Greetings fellow readers and writers! This is my second Kingdom Hearts fic and I hope you like it! Okay, this time around Sora and the gang visit the world of Naruto in order to stop The Heartless from plunging said world into darkness. Timewise this takes place about a month and a half after my last Kingdom Hearts fic, while involving certain events that take place in the Shippuden era of Naruto.
Now, I don't own Kingdom Hearts or Naruto, so please don't sue me, I'm just trying to tell a good story. And now, without further delay, please enjoy…
Kingdom Hearts: Beyond the Door to Light
Volume 2: The Shinobi Path
"Okay then," said Sora, "I'm ready when you are, Kairi."
"I'm ready," said Kairi.
"So am I," said Riku as he held up the flashcard for Kairi to see.
Chapter 1: Practice Makes Perfect
It had been six weeks since Sora, Riku and Kairi returned from their latest adventure; an adventure that took them to another universe called The Magical Dimension, where fairies and witches coexist in a less than harmonious manner, but things balanced themselves there in the end.
But the balance of power in the Magical Dimension was severely upset when a trio of psychotic witches thought it would be a good idea to steal a magical force from its rightful owner, and use that power to summon The Heartless. Had Sora, Riku and Kairi, along with faithful Donald and Goofy, not intervened, then every world of The Magical Dimension would have been consumed by darkness.
Fortunately for The Magical Dimension, Sora and the gang arrived just in time to turn the tide and drive back the darkness, restoring the balance to that universe. But upon returning to Disney Castle with word of their success, Sora and the gang were surprised to hear from King Mickey that things were only just getting started, in terms of the fight against the darkness.
King Mickey and Queen Minnie had another surprise for Sora, Riku and Kairi. Apparently during their travels in The Magical Dimension, the three Keyblade wielders had some strange emotional experiences, meaning that one would sense when the others were in trouble or experiencing a strong emotion. This strange phenomenon was made even stranger for the three young humans since they were sensing each others emotions across great distances, sometimes across both time and space.
The King and Queen clarified this for Sora, Riku and Kairi; they were beginning to show psychic abilities. The King explained that, in time, not only would they be able to sense each other's emotions at will, but could someday be able to communicate telepathically.
And so here is where this story truly begins; with Sora, Riku and Kairi at Sora's house, trying to strengthen their budding mental abilities. Currently Sora and Kairi were sitting at opposite ends of the living room with their backs turned, while Riku sat in front of Kairi holding a set of flashcards. The purpose of this exercise was for Sora to try and guess what Kairi was seeing.
"Anything, Sora?" Riku asked as he held out the first card, a picture of a fire engine.
"Something red," said Sora as he tired his best to focus on what Kairi was seeing, and not on Kairi as a whole. The same thing could be said for Kairi, for she to was having difficulty focusing on the exercise as he thoughts kept drifting to those of Sora.
The two of them have been dating since they returned from The Magical Dimension. Nothing serious, just going to the movies, skateboarding in the park, shopping at the mall, and weather permitting, hanging out on Destiny Islands. Yet despite the fact that Sora and Kairi were much closer then they were back before this whole mess with The Heartless and Keyblades got started, none of them had said the words, those three magic words that make the world go round.
"Okay," said Riku as he got out the next card for Kairi, "not to bad, Sora, but try to focus."
"I am focusing," said Sora, "But it's kind of hard to see through someone else's eyes."
"Any harder than it is to use your own eyes?" teased Kairi.
"I'd like to see you see with my eyes," said Sora as he turned his head to look at Kairi. Both of them grinned.
"Hey, no cheating!" said Riku, "Eyes front, Sora!"
"Yes, teacher," grumbled Sora as he turned his head back. He focused his thoughts again on what Kairi was seeing, "Something green, and juicy."
"Better," said Riku as he lowered the card that had a picture of some grapes, then held up a picture of the full moon.
"Something round and bright," said Sora, "The moon!"
