I'm back, I'm back. Hold your applause please. Anyways, I've been working on a couple of projects since I left at the end of A Week of Troubles. Firstly, I've been going through the first half of The Beginning and rewriting and editing most of the chapters in it so that it compares favourably with my current writing ability and also so that errors in continuity are fixed. Secondly, I've been working on this, and I've put a lot more work into this story than most of you are aware of, and more work than I had even considered putting into it when I started. So because I've been rewriting half of the first story, I've debated with myself whether or not to just overwrite each chapter with the new one, or submitting it as a new story with the changed content.
In case anyone wants to know, my theory about Xion is that she is a second Nobody to Kairi, created when Kairi's heart first left her body to go to Sora's. Gaping flaw, what was Xion then created out of?
Anyways, now I'm going to do what I did at the start of the last one, and give a review of the story of the story so far:
Doug and Bob are metropolitan policemen with a difference. Doug likes nothing more than jumping into little cocktail frocks, while Bob fixes his hair for a night on duty. Still as they aren't in this story we won't give their last names.
The real story of the story so far (excluding The Beginning):
Sora, Kairi, Ninquemon, and Luinmon arrive in the hospital in Radiant Garden on Friday, September the 19th with Sora's uncle Sal, his aunt Victoria, his cousin Sade, and Cossex from Destiny Islands. Sora and Kairi are both unconscious, and Sora is missing his left arm.
Riku, Yuffie, and Max, who were last left off with on the 16th, were still in Gaul and looking for the missing wielder of the keyblade, Asterix, who had been captured by heartless the night before. They trashed two Roman camps before Asterix escaped from Totorum and reached them on the night of the sixteenth. A battle ensued the following morning between the village of indomitable Gauls and the heartless and heartless-turned legionaries. The Centurion of the camp, Newyearus, had given himself over to darkness, but his heartless was defeated by the heroes of light. Riku, Yuffie, and Max left Gaul on the 18th with Asterix, Obelix, and Obelix's dog Dogmatix in tow along with a menhir and a barrelful of magic potion. On the night of the 19th, they received the message that Sora and Kairi had returned to Radiant Garden, in a bad state, and changed course immediately for Radiant Garden.
King Mickey meets with Leon and Urophi Magellan (Twilight Town's mayor) on the 16th, and together they begin planning for their forces. King Mickey leaves though with Donald and Goofy on the 17th for a world called Ant Island, because it has fallen under the threat of heartless attack. They reach the world on the 19th, but shortly after making friends with Flik and the others, they get the message of the arrival of Sora and Kairi in hospital, and wing it to Radiant Garden.
Roxas, Naminé, and Axel were already in Radiant Garden's hospital from the time they fought Nixion in Twilight Town on the 14th, and are therefore already present when Sora and Kairi arrive.
While unconscious, Sora and Kairi both have a future time-skip episode, where they appear in a forest and witness a scene with several young adults and a warrior in armour. They discover that some of the young adults are their children, thirty years in the future. In this time-skip episode, Sora feels mournfully at the loss of his left arm, and helplessness and self-pity overcome him enough to make him lose faith in his ability to protect those he loves, and as such he loses the confidence he needs to summon the keyblade. Near the end of the time-skip, they and two of the young adults are attacked by giant spiders, and are rescued by a woman in shining armour who tells Sora to remember who he is, and follow his heart, because if he strays from the path his heart would take him down he would lose Kairi forever.
Both Sora and Kairi wake up in the early-morning of the 20th, and it is revealed to all and to a frightened Sora that he still cannot summon the keyblade. He breaks up with Kairi because he feels he can no longer protect her. It is decided that Sora needs a new arm to help him get back on his feet, and he needs to go somewhere to help him regain his confidence and the keyblade. In the meantime, he spends his day moping and talking to some of his friends before a couple of agents from an organization called FIST (Federal Investigative Service Team) questioned him on the battle in Destiny Islands and loss of his arm. Agent Rachel Quin also planted a bug in the room while they were there.
Naminé, Roxas, and Cid left Radiant Garden in the morning of the 20th for a world called Amestris, where they would find automail mechanics who would make Sora a new arm.
Kairi meanwhile, had been having misgivings of her own at the power of Maleficent, and lost all hope herself. Deeming it necessary, she called Maleficent to come to Radiant Garden just past midnight, so in the early minutes of Sunday the 21st. It was her intention to give herself up to Maleficent and become her captive in the hope that she would leave the worlds alone if she did so, and so that it would light a fire under Sora and he would come and rescue her again. Maleficent did not take the bait, and decided to kill her slowly instead. Kairi put up a fight, but was nearly killed by the witch who completely outclassed her before being rescued by Riku, Sora, Aiwemon, King Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Soronmon, and Aerith.
On Tuesday the 23rd, Sora's automail was complete, and he left that night for the Pride Lands. Just before leaving, the remaining six princesses of heart arrived in Radiant Garden as Naminé had been told by the goddess Thessaura to bring them all together. However just after Sora left with King Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Jiminy Cricket, Kairi was placed under arrest for the crimes of treason and assault.
For two days Sora frolicked in the Pride Lands (explaining away his now automail left front leg by saying that it was a freak accident and not saying anything more), before meeting Zira on the 25th, and getting himself grounded at Rafiki's tree for going to the Outlands and into danger. Just after being saved from Zira by Simba though, Simba names Sora his brother, which makes him the Prince of Pride Rock, illegitimate heir though his title may be, as Kiara is still the true heir, and now his niece. On the 26th, while grounded, Sora is allowed to leave Rafiki's tree by the mandrill himself, who was using a plan concocted by the spirits of Mufasa, and Sora's own deceased mother Anne. He and the female gazelle Swara (whose name is actually Swahili for Gazelle) who he made friends with in his first day in the Pride Lands searched for and found Kiara near the borders of the Outlands with the cub Kovu moments before the two cubs became surrounded by heartless and nobodies. Sora finally overcame his insecurities about being able to defend those he loved without the keyblade and leapt into action, fighting with the tenacity and weapons of a lion, his claws and teeth. His crest of Valour glowed during his actions and the keyblade returned to him, whereupon he slew the remaining enemies with ease before seeing Xarcs, Scar's Nobody, who Sora mistakenly informs of Nixion, prompting the lion nobody's departure to find the former fayth of Ixion. That night he was comforted by the spirit of his mother after Rafiki had gotten Sora to realize who he is the same way he did with Simba.
While Sora was in the Pride Lands, Kairi was having to deal with a member of the Anti-Monarchist Party of Radiant Garden, who beat on her while interrogating her on what happened on Destiny Islands and the battle she had had with Maleficent. The man, Frederick Mahoney, turned out to be the prosecutor against her in the coming trial while Kairi's defence attorney was Peter Banning, freshly grabbed from the world that shares a special link to Neverland. The trial commenced on the 26th, and at the end of the first day's proceedings Kairi and the other wielders heard in their hearts to roar Sora gave to proclaim the return on his keyblade.
The 27th heralded the return of Sora to Radiant Garden with the keyblade, and the subsequent end of the trial by having Naminé show Sora's memory of the battle on Destiny Islands with those in the courthouse. The case was ended with Kairi being found completely innocent on all charges. All persons then went to the castle postern, and they suddenly found themselves on a platform where Thessaura was waiting for them.
And so this is where this part of our story now begins...
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts, Disney, Final Fantasy, Tarzan, Nightmare Before Christmas, Digimon, Transformers, Tom Marcinek, FMA, or anything except my own original characters.
