Kingdom Hearts: Dusk of Dawn



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king_mickey rule

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KINGDOM HEARTS: DUSK OF DAWN


PROLOGUE 1: THE GREAT DIVIDE


In ancient times, the World was filled with Light. The Light was precious to the Residents of the World. But the Residents grew greedy and they started fighting over the Light. Darkness was born, war broke out and the World… devastated.

However, there were those who defied the war. Strong-willed people who were ready to do anything to bring back peace. And one day, they were given the power to do so.

Chosen by mysterious objects called Keyblades, these chosen ones divided the World into different Realms: the Realm of Light, the Realm of Darkness and the Realm Inbetween. Barriers between the Realms were sealed and the war ended.

In return for peace, the chosen ones, now known as Keyblade Wielders, had to dedicate their lives to preserving the balance between Light and Darkness by staying in the Realm Inbetween and act as the advocates between the two. Those who proved themselves worthy, gained the title of Keyblade Master. They had the duty to pass down their knowledge to future generations, so that mistakes of the past would never be made again. But the past always finds a way to repeat itself.


PROLOGUE 2: THE KEYBLADE WAR


Centuries passed. Unbeknownst to the Keyblade Wielders, Darkness found a way through the barriers and started planting seeds within the hearts of the Keyblade Wielders. Some resisted the seeds while others welcomed the Darkness and got corrupted. Eventually, they split up into different factions: defenders of Light, servants of Darkness, those who sought to reconcile the former two and those motivated only by their lust for power.

Upon discovering an almighty entity called Kingdom Hearts, said to hold an unimaginable amount of power, the factions started to squabble over ownership of Kingdom Hearts. War returned once again. Only a few succeeded in avoiding the war, by deserting the Realm Inbetween, never to return again.

Some claim the war has ended long ago, while others claim the opposite. But that is all mere speculation. In truth, no one really knows what truly happened.


INTRODUCTION: SIGNS OF HOPE


Another starry night. As always, Lucius is standing on his balcony, looking at the night sky.

Lucius sighs.

“Still no sign of them?”

Lucius looks over his shoulder and sees a little rabbit looking at him from the entrance of the balcony. The blonde man stays silent and turns his head back towards the sky.

“No… And our time is running out. I can feel it.” Lucius says with a serious expression on his face.

The little rabbit looks at Lucius, worried. He walks towards Lucius and stands next to him. He looks up at the sky and shows a hint of a smile.

“I’m sure they’ll appear one day, just you wait!”

Lucius looks down at the little rabbit.

“One day might be a day too late, Oswald.”

The old man’s white eyes pierce through the little rabbit's round-shaped body. Oswald lowers down his head. His ears fall down as he looks down at the ground. Clearly, he was hoping to cheer Lucius up instead of provoking pessimism. Oswald’s ears suddenly pop back up, as if they were antennas and he lifts his head up in the sky.

“Lucius, look!” Oswald jumps up and down and points at the sky.

Lucius looks into the direction Oswald is pointing. Four exceptionally bright stars can be seen in the sky. Each star is colored differently: green, blue, red and brown. Lucius’ mouth opens up a bit.

“Can it be?”

Oswald looks up to Lucius with a big smile. He’s clearly happy to know that Lucius finally found what he was looking for. The little rabbit keeps jumping up and down as if he won a contest.

“See? I told you they were gonna appear! I just knew it!” he boasts.

“Oswald, make sure all the preparations are made before our guests arrive. Inform the guards to keep an eye out as well, they might arrive sooner than we might expect.”

Oswald stops jumping and nods.

“Gotcha!”

The happy rabbit runs off towards the entrance of the balcony, and runs into the tower. Lucius is still looking at the night sky, not being able to keep his eyes off of the four bright stars. His expression remains stern, but with a hint of relief.

“Finally."


ACT 1: ARIA PEAKS


Aria Peaks, a small-cosy village at the mountainside, just above the clouds. Most of the ground is covered in snow.

A girl with amber-colored hair and bright, green eyes lies asleep in her bed. Her room is made entirely out of wood and clothes are scattered all over the place. The sound of windmill sails going round can be heard from outside. Half asleep, the girl tries to get into a different position. However, instead of finding a new position to fall asleep in, she rolls out of her bed and hits the floor with her face. The girl gets up and starts rubbing the painful spots, as if she’s trying to rub away the pain.

“Ow ow ow!”

After rubbing for a couple of seconds, she lowers her hand and sighs.

“Man, that hurt!... At least I’m awake now, I guess." she says, right before she lets out a yawn.

"Well, time for some fresh air!”

She stretches out as she walks towards the door. She puts on her red shoes and goes outside. A young man is walking towards her windmill-house and approaches her.

“Hey Ciel-”

The young man looks at Ciel’s face while she rubs her eyes.

“…Wait, you just woke up now?”

Ciel looks at the young man. Surprised that he noticed, she stops rubbing her eyes immediately. She decides to try and throw it off with an excuse. But before she can get a word out of her mouth, she yawns once again and realizes there’s no point in denying.

“Yes, Bartz, I just woke up now. Wish it wasn't so painful, though.” Ciel admits, as she rubs the spot on her head where she fell on before.

“Anyways, you were saying?” she asks, as she lets out yet another yawn.

Bartz sees her yawn and gets slightly frustrated.

“Hey, snap out of it, will ya! Vaan is waiting for us, remember?... Don’t tell me you-”

"Hmm?" Ciel frowns her eyebrows. She clearly doesn’t have a clue what Bartz is on about.

Bartz slaps his right hand in his face.

“You forgot didn't you?” he asks while looking at Ciel through his fingers. Ciel her eyes open up wide for the first time since she woke up.

“What? I-”

Bartz sighs as he lowers down his shoulders. He turns around, and looks at Ciel over his shoulder.

“… Just follow me.”

He begins to walk away and Ciel lazily follows.


ACT 2: THE HERMIT


Bartz stops in front of a house and gets ready to shout.

“Hey, Vaan! Are you home?!”

Ciel catches up and looks at the house. She notices several wooden crates right next to the house. Bartz lets out another yell.

“VAAAAAN!!!”

Ciel covers her ears and glares at Bartz. A young man comes running out of the house.

“Please, yell a bit louder, Bartz. Then the whole village will hear you scream my name!”

Bartz looks at Vaan with a huge smirk on his face.

“Heh, I could try... At least I got you out of your house.”

Ciel shakes her head and looks over to Vaan.

“So, what's going on today, Vaan?”

Bartz slaps his face a second time upon hearing Ciel’s question.

“What...?” Vaan asked with a slightly disappointed look on his face.

Bartz and Vaan look at each other and nod. They both shove Ciel forward until she is in front of the house. Vaan points at the building.