"Much better," said Riku. He then held up something different, a photograph of the island, with Tidus, Wakka and Selphie sitting on the dock, the three of them making silly faces at the camera.
"Old friends and good times," said Sora. This earned a soft laughter from Kairi, then Sora laughed as well. It wasn't long before Riku reluctantly chuckled.
Finally the three Keyblade wielders clamed down enough to continue the exercise. After another five cards, Riku decided for Sora and Kairi to switch, so now Kairi was guessing what Sora saw.
Kairi, as it turns out, was much better at this game than Sora was. The first card showed a ship, which Kairi identified, then gave a few details. Then she described a car, even giving the make and model, but had to really concentrate to tell the license plate.
But then Riku showed Sora one of his drawings that Sora had with him during his journey. This drawing was of several Shadow-type Heartless.
Kairi sensed that, even though Sora was calm on the outside, within he felt a mixture of fear and anger, before the emotional images settled on the picture.
"Sora," said Kairi, "I had no idea you felt so strongly about The Heartless."
"They destroyed countless worlds," said Sora, "And threatened to destroy so many more, while consuming god knows how many hearts in the process. And to make matters worse, not only did I become one of them for a while, I almost lost you and Riku to them as well."
"I also fear and hate The Heartless," said Riku, "Who wouldn't? But the one thing we shouldn't do is allow that fear and hate to rule our hearts."
"That's what I've been doing all this time," said Sora, "Otherwise I would have become one of them long ago, permanently."
"Sora," said Kairi in a reassuring manner. That was all she could say, for how could she tell Sora, the boy who carried her heart for so long, the brave warrior of light and hope who traversed time and space to bring her and Riku home, how could she tell him how she really felt?
Sora then decided to change the subject, "Your turn, Riku."
"Bring it on," said Riku eagerly, for of the three, Riku found this exercise the easiest. Sora and Kairi were dumbfounded as to how Riku could be stronger in terms of mental discipline, as if they didn't know.
But Sora decided to give Riku a tougher challenge. With Kairi as the 'projector,' Sora showed her, not a set of flashcards, but rather some DVD covers. But then Sora was again dumbfounded when Riku cited off each title without hesitation.
"'The Godfather part2,' 'Return of the Jedi,' '2001 a Space Odyssey,' 'Lost: season 1'"
"You are good," said an exasperated Sora.
"Jealousy will get you nowhere, Sora," said Riku, "and the same goes for you, Kairi."
"How did you know I was feeling jealous?" Kairi asked, "Oh wait, right, you could sense it."
Sora was about to say something snappy, or at least he thought it would be snappy, when he, Riku and Kairi, all sensed the same thing, that something important had come. And sure enough, there it was, right on the nearby coffee table, was a message in a bottle, a message bearing The King's crest.
Sora uncorked the bottle, took out the message, unrolled and read it:
Dear Sora, Riku and Kairi,
I hope your training is going well. The Queen and I are confident that you three will soon have more control over your new abilities.
But to more serious matters. Another universe is under attack by The Heartless. Once again I am in no position to lend any help personally. But it is my hope that you three can help.
The Queen and I will explain the nature of this new world that is threatened by the darkness, for we're sure you'll find this world very interesting.
As always, Goofy and Donald will be there to help you. Yes, Donald, I'll tell them that you're ready for anything. You to, Goofy. Oh, did I write that?
Anyway, hope this message finds you soon. Best of wishes…
And the message was signed with The King's crest.
"We've been summoned again," said Riku, stating rather than asking.
"You betcha'," said Sora.
"I can be ready to go in fifteen minutes," said Kairi, "Just got to pack a few things this time."
"Same here," said Riku, "And tell my mom and dad where I'll be."
"Ditto," said Kairi.
"Right," said Sora. With that, Riku and Kairi left for their respective houses to pack and tell their parents that they'll be gone for a while. Sora was packed within five minutes, then called his mom's cell phone, but got her voicemail.
