Chapter 38: Cold
An electric sensation swept over Kairi's whole body, causing the formerly sleep doused teenage girl to shoot from the ground with a gasp. Lucky for the red-headed princess her companions were so exhausted from the hell they'd just ran through that they did not wake – not one even stirred or moan in their sleep. Kairi rubbed the side of her head, where the strange electric current seemed to emit from, and squinted her eyes, trying to get rid of the fireflies that were now dancing around her due to how fast she'd shot up from the flat plane.
Somewhere near her someone whispered and, acting on instinct, Kairi turned her head to the person lying closest to her. But no, Sora was still fast asleep, laying on his side, back to her. Same went for the others. Kairi sighed in relief, but it wasn't a heartbeat later before the same current surged through her again, and someone groaned.
This caused Kairi to jolt again and groan herself. Next a wince came, and then the sound of someone shushing someone else. But that didn't make any sense; no one was awake. Kairi counted one, two, three … twelve sleeping Stitchpunks and all of them were far too out of it to make any noise what-so-ever in their sleep.
As if the make her situation all the more confusing, a voice whispered in her ear, "Hey."
Kairi almost jumped out of her skin, the fright causing her body to grow cold and her heart to begin running like a jet engine. She gasped and whispered, "What?" to the air.
After a moment of silence, and just when Kairi was seriously thinking she was half still awake and half back in the land of the dream time, the voice came again, "Hello?"
This was the moment that the princess realised that the voice was shrouded with echoes, and was not actually coming from anything around her, but inside her head. Again, freaked out and acting on instinct, Kairi called out, Namine?
The voice came back faster this time, dripping with annoyance, "Do I sound like a Namine to you, Princess?"
No. No it did not. Now that Kairi listened to it properly, the voice was definitely a male's. W-who … who are you?
"That's not important right now,"
And how did you get into my head?
"Also not important. Look –"
Am I dreaming? Kairi couldn't help but asking.
This time when the voice answered back it held a trace of a chuckle. "No, you are NOT dreaming. Listen, I'm really sorry to just burst in on you like this, sweetheart. I know how much princesses need their beauty sleep, but I wouldn't have gone through this amount of trouble to contact you if it weren't important. Oh, and before I forget, because of that you'll also have a bit of a headache in the morning – sorry."
Kairi processed everything he had just said, but still questions filled her mind, How did you get into my head? And where's Namine?
"Don't worry, Namine is fine. Right here, actually. I'm just using her to talk to you for a bit. No biggie, done this loads of times and nothing ever goes wrong … Well, except for the slight headache on the receivers end. Sorry, again. Argh, great, I'm falling off topic! Look, there is something REALLY important I need to yell at y – I mean, talk to you about."
Kairi was silent for a moment. She wasn't sure but she might be feeling that headache now. How important?
"... Life or death."
Kairi froze and bit back a gasp. Uncomfortably she shifted on the ground and pulled her knees into her chest, hugging them. I'm listening.
"Ok, first things first, that world you and your comrades are on: TOTAL death trap. And I mean that quite literally. You may or may not have already figured this out, but that world is not in your home universe and you need to get off of it quick. Secondly, you need to find the fastest and safest root back to Broken Kingdom ASAP and when you do, jump into it like it's the line for the biggest thrill ride at the theme park. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
Kairi listened the the stranger's words intently, only to have her stomach well up at the end of his short speech. Um … we did find a Door earlier today, actually, but …
"Yeah, I know. This, of course, brings me to my third enquiry. Kairi, I need you to do something for me. NOW."
Kairi bit her lip nervously. She could hear the deep irritation in his voice loud and clear now. What is it?
"I need you to wake up that twit with the porcupine hair lying next to you and tell him to STOP IGNORING MY GOD DAMNED DOORS!"
Six Hours Earlier ...
Kazmer pulled the hood tighter over his head, shrouding his eyes. He ducked his head low so that he stared at the ground and swept his arms inside his long brown trench coat, trying to conceal whatever warmth his body had left. It wasn't a cold night at all – on the contrary, it was quite warm. The locals displayed this well, walking around the streets shopping, mingling, catching up with neighbours and friends and even dancing – the aftermath of the city's biggest party of the year still had yet to settle down – in open collar togas with short hems and thin straps. It was a fairly humid night in Thebes, but that didn't stop the breath of icy air from escaping The Master's mouth each time the man exhaled.
