Kingdom Hearts: The Ethereal War Tournament

Part 1

By: NoctisStella20

Disclaimer: All character rights belonged to their respective owner and companies.


Prologue


Sora dreamed again. This is not an unusual occurrence, though – how many times he had this dream again? Probably around eight, nine… there are seems to be plenty of it from what he can remember. Dreams, to him, are akin to a fantasy – everything felt real around him yet he knew that dreams are nothing but a simulated reality. But he knew that when he dreamed, he dreamed of a premonition. His future is told in his dream

This time though, Sora did not feel himself floating in deep, dark ethereal space. To be more specific, it's a feeling when he falls out of a clear blue sky, or entering the dream realm for that matter. So when he opened his eyelids, the world that he sees was far different that what he had imagined. Not stained glass Stations of Awakening, just a barren wasteland. Dry ground, cloudy grey sky and not a single movement were spotted. Cold, windy breeze hit him in his face, covering his skin in shivers. In a matter of minutes, he questioned the existence of his surroundings – what in the name of Kingdom Hearts is this place?

To put it this way, the first thing that comes to Sora's mind is to examine. One can never be too careful to explore uninhabited land. As Sora ventures around the area, the things that he could see were boulders. Not too much, but at least there was still some specimens of nature left. He never felt comfortable with deserted areas – there is a chance that an enemy would ambush him out of the blue. Speaking of enemies, however, Sora remembered his weapon: the fabled Keyblade. The weapon had aided him numerous of times during dire situation and he felt that he'll needed to use it more than he could ever need it. Focusing his energy with his mind, he tried to summon its power and with a light swooshing sound, the weapon itself appeared safely on his hand. There, he never felt safer than ever.

Continuing his exploration, he passes through a couple more boulders that lessened over the time and was replaced by what he could see as large crystals that burst into pastel-like colors, but he could identify that there are pieces of ruins that lay forgotten amongst the crystals. Long ago, this place must be a vast civilization, which took an unfortunate turn of being destroyed. Such a shame for it to happened. He had witnessed what nearly happened to Radiant Garden if it weren't for the efforts of the restoration team. But then, there was an awful sensation inside his body when he came across a temple. It was a feeling of amazement, nothing like he had ever seen. As if it was a nostalgic memory within a holy place, which had been ravaged over the time. Never the less, the other feeling could be described as horrible – something that took your breath away.

Something had been there, and that something was the cause of it all to happen. This thing, whatever it is, was responsible for the creation of the land he stood before now. He felt that he wanted to run, to hide and to stay in comfort of his bed sheets yet he knew it was futile. He had come this far, and there was no turning back anymore. Taking up his remaining courage, Sora stepped inside the temple.

Showers of light greeted him through the sad manner. The temple's glory had been stripped away, leaving behind what's left of it. However, the majority of the architecture was still intact, there are enough pillars left to maintain its stronghold. Several crystals, large and small, grow in some parts of the temple and the floor, laded with white, pristine marble was dirtied by dust and soil. Even more determined, he carefully walked inside straight to the center of the temple, which was surrounded, by amazingly clean water. The liquid was even clearer than the seawaters on Destiny Island. Awed, Sora's eyes took a moment to enjoy the last of its aesthetic until his eyes scanned the mosaic image underneath him. An image of a whale-like creature surrounded by worlds that he was familiar and unfamiliar with meet his eyes. From its depiction, it is a creature of a destructive force of nature, Sora himself hold a shudder as he saw the image. That matter would come later though as Sora was consciously greeted by a disembodied female voice.

The greatest battle is about to be unfolded. A disembodied voice told him without warning. Sora cautiously raised his Keyblade while he searched for the source of the voice – where could it come from?

Then he heard it. A loud rumbling that resembled an earthquake's, Sora struggled to stand as the floor was shaken by a tremendous tremor of the noise, though it was nothing compared to Sora's unsettling feeling. Instantly, the moment the quake had occurred, there was a creepy sensation that crawled through his bones. Despite being shaken, Sora had enough strength to turned his head towards the sky. The clouds appeared more darker and ominous, circling through one spot in a recognizable maelstrom pattern. Lighting cracks through the sky and Sora could have sworn to see eyes as big as Behemoth behind the cloud. Balancing himself amidst the chaotic rumble, Sora raised himself defensively against whatever it is going to happen as the disembodied voice asked him once again.

Are you ready to face your destiny?

Everything around him was mute. Sora simply muttered one word, one full of confidence and assurance that everything will be fine,

"Yes."

That's when the sky broke into two.

As the clouds parts apart, a whale-like creature emerged itself from the clouds. A creature, larger and imposing than any Heartless that he had faced, appeared before him in an intimidating presence. He recognized the shape of the creature to be the same one on the mosaic that he saw earlier. Whatever he saw now, Sora could sense something inside the creature that could be categorized as dreadful, as if it was the grim reaper itself who stands before him. The eyes from the creature glared to the insignifact form beneath the temple. Acting on its instincts, the creature's large body made its way to where Sora was and dashed straight through the pillars of the temple. Rubbles and pieces of the pillars flew everywhere, unleashing dust and dirt through the air.

Sora strikes first.

