Here's the second chapter. I hope you enjoy it. Also, the title of the story means Land of Shape Shifters in Latin. Plain and simple.
Disclaimer: KH and Hawksong are not mine.
"Christopher, Sean, and Kai. Those are the best names I could come up with." Asch told them after several minutes. Goofy tilted his head to the side sadly at the idea of this new name.
"Christopher and Sean are religion based names. But Kai means fire. And fire is the elemental magic strongly associated with your kind. I say you should go for Kai. That way, in the end when or if you say that you all know each other, your names will be from the same origin, and they may believe you." She explained. Goofy furrowed his brow at the idea, but nodded none the less.
"So we have to be completely different people on this world?" he questioned. Sora and Riku looked up at him with apologetic looks.
"Yes. I'm sorry Goofy, but in order to be taken seriously so that you can save this world, you need to keep your kind familiar nature to yourself. Avians are calm and composed. You don't have to be exactly like them, but if you were too different, they wouldn't accept you." Asch explained, sadness touching her features. She liked Goofy; you could see it in the way she spoke. She was becoming friends with them in the short time that they had spoken. All because of this world.
"The same goes for you as well Sora. Keep the calm poised façade, but when you're around Danica, be the kind soul you were born to be. You as well Goofy. Be the compassionate heartfelt man that everyone came to know and love." Asch smiled brightly, and Goofy's and Sora's faces lit up. Riku smiled a little too, and Asch fixed her gaze on him next.
"Riku, the Serpiente you will be living among are much more different than the Avians. They wear their emotions, never hiding them. So if you see Zane or any other serpent get angry, be very careful. Also, they are much more expressive with their actions. If you see someone hug or kiss someone in the markets, don't be alarmed at the public affection. It is common in their land. Also, the dancers you must especially show praise to. If you watch a dance, you must give them a gift as a show of admiration and praise. Food or drink will do well until you learn more about them. Get to know as many as you can, because they will prove useful to you in the future. I trust you three to do the best that you can until I arrive, alright? Chip, Dale?" Asch questioned lightly, and the two boys appeared almost instantly, with wide smiles on their faces.
"Yeah lady?" Dale asked. Asch smiled,
"You two will stay here with the ship. No one will find it, I assure you. I'm setting up an illusion around it, so don't leave it unless you're looking for food, alright? Otherwise, do what you can to fix the main controls with what you have. Can you do that?" she asked. They smirked, nodded, and shifted quickly and easily back into their second forms, running through the doors to their cockpit.
Asch closed her eyes for a moment, and took a deep calming breath. Without reopening her eyes, she spoke,
"Sora, Riku, Goofy… this is the last time you'll see me, until you get inside of your respective domains. But if anything happens before then, contact me immediately. Do not hesitate to call me if something seems wrong. Good luck, all of you. I am going to confide something in you…" she opened her eyes at this and looked at them with passion in her eyes,
"This world, and each of those I have studied, I have grown much attached to. I know their pasts, their presents, and their futures. They mean everything to me, and if they aren't set right… I wouldn't be able to live with myself at the thought that maybe it was my fault because I didn't work hard enough… So please, do not let these Heartless and Nobodies corrupt this land that I love, nor any of the others. I am putting my faith in you, as the chosen ones, to keep the worlds in balance. In return for your services, I will do everything in my power, and even beyond that, to assist you in any way you-"
She was cut off when Sora tapped the glass of the screen with a kind smile. "Don't worry about it Asch! We'll take care of things! You just get the parts we need to fix the ship, and come over here to help us out!" he said. Riku and Goofy, now Kai, nodded in agreement, and Asch smiled up at them lovingly.
"Thank you so very much… for everything."
After their communication ended with Asch, they said their goodbyes to Chip, Dale, and Donald.
"Don't worry you guys, we'll take good care of Donald while you're away!" Dale said to the three of them, but the sentiment was directed at Kai who smiled appreciatively. They grabbed all of the equipment they thought they would need for the trip, and walked out into the unknown.
