Hey folks! Some of you might remember me as the person who wrote "Harry Potter & The Mysterious Key." While that was my first fanfic and still one of my pride and joys of my creative writing, it's kind of breathtaking to know I'm working on my sixth fanfiction, and to see how far I've come.
So, as I mentioned over in my "Harry Potter & The Mysterious Key" thread, I've been working on an original Kingdom Hearts story, and here I am to show it! In this story we meet a brand new protagonist, and it actually is meant to fit very nicely within the Kingdom Hearts canon while going off in it's own direction. Who knows, maybe if I practice my drawing skills, I might even showcase some art of this story?
So, tell me what you think. Be honest! And yes, there will be Disney worlds in this story, so feel free to tell me which ones you want to see and which ones you think would fit the narrative. That's it for now, but expect semi-regular updates! Thanks!
So, as I mentioned over in my "Harry Potter & The Mysterious Key" thread, I've been working on an original Kingdom Hearts story, and here I am to show it! In this story we meet a brand new protagonist, and it actually is meant to fit very nicely within the Kingdom Hearts canon while going off in it's own direction. Who knows, maybe if I practice my drawing skills, I might even showcase some art of this story?
My name is Hoshi. I'm 16 years old, and the youngest officer in my city's police force. I live in Starlight City, in a small apartment on the north side of the city's central tower. The bright lights illuminate the streets below, exposing the colors of the downtown strip. My parents have been gone for as long as I can remember. I don't even remember what they looked like, just that my father taught me to fight with the blade at the age of six. I've practiced my fighting techniques every day since.
I was accepted into the police force after my childhood friend, Robyn, disappeared. I was the only person who ever cared enough about her to take the active effort to find her. She had been taken to the outskirts of the city, close to the Wall. The Wall protects Starlight City from the outside world, where we're told monsters live.
Everything was fairly normal... until the shadow-beasts came.
I was performing a routine stakeout in the outskirts, when an old beggar came limping towards me. He asked me for munny, and when I refused, he pulled a knife on me. With a swift kick to his side, I quickly dispatched my would-be assailant. With a wheeze he swore at me, before something strange happened.
He was silent as a small gem-like heart came from his chest and just.. disappeared. In a flash the man was gone, and a small, black creature stood in front of me. It charged at me and pinned me to the ground - it was surprisingly strong despite it's size, and I had to think quickly. I pulled my sword from its sheath and slammed the hilt into the beast, knocking it off of me, but seemingly doing no damage. As it began to get up, an even stranger thing happened - in my off hand, a blade appeared in a flash of light. The blade was long, made of a metal I'd never seen, and at the end were several protrusions from the blade's side - like teeth. The hilt of the blade was wide and only furthered it's key-like appearance.
Stranger still, as the blade appeared in my hand, a half-dozen copies of the shadowy beast appeared where nothing had been before, surrounding me. I leapt to my feet and assumed a stance - there was no room for flight, only fight.
One of the beasts leapt towards me, and steel met dark... flesh? I realized as it made a slight screech upon being struck with the key-like blade, and it was knocked back farther than I could have with natural strength alone.
As the rest of beasts set their sights upon me, they were slain quick as they made their decision to attack - this "key-blade" was able to vanquish them.
After the beasts had been destroyed, I picked up my backpack from the ground and made my way back to my apartment. I searched my desk and nightstand for a piece of paper - I had to report this. But before I managed to locate one, I heard a knock at my door over the somber pitter-patter of the rain outside my window. I answered, and to my surprise a small figure stood in front of me, dressed completely in a black coat.
"We need to talk... Hoshi."
And that's where we are right now. I'm in my apartment with this black-coated stranger.
"Just how do you know my name? Who are you?"
The figure removed his hood, showing me the largest pair of ears I'd ever seen. A giant, anthropomorphic mouse was standing in front of me. Is this what the monsters outside the Wall look like? If so, they can't be that big of a threat.
"Well, golly, Hoshi, I haven't seen you since I first met your father ten years ago. You certainly look a lot like him."
"You knew my father? What was he... wait, you still haven't answered my questions!"
The mouse laughed before looking me over once more.
"My name is Mickey! I'm the King of Disney Castle. And as I said before, I knew your father. Brightest young man in the Starlight City Police Force! And a self-taught master of the Keyblade, too. Boy, just to think he taught you... I wonder if you have his Keyblade..."
"Keyblade... is this it?"
I gestured to the weapon at my side that appeared when the shadow-beasts attacked.
"It's a Keyblade alright, but it's not your fatherâ€™s... that means... well, we'll get to that later. First we gotta get you to Master Yen Sid."
"Hold on a second... Mickey, you said your name was? I can't just leave, I'm still on duty!"
"I understand you need to keep your job, but... the fate of other worlds is at stake here!"
"Other worlds? ...This night just keeps getting stranger."
"I know. The Wall was designed to keep the Heartless out - I don't understand how they got in!"
"Heartless? Are those the shadow-beasts I fought?"
"They are. Heartless are formed when someone gives up their heart to the darkness."
"Like that angry beggar..."
"That weapon you have, the Keyblade, is able to destroy the Heartless, as well as other unnatural beings."
"That explains why my sword didn't cut them normally."
"And of course, the other worlds. This is a secret, and only you can know, understand?"
"Other worlds, of all shapes and sizes, do exist. The Heartless seek to drag all worlds into darkness, and the threat that's looming over some of the worlds right now... well, it's just terrible. And with Sora and Riku out of commission right now... we need your help, Hoshi."
"...Alright. I get it. Let's go."
"Now that's the spirit. First stop, Master Yen Sid's Tower. Follow me, and I'll take you to my Gummi Ship."
"I'll explain on the way."
King Mickey explained to me the events of the last several years on our way to meet the Master. He told me of a young boy named Sora, and his journey battling the Heartless and creatures called "Nobodies" through multiple worlds. He told me of the events that had happened twelve years ago, where three Keyblade wielders suffered a terrible fate, and of the recent events where Sora and his friend Riku had taken a "Mark of Mastery" examination as Keyblade wielders. It was so much to take in - and all this time I had thought my world was the only one. Every star in the sky, a different world? It just seemed so impossible. And yet, here I was, travelling with the King through the cosmos.
The ship landed next to a floating island with a single building on it - a tall, misshapen tower. The King and I stepped out onto the island, and no sooner as we had started walking, we were set upon by the "Heartless."
The group was small, but they came towards us from every angle. The King and I stood back to back, and summoned our Keyblades to our hands. One of the Heartless leapt at me, and I struck it straight through it's torso, with it disappearing as soon as it had touched the blade. The next pair tried to dash towards me and knock me over, but I stood my ground and forced them into the air with a swift strike, before following up with a secondary strike from my normal blade, launching them backward. The King, having already dealt with the Heartless battling him, turned towards the two beasts, getting up off the ground, and pointed his own Keyblade directly at them.
A ball of flame shot from the tip of Mickey's Keyblade and flew towards the Heartless, setting them both ablaze and to their demise, as they faded away into nothing.
The tower was filled with surprises - we climbed what seemed like a dozen staircases, seemingly unconnected, in a space which seemed like an empty void, the only thing we could see was more staircases, unconnected and far out of reach. The only way we managed to progress was through the doors at the end of each staircase. The rooms behind them had doors leading to further staircases.
Eventually, we made our way to the tower's top room. The room was round, and simplistic, with it's most notable feature being the large desk and the tall old man standing behind it.
"Hoshi, this is Master Yen Sid."
I bowed to the elderly man, and as I stood up he smiled at me.
"A respectful young man. I wish all my pupils could be like you. But now is not the time to discuss that. I'm afraid idle chit chat shall have to wait. Hoshi, I have summoned you here under the pretense of a mission. Sora and Riku are off on their own mission, and we are left with little choice but to ask for your help."
"What can I do, Master?"
"No doubt King Mickey has told you the story of Sora's adventures. But as with the worlds he ventured into during his Mark of Mastery exam, the worlds I must ask you to visit are plagued by a threat that rivals even the Heartless and the Nobodies."
"What would that be?"
"Well, they have no formal name, but I have chosen to refer to them as 'The Lost'. They are creatures of darkness, not unlike the Heartless, but unlike them, they exist within the heart already. They lack a physical form until they are called, but upon being called, they will appear and multiply rapidly. The Lost act have a terrible power - they can alter the flow of time itself.â€
"How are these creatures summoned?"
"When a being with a strong heart wishes to alter the course of time, for any reason - be it from joy, sadness, regret - they appear to fulfill that wish."
"How do these creatures make their way into other worlds?"
"Well, that is the peculiar thing. We had thought that we had stamped out this threat many years ago, but a certain individual has brought them back as a vessel. Your friend, Robyn."
"Yes. They have been using her as method to transport themselves to other worlds and spread like a virus. She has been visiting many worlds lately, thanks to the dark powers the Lost have granted her. And it is for this purpose we have brought you here and requested your assistance. We need you to track Robyn down and bring her back here, as well as free each world from the Lost's influence."
"Well... that certainly explains why Robyn's been so distant lately. And if she's causing trouble in other worlds due to these creatures... I suppose it's my responsiblity to bring her home and clean up her mess."
"Alright. But before we send you off to other worlds, let me give you a brief lesson in dealing with the Lost."
The sorcerer stood up and grabbed a book off of one of the shelves, and placed it onto the table, opening it.
"This is... a songbook?"