“Ciel, today is the grand opening of the store, remember?”

“Oh, that's it?” Ciel says, without really thinking about what she just said. Bartz glares at Ciel.

“Ciel!”

Ciel realizes that she was thinking out loud and quickly retaliates.

“I-mean… that's it!” she says while laughing uncomfortably. Vaan laughs to himself.

“You are hopeless sometimes, you know that? Anyways, it's a shame we won't get many customers on our big day.”

“Why not?” Ciel asks. Just as Vaan is about to explain, someone starts shouting. The voice comes from inside the store.

“Vaan! Where'd you go? We're about to open the store, could use your help here!”

Vaan’s eyes open wide and he turns his head towards the house.

“I’ll be there in a sec!”

He turns his head back towards Ciel and Bartz.

“Heh, guess I almost forgot about it myself!”

As he turns around, someone else walks out of the house. The young man, who looks just like Vaan, looks at the three standing outside and turns his attention to Vaan.

“Skipping out on work and we haven't even officaly opened the store yet. I'm disappointed, brother.”

Vaan glares at the young man, who is smiling in a mocking way.

“Well, it’s not like there's any rush, Reks! Nobody's coming out today. And no people means no grand opening.”

Ciel looks around.

“Wait, now that you mention it: why is everyone inside today?” she asks, as she frowns her eyebrows.

“Because of the mountain hermit.” Reks replies. “He showed up in the center of village and gave this big speech. Something about the end of the world and some "key” that's supposedly the cause for it.”

“That sounds pretty bad.” Ciel says, as she wonders about the story.

“Hmph. Well I, for one, think it's nonsense.” Reks says.

“Yeah, me too. And Cid thinks the same!” Vaan adds.

“Do I really?”

The four turn around and see Cid Raines standing behind them.

“Cid! I mean… mister Mayor… Sir.” Bartz says uncomfortably.

Cid walks up to the group and looks at Reks.

“It seems your grand opening is rather vacant. A shame. Perhaps you would allow me to be your first customer, to make up for such an unfortunately slow day?”



“Well?” Cid asks, as the four remain silent. Reks jumps back into the conversation.

“After you.” he says, as he waves his hand towards the path to the store. Cid walks into the store. Reks stops before the door and rushes back to Vaan.

“Vaan, let’s go. We’ve got work to do.”

“It’s only one customer.” Vaan says.

“It’s Cid!” Reks replies with a stern voice. “Now, get inside!”

Vaan slumps into the store, followed by Reks.

Bartz looks at the two brothers as they enter the house. He laughs.

“So, this hermit from the mountain is telling around stories, causing people to stay inside of their homes?” Ciel says while thinking out loud.

“Hmm? Still wondering about that?” Bartz asks.



“I want to see this guy and hear what he has to say.” Ciel says.

Bartz stays still for a while and gets lost in thought.

“… If it turns out that he was lying, then everyone won't be afraid anymore… And then Vaan and Reks would get their customers! It’s brilliant! Let's find this hermit!”

Bartz looks up and sees Ciel walking in the distance.

“H-hey, wait for me!”


ACT 3: THE MOUNTAIN


Ciel, and Bartz are climbing up the mountain path. The wind gets stronger as they get higher up the mountain.

“How high could he have gone?” Ciel asks herself, as she looks up the mountain. Bartz is behind her, panting. He pulls himself up and stops next to Ciel.

“W-we...there yet Ciel?”

“Not even close.” Ciel replies, as she keeps her sight on the path ahead.

Bartz looks over his shoulder and sees the village in the distance. He clenches his teeth and turns his head back to Ciel.

“Oh yeah, you’re afraid of heights! You must be scared now!” Ciel says mockingly.

“I am not!” Bartz replies.

“You sure? We are pretty high up-“

“Okay, okay, no need to go there! M-maybe I'm a little afraid, yes.”

“Can you keep going? If not, then-”

“I-I’m not gonna leave you behind. It’s too dangerous out here!”

Ciel smiles and continues climbing. Bartz lets out a deep breath and cautiously takes a step forward.

“She’s buying me ice-cream when we get back.” he says against himself as an attempt to cheer himself up.

“You mean: if we get back!” Ciel yells.

“Wha-why you!”

Ciel laughs. She inches on ahead further down the pathway, followed by a scared Bartz that won't look down. The pathway gets more narrow as they continue their climb.

“Ciel, s-shouldn't we turn back? The path is getting pretty narrow here...”

“Not yet, Bartz! He can’t be too far away.”

“But Ciel-“

Ciel takes a step and the cliff beneath her feet collapses. She slips off and starts falling.

“Ciel!” Bartz yells, as he reaches out out his arm, trying to grab the hand of the falling Ciel. But he’s too late.

“CIEEEEEEEL!”

Ciel falls off the mountainside, and into the clouds beneath. Everything turns black.


ACT 4: CIEL'S AWAKENING


Ci…eeeeel… Cie…eel…”​


Bartz’ voice echoes through Ciel’s head. She opens her eyes. Everything’s pitch black.

“I-I’m still falling… Where am I?” she asks herself.

She looks down and sees a giant stained glass pillar right under her. Softly, she lands on her feet.

“What is this place… Am I dreaming? That must be it, I didn’t wake up at all!“

She looks around, and looks at the floor.

“But I feel pretty awake… Hmm?”

Suddenly, a little black creature with big yellow eyes and little antennas on its head appears right in front of her, as if it just jumped out of the floor. It analyzes Ciel while twirling around. Just as Ciel takes a step back from the creature, a mysterious voice appears out of nowhere.

BE VIGILANT”​

Ciel is shocked when she hears the voice. She looks left and right, trying to find where this voice is coming from.

“Hey, who is this? And where am I?”

DANGER LURKS AROUND EVERY CORNER”​

Another creature, just like the one from before, appears behind Ciel. She turns around and realizes that she's surrounded. She hesitates, but runs inbetween two of the black creatures. She makes her way across to the edge of the pillar. As she catches herself from falling, one of the creatures leaps into the air. She turns around and covers her face, as an attempt to defend herself.

“Ciel!”

Now Vaan's voice appears in Ciel’s head, followed by a bright light flashing the entire area. When the light fades, Ciel sees the black creatures standing in front of her, but they’re standing still. One tackles forward, but is repelled by some kind of barrier.

Ciel carefully walks towards the creatures, but she too is stopped by the barrier. She reaches out her hands and feels an invisible wall blocking her way. A bridge appears behind Ciel as she takes a step back, connecting the current platform with one below.

“… Am I supposed to go there?” Ciel asks herself.

Ciel walks over the bridge and steps on the second platform. Only the center of the platform seems to be lit. She walks towards the center where the light shines.

“Where’s this light coming from?” she asks herself, as she puts one of her hands in front of her eyes, to block the bright light.