"Asch said that if we head out in this general direction, we should make it into a clearing within the hour." Sora said. Riku and Kai nodded,
"But once we get there, how is this going to work out. Do we just split up? Asch made it sound so simple…" Kai murmured. Sora and Riku looked away from each other. Sora took out his communication device and started toying with it. It was several minutes later before anyone spoke.
"This is the picture of Danica that she sent us. Asch said that Danica will be easy for me to find." He said, showing them the picture of the beautiful blonde girl with eyes like Sora's.
"Asch said that we should stay behind with something… she said it would be plainly obvious once we got there… but I dunno? What if she's putting too much faith in us?" Riku questioned. Kai patted him on the back reassuringly,
"Don't worry Riku. If Asch is willing enough to trust us with this, then we should be able to do this!" he said, remembering the last words they had shared with each other, and the apparent love she had for this world. Riku nodded, remembering as well. It was with that in mind that they strode through the dark cover of the trees with a more confident stride. After a while, they began hearing things. Ghostly moaning and fading screams. Kai was so frightened, that he latched onto Sora's arm, his eyes darting about at every sign of movement.
It was then that they heard a loud shrill cry. It wasn't that of a human, although it choked off very much human. Sora, Riku, and Kai jumped as the sound reached their ears and rolled past them like thunder. Closely following that came the cry of something otherworldly. Something that didn't sound natural at all, but they knew the sound all too well.
"It's a heartless!" Sora cried, as he dashed forward to the sound. "Sora, wait!" Riku called after him, but he was already changing into his hawk form to gain speed. Riku growled but started after him, followed by Kai who kept a steady pace beside him.
Sora transformed back into his human self as he stepped out into bloodied clearing. He had never seen anything as gory as this. Bodies of people he recognized as Avian and Serpiente lay strewn across the damp earth. This battle had been over for hours, it was apparent in the dry blood that caked the stones and the grass. There was the body of a boy that looked similar to him laying not three yards away, covered in morning dew. Sora cringed away from the poor boy that Asch had called Xavier.
The sounds they had heard earlier as they walked had been the moans of those whom had survived the night… those who were probably still alive. The otherworldly noise rose once again from all around him, but the cry of a crow brought his attention to a scuffle on the other side of the clearing, in a large ditch. Sora bolted towards the noises, and stopped as his eyes fell across a small gang of simple shadows, which morphed into the ground and attacked the soldiers who stood protectively in front of the beautiful woman Sora recognized as Danica. She was crouched down, holding a man with black hair, clad in a black and red uniform, with a deep gash across his stomach.
Sora jumped forward to assist them, and stepped lithely in front of the Avians, his key blade materializing at the ready in his hand as he took out the first row of heartless. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, creatures that Sora had recognized from Hollow Bastion descended upon the Avian soldiers. They had been called wyverns by Leon, but they looked nothing like the pictures Asch had painted in his head. They had a somewhat serpent like body, with a purple backside, and a white underbelly with the heartless symbol tattooed onto its chest.
Large talonned legs grew from its lower torso and it had golden shoulder guards where the wings grew, first orange then purple, out of its back. The wings had several rips and holes, but it could still miraculously fly. Sora swiped at the first one, sending it flying back into the others. Quickly, he summoned up his thunder magic and decimated the first and second one. The third one was not so stupid, and knocked him back.
One of the Avians caught him, "Boy are you all right? What are these things? Where do they come from?" he questioned quickly.
"I'll explain later!" Sora growled, as he pounced forward, and in mid-jump, he grew the golden wings of his demi-form, flying around the creature and cutting it apart until it burst into a cloud of black soot. Sora landed back on the ground, demi-wings still in place, with a small smile. He was about to turn back towards the Avians, but spun around as he heard an echoing hiss. A giant white serpent nobody encircled him, and trapped Sora in its powerful coils. The Avians stood, frozen in fear, but the man who had caught him, jumped forward and slashed at the giant beast. The snake hissed and spat, but paid little attention to him. Its eyes were fixed onto Danica, who clutched the frightened Serpiente boy in her arms.