The Annals of Darkness
Part III: Light's Growth
Chapter I: Origins of the Keyblade, and the Keyblade War
Sora watched as Kairi, Naminé, and King Mickey all fell onto one knee in front of the Goddess of Light, sitting upon the high throne she was upon. He drew his astonished eyes up to the woman upon the throne, her brilliantly white robes and staff contrasting greatly with the azure eyes that gazed down upon him.
Sora's feet collapsed on their own accord and his knees dropped onto the platform next to Kairi, but Sora did not notice and did not drop further, his eyes solely focused on the Goddess that sat upon one of the eleven thrones. He frowned slightly, there was something very familiar about her voice, like he'd heard it before somewhere. Something shifted on his left shoulder and Sora looked in that direction to watch as Aiwemon steadied himself on his body.
"Warn me next time you're going to sink to your knees Sora," the bird digimon said, getting his balance back. "I almost fell off."
"Oh, sorry Aiwemon," Sora apologized. He saw Kairi's head turn up towards him slightly with a tiny smile upon her face and Sora grimaced at her.
"Rise Kairi, Naminé, Mickey Mouse," Thessaura said, a smile painting her face as well as she gazed upon the large assembled group. "You are among friends and equals here; there shall be no need for kneeling now." Kairi, Naminé and King Mickey all rose from their knees, and at least Naminé was about to say something even as she swayed on her feet from weariness when another voice spoke up.
"Hey, what's going on?" spoke a young boy's voice.
"I'm not sure bro," said another, older youth. Sora and Kairi looked at each other and frowned. They knew those voices.
"T.K.?" Sora asked. "Matt?"
"Keys is that you?" came the voice of the female digidestined who shared Sora's name.
"John what is this place?"
"Pocahontas?" Kairi asked quizzically.
"Okay now this is freaking me out."
Riku looked up at that voice and turned towards Yuffie and Max. "Was that Sam Witwicky?"
"Indeed it was Riku." Sora turned around at the same time as Riku to see a very large robot with a blue head looking down at them, with three other giant robots standing around him.
"Hello Optimus Prime," Riku said, his voice showing Sora that he was a little unnerved that the Autobots should happen to be here too. The different people on the platform began looking around anxiously as Thessaura only smiled broadly from her position on her throne.
For several minutes everyone on the platform flowed towards or between the wielder of the keyblade that they knew, and introductions were made until everyone at least had some sense of everyone else's name. The eight princesses of heart (Alice, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Kairi, Naminé, and Snow White); their assorted escorts (Penelope, Prince Phillip, Prince Alain, Gaston, Lefou, Prince Charming, Aladdin, Abu, Genie, Iago, Carpet, and Prince Ryan); Sora, Riku, Roxas, Sal, Sade, Sikora, and Victoria from Destiny Islands; King Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Max, Queen Minnie and Daisy from Disney Castle (King Mickey was both disturbed and delighted that his wife had been brought into this, while Donald was attempting to hide from Daisy, having forgotten about another date); Master Yen Sid from his tower near Twilight Town; Jiminy Cricket from Town of Wishes; Merlin, Tom Marcinek, Squall 'Leon' Leonhart, Yuffie Kisaragi, Aerith Gainsborough, Vincent Valentine, Barret Wallace, Cid Highwind, Shalua Rui, and Tifa Lockheart from Radiant Garden (to Tifa's disappointment, Cloud did not appear to be there); Yuna, Rikku, and Paine from Spira; Peter Banning (Pan) from Neverland; Mulan, Mushu, and Cricky from Land of Dragons; Hercules, Philocetes, Megara, Pegasus, and a large man with a curly white beard, orange skin, and strong chin wearing a purple robe that Sora had not met before from Olympus Coliseum (he was Zeus, Hercules' father and King of the Gods of Olympus); King Triton in a sphere of water from Atlantica; Jack Skellington from Halloween Town; Simba from the Pride Lands; Tarzan and his wife Jane Porter from Deep Jungle; Pocahontas and John Smith from the New World; the digidestined and their digimon partners (Sora Takenouchi and Biyomon, Yamato 'Matt' Ishida and Gabumon, Koushiro 'Izzy' Izumi and Tentomon, Joe Kido and Gomamon, Mimi Tachikawa and Palmon, Takeru 'T.K.' Takeishi and Tokomon, and Aiwemon and Menelmon) from the Digital World (Tai and Agumon were strangely missing, Sora would have to ask them about those two later); Tron from Space Paranoids; two mice known as Basil and Dawson from a world called Baker Street; Sam, Mikaela, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bumblebee, and Ironhide from Earth; a teen in red and a gold crown named Emperor Kuzco and a large man in a brown cap and green poncho (or something of the like) called Pacha from Kingdom of the Sun; a large collection of bugs from Ant Island, an ant called Flik, a stick bug called Slim, a fat caterpillar named Heimlich, a male and rather aggressive ladybug whose name was Francis, a preying mantis named Manny, a black widow spider named Rosie, two pill bugs known as Tuck and Roll, a moth called Gypsy, and a dung beetle called Dim; Winry, Den, and Pinako Rockbell, Edward and Alphonse Elric, and Major Alex Louis Armstrong from Amestris; Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix from Gaul; and lastly there were Axel, and a returned Cossex. Sora was very glad that his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood were not here as well, as all of this would go over their heads and destroy the innocence the creatures had.
One hundred and twelve persons or creatures stood on the platform, which had expanded greatly to accommodate the number present while still having the eleven silver thrones that towered up to the height of Optimus Prime. The expanded platform also gave Sora and Kairi plenty of room to stay away from Rosie and the other bugs from Ant Island. Sora was generally fine with the other bugs, but spiders absolutely terrified him, even though he was confident that Rosie was a very nice person. Kairi was scared into whimpering at the sight of any of the bugs, especially since they were her size or bigger.
"But Kairi," Sora Takenouchi had said when asking her about this. "You're fine with Tentomon and Kabuterimon."
"He's a digimon, they're bugs," Kairi answered, her voice slightly hysterical. She then turned towards the group from Ant Island and said as calmly as she could, "no offence."
"None taken," answered Francis, looking frightfully at Biyomon, Menelmon, and Aiwemon, "we're scared of birds."
There was a slight rumble and Sora looked towards the Goddess of Light as she sat upon the silver throne and he watched as two pillaring thrones formed near it, one made of clouds, the other of coral and blue stone. Zeus and King Triton took their seats on those thrones and looked at each other.
"Triton old boy," said Zeus. "It's been a long time since we've seen you on Olympus. Poseidon's been wondering what you've been up to."
"I've been a little too busy dealing with the affairs of my world," replied King Triton from within the sphere of water that surrounded him. "I'd rather not venture out from it much, though I do not understand why we have all been called to this place."
"Before we touch up on that," said Thessaura, as her gaze shifted away from the sea king, "I believe that Sora has some news for us."
Sora looked at the Goddess in confusion for a second and then he felt something nudge his back. He looked behind him and found that it was Simba's muzzle, with the lion king smiling at him.
"Oh right," Sora said, loudly enough that all the others could hear. "I'm now an uncle."
He could immediately feel the eyes of all of his friends and the friends of his friends looking upon him for a few second before they strayed towards Roxas and Naminé, who were both blushing now that almost all the attention was being drawn towards them. Only Jiminy, Donald, Goofy, King Mickey, and Thessaura were not looking at the pair, as they were the only ones who knew exactly what Sora's comment meant.
"Na-Naminé," Kairi stuttered, unsure of the words coming out of her mouth, "is there something you and Roxas would like to share with us?"
"I'd rather hope that there would be something Roxas might like to share with me," Naminé said, looking at the blonde boy next to her while she folded her arms. "Because if Sora's an uncle, where's the baby?"
