"Agh!"

I propel the young student into the back wall. Reminiscence of Darkness resides on her stomach and shoulders.

"How are you-" I walk over to Xevia. Master applauds over my sentence.

"Well done Seth. What a nice display of Dark spheres. Xevia, you should train like Seth."

She turns crimson upon touching my hand. "I promise to, Great Master. Seth, you are the most extraordinary student I've met here."

"Seth, stop it! Seth!" Mia's voice haunts me as I touch Xevia's hand. I quickly release it, almost dropping her on the ground.

"Nngh!" I hold my throbbing head with my hand. "Nngh, sorry-"

"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"

"Aaagh!"

I fall to my knees, holding my head with both hands. "Mia! I'm sor-gaah!"

Xevia rushes to my aid while Nate watches me struggle with a sly smug. Master simply sinks his head and shakes it disappointedly. "You were making so much progress, and now you regress. Xevia, Nate, please escort him to his room. I'll be up there in a minute."

'

Xevia and Nate gently lay me down on the bed. The only person showing deep concern is Xevia; Nate observes me as if I'm his experimental specimen.

"Should I get you a warm blanket? Tea? Food? Anything?" she asks tearfully. Why is Mia still in my head? I've plunged through deep, thick Darkness for the past three weeks and I assumed I was getting stronger. My mind and-my heart are still feeble.

"I'll get you something to drink Seth. Nate, stay with him, 'k?"

"No problem," he falsely assures as she runs out of the room. "You're feelin' alright Seth?"

I stay taciturn, turning my head away from his cold face.

"Is it that girl again? Mia?"

I keep my mouth shut as I close my eyes, trying to block out his existence.

"You don't need to say a single word. I understand, a girl like that can stay stuck on anyone's mind. She's got that innocent, sweet sound in her voice, her obvious nervousness around strangers, and she wears that silky, islander dress. Blue, was it?"

"What?" I open my eyes and glower at him. He wears his smirk like sunglasses. "What're you talking about?"

"You know exactly what I'm talking about," he rises from the bed and faces the wall. "I didn't go see her, for obvious reasons you know about that world, but we connected minds and she was pretty shaken up. Seems like you're all she thinks about, too."

Asshole.

"Cute," he sarcastically jokes, as if he heard me swear. "She is one of the few people in the universe who can leave a mark on someone's heart. Can you handle that? Of course you can. You are Seth, the eager student who wants to be stronger and devour more Darkness in hopes you can wipe away the mark she's left on you, and hey, like all marks, they've got to go away some day."

Is this kid a mind reader? He can practically read all my fears and feelings. It's really starting to piss me off.

"Let's just say I paid attention in psych class in my world," he bends down so that he's at my level. "Anyway, that girl that you left with a broken heart has made her mark on me the short time I spoke with her. I'm gonna tell you what I'm going to do-I'm going to use the Keyblade to extract her heart and make it mine to control."


A loud thud shakes the whole top floor. When I get to the door, I gasp, managing to catch the cup of hot tea. Seth furiously punches Nate in the solar plexus, shouting incoherently. I hastily retreat back and lean against the wall, eavesdropping on their argument.

"You're not laying a finger on her- sick freak!" screams Seth in a tone I've never ever heard before. Whenever he speaks to me, it's either apathetically or gently, nothing like this.

"She's not yours anymore-I can do whatever I please."

Are they talking about me? Seth doesn't want Nate hurting me-? That's the sweetest thing I've ever heard. But what would Nate want to do with me-oh. Could it be the power that I abandoned to be here?

"What's going on up here?" Master demands gravely, suddenly appearing in the bedroom. "What are you two doing?"

I hear Nate's shoes hit the floor roughly. "We were horsing around Master, nothing more. Glad to see you're feeling better Seth." Nate hastily exits the bedroom, shuts the door, and either doesn't know I'm hiding here or disregards my presence. I watch him until he disappears into the darkness and then press my ear against the door.

"Mia represents the Light within you Seth," Master starts in an encouraging, but earnest tone. "If you cast off that Light, I swear that you will be the most powerful student I have. You've only casted off minimal amounts and see how strong you are now?"

