You know, there are times that you think you have completely forgotten something, but a slightest trigger is able to bring back all the memory like a vivid picture. That, was the moment Roxas was experiencing right now. Though, he still couldn't recall what his dream was all about, the only thing he could recognize was that he had seen this boy in his dream…or, maybe?
"…Vanitas?" A name immediately slipped of his tongue without himself noticing.
Now it was the brunet teen's turn to get confused. The other teen, whose hair style was quite messy and wild with all his brown spikes sticking out towards every direction, had just bowed down and picked up all Roxas' books from the ground. He was about to hand the books back to Roxas, but obviously got puzzled upon hearing the unfamiliar name. The brunet teen tilted his head in confusion.
"You sure you okay? Well, you just hit your head but where does that com-"
"Your name is not Vanitas?" Roxas cut him short.
"Vanitas? Who the heck is Vanitas? Never heard of it. Name's Sora. Guess you mistake me from somebody else, huh?" The brunet teen now looked concerned, as if he was indeed worrying about how badly Roxas had hit his head.
Roxas had no interest to answer the obvious so he remained silent, still rubbing the sore spot on his forehead. That little pain was nothing compared to what they usually got in their battle training, but this embarrassment was almost unbearable. He gnashed his teeth inwardly in frustration. Plus, he didn't understand either where the name came from. It was also his first time hearing the name! He never knew any Vanitas all in his life.
That was…utterly bizarre.
"Well? Here's your book." The other teen handed his books back to him with a friendly grin, his cobalt eyes still studying him curiously.
"Thanks." Roxas said shortly. He too took another glance at the brunet teen. The guy was wearing their school uniform, black coat and white trousers, the same as his, expect for a different color of the cape. The color of the cape that came with their Peristylium uniform was an indication of which class the students belong to. Students from Class Zero all wore red capes. Scarlet red was their color. The brunet teen was wearing a blue-green cape. But Roxas couldn't remember which class did blue-green represent.
Funny, on a second look, the brunet boy now looked completely unfamiliar. It was like the memory of the dream was once again blocked off in Roxas' brain. He couldn't recall anymore what the guy in his dream looked like. The feeling of knowing the boy when Roxas first saw him was now completely gone. He was just a total stranger.
Shrugged inwardly, Roxas decided he shouldn't waste more time on a total stranger. So he dusted off his book and ready to continue his little walk.
"Oh, hey, wait a sec please!"
But the other teen called out, trying to stop him. Usually, Roxas wouldn't even bother to talk to a stranger. Not like he was an arrogant brat who thought nobody was worthy of his time, Roxas was simply, well, anti-social. He wasn't very fond of dealing with people. Within the whole Peristylium, he's got only three friends who were close to him enough to be called 'friends'. And they became close friends majorly because they had grown up together in the same town, Twilight Town. Unfortunately, his three friends were all separated in different classes since they enjoyed the capital Peristylium. They no longer hang out together as often as they used to be. Though it was a bit disappointing, separation from his friends did not really bother Roxas. Guess it was just his cold nature. Some people might think him having some sort of emotional detachment problem, he seemed to lack normal level of emotions that common people have…
"Sorry to stop you. But can you please help me?"
The plan should be to ignore the guy and continue on his journey, yet for some unknown reason, Roxas stopped and turned to the other boy, looking at him in question and waiting for him to continue. Weird, he found himself seem to be a bit curious about the boy.
"Well, you see, I'm lost," The brunet teen started to scratch the back of his head and chuckled uneasily, "I just got transferred here. Seriously, capital Peristylium is too large! I'm from Destiny Islands, our Peristylium is nothing compare to the capital! Man, it's like a maze here. My classmates took me to visit Chocobo Farm this morning but then they just disappeared and left me there! I was trying to get back to the main hall based on my memory but somehow ended up to be here. Man I'm so lost, could you show me the way how to–"
Roxas' brow twitched as the other teen started bubbling. He was too impatient to wait for the brunet to finish his whole story. As soon as he got what the other's situation was, he took out his notebook and started drawing a detailed map on one page. The brunet teen, Sora, didn't even get a chance to finish his whole statement as a map was shoved to his face and interrupted his last sentence.
"Woah, wow, a map? You just drew it? Cool. Hmm, that looks pretty complicated. How can you draw it so fast?"
Gee, just shut up and take it. Roxas couldn't help but rolled his eyes. This guy was too talkative for his liking. He almost reminded him of one of his classmates, No. III, Trey, who also loved to bubble about tedious stuff.
Seeing the blond teen simply ignored him and about to take off again, Sora quickly called out again.