Twice now he's been approached by a merchant or shop owner trying to sell him their latest gadgets or try their newest recipe – these people swarmed like bees to honey when they sensed a foreigner, and a foreigner he was. Kazmer had only even set foot in Thebes once in his life, and that was … two years ago, if he's counted correctly. It was only brief, and in a much less crowded portion of Olympus Coliseum, and on a personal matter. A personal matter that would very much get him into trouble with The Professor, even though he didn't answer to the man, and still to this day annoyed him to the core that he would stoop to such a level.
He'd spent the better portion of the visit on the outskirts of the actual Coliseum, and his trip into the world's biggest and most populated city was merely a detour. He'd call it a business trip, but that was a lie. Kazmer considered himself very honest man, and could tolerate lying as good as wolf pack could tolerate having their territory invaded. He could actually tolerate quite a lot of things, but lying was never on the list. Lying and the cold. Growing up and living most of his adult life on a world that had only two seasons; Summer and Slightly-Less-Warmer-Summer, Kazmer had never been trained to adapt to the cold. That, unfortunately, is what he had to learn to do quick once stepping into Broken Kingdom, considering the temperature could sometimes reach a minimum of -14 degrees Celsius. There were certainly no heaters in Tenebrae Castle, that's for sure.
Stepping onto the square now, Kazmer silently and discreetly assessed his surroundings from under his hood. The last thing he needed were more merchants. No, he was actually searching for something. Someone, to be more precise. At first he tried to think up places where he might be, or attractions that would catch his eye and draw him to. But that was no use, considering he knew absolutely nothing about him. Then he thought he just might look around for a bit, ask the locals for any sightings, carry the Wanted poster around for a reference, pretend he's on holiday. But that was no use either. If Kazmer were on holiday he wouldn't be wasting his time searching a huge world for one little boy who was making his life very difficult at the moment, and he definitely would be somewhere where the temperature was over the average sunbathing preferences.
He was tired of being on his feet all day, tired of getting watches shoved up his nose every time he turned the corner, he was downright freezing to death just walking around and he really didn't want to be in that noisy world any longer, no matter how dismally beautiful it may be. Whilst The Master was finally considering stepping into the quiet forest to wait a Door out – no matter how strange it may sound, Kazmer found that the fastest means of travel through worlds was via Broken Kingdom – when a voice, seeming to appear out of thin air (as always) called out to him,
"You're out of luck, old man. He's not here." Kazmer knew very well who the speaker was without having to turn around. The bitter, dry and slightly less cynical than his own tone was one he'd had to endure countless times before. A young voice, laced with the faintest of a Southern drawl that came and went as the wind changed. Kazmer managed a grimace. Stefan.
"He never was here," Stefan continued. "I should know – I've been in this town for three … freaking … days."
At this Kazmer frowned and turned around. Stefan was leaning up against an ally wall, his arms and legs crossed, blue eyes to the cracked tiles that were almost as cold as the look in his tired sapphire orbs. The thing that struck Kazmer most about the appearance of the fifteen-year old was the heavy looking jacket draped on his back.
At this, The Master grinned just. "Are you cold, Stefan?" His voice sounded hoarse and almost shaky, but the boy in question didn't notice.
Stefan brought his icy gaze up to The Master, and spat, "It is none of your damn business what I feel." Stefan took in Kazmer's hunched stance and narrowed his eyes, tiling his head. "Besides, shouldn't I be asking you that question?"
Kazmer weighed this, and grinned even more, "Possibly. But you could go so far as calling this normal for me. You however, that is another story. Looks like a very thick coat you have there, son."
Stefan glared and didn't answer, only pulled the dark blue coat tighter around his body. Kazmer changed subjects, "What did you mean when you said you have been here for three days?"
"Just that, ah've been here for three days. What, you getting' dumb now?" Stefan teased.
"No, it is just odd. Why are you sticking around when you can be off somewhere else. Can't you call a Door whenever you feel like it?"
Stefan shifted positions. The soft warm breeze blew his long almost black locks around his face, though it did nothing for the body temperature of both males. Stefan pulled a lock behind his ear before finally speaking again, "I didn't feel like it."
"... You didn't feel like it?"
The teenager shock his head, "No."
Kazmer stared. … Now, this is odd … "Finally given up on finding that brother of yours?"
"No!" Stefan spat, his tone just as icy as both their bodies. Well, maybe just Kazmer's. Still that was all the information he offered.
The Master stepped closer to Stefan and stopped when he was standing about a foot or two in front of the boy. "If you are in a world you are frustrated to stay in, but can't be bothered calling a Door so you can leave it … what are you moping about, Stefan?"