"Not just any song book. Pay close attention to the notes, and they will guide you into a new world."
I stared into the songbook, and I blinked. Suddenly, I felt the dripping of rain on my head. Was I... home? Was this all some sort of crazy dream?
No, I wasn't home. There were no familiar lights or busy streets. The only source of it was the lightning crackling in the sky. And the only noise I could hear was the sound of thunder in the distance. Thought it was strange - I could almost swear I heard music in the air.
Before I knew what to make of this world, I found myself being set upon by beasts I had never seen before. They were like Heartless, but much more insect-like in shape, and far more colorful - or at least, for the disgusting hues they appeared to be. One of the beasts lunged at me. It looked like a mantis, and it slashed at me with its front legs. I dodged backward and retaliated with a strike from my Keyblade, sending the monster tumbling into it's allies. I ran towards them and slashed with my secondhand sword, slashing one of the first beast's legs off, and I kicked it away. It started to tend to its wound, and thus was my chance. I leapt into the air and came down full force, slashing the monster in two. Like a heartless, it disappeared, though left nothing behind. The other two monsters, which looked more akin to a spider and a housefly, began to flee. I gave chase through the stormy night, and I found myself at a large lake - with several large, lizard like creatures.
There were many varieties, and these lizard creatures were drinking from the pool of water as the rain poured down. The creatures were majestic, and I couldnâ€™t help but admire them. But as if by fate, I saw the two Lost I had been chasing - right before a new creature appeared on scene- trapping them itâ€™s mouth, the monsters being pierced by dagger-like teeth.
The beast who had slain the Lost stood on two legs, unlike all the others. Itâ€™s eyes were piercing red, and as many of the large creatures fled, it gave chase to one of them in particular - one with large protrusions on its back and spikes on its tail.
I had had enough of this gruesome scene. I made my way around the lake as fast as I could, and imitating the King, pointed my Keyblade towards the predator.
As before, a ball of flames shot forth from my Keyblade, striking the predator with enough force to cause it to rear itâ€™s ugly face to me. The beast lunged at me with itâ€™s jaw, and as it tried to grab me, I leapt straight up and jammed my blade into itâ€™s eye. It reared back in pain, and my distraction had given the prey enough time to strike the larger beast with itâ€™s tail, sending it crashing to the ground.
The beast struggled to get up, and in unison the prey and I made a run for it towards where I had first come from. I looked back as we ran, finding the beast chasing us and rapidly approaching. It was then I spotted my escape - the songbook in the middle of the field! I dove, headfirst, straight into the book - and landed inside of Yen Sidâ€™s tower.
â€œI can no longer sense the presence of the Lost inside The Rite of Spring. You have done well to defeat them. I can only presume that you are prepared to set out on your journey immediately, however, I have a gift for you that may be quite useful on your quest.â€
The Sorcerer waved his hand over his desk, and two gemstones appeared, engraved with a symbol. The first was a teal blue, engraved with what looked likeâ€¦ a fishing hook? The second was a brilliant yellow, and engraved on it was a simple star.
â€œThese are summon gems. These magical artifacts have a special bond to someone else in the universe - from other worlds, even. When you feel you need a little help, all you need to do is raise your summon gem to the sky, and an ally will appear to aid you.â€
I took the gems and placed them safely into my jacketâ€™s front pocket and buttoned it to assure they would not escape.
â€œThat was the first gift. I now present you with the most necessary item for your journey.â€
The old wizard pulled a small golden chain with a charm that resembled a clock from a drawer, and handed it to me.
â€œWhat is this?â€
â€œThis is a Time Anchor. It allows you to negate the Lostâ€™s effect on time itself. Wear this, and you will not be lost to a world trapped by time.â€
I placed the chain around my neck and fastened it. I didnâ€™t feel any different with it on, but I believed the Masterâ€™s words.
â€œWell, your Majesty? Shall we depart?â€
â€œI would, but unfortunately, that was Master Yen Sidâ€™s only Time Anchor. Iâ€™m afraid I canâ€™t accompany you. But donâ€™t worry, I know you can do it! Besides, I have an important mission of my own, and Iâ€™d only weigh you down.â€
â€œBut without you and your Gummi Ship, how can I reach these other worlds?â€
Master Yen Sid laughed, and stood up.
â€œThe passage of time connects the Lanes Between these worlds. Behold!â€
With a wave of his hands, the sorcerer conjured up a door.
I stood, confused as to what the door could do, but turned the door anyway. I was shocked to see an entire world behind it, with steps and corridors. Each winding staircase ended on a platform with a large hourglass on it.
â€œReturn here with Robyn once you have freed these worlds and , and we will free her from the Lost, once and for all. Good luck.â€
â€œWeâ€™re rootinâ€™ for ya, Hoshi!â€
I smiled, and stepped into the doorway, and after walking a short way, discovered the first platform. I looked into the hourglass, and inside I saw what looked like a small, quaint town under a calm night sky. I stared intensively, mesmerized by the world in the hourglass - before I blinked, and felt my feet touch stone pavement through my shoes.
The town I found myself in was blanketed underneath a peaceful nightâ€™s sky. There were a few people out and about, some sitting at what was clearly a restaurant, some browsing the windows of a shop directly in front of me, and one - a small, white creature - was sitting against a street lamp. I approached him, and he seemed to look me over, though his eyes appeared closed.
â€œWhere am I?â€
â€œThis is Traverse Town, kupo.â€
A man approached me. He wore big glasses and had graying brown hair, and a mustache, and he wore a gentle smile on his face.
â€œPerhaps I can explain. Traverse Town appears when someone needs it for refuge - a lot of people showed up around here when their worlds were destroyed by the Heartless. Me? Iâ€™ve lived here all my life. The nameâ€™s Stan.â€
The man reached out his hand, and I took it in a firm handshake.
â€œWell, Hoshi, what brings you to Traverse Town?â€
â€œWellâ€¦ I think somethingâ€™s wrong with this world.â€
â€œWrong? What do you mean? Things have never been better! We havenâ€™t seen a Heartless in days! Maybe even weeks!â€
â€œWell, thatâ€™s a relief.â€
My eyes darted towards a girl sitting at the restaurant, visibly distressed. She was dressed in black and had white hair despite looking very young - maybe even in her early twenties. With her was a small object which seemed to be standing and made of metal, and a large sword.
â€œIs she alright? She looks upset.â€
â€œI dunno. Sheâ€™s been just sitting there silent for two days. Havenâ€™t even seen the poor girl eat anything. She wonâ€™t talk to anyone, either.â€
â€œMaybe Iâ€™ll see if thereâ€™s any way I can help.â€
â€œWell, good luck to you. Oh, and Hoshi?â€
He handed me a business card and smiled again.
â€œYou come see me if you ever need a break.â€
Stan walked off, and I took a look at the card he had handed me.
â€œLitwakâ€™s Arcade - Fun for Everyone.â€
Maybe Iâ€™ll go and check it out another time. I approached the girl and pulled up a chair.
â€œHey. You alright?â€
â€œMaâ€™am, is there anything I can do to help?â€
She looked at me, eyes hidden behind a black mask, stared for a moment, and looked back down at her table.
â€œNo, youâ€™re not Nines.â€
â€œI only work with Nines.â€
â€œWhere is Nines?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know. That is the problem.â€
â€œWell, maybe I could help you find them.â€
She thought for a moment before nodding.
â€œAlright. Weâ€™ll go find Nines. But thatâ€™s all I can do. I have my orders.â€
â€œSounds good. The nameâ€™s Hoshi.â€
â€œYou can just call me 2B.â€
2B picked up her blade and the metallic object that had been sitting there sprung to life, and floated in the air behind her.
â€œTrack Ninesâ€™ location.â€
The little robot responded in a monotone voice.
â€œYoRHA No. 9 Type S has been located in the Third District. Proceed with caution.â€
â€œWell, I guess weâ€™re heading to the Third District then, 2B?â€
â€œAffirmativeâ€¦ what was your name?â€
â€œLet us proceedâ€¦ Hoshi.â€
The little creature from earlier walked up to us.
â€œKupo, both of you are new to Traverse Town. Perhaps you need a guide?â€
â€œI think we can manage. Shall we?â€
The little creature seemed a little upset, but nodded.
â€œWell, if you ever need anything, kupo, feel free to come see me. I sell it all!â€
2B and I set off towards the door marked â€œSecond District.â€
â€œSo, 2Bâ€¦ mind if I ask just what you and your friend are doing here in Traverse Town?â€
â€œMost worlds are destroyed by the Heartless. Our world was invaded, but it wasnâ€™t the creatures that destroyed it. It was the war between us and the machines. We followed our orders and it only resulted in the worldâ€™s demise. Nines and I were lucky to escape, but what do we do now? We exist to follow orders. We exist to serve.â€
â€œWhy canâ€™t you just follow your own orders? Without your superiors, doesnâ€™t that make you master of your own fate?â€
â€œItâ€™s not an androidâ€™s place to be itâ€™s own master.â€
â€œWaitâ€¦ youâ€™re not human?!â€
â€œNo. We were created to serve the humans after our enemy, the machines, gained sentience. We were designed to battle, to destroy, to conquer our world so that the humans might one day return. Butâ€¦ it never happened. And now, we exist without purpose. If it werenâ€™t for Ninesâ€¦ I donâ€™t think I could even function.â€
â€œSounds like they must be very special to you.â€
â€œYesâ€¦ you might say he is. But nowâ€™s not the time for that.â€
â€œBecause of that.â€
2B pointed forward, and to my horror I saw a young man, maybe a bit older than me, with blonde hair and dressed in a black jacket, running away from one of the Lost. This one was different, much larger than the others I had fought. It seemed to share the appearance of a centipede, and was advancing fast.