"Mom, it's Sora. Listen, I'll be gone for a while, it's a Keyblade thing, and I don't know when I'll be back. But I promise, if I get the chance, I'll call to let you know that I'm alright, and yes, I'll do everything in my power to come back safely. I love you, mom."
Nine minutes later, Riku and Kairi were back, each carrying an overnight bag packed with a change of clothing, toothbrush and toothpaste, and other essential items for traveling throughout time and space.
"All set?" Sora asked.
"Ready as I'll ever be," said Kairi, while Riku nodded in agreement.
Just then a portal appeared outside the house. Taking a calming breath, Sora, Riku and Kairi entered the portal. They emerge in the library room of Disney Castle, and waiting for them by one of the wall sized bookcases was King Mickey and Queen Minnie.
But before anyone could do anything, Sora was once again tackled by Pluto, who began showering Sora with affections. After about ten seconds, Pluto switched to Kairi, then to Riku in turn.
"Aww," said Queen Minnie, "Looks like someone missed someone."
"Hey, Pluto," said King Mickey, "Why don't you go down to the kitchen and see if the cooks can get you a nice juicy steak. How does that sound?"
That the very word steak, Pluto nodded eagerly at The King, then bounded out the room, nearly knocking down Donald and Goofy as they came through he doorway.
"Hey! Why don't you watch where you're going!?" shouted Donald angrily, but then his expression brightened when he saw who was there with The King and Queen, "Sora!"
"Riku! Kairi!" said Goofy happily.
"Hey, guys," said Sora as Riku helped him up. The three humans spent the next few minutes catching up with Donald and Goofy. The former was doing much better in his relationship with Daisy, more or less, while the later was still the same, considering that this is Goofy that we're talking about, that's a big thing.
"Things haven't been the same without you, Sora," said Goofy, "It's all too quiet."
"Well I like it quiet sometimes," said Donald, "And so do you, ya big palooka."
"And this is the same Donald Duck who helped face down Hades, Ursula, Jafar and all those other villains?" Sora asked.
"Well…uh…" said Donald, "I have my moments."
"You certainly do have your moments," said an annoyed Daisy as she stomped into the room, "did you honestly think you could sneak away on another adventure without telling me? Well, did you?"
"I…uh…well…the thing is…" said Donald as he tried to come up with something to reassure Daisy, but the words failed him.
"Oh put a cork in it!" said Daisy, her voice quavering as she looked like she was about to start crying, "Just go already! It's not like you have a good reason to come back!"
"But I do!" said Donald, "I'll always come back for you, Daisy!"
"I almost believe you," said Daisy, "but I know better, you don't care about me at all!
"That's not true," said Queen Minnie, "Donald does care, more than you can ever know, Daisy. He, Goofy, Sora and so many more are fighting The Heartless so that people like you can live in peace and happiness. And he will come back to you."
"Just so he can leave me the next time?" Daisy asked in an accusing tone, "And the next time? When will it end?!"
"It may never end," said Kairi, "not as long as there's darkness in the hearts of people for The Heartless to prey upon. I'm sorry, Daisy, but that's just how it is."
"I know it's unfair," said Queen Minnie in a comforting manner, "that it hurts being separated from someone you love. Believe me, I know it."
"As do I," said King Mickey, "but you need to have faith, Daisy, faith that you and those you care about care for you as well. Keep that in your heart and nothing will take it away."
"I never stopped believing," said Donald as he took hold of Daisy's hand, "nothing will ever stop me caring about you, Daisy, nothing."
"Oh Donald!" exclaimed Daisy happily. With that she began smothering Donald with kisses.
"Well," said Sora, "there's another crisis averted."
"Indeed," said Riku.
It was another five minutes before Daisy finally left the room, her faith in Donald resorted, but not before extracting from him a most solemn promise to come back safe and sound.
"You are one lucky duck, Donald," said Riku, "you know that, right?"
"I sure am," said Donald.