Roxas helplessly floundered for a few seconds, a string of incomprehensive words and half-statements escaping his lips while he tried to figure out just what Sora was talking about, and how he could get out of being in trouble with Naminé without doing anything. Sora finally decided to rescue his brother with a laugh that drew everyone's attention back to him.
"I'm an uncle, to Kiara," he finished.
"To Kiara?" Kairi asked, looking at him with a queer look in her eyes. "Simba's daughter?"
"How?" asked Alice.
"I took him in while he was in the Pride Lands," said Simba, "and named Sora my foster-brother to give him the protection of the pride from the Outsiders."
"So now I'm Kiara's uncle," Sora continued, "and guess what else this means, being the brother to the King of Pride Rock?"
"You're a prince," answered Naminé in an awed voice.
The word 'prince' echoed as most looked at Sora with astonishment. But there was only one person he would suffer his eyes to look at. Kairi was staring at him like she had never stared at him before, and that made Sora uneasy. There was no glimmer of hope in her eyes, no sparkle to reveal how much she loved him, no indication whatsoever that she was even glad that he'd said that.
"Kairi?" Sora asked uncertainly. "Are- are you okay?"
"Sora," Kairi's lips said slowly in a quiet voice that kept him rooted to the spot, "are you really?"
Sora nodded his head slightly. "Yes."
Kairi was motionless for a second, and then her body trembled for the most fleeting of moments before she had given a cry of joy and leapt onto his startled and completely unprepared body, bringing him onto the ground with her as the princess of Radiant Garden's lips connected with those of the prince of Pride Rock.
Sora didn't remember that they were surrounded by close to a hundred others, didn't remember that they were in a very compromising position; didn't remember that every eye had turned onto them. All he knew was that he was a prince and a beautiful princess was kissing him. One of his hands went to Kairi's head, the other to her back, and pressed her closer to him as he let himself go into that kiss, doing his best to show her without words that he loved her.
"That's one problem gone then," said Riku as he watched the moment from above the two wielders as they lay plastered to the platform's top. "Sora's a prince; he can now marry Kairi when he gets the courage to go down on one knee."
Sora and Kairi instantly broke apart and scrambled to their feet, both of them blushing something awful. In their haste to express their love for one another in the joy that eventually they'd be able to spend the rest of their lives together they had both completely forgotten that they were not alone. Sora did not believe that he was at fault though. Whenever Kairi kissed him everything else melted away, leaving only him and Kairi together. There were no keyblades when they were together; there was no Maleficent, and no darkness, only light.
Light shone from the tip of Thessaura's staff and all attention was directed to her. She opened her mouth to speak, but another voice spoke before she could.
"You're not about to start without us, are you Thessaura?"
Bright light shone around the remaining ten thrones, and when Sora opened his eyes again after closing them to prevent himself from being blinded he found that each one was now occupied. In the throne to Thessaura's right (excluding the one of cloud which Zeus now sat in) there sat a thickly built, incredibly muscled man in a full suit of shining white armour and a plumed helmet with black horsehair. A longsword in its scabbard was sheathed to his left hip, and a circular shield and an array of different weapons were piled at the base of his throne. His helmet hid his grizzled black hair and partially restricted sight of his thick, bushy beard that extended half a foot down his front. His eyes were the very same colour of Thessaura's.
Next to him was another man. His skin was tanned to bronze and his face and body were strong. Dressed in rich robes of red, purple, and gold, the man wore a crown of golden stars that softly shone overtop of his wise grey eyes and caramel hair. He held a golden sceptre in one hand.
Next to him was a woman, beautiful brown hair resting on her shoulders that were clad in a silver and gold top ending an inch above her navel and with sleeves halfway down her upper arm. Her legs were adorned in the lower half of a silver dress that flowed down to her feet clad in white sandals. Her amber eyes shone with a clairvoyance that slightly unnerved Sora, and her white skin was rich and healthy.
Next to her was another man with long white hair that looked as if it had just recently been wet. He wore long robes of turquoise and his skin had a slightly grey tint to it, as if it had been underwater for a while. His eyes were green, and a long spear leaned against the base of his throne.
Next to him was a woman in brown and green, hair the colour of a raven running down to the small of her back in a long circular tail, a circular earthy forest green clasp keeping it all together close to the end of the tail. Brown boots were upon her feet. Her eyes were brown and cool over a calm face, while gloves of supple brown leather rested on her hands. A brown quiver was near her throne, long arrows with black fletching sticking out of it, and against the quiver there was a simple longbow of yew.
To her right was a large and thick man with curly dirty-blonde hair. He had a very round and joyful face, a large and bulbous nose protruding slightly over a double chin. He alone wore a toga, and that was purple. Sora would have very much preferred that he was not in a toga, for it revealed a great amount of the god's fat and flabby body. A golden cup was in his right hand, and a wreath of laurel leaves was set around his curly hair.
To his right was another male god, whose robes were white and gold. His hair was the colour of yellow sand, and his silver eyes shone with an ethereal light. A staff of dark wood was in his hands, but there was a ball of light set in its clutching top that shone with a soft, soothing light.
Next to him was a male god with a handsome face and short brown hair. His eyes were green, and he was dressed in a black and white suit, with a pair of very shiny black pointed shoes on his feet. On one arm of his throne was a skull, and in his left hand there was a can of diet pop.
To his right was a goddess who in had exquisite red hair drawn beautifully into a knot with a golden butterfly brooch on the back of her head. She wore a dress of light green that extended to just above her ankles, and near the base of her throne was a basket of apples.
On her right and Thessaura's left beyond Triton there was another woman, who had blonde hair much like Thessaura's, except it was all drawn into a tight knot to the back of her head, and eyes exactly like Thessaura's and the god kitted out for battle. She was not as richly garbed as the Goddess of Light, or any of the other Gods that had appeared on the thrones. She was garbed instead in a simple white blouse and a pair of black pants with a brown leather smock covering her front. Her hands were not as delicate as any other goddess, they were calloused and rough, with hard skin that was cracked in some places. On her lap rested a thick hammer that had obviously seen much wear.
Sora looked around at them all nervously, especially at the one on Thessaura's right. He looked ready to kill something at a moment's notice. But he looked once more at Thessaura and he felt his fears and nerves being calmed by the light coming out of her staff.
The Goddess of Light was looking around at the other divine beings herself, specifically at the god with the sceptre in his hand. "Havarelnyë, Wagneir."
"Oh dispense with the Quintessence Thessy," said the god in the armour who sat aside Zeus, his voice rich and thick with kind gruffness. "Most of the people here can't even understand it. Let's just speak in a tongue that they know."
A thin blush of embarrassment appeared on Thessaura's cheeks and she looked angrily at the armoured god. "Rathgar! I thought I mentioned to you not to call me by that name while we entertain the-"
"You never did Thessy," interrupted the goddess in the smock next to Triton, smiling smugly at the Goddess of Light.
Thessaura's attention was then directed towards that goddess instead. "Please stop calling me that Tylythia," she said, trying to maintain a tentative hold on her dignity.
"Are your siblings suddenly not allowed to call you by the friendly nickname we have had for you for the last two thousand years Thessaura?" asked Rathgar, taking off his helmet and letting it rest on his knee while he shook his mane of black hair. He grinned at her.
"Yeah," Sora said unexpectedly. "We call Kairi 'Kai' all the time, no matter who is around." He turned slightly and placed an arm on her shoulder.
"Isn't that right Kai?" Riku asked, placing his arm on her other shoulder. Kairi groaned and Riku and Sora gave each other high fives with their other hands.
"Never matter," said the goddess dressed like the woods, her voice strong and swift. "Allow us to introduce ourselves to you, wielders of the keyblade, princesses of heart, and your friends."
"I wouldn't exactly call Gaston and Lefou friends," Prince Alain muttered under his breath.
