"This is...your home?"

The Nobody stood completely motionless, silently considering the ramifications of revealing the information he'd just disclosed to the girl. It was a careless, stupid decision. It frightened Zexion to think how he was slowly beginning to unravel from his tightly enclosed shell. His mind was of his own, and it was completely abnormal for him to reveal any snippet of personal information to anyone. He ground his teeth together, clenched his fists and attempted to maintain a cool composure.

He carefully looked up from the ground to the girl before him, scrutinising the curiosity and wonder that burned in her fierce emerald eyes. No, he couldn't have any of this. Olette needed to go home before she was discovered, which was inevitable if he didn't act promptly.

"Pardon me, but it is imperative that you leave at once- it is out of the question for you to be here," he explained.

"Why?" she replied. "Why are so you keen to get rid of me? I want to look-"

"Enough!" he interjected. "I don't know what impression you're under, but this place shares none of the mystique and wonder that you are reminded of from the books you read. This is a horrible place and should you ever discover it and its inhabitants, you would not wish to ever return."

"Well, let me be the judge of that," Olette challenged him. Zexion stared at her severely, but eventually chose to ignore her response.

The Nobody outstretched an arm out in front of his body, his fingers unfurled into an open palm as he mentally commanded for a black cloak to materialise in his free hand. Olette jumped at the sudden appearance of the cloak, bewildered by the fact that this royal blue-haired individual could magically make articles of clothing appear at his control. Zexion tossed the cloak in Olette's direction, which she caught rather clumsily, and with an unimpressed tone of voice, Zexion instructed her to wear the dark cloak.

"You'll be safe here so please do not leave the room. I shall return momentarily," he said. Without dropping eye contact nor turning his back on Olette, Zexion used his mind to create a rip in space and time which would expand to become a dark portal. He saw the fear and anxiety in Olette's expression, and could only silently assure her that she would not be sucked into it and that she, once again, would be safe. He slowly stepped backwards into the darkness and watched as it blanketed his sight of a distressed Olette.

The sight of Kingdom Hearts, albeit incomplete, was still breathtaking to behold in the dark sky. The more he gazed upon the luminous celestial entity, the more Xemnas was filled with ambition, for within it, he could envision his plan slowly falling into place, step by step. It was a perfect example of the flawless planning that his mind was capable of conceiving. He was filled with a fabricated sense of pride, and even staring at Kingdom Hearts' blackened, empty patches in its surface did not serve to spoil his determination.

Zexion stepped out the dark portal silently, observing the Organisation leader with caution. He waited patiently several metres away, awaiting Xemnas' acknowledgment of his presence.

"Come forth Zexion," murmured Xemnas.

Zexion obeyed, approaching his superior before stopping behind him. Xemnas did not bother to turn to face him.

"I trust you used your time for repose wisely," said Xemnas.

"Yes, Superior. I thank you graciousnessly for your kindness," Zexion winced at his own words. Why did the words sound so hollow and artificial as they passed his lips? More importantly, how did he learn to accept such fake words said to him in return?

"I'm glad that you are now well rested, Zexion. I have many a plans to discuss with you exclusively before I announce them officially to the others."

"Certainly, Superior," responded Zexion.

"As you've know, I have been eagerly awaiting the advent of the Key Bearer for us to intercept him and use him for our own purposes. For without him, Kingdom Hearts shall remain incomplete forevermore, and it is imperative we quicken its completion."

"Indeed, sir."

"It would appear that our Key Bearer is now getting ever closer to his arrival at Castle Oblivion," said Xemnas, slowly turning to face Zexion. "I wish for you, among a few others, to wait for his arrival at Castle Oblivion and apprehend him there."

"A few others?" repeated Zexion in disbelief.

"Yes. I'm delegating you, Vexen, Lexaeus, Axel, Marluxia and Larxene that honourable task. I trust you are all capable for a mission of great importance such as this."

"Of course, Superior," replied Zexion. "However, I doubt all six of us are needed at Castle Oblivion all at once to handle the Key Bearer and his allies,"

"Do not underestimate the one with the Key, Zexion," instructed Xemnas, "We have no solid observations of him to base such conclusions on. We must act with caution..."

The was a pregnant pause as Xemnas turned to raise his arms before Kingdom Hearts, in deep thought.

"Besides...I have reason to suspect that there may be some planned mutiny and conspiracy festering amongst the lower ranks..."

"You do not trust me, sir?" asked Zexion.

"On the contrary. I've elected you to go on this mission because I have full confidence in your loyalty to the Organisation. I've simply selected you to..."

"Weed out the traitor?"

"Precisely." Xemnas looked to him with a grave expression. "Which is why I've also sealed off all entrances and exits to The World That Never Was at present."

Zexion stifled a gasp. This could not be, for with all passages to other worlds sealed off, Olette could not possibly return home to Twilight Town now.

"But Superior? I do not understand what forbidding the use of the Corridors of Darkness to other worlds has to do with foreseen treachery in the Organisation!"

Xemnas gazed over the Cloaked Schemer with little emotion, his arms motionless by his sides. "I cannot have a repeat of the Roxas fiasco, Zexion. Until my suspicions have been put to rest, I cannot have potential traitors running amuck in other worlds and allowed the opportunity to further conspire away from under my watchful eye. It is settled, no-one is to leave this world until all missions have been addressed and it is time to set up base in Castle Oblivion for the Key Bearer."

"But Superior, I-"

"This is not up for negotiation, Zexion. My decision has been made," said Xemans.

Zexion sighed in defeat, responding, "Yes Superior."

"Good. You are dismissed!"

Zexion turned to leave but then remember the grave implications of being unable to take Olette home. "But Superior, I really think you should recons-"

Zexion paused, noting that the Organisation leader had vanished within the split second the Cloaked Schemer had turned his back to leave. Zexion scratched his tousled hair in frustration, trying to think of other ideas of getting Olette home, or otherwise how to convincw Xemnas to reopen the Corridors of Darkness that accessed the other worlds.

At a loss, Zexion defeatedly decided to return back to his room and figure out what to do for the time being with the young book-keeper waiting for his return. When he'd returned to his room, he was alarmed to find that he was not immediately hounded by questions and pleading expressions from the young girl he'd left behind in his room.

In fact, Olette wasn't even there awaiting his return by the door. She was nowhere to be found in the room.

She was gone.

Didn't I say I was serious about getting this story back on track? Haha, I can't say I don't feel accomplished to be able to pick up exactly where I left off almost a year ago. But anyway, I must bring it to all your attention that I have NOT played 358/2 days yet. This story was originally written on the premise that Roxas had left the Organisation before Axel and the others had gone to Castle Oblivion. So just for the sake of this story, let's just say Roxas did leave before then and Xion bears no importance to this story. Are we clear? Good. Just wanted to have it out there that this story is not true to the actual timeline.

Anywayyy, back to the story: of course our heroine wasn't going to be waiting for Zexion back at his room for him to return! What kind of writer do you take me for? One that doesn't enjoy cliffhangers? Pfffft. So let us all sit here and wonder what happened to her while I write up the next chapter. Deal? Deal. Thanks for reading!