"And he's got Daisy," said Goofy.
"That's what I meant," said Riku.
"Well I'm glad that things are back on track with Donald," said King Mickey, "but I wish things weren't so bad elsewhere."
"The Heartless," said Sora in a more serious tone, "they're back again."
"Yes," said Queen Minnie, "and once again they're attacking another world that exists in another universe, one very different from our own."
"How different?" Kairi asked.
"Very different," said King Mickey, "so let's get down to business. What do you three know about Shinobi?"
"Shinobi?" a confused Sora asked.
"Ninjas, Sora," said Kairi, "Shinobi is another word for ninjas."
"Oh, ninjas," said Sora, "Yeah, I know about them."
"Oh yeah?" Riku asked in an accusing tone, "How much do you know about ninjas?"
"Well," said Sora as he struggled to remember his history lessons, "Ninjas were experts in stealth and surprise. They could move through a building without the occupants ever knowing they were there."
"They were also skilled in espionage and in coming up with some amazing booby traps," said Kairi, "And sometimes they were excellent bodyguards. Oh, female ninjas were known as Kunoichi."
"And sometimes," said Riku, "They were the best assassins the world had ever known. All this the Shinobi did, for the right price."
"True," said King Mickey, "All of it true. But the Shinobi I'm talking about are on a whole different level than the ninjas from your world. What do you know about Chakra?"
"It's a kind of energy produced by the body," said Kairi, "Basically Chakra comes from converted physical energy, or stamina."
"Correct," said King Mickey, "the Shinobi you three will meet are able to use charka to manipulate the elements of nature: Water, Fire, Earth, Air and Lighting."
"I thought there were only for elements of nature," said Sora.
"In this case there's a fifth," said King Mickey, "moving on, Shinobi can be divided into three ranks, depending on their level of experience: a Genin is a rookie, Chûnin is a journeyman, while the best, the elite are called Jônin.
"Shinobi in large groups form villages where they conduct business with their world, as well as train future Shinobi. There are sixteen major 'Hidden Villages' in the world you're going to, as well as several dozen more minor villages. The hidden village that we've the highest concentration of Heartless around is called Konohagakure, The Hidden Leaf Village. While not the largest and most populated hidden village, it does house some of the strongest."
"The leader of the Hidden Leaf village is known as the Hokage," said Queen Minnie.
"I think we've covered the basics," said King Mickey, "now for the really important part. Nearly sixteen years ago, a demon, quite possibly the most powerful of its kind, attacked and threatened to destroy the Hidden Leaf Village. This demon, The 9-Tailed Fox, was so powerful that it could destroy a whole mountain with the flick of one of it's nine tails.
"Many brave Shinobi died trying to hold off the demon from crushing the village into oblivion. And many more would have, if the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village, the fourth Hokage, hadn't sacrificed his life to seal the demon away.
"But then something happened that no one expected. We can only guess that the 4th Hokage planned to use his body to seal the demon away, so that when he died, the demon would die with him. But the sealing ritual went wrong, resulting with the 9-tailed Fox being imprisoned in the body of an infant whose parents were killed by the demon."
"That's terrible," said Kairi.
"That's only the beginning," said King Mickey, "this child grew up with the demon locked away inside his body, not knowing that he was a Jinchuuriki, a human serving as a vessel for a demon, until he was 12. During that time he was raised to be a Shinobi, but nearly everyone around him saw him as only a vessel for the demon, possibly as a reincarnation of the demon itself. For this unjust reason the boy was mostly ignored by the people of the village. This lead to the boy attempting to draw attention to himself in rather annoying ways.
"But in the end the boy proved himself more than a vessel for the demon. Not only did he become a very strong ninja and earned the respect of his fellow villagers, he's also managed to harness part of the demon's power."
"Isn't that kind of dangerous?" Sora asked, "demons aren't exactly the best of creatures."
"That's the understatement of the day," said Riku.
