Hello everyone, and welcome to the long awaited sequel to the X-Keepers FanFiction!
I bet you all weren't expecting this, huh? Believe it or not, neither did I. This story has gone through many different revisions and alterations to the point where I felt that the project would inevitably be shelved. Nobody was necessarily asking for it, and a lot of my creative juices had dried up at the time when writing. So, I quietly cancelled the story for the time being...
...BUT, with the hype for KH3 being at an all-time high this year, and this weekend being the X-Keepers' 4 year anniversary, I suddenly had an urge to write this again. And if the demand is still high enough, I just might keep going, cause theres a lot of cool places I could take this story ;)
Anyway, with all of that backstory taken care of, let's waste no time and diving into our new tale. Fair warning that if you haven't read the original X-Keepers FanFic, stop here and go read it, as there with be MAJOR SPOILERS ahead. You've been warned.
That all being said, let's get started. Sit back and enjoy the next chapter in the X-Keepers saga...
Kingdom Hearts and all related media are owned by SquareEnix/Disney
"The Keyblade War. I'm sure you all know the story by now. Seven guardians of light, and thirteen seekers of darkness. The day the universe became united against a common threat. I still remember to this day seeing Sora clash with Xehanort. And when all hope was lost, that spiky haired kid managed to save each and every one of us. Granted, it was at the cost of his own life, but what mattered most was that he did everything in his power to bring peace back to the universe and destroy Xehanort once and for all. And in the end, he did. Or at least, that's what we thought…"
SLAM! Lea dropped the closed book onto his desk, alerting the numerous students who had been dozing off. Lea, smirking at his inattentive classroom, simply carried on with his lecture.
"As I was saying," he continued, "Turns out Xehanort wasn't actually taken care of. In actuality, his heart was split into 7 pieces; Isn't that familiar. These pieces, or remnants, tried to regroup and reform the old goat and finish what he started. Well, 6 of them did. The seventh was a mystery to them until the last second, and when they tried their hand at finally coming together, their seventh remnant decided he didn't want to be a part of that. Instead, he found different allies. Friends from the light. And together, they finally sent Xehanort packing." Lea then smiled as he looked at the awestruck faces of some of his students, "but, I'm sure you all know their story…"
As Lea came to a close on his lecture, the classroom doors flew open, as another student rushed into the room.
"Master!" He called out, catching Lea's attention.
"How many times do I have to tell you, JJ, you don't have to call me that." Lea pestered, "Besides, I'm kind of in the middle of a class here-"
"Lea," The student interrupted with a smile, "It's them. They're back."
Those words brought a delightful grin to Lea's face. "Class dismissed." Lea stated, as he joined his new apprentice in leaving the classroom.
~Shadow Shoveler Productions Presents~
The bright skies of the Land of Departure shined brightly through the windows of the castle hallways as Lea hurried toward the courtyard, with a few of his students following closely behind him. It had been some time since he felt such a surge of excitement, yet this was something that always brought a small glimmer of joy to his face. And apparently, it also did to the numerous Keyblade wielders in training following closely behind him.
As he rounded the hallways, Lea finally made his way outside and into the castle courtyard, where even more students were gathered to see what was going on. And at the centre of it all, was Master Aqua and her apprentice, Umbrella Dispatch, looking at what was causing all of the commotion.
~In association with SquareEnix and Disney~
Quickly, Lea made his way to the front of the crowd and approached his fellow Keyblade master. "You guys saw them too I'm guessing?" He asked.
"That we did." Aqua replied with a smile.
"How could you tell it was them?" Lea asked, to which Dispatch snickered.
"Take a wild guess." She answered.
Lea, curious, listened intently to the approaching sounds. Sure enough, what he heard, did nothing less but make him laugh.
"Land of Departure coming in hot!" said a loud, eccentric voice.
"Gee, do you think they heard you?" replied another voice, this one more sarcastic than the last.
"Why? Should I be louder? Would that help?" The first voice replied, mimicking the second voice's whiny tone.
"Guys, c'mon, can we stick the landing without the constant bickering for once?" a third, more calm and collected voice interrupted the two.
"Ah yes, the part where we almost fall on our faces. Always a treat!" a fourth accented voice added.
Back on the ground, the Keyblade masters exchanged amused looks amongst hearing the banter above them. "Yup," Lea stated, "It's them alright."