"Wait, wait, I haven't said thank you yet. And what's your name? Let's make friends! Don't worry, I'm not gonna tell anyone that you bumped into a lamppost."
Now Roxas was indeed seriously thinking about the possibility to strangle this guy without anyone else finding out so that no evidence about today's incident would be left behind.
But to his own surprise, he told the maybe-too-energetic teen his real name.
"Roxas? Sounds like a cool name! So which class are you from? How can I find you later? Y'know I'm still new around here –"
"Sorry, have to go." Roxas didn't wait for another long speech from the brunet teen, he took off immediately, most like he escaped from the other teen.
What a weird guy.
Neither Roxas nor Sora realized that they came up to the same conclusion about their first encounter.
Olette suggested that they should have lunch together today, since four of them hadn't had a chance to hang out in a while. Roxas was more than happy to see his friends again but he'd never show such affection openly.
Olette was the only girl in their group. She was with Class Four, cape color of which was orange. Students from Class Four were mostly talented in White Magic, magic that heal and support allies. In cases that Peristylium students have to be recruited to the battlefield, Class Four students usually play their roles as medics.
Chubby Pence looked like he had gained more weight since their last meeting. He was from Class Eleven, cape color was white. Students in Class Eleven have a higher average IQ and were more specialized in technology and science research. Class Eleven was directly affiliated with the governmental Arms Research Institute. So they didn't have to participate in any physical training like other students in the Peristylium did, which was exactly what Pence wanted (and was also the reason why he kept gaining weight). Throughout the Realm of Light, only selected numbers of humans were granted the ability of using magic. While only magic and keyblades could truly defeat creatures from the Realm of Darkness, in the wars against darkness-corrupted humans, weapons such as swords and guns were more often used. Therefore advancing weapon technology was strategically critical so that so the Sanctum, the current government, had made a quite large investment in that sector over the years. Though Radiant Kingdom, the largest human nation in the Realm of Light, was still a monarchy on the surface, King Mickey, who was a Keyblade Master himself, had stepped aside from the power many years ago and let the Council, now called Sanctum, to run the country instead. His Majesty now devoted himself in studying the art of Keyblade and seeking a way to ultimately end the Darkness invasion.
In contrast of Pence, Hayne was well-built like a jock. He was from Class One, a highly-respected elite class next to Class Zero. Their cape color was turquoise. Class One was specialized in all sorts of combat skills. Students in Class One had a strong sense of Honor. They considered themselves as strong as Class Zero, but sadly they had to live in the shadow of Class Zero, for only Class Zero members were able to wield Keyblades thus owning more respect and expectation from the public. Nevertheless, most members of Class One were striving to become Agito as well despite of the common belief that Agito would one day emerged from Class Zero. Hayne also had this strong rivalry sense against Roxas despite them being best friends, but much to his frustration, Roxas seemed never cared about who was better. In many people's eyes, Roxas was too cold, almost heartless, not caring anything in the world but polishing his own battle skills. But Hayne, Pence and Olette knew better. It was not true that he was not caring at all, on the contrary, the reason why he was working so hard to become a qualified keyblade-wielder was because he cared, cared too much of his only family…
"Hey Roxas? Did you hear us? You spaced out again." Olette waved her hand in front of Roxas' eyes, trying to bring him back to the earth. Sometimes even they, the closest friends, couldn't know what the silent teen was thinking in his blond head.
"…I'm listening." Roxas said quietly, slowly taking another sip of the Paopu juice through the straw.
"Then what you think? Do you think what Pence just said is really going to happen? Have you guys in Class Zero got any words about it?" The brunet girl asked curiously.
"No. We haven't been informed with anything yet. But I think it may be true."
"No way. If Roxas is saying it's true, then that means it's gotta be true!" Hayne shouted out.
"Do you mean, Namine 'saw' this is coming?" Olette asked with a now saddened face.
"Right right, that's exactly what I heard," Pence responded before Roxas, "'White Witch' has made a prophecy that Byakko Empire is going to invade us in a short time. "
"Pence!" Olette raised her pitch in disapproval, "You shouldn't have said that name."
"Oh. Oops, sorry Roxas, I didn't mean anything bad. I was just repeating what I heard." The chubby teen apologized for his carelessness.
"It's okay." Roxas nodded slightly, a sign to show his friends that he was not offended.
White Witch - that was the name many people dubbed his twin sister Namine as, in a not very friendly sense. Namine inherited 'Etro's Eyes' as the Seeress of the Farseers. Etro's Eyes granted her the ability to trace the timeline, to see 'Visions' of the future. Because of her unique ability, she was separated from her twin brother when they found out about her blood and now lived under the highly strict protection from the Sanctum government. Namine has become such an important figure to the Sanctum that even Roxas was only allowed to meet with his sister once a month.