"Sora does have the general idea," said King Mickey, "the use of demonic energy for prolonged amounts of time can cause tremendous harm to the user's body. In the case of a Jinchuuriki, if enough demon energy is drawn from the source, then the host can lose control of him or herself and the demon will be in control."
"And that's what's going to happen to the ninja who has the 9-tailed Fox inside him," said Sora.
"That's one possibility," said King Mickey, "or so according to Yen Sid's predictions. But my old teacher also predicted that Maleficent has taken an interest in this unique person. The risk of losing control to the demon is one that the host has to live with every day, and it's a risk that Maleficent wishes to exploit."
"Maleficent," said Riku in a grim tone, "one of these days I'm gonna cut that witch into little pieces, then I'm gonna burn those pieces into ashes, then I'm gonna burn the ashes."
"Save a piece for me," said Kairi in an irate tone.
"I wouldn't mind a piece for myself," said King Mickey, "but moving on. There are a lot of vile people, besides Maleficent, who wish to use the host of the demon for foul purposes. Some wish to turn the boy to the darkness, make the demon take control and use it as a weapon for evil."
"I'll be Maleficent is in that category," said Sora.
"True," said King Mickey, "and then there are those who wish to take the demon from the host and harness the demon's power without it being filtered through a human body. Yen Sid has seen both these dangers in the future of the host of the demon."
"What's his name?" Kairi asked, "I'm starting to get annoyed with all of you. This person has a name, not 'the host of the demon.'"
"You're right, Kairi," said King Mickey, "he does have a name; Naruto Uzumaki."
"Naruto Uzumaki," said Sora, "I'll remember it."
"Me to," said Riku, while Kairi nodded in agreement.
"So," said King Mickey, "here's the mission: You are to go to The Hidden Leaf Village and help defend against The Heartless, while at the same time, locate and help Naruto Uzumaki. No doubt Maleficent has her agents already there doing who knows what."
"How bad could it be?" Sora asked, "Pete can't even tie his own shoes, let alone take over another world."
"It's more serious than that," said King Mickey, "Maleficent has more than my old riverboat captain at her command."
"We've reason to believe," said Queen Minnie, "That Maleficent has taken control of the former headquarters of Organization XIII, and has set herself up in their place of residence."
"That big castle where they had Kairi?" Sora asked, "That place was swarming with Heartless and Nobodies when we left."
"And surely Maleficent has taken on extra help in order to control them all," said Riku.
"It's never easy," said Sora, but then his expression lightened, "but then it wouldn't be any fun if it were easy."
"That's the spirit!" said King Mickey.
"Okay, so we're to go to the Hidden Leaf Village," said Kairi, "and help fight against The Heartless."
"While helping Naruto Uzumaki," said Riku.
"And stopping Maleficent or anyone else from taking control of Naruto," said Sora, "Anything else?"
"That's pretty much it," said King Mickey.
"Are you sure?" Kairi asked, "anyone else that we need to help?"
"That's it," said King Mickey, "I'm positive."
"Just checking," said Riku.
"Oh, how's it going with the gummy ship?" Sora asked.
"You know, that's a good question," said King Mickey, "We haven't heard from Cid in a while, so let's find out."
In one of the many rooms of the castle there was a large mirror in a mahogany frame. The King ordered several broomsticks to fetch this mirror, which they did promptly.
"With this we can communicate directly with nearly every world in our universe," said Queen Minnie, "Including Traverse Town and Radiant Garden."
"Cool," said Riku, "What about Earth?"
"Unfortunately no," said King Mickey, "Not yet anyway. This mirror is part of a large set; one of each is located throughout the universe. More can be made, but it takes time to create a magic mirror."
"Okay," said Sora, "we can wait for one. So how do they work?"
"Simply stand in front of the mirror," said Queen Minnie, "Say the name of the person you wish to speak to, that person's address and planet of residence."
"And I'll be able to talk to Cid with this?" Sora asked.