Stefan tried not to flinch. Sometimes it still came as a shock how The Master could hit the nail so dead on all the time. He was the mind reader, not this scar face. "I'm not moping about anything, Kazzy. Don't you have somewhere else to – "
"You are moping. Don't lie to me, boy. And you are going to tell me what it is."
Stefan crossed his arms tighter over his chest and leaned back some ways. But, surprisingly, he found himself confessing. "I saw her here. Three days ago."
"Who do you think?" He hissed. "Amalia Ravenhart. I saw her here and I … didn't approach or make myself known to her. Just like I usually don't."
Kazmer frowned at the news. The last time he'd heard that name was … Well, he couldn't even remember. "She was here? Why?"
Stefan shrugged, "Don't know. But she isn't any more. She left … three freaking days ago." Stefan kicked a stone out from under him, which flew all the way across the short square and ricocheted off the adjacent wall.
Kazmer rubbed his chin, analysing Stefan's reaction. "She left …"
"And you didn't approach her …"
"Why the hell not?" It slipped out of his mouth before he could stop it.
Stefan recoiled slightly at the outburst, but was nonetheless able to regain his composure, like always. "Why the hell should I? She's not my problem … got bigger problems to deal with …"
Kazmer kept on staring. The teenager wasn't going to admit this but his dark blue gaze was beginning to make him uncomfortable. Eventually, Kazmer said, "But you still care about her,"
"Again, none of you business." Stefan shot back, surprised by the statement the older man threw at him. He shook his head and made to step out of the ally and into the square, but The Master held up a hand to stop him.
"She just left on her own?"
Stefan sighed, not believing the conversation was about to restart. Still, he found himself turning back around and glaring at The Master, arms still tightly crossed around his torso. "Um, no, she didn't leave here on her own."
This was interesting. "Then who with?"
Stefan shifted weight again. "With the King's two lackeys. The mutated dog and duck and … this guy."
The boy groaned and threw his hands up in exasperation, having just about enough with the man, "Yes! Some random guy I've never seen before! She went to the party, did her little dance – or at least tried to – and the next thing I know she's filling them all in on the highs and lows of Broken Kingdom and then she's out the door!" He paused to take a breath and calm himself. "It seems as though they're bound, too."
Kazmer frowned. He did know who this "guy" was, but he wasn't about to tell Stefan that. "All of them?"
"Yes, all." He hissed again, than paused, his eyes and expression softening. "Is, um, is Sora bound … as well?"
Any other day, Kazmer would have just grimaced and walked away, refusing to answer a question like that. But today was Sunday. "Yes, Stefan. Yes he is." He responded and watched as the light came back on in the boy's eyes, along with a tinge of hope. "But, if the Wizard and Knight were travelling with this other boy instead of your brother, then don't you think it might have been wise to approach him?"
The light went out as fast as it came. Stefan had his reasons for not approaching him. Stubbornness was one of them. The fact that he didn't want to talk to this guy, was another. Silently, he shook his head. Kazmer sighed, staring around at the lights that lit the windows of homes and shops, and the pretty, multicoloured ones that hung from the roofs of them, creating a mosaic on the tiled streets.
"I suppose you haven't heard," Kazmer suddenly said, catching Stefan's attention again.
"... Heard what?"
"We have been monitoring your brother's every move once he stepped foot on Terra Mortis. But since you didn't know about that, I guess you wouldn't know that …" Kazmer paused dramatically, mocking the boy.
Stefan growled, "What?"
"... That he completely disappeared off our radar four days ago."
The teenager stared, shocked at the information he'd just received. "What? What do you mean 'disappeared'?"
"The Keyblade Master and his little friends stepped through a door one night, and once they did they were gone. Just like that. And we now know why that is. Because your older brother is no longer in this universe, but has managed to get himself stuck in another."
Stefan's eyes widened drastically as a churning sensation hammered at the pit of his stomach. "What?" He managed to chock out. His heart was pumping so hard he could hear it in his ears and beads of sweat were beginning to form atop his brow. Outer Dimensional worlds are bad … very bad.
"No," He shook his head and began pacing the floor. "No, no, no, no … But … no, th-that can't be possible. Doors leading to other dimensions hardly ever show up in Broken Kingdom … no way … there must be a mistake you that computer of yours!"
Kazmer grinned slightly. "There is nothing wrong with our machine, Stefan. Your brother and his friends are trapped in an Outer Dimensional world."