Finally, the four figures dismissed what looked like Keyblade gliders as they started to plummet to the castle grounds below. After several twists and turns of acrobatics to slow down their decent, the four figures finally landed across from the crowd of awestruck students, as well the smiling faces of their masters.
As the dust settled, the large group of students looked on at the sight of the four heroic Keyblade wielders now standing before them, as faint whispers in the crowd uttered their name in awe…
~X-KEEPERS: Reign of Light~
CHAPTER 1: Heroes
Getting to his feet, he looked on at the massive castle grounds in front of them, basking in the joy of being back where their adventures began. Closing his eyes, he inhaled the fresh air with a sigh. For SoraAlam, there was nothing more satisfying than being where he considered home. Behind him, his friends also gathered themselves from the ground.
"Whew, I don't think I'll ever get tired of that!" HMK said, stretching out his arms.
"After the amount of elixirs you took? Yeah, that doesn't surprise me." Skyward Wing responded, straightening his white winged cap and his new black hoodie overtop of his white t-shirt.
"Welcome back, boys!" The four looked to see Aqua, as well as the numerous other young Keyblade wielders, watching on as the team gathered themselves from their landing.
"Master Aqua." SoraAlam greeted, bowing to his former master, to which Aqua giggled at.
"You know you don't have to keep calling me that, SoraAlam." Aqua said, as SoraAlam sheepishly rubbed the back of his head, remembering that he too is a master now.
"Heh, right…Aqua." He said with a smile.
"What brings you all back here?" Aqua asked.
"We thought we'd come by and see how everyone was." Cynical answered, fixing his black and grey jacket over his green shirt, "The worlds have been pretty quiet recently so we haven't had a lot to do."
"In other words…we were bored." SoraAlam admitted.
"And the most fun thing you could think of was coming back to school." Lea said, sarcastically, "You can't make this stuff up."
Aqua rolled her eyes, turning her attention back to her old apprentice. "Well, we're glad you decided to come visit." She replied.
"Looks like you guys weren't the only ones." Sky responded, as the group looked at all of the awestruck faces of Aqua and Lea's students.
Lea chuckled a bit before waving overtop the students. "Alright you rascals, you got to see them. Let the celebrities have some breathing room."
The students groaned, as the redheaded pyro started to herd the group of young Keyblade wielders away from the scene. As the crowd hurried along, amongst the team of heroes, Umbrella Dispatch approached HMK with a loving embrace. "It's good to see you guys again." Dispatch said with a smile.
"Same." HMK happily responded, "You know I couldn't stay away from you long, even if I tried."
Dispatch laughed, as Sky passed by the couple with a sly remark, "And that's a fact." HMK shot Sky a look, as the nomad Keyblade master shrugged his shoulders and continued on his way.
SoraAlam, rolling his eyes at the exchange, turned back to Aqua. "So, what is new going on around here?" He asked.
"Well, the Millions Dream Festival is about to start tonight, and Mickey invited us all to Disney Town to celebrate." Aqua explained, as the young boys looked at each other with smiles.
"Yeah, Mickey was talking about it the last time I saw him." Sky explained, "Sounds like it could be fun."
"I'm sure any chance you get to party, you'll take." Cynical replied.
"And why would I not?" Sky said with a laugh, as SoraAlam turned back to Aqua.
"We'd love to come." SoraAlam said, "I think we could all use a fun time."
"Why don't we all head inside? We'll help you guys get settled in." Aqua suggested, to which everyone agreed. Thus everyone headed for the castle doors.
As the group went forward through the castle, Lea threw his arm around HMK and lead him away from the group, intending for a private conversation.
"You seem to be in a pretty good mood." Lea said.
"Well, things have been going pretty good out in the worlds." HMK replied.
"I'm sure they are," Lea stated, "After what you guys went through, I'm sure that's certainly a change of pace."
"Definitely. Speaking of change of pace, how's JJ making out?" HMK asked.
"The 'Gamer with Gains'?" Lea said with a smile, "He's certainly got the makings of warrior I can say that."
"I don't doubt that," HMK said, "That's why I suggested him to you for as a new apprentice."
"Indeed." Lea nodded, "Which reminds me. When were you thinking of bringing on a protégé?"
HMK laughed, shaking his head, "Lea, I already told you…"
"I know, but I was just thinking," Lea tried to explain, "seeing how far you've come as a Keyblade wielder, and the fact that I named you a master."
"Which I declined," HMK reiterated.
