Notes: Okay, I finished the rewrite of this chapter. I think you guys will find it's a major improvement over what I wrote while I was still a complete novice at writing! (Because now I'm an amateur at writing, which is slightly better!) For those of you who are just starting to read this, I hope you enjoy it. Please remember to review!
Disclaimer (God, I hate these…): I don't own Kingdom Hearts, only the characters and places I come up with.
Sora let out a sigh of boredom onboard the gummi ship that King Mickey had apparently sent him, Riku, and Kairi. About three days after they had defeated Xemnas and restored everything back to "normal", or at least as normal as it could get for the three keyblade masters, they received a letter from the mouse king. The letter simply said that Mickey had to see them and that he would provide transportation, no other details whatsoever. About a day after that, they found a gummi ship on the island that they usually spent their free time on, the one with the "secret spot" as they liked to call the small cave that had Sora and Kairi's drawings in it. The gummi ship was a standered one, it was basically a carbon copy of the Highwind without any modifications in anyway shape or form.
Unfortunately, that meant it didn't have a warp gummi installed in it, meaning the trip to Disney Castle was taking longer than Sora had been used to. Whenever he, Donald, and Goofy went anywhere before they got their warp gummi, they were never bored because they spent the entire trip blasting either heartless or nobody ships out of the way. Now, however, there was nothing to occupy Sora's attention other then Kairi and Riku. Kairi was sitting in the chair to the left of Riku while the silver haired teen sat in the middle chair piloting the ship, leaving Sora with the rightmost chair.
"Are we there yet?" Sora asked as he slumped into his chair. Right now, he would do anything to cause some excitement, even if it meant annoying Riku and possibly Kairi.
Riku let out a low growl while Kairi let out a giggle that she had been unable to suppress. "We'll get there when we get there, Sora," Riku said in an irritated tone, though it was obvious, to Sora and Kairi at least, that he was more amused than irritated by his friend's impatience. Sora let out a sigh and sank even deeper into his chair at Riku's response, he had been hoping for a bit more of a response.
"What's wrong, Sora?" Kairi began teasingly; "You don't like spending time with me and Riku anymore?" Sora let a weak grin break out across his face at Kairi's remark, just being around her seemed to cheer him up!
"No, Kairi, it's just that I don't remember you being this boring!" Sora relied with his own mischievous tone. Both Riku and Kairi let out laugh at this, Sora was soon o join in as well.
"Well, in that case, I guess I'll just have to make this trip more exciting for you, won't I, Sora?" Riku asked as his trademark grin materialized on his face. He reached down for the throttle button and set it to maximum, causing the gummi ship to rocket off even faster. Riku then proceeded to do a complex series of aerial acrobatics including flips barrel roll, twists, and countless other tricks much to both Sora and Kairi's delite. Soon, though, he had to return the ship to it's normal speed in order to avoid burning out it's engines. Riku smirked pleasantly when he heard Sora and Kairi's laughs of joy from his stunt.
"That was great, Riku!" Kairi exclaimed as she wiped way a tear of laughter, whether it was real or imagined Riku didn't know. Sora found himself staring at Kairi as she laughed and smiled.
'She's beautiful when she's happy,' Sora thought dreamily. Sora's eyes widened when he realized his own thoughts. He had found himself doing it a lot lately, at both Port Royal and at Holloween Town being just two of the occasions. Sora quickly looked away before either Riku or Kairi could notice that he had been staring. His daydreaming was not something he wanted to share with either of them.
"Okay, we'll be landing in about two minutes," Riku announced as Disney Castle finally came in sight. For the most part the actual planet that the castle was on seemed to be nothing more than a grassy plain, but that could be explained away by the fact that they were coming to Disney Castle directly from space, with no time to explore or otherwise sigh see.
"Wait, what's that?" Kairi said as she got out of her chair and pointed towards what appeared to be an immense shadow around the entirety of Disney Castle. It took a few more seconds of staring for the three keyblade wielders to realize what the "shadow" was.
"T-those are heartless!" Sora exclaimed in disbelief. While all three of the keyblade wielders knew that the heartless would never truly leave the worlds, they never expected to see them in such large numbers; especially after all they had been through.
"Hang on, this should take care of them," Riku said grimly as he pulled the trigger that would cause the gummi ship's weapons to open fire on the heartless army before them. However, when Riku pulled the trigger, nothing happened. He grunted in surprise and pulled it several more times, but to no effect. "I'm taking us down there, maybe the king can explain what's going on." Sora and Kairi simply nodded in response, they were still dumbstruck by the sheer number of heartless that surrounded the castle. Thankfully, the heartless totally ignored the gummi ship as it landed in the garden of the castle; it was the only place big enough that the heartless couldn't reach.
As soon as the three friends walked down the loading ramp, they were greeted by Donald and Goofy, who had apparently seen them as they were flying toward the castle and ran out to great them while they were still landing. "Sora!" Goofy called out joyfully as he picked up Sora in a bear hug, practically squeezing the air out of him in the process. It would have caused everyone to laugh if it wasn't for the immense gravity of the current situation.
"Goofy, we haven't got time for that!" Donald yelled jumping up into the air and waving his staff; "they need to see the king right now!" Goofy quickly apologized and released Sora, who immediately began to gasp for breathe. "Right this way!" Donald said as he led them into Disney Castle. Riku and Kairi couldn't help but admire the interior of the castle as they were led in the general direction of the thrown room. Unlike Sora, they had never seen Disney Castle before. Soon however, they met King Mickey and Queen Minnie standing just out side the massive doorway into the actual thrown room.