"I am Wagneir," said the god who held the sceptre in a powerful voice, "King of the Ancient Gods, and Lord of the Skies and Thunder."
"I am Shankela," softly said the woman next to him with a voice that held much mysticism behind it. "I am Queen of the Gods, and Prophecy and Fate are mine."
"And I am Oberian," said the god with wet looking hair. "The Seas are my dominion."
"I am Olina," added the goddess who sat beside him, "Goddess of the Forests and the Hunt."
"And I," the large god who wore the toga said emphatically, raising his golden cup with a shake of his wrist in which a little red liquid spilled out of, "am Marenk, God of the Vine and Wine! -hic-!"
The other gods and goddesses looked at him with disdain for a few seconds before the god to the drunkard's right raised his staff of dark wood with the white orb atop it slightly. "I am Heith," he said, "God of the Dead." Sora and Kairi looked at him nervously for a second while the god in the suit next to him sat up straighter in his seat. They had just gone through Sora's memory of defeating a different Lord of the Dead.
"I'm Cruse," said the smartly dressed god, stroking the skull with one finger. "The Arts are mine."
"That's our kind of professional!" Manny said, looking at Cruse with respect. The god took a sip of his diet pop and looked towards the goddess to his right.
"I am Aienith," said the beautiful goddess in her green dress, "Goddess of Husbandry and the Home."
"I am Tylythia," quickly remarked the goddess to Thessaura's left, "Goddess of the Forge."
"Thessaura," proclaimed the Goddess of Light, "Goddess of Light and Healing."
"And I am Rathgar," boomed the armoured god. "I am the God of Battle and Sport. Thessy and Tyly are my sisters, and thank you again Tyly for the nice shield you made for my birthday last week."
"You're welcome brother," said Tylythia, shaking her head slightly.
"I am sure you are all wondering why you are here," Thessaura said. Many replies were voiced back to her in affirmative tones.
"I have a question," Gaston said loudly. "Why should I care?" The next instant he found several weapons of differing varieties pointed at his throat.
"Because they're gods," Prince Alain answered in a dark and warning tone as his rapier slid next to Gaston's skin.
"Alright calm down pretty boy," Gaston muttered, pushing the blades away from him with his thick arms.
"So why are we here?" Naminé asked tiredly, leaning on Roxas for support. She was still very tired after manipulating so many memories. "I know that you told me to gather the other princesses of heart Thessaura, but why? And why is everyone else that we've met on other worlds here too?"
"Wielders of the keyblade," Wagneir said, forcing eyes to him as he avoided Naminé's questions. "Summon your weapons." Flashes of light revealed the presence of the keyblades in the hands of the wielders. King Mickey held the keyblade of the realm of darkness, the Reverse Kingdom Key, in Riku's more than capable hand there lay Way to the Dawn, and Naminé held Island's Fire in her limp grasp, not bothering to bring out the shield she also wielded. To both of Roxas' hands came Twilight Thorn and the Oblivion. To Asterix's call came Indomitable, and within Kairi's hands she held the Oathkeeper, while Sora held Remembrance in his right hand.
"There are currently seven wielders of the keyblade in the realm of light," Tylythia said. "But it was not always so, and it will not always be so."
"There are six who stand here who are among the Nine," said Shankela. "Six among those here who are Wielders of Power."
"Six?" King Mickey asked, looking around quickly. "Who are they?"
"Three of them have already started to use their power," Rathgar said. "But, unfortunately for you Mickey Mouse of Disney Castle, you're not one of the six."
Sora saw King Mickey's ears droop slightly in disappointment. But the revelation that of the people upon the platform six of them were Wielders of Power was still very big news.
The powers of three have already started to awaken, Sora thought, looking down at Remembrance. He thought of its name, and closed his eyes when he remembered when he called it. The silver fire, was that one of the powers?
Sora must have gasped in his revelation, because when he opened his eyes the others were looking at him. Deciding it would be best not to beat around the bush, Sora looked up at Rathgar. "Am I one of them?"
"Why do you ask, Keyblade Master?" Rathgar returned.
"When I was just in the Pride Lands," Sora explained, "I fought a number of heartless and nobodies to defend my niece and her friend, and one of my own friends. While I was fighting, I summoned this keyblade, and some of the attacks I used were silver. What was that?"
"Your power is awakening," Olina answered, causing Sora to turn around and forcing him to look past Ironhide to get a look at her face.
"You are the Crown Star Wielder of Twilight Sora," Tylythia said.
"Twilight?" Roxas asked, looking in confusion at Sora. Sora looked back at his brother. It didn't make sense to him that he'd be Twilight either. Twilight made more sense for Roxas. He had been a nobody and born in Twilight Town; his keyblade was called Twilight Thorn. Why should Sora be the wielder of Twilight?
"Then who is the other wielder whose power is awakening?" Jasmine asked as Sora and Roxas jointly contemplated Sora being Twilight.
"The other wielder princess Jasmine is one of your fellow princesses of heart," Shankela said. "Princess Kairi Talerith, you are the Crown Star Wielder of Light."
Kairi blinked a few times before shaking her head with a slight smile. "How did I know that I would be light?" she asked rhetorically.
"Ya know one of the things I don't get Donald?" Goofy asked.
"What's that Goofy?" Donald asked, a slightly exasperated sigh in his voice.
"What's the difference between Sora and the others?" Goofy asked, placing a finger to his chin in thought. "I mean, we know that Sora's the chosen master of the keyblade and all... but since keyblades choose their wielders, does that mean that King Mickey and Riku and Kairi are all chosen masters too? And why is it that we call Riku a keyblade master while Sora is the keyblade master, and Asterix is just a keyblade wielder?"
"The answers are all within the keyblades themselves Goofy," said Master Yen Sid.
"And the questions are about to be answered," Wagneir said. He looked towards Thessaura, Rathgar, and Tylythia and nodded his head.
Thessaura dipped her own head, and Sora grasped Kairi in surprise as the platform beneath them vanished.
"Ah!" Kuzco yelled, "What's happening?"
"Thousands of years ago," Thessaura began, her voice becoming a haunting tonic that kept Sora's attention even as many of the people on the platform faded from Sora's sight, leaving only the princesses of heart, wielders of the keyblade, Donald, Goofy, Jiminy Cricket, Aiwemon and Menelmon, and Thessaura alone, "all of the worlds were connected as one great world that was bathed in the light."
The darkness that was beneath Sora shattered in a sudden light, revealing a far green country beneath him, with a sea off in the distance. The sky around them was no longer black, and was instead the regular robin's egg blue of the sky in the daylight. There was a large city upon the land, with a great white castle sitting directly beneath them and astride the city. Many other cities and castles were set and scattered upon the lands, farther or nearer off than the one beneath them, a couple were close to the sea, but all of them seemed quite peaceful and filled with light just as Thessaura said.
"The people's hearts were all filled with light," continued Thessaura, "and all was peaceful and well. But eventually darkness started to creep into the hearts of men, and they began to fight over the light and destroy each other as the darkness spread."
The scene changed horrifically below them. The light upon the land was gone, as the sky had turned to a dark cloudy night. The grasses and forests and cities were burning beneath them, spiralling columns of smoke coming into the sky like the coils of undulating snakes in the fiery light from the burning lands beneath them. Screams rang up from the bloodstained world, and Sora tried to force himself to look away, but found himself too horrified not to.
"The world fell into darkness, torn apart by greed, lust, anger and hatred, and we gods wept for our people, but were unable to do anything about it, having already agreed not to personally interfere in the affairs of the world beyond certain bounds. The darkness grew, and it seemed to us that our creation would be destroyed by itself. But there were some who were still able to see the light, some who did not want their world to end and fall into darkness. The children of the world still held onto their light in their hearts."
