Part 7: Sleep

It was still day on this world when I awoke. I wondered what events had occurred over the hours I slept and reached out to Ventus' heart. Entering into him, I peered through his eyes.

He stood in the Wastleland, Master Xehanort confronting him.

"GO!" Master commanded, pushing his hand forward, using magic to buffet Ventus backward. "You can ask the man yourself. Learn the truth, and remember you have a greater purpose!" A whirlwind formed, taking Ventus, and an unconscious Mickey, off the ground, and threw them into a corridor of darkness in the sky.

Ventus found himself floating in the Lanes Between, wearing his armor. He grabbed his head, having a migraine, "What am I? What has Master been keeping from me all this time?" The headache faded away and he straightened himself up to see Land of Departure in the distance. Determined to get answers, he summoned his Keyblade Glider, and flew there as fast as he could.

He landed outside the castle, jumped off his gilder and removed his armor, then headed onward to the entrance. Hesitant, he stopped and looked down, letting out a sigh. Then, he looked back up and walked forward, then stopped again, stunned to see Master Eraqus coming down the steps.

"Ventus! You're alone? I thought Aqua would-" He stopped, noticing Ventus' discomfort. Grabbing Ventus by the shoulders he said, "Well, what matters is that you're home. You don't belong outside this world yet. You need to stay here, where you can learn-"

Ventus cut him off, angry. "In your prison!"

Stunned, Eraqus said, "What!"

"That's your excuse for keeping me imprisoned here, isn't it!" accused Ventus.

Eraqus backed from Ventus. "What did you hear!"

"That I'm supposed to be some weapon. Some kind of χ-blade!"

"I knew it..." Eraqus started, tracing his finger along the scar on his face. He sounded disappointed. "Xehanort, he could never let it go." So, Eraqus already knows then... "I failed, I had the chance to stop him and couldn't do it." His Keyblade appeared in his hand and he looked up at Ventus. "But I will not fail again!"

Ventus backed away scared. Eraqus was turning on him. "Master... what are you..."

"The χ-blade has no place on this, or any other, world. Xehanort has made his purpose clear and I am left with no choice. Forgive me. But you must exist no more!" He swung his Keyblade to the side and light formed around it. Then, he swung it toward Ventus, releasing an attack of light that came at Ventus looking like chains. Ventus flinched and closed his eyes.

"VEN!" The attack didn't reach him. Ventus opened his eyes to see that it was Terra, in his armor, who had come and saved him.

"What?" Eraqus murmured.

"Master! Have you gone mad?" Terra yelled.

"Terra, I command you, step aside."

Terra's armor faded away. "No!"

"You will not heed your Master!"

"I won't!"

Eraqus looked down, sad. "Why do all my attempts to reach you fail? If you don't have it in your heart to obey, then you will have to share Ventus's fate." A tear escaped his eyes, and he charged at Terra. Their Keyblades clashed.

"Enough, Terra," Ventus yelled, "he's right!"



Terra and Eraqus clashed Key's again, and then Eraqus jumped back, summoning light around his Keyblade. He swung and a blast of energy hit both Terra and Ventus. Terra picked Ventus up, and looked up at Eraqus. Angered, darkness swarmed around him. "You may be my Master, but I will not let you hurt my friend!" He swung his Keyblade in the air and the darkness around him exploded even larger.

"Has the darkness taken you, Terra!" said Eraqus.

The darkness around him faded, and Terra pointed his Keyblade behind him, summoning a portal into the Lanes Between. He threw Ventus into it. "Wait, Terra!" Ventus yelled, as the portal pulled him in. He lost sight of Terra and Eraqus as the portal closed.

The portal opened and Ventus stood on the same beach as I. Hurrying, I exited his heart and entered back into my own mind. I jumped up and onto the bridge that Ventus stood under. Ready to leave, Ventus was about to tap the button to summon his armor, but he stopped when he heard me spoke. "Going somewhere?"

He looked up at me. "I'm through with you," then started to walk away.

"Well, I'm just getting started with you. You're strong enough now to fulfill your purpose. So, what are you waiting for?" My words were true, it was time. "Join with me, right here and now. Become the χ-blade."

Ventus stopped walking. "No, I won't do it. He told me, the only way the χ-blade can be forged is if you and me fight. Well, guess what? I'm not fighting."

I remembered the day Master had taken Ventus away for how I had attacked him. He would just sit there, scared, and take the beating. Never have I liked him, but back he was... tolerable. "You used to be too broken to fight back."

Something happened, then, as I remembered the old times. Memories I held in my heart from Ventus' life before, and during, my creation flooded into him. At first, it felt like to me that I was losing something, but that was wrong. I was ridding myself of it.