She hears a groan from behind her. She turns around, and sees a shadowy figure blocking the path to the previous platform. The figure doesn't show any signs of movement whatsoever.

“W-who are you?” Ciel asks, as she takes a step out of the light.

In a second, the figure teleports right in front of her. She cannot make out any facial features. It is breathing heavily. Ciel takes a step back into the light. The figure teleports back to its original position.

Suddenly, mumbling appears in the distance. The figure cocks its head towards the sound. Ciel does the same, only to see the vast darkness as far as her eyes can see. When she turns her head back, the shadowy figure is gone.

“What in the world is happening here? Huh?”

The light Ciel is standing in slowly starts to fade away. It doesn’t take long before everything is again pitch-black. Suddenly, the floor cracks and Ciel falls into the dark depths. She opens her eyes and finds herself standing on yet another platform. The mysterious voice appears once again.

THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN YOU’RE ALL ALONE”​

Several dark creatures appear in front of Ciel.

AND BATTLES MUST BE FOUGHT”​

A light begins to shine in the palm of her right hand. She has a puzzled look on her face. The light starts to shine even brighter and out of nowhere, a key-shaped blade materializes in her right hand.

"What the?"

OR ALL WILL BE LOST”​

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

Spoiler Spoiler Show


SIDE-NOTE
This story takes place in an alternate universe and isn't connected to the events of the original Kingdom Hearts games and therefore has no characters of the original games. The mythos, as far as I can tell, is being respected and sometimes expanded upon to fit our own story (f.e. the Keyblade War).

DISCLAIMER
This story isn't written by me, but co-written together with other people. I only rewrote it in this format, so that it's more enjoyable to read.
 
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KingdomKey

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Extremely admirable of you to try and bring this back, King Mickey. I like what I've read so far. I certainly do want to know more about this project, and can't wait to see what else was written previously. It's really neat to see final fantasy cast members, including Oswald to be apart of this story. =] Please post the rest, whenever you're able to, because I'd like to read more.
 

king_mickey rule

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spreThank you, glad you enjoyed it so far! Yeah, one of the things we decided early on was to give Final Fantasy characters more prominent roles (some more than others, of course). Oswald was also a no-brainer, it's a fun character with a lot of possibilities. However, many fanfictions depict him as more of a Mickey-clone. We wanted to give him a more distinct personality, like he was given in the Epic Mickey series. Not giving him a Keyblade was the first step of seperating him from KH-Mickey. We've done a lot more with the character, but that's for you to find out later on. Anyways, I'm finishing up a couple of acts as we speak:


ACT 5: KEYBLADE


The dark creatures start dashing towards Ciel.

KEYBLADE… KEYBLADE… KEYBLADE…”​

“Keyblade?” Ciel says as she takes another look at her key-shaped blade. She looks at the approaching enemies and takes a battle stance.

One of the creatures leaps into the air and tries to attack her mid-air. Ciel slashes through the creature, like a knife through butter. The creature disappears in puffs of darkness. Now two creatures leap into her. Ciel dodges and rolls aside. She dashes towards the remaining creatures and swings her Keyblade, slashing through them. Each one disappears in the same manner as the first one.

“Why are they attacking me?… I’ve had enough of this place. I need to find a way back home.” she says to herself as she pants, exhausted from the fight. Suddenly a door appears in the center of the platform.

“A door? Could this be… my way back home?”

Ciel walks towards the door, cautiously opens it and walks through the door. She finds herself on yet another stained-glass pillar. She looks around, and sees the shadowy figure from before. The door behind her disappears.

“Are you gonna attack me as well, huh? Are you one of them?” she yells at the figure.

The figure turns around to face her. Ciel still can't make out any facial features. But just as she suspected, it attacks her. She readies her Keyblade. The figure dashes towards Ciel and tries to hit her. Ciel blocks the punch with her Keyblade and deflects it, throwing the figure back. Just as it gets up, it vanishes and appears behind Ciel.

“W-wha, how’d you-“ Ciel says, shocked by the speed of the shadowy figure. Just as she realizes that it’s standing behind her, Ciel gets kicked back, almost reaching the edge of the platform. The shadowy figure readies itself for another attack. Ciel does the same.

“Take this!” she yells, as she throws her Keyblade towards the enemy. The shadowy figure gets hit and falls on its knees. Ciel decides to run towards the figure and push it over the edge. As she approaches the figure, her Keyblade reappears in her hands.

“Huh?... Just in time!” she says, with a smile on her face. The shadowy figure stands up and tries to defend itself. Ciel leaps into the air and deals the final blow.

"HAH!"

The shadowy figure gets pushed back and is standing by the edge of the platform.

“It’s over! Give up!” Ciel yells.

Suddenly, a light appears behind the figure. It starts screaming. Ciel covers her eyes.

“THE BRIGHTER THE LIGHT, THE DARKER THE SHADOW”

Ciel opens her eyes.

“What the-“

A giant black creature starts emerging from the ground, on the spot where the shadowy figure was standing before. It has the same yellow eyes as the little ones she fought before. This one, however, has a giant heart-shaped hole in its abdomen. Ciel takes a couple of steps back, frightened by the huge creature. The creature lifts up its giant fist and slams it onto the floor. Ciel just managed to dodge the attack. As she looks back to the fist, she notices a large pool of Darkness surrounding it. Little dark creatures are jumping out of the pool of Darkness.

“More of them?!” Ciel yells. “I need to think of something, and fast... Here goes nothing”

Ciel runs behind the large creature and slashes at its ankles. It pulls out its fist out of the floor and falls to its knees, as Ciel runs to other side of the pillar. The enemy reaches out its hand to grab Ciel but she dodges it by jumping. However, she is now standing at the edge of the platform. A ball of dark energy begins to form in the enemy's hand. More and more little creatures begin to spawn as well. Ciel realizes there’s no escape.

WILL YOU TAKE THE LEAP?”​

“Huh?” Ciel says, as she looks around. She looks down at the dark depths.

WILL YOU TAKE THE LEAP?”​

Ciel looks back at the enemy. The little ones are almost ready to attack her. The energy ball in the giant one’s hand seems to be getting unstable as well. Ciel closes her eyes, takes a deep breath and jumps off the platform. The large energy ball explodes, knocking Ciel even further away.

“Noooooooo!”

Ciel breathes heavily. She looks around and realizes that she's in a different place than before.

“A… cave? Where am I?” she asks herself.

“A blanket?... I was asleep?... That means it was just a dream after all.”

She rubs her eyes and looks around. The room is circular. There’s a campfire not too far from her. The exit isn’t too far away either. A blizzard can be seen outside.

Ciel moves closer towards the campfire. She rubs her hands against each other. She looks around and notices different kinds of hunting tools.

