queen would like to still take Demyx in, they refused on the basis that it was still too painful to be reminded of their lost son. Demyx, who knew nothing of this, remained "blissfully" ignorant of his future.
Within a few minutes of Demyx's arrival in the dining hall, the rest of the Nobodies filed into the room silently, muttering mornings out of habit and not out of actual compassion. They sat down in their respective seats before standing up simultaneously and moving through a small doorway into the adjacent kitchen, where a hearth-fire burned brightly.
Without another word, each Nobody went about to their individual tasks in preparation for their own breakfast. Roxas was delegated to preparing bread along with three other Nobodies while Demyx was assigned to the task of preparing oatmeal. The room was silent of chatter; the only noise that echoed through the warm room was the pounding of dough, bubbling of oatmeal, sizzling of meats, and general cooking sounds. Anyone who didn't know of the Nobodies would've thought that these servants were well disciplined and be impressed by the scene. To everyone else, they would've expected such a strange sight.
By the time the sun began to rise, the Nobodies had finished cooking their meal and were moving the dishes to the dining hall, where the four trainers of the Nobodies sat. The tables were quickly set and everything was ready.
The Nobodies sat quietly while the masters of the Castle eyed each one of them. Without sparing one more glance at any of their "students", the four began their meal and the Nobodies broke their fast.
After breakfast, Roxas returned to his quarters since the task of cleaning up was always delegated to the newest five Nobodies that arrived at the Castle. Before he got a chance to leave his room for the day's training and such, the door to his small room opened to reveal the solemn face of Zexion, yet another Nobody still in training. Roxas watched the man as he stepped into the room soundlessly. He held out a letter with Roxas's name written on it in an elegant script and watched as Roxas accepted the letter.
"Good luck," he muttered flatly, pivoting on the balls of his feet to leave the room without waiting for a response.
Roxas opened the letter and scanned through its contents quickly. He put the letter back into the envelope and laid it on top of his bag that had been filled with the meager belongings he had. He then picked the bag up and left the room. He walked through the hallways and out the main gate of the Castle without so much a good-bye to the other Nobodies whom he passed by.
A ship was waiting for him at the dock and the captain seemed to not care whether his last passenger was late or not. He needed not worry about his schedule because the Nobodies have been trained to be punctual at all times. Shortly prior to the departure time, Roxas boarded the ship and made his way to an empty seat, bowing when the captain acknowledged him.
With that began Roxas's journey to the Destiny Islands, to the life of the Nobody of Prince Sora.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts and associated characters, places, items, etc. I wish I owned Sora, Roxas, Riku, Kairi, Naminé, etc. etc. of course. But I don't, so don't sue me.
A/N: Yet the start of another fanfic… I don't actually have any idea where I'm going with this just yet, so I'm just making up things as I go along. Haha.