"Fira!" a voice yelled, and the snake was soon enveloped in flames. Its hiss was a near scream as it released Sora to writhe on the ground. Kai and Riku jumped in front of Danica protectively. Riku looked back at her wide frightened eyes for a moment, before his black key blade appeared in his hand, and he lashed out at the giant burning snake. The snake lifted itself to its full height, the fire now extinguished, and lunged at Riku, who grabbed Danica and Gregory before he jumped out of the way, careful of the his injuries.
"Thundara!" Sora cried, recovering from his fall, and launching himself back into the sky. The snake turned its attention back to the flying nuisance, a new gash in its burned side, which gave Kai his opening,
Danica screamed as a tornado of fire engulfed the giant snake. She and the Avian guards watched in horror as it screamed and its skin peeled off of its flesh and bones. When the flames died down, the giant beast was no more, and Riku's and Sora's key blades disappeared. Kai stood tense for a few seconds longer, before sighing and relaxing into a casual pose. Sora turned back to Riku and Kai with a smile, but remembered that they were now the 'enemy' and scowled. The perfect act.
"What are you doing here Serpent?" Sora spat at them. Kai's eyes widened in pain before he also remembered, and he laughed nonchalantly,
"I don't take kindly to being called a snake. You must be referring to my friend here." He said, nodding his head to Riku who was looking indifferently around the clearing.
"The real question here is," Riku's gaze found its way back to Sora with a hard look, "what are you doing here? Our prince is still alive. We have come to assist him." And without waiting for a response from Sora, he turned to Danica and stepped to her side. Or tried to, before he had several weapons pointed at him by the Royal flight. Kai put his hand on Riku's shoulder and stepped around him,
"Miss Danica, please step aside so that I may try to save master Gregory." He instructed, but there was an emotion in his voice that –otherwise would have not- made Danica comply.
"Danica…" one of her guard protested as she stepped forward towards Kai.
"Do you really think you can save him? His wounds are deep…" she looked back to Gregory with saddened eyes. Sora stepped forward protectively, muttering 'stopa' under his breath to hold the guards in place as not to stop him,
"Milady…" He murmured. She looked back at him with an almost glare,
"Do not give me your 'he's a serpent' talk! He is as human as the rest of us! He deserves to die just as much as you or I. On this battlefield he is not a warrior, he is a brother. A son. A boy. He has those who love him!" she said. Sora blinked, and then his expression softened, before sighing theatrically.
"Alright. Let me see him. Milady, you may as well head back towards the Keep." Sora murmured. Riku and Kai stepped forward, standing on either side of their hawk friend. She hesitated a moment, but nodded and stepped back to kneel beside Gregory who's face was contorted in pain. His eyes met hers, and she smiled softly down on him,
"Do not worry Gregory. You will be safe. You will live to see your kin again." She said comfortingly. She moved to stand, but Gregory's weak hand caught her arm. The Royal Flight tensed, as she did, but Gregory pain no heed,
"Thank you, hawk. Danica. I will never forget this." He whispered, and his hand slipped from her arm and to the ground.
Sora placed his hand on her shoulder, "Milady, do not worry. He will be fine." He assured her. She nodded, "I will be waiting for you." She said as she changed forms and unfurled her golden hawk's wings and shot into the sky. Most of the Royal Flight followed her into the sky, except for the leader of the Royal Flight.
Riku and Sora tensed, as he stepped towards them, "I have many questions to ask you… But I must go recover prince Xavier. Therefore if and when you return to the Keep you and I will have a nice long conversation." He grumbled. Sora shot him a bright smile, "Thank you sir. You won't regret this."
a/n- The next chapter may not be up for a while, I am sorry. I have been working on my other stories, but school has taken up a lot of time. I would enjoy some constructive criticism please, to know where I may improve. Thank you!