“You seem to be doing well.”

Ciel jumps up and turns around. There is a man, holding a spear, walking into the cave.

“W-who are you?”


ACT 6: KAIN


The man smiles and walks closer to Ciel. The light of the campfire now reveals more of him. He seems to be wearing armour under his clothes. His helmet is shaped like a dragon’s head. He’s also wearing a large scarf. Ciel notices some kind of pendant under his scarf.

“Forgive my manners. My name is Kain Highwind.” the man says, as he puts his spear against the wall.

“Kain. Can you tell me where I am? What happened to me?”

“You are in a cave inside the mountain, which also happens to be my home.”

Ciel's eyes open wide.

“You live in a cave?”

There’s a short, awkward silence. Kain stares at Ciel.

“T-that's not what I meant! It's a nice cave! I –“ she tries to get some nice words together to make her last sentence sound less rude.

“It’s alright, your reaction is quite predictable.” Kain answers. He sits down on the other side of the fire, facing Ciel.

“Anyways, I found you not too far from here. You were unconscious and a storm was coming so I decided to take you with me. You're lucky I did. You wouldn't have stood a chance against a blizzard like this." he explains, as he rubs his hands together to warm himself up. Ciel grabs the back of her head. Her eyes close for a moment when she touches a painful spot.

“Ouch... Yeah, I remember now. I fell from the cliff when we were-“

She hesitates. Her expression changes. She looks worried.

“Oh no... Bartz... I hope he made it out okay...” Ciel says to herself.

“Bartz?” Kain asks. Ciel looks up.

“My friend.” she explains. “We climbed the mountain to find this hermit who scared the people in our village and-”

Ciel hangs her head down again.

“Bartz was afraid to come but he came with me anyways... what if he's hurt because of me?” Ciel asks herself, as she clenches her fists.

“What does your heart say?”

“Huh? My heart?” Ciel asks, as she puts her head back up. Kain nods.

“Yes. Your heart contains all the bonds that connect you with others. This includes the one you have with your friend. Look deep inside your heart, what does it say?”

Ciel closes her eyes and concentrates.

“I think… I think he’s fine.” she says, as she opens her eyes. She starts to smile a bit.

“Then I’m sure he is.” Kain answers.

Ciel’s eyes open up.

“Wait, we’re inside the mountain! That means... you must be the hermit that came to my village and scared everyone!”

There's a short silence.

“I am not.” Kain replies. Ciel's head lowers down.

“... I'm sorry, I have a habit of jumping to conclusions…” she says, emberrassed. She looks outside and notices that the blizzard has subsided.

“The blizzard's gone... I need to find a way back home. Everyone must be worried sick about me.”

Kain stands up and walks towards Ciel.

“I know these mountains pretty well. I will show you the way back to your village.” he says, as he reaches out his hand to her.

“Yeah!”


ACT 7: HOME SWEET HOME


Ciel and Kain are walking down the mountain path, with Kain leading. Ciel carefully takes each step, trying to avoid another fall. Kain looks over his shoulder.

“You seem frightened. Don’t worry, this path is wide enough to safely walk on.” he says, trying to reassure her.

“No, it’s not that, just- I had this... dream when I was unconscious. There were these strange creatures and they attacked me. I fought a bunch of them and... it just felt so real. I thought I was done for.”

Kain stops at the end of the path, which splits up to left and right. He turns around, facing Ciel, and points to the left path.

“Well, I'm sure you will feel safer home. We’re here.” Kain says, smiling. He steps aside and leads Ciel into the right direction. Ciel stops and turns around.

“Why don't you come with me?” she asks. “I mean-I’m sure we can find a nice place for you in our village!”

Kain shakes his head.

“My place is here." he says.

“Oh.” Ciel answers, kind of disappointed.

"But I appreciate the offer.” Kain replies. He smiles and and starts walking back.

“Kain!” Ciel yells.

Kain turns around.

“Thank you! For everything!”

“No need to thank me, I only did what was right.”

He pauses for a second and starts smiling.

“But you are welcome.”

Ciel smiles back and waves at him as he starts walking back. When Kain is out of sight, Ciel decides to walk down the path he showed her. When she sees her village in the distance, she starts running. As she approaches the entrance of the village, she can see Bartz talking with Vaan a bit further.

“She's down there somewhere! We have to do something! I barely made it out of that blizzard myself!” Bartz yells at Vaan. Vaan sees Ciel running towards them.

“Hey! Ciel!” he says as he starts waving.

“This isn't funny, Vaan! Like I said, she’s somewhere in the mou-“

“Hey there, guys!” Ciel yells, while waving back at Vaan.

Bartz eyes widen, surprised by the voice he just heard. He turns around and sees Ciel, standing there with a big smirk on her face.

“Ciel! H-how'd you... Hey, what are you smiling about?”

“You were really planning on going back for me, huh? Even though you're afraid of heights?”

“Of course I was! And I already told you, I’m not afr-“

Vaan and Ciel start laughing. Ciel stops laughing and smiles.

“I’m glad you’re safe, Bartz.” she says, with a genuine smile on her face. Bartz lets out a deep breath.

"Well, let's not do that again, okay?"

Vaan smiles and turns to Ciel.

“So, what happened to you, anyways? Bartz told me you were looking for the hermit. Did you find him?”

“No, I-“

“Vaan!”

The three get interrupted by someone. They turn around and see Reks running towards them.

“The people are coming out again, I need your help!” Reks yells, as he gets closer to Vaan.

“Wait, Reks, she was just about to- “

Reks grabs onto Vaan, and drags him back inside.

“I don’t care. Now, be sure to tell the customers your name when you help them. That’ll make them feel more at home. If you want satisfied customers, you-”

They head back to their shop. Reks’ preaching fades out slowly as the brothers walk further into the distance. Kain's words echo through Ciel's head.

"Forgive my manners. My name is Kain Highwind."​

Ciel’s eyes open wide.

“I forgot to tell him my name!”

Bartz is shocked and turns around. He sees Ciel running off once again.

“Wha-Wait, where are you going?” Bartz asks in a loud voice.

“I’ll explain later, don’t worry, I’m know a safe path now! I’ll be back before you know it!” Ciel says, as she smilingly runs back towards the exit of the village. Bartz is shocked by her words.

“Wait, you’re going back to the mountain?! Are you insane?!”

Ciel's already out of the village, running towards the mountain path she came from earlier. Bartz shakes his head. He clenches his fists.

“It’s too dangerous out there. I need to get her back before she gets herself into danger again.”

Bartz tries to run away but gets pulled back by someone. He turns around and sees Cid Raines standing behind him, holding his arm.

“M-mayor? Why are you-“

“It’s too dangerous out there, Bartz.” Cid replies.