Stefan continued, "But … you know what happens when people from one universe step onto a world in another. Especially if they have to change forms to be there. Eventually … after a while … their bodies will start to reject the world. Th-they revert back to their normal form and …" Stefan forced himself to stop talking and squeezed his eyes shut, trying not to think about it.
Kazmer's grin grew wider and he leaned up against the wall. His breath was still coming out visible, but the cold bothered him less now. "Seems we have a bit of a predicament here, don't we?"
Stefan didn't even look like he'd heard him. "I'll send a Door. I will send a Door and get them off that world."
Kazmer snapped his fingers, "Yeah, you could do that, if it doesn't kill you in the process and you somehow manage to locate the world they are one, because it's got me." He shrugged.
"I'll do it. I will – I'll find a way. I always do –"
"Go home, Stefan." He cut in. "Wherever that may be. There is nothing for you here."
Stefan lifted his head to look the man straight in the eyes. His large and painful looking scar was always the one thing Stefan avoided looking at for longer than necessary, but this time, it was all he could look at. A dark jagged line that passed over his eyelid from forehead down to his mouth. It was the most horrible thing you could ever see, this terrible scar polluting the man's once handsome face. He still was handsome; tall and powerful with dark brown hair that ended just above his chin, sticking out at the tips. He wasn't old, either – maybe in his early 40s or late 30s, if Stefan had to guess. But it was the cold stare in his eyes, eyes that were so dark yet still light enough to be considered blue, that completely wrecked everything above all. The evil stare complete with secrets no one could ever know or even guess, concealed behind a thick glass. Eyes that have had to make split second decisions, that have had to make or end the lives of innocent people …
Stefan stared at Kazmer a little while longer before slowly turning and making his way back down the street, buttoning the coat up now. Before he completely disappeared around the corner, Stefan stopped and looked back. "You're always less cruel to me on Sundays … when you're cold. Also, you might wanna start sending Heartless out to worlds Sora isn't on. People are beginning to notice."
Stefan barrelled through the door like he was running for his life, ultimately causing him to loose his footing on the rocky surface and collide face first with the hut. He landed back on the ground with a grunt, little fireflies dancing in his proverbial vision. Just beside him there was the sound of feet running across wood followed by the sound of a creaky door swinging open. The next thing Stefan knew he had a crossbow pointing at his nose.
Reflexively, he held his hands up, still lying on the ground, and muttered. "It's alright, Jay-Jay. Only me."
A young boy popped his head into view and glared at the teenager on the ground. He didn't put his crossbow down. "I know." He said. "You said you would only be a few hours. You were gone 68 hours and 32 minutes. Where were you? And I told you never to call me Jay-Jay." Here, the boy finally removed his bow from Stefan's nose and stretched out a hand, waiting for him to take it. Once he did Stefan rose shakily to his feet.
Stefan tucked a bang behind his ear and grinned at the boy apologetically. "I'm sorry, Jaymie. I got held up."
Jaymie frowned and placed his hands on his hips, swinging his large bow on to a hock attacked to a sash over his shoulder. "Got held up?" He mocked Stefan's voice. "What were you moping about this time?"
Stefan almost face-planted, staring at the boy in exasperation. "Seriously? I wasn't moping!"
Jaymie rolled his eyes and grinned. He'd know him to long. "Yeah, whatever you say. Dinner's getting cold." The boy stepped toward the door and stopped, mocking forget. "Oh, wait, it already did get cold. Three days ago!"
With that Jaymie stomped through the door and slammed it behind him. Stefan winced and turned toward the sea, the sunset painting it a magical orange colour. The sad thing was that this is probably as close to paradise as he'll ever get, an old abandoned hut by the sea. Stefan didn't know where it was exactly; a small island off the coast of Atlantica, maybe. Or Neverland? He never thought to check. But wherever it was it was quiet and secluded and safe, and that was good enough for now. The hut was nice, too. Two story with an attic and basement, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. It could be a little creepy when the wind picked up at night, but that was just fine.
As beautiful as the sight may be, it was a little too quiet for Jaymie sometimes. Only thirteen years old, Stefan hated leaving him alone by himself sometimes, especially if it meant a trip longer than a few hours, even though Jaymie always said he didn't mind. He was strong and oddly mature for his age, and he could shoot a sparrow from a mile away – all he had to hear was the sound of the wings beating and he'd have a catch in under 60 seconds. Jaymie was the most intellectual kid Stefan had ever met, with an alarming precision as a natural talent, but Stefan could see how scarred he can get. Sometimes the crick in the floorboards or the howl of the wind was yet another stranger coming to take him away from his family.