2B drew her weapon and I summoned my Keyblade to my side. As the beast nearly snatched the poor man in its jaws, it met the cold metal of my Keyblade. The man quickly ran down a nearby alley, and the Lost set its sights upon us.
I pushed the Keyblade upward, sending the beast reeling back. As it regained itâ€™s composure, it rushed straight towards me, but like a bullfighter I leapt out of the way just in time. Itâ€™s jaw closed on air, and it left itself vulnerable enough for 2Bâ€™s blade to cut into it. Deep enough to make a wound, but not nearly enough to kill it, it bit in 2Bâ€™s direction. She leapt out of itâ€™s way with perfect accuracy, and nodded in my direction. I knew exactly what she meant - weâ€™d stay split up so it would have to pick a target, and the other would focus on striking.
The beast made its decision and attempted to bat 2B out of the way with one of itâ€™s legs, but hit nothing but air as she expertly ducked underneath, as I took aim towards the beastâ€™s head. I had seen the King do this as we battled the Heartless, and this was my chance to make it happen.
â€œFreeze!â€ I shouted, and an icy projectile shot from my weapon. Unfortunately, the monster juked out of the way just in time, and my ice only froze a small portion of its body. But it was enough to give my partner an opening, and 2Bâ€™s robotic friend opened fire with a laser straight to the frozen part of its body.
The beast screeched in pain, clearly overwhelmed, and attempted once more to bite 2B, but to no avail. I ran, top speed, and slid underneath the creatureâ€™s body, narrowly avoiding itâ€™s giant legs, and shouted â€œTogether!â€
2B understood and caught my feet, then launched me into the air. As I descended, the creature had no time to react, itâ€™s head being slashed off with my Keyblade and with sheer force, launched into the air, met by another laser from 2Bâ€™s robot. The beast faded away into nothingness, and was no more.
â€œNice work, 2B! And your little friend came in handy!â€
â€œPod 042 is essential for my every mission.â€
I swear I could almost see her stern expression shift to a smile for a brief second.
â€œWe should check on that guy.â€
We walked into the alleyway where the man had disappeared and found a door. With a quick knock, we were surprised to see the door opened byâ€¦ a dog?
He wore a red collar and was clearly a dalmatian. He gestured with his nose to come inside, and we obliged. To our surprise, we found a second dalmatian, clearly his mate, as well as the man, surrounded by too many puppies to count!
â€œAre you okay?â€
â€œIâ€™m fine. Thanks for saving my skin back there. My nameâ€™s Josh. And this is Pongo and Perdita, and of course their 99 puppies.â€
â€œI know, right? Really impressive these two. They seemed a little lonely after their world was destroyed, even with all their puppies home. So when I asked if theyâ€™d like to be a part of my family, they seemed more than happy to oblige.â€
Josh started to pet the nearest puppy, and I couldnâ€™t help but smile.
â€œThanks for checking up on me, but Iâ€™m just fine. Iâ€™m sure you two have other business, but feel free to stop by anytime. I at least owe you a meal.â€
â€œNo problem, kid.â€
2B and I left the house and returned from to the main part of the second district, before Pod 042 led us to the Third District. As we made our way into, we saw a boy, dressed in black, who wore a mask and had the same hair color as 2B, unconscious in front of a golden fountain.
2B ran towards the boy, and hugged him, but he didnâ€™t make a sound. And like flies to honey, a swarm of Lost appeared.
â€œ2B, look out!â€
My cry alerted her, and she leapt to her feet and drew her blade as I made my way down into the arena-like district, cutting one of the monsters in two as I landed. I grabbed hold of one of the Lost, one that seemed to be akin to a worm. It felt slimy, as I expected, and I threw it into the air where it was struck by some shots from Pod 042 and sliced apart by 2Bâ€™s magnificent blade. I gave her a quick glance and almost thought I had seen a smile on her face, but before I had a chance to react, both of us had been swatted away by the limbs of a spider-like monster. I dashed over to 2B and did as the King had taught me.
I suddenly felt a burst of energy and adrenaline in my body as the magic repaired the pain. 2B felt it too, and ran straight towards the beast firing the Podâ€™s lasers. The beast leapt upward and onto the side of the building, and the Podâ€™s lasers kept tracking it. I took careful aim at the beast, and hurled my Keyblade straight towards it, slicing it in two. With all of the Lost taken care of, I summoned my Keyblade back to my hand, and we went to check on Nines.
It took a minute and another cure spell, but Nines finally stood up.
â€œ2B...is that youâ€¦?â€
â€œNines! Y-yes, it is me. Iâ€™m so glad youâ€™re okay.â€
â€œIâ€™m fineâ€¦ are you alright? You shouldnâ€™t have had to come find me. I shouldâ€™ve taken better care of myself when the monsters attacked.â€
â€œItâ€™s alright, Nines.â€
â€œAndâ€¦ whoâ€™s this? A new friend of yours?â€
â€œFriendâ€¦? Well, yes. I suppose you could say that Hoshi is a â€˜friendâ€™.â€
â€œHoshi, huh? Nice to meet you.â€
â€œLikewise,â€ I responded, â€œcome on. Letâ€™s get you both back to the First District.â€
As I said that, the large door in the wall opened up as if by magic.
â€œKupo, you need any help?â€
The little white creature stood there. Had he opened it?
2B, Nines, and I made our way back to the First District and sat down at the restaurant where I had first met her.
â€œSo, 2B tells me you guys are androids, from a world where you are at war with the machines. Is that right?â€
â€œThatâ€™s correct. Our worldâ€¦ itâ€™sâ€¦ itâ€™ just, gone. And itâ€™s all our fault.â€
â€œThatâ€™s not true. 2B told me that the machines rose up against the humans of your world. And that you guys were the last of the android population fighting them. You couldnâ€™t expect to defeat them alone. I think you guys did the best you could.â€
â€œMaybe thatâ€™s right. Butâ€¦ I still wonder, how did we end up here?â€
â€œI think that your hearts cried out for shelter, and thatâ€™s how it brought you both here.â€
I looked up to see Josh standing beside us.
â€œWeâ€™re androids. We donâ€™t have hearts.â€
â€œIs that so? Well, I beg to differ. A being without a heart couldnâ€™t make a friend. A being without a heart couldnâ€™t worry about someone else. And a being without a heartâ€¦â€
â€œCouldnâ€™t care for someone else.â€ I chimed in.
â€œPrecisely, Hoshi. Iâ€™ve seen the way you two act together. You wouldnâ€™t be this way if you didnâ€™t have a heart.â€
â€œYour hearts brought you to Traverse Town when your world was destroyed. I know that in your world, you were created to follow ordersâ€¦ but in this world you have the freedom to choose your own path. Your world may not come backâ€¦ but thereâ€™s a reason you two are here and now.â€
â€œHow can it be true?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know, 2Bâ€¦ but I think I trust Hoshi andâ€¦â€
â€œRight, Josh. I know it goes against everything we were created forâ€¦ but Iâ€™d say we are here for a reason. Letâ€™s live our lives together, here.â€
I felt my Time Anchor necklace vibrate against my skin. What does this mean?
I sat with 2B, Nines, and Josh for awhile. Josh bought me some food, per his promise earlier, when all of a sudden a man came running out of the Second District, shouting â€œTheyâ€™re gone! The monstersâ€¦ they just disappeared!â€
I get it. 2B and Nines accepted their fate and understood that they are free to live their lives now. Their doubt is what brought the Lost here in the first placeâ€¦ And now, Traverse Town is free. I got up and started to walk towards the big door in the District.
â€œThanks for everything, you guys. 2Bâ€¦ Nines? Keep being you. Alright? Iâ€™ll be back to say hi sometime, but for nowâ€¦ sayonara.â€
I made my way out of the door and found myself back in the room with the platforms. Before my eyes, a staircase appeared before me leading to the top of the next platform. I raced up to it, and upon it sat another hourglass. I looked inside, and I saw a castle and town next to a large, green forest. I blinked, and before I knew it, I was standing in a small clearing, trees all around me. I feltâ€¦ different somehow.
I looked at my hands, and noticed something peculiar - they were orange with black stripes, and covered in fur. I saw a small stream nearby and quickly rushed over and took a look at my reflection. To my surprise, I had become an anthropomorphic tiger! I was wearing the same clothes but I now had fur and a tail, and jaws that felt much stronger. I summoned my Keyblade - it looked the same. Maybe the world itself had changed meâ€¦?
But I didnâ€™t have time to gawk at myself, as I heard a woman screaming nearby. I took off in the direction of the screaming, finding myself in a small camp with a woman, dressed in a pink dress. She looked like an anthropomorphic fox, and she was screaming as one of the Lost, which looked like a beetle, was quickly advancing on her. I ran in and blocked the beastâ€™s strike with my Keyblade before going straight on the offensive. I stabbed my other sword into itâ€™s side, and it lurched backwards before swinging wildly at me, only to be parried and knocked onto itâ€™s back with my Keyblade. Helpless, I stabbed it through the stomach, and the beast faded into nothingness.