“But... that’s why I have to go and get her back. Who knows what might happen to her this ti—“

“You’re not going anywhere, is that understood?! You were lucky enough to get out of that mountain alive!”

“But…”

Cid looks straight into Bartz' eyes. He takes another look at the mountains. Ciel's nowhere to be seen. Bartz looks down at the ground.

"... She better come back safe."

Bartz walks back into village, disappointed that he couldn't do anything. Cid turns his head back towards the mountains, with a stern look on his face.


ACT 8: THE STORM


Ciel is running down the path. She notices Kain’s cave in the distance. As she approaches the cave, she notices an object lying on the ground. She kneels over.

“Hmm? Kain’s pendant?... He must’ve dropped it.” she says. She picks up the pendant and enters the cave.

“Kain? You here? I found your pendant… outside.” she says, as she walks further into the cave. But Kain is nowhere to be found. His spear also seems to be gone but the campfire is still burning.

“Hmmm… I wonder where he went… Maybe he changed his mind and decided to come and live in our village after all? I mean, it must be so lonely here.”

Suddenly, the wind starts blowing hard. The strength of the wind almost pushes Ciel to the ground. The fire gets blown out.

“What the-Where did that come from?! The weather was really calm just a second ag-!”

She turns her head towards the exit. The sky has turned completely dark and lightning can be seen every two seconds.

“What’s… happening…”

Ciel runs outside. She looks around when suddenly…

“No… It can’t be…“

The same dark creatures that appeared in her dream emerge in front of her, blocking her path back home. Instinctively, she throws her hand back and her Keyblade appears. Ciel shockingly stares at her Keyblade. Her hand is trembling.

“You're... not supposed to be real. Am I still dreaming?”

She looks back at the yellow-eyed creatures, puts Kain’s pendant in one of her pockets and readies her blade. One by one, they try to attack Ciel. She’s able to deflect most of their attacks. Instead of fighting them, she tries to push them over the edge of the path. Most of them fall into the depths.

The last one sinks into the ground and crawls behind her. It jumps into the air and tries to attack. Just in time, Ciel notices and rolls aside, almost causing her to fall over the edge herself. The attack misses and the creature falls into the depths. Ciel gets up and pants heavily. She turns her head towards the path leading home.

“The village… I need to make sure the village is safe…” Ciel says, out of breath. Although exhausted by the battle, she runs back towards her village.

Ciel arrives at the entrance of the village. The dark creatures are attacking people everywhere. She sees Vaan crouched over Reks' limp body. Ciel’s eyes fill with disbelief. She stands still…

“Reks! Wake up! Reks…” Vaan yells, as he shakes his brother’s body.

Bartz runs into the area. He slows down as he sees the two brothers on the ground.

“No…” Bartz says silently.

Reks’ body starts to disappear, as his heart leaves his chest.

“Reks! REKS!” Vaan yells, as he watches his brother’s body fade away in his arms. Reks’ body completely disappears. His heart rises up in the sky and gets engulfed in darkness. Ciel’s eyes fill with tears. Bartz approaches Vaan.

“Vaan, I-“

“Where’s my brother?!” Vaan yells, with a desperate voice.

“I-I don't know, but… we need to get ourselves into safety.”

Vaan is looking up in the sky. Reks' heart is gone. Ciel approaches Bartz and Vaan.

“Vaan...” she says, as she stands next to him and puts one of her hands on his shoulder. Vaan doesn’t look at Ciel. He’s in a state of shock.

“One of those things attacked us. He was protecting me and… now he's gone-I…”

Ciel puts her other hand on the pocket where she put Kain’s pendant. She's reminded of what he told her before about hearts and bonds. Ciel takes a deep breath.

“Vaan... Reks would’ve wanted you to be safe… Look into your heart and you’ll know it’s true. He’s still in the-“

Vaan turns his head to Ciel. His eyes are filled with tears. His face is filled with sadness.

“He’s gone, Ciel! He’s gone!”

He turns his head back and looks at his hands.

“He’s… gone…”

The shop behind them collapses. Ciel looks at Vaan. Rage and sadness can be read in her eyes. Bartz looks worried at Ciel. He knows she was only trying to help Vaan. Ciel, on the other hand, thinks she messed up. She turns her head back to the village and summons her Keyblade. All the dark creatures turn around and focus on Ciel. Bartz is surprised when he sees this.

“What is-“ Bartz asks himself, but he gets interrupted by Ciel.

“Bartz, take Vaan and leave the village. Take as many villagers with you as possible. These dark beings are after me.”

“Ciel, no! You ca-”

“LEAVE!” Ciel yells, with teary eyes. Bartz is shocked by Ciel’s attitude. He’s never seen her like this. He grabs Vaan, who wants to resist being picked up but simply doesn't have the willpower to do so.

“C’mon, Vaan… Let’s go…”

Bartz slowly drags Vaan towards the exit of the town. He makes a sign to other villagers to come with him. The dark creatures dash into Ciel’s direction. She slashes through some of them while dodging attacks from others. Although she can handle the little ones, she knows she can’t hold this pace much longer.

Suddenly, a loud scream is heard from the sky, followed by thunder. The little dark creatures disappear. The clouds from above begin to spiral down to the ground. They solidify into one big wyvern-looking creature. It opens its bright yellow eyes and spreads its blue-colored wings. It opens its mouth and lets out another shriek. Cold air and lightning spread throughout the area. Ciel, although trembling of fear, readies her Keyblade and charges the large creature.

The creature tries to stomp her, but the creature appears to be slower than Ciel. She dodges its attack and takes the opportunity to strike it from behind. The creature lets out a scream and thunder strikes right next to Ciel. Ciel jumps back, dodging the lightning from the sky. The creature seems to have power over lightning.

In the distance, she can see Bartz trying to push through all of the rubble to get to her.

“Bartz, get back. It’s too dangerous here!” she yells, as she runs towards him.

“Ciel, watch out!” Bartz yells as the wyvern opens its wings and flies towards Ciel. It lands right in front of her, blocking off her way. The creature readies itself to let out a beam of ice-cold air. Suddenly it stops the attack and starts screaming. Ciel notices someone on the wyvern’s head. She tries to identify the person and focuses.

“… Kain?!”


ACT 9: THE KEY


Kain stabs the wyvern's head with his spear. He pulls out the spear and jumps down, landing right next to Ciel. The wyvern continues screaming, as lightning covers the area. Kain points his head at the creature.

“Is that one of the creatures you spoke of?” Kain asks.

“Yeah.” Ciel replies.

“Hmph, not a dream after all, then…” Kain says.

“No…” she says, and turns her head towards Kain.

“Kain, you have to get o-” Ciel says, but she gets interrupted by Kain.