With light blue eyes and chestnut hair that ended at points atop his head and beside his left ear that bounced up and down whenever he got excited, with a huge grin that could make anyone's day a whole lot brighter, he was odd company for someone as cynical as Stefan, but he was good. Annoying, but good. Stefan was glad he'd found Jaymie just under a year ago.
Sighing, Stefan kicked a pebble into the water and walked inside. The inside was just as glamorous as the ivory covered exterior, with wooden walls painted a soft cream colour with contrasted dark red curtains. Strangely enough there was a fireplace in the living room, but they only even lit it if they were desperate – what with the house being made of wood and all. Stefan didn't think anything of it, but Jaymie practically singed him with his eyes if he tried to light it without first consulting him.
He found Jaymie in the kitchen washing some dishes. There was no electricity, but they had running water, hot and all. Stefan never thought to check that out either, but if it was there and they didn't have to pay anything for it, who cared, right?
On the table was a strange mess on a plate Jaymie hadn't touched yet – Stefan's dinner, he guessed. He hesitated by the door and watched Jaymie as he cleaned plates and glasses.
Drying off a large round plate and picking up another one, Jaymie stole a glance at Stefan and noticed his coat. "You cold, Stefan?"
Stefan fought the urge to groan. "A tad."
"... You wanna light the fireplace?"
"... No." Some time passed, maybe two or three minutes, before Stefan chose to break the silence. "Sora's landed himself in a bit of … trouble."
Jaymie snorted. "What's my dopey cousin done now, hm?"
"Got himself stuck on a world out of this dimension."
Jaymie stopped washing and leaned up against the counter. He sighed, "Jeez, there's always something isn't there …"
Stefan had never explained the full extent of being trapped in an Outer Dimensional world to Jaymie because he didn't want to scare him. All the kid knew was that it wasn't good. He wasn't sure why he waited until Jaymie had a arm full of pots and pans before unfolding the next bomb shell on him, "I also saw Amalia."
Jaymie stopped where he stood and stared out at the older teenager with wide eyes. All the Tupperware slid out of his arms and crashed onto the black and white tiles, the loud chime echoing through the house. " … Oh." Was all Jaymie said before he dropped to his knees to try and pick all the pans up, his hands shaking. Stefan ran over to his little cousin and began helping him, scooping up a lot more than Jaymie did.
"Well, no wonder you were late."
Stefan stared at the boy once they were both back on their feet. Jaymie's excited grin suddenly returned, "What did she say? How is she?"
The teenager turned and broke eye contact. Shrugging he answered, "I don't know, I didn't speak to her."
"You didn't … what?" Jaymie yelled, not believing what he was hearing. With one swift movement all the pots and pans were thrown back into the sink, creating yet another loud chime and causing Stefan to wince. "Why not?"
He groaned, not believing this conversation was coming up again. "Because she isn't my problem any more!"
"But you love her?"
Stefan shot back around and glared at Jaymie, shocked. "No!" He stopped, thought about it, and corrected, "Well, yes, but not in the way you think. She was my best friend, James."
Jaymie made a grimace at the use of his full name, but ignored it. "I know she's you best friend, Stef. So wouldn't that have driven you to go up to her?"
"Usually, yes, but …"
Stefan shook his head and tried to ignore the expectant look in Jaymie's light blue eyes. Outside the sun just in the middle of setting, so they'll need to put some lights on soon. "Nothing, Jaymie. I just … Look, when I found out about Sora I … couldn't focus on anything else. I had to tear down all the posters that moron put up, and now I have to find him and put a Door smack in front of his face to walk through. I'm busy …"
Jaymie sat that the dinner table and stared at his hands. In a small voice he asked. "You … you aren't going back out, are you?"
Stefan stared at the boy with a soft expression. Slowly he walked up to the table and placed a hand atop of Jaymie's head, lightly ruffling his hair. "No, Jaym, I'm not going back out. … I really am sorry, you know that, right?"
Jaymie looked Stefan in the eyes and nodded, smiling softly. "Yeah, I know. Now, go do your thing and find Sorie. You're gonna need lots of rest. I'll just … go read a book, or something, 'cos that's how boring I am." He said sarcastically before sending Stefan to his room.