â€œThank you, kind stranger.â€
â€œYouâ€™re welcome. I guess these creatures have been a problem, havenâ€™t they?â€
â€œActually, no. Iâ€™ve never seen them beforeâ€¦ but there is a problem. Iâ€™m looking for the men who live in this camp, but theyâ€™re gone! Ohâ€¦ how are we going to rescue Robin now?â€
â€œWhatâ€™s going on?â€
â€œOh, itâ€™s terrible! Prince John, the evil ruler of the land, has captured Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, and Little Johnâ€¦ and come sundown, it will be legal to execute them.â€
â€œExecute them?! What did they ever do to him?â€
â€œWell, truth be told, stranger, they have stolen from the crown. But Prince John is no innocent - he taxes the citizens to poverty and lives a lavish life on the stolen throne, the throne that rightfully belongs to King Richard!â€
â€œAnd Robin, Little John, and Friar Tuck have stolen from him?â€
â€œYes, but they donâ€™t keep it. They give it back to the people who need it.â€
â€œIt sounds to me like their heart is in the right place. Câ€™mon. Letâ€™s go rescue them.â€
â€œYou would really help them?â€
â€œOf course. I canâ€™t stand by and let them innocent blood be spilled. Besides, Iâ€™ll bet that Prince fellow has something to do with the Lost being here. Where are they being heldâ€¦ Iâ€™m sorry, I didnâ€™t catch your name.â€
â€œTheyâ€™re being held at Nottinghamâ€™s jail, but the Sheriff is on guard. Weâ€™ll have to either sneak in or defeat him with brute force to break them out. And my name? Itâ€™s Maid Marian.â€
â€œIâ€™m Hoshi. So, where is Nottingham?â€
â€œJust down this road. Follow me!â€
â€œOhâ€¦ and pleased to meet you, Hoshi.â€
Maid Marian gave a small curtsy before running off into the forest. I made haste and followed her, encountering a few Lost on the way, but soon enough, we had made it to the small town.
The town was dark and gray, and in the square I could see the platform where the hanging would take place. And to my surprise, a large anthropomorphic wolf in some pompous clothing was talking to a lion in royal robes and a crown.
â€œWhy can we not execute the traitors now, Sheriff?!â€
â€œWell, ya see your royal princely-ness, itâ€™s Sunday, and the law of the land states that we canâ€™t hang anyone on the day of rest, ya see.â€
â€œWhy should I care, Sheriff?!â€
â€œWell, ya see, it was passed by your dear old dad, and the people would rise up if we changed what his majesty made law.â€
â€œSire, I believe the Sheriff is rightâ€¦ The people would rise up against the crown, and yourâ€¦â€
â€œSilence, Sir Hiss! Sheriff, if we could just displace the law for a dayâ€¦â€
Suddenly, a Lost appeared in front of Prince John and the Sheriff. The Lost lookedâ€¦ different than others. It stood on two legs, and looked more like a wasp than anything. Itâ€™s wings flapped rapidly as he began to speak, in a raspy voice.
â€œPerhapsâ€¦. Iâ€¦. canâ€¦. helpâ€¦. Iâ€™ll makeâ€¦. the â€¦..dayâ€¦. endâ€¦ fasterâ€¦.â€
â€œHow dare you speak to me, peasant! Sheriff, take care of this foolish charlatan!â€
The Sheriff drew a sword from his sheath and slashed at the Lost, who leapt upwards into a free flight before plunging straight downward onto the Sheriffâ€™s head, knocking him to the ground.
â€œPleaseâ€¦. yourâ€¦. highnessâ€¦. justâ€¦. letâ€¦. meâ€¦â€
â€œHe defeated the Sheriff! Sir Hiss, protect your king!â€
â€œSire, with all due respect, he is offering to helpâ€¦ perhaps we should let him, he clearly has some power. You see, the sun is moving across the sky quite faster than normal.â€
â€œThat it isâ€¦ alright, stranger. Make the day go by so that we may execute Robin Hood and his Merry Men, and I shall give you anything you desire.â€
â€œYesâ€¦. yourâ€¦ majestyâ€¦â€
â€œThatâ€™s not goodâ€¦â€ I whispered, â€œWe need to bust them out, now.â€
â€œAlright. Little John is being held in the cell right beyond the watchtower. Friar Tuck is with him, and Robin is being held in the smallest cell in the dungeon. Youâ€™ll have to be very sneaky, but I know a shortcut.â€
I followed Maid Marian to the side of the jail, and we found a small hatch which clearly led inside.
â€œOh noâ€¦ itâ€™s locked!â€
â€œNot a problem.â€
I raised my Keyblade and pointed it toward the lock, instantly releasing it.
â€œThatâ€™s marvelous! How did you do it?â€
â€œThe Keyblade can open any lock. Alright. Iâ€™ll be back.â€
â€œNo, Iâ€™m going with you!â€
â€œMaid Marian, with all due respect, I canâ€™t let you come. Itâ€™s too dangerous. Iâ€™ll get them out - just meet me back at the camp.â€
She ran back into the forest and I carefully made my way underground. It was fairly dark, but there were a few torches illuminating the path. Soon enough, I found my way into a chamber, with two guards, looking to be vultures, stood in front of the sole cell. One of them held an axe, the other, a crossbow. I hid behind some barrels and listened to their conversation.
â€œTrigger, why are we standing here?â€
â€œWeâ€™re guarding Robin Hoodâ€™s cell for Prince John, remember?â€
â€œOh, thatâ€™s right.â€
They stood silent for a moment before the first spoke again.
â€œWhat did Robin Hood do to the Prince?â€
â€œWell, itâ€™s obvious! He.. uhâ€¦ well heâ€¦ umâ€¦ I donâ€™t remember!â€
These two clearly werenâ€™t the brightest, and I knew it was time to make my move. I leapt out from behind the barrels, pointed my Keyblade upward, and shouted at the top of my lungs!
A bolt of lightning appeared from nowhere and hit the one named Nutsy, his metal axe acting like a lightning rod and resulting in a nasty shock. He fell to his knees, and before Trigger even had a chance to load his weapon, I had aimed at him.
The ball of flame hit his crossbow and caught it on fire, as well as Triggerâ€™s wing. The vulture dropped his weapon and started running around wildly, attempting to put it out. As he did, Nutsy was slowly regaining his footing, aiming his axeâ€¦
...and as he threw it, Trigger got in the way with his mad dash, resulting in him being knocked backward into the wall. Once more I pointed my blade to the sky, and shouted;.
Both of the vultures froze in place, and with mere moments before they would unfreeze, I dragged their bodies together and tied them up with some nearby rope, and placed some gags in their mouths. As the time spell wore off, the two attempted to yell - but only muffled noises came from them. I pointed my Keyblade towards the door, and unlocked it. I headed inside, and saw a young fox in green, chained to the wall. I broke the chains with my blade, and Robin was free.
â€œThanks a lot! I thought for sure I was a goner. Nameâ€™s Robin Hood.â€
â€œHoshi. Maid Marian told me about you and the others, and I knew I had to save you.â€
â€œWell, Hoshi, considering my boys arenâ€™t with you, Iâ€™d say we got some more work to do. Just give me a second.â€
Robin walked out of the cell and grabbed a piece of bent wood from the corner and a piece of twine from his pocket and fashioned a makeshift bow with it.
â€œNot my normal standard of craftsmanship, but this should do for now. Ready, Hoshi?â€
We continued along the corridor until we reached some stairs. A dim light shown down the staircase, and it was just enough to see another guard - much larger, possibly an elephant, was standing at the top.
â€œHow are we going to get past him?â€
â€œLike this. See the bell above him?â€
Robin took out an arrow, took aim, and fired a single arrow, hitting the bellâ€™s rope and sending it crashing down, right over the guardâ€™s head. I could hear some muffled yelling, but we quickly made our way past him, shoving him out of the way with full force, and just to make sure, I cast another Stop spell on him until we were safely around the corner. Leaving no trace, Robin picked up his used arrow and placed it back in his quiver. We made our way towards the window and looked straight out - the watchtower was only about a hundred feet away. The Sheriff of Nottingham was standing guard - or more likely, he was sleeping guard. He was dozing off.
Robin wasted no time. He grabbed a rope and tied it to an arrow, took aim, and shot it through the window of the Watchtower.
â€œAlright, Iâ€™ll be in and have the others out in a minute. If anything goes wrong, you and I can take on the Sheriff - together!â€
Robin used his bow to slide down the rope and into the watchtower. I kept an eye out, and I heard a rumble - Robin and what I presumed to be Little John and Friar Tuck burst out of the main doorway, chased by three more vulture guards. I leapt out the window and tumbled to the ground.
The birds were instantly frozen as the ice hit them, but my shout had awoken a certain big bad wolf.
â€œSo, thought ya could make a darinâ€™ escape with the Sheriff around, did ya?! Close the gates!â€
â€œNot so fast, Sheriff!â€
Robin pulled an arrow from his quiver and sent it flying at the guard who stood atop the prison wall, and the guard took flight and off into the distance.
â€œOh for landâ€™s sakes, if ya want somethinâ€™ done, ya gotta do it yourself!â€
The Sheriff drew his blade and promptly started to charge towards Friar Tuck. I leapt in front of the priest and parried the Sheriffâ€™s blow with my Keyblade, sending him stumbling back a few feet.
â€œWho in the world are you?!â€
â€œHoshi, the newest member of my merry men!â€ Robin chimed in.