While her foreseeing vision could help the Sanctum make important decisions, common folks around the Kingdom didn't appreciate her that much, for often the times her prophecy meant misfortune and calamity was coming along. Many people believed her ability was ominous, that was why they called her "White Witch". The girl, who always dressed in white one-piece, was a witch to them. Even though Namine didn't spend much time together with the gang like Roxas did when they were young, they were still friends. Olette felt it was very inappropriate for Pence to use such name in front of Roxas.
Yet Roxas didn't take it seriously at all. Whatever name the others wanted to call them, it mattered not to him, because whatever people wanted to say wouldn't make any difference to the reality. They can talk all they want. Just like some people were saying "Etro's Eyes" was a gift from Etro, the Goddess of Light, to human, but to Roxas, it was more like a curse.
"Namine didn't tell me the details of what she saw this time. She just mentioned there's going to be war very soon." Roxas told his friends what he learnt from his last meeting with his elder twin, which happened just several days ago.
"So it is true then…We are going war with Byakko Empire…" Apparently Olette was very upset about the news, "Are they…are they going to send us all to the battle field?" Unlike Hayne who had some real field experience from participating in military missions as a part of his training in Class One, Olette, on the other hand, had never been to a battle ground. She had never seen what war was truly like with her own eyes.
"Of course they will." Hayne, on the contrary, seemed to be excited, "Large part of the Sanctum troops was still in east fighting Sin. That's probably why Byakko is taking this chance. If they dare to invade, I'm gonna teach them a lesson or two, look who they are messing with." The excited teen even started cracking his knuckles.
"But they are humans! They are not like Sin, that dark creature from the Realm of Darkness. They are like us. Are we really going to fight our own kind?" The kindhearted girl couldn't help but argue.
"What? Would you rather sit here and die if they invade us?"
"I agree with Hayne." Pence, who just finished his second burger, re-joined the conversation, "Obviously Byakko is corrupted by Darkness if they decide to declare war on us. They probably have become Darkness' pawns already. We can't think them as humans any more if they are indeed corrupted, remember? They are enemies."
"I know, but still…Is there no other way but war…?" Olette looked down at her untouched food, she found her appetite was completely lost.
This was not a peaceful era. Conflicts between the Realm of Light and the Realm of Darkness have lasted for thousands of years. Though a full-scale war between Light and Darkness only took place once every thousand years, there were still countless regional conflicts and disputes within the Realm of Light even in the so-called "Calm" period. Dark creatures were not the only enemy that citizens of Light had to face. Darkness has permeated into the Realm of Light ever since the First War. Humans who submitted themselves to their rotten desires and greed were willingly to make themselves as the Darkness' pawns and servants, and turn against their own kind.
The conflict seemed to be endless. No wonder even a young girl like Olette would have this war-weary feeling. Nobody knew what it took to 'win' the war against Darkness, or did the possibility of 'winning' even exist? Even the Seeress couldn't see that far into the future. All they could do, was to live the present.
The cafeteria was full of students at this time, crowded and noisy. But the atmosphere at Roxas' table had turned so heavy as everyone remained silent, not knowing how to answer Olette.
"…Do you guys have any idea what class is blue-green?" Finally Roxas broke the dead silence by surprising everyone else with a completely off-topic question.
"Huh? Why are you asking?"
"Let me see. Blue-green should be Class Twelve. They say Class Twelve are a bunch of weirdos." Pence answered Roxas' question.
"Weirdos huh? …Indeed he is." Roxas muttered to himself, fingers tapping his own jaw as if in deep thought.
"What? Do you know anyone from that class?"
"I met a transfer student who could be from that class."
Roxas then told his friends how he bumped into a lamppost while walking in his sleep and his encounter with this Sora guy. He didn't hide the embarrassing details from his friends even though that made them start laughing at him. The air was lightened. Even Olette, who was depressed by the previous war topic, was now smiling again.
See? Olette smiled. Roxas was not a heartless person like many people thought. He was just not good at expressing himself, but he indeed was a loyal friend and he really cared for them in his own way.
But what intrigued Olette the most was the boy Roxas mentioned, that transfer student named Sora. Because she had never seen Roxas ever show any interest in anybody else besides them and his sister. But looks like this Sora had definitely caught Roxas' attention, no matter how slightly it might be. That made Olette very curious, what kind of person was this Sora guy? Now she really wanted to know.