Ventus grabbed his head in pain as the memories flooded back into him. He groaned, hiding his face into his palms.

"Fine," I said, "then I'll give you a reason to fight. Come and find me, at the one and only place to spawn the χ-blade: the Keyblade Graveyard. There, you're going to see me chock the life out of Terra and Aqua." A corridor of darkness formed around me. "Then we'll see how long you play pacifist."

"Wait!" Ventus yelled, but I ignored him and passed through the corridor.

Master and I met in our castle. The place was rundown, and yet full of secrets. Using the Unversed and our own strengths, he destroyed it, turning it to dust. Then, we turned, and looked out to what was beyond, heading to the Keyblade Graveyard.

Terra, Ventus, and Aqua all stood in the crossroads of the Keyblade Graveyard. Xehanort and I walked forward, ready for the battle that would ensue.

"Behold," Master announced, "these lifeless Keys used to be full of power, united with the Hearts of their masters... On this barren soil, Keyblades of Light and Darkness were locked in combat, as a great Keyblade War raged!" Silence passed for a few moments, then Master continued. "Countless Keyblade wielders gave up their lives, all in search of one, ultimate Key. And it will soon belong to me." He pointed at Ventus. "χ-blade!"

The trio summoned their armor and Keyblades. Terra came running first, but, when he jumped, he was knocked down as Master used sheer energy to move the ground below him and I up. As Terra traveled up the rock, I jumped down in pursuit of Aqua and Ventus. Riding on a group of Keyblades I lifted from the ground I went after them. First, I hit Ventus, knocking him down. Then, noticing Terra's guard down, I attacked him instead, hitting him with a cyclone of Keyblades. Aqua shot up a magic spell from the top of her Keyblade and it went to Terra, covering him in a magical shield and stopping my attack completely. Terra flew back, landing on the top of the mountain.

Ventus attacked Master from behind, but he failed. Xehanort grabbed him by the helm and lifted him into the air. Terra yelled, "Ven!", and tried to run to help him. I hit him with another wind of Keys, knocking him off the mountain. The Keyblades followed him until he hit the ground.

Master squeezed Ventus' head, then used magic to freeze him and his armor in a coat of ice. "Ven!" called Aqua. Then, Xehanort dropped Ventus off the cliff. Master summoned an orb of darkness and threw it into the clouds above. The clouds separated, revealing the one and only, Kingdom Hearts. Knowing that Master had someone who'd keep Aqua and Ventus busy for a while, I stayed and fought alongside him against Terra.

As the fight dragged on, Master finally commanded, "Go!" I nodded, then ran to the edge of the cliff. The man Xehanort had enlisted was fleeing. I jumped, aiming to strike Aqua as I fell to the ground. She was unaware, but Ventus, still frozen, did. "Aqua!" he warned. Shifting positions to look up, I missed her head, where I could of dealt the killing blow, and instead hit her instead in the chest. She gasped, and fell down, unconscious.

I lifted my Keyblade above her and pointed it straight down, the teeth only inches above her chest. No one could stop me from killing her. Ventus struggled to get free, wanting to stop me. In his frustration, the ice started to melt away. He got to his feet with a scream, and faced me. Lifting my Keyblade away from Aqua, I kicked her aside. Ventus leaped first.

I lost to the runt. My body was now dying, fading away into darkness. Pushing myself back onto my feet I said, "You've done it, Ventus." He look at me confused. I withdrew my Keyblade and my mask started to melt away. "Now that my body is about to perish, you and I will have to join together!" Ventus gasped. "The χ-blade will be forged!" Darkness ringer around Ventus and I. Two Flood Unversed appeared and grabbed Ventus, holding him down.

"The Unversed come from you!" he asked.

I nodded. "It happened when you and I were split into two. The negativity took shape as these monsters. They are what I feel- a horde of fledgling emotions under my control. I released them in all the worlds I could, hoping to lure you away from home and isolate you from your Master." I walked up the Ventus. "We needed to make you stronger. The Unversed were the perfect opponents. And better yet, no matter how many times you defeat them, their negativity flows right back into me. You never stood a chance against us, Ventus." I walked into the Unversed and Ven, then everything around us exploded.

Energy burned my body away as our heart's became one. My consciousness started to destroy his, and when the explosion cleared, I had complete control of his body. In my right hand was the χ-blade.

Then, something gripped at my heart. Ventus refused to fade away. In our heart, we'd face one last battle.

"Oh, thank goodness, Ven!" It was Aqua who said that; she'd become conscious. "You're safe!" She ran up to me.