â€œRight! And now, Sheriff, youâ€™re gonna give back the peopleâ€™s tax money, or else!â€
â€œOr else what, ya scrawny little pipsqueak?!â€
He charged towards me again, but I rolled away and the Sheriff plowed into the wall.
â€œOr else this! Fire!â€
The burst of flame shot forth from my Keyblade and ignited the Sheriffâ€™s trousers, sending him straight to the ground.
â€œAh! What was it momma always said?! Stop, dropâ€¦â€
â€œ...and roll, ya big lug!â€ Little John cried before delivering a swift kick, sending the portly sheriff crashing into another wall.
â€œAlright, men! Run!â€
Robin, Little John, Friar Tuck and I made a run for the exit, the Sheriff in hot pursuit. As we ran, I saw Robin turn, take aim, and fire a swift arrow right into the lever to close the prisonâ€™s gate, hitting it with enough force to knock it into the other position, sending the heavy metal gate crashing down and locking the Sheriff in his own prison yard.
â€œYes! Way to go, Rob!â€ Little John cried as we merrily ran into the forest and back to Robinâ€™s camp, where Maid Marian and a large chicken stood.
â€œHoshi! You did it!â€
â€œYou escaped that scurvy Sheriff with our allies, I see! Well done, lad!â€ the chicken congratulated me.
â€œHe sure did!â€ Little John said as he picked me up, nearly crushing me in a massive hug.
â€œYou did one of the Lordâ€™s miracles today, Hoshi!â€ Friar Tuck chimed in.
â€œSo, whatâ€™s our next plan of action?â€ I inquired.
â€œWe wait until Prince John is in bed tonight before we go and dethrone him.â€ Robin added.
â€œDown with that phony king of England!â€ Little John said.
â€œWhat about the beast heâ€™s working with, Hoshi?â€ Maid Marian replied.
â€œNo doubt heâ€™ll have reported back to Prince John about our escape. If we play our cards right, we can kill two birds with one stone.â€
â€œThereâ€™ll be no killinâ€™ of birds in my presence, laddie!â€
â€œOh Lady Kluck, itâ€™s an expression.â€
â€œRight. So we need to stay in the shadows and wait until both of them are together, unprotected. Weâ€™re going to need a spy.â€
â€œNow, Iâ€™m just a little oleâ€™ minstrel,â€ a new voice said, â€œbut perhaps I can be of assistance.â€
A rooster walked into the camp clearing, with a mandolin in his wing.
â€œIâ€™m Alan-A-Dale, and I think I might be able to get into Sir Snaggletoothâ€™s good graces. When you hear me crow, then you should attack. Howâ€™s that sound?â€
â€œIf youâ€™re willing to try, I think we should go for it.â€ I replied.
Everyone promptly agreed, and we followed Alan-A-Dale to the edge of the forest as he made his way into the castle. We waited for nightfall and carefully made our way into town, incognito.
We waited in a nearby alley, listening to the faint sounds of the minstrelâ€™s strings play. Robin took aim with his bow and shot an arrow to the roof, and we waited atop the castle under the cover of darkness.
At the stroke of nine, Alan crowed, and we leapt into action, bursting through the window into Prince Johnâ€™s bedroom, just me, Robin, and Little John. The Prince woke with a jolt to find an arrow and a Keyblade pointed at him, as Little John grabbed and gagged him, and threw the barely-awake Sir Hiss out of the window into the streets below. I used my Keyblade to lock the door from the inside. And we made our way out into the streets, Prince Johnâ€™s muffled screams barely making a noise in the night, and made our way back into Sherwood Forest.
We tied the Prince to a tree in the camp, and ungagged him.
â€œNot so mighty now are you, â€˜your highness?â€™â€ I said.
â€œOh, mommyâ€™s not gonna come save ya now, little Prince!â€ Little John said, laughing.
â€œWhat do you want with me?! Riches?! A pardon?! Iâ€™ll do anything, just spare me!â€
â€œI want just one thing from you. Where is your new buggy friend?â€ I replied, pointing the Keyblade at him.
â€œHeâ€™s at the prison, guarding the townspeople with the Sheriff! Now please, let me go!â€
â€œNo can do, John. Weâ€™re gonna have to have your help with taking him down. And then weâ€™ll let you goâ€¦ when King Richard comes home.â€
â€œWhy should I help you? You ruffians kidnapped me and are holding me hostage!â€
â€œBecause if you donâ€™tâ€¦ what do you think will happen to you out here, alone?â€
I could hear a loud gulp in his throat.
â€œI trust weâ€™ve come to an agreement. Someoneâ€™s gonna have to stay up and keep an eye on him. Robin, you and Little John have been sleeping in jail, so Iâ€™ll take the duty and let you guys get some proper sleep.
The night dragged on in silence. We had re-gagged Prince John and I kept watch like a hawk on him, as he gave me a cold stare, and eventually, morning came. Robin awoke and we finished our preparations, and Little John, Robin, and I set off with the Prince being held on Little Johnâ€™s lofty shoulders, still bound and gagged, as we made our way to the prison.
We strolled straight in through the gate to find the Sheriff of Nottingham once again napping.
â€œHey, tubby!â€ I cried.
â€œWhat the-!â€ the Sheriff howled as he fell out of his seat and onto the ground, â€œWhy, itâ€™s you! Back again for more, huh? Well Iâ€™ll justâ€¦â€
â€œNot so fast, tubby.â€ Little John responded, placing the gagged Prince Johnâ€™s feet on the ground and raising a dagger to his throat, â€œYou tell us where old bug eyes is or we off old PJ here.â€
â€œAlright, alright, no need to get hasty.â€ the Sheriff replied, sheathing his sword, â€œhey ugly! Get on out here!â€
I heard the beating of wings and turned to see the beat fly from the roof behind me and land in the yard, before taking off towards me faster than I could see and knocking me to the ground, grabbing Prince John, and disappearingâ€¦
Prince Johnâ€™s eyes instantly turned towards me as he effortless broke his bonds. I could see his eyes changed color and his feral instincts kicked in. I could feel it - the aura of darkness consuming his heart as he leapt towards me. I narrowly dodged him, and he ended up smashing into the Sheriff, knocking him unconscious. He shook it off and then crawled on all fours into a battle position, prepped to battle.
He leapt towards me, but I deflected his strike with an upwards slash of my Keyblade, and it momentarily fazed him before he gave up on me and went straight for Robin. Robin leapt upwards and managed to footstool off of the corrupted Princeâ€™s head, knocking him to the ground and knocking the crown away.
â€œGah! Myâ€¦. crrrrown!!!â€ he growled in what sounded like a mix of his own voice and the Lostâ€™s, before bounding off towards the glittering headpiece.
â€œRobin! Little John! If we can keep him away from the crown, heâ€™ll be too distracted to fight back! Stop!â€
I raised my Keyblade to the sky and he froze in place as I dashed over and grabbed the crown. Time resumed for the Prince as he bounded towards me, and right before he reached me, I threw the crown to Robin. His head darted towards Robinâ€™s direction, attempting to turn, before I knocked him into the air, as he howled in pain. He landed and started towards Robin, but the wily fox was too quick, attaching the crown to an arrow and sending it flying into a wall, just barely out of the feral royalâ€™s reach. I ran over and began to hit him with my Keyblade, and eventually the Lost gave in and was forced out of the Princeâ€™s body. Prince John fainted and before it could even respond, the Lost was pinned to the jailâ€™s wall by four arrows in itâ€™s knees and hands. I swung my Keyblade once more, tearing the beast in two as it faded into nothingness.
As the beast disappeared, a mysterious figure walked out of the forest along with Maid Marian and Friar Tuck, walking into the prisonâ€™s courtyard.
â€œWell, well, well. Little brother, I see youâ€™ve made a mockery of the crown and the kingdom.â€
The greedy prince stuck his thumb into his mouth and started pulling his ear.
â€œPrince John, I should have you executed for treason of your country and the crown!â€ the large lion said, â€œbut I wonâ€™t, for the sake of our motherâ€™s memory.â€
â€œKing Richard, â€œ Robin Hood said as he bowed. Little John and I followed suit.
â€œWell, if it isnâ€™t the outlaw known as Robin Hood and his merry men,â€ the King replied, â€œI do believe we have some unfinished business.â€
â€œPlease, your majesty, donâ€™t arrest them!â€ I pleaded.
â€œArrest them? I want to congratulate them! They are being pardoned and knighted, after all.â€
â€œWe are, your highness?â€ Little John inquired.
Little John and Robin bowed once again as the king placed his sword near the shoulders, then walked towards me.
â€œYou too, Hoshi.â€
â€œMe? And how-?â€
â€œMy niece told me. Now, do you not wish to become a knight?â€
â€œIâ€™d love to, your majesty, but the thing isâ€¦ I have to go soon.â€
â€œThen, my boy, we shall just have to make you an honorary knight! And of course, we must throw a festival!â€
I smiled and bowed, as he placed the sword near my shoulders.
The King held a great feast to celebrate the return of the rightful ruler of England and the imprisonment of the traitors to the crown, as well as my departure. I ate and drank to my heartâ€™s content, but I knew I couldnâ€™t stay. I began to leave, but was stopped by Robin.