“You know you can’t do this on your own, don’t be foolish. You need my help.” Kain replies. Ciel hesitates for a second and nods. She knows he’s right, she can’t do this on her own. They both ready their weapons. The dark wyvern lets out a shriek. Lightning strikes down and hits a couple of houses, setting them on fire.

"I'll try to distract it. They seem to be after this." Ciel says, lifting up her Keyblade. Kain nods. They both run towards the wyvern. It tries to blow away Ciel and Kain by creating strong gusts of wind with its wings, but they resist and split up. Ciel runs to the right-side of the wyvern, distracting it. Kain takes this opportunity and jumps again on the wyvern’s head. He immediately stabs his spear into its head, this time even deeper. It screams out the pain, causing more lightning to appear. Kain tries to take his spear out but it’s stuck. He tries to let go but it’s too late. The spear acts as a lightning rod, electrocuting both Kain and the wyvern.

“Ghaaaaah!” Kain yells, as he gets struck by lightning. Both Kain and the wyvern fall onto the ground. Electricity sparks off of their bodies. Ciel, who was trying to attack the creature from behind, hears the yell and dodges the falling wyvern just in time. She sees the unconscious Kain lying on the ground and starts to panic.

“Kain!” she yells. She looks back at the wyvern. Although heavily damaged, the creature finds the strength to stand up. Ciel rushes into it and and tries to slash its ankles. But the wyvern is still vigilant and swipes its tail over the ground, hitting Ciel and making her fly off into the distance. She lands near the entrance of the village.

“Ciel!” Bartz yells, as he runs towards her. He puts her back on her feet. Just as she lifts up her head, she sees the wyvern biting Kain. The wyvern raises its head and shoots a beam of ice-cold air, launching Kain into the air like a cannonball. Kain flies off, towards the mountain path leading to his home.

“Noooo!” Ciel yells, with teary eyes, as she follows Kain’s body flying through the air. She turns her head back to the wyvern. The creature is walking towards them. Bartz walks in front of Ciel and spreads his arms, defending Ciel.

“Bartz, no…” Ciel says, exhausted.

“You’ll have to go through me first!” Bartz yells, ignoring Ciel. His words sound confident, but his arms are trembling with fear. The giant creature growls as it gets closer and closer. The beast’s shadow falls over Bartz and Ciel. Bartz takes a step back and spreads his arms even more. The wyvern is unimpressed and smashes Bartz aside. He lands right in front of Ciel’s burning windmill. Ciel closes her eyes and turns her head away, not able to see another friend get hurt. She clenches her fists and looks up to the wyvern.

“What do you want from me?! Do you want this?!” she yells, as she shows her Keyblade. As she does this, she sees Kain’s spear still in the wyvern’s head. Sparks of electricity fly off the spear. Her teary eyes open up wide.

“YOU CAN HAVE IT!” she yells, as she throws her Keyblade towards Kain’s spear. Just as expected, the spear turned out to be the wyvern’s weak spot. It screams out the pain and, in the process, summons more lightning. The spear again acts as a lightning rod. The lightning hits the wyvern and it falls down and it dissipates into puffs of Darkness as it hits the ground. Ciel falls on her knees and breaths heavily. The long battle cost her all her energy. Bartz slowly limps towards Ciel.

“You did it.” Bartz says. He looks around. The village is almost completely destroyed.

“...What a mess…” he says with a disappointed look on his face. He turns back to Ciel. Her Keyblade materializes again in her right-hand. She immediately throws it away. Bartz looks worried.

“What is… that thing?” Bartz asks. Ciel’s Keyblade materializes again.

“Stay away!” she yells, ignoring Bartz, and throws it away once more. Bartz is shocked. He turns his head to the right and sees the surviving villagers walking into the destroyed village. Some of them start crying when they see the remainings of the village. The villagers gather in front of Ciel and Bartz. Her Keyblade appears once again in her right-hand. Cid approaches her.

“How strange...” he says.

Vaan steps out of the crowd. He looks at Ciel’s Keyblade. Cid circles around Ciel while staring at her Keyblade as well. He reaches down and grabs it. He holds the Keyblade in front of him.

“The key... Such an odd warning… If only we had heeded it.”

The Keyblade disappears, and returns to Ciel. Cid looks surprised and looks down. Ciel looks down to the ground.

“I –“ she says as she tries to find the words to explain the situation, even though she doesn’t understand it herself. Bartz wants to do something but he can’t think of something. Cid stares straight at Ciel.

“How could you?” Cid asks, glaring down upon Ciel. Ciel looks up and notices the crowd for the first time. Tears start rolling down her face. Her trembling mouth opens up.

“I-It's not what it looks like – I-“ she says as she looks around the crowd.

Ciel stops talking when she sees Vaan walking out of the crowd. Vaan's voice is cracking as he speaks.

"--The Key will reveal itself to be the source of chaos.--" he says, as he recalls the hermit’s prophecy. He pauses.

“That thing in your hand… Is that…” Vaan asks, as he points at the Keyblade. Ciel lowers down her head and looks at the Keyblade. Bartz walks closer and stands between his two friends, facing Vaan.

“Stop it! All of you!” he yells, as he spreads out his arms and legs.

“There's no way Ciel could have known. Look at her, she doesn’t understand either!”

Vaan looks at Ciel.

“She almost sacrificed her own life protecting this village.” Bartz explains. Some of the people start talking to eachother.

“Is this really all my fault?” Ciel asks herself. Bartz closes his eyes and sighs. Behind the crowd, the windmill sails crash onto the ground. Cid walks closer to Ciel.

“Leave.” he says, glaring down upon her. Ciel looks up. Bartz turns around, his eyes filled with disbelief.

“What?! You can’t—“

“Quiet!” Cid yells, as he interrupts Bartz. He turns his head back to Ciel.

“You are hereby banished from this village. You can go and live with your mountain friend for all I care.”

Ciel starts crying and runs away, towards the mountain path leading to Kain’s home. Bartz starts running after Ciel but Cid stops him. Bartz glares at Cid. He looks back to Vaan, who’s standing between the crowd, doing nothing as his friend runs away. Bartz turns his head back to Cid.

“I’m leaving as well. Cid.” he says, as he pushes away Cid’s arm that’s blocking his path. Bartz runs towards the mountains.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

And here's a nice little treat for those who took the time to read these:

Spoiler Spoiler Show
 
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KingdomKey

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I was really in for a surprise today. Kain Highwind joins the fray. If he isn't the hermit, who is? ouo I like him a lot, and he was really nice to Ciel. Much more interesting to see Ciel toss her keyblade away. Hating it for the destruction it caused.