"It's still true though," Lea continued, "I thought you'd be interested in shedding that knowledge and skill onto someone else."
HMK kept shaking his head, "Lea, you should know more than anyone that I'm not the teacher type. Besides, I just don't think I'm ready for that kind of responsibility yet."
HMK kept walking down the hallway as Lea stopped at the doorway, watching his former apprentice keep walking. "Trust me, buddy. You've got more teaching skill than you think." He called after the hectic one, who turned around to face his old master while still walking.
"I'll believe it when it actually happens." HMK playfully said back before turning back around and continuing down the hallway.
Lea smirked as he watched his former apprentice continue down the hall. He knew HMK would turn down his offer, just like he had the last few times he brought the idea up to him. But he knew deep down the HMK would come around. He was too outgoing to withhold his skills and knowledge from those who wanted to learn.
Once the young Keybalde wielder was out of his sight, Lea turned around and headed back down the opposite side of the hallway, deciding to prepare for the festivities later that night…
From the bright lights, to the upbeat music, to the joyful faces of everyone in the square, Disney Town looked more lively each and every time they held the Million Dreams Festival. And this year was no exception, given all that had transpired in the last few years. If anything, it was a celebration of peace and merriment, and the great signs of a wonderful future on the horizon. Or at least, that's what Cynical saw as he walked through the square.
Looking around the town, he watched the happy faces of young and old wander through the multi-coloured streets of the royal town, looking up above to see even Disney Castle lit mightily strong. He smiled at the majesty of the world, despite it's cartoonish aesthetic.
As Cynical continued down the street, he didn't notice Skyward Wing creeping up behind him, before the young Keyblade master leapt up behind the heuristic one, throwing his arm around the young boy.
"Alright, phase one of operation 'shell-breaker' is a go!" Sky enthusiastically said, "The first step of coming out of a comfort zone is to always have a proper wing man. And because it just happens to be in my name, it's only fitting that I be the one to assist you in your endeavors."
"And why are you deciding to do this?" Cynical asked.
"What? Can't a friend help another friend open up to the wide world of opportunity?" Sky questioned back, to which Cynical shook his head.
"What makes you think I need that?" Cynical kept asking.
"Aw, come on, Cynical, buddy, I've seen how you act." Sky reiterated, "It's not like you're cut off from the world, but I don't see you lining up first to get involved."
"You make it sound like it's a bad thing." Cynical quipped, "Besides, who's to say I don't get myself involved? I have my fair share of outstanding moments."
"I'm not talking about when we're on missions," Sky laughed, "I'm talking about in a more…social sense."
Cynical snickered at Sky's remark, "Sky, did it ever occur to you, that maybe I like being better off in the position I'm in?"
"Not sure why you would be." Sky shrugged, as Cynical rolled his eyes.
"What I'm saying is, if I want to be-" Before Cynical could finish his statement, he looked back in front of him to notice a stationary wagon in his way, to which he bumped into. Trying to catch himself, Cynical watched the numerous pots of flowers almost fall over. Quickly, he dove to the ground to try and catch the pots before they hit the pavement. Successfully, he managed to catch the two pots, sighing in relief.
"Smooth." Sky said, as Cynical collected himself off the ground.
Placing the pots back on the wagon, Cynical looked up to see a young flower girl, about the same age as him, who had come back to the side of her wagon to see Cynical, she too looking at him. Cynical was at a loss for words when he saw her beauty, not sure how to react or what to say.
Finally, clearing his throat, Cynical managed to speak. "I, uh, um, sorry, about that."
"No, no, it's fine," the flower girl said, "I should have moved the wagon a little more off the road."
"Well, I don't know about that." Cynical replied, "When it's closer, more people will be able to come in contact to it. In some cases, quite literally."
The flower girl giggled at the reply, which made Cynical himself laugh a bit.
"I'm Kayla, by the way." The flower girl introduced herself.
"Jared." The heuristic one replied, "My friends call me Cynical."
"What brings you to Disney Town?" Kayla continued to ask.
"My friend is actually a really good friend of the King. He invited us." Cynical explained, which caught Kayla's intrigue.
"Oooh, you must be very important." She said.
"Me? Nah, just another wielder of the Keyblade going about his day." Cynical scoffed, Kayla smiling at his title.
"A Keyblade?" She cooed, "Now that does sound important."
"I mean, if you say so." Cynical laughed, starting to bashfully stumble over his words.
