The beautifully intricate object felt heavy and cold in her hands. With some disdain, Namine noticed how dust had managed to collect in the crevices of the camera. She brushed her index finger over the top of the camera and revealed the leathery color of the surface underneath. A contented smile passed over Namine's face. It had been far too long since she'd been involved in the spirit realm, and if she was being honest, she missed it with a sweet endearment.

With a click of a button, the accordion-like snout of the lens extended and two metal rods moved to support it. Namine raised the camera to look through the viewfinder. It was much smaller than she remembered, but it did the job just the same.

Namine brought her finger up to the shutter release button and, slightly anxious, she pressed it.

A white flash lit up the entire room for a brief moment, and all objects in the room gained a new shadow for the duration of the burst of light.

Namine twisted the film reel and little ticks sounded as it turned.

"Whoaaa, what's that?"

Namine's head snapped towards the door, startled by Sora's presence. He bounded in through the door, his eyes lit up with curiosity. Xion, who sat unnoticed in the corner, immediately moved towards Sora at his arrival. Sora paid her no mind, too enraptured with the beauty of the camera.

"This is the Camera Obscura, Sora. It's a very important piece of supernatural equipment." Namine responded, lowering it so Sora could have a better view. He looked only for a brief moment before his head turned towards the door. He smiled and urged an invisible force in with a wave of his hand.

"No, it's okay. C'mon!" Sora said, seemingly to no one in particular. Namine assumed he was talking to Riku, and her thoughts were confirmed when the temperature of the room dropped a few degrees. It wasn't terribly noticeable, but she caught the change all the same. Sora turned his attention back to the camera.

"What does it… do?" Sora asked. He reached his little hands out to hold it, but Namine was reluctant to pass it over to him. Sora deflated slightly, but his interest was unwavering.

"I'm sorry, Sora. In all of my knowledge, I only know of one Camera Obscura in existence: this one. It's just too precious to risk damaging."

"It's okay. But… what do you mean?" Sora questioned, tilting his head. Namine smiled fondly at her grandson.

"Well, Sora, this camera takes pictures of two realms: The Realm of Light and The Realm of Darkness." Namine answered, bringing the camera up to her face again. She looked through the viewfinder and observed Sora's little frame.

"What are those?" Sora questioned, looking up at Namine through the lens. She brought the camera down again and carefully set it on the table behind her.

"The Realm of Light is our realm, where we live. All living beings reside in this realm. It's called the Realm of Light because the light touches everything in it."

"We live in the light?"

"It's a little more complicated than that, but yes."

"What about the realm of Darkness?" Sora asked, looking off to the side briefly before returning his attention to Namine.

"Well, The Realm of Darkness has no distinct light. Because of this, many spirits and ghouls go to the Realm of Darkness after they've passed from the Light Realm."

"Is Riku in the Dark Realm?" Sora questioned anxiously.

"It would make the most sense," Namine replied, a little unsure, "but I'm not sure how you're able to see him through the realms. I've never heard of that happening before."

Sora pondered for a moment, putting his hand on his chin as he fell deep in thought. Namine chuckled, knowing he probably would never figure it out himself. Sora let himself fall backwards and landed on the floor with a thump.

"Arrgh, this is all too complicated for me!" He shouted, ruffling his hair in frustration. He laid back onto his back and turned his head slightly to the side, suddenly smiling and laughing.

"Shut up, Riku!" He exclaimed again, batting his hand dismissively towards empty air. Namine tried to conceal her own laughter by laughing into her hand, but the sound of mirth filled the room anyway.

Namine discreetly reached behind her and picked up the camera. She brought it up to her eyes and focused on Sora through the lens. He was too busy rolling around and laughing with Riku to notice her.

With a fond smile, Namine clicked the button and took a snapshot. The room instantly illuminated. Sora gasped and rubbed his eyes. He seemed to go cross eyed as he looked at his grandmother.

"Wow," He commented, "that's bright."

After his eyes seemed to refocus, he looked towards Riku and suddenly became very nervous. His eyebrows furrowed up and the light in his eyes grew into concern.

"Riku?" He questioned, his tone growing more frantic.

"Riku?! Namine, what's happening?" He looked to her desperately, his blue eyes wide and afraid. Namine, having no idea of the events in the Realm of Darkness, simply looked confused.

"Sora, what's wrong?" She asked him, walking towards him and falling to her knees beside him.

"Riku's in pain. He says… He says that the light burned him. Riku…" Sora trailed off, looking distraught. He reached behind his neck and unclasped his necklace.

Without hesitation the brunet swung the chain around his friends neck, and Namine watched in disbelief as the chain disappeared into thin air.

"Sora-" She started, shocked into disbelief.

"Maybe this will help." Sora said, looking hopeful.

Goosebumps rose on Namine's pale skin when she heard soft fragments of words. They were nearly indiscernible, and for a moment Namine thought her ears were playing tricks on her. She knew it was no coincidence when Sora replied to the hushed whisper.

"No. I want you to wear it. Let's go somewhere more comfortable." Sora stood up and extended his hand to the floor. As he moved with the weight of pulling another body, Namine swore she saw a glimpse of a translucent hand grasping Sora's, but with her next blink, it was gone.

"I'll see you later then, Sora?" Namine questioned him. Sora smiled at her and nodded eagerly before walking out the door, his hand still graspable for the unseen ghoul. The wooden floorboards creaked as he passed through the door.

Namine sighed a deep sigh upon his departure and flopped into the chair by her desk. She leaned her head into her hand and allowed her eyes to slip closed. Her thoughts rushed through her head at a rapid pace, causing her mind to be a muddled mess of questions. The more she thought about the questions, the less she understood.

She stood up suddenly, the chair squealing against the floor from the friction. She went to the bookshelves lining the room and squinted as she examined the titles.

An Advanced Understanding of the Realms

Namine placed her finger on the top of the text and pulled the black-bound book out with ease. She flipped through the first few pages as she walked back to the table. She dropped the book onto it and leaned over it with two hands on either side of the text. Her determined blue eyes skimmed over the table of contents until they found what they desired. Namine hastily flipped to the pages listed.

XIII: The Power of the Obscura

Most commonly referred to as the Camera Obscura, this device captures moments in their entirety. Unlike other cameras or capturing devices, the Obscura pierces through both the Light and Dark realms to develop a picture in raw intensity. It is speculated that the Obscura shows fragments of the Grey Realm, but there is no evidence to support this thesis.

The Grey Realm, unlike the Light or Dark Realms, is not concrete. Objects and entities in this state morph and change, but fail to obey the strict guidelines of Time and Space. There is little information known about the Grey Realm, as its presence itself still needs to be proven.

Opposingly, there is an abundance of information regarding the Light and Dark Realms. There is a significantly smaller amount of information regarding their interactions with the Camera Obscura, however, as there are only two known Obscuras in existence.

The significant trait that sets the Camera Obscura apart from other cameras is its ability to illuminate the Dark Realm for long enough to take a snapshot. The blinding light of the Obscura can be damaging to both inhabitants of the Light Realm and the Dark Realm, but those residing in the Dark Realm are especially susceptible, as light is non-existent in that Realm.

Namine stopped reading, although the page continued to talk about the Obscura. She shut the book and replaced the empty slot in the bookshelf before grabbing her Camera Obscura and making her way out the door with only one destination in mind: The Dark Room.