â€œArenâ€™t you going to stay for my wedding, Hoshi?â€
â€œIâ€™d love to, but I really have to go. Iâ€™m needed in other places.â€
â€œWellâ€¦ alright, but make sure you come back and visit! Youâ€™re a member of my Merry Men, and weâ€™re going to miss you.â€
â€œIâ€™ll miss you guys toâ€¦ and congratulations. Give my congrats to Maid Marian as well.
Robin nodded, and I set off on my way. Not a single Lost appeared on my trek through the forest, and before I knew it, my feet were standing in the chamber once again, my body returned to itâ€™s normal state. A new set of stairs awaited me, and I eagerly made my way to the next Hourglass. In the world inside, a quaint looking city with mansions, several districts, bordered by a large body of glistening water and a murky swamp. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, the beautiful sunset illuminated the sea in a golden hue.
A railcar made its way past in front of me, and I on the other side of the street I saw a building named â€œDukeâ€™s Cafe.â€ It was small, and a woman in a yellow dress was walking inside. A band of ragtag citizens were walking past, playing jazz on their instruments. I walked over and made my way inside, where I saw a number of families sitting down to breakfast.
â€œWelcome to Dukeâ€™sâ€ the woman in the yellow dress said to me, â€œmy name is Tiana and Iâ€™ll be your waitress today.â€
â€œOh, hello. I actually donâ€™t need any food.â€
â€œThen what can we help you with today, sir?â€
â€œI was just wondering where exactly I am.â€
â€œYaâ€™ll lost? This is New Orleans!â€ the man in the kitchen shouted.
â€œStranger, you look new in town,â€ Tiana said to me, â€œso let me welcome you! And before you go, let me offer you a piece of advice. Be careful, and stay away from the Shadowman.â€
â€œHeâ€™s a witch doctor who hangs around these parts. Shady character, canâ€™t miss him. Now you stay away from him, ainâ€™t nothing he offers you worth what he wants.â€
â€œAlright. Thanks for the advice.â€
Before I could even turn. A heard a womanâ€™s scream from outside, and everyone turned. A giant lost, looking like a mosquito, was attacking a railcar in the middle of the street! I rushed out and drew my Keyblade.
The monster darted towards me, and I attempted to parry itâ€™s strike, but it rushed straight at me. I dodged out of the way, but then remembered - the gemstones that Master Yen Sid had given me! I never have to be alone in a fight. I pulled out the teal gem from my pocket and raised it to the sky. In a flash of light, a man, savage-like, with tattoos on his skin, wearing only a skirt made of leaves and necklace, with a messy head of hair and wielding a giant hook, stood before me.
â€œWhoa! Where am I?â€
â€œA little help!â€ I cried, and the man rushed over to me, knocking the beast into the air with his weapon.
â€œWhatâ€™s going on?!â€
â€œI needed a little help in this battle, so I summoned you. Who are you?â€
â€œNameâ€™s Mauiâ€¦ how did youâ€¦ WATCH OUT!â€
I dodged right as the Lostâ€™s leg wouldâ€™ve speared me and Maui changed into a large bird, going on the offense and scratching the beast. He tried to spear Maui from the air, but in his distracted state, I managed to slice off one of itâ€™s legs with the Keyblade. Maui landed back onto the ground and changed back into himself, tripping the beast with the hook and sending it tumbling to the ground.
I cut off the beastâ€™s head, and it disappeared.
â€œWhat was that thing?!â€ Maui asked.
â€œItâ€™s a Lost. They have certain powers that donâ€™t belong in this world.â€
â€œWell, as long as Iâ€™m helping to protect, Iâ€™m glad to have helped.â€
â€œWell, what can I say exceptâ€¦ youâ€™re welcome. Call on me if you ever need me again, alright kid?â€
â€œSure will! And by the way, the nameâ€™s Hoshi.â€
He nodded and disappeared in another flash of light. I picked myself up off the ground and saw a slender man across the street. He was followed by a pair of men, one tall and one short, into an alleyway.
â€œI donâ€™t like what Iâ€™m seeingâ€¦â€ I muttered, and followed behind in the shadows.
â€œNow Iâ€™m not a bettinâ€™ man, I stay away from games of chanceâ€¦â€
I kept following before I saw them stop in a small yard.
â€œ...Iâ€™d wager Iâ€™m in the company of visiting royalty. They call me Doctor Facilier.â€
â€œI definitely donâ€™t like where this is going. Should I reveal myself? This guyâ€™s clearly the Shadowman Tiana warned me about.â€
â€œDonâ€™t you disrespect me little man! Donâ€™t you derogate, or deride. Youâ€™re in my world now, not your world, and Iâ€™ve got friends on the other side...â€
The men entered into a door in the wall and I finally walked into the yard, taking a look at the sign above.
â€œDr. Facilierâ€™s Voodoo Emporiumâ€¦â€
I took a look into the window, and I saw a gruesome sight. This was no shop - this looked like a nightmare .A greenish glow accompanied as the taller man was constrained and the witch doctor used a small object to bite him, stealing some blood! The shorter man watched in terror as some sort of magic took effect.
â€œYouâ€™re changinâ€™, youâ€™re changinâ€™, youâ€™re changinâ€™ alright, I hope youâ€™re satisfiedâ€¦ but if you ainâ€™t! Donâ€™t blame meâ€¦ you can blame my friends on the other side!!â€
From where the man had once stood, the doctor picked up a small frogâ€¦ it couldnâ€™t beâ€¦
I felt something from behind kick me, and I tumbled forward into the door, revealing myself.
â€œWell well well.. Didnâ€™t your mama ever tell you it ainâ€™t nice to spy on grownups?!â€
â€œGive it up, Facilier! You have no escape!â€
I summoned the Keyblade to my side and pointed it at him. He looked at me, pulled some dust from his pocket, and blew it at me.
Before I knew what was happening, I felt dizzy, and the room was shrinking around me. When I regained my composure, I was in a small spaceâ€¦ with the man-turned frog right next to me.
â€œThat witch doctor turned you into a frog too... â€œ
I looked down at myself, and sure enough, I had amphibious green legs. I summoned my Keyblade to my hand - it was now much more difficult to hold.
â€œNo no noâ€¦ this canâ€™t be real!â€
â€œIâ€™m afraid it is all too real, my friend.â€
â€œHow are we going to get out of here?â€
â€œYes, thatâ€¦ Iâ€™ve been thinking about that. And my thoughts have led me to that peculiar weapon of yours.â€
â€œOhâ€¦ my Keyblade.â€
â€œYes, it does sort of look like a key. Perhaps we could use it to get out of here.â€
â€œWhere exactly is â€˜here?â€
â€œDr. Facilier put us in a glass jar, and locked us in this cabinet.â€
â€œHmmm.. I think I have an idea. But Iâ€™ll need a boost, so could you help me, uhâ€¦ sorry, didnâ€™t catch your name.â€
â€œOf course! And the name is Prince Naveen. Prince Naveen, of Maldonia.â€
Prince Naveen gave me a boost, and with one powerful strike, I jammed the Keyblade into the lid. It managed to make a small dent, and with some careful manipulation of the lid, soon enough we were free.
â€œWell, that wasnâ€™t so bad. But how are we going to get out of this cabinet, my friend?â€
â€œThatâ€™s simple. Oh, and the nameâ€™s Hoshi.â€
I aimed the Keyblade at the cabinetâ€™s lock and the door instantly swung open.
â€œWhere should we go now?â€
â€œWe need to head to the La Bouffâ€™s mansion! That charlatanâ€™s charm transformed my assistance, Lawrence, into my double, and no doubt theyâ€™re planning some nefarious deed to my future bride!â€
â€œHmmmâ€¦ alright. How do we get there?â€
â€œDo not worry, just follow me!â€
Prince Naveen hopped out the window and I followed suit, and we made our way onto the streets of New Orleans.
â€œThere! You see the mansion alight by the sunset? Thatâ€™s where we need to be!â€
â€œAlright. No time to waste. Letâ€™s go!â€
The Prince and I began our journey across the city to the mansion, and we arrived just as night began to fall. The servants of the mansion were finishing preparations for what I can only assume would be a massive party.
â€œHow are we going to stop Facilier?â€
â€œDo not worry, Hoshi! I have an idea, just keep following!â€
The Prince and I scaled the mansionâ€™s balconies with relative easy, hopping from windowsill to windowsill, until we finally made our way into the sole open one. Inside, a tall woman dressed in a magnificent dress stood - and to my surprise, it was Tiana!
â€œTiana!â€ I shouted, the the woman looked down, and with a look of horror on her face, grabbed a nearby umbrella, and swung it at us!â€
I shouted as I leapt out of the way of one of her strikes, and leapt up onto the bed.
â€œWait! Tiana, this isnâ€™t what you think!â€
â€œWhat do yaâ€™ll mean it ainâ€™t what I think? I see a pair of frogs, and one of â€˜emâ€™s talkinâ€™ to me!â€
â€œI met you in the diner earlier!â€
â€œI think I wouldâ€™ve remembered you!â€
â€œI wasnâ€™t in this body when you met me! I was the new boy in town! I was made this way by the Shadowman!â€
â€œWaitâ€¦ I remember.. Your voice does sound like that boyâ€¦ I told you not to mess around with that olâ€™ witch doctor!â€
â€œI didnâ€™t do it on purpose, Tianaâ€¦ I did it trying to save my friend here, Prince Naveen.â€
â€œWaitâ€¦ so this is the Prince?â€
â€œYes, he made a deal with the Shadowman, and now heâ€™s a frog. I tried to stop Facilier, butâ€¦ he turned me into one too.â€
â€œOh, this ainâ€™t goodâ€¦â€
â€œAh, but alas, lovely princess,â€ the prince interjected, â€œyou can set things right with but a simple kiss.â€
â€œMe? Kiss a frog? I-Iâ€™m sorry, I just donâ€™t know if I canâ€¦ and Iâ€™m not-â€
â€œPlease, please young madam. Just one kiss - I remember clearly from a book my mother had the servants read to me as a child.â€
â€œJust one kiss?â€
Tiana bent slightly and kissed Prince Naveen, and in a brilliant flash of lightâ€¦
...stood another frog.
