Prologue: That which has lingered.

It was a graveyard.

Anyone else who saw this vast empty, scared pit that tried to pass itself off as a canyon would tell you it was a battlefield where valiant heroes laid down their lives for honor and glory. This is a lie.

This graveyard, this ancient canyon, is a place where men went in search of power. Hundreds congregated to this place to fight for a great power. None returned.

None claimed the great power and all died.

Now all that was left were their weapons.

Odd weapons they were.

Though when one looks at them they think it is a sword of some sort but in truth they all carried the features of keys.

Keyblades.

Hundreds of these keyblade wielders died in this forsaken canyon and it was this place that another battle for that great power was fought. None of them died. But that is not cause for celebration.

In the center of these never ending rows of keyblades, a figure sat hunched over, hands clutching the hilt of his keyblade, a long weapon with teeth like blades on both ends. The figure is decked from head to foot in red and gold armor, bulky and shaped to suggest a powerful fighter.

The helmet had a black visor like helm and twin raised 'ears', a cape lying passive over its back. The armor was dulled and rusted, years of wear and disuse taking its toll. For ten long years, this armored figure lay there in grief and penance, never allowing himself to move, to make a sound, to even look at the endless rows of fallen weapons.

For he himself was one of these fallen warriors.

And while he was alive, he suffered terribly.

Truly he, nay it, was nothing more than a Lingering Sentiment.

The Sentiment lay in its' position of grief, never allowing itself to feel anything but sorrow and hatred. For ten years, this sorrow and hatred festered and boiled, waiting to burst. And then He appeared.

The one in black, with the two strange companions, the duck and dog. Something about them had been familiar. But it hardly remembered it's encounter with those three, allowing the memories to fade and forced itself to focus on memories long dead and forgotten.

Memories of its two friends. Memories of being with them, laughing with them, smiling with them, living with them.

But those memories were rare and the feelings fleeting.

The Sentiment focused on one memory only and that memory focused it's rage.

It was a brief memory but it elicited a fierce and limitless hatred.


He walked slowly, carefully.

His cloaks bottom moved and billowed slightly in the wind, dust surrounding the wizened form, threatening to engulf him from view. But the old man was clearly still within view, even from a distance.

And he was smiling.

It was a terrible smile.

It held no warmth, no kindness, no caring whatsoever.

Only cruelty.

And the promise of a slow painful demise if any fool dared to cross him.

The slow even walk was maddening to anyone else but for the old man it was just to take in all the fun. After all, every one of his plans were about to come into fruition. What was a slow walk to years of planning?

It ended here. No, it began here.


The Sentiment's head rose, rust and old joints creaking.

Strange sounds like deep moans of despair echoed from inside it somewhere.

"Xe…ha…"

The armor moved its arm slowly, rust cracking off and more joints squealed in annoyance from being used after so long.

"Xe…ha…Nort…"

Both arms removed themselves from their position and the legs began to rise up, more rust and even some pieces of precious armor chipped off. The Sentiment stood at its full height, a staggering six feet, arms laying limp by its side. The strange sounds were now louder.

"Xeha…Nort…Xehanort…"

With a sudden burst of speed, the Sentiment ripped it's keyblade out of the ground and tossed its head back in a silent scream of utter fury.

"XEHANORT!"

The wind and air were knocked back by the intense fury of the anger and even the long immobile keyblades quivered and shook.

The Lingering Sentiment lowered its head and glared into a distance. He was out there. The Sentiment could feel it.

Aqua…Ven…Finally…I will end this…