"You betcha," said King Mickey, "Cid already has a mirror in his workshop on Radiant Garden."
"Okay then," said Sora as he stood in front of the mirror. From up close the mirror looked more like rippling water, with only a vague reflection of Sora looking back at him.
"Uh…" Sora hesitated.
"You have to say it clearly," said King Mickey.
"Right," said Sora, "Cid's Workshop, Radiant Garden." The ripples in the mirror pulsed a few times before clearing. Sora could now see the interior of a futuristic mechanic shop.
"Uh…hello?" said Sora, "Anyone there?"
"Yeah, I'm here," said a gruff voice at the other end of the mirror, "Just give me a second, will ya," two seconds later a tall man wearing a white shirt, blue pants with a wide tan belt, short blond hair and blue-gray eyes with a set of goggles on his forehead. Protruding from his mouth was a long toothpick, "Who's there? What do ya want?"
"Cid!" exclaimed Sora, "It's me, Sora!"
"Sora!" said Cid happily, "Long time no see. How've you and your pals been?"
"We've been fine," said Goofy as he and Donald stood next to Sora in front of the mirror.
"Fit as a fiddle," boasted Donald.
"Good to hear," said Cid.
"How's Leon, Yuffie and Aerith?" Sora asked.
"They're fine," said Cid, "Unfortunately they're not here right now. I'll be sure to tell them you asked about them."
"That's great," said Sora, "Hey, Cid, how's it going with the gummy ship?"
"Not good," said Cid in a serious tone, "she's proving to be one tough puzzle to put back together. We fix one problem, another pops up. Sorry, Sora, but it looks like it'll be a bit longer before we can get the gummy ship up and running again."
"Really?" said a disappointed Sora, "How bad could it be?"
"Bad enough," said Cid, "You really put the ship through the ringer when you went up against that Dreadnaught. Another battle like could have destroyed the ship."
"I thought it just needed a tune-up," said Sora, "I didn't know things were that bad."
"Well it is," said Cid, "It's so bad that if Chip, Dale and myself can't fix it, we'll have to build a new gummy ship from the bottom up. In fact, that may just be better."
Just then from the background over on Cid's end, came Chip's voice, "No! This goes, there, that goes there!"
"You mean here?" Dale asked. There was the faint sound of something metal being plugged into a socket.
"No!!" exclaimed Chip, "Not there!!"
From behind Cid came a few wisps of black smoke.
"What was that!?" a shocked Sora asked.
"Umm…" said Cid, "Nothing. Don't worry about the ship, Sora, everything's gonna be fine."
"No!!" exclaimed Chip, "Don't cross the yellow wire with the red one!!"
"Which one?" Dale asked.
More black smoke drifted past Cid as he hastily spoke, "Sorry, Sora, you're breaking up. I'll talk to you later!" With that the image returned to the rippling water.
"Oh," said Sora in a deflated tone.
"You okay, Sora?" Kairi asked.
"I really liked that gummy ship," said Sora.
"This must be like when someone loses their first car," said Riku, "give him a while, he'll be alright."
"I'm fine," said Sora, "really, I am."
"Are you sure?" Donald asked.
"Wouldn't want you des-tracted while fightin' them Heartless," said Goofy.
"I'm fine," insisted Sora, then spoke in a teasing manner, "I'm more worried about you guys."
"You don't have to worry 'bout me," said Goofy as he brought out his shield, a slightly larger version than the 'Save the King' model. Sora could tell that this version packed quite a punch.
At the same time Donald displayed his latest wizards' staff; it resembled the 'Save the Queen' model, but a bit longer and looked like it had twice the magical capacity of earlier versions.
Several broomsticks then brought in the usual supplies: potions, ethers and other status-restoring items that our heroes would need on their mission.
"Looks like you're all set," said King Mickey. He and Queen Minnie then opened a portal, "This will take you directly to The Hidden Leaf Village."
"Where we'll make contact with Naruto," said Sora.