â€œWhatâ€¦ what happened?â€
â€œYou uhâ€¦ well, the kiss did the opposite of what we were looking for.â€
â€œYes, madamâ€¦ you are, how do you sayâ€¦ just like us, nowâ€¦â€
â€œIâ€™m a ..f-frog!â€
Tiana screamed, and in a flash, a woman came in, clearly checking what was wrong. She held a large broom in her hand and immediately spotted the three of us, taking aim, and swinging.
Luckily the three of us managed to leap out of the window just in timeâ€¦ only to fall right onto the young woman I had saved earlier. She screamed, and a large dog snapped itâ€™s jaws in our direction before giving chase.
â€œCâ€™mon, follow me!â€
The three of us made a mad dash into the bushes, and found ourselves being face to face with an equally terrifying site - the witch doctor had been spying on the party, and now had his sights set on us.
â€œWell, thought you could get away now did ya? And it looks like you picked up a little friend on the way, how nice!â€
Facilier tried to snatch us up, but I was too quick for him, smacking his hand with a strike from my Keyblade.
â€œOuch! How dare you strike me!â€
We hopped out of the way of Facilierâ€™s cane as he swung at us, and made our way to the road, the doctor in hot pursuit. I turned as I ran, and shouted â€œthunder!â€
Small bolts of lightning came crashing down. None of them hit the doctor, but it was enough of a distraction for us to hop into the river nearby, losing him for the time being. Unfortunately, we had made poor judgement by jumping into the river, as the current was rapidly taking us downstream and out of the city! I tried to push against the force of the current, but it was too strong, and I only made myself tired trying. This frog body would take some getting used tooâ€¦
The night waned on and we finally made our way into a stream without a current, though where it was we did not know. We decided to rest in a small log for a while to regain our energy.
â€œI canâ€™t believe this happenedâ€¦ kid, I told you not to go messin; around with the Shadowman!â€
â€œI know you did, but I only did what I did to try and save Naveen.â€
â€œSave him? Well, maybe it wouldâ€™ve been better to let Prince Charming here learn his lesson! Look at you! Look at me! Weâ€™re frogs!â€
â€œTiana, I know. But we wonâ€™t be forever. We just have to figure out a way to defeat Facilier.â€
â€œUh, excuse me?â€ a new voice replied.
The new voice came from outside the logo, and whatever was making it made a haphazard attempt at knocking.
â€œCan I helpâ€¦â€
I walked outside to find myself face to face with a large, toothy alligator. I leapt back in surprise and screamed, before summoning the Keyblade to my side.
â€œWhoa, whoa, hang on little frog! I donâ€™t want to eat ya or â€˜nothin! I just happened to be passinâ€™ by and heard of your little problem. You said the Shadowman turned you into a frog, and that yaâ€™ll are actually human?â€
â€œThatâ€™s right,â€ Prince Naveen responded as he walked out, strumming a makeshift instrument made from a twig and spider web, â€œwhy do you ask?â€
â€œWell, thatâ€™s very simple my friend, we can just go see Mama Odie!â€
â€œSheâ€™s a voodoo priestess who lives here in the Bayou! Iâ€™ll bet she can change yaâ€™ll back, and maybe even change me too!â€
â€œChange you? Where you once human too?â€ Naveen inquired.
â€œNo no, but Iâ€™d like to be. I want to be able to play my music with New Orleanâ€™s greats!â€
With that the alligator pulled out a trumpet and started to play. He was surprisingly good at it, and even I started tapping my feet to the music.
â€œAh, a fellow connoisseur of music! You play very well.â€
â€œGee, thanksâ€¦ by the by, Iâ€™m Louis. Didnâ€™t catch your names?â€
â€œIâ€™m Prince Naveen of Maldonia, and this is my good friend Hoshi.â€
â€œAnd how about your little missus?â€
â€œI am not his â€˜little missusâ€™! ...the nameâ€™s Tiana. Nice to meet you, Louis.â€
â€œWell, what do you guys say? Wanna come with me and meet Mama Odie?â€
â€œWell then, itâ€™s settled. Hop on!â€
The three of us leapt onto Louisâ€™ back as he began to swim down the stream into the inky blackness of the deeper swamp.
We floated downstream for an hour or two, before landing ashore at the end of the water.
â€œWell, where do we go from here?â€
â€œOh thatâ€™s easy, Hoshi. You justâ€¦ ummm.. Well, we gottaâ€¦â€ Louis replied.
â€œLouisâ€¦ you donâ€™t know where weâ€™re going, do you?â€ Tiana inquired.
â€œWell, I do butâ€¦ I took a wrong turn awhile back, and wellâ€¦â€
â€œWell, it sounds like you folks is lost.â€ yet another new voice replied.
â€œWe sure areâ€¦ who said that?â€
A small little insect flew towards us, his rear illuminated. A firefly, of course!
â€œWhere is yaâ€™ll headinâ€™?â€ he asked.
â€œWe need to find Mama Odie.â€
â€œMama Odie, eh? Well, yaâ€™ll ainâ€™t too far off the mark, why donâ€™t ya just come with me? Iâ€™ll take ya to her!â€
â€œYou will?â€ Tiana asked, smiling at the little firefly.
â€œSure, ainâ€™t no problem. Nameâ€™s Ray, by the way. And you is?â€
â€œIâ€™m Tiana, and this is Naveen, Hoshi, and Louis.â€
â€œWell, yaâ€™ll look like good folk. Mama Odie ainâ€™t too far off, and I has got some business with her too, so letâ€™s not waste any time, alright?â€
Ray started to fly down a small trail, and the rest of us followed. We chatted about all kinds of things, from Tianaâ€™s dream of opening a restaurant to fulfill her dadâ€™s lifelong wish, to Rayâ€™s love, Evangeline, a star in the sky. Soon enough, we had arrived at a large tree, with a boat situated into one of its branches and a small staircase leading up to it. We made our way up into the boat, and were greeted by a short, blind, elderly lady.
â€œWell well well, what have we got here? I donâ€™t get too many visitors.â€
â€œMama Odie, we have a real big mess on our hands,â€ Tiana replied, â€œwe were turned into frogs by the Shadowman.â€
â€œAnd Iâ€™d like to be human too, so I can play in a band!â€ Louis answered.
â€œAnd I just wanna be with my love, Evangeline.â€ Ray finished.
â€œWell, yaâ€™ll has been through a lot, ainâ€™t ya? But you just gotta dig a little deeper, and see whatâ€™s really important. Beinâ€™ human is what ya want, but it ainâ€™t what ya need. Just gotta look into your heart and see what ya need. And as for you,â€ Mama Odie said, pointing at me, â€œyou ainâ€™t from this world, is ya?â€
â€œI-Iâ€¦ how did you know?â€
â€œI can feels it in ya. A magic that ainâ€™t restrained by our world. You wait here just a second.â€
Mama Odie walked off, and returned with a handful of powder, and blew it at me. Before I knew it, I was back in my own body again. I couldnâ€™t have been happier.
â€œMama Odie,â€ I asked, â€œcanâ€™t you do that for Tiana and Naveen?â€
â€œâ€˜Fraid I canâ€™t, young fella. The magic inside of you was able to help break the spell the Shadowman put on ya, but they donâ€™t have that kind of magic inside.â€
â€œWell, how can I help them?â€
â€œNaveen will have to kiss a princess for him to regain his true body, and it will turn Tiana back too.â€
â€œCharlotte!â€ Tiana shouted.
â€œCharlotteâ€™s daddy is the King of the Mardi Gras! That makes her the princess until Mardi Gras is over!â€
â€œOf course! We gotta get you guys back to New Orleans.â€
I picked up Tiana and Naveen and placed them in my pockets, and Ray and Louis followed. I used my Keyblade to bat the foliage out of the way, and made my way north. I made my way to a small clearing, and stumbled upon a nasty surprise. A group of demonic looking shadows were there, and it seemed like they were trying to surround me. The shadows started to move faster and faster around me, and suddenly I felt myself being pulled by an invisible force! I looked and saw that one of the shadows had grabbed my own!
I raised my Keyblade towards the shadow, and shouted â€œLight!â€
A blinding white column of pure light shot out of the Keyblade, blasting the shadow away. I started to run out of the clearing and finally saw it - the lights of the city illuminating the night sky. We made it into the city and found my way to the diner, and I took Naveen and Tiana out of my pocket.
â€œAlright, hereâ€™s the plan. We make it to Charlotte before midnight, have her kiss Naveen, and then you guys will be back to normal!â€
I turned back towards them only to see Naveen was gone.
â€œWait, where didâ€¦â€
â€œOoh, I knew it! He gettinâ€™ ready for his honey!â€ Ray said, â€œTiana, you better say yes!â€
â€œYes?â€ Tiana replied.