"Yer majesty!" Goody called out, waving his hands in the air to get the king's attention; "Sora, Riku and Kairi are here to help!" Mickey and Minnie both turned from the window they had been using to watch the heartless out of to face the three keyblade masters.
"We got your letter, what happened?" Riku asked, taking the initiative as he almost always did. Riku was easily the most adventurous of the Destiny Island trio, it was his idea, after all, to build a raft and explore the other worlds. Mickey looked up at Riku with a confused expression.
"I didn't send you any letters. Every gummi ship we tried to send was destroyed by the heartless!" This revelation enforced a silence on the entire group as they contemplated the magnitude of Mickey's words.
"But, if you didn't send us that letter, then who sent it and the gummi ship?" Kairi asked, voicing everyone's thoughts.
"Well, for now, we're safe," Mickey declared, albeit uncertainty, as he looked out the window at the massive army of heartless that still surrounded the castle. "The heartless can't take even one step in here as long as the corner stone of light is present. I'm still worried about why they're here and what they're planning…" once again everyone took a moment to brood over the mouse king's words. Heartless were driven solely by emotion and instinct. Despite their names, heartless were really just hearts surrounded by darkness in physical form. They themselves couldn't really plan, but malevolent beings in the past had demonstrated the strength, will, and affinity for darkness necessary to get the heartless to obey them and act out their own plans. Maleficent and Organization thirteen were just the most recent examples.
Suddenly, though, a loud explosion was heard coming from the thrown room, shaking everyone from their thoughts. Everything seemed to get a little darker, as if a solar eclipse had just occurred. "The cornerstone!" Queen Minnie yelped as she and everyone else began to dash toward the massively oversized doors that literally reached the roof. Donald, however, opened the secret, and real, door that was actually normal sized. It was almost perfectly camouflaged against it's larger counterpart, but it was still easy to spot if you knew what you were looking for.
The secret passage that led to the cornerstone of light was open when the warriors of light entered the thrown room. They all sprinted toward it, all the while keeping an eye out for any heartless that might teleport in now that the cornerstone might or might not be working. As soon as they were about to walk down the steps and confront whatever lurked down in the now dark passage, a large force of heartless suddenly teleported into the thrown room, which was able to contain then all because of it's own large size.
"We'll hold them off!" Mickey yelled as he summoned his keyblade, "Go on, you can handle whatever's down there!" At this Sira, Kairi, and Riku nodded, they too had great confidence in the combine fighting ability of Goofy, Donald, Mickey, and Minnie.
Sora glanced over his shoulder as he followed Riku and Kairi down the staircase. He could see heartless of all kinds charging at the residents of Disney castles, from the common shadow to the chaotic lance soldier, which resembled an ancient Greek warrior with a Calvary lance. Their most peculiar trait was the fact that the lance itself was a different heartless than the actual soldier, sometimes lowering their fighting effectiveness because of the squabbles that they had when they were losing a fight. Sora shook the last of his worries out of his head as he quickly descend the staircase, he couldn't afford to let his worries occupy his mind in the middle of a fight.
"I knew you'd come," said a voice that came from a teenager who looked to be exactly Sora's age, a proud fifteen. The teenager's appearance gave Sora, Kairi, and Riku pause as they summoned their keyblades and took battle stances just at the base of the staircase. The unnamed teenager was dressed in a suit of black leather armor that had the heartless emblem on it's chest, there was also a double bladed staff strapped across his back though there didn't seem to be anything unusual about it. The actual teenager had ash-black hair styled in a spiky manner that vaguely reminded Sora of Cloud Strife. However, his most distinguishing, and arguably most intimidating, physical feature was his golden eyes. Every single person that had golden eyes reminiscent of a heartless's inevitably had ties to the darkness in one way or another. Judging from the recent events and the teenager's words, it was safe to assume that he possessed dark powers of some kind, especially since the few fragments of the cornerstone of light that remained were strewn behind him.
"How did you get in here?" Riku asked as he brandished his keyblade, the way to dawn, in a threatening manner at the teenager. H didn't bother
"I was easy for me to sneak in, you'd be surprised at how well an entire army of heartless distracts people!" The black-armored teenager eyed Riku's keyblade for a few seconds, but then focused all of his attention squarely on Sora. "I needed to get you here, Sora…I have to turn you into a heartless." Almost immediately the three keyblade masters gripped their keyblades even tighter than before.
"If you think we're just going to let you hurt Sora…" Kairi said angrily. Sora was rather surprised at her ferocity. She hadn't had chance to seriously train with her keyblade, so her fighting skill was considerably lacking when compared to Riku and Sora's, and yet she was still willing to go toe to toe with a potentially dangerous for simply because he threatened Sora.
The keyblade masters' enemy sighed to himself and drew his staff from across his back, taking a battle stance in the process. "I really don't want to do this," he said as he braced himself for the upcoming battle. "But if you won't come quietly…" at this the still unnamed heartless commander's eyes seemed to glow like a heartless's for a brief second. "Then I'll just have to tear your heart out myself, as sure as my name is Nihlus!"
Well, that's a bit of a cliffhanger, but you'll still get a super cool fight in the next chapter! Please review and tell me what you think! The story gets better as you go deeper into it.