"Help him defend the village against The Heartless," said Kairi.
"While making sure that Naruto doesn't lose himself to the darkness," said Riku.
"Consider it all done," said Donald.
"We'll be back in no time," said Goofy.
"I know you'll do your best," said Queen Minnie, "good luck, all of you."
"We don't need luck, your majesty," said Sora as he smiled confidently, "We were born lucky!" With that he, Kairi, Donald, Riku and Goofy entered the portal, which closed up behind them.
"Well I still wish them luck," said King Mickey, "they're sure to need it."
"I'm afraid you're right," said Queen Minnie.
….The World That Never Was…
Deep within the castle that was once the headquarters of Organization XIII, now renamed New Hollow Bastion, the self-claimed Mistress of all Evil sat on her throne of solidified darkness. With her green-orbed staff on her right hand and her pet raven perched on her left shoulder, Maleficent turned her yellow eyes on the newcomers to her domain.
Kneeling before the throne were seven dark souls, four males and three females, all in their late teens, each cloaked in shadows so that only their outline could be seen. Clustered around the walls of the room were dozens of Heartless in various types, as well as a handful of various foul creatures that Maleficent was fond of using. Standing to one side was Maleficent's loyal crony, Pete
"I give to you," said Pete, "Oh great and terrible Maleficent, the first of many loyal servants of the darkness."
Maleficent eyed the newcomers with greater intensity, "These are the best you could find, Pete?" she asked.
"Well…I…err…" stammered Pete as he nervously wrung his hands, "it's not like you gave me a whole lot of time to look. But I can assure you, they're the best at what they do."
"We shall see about that," said Maleficent as she stood up from her throne. She descended the steps to the floor and bade the seven to stand. "Not everyone can claim to serve the darkness, and very few of those are strong enough to even attempt to master it. Already I have hundreds of thousands of Heartless at my disposal, and it is only a matter of time before I learn the secret to controlling Nobodies. But what I desire most of all isn't mindless slaves.
"I seek those who possess imagination, those with ambition, those who are willing to do what is necessary to plunge all of existence into the darkness where it belongs. You seven are here because you possess all three qualities. But the question remains; can you prove yourselves in the long run?"
"Great one," said one of the male newcomers, "Allow me the chance to prove myself. Give the command, and I shall plunge any world you desire into everlasting darkness."
"A bold statement," said Maleficent, "come forward a bit."
The shadowed one did so, allowing his features to be illuminated by the torchlight. He was tall, about 5'11" with shoulder-length black hair. He had pale red eyes over a slightly orange completion. He wore a black and red leather martial arts outfit underneath yellow and black warlock robes. He looked no older than 18.
"What is your name?" Maleficent asked.
"Ulrik, oh Great One," said the boy, "Ulrik Darkclaw."
"Well, Ulrik Darkclaw," said Maleficent, "you shall have your chance to prove yourself. There is a world that I have begun a Heartless invasion. This world, while full of conflicts of one form or another, has had little if no exposure to The Heartless until now. You are to go there and give direction to The Heartless.
"While there, I also wish of you to make contact with any local villains, any new minions would be welcome. But most important, there is a specific human I wish to be secured and brought to me, alive. Bring to me the host of the 9-Tailed Fox demon; bring to me Naruto Uzumaki!"
"To what purpose?" one of the shadowed girls asked, "I know this world you speak of, it's full of Shinobi. True, they've never seen anything like The Heartless before, but any group of Shinobi can be a match for even the strongest of Heartless. To what purpose will one of them be to you?"
"Shut up, little girl!!" spat Pete, "nobody talks that way to Maleficent, nobody that lives that is."
"Oh yeah?" the girl asked as she stepped forward, revealing a girl about 17, height 5'3" with long purple hair down to her waist, dark violet eyes and a pale complexion. She wore a black jacket over a green tank-top with a blue skirt and black boots. She carried the air of a dark-magic user who was used to getting her way.