"Actually speaking of going about our days, I have to go set up more of these lovelies around the festival." Kayla said, grabbing the different pots of flowers.
"I see," Cynical said, stepping away from the wagon. "Hopefully I'll see you around."
"Yeah, definitely." Kayla nodded, as she continued to grab her pots and headed back into the square. "Well, I'll, uh, see you around," She said, turning back around with a small blush.
As she walked, Cynical watched her leave, smiling, before turning back to Sky, who simply wore a dumbfounded look on his face. "What?" Cynical asked.
Sky, however, simply put his hands together and pointed at the heuristic one, dryly stating, "Boy."
Meanwhile on the other side of the square, HMK traveled down the street with Umbrella Dispatch by his side. Hand in hand, the couple took in the sights of the world and its festive appearance. As they continued to walk, Dispatch looked at HMK, smiling at the certain look on his face.
"Lea talked to you about the whole apprentice thing, huh?" She asked, to which the hectic one rolled his eyes.
"News sure does like to travel fast, doesn't it?" HMK sarcastically remarked.
"You know, for all the odd things that go on in Lea's mind, this is one that I kind of have to agree with him on." Dispatch said.
"You too?" HMK groaned.
"I mean, babe, think about it." Dispatch explained, "after all the trouble you had to go through last year, all that you managed to learn and achieve, I don't know why you wouldn't want to pass that knowledge onto others. That and you're pretty good with the younger ones"
HMK laughed, "Ok, first of all, no I'm not. Two, just because I managed to help defeat Xehanort does not automatically make me prime to teach others. And three, like I told Lea, I just don't think I'm ready."
Dispatch, noticing her boyfriend's somber tone, stopped in front of him, looking up at him sincerely. "No one ever thinks they're ready until they actually try it." She said with a smile.
"Did Aqua tell you that?" HMK asked.
"Even if she didn't, it still true. Whether you like it or not, Lea made you master for a reason."
HMK looked back at her, somewhat defeated, "But we both know why I don't deserve it."
Dispatch looked at the saddening expression on HMK's face, knowing the torment that was going on in his head, and the pain that he was referring to. "What happened wasn't your fault." She replied, placing a hand on HMK's cheek, as he looked up at her uncertainty in his eyes.
"Yo! Lovebirds!" The moment passed quickly, as the two were interrupted by Sky and Cynical approaching the two. "Mickey's going to start the opening ceremonies soon. You coming?"
HMK, regaining his composure, simply chuckled, "Yeah, wouldn't miss it."
Cynical began looking around the around. "Do you guys know where SoraAlam is? I know he was excited for that."
"Wasn't he with you?" Dispatch asked.
"No, we thought he came in with you guys." Sky answered.
The group were now confused. HMK thought to himself where the stormless one would have gone, before he looked over to Cynical. The two locked eyes, as they both same to the same conclusion.
"You think…?" HMK asked, to which Cynical sadly nodded.
The sounds of the ocean waves danced in his head as he listened to the waves crash gently onto the shore. Standing at the far side of the island, near a large treehouse, he saw the sunset in the distance, as he kept his gaze on the other side of the island.
There, on the smaller island, sitting on the bent papou tree…was her.
The last time SoraAlam visited this place, he had no idea who she was, or what kind of impact she had on him. But ever since the day they met, memories had been pouring into his mind one by one. Memories that were not his.
The strongest memories, without question, were of her. And knowing what he didn't know then, it all made him feel…something. He didn't know what it was, but this girl was important to him. Or at least, who he used to be.
It wasn't until he heard the sound of a corridor of light summoning that SoraAlam's trance had been cut. But he still didn't turn around. Instead, he listened as HMK exited the corridor, which closed behind him.
"Nice sunset." HMK commented, "though I'm sure that's not what you come here for."
"I worried everyone, didn't I?" SoraAlam asked, still not averting his gaze.
"Nah, Cynical and I figured you'd be here." HMK responded, leaning on the railing, "Told him I'd drag you back this time."
SoraAlam laughed a bit. "I'm sure."
The two continued to look out at the nice view, as HMK also noticed the redheaded girl sitting on the island.
"I'm surprised you haven't talked to her yet." HMK mentioned.
"Oh yeah, that would fun. 'Hey, Kairi, I'm the reincarnation of your dead boyfriend. You wanna go get sea-salt ice-cream sometime?'" SoraAlam scoffed, stepping away from the railing.