He aimed his Keyblade's swing yet to his amazement, the creature pulls back, as if it had no gravity at all. Then again, it must be a dream, so there weren't any physical limitations that could hinder it from attacking him further. Sora whipped his head around to avoid the dark energy that the creature had suddenly summoned, swiftly swung his Keyblade to redirect the energies back to the creature. However, Sora had missed one of the energy and it hit him straight to the wall, crumbling him through the dent. Giving a low growl, Sora stared dangerously at the enemy before him. If that whale wants a fight, then he'll get one, that's what Sora had thought. Taking the advantage of the dream's physics, Sora leaped from the floor, jumping through the remaining pillars to dodge against the dark energies that rained upon him. Another leap and he acrobatically landed on the back of the creature – the huge monstrosity tried to pried him off its back. His Keyblade then made its first contact with the creatures' skin but to his frustration, he did not see any sign of harm on its skin. He began to cut its skin multiple times to no avail until its large tail knocked Sora off its back, landing painfully on the ground.

Headaches and nausea had raged throughout his body. Already the amount of injuries he had was comparable to the blows he received from Ansem, Xemnas and Xehanort all in one, it's too much for him to handle. At this time, he was alarmed by the amount of power that this creature had. If can, this creature maybe even more powerful than all of the Keybearers combined! Recovering from the last blow, Sora's eyes widened as the creature prepared to attack him again, showing absolutely no mercy to the state he was in.

He was tired, injured and his strength was almost depleted. He was pretty sure that he'd need more than one Curaga to heal himself up. Never the less, Sora had only one option left in this battle.

Run.

His feet made a dash straight to any possible exit he could find, the creature is in hot pursuit right on his trail. It crashed, it lunges, Sora's heart beat ten times faster in his life. There was a flood of relief when he spotted an entrance not far from where he was, and then his hope was reduced into nothing when the impact from the creature's strength that brought pieces of pillars down that blocked his exit. Panicked, Sora fled to the corner of the temple, seeking for another exit. As if it wasn't enough, the creature suddenly blocked his path again using his body, menacingly stretched its head to Sora's feeble form as he backed into the wall. There's nowhere to escape. There was nothing that he could do as he was trapped between the creature and the wall. Sora braces himself as the whale creature let out a horrendous roar and lunged at him…

…Only to stop itself inches away from where Sora was. He gaped in confusion as the creature began to dissipate into dust, leaving nothing but a broken surrounding. He stood there, bewildered at the anti-climatic course of the event. After quite some time to absorb everything that had happened, Sora slowly slids down to the floor and breathes heavily in a mixture of gratitude and confusion.

But everything was far from over. Behind his back, he could hear some footsteps advancing through his space. As he collect his stamina back, Sora weakly turned around to see who was coming. Standing on the opposite of the temple was a woman, no older than seventeen, and wore the strangest clothes that Sora had never seen before. Her eyes gave him a bitter look, her mouth twisted into a scowl as she positioned herself for combat. Her hands hold a crimson-magenta blade that nearly resembled a sabre, decorated with tribal-like beads around it, and a smaller blade rested on her hips.

Sora's mouth opened to greet her yet the woman wasted no time to unleash her sabre at him and nearly nicked off his head. Staggering back from a surprising impact, Sora barely managed to defend himself when the woman delivered yet another mass of furious bashes at him. Exhausted and somewhat vexed, Sora decided to go the heck with it and cut down on her attack, turning their so-much-for-greeting into an all out battle. It goes on for a while until both had simultaneously stopped their action. The two of them then took a moment to catch their breaths, allowing Sora to examine closer at his opponent. In spite of their abrupt meeting and a fight, the woman's face regressed slowly into calm, speaking out a few words with yet no vocal syllables coming out of her tongue. Sora couldn't understand what she had said at first until he recognized her sentences by the way her mouth is moving.

"Do you embrace or deny your fate?"

Now Sora might not look like the sharpest tool on the shed, yet the toll of the battles in the past had turned his mind to take on any psychological questions that would crack any philosophers on the spot. This fate that the woman had spoke, was it had something to do with this battle? And that creature he just fought? There was a notion to the telepathic link that she might posses (although this is a dream and there is no requirement for any vocal sounds in order to communicate) when she nodded in whatever he was going to think. Taking yet another offensive pose again, her eyes taunted his to accept the challenge she had gotten.

Taking up even more determined that before, Sora charged at the woman using all the strength that he got. The temple was turned into a battle area, filling the air with sounds of blades clashing, legs moving on the ground and battle grunts. Their blades rang in unison, swinging and trading blow after blow in a majestic dance. Neither one of them are taking up a chance to surrender, even if their stamina are starting to run out. His opponent did not show any sign of fatigue, keeping attacking him faster and stronger through each counter she took. But Sora wasn't giving up that easily, he took an all out strength within him to retaliate her cuts back, convinced that he can survive and turned the tables around. A few more blows later, the stopped for the second time.

Panting and out of breath, the two opponents exchanged their glances that brought one meaning that they understood one another.

There can only be one winner.

Twirling her blade, the woman let out a battle cry that Sora mimicked as they charged for one another. Sora's Keyblade pulsated in a white, pure energy that enveloped its blade.

He was getting closer…

His opponent's blade glowed in bright blood-red aura.

He's coming in closer…

She jumped and raised her blade at him.

And he's going for it…

"SORA, WAKE UP!"


A/N: I thank you everyone first of all to read the remake of my previous Kingdom Hearts fic (which is on a different account by the way) and I appreciate any reviews for this fic. I am an amateur writer who still had a lot to learn, and English is not my first language. So any inconsistencies or mistakes with the grammar inside this fan fiction, I will apologize for it. I will also try my best to follow the lores in Kingdom Hearts and other general series that were going to be featured inside through heavy research. As stated before, I'm perfectly fine with compliments but harsh critiques are what creates a good writer.

However, the update may take a little bit more slowly because I tend to focus on more to my university work than fan fictions, so I hope everyone had enough patience for me to update the story.

Once again, I hope you enjoyed the fic so far!