"You want to make something of it, kitty-cat?" the girl asked in a taunting manner.
"Kitty-cat!?" exclaimed Pete, "Why I oughta! I'm gonna mess your face up!"
"Bring it on, fur ball!" said the girl as she prepared to cast a dark spell, while Pete readied himself to pummel the insolent girl.
"Be silent!!" said Maleficent, her voice magically amplified so it nearly deafened the humans and Pete, while sending the heartless and vile critter observers scurrying out of the room.
"Now," said Maleficent in her normal voice, "there's no reason we can't be civil. You," she pointed her staff at the human girl who dared to speak out of turn, "what is your name."
"Erika," said the girl as she stared back at Maleficent in a defiant manner, "Erika Bloodstorm."
"I'm sure your name matches your mannerism," said Maleficent, "Yes, I'm quite sure you will find yourself most useful here." she then looked at the five others in the shadows, "you will all find your purpose here," then looked back at Ulrik, "as for you, the reason why I desire the host for the demon is simple.
"This Shinobi, Naruto Uzumaki, he lives every day with the risk of losing himself to the darkness. I intend to make sure that his struggle is lost, and that he succumbs to the darkness in a manner I choose. He will make an excellent Heartless, and, assuming all goes according to plan, a most worthy Nobody."
"But what about the demon?" Pete asked, "That many-tailed fox thing is supposed to be the strongest of its kind. How are we ever gonna control it?"
"You underestimate me yet again, Pete," said Maleficent, "I will have the means to bring the creature under control once it has been brought to my prescience."
"It shall be done, oh mistress of all evil," said Ulrik. He bowed and exited the room, leaving the other five disciples in the shadows, and a flustered Erika standing there with Pete.
"I'll bet that he totally messes up," said Erika.
"I'll take that bet," said Pete, just out of spite.
"You're on," said Erika as she walked towards the door.
"I did not give you leave, Erika," said Maleficent, "if you are to serve the darkness, you must learn to respect your betters."
"Listen, lady," said Erika in an insolent tone, "I'm only here so I can find better opportunities to bring pain and suffering to helpless innocents. If I find out that I won't be able to do that here, I'm gone. But if I can, then I'm at your disposal."
"Indeed you are," said Maleficent, "when the time is right, when the opportunity for your talents presents itself, I will call on you for your services, Erika."
"Groovy," said Erika as she walked out of the room.
"That little punk!" snapped Pete, who looked like he was on the verge of a tantrum, "someone ought to teach her some manners!"
"Obviously you are not that person," said Maleficent.
"I'm not?" a confused Pete asked.
"Despite her insolence and lack of respect," said Maleficent, "I find that I like this girl, Erika. She has spirit, unlike the other inhabitants of this world," she referred to the dozens of Heartless and fiends that had gathered along the walls again.
"But what about the other one?" Pete asked, "Ulrik, you really think he can pull this off with the demon host?"
"That, I cannot foretell at this time," said Maleficent, "for now we shall watch and wait. Patience has always been a virtue of mine."
"What'cha want me to do?" Pete asked.
"It seems that you are of little use here for the time being," said Maleficent, "go, Pete; go with Ulrik to the Hidden Leaf Village. I have a feeling that a certain trio of meddling brats will soon be involved."
"Them Keyblade Punks!" said Pete, "I'll pulverize them!"
"See that you do," said Maleficent.
The end of chapter 1.
Sora: Alright! A new world to explore!
Kairi: And new friends to meet!
Riku: And new types of Heartless to fight.
Goofy: Gawrsh! I hope they're not too tough.
Donald: We'll be fine!
Naruto: You won't be so confident when you see just what you'll be up against.
Riku: We'll just see about that. Wait, who are you?
Naruto: I'm the guy you're gonna meet soon.
Sora: Next chapter…Kuni, Shuriken and Keyblades
Kairi: Be sure to leave lots of great reviews!