Before anyone could stop him, Bambi had rushed at the river and made a flying leap onto the island, trampling a pair of Heartless as he landed.
Sora skidded to a halt at the river's edge.
"Not good!" he said, as he watched Bambi trying to fend off the Heartless. "We need to get over there."
"Move!" exclaimed Donald, as he summoned his staff. "Blizzaga!"
Instants later, the river began to freeze, ice radiating out from Donald's staff. By the time it had reached the island, Sora, Donald, and Goofy were already rushing across. Sora summoned his keyblade and leapt at the Heartless, thrashing a dozen into oblivion. With a barely coherent squack, Donald summoned a fireball that incinerated another ten. Tucking into his shell, Goofy spun like a top and threw himself at a group of eight, smashing them as he bounced and whirled. Within minutes, the island was cleared, but there was no sign of Faline.
"She's not here!" exclaimed Bambi, stomping his hooves angrily.
"We'll keep lookin', Bambi," said Goofy. "She's gotta be around here somewhere. Why else would there be a bunch o' Heartless sittin' around in the open?"
Bambi growled in frustration.
"I know! But, what if Ronno…"
Tears sprung to his eyes, cutting off the young prince's sentence. He shut his eyes tight and bowed his head, as a sob leapt from his throat.
"We'll get her back, Bambi," said Sora, placing a comforting hoof over his friend's.
A slight smile crossed Bambi's face, but an instant later, a flash of lightning appeared just on the other side of the river. The wind began to rise, rising from a near standstill to a gale in record time. The creatures bent into the wind, trying not to be blown away. Before anyone could figure out what had happened, a voice rang out over the forest.
"You think you're going to be prince, Bambi?"
The wind seemed to respond to the voice, blowing even harder than before. Sora watched in amazement as small trees began to fly out of the ground.
"I've always been forced to be second best, just because your father was the Great Prince!"
The four friends had, by now, crossed back across Donald's ice bridge, not wanting to be caught on the island, but moments later, they began to feel that maybe the island would have been safer. Saplings and small stones were being torn from their place and thrown into the gale.
"Well, I've had it with being bossed around by a wimp like you!"
By now, full-sized trees were being pulled from their moorings and tossed about like so many twigs.
"When I'm through with you, you'll be begging for it to end, and when you're gone, Faline will be. All. MINE!"
With one last roaring gust of wind, a dozen trees were tossed into the air, revealing the speaker. Standing in the middle of a clearing, amidst mass of whirling debris, was Ronno. Donald's eyes went wide when he saw the dark aura that surrounded him.
"Ronno's turned himself into a Heartless!" he cried, over the roar of the wind.
"We've gotta stop him," exclaimed Goofy, "before he brings down the whole forest!"
Sora eyed the flying tree trunks, as they whirled around the stag.
"Right, follow my lead!"
With that, he summoned his keyblade and launched himself into the maelstrom. Emboldened by Sora's actions, the others drew their weapons and followed in his footsteps.
An evil glint shone in Ronno's eyes as he saw Sora run towards him, followed by the others. He commanded the wind to toss an uprooted tree at the keyblade bearer. But, an instant before it struck the young buck, magic flashed from his keyblade, and the tree froze in midair. Striking the tree with his blade, Sora hurled the tree back at the Heartless stag. The trunk exploded into a thousand pieces as it struck him, and Ronno fell to the ground, stunned. Sora and the other's rushed towards the stag's prone form and belabored him with magic, blades, and antlers.
Moments later, a rush of wind tossed the attackers away, and Ronno rose to his feet. Within seconds, the whirlwind had returned, carrying its heavy wooden cargo with it.
"Beginner's luck!" cried Ronno. "Try this!"
An instant later, three gigantic trees flew towards the quartet.
"Reflectaga!" exclaimed Sora, raising his blade above his head.
A dome of energy appeared around him, reflecting two of the trees away from him. The third arrived seconds later, allowing Sora to once more stun Ronno with a flying tree trunk. After enduring another round of blows, Ronno blew the fighters away and ran into the forest. The others waited with baited breath, wondering if they had indeed won. The sound of crashing warned them that Ronno was returning with a vengeance.
With a burst of flying debris, Ronno shot back into the clearing, causing Sora and the others to dodge and avoid his energized charge. Once more, Ronno rushed through the forest and into the clearing. Dodging again, Sora landed to one side and looked up just in time to see Ronno charge headlong into Donald. With a screech, Donald was tossed to one side.
"Donald!" exclaimed Sora.
He began to run to his friend when he saw Ronno standing in the clearing, his dark aura dim and his breath coming in gasps.
"He's run out most of his energy," he thought. "Let's finish this!"
"Bambi!" he called.
The stag rushed over to him and saw Sora's keyblade glowing.
"What're you doing?" he asked, feeling himself filling with magical energy.
"Do whatever comes to you," said Sora. "Just follow my lead."
Sora and Bambi lowered their antlers and rushed at Ronno, magic energy granting them supernatural speed. Ronno cried out as their antlers sliced down his size. Once, twice, three times, they rushed the stag, ramming into his side. As Ronno stood dazed, Bambi lowered his horns, and Sora rushed towards him. Using the stag's antler's as a springboard, Sora leapt high into the air. Summoning his keyblade, he fired dozens of magic blasts at Ronno. As Sora landed with a thud, Bambi threw back his head and cried out to the sky. Moments later, the ground began to shake as the edge of the clearing glowed. Sora cheered as a summoned herd of deer raced into the clearing, bashing Ronno as each ran through.
Sora felt himself weakening as his energy began to run out. His breathing grew heavy as his legs began to give out.
"You alright?" asked Bambi.
"I'm fine," replied Sora. "Did we beat Ronno?"
The pair looked up to see the other stag collapsed on the ground. Cautiously, Bambi approached the prone form. He was mere feet from the stag, before his eyes flew open and he lunged at Bambi.
"Bambi!" cried Sora.
But mere moments before the larger stag connected with Bambi, Ronno shattered into a thousand shards as his heart disappeared into darkness. Bambi stumbled back in shock at the sight.
"He's gone," said Sora, coming up to his friend.
"But…" Bambi looked around for a moment. "Where's Faline?"
"Hey Bambi!" came a call from behind the pair.
The deer turned around to see Goofy standing at the edge of the clearing. Between him and Donald, stood Faline.
"Faline!" cried Bambi, running towards his mate.
Sora smiled as the pair reunited, blushed at the sight of them nuzzling each other's necks.
"Well, crisis averted," said Donald, as he came to rest beside the buck.
"I guess," said Sora. "Hey Donald, are you hurt?"
The duck waved him off with a flip of his wing.
"I'm fine," he replied. "It takes more than a bump to –"
A familiar flash of light cut him off as Sora's keyblade appeared on its own. Sora smiled as the symbol of the keyhole appeared around him. Away in the forest, Bambi's home thicket began to glow, causing the creatures around it to stop and stare. Sora leapt back and watched as the thicket released a beam of light which illuminated the keyhole. Wielding his keyblade as best he could, Sora pointed the blade at the hole and fired his own beam of energy. As the two connected in midair, energy and light swirled outward, growing brighter and brighter, until the world came back into focus. When Sora looked up, he saw Bambi and Faline eyeing him curiously.
"What was that?" asked Faline.
"It means it's time for us to go," said Sora, coming up to the pair.
"Where to?" asked Bambi.
"Don't know," Sora replied.
After a moment of contemplation, he smiled.
"I guess wherever there are Heartless," he said.
"Will we ever see you again?" asked Bambi.
"You bet you will," he said.