Sorry about the late update! School's been hell and I haven't been able to concentrate. Thanks to all of my reviewers! You guys are the ones who keep people like me writing! Anyways, enjoy the new chapter!

Ch. 12

Darkness Falls

Riku stood in the Throne Room of Hyrule Castle, awaiting the two princesses and their heroes. He and Lucy had been asleep after some rigorous activity, but Sora and Kairi woke him up with noises due to rigorous activities of their own. Standing here now was ridiculous. Princess Zelda had said to be here an hour ago, yet only he stood there among the tapestries and marble. Riku sighed in agitation. Lucy hadn't wanted to leave the linen sheets of the bed either. His only choices were to either wake up his hosts and noisy friends or to wait quietly. Alone. Riku chose the latter, wanting to enjoy the solitude that he momentarily had, for he knew that it wouldn't last. As if on cue, Link and Princess Zelda entered the Throne Room. The princess still held her regal air despite being late, but Link was a different story. His cap was missing, allowing his hair to stick up in all areas; he carried his weapons in his hands as he tried to fix his tunic, which was on backwards. Seeing this sight, Riku used most of his self-control to keep from bursting into laughter. It appeared as if all of the heroes had had a long night, as Zelda still held the redness in her features while love marks adorned her neck.

"Hello, Riku." Link greeted warmly, finally straightening out his tunic before buckling on his sheathe. "I trust that you slept well?"

"Hardly. I couldn't get to sleep. Though, I didn't want to, either." Riku hinted, smiling suggestively. "And you, Sir Link?"

Before he could answer, Zelda interrupted with a slight cough, possibly hoping to keep him from shooting his mouth off. Riku's attention turned to Zelda as he grinned evilly. Link did also, turning red as he gazed at her.

"We slept well, Keyblader." Zelda answered politely.

"We? You mean the princess and the hero? Together? Kinda like forbidden fruit, isn't it?" Riku questioned, intrigued.

"That, Riku," Link interjected. "Is of no importance. What is important is the whereabouts of your companions."

"Sora is in Kairi's room. Take a blindfold." Riku warned. "Lucy is in my room. Also, take a blindfold."

"Riku, my friend, that is the kind of information that needs to be kept to yourself." Link scolded.

"Well, Link, you are the one who asked." Zelda mocked. Link glanced over at her playfully.

"Now you're taking his side? Thanks, my princess. Thanks a lot!" Zelda scowled at him, feigning anger.

"That's not what you called me last night, my hero." Zelda teased and giggled as she saw Link turn crimson.

"The same could be said for you."

"Alright, that is an image that I didn't need." Riku stated, disturbed, as Sora and Kairi walked into the room.

"So, what did we miss?" Kairi asked nonchalantly, oblivious to the fact that she and Sora were the topic of the conversation. Riku turned to tell the tale, but a rumbling caught their ears before a single word could be uttered. Screaming and chaos filled the air not seconds later, cries of help and pleas of mercy sounding from town. Darkness fell over the air, lingering in a cold, ominous feel to the once bright, warm morning.

"What the hell?" Riku asked openly. Link, not saying a word, rushed out of the hall, not hearing warnings of danger coming from Zelda. Sora and Riku followed suit, charging out of the hall to see the problem. Kairi tried to follow, but was stopped by a scream from inside the castle. Both princesses ran to find its source.

Sora found out the problem at the simultaneous moment that Riku and Link did. Some weird-looking goblin things were rampaging about the town square, attempting to strike the fleeing Hylians with clubs, arrows, or bladed clubs. Riku had about the same idea as to what they were as Sora did: none. Link, however, was all too familiar with them.

"Keybearers! These are Bulbin, a race of evil little demons that attack just about anything that moves! Trust me, they're easier than the Darkwatchers from Hyrule Field. It'll be easy, unless…" Link was cut off as dark vortexes appeared, releasing some Neoshadows, Shadows, and some kind of Bulbin Heartless, except they had lethal lances and blades instead of clubs. "Shit! Me and my big frikin' mouth!" Link exclaimed. Jumping forward, Link sliced a Bulbin's arm clean from its body, earning a squeal of pain that attracted more to him. Sora struck a Shadow in the head with Oblivion. Yet the Shadow remained, leaking inky darkness all over the ground from the gnash atop its crown.

"What the…? It withstood it? Damn, this is going to take a while." Sora thought as he obliterated the same Shadow with another slash. Riku, discovering this too, split a Neoshadow in two horizontally before blowing a Shadow away with Dark Firaga. Link issued a Spin Attack, ending the lives of four would-be Bulbin assailants. Lightning pierced through three Neoshadows' chests, as a Thundaga spell was unleashed from Oblivion, sending the Heartless out of existence. The small battle continued like this for less than a minute before the Bulbin and Heartless began to run to Hyrule Field, as if asking to be chased. Sora, being impulsive as he is, gave chase. Riku grunted before following, Link not far behind. They ran down the Southern Market's main road out to the field. What they saw there shocked all three warriors. Hundreds of the new Bulbin Heartless filled the space, with the occasional Bulbin. Three Darkwatchers stood looming in the back, as if guarding something.

"What? How can there be this many?" Sora gaped. Riku scowled as he observed the grounds. Link, however, stared at the Darkwatchers in the back. A maniacal laugh filled the air, crazed with mad humor and evil. The voice was extremely deep, the voice of someone who wanted blood. The Darkwatchers shifted slightly to allow an opening, revealing Lucy, Kairi, and Zelda, all bound and gagged beside a tall man. His armor was dark, elaborate yet worn, with a wide, glowing white crack in the breastplate. The cape drug across the ground as the man stepped forward. His fiery red hair was in deep contrast with his unnaturally darkened skin. His burning crimson eyes reflected the evil that was embedded into his very soul, casting a dark aura of supreme evil about him. An insignia adorned the back of his right hand, which held a majestic, glowing sword of light that opposed his whole being. The insignia was identical to Link and Zelda's marks, except the top triangle was highlighted. He seemed to be the one controlling the Heartless.

"So, the Hero has come to play. To save the Princess, maybe?"

HAHAHA! Fineto! Done! I'm truly sorry about the wait. My finals are coming up and I still have writer's block, but I think its passing. HOORAY! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I know it was a bit short, but I'm setting it up for the finale of Hyrule! Please review! Or Darkwatchers will TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB! … XD