Many tiny pricks of light began to glow from the ground of the dark world, cracks of fire now beginning to surface as the world tore itself apart. The lights shot off from the world and through the clouds into the stars, many tiny pinpricks of light forming among those lights in the heavens. The dark world beneath the group broke apart with the departure of the lights, and pieces left to follow them.
"From the remains of their one world, the light in the hearts of children rebuilt it as hundreds of different worlds, each filled with varieties of people, powers, and creatures created from the innocent imaginations of those children. After those worlds had been created, all of the children lost interest in each world, and left them to their own devices. They came together and formed one more world, one where they would live and abide in the light together. Those children were the forbearers of the Ancients, the Cetra they are also called, of whom your friend Aerith is the last of."
"Aerith is descended from those people?" Donald asked quickly in astonishment. Thessaura nodded her head but did not elaborate.
"We gods were disturbed about the threat of the darkness on the hearts of men," Thessaura continued as the scene shifted so that they were all simply standing in the midst of the cosmos, thousands of stars twinkling behind them. "We had not foreseen that the darkness in the heart could grow strong enough to destroy the world, and even though the children of the world were successful in halting the darkness, we knew that it would never again be gone, and that it would once more gain hold of the hearts of men and try to destroy and ravage what had now become the many hundreds of worlds created from the one."
"It was actually my brother Rathgar who devised an idea of how to combat the threat of darkness. Create a weapon of light that would be wielded by those of strong and good hearts, those who would fight to keep the forces of darkness at bay; these weapons would be our way of intervening so that catastrophes like what happened to the world would never arise again. He confronted Tylythia and myself and proposed it to us first, to see what we would think, and both of us were intrigued by the idea before we together brought it before Wagneir and the other gods. After little debate, it was accepted. However, what took many years of debate was to what kind of weapon it would be, how much power would be imbued within it, how many of these weapons there would be, and exactly what qualities should be looked for within the hearts of the wielders."
"During this time, it was discovered by Heith and myself that even the new worlds created by the children had hearts of their own, and that there were pathways towards the hearts of these worlds. At the same time, Olina discovered that there was an entire realm of darkness that had formed parallel to this, our realm of light. At the time the hearts of the worlds were again filled with light, but we all agreed that if darkness came again from the realm of darkness, that the darkness would try to corrupt the hearts of the worlds themselves to darkness, and destroy them. We realized that if this situation should occur, then the wielders of the weapons should be the ones to seal the pathway to their world's heart, and that there should be at least one wielder to every world."
"So you needed something to seal the keyhole to the heart of a world then?" King Mickey asked, looking at his keyblade.
Thessaura nodded. "Yes, we needed a weapon that could lock the pathway to make it inaccessible. There was much debate again for how this could be accomplished. Olina thought it best to shoot an arrow into the keyhole, my brother thought of bashing it closed with a hammer, but it was surprisingly Marenk who came up with the simplest idea, and the one we all accepted. Why not use a key to lock the path?"
"Tylythia began forging them at once, and the first one she made was the Kingdom Key, the first keyblade. Although the Kingdom Key was not given as much power as we would later imbue within the blades, it was directed to choose its master using all of the qualities we wished for a wielder of the keyblade."
"And what- what were those qualities?" Sora asked hesitantly. The Kingdom Key had been the first keyblade to come to him when Destiny Islands were being destroyed, and it had been the first to come back to him just the day before in the Pride Lands.
Thessaura smiled at him. "Your heart already knows Sora, for it fulfills them all. A desire to protect the innocent, safeguard those you love, resistance to use the power given in a manner that is inherently evil; and most important of all: a willingness to help those in need."
"So in essence," Alice said, looking at Sora, "a valiant and chivalrous heart." Sora blushed slightly and placed his hands on the back of his head. Kairi giggled slightly and kissed him on the cheek.
Goofy laughed. "That's Sora alright, ahyuk!"
"Even though it does get us into some tight spots sometimes," Donald grumbled.
"Hey," Sora said whilst grinning and coking his head to the side, his hands still tied in his hair on the back of his head in a usual pose for him, "what tight spots have we gotten into that we haven't been able to get out of?"
Donald was silent for a few seconds before he emitted a look of triumph. "You still haven't done number three on your checklist."
Sora blinked and laughed sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head with closed eyes. Donald was referring to the checklist he'd composed on their second adventure after waking up in Twilight Town. It read as follows: Number one: Find Riku. Number two: Come back home to Kairi and Destiny Islands. Number four: Defeat Organization XIII.
Number three was: Ask Kairi out on a date. And it was something he still hadn't actually done!
"What was number three?" Jasmine asked, looking at Sora in curiosity.
"Never mind," he said, "it doesn't matter right now, right Thessaura?"
"Very true Sora," she said, nodding her head and inclining to continue. "The Kingdom Key, and all keyblades since, was crafted in the forge of the gods, using techniques known only to Tylythia. Great magic lies within it, and the power to unlock the strength within the heart of the one who wields it. Of course, the keyblade can also open any lock, and seal any door. Even without holding the keyblade in your hands, after a keyblade has chosen you as its master, your heart will always be your greatest weapon."
"It was you!" Sora exclaimed suddenly. He knew he had heard her voice before, but it had always been in his head at the time. "You were the one! Yours was the voice I'd been hearing when I had that dream, when I fought the Darkside on the platform, when I first got the keyblade! It was you the whole time!"
"Yes Sora," Thessaura said, smiling. "It was always me. Rathgar, Tylythia, Heith, and myself are the gods most tied to the keyblades and their wielders. Rathgar gives a wielder physical strength and endurance and longer life beyond any normal being of their race. Tylythia grants the wielder their weapon and the ability to unlock the power sleeping within their heart. I speak to the heart and look after them in life so that they may fulfill their destiny and reach the peak of their power and do good; and Heith takes care of your soul and heart in the afterlife, in Kingdom Hearts."
"Kingdom Hearts!" cried Donald.
"Yes Donald, Kingdom Hearts," explained Thessaura. "Kingdom Hearts holds the spirits of all the departed wielders of the keyblade who did good in the realm of light, which is why Kingdom Hearts itself is light. But Kingdom Hearts is also a doorway to the realm of darkness, and if one attains Kingdom Hearts through evil means, the powers of darkness open themselves to that person. Such is what has transpired, and Maleficent holds powers of darkness far greater than what she should hold for one of the realm of light."
"But let me continue my tale. After the Kingdom Key was forged, it lay dormant in a special room of the armoury, built just for these keyblades. We at first wondered if the requirements we had set on the wielders were too strict, for the keyblade had not gone to one it sensed able to be its master. Tylythia forged new keyblades, ones of different shape and power, with different keychains that went to each individual keyblade, but still they lay dormant and unmoving within the armoury upon their stands. The majority of keyblades take the appearance close to that of a sword, but they can take the shape of anything from whips to bows to musical instruments depending on what Tylythia forged them as. Then darkness began to creep back into the hearts of the creatures of the world, and the Kingdom Key, the first keyblade, chose its first master from amongst all the people of the worlds nigh on twelve thousand years ago." Sora looked down at his keyblade in amazement. The keyblades themselves were thousands of years old! How old must this keyblade that he held in his hand, this keyblade that was made especially for him, how old must it be?