I feel so extremely sorry for Ciel. Being banished from her own village, when all she was trying to do was defend it. Doesn't sit right with me. I'm glad Bartz goes after her. Vann suffered a great loss... I can't deny that, but he should look passed it, and not let his friendship crumble to pieces! All these feelings for these characters, my word, what am I going to do if, this ever ends?! I can't wait to see the next parts, King Mickey. Definitely worth reading, and seeing such a grand prize. C:
 

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I was really in for a surprise today. Kain Highwind joins the fray. If he isn't the hermit, who is? ouo I like him a lot, and he was really nice to Ciel. Much more interesting to see Ciel toss her keyblade away. Hating it for the destruction it caused.

I feel so extremely sorry for Ciel. Being banished from her own village, when all she was trying to do was defend it. Doesn't sit right with me. I'm glad Bartz goes after her. Vann suffered a great loss... I can't deny that, but he should look passed it, and not let his friendship crumble to pieces! All these feelings for these characters, my word, what am I going to do if, this ever ends?! I can't wait to see the next parts, King Mickey. Definitely worth reading, and seeing such a grand prize. C:
I'm really happy that you're liking it so far! One of the main goals for Ciel's story was to show another side of the story when someone receives a Keyblade: the actual burden of being Wielder. Seeing you talk about that makes me happy, 'cause that means we've succeeded in getting that across!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the ending of Ciel's Homeworld story, which can be read below :)


ACT 10: A NEW BEGINNING


Ciel runs down the path leading to Kain’s home. She’s crying intensely. She takes a turn to the right and stops when she sees someone lying on the ground, trying the crawl further down the path. She can't identify the person because of her tears blurring her vision. She wipes away her tears and looks at the person.

“…Kain!” she yells and runs towards him. She crouches down.

“You’re hurt! Here, let me help you!” she says. Kain puts his right-arm around Ciel’s neck. He closes his eyes and groans from the pain, as Ciel pulls him up.

“I’m s-”

“N-no… You're only trying to help... I’m fi-"he replies, interrupting Ciel. He tries putting his feet on the ground but his feet can't hold the weight and he falls. Ciel supports him, stopping his fall.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you!... I’ll get you home, I know the way.” Ciel says.

"Thank you…” he says.

“Ciel.”

Kain turns his head slightly towards Ciel.

“My name... is Ciel.” she says, as she smiles slightly at Kain. Kain notices her teary eyes.

“Ciel…” he says, just before he loses consciousness. Ciel is shocked, but can still see him breathing.

“...Just hang on, Kain... we’re almost there” she says, as they get closer to the cave, which can be seen in the distance. She drags Kain into the cave and lays him down on the ground, near the campfire. Kain is shivering intensely. Ciel puts the blanket on him.

"Here you go... But that’s not enough.” she says and starts looking around for tools to start a fire. She finds a bunch of dry branches that Kain probably keeps for making fire and puts them on the campfire. But she needs a way to start the fire. She looks back to where she found the branches and notices a leather sack. She opens it and find some flint and steel.

"Yes!" she says and walks over to the campfire. She starts striking them against each other, near the wooden branches.

“C’mon, burn…” she says to herself. Sparks appear but the branches don't catch fire. After a several tries, a small flame finally appears.

“Yes!” she yells. She bows over and slightly blows on the small flame. The flame gets bigger. She starts smiling.

“Ciel…”

Ciel looks over to Kain. He seems to have regained consciousness.

“Kain!” she yells and rushes right next to him.

“Tell me… what happened…” Kain says, breathing heavily. Ciel looks down.

“... I got-“

“…Did you… defeat them?” Kain asks. Ciel looks up and nods. Kain turns his head towards the ceiling and start smiling.

“That’s good… You’re strong…” he says. Ciel looks down again.

“No… I’m to blame for everythi-”

“No, Ciel. You had nothing to do with this…” Kain answers, interrupting her. Ciel looks at Kain. He’s looking straight into her eyes. She notices that his pendant is gone and remembers picking it up earlier. She takes it out of her pocket.

“I-I found your pendant outside earlier… Here.” she says, as she reaches out her right-hand, offering the pendant. Kain smiles and closes her hand.

“Keep it… It symbolizes… strength… A good fit… for someone with a heart as strong as yours…” he says. His breathing slows down a bit. Ciel’s eyes open up.

“Kain?...”

Out of nowhere, a bright portal appears behind Ciel. The blinding light is lighting up the entire cave. She looks behind her sees the portal.

“You have to go…” Kain says. Ciel looks back at him.

“I-I don’t und-“ she says, but Kain interrupts her.

“Be… strong…” he says and lets out a deep breath. He's not breathing anymore. Tears appear again in Ciel's eyes.

“No… You can’t… I need y-” she says, as she's trying to perform reanimation. But she realises it's futile and she starts crying. She puts her forehead on Kain’s chest. Her tears are dripping on the blanket. Suddenly, she notices a light shining beneath her. She lifts up her head and notices her right-hand glowing. She opens her hand and sees a bright light coming off of Kain’s pendant. Not long after that, her chest starts glowing as well. She looks down, surprised, and she puts her right-hand on her chest.

“You’re… still here…” she says. The lights slowly fade. Ciel looks at Kain’s body in front of her. She stands up and wipes away her tears. She turns around, facing the portal, and tightens her grip on Kain’s pendant in her right-hand. She takes a step towards the light and feels an inviting warmth falling over her body. Bartz enters the cave and sees Ciel walking through the portal. The portal disappears.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

This concludes Ciel's Homeworld story. Her story ends on a very sad note but, thanks to Kain, she's finally found the strength she needed to move on and find a new home. But what awaits her on the other side of the portal? Will she meet new people and find a new home? These questions, and more, will be answered further down the story. But we have three more characters left. What happens in their worlds? You'll find out in the next chapter, as we start the story of another one of our main characters.

Like before, I'd like to thank the people who've taken the time to read these stories. So, for those people, another treat:

Spoiler Spoiler Show

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

ACT 11: BASUELO


Basuelo, a barren wasteland. An enormous structure can be seen in the distance. It looks like some kind of military base. The base is constructed with large, metal plates. The military base is divided into different areas, each with its own purpose. Soldiers can be seen walking into the training area, situated right next to the relaxation area. Four kids are lazing around: a blonde-haired boy sitting next to a training dummy, throwing a small rock up and down. Two boys, one rather slim and one rather chubby, are lying on the ground, with a girl lying right next to them.

“We could always get something to eat.” says the chubby boy, lying down on the ground and looking at the ceiling. There’s a silence. The blond-haired boy catches the falling rock.

“Well, I’m not hungry.” says the skinny one of the two boys lying on the ground. He gets up, turns his head to his right, facing the blond-haired boy.

“Why don’t we head over to the main office and see if anything’s been happening lately?”