Stefan invited the familiar feeling of his conciousness slipping from him, and embraced the sensation of being pulled under into a deep sleep. Instead of actually falling into a comatose state, like most people do – ordinary people – Stefan focused and broadened his mind even more whilst not breaking that thin string between conciousness and unconsciousness. The tugging just beneath his cranium increased, and the feeling of being pulled into the mattress took over.
Stefan's surroundings were black and his body felt cold, like he was falling further and further into water. The decent slowed into something more rhythmic and peaceful, his body swaying from side to side, turning and turning around as he came closer and closer to the stain glass platform below. Finally, the falling stopped, and Stefan landed softly and gracefully on his feet, just like always.
Under his feet Stefan's mural shined up at him, casting a pale blue and almost eerie glow on his face. But for his own reasons he did not look at it, but stared out into the dark abyss around him. Now, where to go? That was a completely different story. Being a Walker meant that Stefan was able to visit the murals of any person he wished, family of blood relation being the only exception. For some reasons that Stefan had yet to figure out but nonetheless annoyed the heck out of him, Stefan could not visit the murals and speak to any family members. If he could, his life would be a whole lot easier.
All around him were invisible passages. Some were stairs, taking him above or below into the realm of minds. Others were paths; a little ways more away than where the stairs led him to. Stefan would take a path if he wished to find someone, but didn't know where to start looking. Then, lastly, there were roads. These roads were long and vast and could lead him to a million different places in the minds of sleepers. These were the ones he took when he didn't know what he was looking for.
Stairs led him to the minds of people he knew, so he didn't really like those ones on the account that the people he visited would sometimes get annoyed and kick him out. The roads were long and led to the unknown. They could sometimes be dangerous and, if Stefan had to admit, a little scary. The paths he liked. They were comforting, he'd go so far as to calling them. The passages changed appearance and became visible once Stefan and only Stefan stepped foot on them. Any other person would step off of their platform, find themselves standing on thin air and begin to panic thus resulting in the path breaking and them falling to a sleepy doom.
Smiling to himself, Stefan turned to his right and began walking, stepping onto a familiar red, blue and yellow crystal path. Best to start somewhere. He went off.
Just like always the surroundings changed from a creepy black sky with purple clouds to something more comforting; a smoky atmosphere, taking on the appearance of a deep wood. The grass and trees materialised around him, tall green structures reaching up higher than he could see, long teal blades of grass sprouting from the invisible ground and swaying in the wind. Stars began to form above his head, a pot-pourri of one hundred different colours, twisting and dancing around each other. The light that was provided for Stefan to see came from the crystal path he walked along.
It wasn't always like this, to wood appearing. Sometimes it was as simple as a city side walk, or a long bridge, one that stretched on for miles and no car would ever drive along. Other times it was a dessert country side, with cacti and shrubs in the distance. But the wood was always Stefan's favourite, that and the dessert, because you never know what the next mural's entrance will come disguised as. A lamp post leading off into a different path, an old inn, a lone house in the middle of nowhere. So much more interesting then the typical apartment door he'd have to go through if he were walking along in the city scape.
Suddenly, a warm orange light alerted Stefan, bringing his attention forward. There, in the distance was an elegantly designed lamp post, with a sign instructing him to walk "This Way".
Stefan smiled again and walked up to the lamp post, following the silent instruction, First customer …
Ok, this world has stretched on longer than I initially intended it to, so I'm gonna be cutting it short very soon. Maybe in like one chapter or two. The only reason that The Emperor's New Groove world didn't stretch this long is because I started about half way through the movie, as opposed to this. With 9, I stared all the way at the beginning. I REALLY don't want this world to go on for 10 chapter – I didn't even want it to go on for longer than 6. And, then, I discovered my mistake.
I also REALLY want to join the two groups up soon, but first Riku, Donald, Goofy and Amalia will have one more world to themselves before they meet up. I've mapped out HOW exactly they are going to meet again, so I'm not making this whole thing up as I go along, I promise. I've actually mapped out most of how everything in this fic will play along, but I can't give you an estimation of how many chapters this thing will run to just yet.
Anyway, on another note: new character! Yay!
And on yet another note: I will just go ahead and tell you that most, if not all, of the characters in this story are connected somehow. So please don't get annoyed if you find more characters are related to another character, or someone has known someone in the past, or if I'm blowing your mind up with all these relations and connections, etc.
Sorry, I get a little self concious sometimes if I'm annoying or confusing my readers.
And yes, I'm feeling a little … off … at the moment, so sorry if any part of this rant came out as … rude? Yeah, I don't know. Also, get used to the cliffhangers.