"We spoke to the first keyblade master," Thessaura continued, "and explained the purpose of the weapon to him, a humble mouse. We explained about the other worlds, and the darkness that had first come and destroyed the world, and that there may be other wielders of the keyblade out amongst those worlds as other keyblades chose their masters. It was a lot for him to take in, and he believed at the start that he was not ready for such a responsibility, but that if the keyblade believed that he had what it took, then he would do his best. Together with his friends and other wielders that began to arise he defeated the gathering darkness and defended the worlds, but it was not completely defeated and would never be subdued forever. Agents of the darkness remained and cropped up to try and wreck havoc and destroy the worlds again, while the uncoordinated, mindless forces of darkness continued constantly, and the few wielders we started with soon began to feel overwhelmed and strained by the toll that fighting constantly across a thousand worlds was taking on them. So Tylythia continued, forging more keyblades until there was a number that was close to five for every world, but the keyblades did not always find masters, there were not enough people who fit the qualities we'd chosen."
"It was then that we made our greatest mistake," Thessaura said regretfully. "We decided that as long as the keyblades were able to find wielders who had strong hearts and at least two of the qualities we had agreed upon, the worlds would be fine. This worked well for many hundreds of years. Keyblades would appear to those who needed them to fight evil whenever the balance was threatened, and many of the wielders became celebrated heroes across the worlds as the darkness and the evil powers that tried to use it were kept in check and subdued time after time."
"But there were quite a few instances in which a wielder of the keyblade who had started out well became corrupted by the power that had been granted to them, and tried to use darkness and the powers of the keyblade that had chosen them for evil purposes. When I would learn that darkness had corrupted that wielder's heart, we gods would meet with the current chosen master of the keyblade and discuss the situation with the keyblade master to see if there was a way to turn the wielder back to the light. If we found that there could be no way, then it was the duty of the other wielders to subdue the rogue, and we would banish the fallen wielder into the realm of darkness."
"As all this was happening, we gods rarely interfered, and left the decision making to the leaders of the worlds and the wielders of the keyblade. Over time, as the number of rogues increased and the realm of darkness began to become a prison, we decided to stop interfering entirely except to banish wielders and grant them our power if the situation called for it. An organization, called the Chasers Organization formed, and its headquarters was set on the world of the Cetra, for they were all still good people who bathed in and enjoyed the light, and their hearts were free from darkness. A good number of them were keyblade wielders themselves, and felt a strong sense of duty in being wielders of the weapon created by their gods."
The star-spangled spacescape that they were standing in shifted, and now they appeared to be near a string of high buildings of yellow brick with roofs that were red. They appeared to be in a courtyard of sorts, grey cobblestone beneath them with a splendid water fountain and gardens of beauty rivalling those in Radiant Garden set around the courtyard. The Sun was shining in the sky, and birds were singing in trees nearby as white clouds floated across the peaceful skies above them. People milled about, men and women and youth, most of whom were human but there were a few that were definitely not human. One of them looked human, but his skin was entirely blue, which sent curious thoughts through Sora's mind. Hades had taken to looking like a being like this when he had put on the guise of Sir Sedah. Were Ebuniks and Grascora actually real? Whatever the case, all of them had a crest somewhere on their dress that showed the Kingdom Key displayed over a silver teardrop shield, the top of which was not round, but in three points with the metal curving between them.
"The Chaser Knights as they were commonly called were militaristic in their organization. When a new wielder of the keyblade was found, they were inducted into the Chaser Knights as a Keyblade Initiate, and began a life that was of devotion to the service of the light and all that was good in the worlds. As they progressed in skill and strength, they became an Acolyte, until they gained the respectful rank and title of Keyblade Wielder. It was the Wielders that were assigned to protecting the worlds from harm and the threat of darkness and evil forces, while the Initiates and Acolytes spent their first several years with the keyblade in training under the Masters. A Wielder could later become a Weapons or Mage Master depending on which area they studied while not defending the worlds from darkness if they were so inclined to continue their training. A full Master was one who was greatly proficient in the both the physical use of their keyblade and in the use of magic. The head of the Chasers was always the chosen master of the keyblade, and was referred to as the Grand Master of the Keyblade. There were none of higher power than the Grand Master, and his decision was final. However militaristic it seemed, many of the Chaser Knights, no matter what level, did also have personal lives, and would settle down and lead relatively normal lives except for when duty called upon them."
"There can only ever one chosen master of the keyblade at a time. The one to whom the Kingdom Key appears before all other keyblades, the one who wields the Kingdom Key. They may attach other keychains to the Kingdom Key and change its shape and name, but they still wield the Kingdom Key. The chosen master of the keyblade may not start as the strongest of the wielders, but none can ever take their keyblade from them completely, and the keyblade will never wholly forsake them no matter what situation they are in. The Keyblade's Chosen Master has within them the strongest heart of all their fellow wielders, and holds sway over all keyblades, for they are the epitome of what embodies a keyblade wielder. Every chosen master has known this from the first until the last Grand Master of the Keyblade and leader of the Chaser Knights. And now you know as well Sora."
"Thanks," Sora replied, a little confused about all the information that he was taking in. Aiwemon appeared to have tuned it out and was looking out into the sky as if itching to fly into it. Jiminy was near Sora's foot, scratching furiously into his journal with a pencil as Thessaura spoke. Kairi and many of the others were watching and listening to Thessaura intently, and Asterix and King Mickey were both nodding their heads as if they'd known all this information about this organization already.
"What about me?" Roxas asked. "Sora's not the only one who then wields the Kingdom Key. So do I. Since I was Sora, does that make me the chosen master of the keyblade as well?"
"You are a most peculiar oddity Roxas," Thessaura said, causing Roxas to avert his eyes in an anxious manner. "Because you were born the nobody of the chosen master of the keyblade, the Kingdom Key will still come to your call, even though you yourself are not the keyblade's chosen master. It would seem that because of your special connection to Sora, that you would be something similar to an understudy, or a backup chosen master of the keyblade if you will."
"So I'm Sora's number two?" Roxas asked for clarification. Thessaura smiled and nodded her head in confirmation. Sora clapped Roxas on the back.
"I knew there had to be a reason for keeping you around," he said. "Who else could be me if I do something stupid and Kairi kills me?"
Roxas gave a dry laugh. "If Kairi kills you what's to say that she's not going to go out and kill the other you, being ME?"
Naminé giggled. "You're hair's a different colour," she said, entwining her fingers in his angular blonde locks. "And I'd pacify her enough so that I could keep my toy."
Roxas raised an eyebrow. "So I'm a toy now am I?" he asked. "Well then, I think that this toy wants to play a little." He cupped Naminé's tired chin in his hand and began to ease her lips towards his.
Riku groaned and nudged Roxas slightly, but it was enough to send the former nobody tumbling to the ground. "Cut it out Roxas," he said before looking at Thessaura curiously. "What was that you mentioned about a mistake?"
Thessaura sighed as Roxas glared at Riku and rubbed his chin. "As I mentioned before, wielders went rogue as they allowed the darkness and evil intentions to control their actions, and abused their powers. We exiled many of these wielders to the realm of darkness. The first one of them held the Reverse Kingdom Key, which took you for its new master, Mickey Mouse."
The King looked in surprise at the keyblade he still held and Thessaura smiled slightly. "Do not fear. Keyblades themselves could never be evil nor can they turn those who they choose to be their masters to evil. But once we exiled these wielders to the realm of darkness we paid little attention to them, until we learned that their keyblades had gone with them. Wagneir himself investigated the matter personally and found that in the realm of darkness, surrounded by the power that they had chosen, those exiled wielders had become peaceful once more and lived comfortable lives in the parallel worlds of darkness, inhabited by people who dwelt in the realm of darkness completely parallel to our realm of light. And so we left them to their own devices and allowed them to keep their keyblades, which stayed in the realm of darkness after they passed on, and did not let them enter our minds anymore, apart from meaning that Tylythia would have to forge a new keyblade for every one that had been banished with its wielder to the realm of darkness."
The scene shifted once more, and now the group was once more amongst the stars.