There’s another silence. The blonde-haired kid continues throwing the rock in the air. The girl gets up as well.

“Why don’t we just train? Our exams are tomorrow.”

The blonde-haired kid stops throwing the rock in the air and catches it. He looks at the girl.

“Because training’s a waste of time. I’m going to pass anyways.” he says confidently, without changing the expression on his face.

“Typical. What about the rest of us?” the girls asks.

The blond-haired kid stands up and turns around. He’s looking at something in the distance and ignores the girl. She stands up and waves her hand in front of the boy’s face.

“Hello-ooh?”

The cubby boy, still lying on the ground, turns his head over to the blonde-haired kid.

“What did you see, Brand?”

Brand tosses the rock into the air again and catches it.

“Steiner.” he says.

“Steiner?” the skinny boy asks. Brand points into the distance.

“Look.”

The three turn around and see a man sleeping in the relaxation area on some grass, beneath a tree. He’s wearing an iron chest plate and some kind of iron helmet, which actually looks a bit like a wizard’s hat.

“You know… Steiner’s been getting paranoid lately.” he says, and looks at the others.

“Wedge, Biggs, Jessie. Grab some small rocks and find a hiding spot - Let’s have some fun!” he says, as a big smirk appears on his face. They all start smiling and crouch down to grab some rocks. Brand throws the first rock and hits Steiner’s helmet.

“Hng-uh-wha… Who’s there?” he asks, barely awake.

“Must’ve been a nut…” he says and attempts to close his eyes again. Jessie throws a second rock at Steiner and hits his helmet as well.

“Where are these coming from?” he asks himself. He looks over next to him and sees two rocks lying on the ground.

“Rocks?! C’mon on out, show yourself, you villain! I know you are out there! How dare you throw rocks at Steiner!” he yells as he rubs his head and starts walking towards Jessie’s hiding spot. Biggs and Wedge, hiding not too far from each other, look at each other, nod and both throw a rock at Steiner’s back. Brand sees this as a sign and starts throwing more rocks at Steiner. Gradually, everyone starts throwing all of their rocks at the poor guy. Steiner starts covering his head and cowers on the ground.

“Leave me alone, you devil! I don’t deserve this!” he says.

Brand begins to laugh to himself. Steiner hears Brand laughing and looks up.

“I know that laugh! -- YOU BRAT!”

Jessie notices that Steiner has spotted Brand and warns everyone.

“Guys, run!”

Brand looks down and notices Steiner running towards him. He jumps out of the tree he was hiding in. Biggs, Wedge, and Jesse all run in separate directions. Steiner looks around and is unsure about who to chase.

“Hah, don’t even bother splitting up. I know who the mastermind is!” he yells and starts running after Brand. Soldiers stop their training and look at what’s happening. Brand runs across the training field as Steiner begins pant.

“I’m… going…to get yo-- oh!”

Steiner’s exhausted and stops running. He groans. Brand looks back to laugh at Steiner. While he’s looking away he runs into someone. Brand falls down.

“I heard all this yelling. Let me guess: you’ve done something wrong. Again.” the muscled man says.

“Hey Angeal.” Brand says, as he’s rubbing the back of his head. Steiner, still panting, walks up to Angeal. Steiner stops to catch his breath.

“You need to do something about this brat and his little friends. Do you know what they were doing? Pelting rocks at me. ROCKS! Can you believe that?”

Angeal looks down at Brand. Brand starts smiling nervously.

“I’ll deal with it.” Angeal says.

“Good.” Steiner replies and starts walking away.

“Oh, Steiner have you spoken to Lazard yet? He’s been looking for you for about an hour now.”

Steiner abruptly stops walking. His eyes open up wide.

“L-Lazard?” he asks.

“Yes. Or did you forget and decided to take a nap instead?” Angeal asks, slightly smiling. Steiner quickly turns around.

“Of course not! It’s these kids! They’re… getting between me and work. I better go so… Be sure to deal with these brats!”

Steiner walks away. Brand begins to laugh at Steiner. Angeal cuts him off.

“Start training immediately.”

“Yes!” Brand yells, and turns around. But he starts laughing. It’s obvious that he’s not planning on listening at all. Until…

“And I will keep an eye out to make sure you’re not slacking.” Angeal says. Brand close his eyes and stops smiling immediately.

“Oh, man…” he says to himself. After a long, exhausting training session, Brand sits down on the ground. Angeal is standing next to him.

“Haven’t I trained enough already? I don’t wanna be sore for tomorrow when I have to do the exam!” Brand complaints. Angeal sighs shakes his head.

There’s a silence. Brand looks out to the sunset and lets out a deep breath.

“Why am I still here?” Brand asks himself. Angeal frowns his eyebrows and looks at Brand.

“I should be out there. Outside. Not in this dump. There’s a whole world out there and I’m stuck here for basic training.” Brand complains. Angeal sits down next to Brand.

“Everyone needs to learn the basics first, Brand. They’re called basics for a reason.”

“Well, I’m not everyone. I’m Brand. I need to be better than everyone else… that’s the only way to get out of here.”

“Get out of here? And then what? What do you think is out there, Brand?”

Brand frowns his eyebrows and looks at Angeal. Angeal turns his head, looking outside.

“There’s a reason we’re always training. You think that once training is over everything will be easy and you’ll be some sort of hero, but that isn’t true. The world isn’t a nice place, Brand.” Angeal explains. Brand leans forward.

“How would you know? You’re stuck here like the rest of us. Except you’re stuck giving the tests. You’ll never leave… You just don’t get it.”

“Oh, but I do. I just think you should try and let someone with life experience give you a little advice. Maybe even consider following it.” Angeal looks at Brand and smiles slightly.

“Whatever.” Brand replies.

“Your favourite word… Anyways, you’ve done well. Get to bed. You don’t want to be exhausted on exam day.” Angeal stands up and leaves. Brand stands up and heads off to his cabin. He opens the door and jumps straight into bed. He looks at the ceiling, with his arms behind his head.

“Hmph. I’ll show’em.”
 
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KingdomKey

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This was a really unexpected treat. I got to see Angeal again. Still the same mentor as ever, and has an infinity of patience. I find the bunch of misfits amusing. Is it possible, there will be more keyblade wielders in this, or companions for Ciel to run into? Furthermore, the title of each Act makes me curious. Do they symbolize something?

Did Kain's heart go inside of Ciel? A part of me admires the strength Ciel shows, despite seeing Kain in such a bad condition. I hope wherever she's going, trouble won't follow, and she can stay brave. That hope isn't lost quite yet. I thought for sure, Bartz would of caught up to her, before she went into the portal. Does the keyblade choose the destination Ciel goes? [It's the first time, I've thought of the Keyblade having a mind of it's own.]
 
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