"Hey, how do you think I asked Umbrella out?" HMK responded with a smirk.
SoraAlam sighed, "I'm serious, this is different. It's almost like…I can feel him. His heart, still active inside me. Calling out to her."
HMK raised an eyebrow. "Sora? Yeah, I guess that does make sense."
"You say that so casually! Like it's normal." SoraAlam held his hands to his head, clearly frustrated.
"Trust me, dude. I know this isn't normal. At all." HMK reassured him, "Besides, you're not the only one having to deal with a past life haunting you."
SoraAlam was about to respond, but stopped before he even spoke, knowing what HMK was referring to. "Oh, right." He simply responded, "Sorry."
"Don't worry about it." HMK answered, "At least one person knows what I'm going through."
SoraAlam, seeing the conflict in his friend, rejoins him by the railing, looking out at the beating red sun. "I guess we both have legacies holding us back."
HMK swayed his head, thinking about it, "Sort of." He responded, "We're both different cases though. My former life tried to send the worlds into darkness, and yours managed to bring out their inner light. Polar opposites of the spectrum."
SoraAlam sulked at this thought. "How are we supposed to live up to that?" He questioned, "How am…I supposed to live up to that?"
HMK also thought about it, a tad distraught. The more he thought about it, he remembered how much SoraAlam has it worse than him. He was following in the footsteps of the saviour of the worlds. Anyone in their right mind would see that to be a massive undertaking.
Thinking carefully, HMK came to something of a conclusion. "well…I guess we just have to keep telling ourselves that…we're not them." He said.
SoraAlam looked at HMK, thinking on his words. HMK smiled, deciding to lighten the mood. "C'mon, the opening ceremonies are about to start." He said, throwing an arm around SoraAlam and leading him back toward where a corridor of light was waiting for them. "Besides, I hear their handing out free ice cream, and I am NOT missing that!" HMK added, to which SoraAlam just couldn't help but laugh at.
"Good evening, one and all!" King Mickey Mouse declared, standing upon the grand stage of the Disney Town square. "I'm so happy you all could make it here tonight. It's been so long since we could all come together and celebrate times like these." Mickey looked out over the podium to see his friends and fellow Keyblade masters off in the distance, smiling from within the crowd.
There, Sky and Cynical looked to see HMK approaching with SoraAlam in tow. "Hey, you made it." Sky said happily.
"Was there any doubt?" HMK said with a sly smirk, as everyone turned their attention back to the stage.
Cynical, however, noticed the slight tenseness SoraAlam was still exhibiting. "Hey," he quietly asked his friend, "you ok?"
SoraAlam noticed the worry in Cynical's tone. "Y-yeah, I'm fine." He stammered, trying to brush it off, "just…needed more time is all."
"That's ok," Cynical responded, "it's just…you know you can talk to us. About anything."
SoraAlam looked to Cynical with a half-hopeful smile. "I know."
"Shhh, yo, guys, it's almost fireworks time!" Sky hushed everyone, as they all turned their attention back to Mickey's speech.
"We've all been through so much. Through the darkness and the light." Mickey continued, a swell of championing happiness showering over the crowd. "But now is the time to let our worries fall to the side, and let this new era of peace begin." The crowd started to cheer upon hearing those words. Mickey, beaming with his signature grin, led into his final word, "so with that said, I hear-by decree the Million Dreams Festival be-"
KA-BOOM! Before Mickey can finish, a massive explosion erupted overtop of the stage, causing patrons to scream and run from the stage. Mickey dashed back as his Magic Brooms appeared to his side to cover him.
Within the crowd, the Keyblade wielding heroes looked on in shock in horror. "Sky, those wouldn't happen to be the fireworks you mentioned right?" HMK sarcastically asked.
Looking upward, the group watched as several massive Gummi ships uncloaked within the sky, as the enormous armada floated closer toward the square.
"I think fireworks are gonna be the last thing we get tonight." Sky remarked, as he and his fellow teammates summoned their Keyblades, ready for whatever fight was coming their way.
Wasting no time getting to the good stuff, aren't we?
Hopefully this chapter was a nice refresher on what happened in the last story and prepares you for what lies ahead. Like I said, I don't know how popular this will get, but if you all could leave some reviews, share it around, and let me know you want more, I'll be happy to oblige. Consider this a pilot of sorts :)
With that said, that concludes today's chapter. Let me know what you thought, and as always, I'll see you guys in the next chapter!