"I can't just fight one battle, then," I thought. Finally, I pushed Ventus out of the body, but I was nowhere near to pushing him from the heart.

"Ven?" Aqua said.

I chuckled and looked up at her. Lifting the χ-blade, I stabbed at her. She'd of been done for, but Mickey jumped in front of her and blocked my attack with his Keyblade. "That's not Ven!" he exclaimed.

Darkness covered me and ate away Ventus' armor and replaced it with my regular suits. "Correct, I am not Ventus." My voice was different. I could hear my own, but Ven's also came though. "His heart has become a part of mine now." I rose the χ-blade into the air. "This χ-blade will open a door, on that leads to all worlds! Then, Keyblade bearing warriors will flock here, each and every one of them, to battle for the Light within Kingdom Hearts! And just like the legend says, The Keyblade War will begin!"

"Shut up!" Aqua said. "I'm sick of your nonsense. Give Ven his heart back!" She leaped, and the battle begun.

The picture had changed. Instead of just Ventus, or just me, it now showed both of us. We each had our own half, and each represented us. Ventus stood in the middle, and I floated above. Instead of my Keyblade, I held the χ-blade, but, it was incomplete.

"Our union was not finished," I said. Ventus turned around and faced me. He gaped at the sight of the χ-blade. "The χ-blade shouldn't stay broken like this. Join me now, and we can complete the χ-blade!"

He shook his head. "I got a better idea. How 'bout I destroy you both!" He summoned his Keyblade.

I laughed. "The χ-blade is made of your heart, too, idiot. If you destroy it, your heart will vanish forever."

"Whatever it takes." There was acceptance in his voice. This puzzled me, he had no care for his life? "Anything to save Terra and Aqua." He values their lives over his own?

"Hmph, it's always about your friends, isn't it?" I asked.

"At least I have some!" That statement hit me. I had no friends, but he did... is that why he feels strong? "I've become apart of their heart, just as they've become apart of mine." He paused, then:

"My friends are my power, and I'm theirs!"

And then, we fought for the last time.

I defeated Aqua and Mickey. Compared to my power, they were nothing. Aqua sat on the ground against and rock with Mickey on the ground next to her. "What's wrong?" I said. "Giving up already?"

Breathing heavily, Aqua looked down, then pulled something from her pocket. It was a small blue star-shaped object. I remember Ventus having one like it, but green. "Terra... Ven... lend me strength." Just like Ventus, she's looking to her friends.

Then, the star-shape glowed. I was awe stricken. Next, her Keyblade let off it's own, brighter, light. She gasped, then, determined, jump to her feet and ran toward me.

"You're just wasting your energy!" I said.

My χ-blade and her Keyblade met, letting off a shock-wave of power in all directions. I laughed, and we pushed against each other's blade with all our might. A Keyblade is nothing to the χ-blade.

Ventus won the fight. I floated backward, letting go of the χ-blade. No, this can't be it for me. I cannot fade away! Not to be replaced by this person who had it all and lost it! I won't allow it! I reached, and reached for the χ-blade, but couldn't grab it.

I closed my eyes as I started to feel death. To my dismay, the χ-blade glowed, and then...

With a scream, Aqua pushed with her Keyblade. The χ-blade cracked. I gasped. This couldn't be! She pushed harder, then knocked me and away. I let go of the χ-blade and it floated in the air. On the ground, I looked up at the χ-blade once more. It glowed, and then...

The χ-blade broke.

First, I fell away from Ven's body. My hold over it was broken completely. The only shrivel of conscious left I had was in our heart, but it was too fading.

As I fell, I looked up at Ventus. Expecting him to be facing the same horror as I, for we were both going to die here, but to my surprise I saw him smiling. He withdrew his Keyblade.

It was over for me, I had lost, but, maybe the Master's plans will still come into fruition. I could feel him; Xehanort's powers have grown. He's taken Terra's body. Even though I lost, this whole battle was a draw. But Ven still smiled, knowing he'd made this so.

As my part of the heart faded, I felt the presence of another. "Hey... Can you hear me?" I was Sora. But, he wasn't speaking to me, he was speaking to Ventus. Someday, I knew, because of Sora, Ventus would one day awaken. Before, Sora was my savior, but now he chose the side of my other.

I hate him for it.

I saw color. Wonderful colors. Warmth, light, love. But, it was really the same as I had before, this whole time. These were my final tastes of life. A knot grew in my throat and tears in my eyes.

Everything collapsed, and I fell into my endless slumber. It was black here, and my consciousness was fading. There is only one way to describe my fate: Empty.