"But then tragedy struck," said Thessaura. "With the Chaser Knights watching over the worlds on their own initiative and power, we, I, neglected my watch on the hearts of the wielders, and fifty years ago the worst slipped through after attaining a keyblade: Xehanort."
All attention was immediately returned to Thessaura at the mention of his name. Sora and Riku and Kairi looked at Thessaura in stunned horror. Xehanort, the Xehanort, the man who had become both heartless and nobody and had tried to take Kingdom Hearts twice had held a keyblade? As the seconds passed by Jiminy's pencil's scratching stopped and it became poised and ready for Thessaura to continue. Now they were getting into the recent history, now they were delving into the events which would lead to what nearly all of them knew about.
"Xehanort was not always called Xehanort. His name when he received the keyblade was Nhaerto, and he started like any other Initiate," Thessaura explained. "Plucky and adventurous, courageous and filled with ideas and fantasies about saving the worlds like the wielders before him who, in his eye, had been lucky enough to be the ones to defeat an awesome evil that had tried to destroy the worlds. But he quickly became different from the other young keyblade initiates. He was far more powerful and skilled for one of his age, just passed eight. I should have mentioned before, but keyblades tended to appear to their masters at a much younger age than before they appeared to you. Nhaerto was a very quick study and capable of learning and mastering in a time frame rarely seen."
"As he increased in skill and power, his heart began to grow greedy and lustful for power, but he was a very good actor, and he fooled close to everyone. By the age of eighteen he had attained the rank and power of full Master, something rarely seen. He began to become obsessed with power, and felt that the Chasers were weaklings and holding him back from reaching his full potential. When he was twenty-five he was already deep in studies of the darkness of the heart, and had opened his heart to the powers of darkness. We didn't know, for my watch had grown lax over the years, and it was not unknown anymore for a wielder to use the powers of darkness in defence of the light. Such was the path of Balhafa, the first Wielder of Dawn. But Nhaerto had opened his heart to darkness to such a degree that he was able to enter the realm of darkness itself, and once in there he took on the guise of Xehanort, and gathered to him the exiled and new wielders of the keyblade that lived and fought within the realm of darkness. He formed them into an army, and showed them how to once more enter the realm of light before leaving for our realm himself."
"For twelve long years he watched and waited and studied, going only occasionally to the realm of darkness to train them and inform them of the Chaser Knights, their strengths and weaknesses, and the worlds of the realm of light. And when the wielders from the realm of darkness first struck it was at the headquarters of the Chaser Knights itself. Many wielders were caught unprepared and unnerved, and most importantly of all, unwilling to fight against other wielders of the keyblade. But Xehanort played his part and fought against the wielders of the realm of darkness, appearing to kill them while only wounding them."
"The Chasers' headquarters and academy was destroyed, and many wielders and most of the young ones were killed suddenly, as well as a great many of the Cetra. The Grand Master and many of the different Masters made it out, including Xehanort, but loses were high and aggravating, and the world of the Cetra was completely destroyed. The wielders of the realm of darkness called in their army. The keyblade wielders of the realm of light regrouped, and went to each of their homeworlds to enlist their support. So began the keyblade wars."
"That was twenty-one years ago," Thessaura said. "The war lasted for three long years, and by the end of it, many of the wielders of the keyblade had perished. The Chaser Knights were all but extinct, replaced by the organization known as Star Command that had been created to oversee the areas where the dwindling Chasers could not. The realm of light was victorious, and the last of the wielders from the realm of darkness duelled with the last Grand Master of the Keyblade in an epic duel of Kingdom Key against Reverse Kingdom Key. Both perished after the fighting in their respective realms."
"Xehanort had known all along that the realm of light would be victorious, but he knew that even with his power he could not take on the Grand Master who had the support and aid of dozens of other masters and hundreds of wielders by himself."
"So he created a war to destroy that support," Sora growled, "to make himself the most powerful wielder in existence so that none could stop him."
"Correct Sora," Thessaura said, nodding. "The war ended almost nineteen years ago now, and by the end of it many of the worlds had begun to distance themselves from the other worlds, especially those worlds that had sided with those from the realm of darkness. This suited Xehanort, and the apprentice he had taken on during the keyblade wars, and over the next decade they studied further into the darkness in the heart, specifically the hearts of worlds and Kingdom Hearts itself. Xehanort learned that the souls and hearts of the wielders of the keyblade had entered Kingdom Hearts, and so knew that because of his war, it was brimming with power. He hunted down the remaining wielders of the keyblade until there were only six left against him and his apprentice. Those six were Master Walt and his three apprentices, Terra, Aqua, and Ventus, yourself Mickey Mouse, and you Asterix."
"Little had been revealed to anyone of what Nhaerto had actually been doing or where his allegiances lay, so Master Walt was troubled by the apparent disappearance of Master Nhaerto and almost eleven years ago sent his three young apprentices to look for him. During their search, Xehanort and his apprentice found Master Walt, and killed him. Master Walt's apprentices found where Xehanort had been staying, and the vast horde of his research data as well as his notes and journals over the past years, and discovered everything. They rushed back to their Master to find him dead and a message left behind for them. The three remaining Chaser Knights rushed to a special world known only as The Forgotten Crossroads."
"The Forgotten Crossroads?" Donald asked.
"When Tylythia forges a keyblade, it is placed within the a room in the armoury of the gods to await the wielder it shall choose. After that wielder has passed on, the keyblade goes to The Forgotten Crossroads to await another to call their master. It was in this graveyard of keyblades that Terra, Aqua, and Ventus fought Xehanort and his apprentice in an attempt to bring him to justice for his crimes."
"What happened?" Kairi asked, a quiver in her voice as if she already knew the answer. Sora placed an arm around her shoulders and gave her a gentle squeeze.
"They were defeated," Thessaura said regretfully. "Ventus was frozen by Xehanort's magic, and died soon after. Aqua herself lost the will to live after Ven's departure and died of a broken heart; and Terra-"
"Was found by me," King Mickey spoke up.
"By you Your Majesty?" Jasmine asked.
"Yes," King Mickey answered. "I found Terra on the battlefield there, one arm frozen and his heart filled with anger at Nhaerto. He told me everything he could, and told me where I could go to find all the information I needed. The only thing I did not know until now was that Nhaerto was Xehanort. Not even in his notes did he mention the name change."
"But before you left Terra and found Xehanort's research," Thessaura continued, "Xehanort used his keyblade to reveal to him Kingdom Hearts, and was about to take its power when at last, we deemed it necessary to intervene ourselves. We charged Kingdom Hearts itself to defeat Xehanort, and in its power Xehanort's apprentice was killed and destroyed completely. Xehanort himself had his appearance changed and his memory of his past life completely erased, and was marked so that no keyblade would ever come to call him its master ever again. He was transported to a different world where he became a scientist on the workings of the heart under Ansem the Wise."
"What happened in Radiant Garden?" Kairi asked. "Because according to this, around that time was when-"
"An assassin under contract from an underground rebel group in Radiant Garden, I believe you know who they are princess, entered Radiant Garden and its castle. Your parents and older brother were slain by the assassin, though your father and his bodyguard put up a valiant fight, and your mother was able to get you away to Ansem the Wise, who whisked you off world personally just as Xehanort opened the door to darkness that had appeared in the laboratory."
"And Ansem the Wise brought you to Destiny Islands," Sora said, squeezing Kairi comfortingly as his arm was still wrapped around her shoulder. "Brought you to us."
"He took you to a little-known backwater world that knew of the events that had transpired in the recent decade, but had never had a wielder before and did not partake in the keyblade wars," Thessaura said, smiling at the looks of indignation on Sora, Riku, and Kairi's faces at hearing their home being called such.