Seth's response is muffled. I sink to the floor, spilling the cup of tea I made from scratch for Seth. All this time, I thought I was the one he's thinking about-it was really "Mia." I can't let his memory of her stop him from liking me, I just can't.

"Jealous, aren't we?" Nate says directly into my ear. I turn to see him crouching next to me. "Don't worry, Mia should be the least of your problems."

"Oh yeah? Why do you-"

"By the time Seth completely erases his good times with Mia from his heart, he will be a person that you're not gonna like."

He gets to his feet and walks down the corridor. I raise my fist at him angrily, leaving him with sweet, parting words, "What do you know? Just leave the two of us alone!"


Darkness always finds its way into the hearts of everyone- what Master Wisp still lingers in my head. If that is the case, then Darkness found its way into Seth's heart a long time ago and in a way, he did turn into a "monster." What if that happens to me? The pain he inflicted on me-

"Mia, it's time to concentrate," Master Shade breaks my pessimistic reverie. "You keep holding back when it's unnecessary."

I remember how strong Seth was…and angry and frustrated. If I keep on doing this Darkness thing, I'll be angry and hateful too.

"Something clouds your mind," he thoughtfully observes.

"Y-yeah," I reluctantly answer, putting the exercise on pause. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Well you're underutilizing your extraordinary gift. Try to focus on being one with the Darkness-this will help you concentrate."

I shut my eyes, visualizing only blackness. The Darkness is ok, I can do this. Nothing but pure Darkness exists in my heart.

"Mia, trust me."

Seth appears in the thick darkness. He extends his hand to me, repeating, "Mia, trust me." Some strange force compels me to walk towards him, even though I want to do the opposite. I place my hand in his without me actually wanting to; it's as if I've lost control of my body.

"I have you now." His body is covered in purple, aura flames, but not covering his face. The Darkness quickly spreads to my hands and torso; at that moment, I gain control of myself as I attempt to run from him.

"Seth, let me go!" I plead, but he grips my hand as if it is glued there. He simply grins as the Darkness engulfs our bodies ravenously as I keep begging for Seth to let me go. Abruptly, the black floor beneath us vanishes and we drop into the thicker pool of Darkness. His hand ensnares mine tightly.

"No! No! I can't-! No more!" I snap at of my spiritual trance, shaking my head and falling to my knees. "I can't submerge myself into the Darkness. I can't."

"Fear," Master Shade correctly assumes. "Now you are afraid of the dark-your strength?"

"I don't want to lose control," I cry out with tears pouring down my eyes. "Seth submerged himself in Darkness and he's changed for the worst. Darkness goes into everyone's hearts and when it went into his, he tried hurting me. I don't want to be like that-I don't want to be like him! Someone who can only hurt and not love anything anymore. What if I lose control? What if I-I-lose my heart?"

The stream of tears cannot be held back anymore. It was so easy for me to bathe myself in pure Light because if I lose control of it, I'll be fine. Darkness is something different-I never thought of it as sinister and evil like everyone says, but seeing how Seth is now, it's something I should fear.

"Dry your unnecessary tears, pupil," consoles Master Shade in a gentle, but stern voice. "If you had the Darkness like the man you describe, you would have already turned out like him. The Darkness you have is clean-no trace of anger, hatred, or lust to kill. In other words, you cannot be corrupted by it. Yes, Darkness can change a person's soul, but one who turns into what you call 'a monster' is someone who cannot control their Darkness."

His reassuring words stop my tears from flowing and give me strength to dive in again. I stand up and shut my eyes again, focusing on the Darkness again. Seth reappears again, doing the same gesture while saying, "Mia, trust me." This time, I don't walk towards him; I hold my arms out to him, accepting the oncoming rush of Darkness.

By the time I open my eyes and feel the Darkness coursing through my veins, I let loose a large sphere of Darkness. Before I know it, I'm comfortably exerting Darkness in every swift movement, like I usually do with Light.

"Yes, this is your true Darkness, your pure, clean Darkness at full force," he says approvingly. "Shall we continue with training?"

"Yes."

I'm on a roll baby~ Review and tell me your thoughts! And Happy Holidays!