"It's not a backwater world," Kairi said. "It's a tropical island paradise!"
"Except when you want to get off of it," Riku said guiltily.
"What happened to Terra?" Snow White asked.
"He passed away too," King Mickey said in a sorrowful voice. "His body and heart couldn't take the toll from the battle and losing his master and two best friends, and he departed."
"And so that left only Mickey and Asterix as the last wielders of the keyblade for ten years," Thessaura said. "And no keyblades appeared before another person, as now it was uncertain even in their eyes who could be trusted to wield them. In the meantime, Ansem the Wise took control of Radiant Garden and led it well for some months, and Xehanort delved once more into darkness and swayed Ansem's other apprentices to open their hearts to darkness. They deposed Ansem the Wise and Xehanort took up his master's place under Ansem's name. Ansem became trapped in the Realm of Darkness by Xehanort's doing, and learned to use it as a tool to escape to try and plot his revenge on his apprentices. Soon after deposing Ansem though, Xehanort's heartless, Xemnas, and the other starting nobodies of the early Organization XIII, left Radiant Garden to Maleficent when she came, and the rest you all know."
"Not quite," Riku said. "I'm the Rose Star Wielder of Dawn, Sora and Kairi are the Crown Star Wielders of Twilight and Light, what are the Legendary Wielders of Power anyway and how are we different from a regular wielder of the keyblade?"
"I was hoping that you would ask about that," Thessaura said with a smile. "The Nine Wielders of Power: the Crown Star Wielders of Light, Twilight, and Midlight, the Shield Star Wielders of Dusk, Moon, and Star, and the Rose Star Wielders of Dawn, Night, and Sun, are each more powerful than any previous full Master of the keyblade, except for Xehanort himself, and just shy of the power contained within the heart of the chosen master of the keyblade. Each specific power is very strong against any force, but the wielders can only arise from special circumstances that cause that power within their heart to awaken. Those of the Crown Star share a special bond with the type of crown pendant that Sora wears, and there hasn't been one that hasn't had a crown like that somewhere on them at some point in their lives. The Shield Star Wielders and Rose Star Wielders share an affinity with a shield or rose, though I cannot tell you more, as there has only been one Rose Star Wielder before and never a Shield Star Wielder. The Star comes from the fact that they are all wielders of the keyblade, and so they all travel amongst the stars. Together, the Nine have the ability to summon forth the greatest light and power of good and imbue it within a person, making the person the most powerful vassal of light ever."
"However, none of you are at your full strength, and you must first foster, nurture, and train your power until you reach the point of an internal test that is called 'The Point of Ascension'. To pass is to have ascended and to be granted full control of your power, even though it will not be at its full strength either. To fail is death."
"So..." Roxas said, looking over at Sora, Riku, and Kairi, "The Legendary Wielders of Power, are über powerful."
"Yes," Thessaura said, "When at their full strength. But they can still be defeated, as Balhafa and the previous Wielders of Light have been. Remember that, all of you. You are mortal, and not invulnerable, nor invincible no matter what power you hold. The realm of light cannot afford for you to die before your destiny is fulfilled or Maleficent defeated."
The platform appeared beneath them again, and Sora looked around as all the others appeared on it with them, including all of the other gods and goddesses.
"You have all been told the same things," Wagneir said. "This is how we are intervening this time, providing those of today with knowledge that had been lost."
"They could have asked me!" Merlin said, huffing slightly in indignation.
"Now it is time for you to return to your worlds," Olina said. "You were all called here because you have all had relations with a keyblade wielder, and few of you barely knew what it was. Now you all know, in the chance that a keyblade should choose you as its wielder."
"Give Maleficent hell from me, will ya?" Rathgar asked. "Since I can't go and personally clobber that foul grease stain."
"Rathgar," Heith said, shaking his head.
"Hey, I'm just trying to get them fired up," Rathgar retorted, jamming his helmet back on his head. "And you guys might want to get going. I don't think she's been as idle and cozy about building her supreme fortress as she's been saying."
"Right," Sora said, nodding his head as he began to feel a force pulling on him. "We won't let you down."
Kairi was surprised to find that she was not back in the garden-filled postern of Radiant Garden, and was still surprised that the other seven princesses of heart were with her. Thessaura still sat in front of them with Tylythia by her side. Kairi looked around. It was just the two goddesses and the princesses of heart.
"What now Thessaura?" Naminé asked, now leaning slightly on Kairi as her Roxas was gone. "Can't we go? I want to sleep."
"There are a few more things that we must discuss in private," Thessaura said, a warning tone in her voice at Naminé's lacklustre remark.
"Princesses," said Thessaura, "You must take part in this campaign too."
"What?" Cinderella asked. "We have to fight as well?"
"There are only seven wielders of the keyblade," Tylythia said. "You by no means have to fight, but whilst Kairi and Naminé fight with their keyblades anything you can do to take the pressure off of them helps. The light in your hearts is a powerful weapon against the deepening darkness, and there are a few weapons I forged in the early days before Marenk said 'If you're going to lock something why not use a gosh darn key?' that could seal keyholes."
"What are they?" Jasmine asked quickly, moving to stand beside Kairi. "Aladdin and Sora, and now Kairi have fought on my behalf for too long. I want to help."
"And I will help too," Alice said, her tiny feet echoing as they slowly clacked to the ground so that she was on Naminé's right. "I may not like fighting much, but my sister and professors have been tutoring me a great deal on warfare as of late, and I think I may be of use there."
"And I will come too," Belle said, standing behind Kairi. "The darkness can only shroud light, not destroy it. I won't forget those words I told Sora."
"Maleficent has wronged me many times," said Aurora, shaking her head and holding a hand to her heart. "I cannot let her go by unpunished if you say there is something I can do about it."
Snow White and Cinderella looked at each other for a couple of seconds before they too nodded and proceeded to step up alongside the other princesses.
Thessaura smiled. "That is good, very good. There may be a chance that Kairi will be able to get through to fulfill her destiny after all."
"What?" Kairi asked suddenly, her eyes narrowing slightly on Thessaura in confusion. She saw Tylythia looked mournfully at her, but dismissed it for a second as Thessaura opened her mouth.
"The Heart of Light of a Knight of Great Valour, the Seventh Princess of Heart shall win. The child of their love's endeavour, Light of Evil's Bane lies within. You are not the one referred to in Shankela's prophecy Kairi, because you are the one who will defeat Maleficent," she said, "but you will die in the process."
Hey Krystal Lily Potter, how's THAT for being evil to Kairi?
For all of you that are about to abandon this fic I have a few words for you to try and hold you! When have I ever gotten them into a situation that I haven't been able to get them out of, AND, when have I ever been predictable?
Just to mess with your heads.
Oh, and I did not mention the Unbirths because I have no idea what they are and I don't want to put up a theory six months before the Japanese get the game and totally destroy my theory, meaning I'll have to come back here and change it.
I'm also going to go back to the old review reply system. It takes less time to get back to you. Plus, I want your feedback on something and I already have one poll up on my profile and I can't put up another right now. Right now I've got this rated at T (Ages 13+), but there is also M (16+). This is a War, this has the military in it, this has action, violence, and death (not main character death except for, possibly, one), this has torture, this has heavily implied sex (though none of it is written out I'm not writing lemons!), and this has a good amount of swearing and f-bomb dropping later.
By all accounts this should get itself rated into M because of all the stuff that's going to happen. However, rating it M means that a great number of people who read these fics will not see it because they won't automatically see it; they'd have to change the preset ratings listing. So I'd have a smaller audience. Should I rate this M as it rightly deserves despite the lower reader count?
May the Grace of the Valar Protect You