â€œWaitâ€¦ he didnâ€™t ask you? He told me he was gonna!â€â€œHe was gonna ask me? But he saidâ€¦ heâ€™d marry Charlotte so I could get my restaurantâ€¦â€
â€œOh, honey, he told me he was gonna get two, maybe even three jobs to get you that restaurant!â€™
â€œHe did?! Well, I gotta go find him!â€
Tiana hopped off and I tried to follow, but lost her in the crowd. I looked up to the parade float and saw Charlotte andâ€¦ Naveen?! No, waitâ€¦ Naveen was wearing Facilierâ€™s talisman.
â€œNoâ€¦ no it canâ€™t be!â€ Ray said.
â€œItâ€™s not. That talisman on his neck is making him look like Naveen! Do you think you can get it?â€
â€œI sure can! You just get a distraction going!â€
As the float drove by and started to turn, I pointed the Keyblade at the wheel, and said silently â€œFire!â€
The float ignited and started to go up in flames. The crowd screaming in confusion and the fake Naveen leapt off one side, Charlotte and Big Daddy Labouff on the opposite side.
Ray had done his job well, stealing the talisman as â€œNaveenâ€ transformed back into the Princeâ€™s attendant. I looked to the side as he ran off, and I spotted Tiana hopping away. I gave chase, and made my way to the graveyard, with Ray flying alongside me. We finally caught up with her, Ray giving Tiana the talisman and staying behind to defeat the shadows that were chasing us with his light. I went with Tiana as she hopped away, and told her what had really happened. But at that momentâ€¦ Facilier joined us.
â€œWell well well,â€ he said, before transforming Tiana back into a human, â€œlet me offer you something, Tiana. Remember your fatherâ€™s dreamâ€¦ itâ€™d be a real shame if it never came true. You can make it real. Iâ€™ll give you the money, the power, to make it a reality. All you gotta do is give me what belongs to me.â€
â€œTiana! Donâ€™t do it!â€
She didnâ€™t seem to hear me, her gaze focused only on Facilier.
â€œIt is a shameâ€¦ but thatâ€™s not how daddy wouldâ€™ve wanted it. The joys of life only come through hard work, Shadowman! Daddy had love! He never lost sight of what was really important, and neither will I!â€
Tiana threw the talisman toward the groundâ€¦ only for Facilierâ€™s shadow to pick it up and give it back to him, as he transformed her back into a frog and pinned her to the ground with his cane.
â€œYaâ€™ll shouldâ€™ve taken my deal, now youâ€™re gonna spend the rest of your life as a slimy little frog!â€
Anger consumed me, and in the fit of rage I hurled my Keyblade at Facilier, hitting him in the back and making him drop the talisman, as it shattered into a hundred pieces.
â€œNoâ€¦ how am I gonna pay back my debt?!â€ He cried, trying desperately to repair the broken object, as I could hear a beating of drums start. The gravestones started to break apart as the masks of his friends started to appear, devilish smiles upon their faces! Voodoo dolls started to climb out of the ground, and green light began to irradiate from nowhere.
â€œAre you ready?!â€ the demonic faces started to sing, â€œAre you ready?!â€
â€œNo, Iâ€™m not ready! In fact, I got lots more plans! Just another spell, and weâ€™ll be back in business!â€
The dolls began to beat on drums as Facilier started to back up as quick as he could, and the face of a large demonic spirit appeared on the largest grave in the boneyard.
â€œPlease, I just need a little more time!â€
And then, silenceâ€¦ Facilier and I were standing alone. A fluttering of wings was the only sound I could hear as a Lost appeared in front of him. He was like the one who had fused with Prince John, anthropomorphic, though his face was that of a mosquito.
â€œYou need time, Dr. Facilierâ€¦. Time is something I can offer you...I can reverse time and save your talismanâ€¦ you only must do me one favorâ€¦â€
â€œAnything! Iâ€™ll do anything!â€
â€œDestroy that boy!â€ the creature hissed, pointing at me, â€œso what do you sayâ€¦ shall we make a deal?â€
And the Lost possessed Dr. Facilier, with his eyes glowing a dark red, as time was frozen around us. He leapt towards me, using his cane like a rapier, attempting quick stabs and swipes, but I parried each with relative ease with the Keyblade. I managed to land a potshot to his stomach, launching him back. He pointed to me as his Shadow lunged towards me. Knowing the only way to stop it, I cast a Light spell, and it ran back to him, fearful. He blew some of his voodoo dust, summoning demonic bats to fly toward me, but I managed to dodge out of the way, and they disappeared as I managed to ignite them with a well-planned fire spell.
I went on the offensive, with a dashing strike which knocked Facilier back into a gravestone, and forcing the Lost out of his body, leaving Facilier vulnerable as he attempted to regain his composure. I hit him again, as the Lost flew down and swiped at me. It was two on one, and odds werenâ€™t looking in my favor. I backed off behind a gravestone, and Facilier came to his senses.
â€œAlrightâ€¦ letâ€™s make this a two on two!â€
I reached for Mauiâ€™s summon gem, and pulled it out.
â€œA little help!â€ I cried as I raised it to the sky.
To my surprise, Maui was not what stood before me. A girl, only a little younger than me, stood, dressed in a green dress, striped tights, and purple boots, with blonde hair and a headband was there.
â€œWhoa! Where am I? Marco, I think weâ€™reâ€¦ Marco?â€
She turned and looked at me.
â€œYouâ€™re not Marco!â€
The girl looked at Facilier and the Lost, and pulled out a small object. She raised it, and shouted.
A flash of pink light ignited the graveyard as a herd of angry looking Unicorns stampeded through, knocking Facilier onto the ground.
She took aim with her wand toward the Lost and yelled again.
Narwhals did indeed get blasted from her wand, spearing the Lost, and it tumbled to the ground. Taking my chance, I leapt over the gravestone and stabbed the Lostâ€™s chest with the Keyblade. It disappeared, and time resumed, as I leapt behind the grave once again. I peeked, and in horror, I heard Facilierâ€™s screams as he was being dragged by his own shadow into the mouth of his largest â€œfriendâ€. In one final flash, the voodoo spirits were gone, and in their place, a grave, showing the doctorâ€™s horrified face, with his name engraved on it.
â€œUh, hello? What just happened? Where am I?â€
â€œSorry. I thought I summoned someone else. My nameâ€™s Hoshi, and this is New Orleans. That guyâ€¦ he tried to kill me. I needed some help.
â€œWelllllâ€¦ alright. My nameâ€™s Star. Star Butterfly. Iâ€™m a magical princess from another dimension!â€
â€œThanks for your help, Star. Wait, youâ€™re a Princess?!â€
â€œSure am just call again if you need me, sorry, gotta go now, gotta get back to nachos with Marco byeeee!â€
And she disappeared, back to her own world.
â€œTianaâ€¦ we need to get back. Naveen wants to marry you. That wasnâ€™t him on the float, it was his assistant, transformed by Facilierâ€™s magic.â€
She hopped into my pocket and we made our way back to the city, and found Naveen and Charlotte.
â€œNow remember, if I marry you, you have to give Tiana the money for her restaurant.â€
â€œWait!â€ Tiana cried, jumping out from my pocket, â€œNaveenâ€¦ Iâ€™d rather stay a frog if it means we can be together.â€
â€œTiaâ€¦ thatâ€™s so romanticâ€¦ Iâ€™ll kiss him, and then you can get married!â€
â€œCharlotte, you would do that-?â€
And the clock struck midnight.
â€œThatâ€¦ that clockâ€™s always a little fast, câ€™mere!â€
Charlotte kissed Naveen, but to no avail.
â€œNo, it canâ€™t beâ€¦â€
â€œItâ€™s ok, Charlotteâ€¦ Naveen and I will be fine. You should come with us to Mama Odieâ€™s, she can marry us in the bayou, and Louis and Ray will be there-â€
â€œUh, Tiana..â€ Louis cut in, â€œRayâ€¦ heâ€¦ heâ€™s gone.â€
Louis showed Rayâ€™s body, and I shed a tear, as did everyone there.
â€œCâ€™mon. We need to get you guys to Mama Odieâ€™sâ€¦ we can give him a proper service there.â€
We made our way back into the swamp, with Louis and Charlotte, and Mama Odie gave a beautiful eulogy before we laid him to rest. And an amazing thing happened. A star began to shine just as bright next to Evangeline. Ray was finally with her.
Later that day, Naveen and Tiana were married by the Voodoo Priestess. And as they shared a kiss, the magic that had transformed them reversed, and they became their human selves once again.
â€œOf course.. When you married Naveen, you became a Princess, Tia!â€ Charlotte said.
I cheered, and everyone clapped.
â€œWell, câ€™mon you guys, we gotta get back to New Orleans! Daddy bought you the building you wanted, Tia!â€
â€œHe didnâ€™t have to do that!â€
â€œIt ainâ€™t nothinâ€™, he wanted to give it to you anyway! We got lots of work to get done if we wanna open that restaurant.â€
We left the bayou, and not a single Lost nor shadow was present. As we made our way back into the city, I prepared to make my leave.
â€œArenâ€™t you gonna stay and see our restaurant come to life, Hoshi?â€ Naveen asked.
â€œI canâ€™t. But you better believe Iâ€™ll be back to visit!â€
â€œYou better be tellinâ€™ the truth!â€ Tiana replied.
We shared a laugh as I walked out of town, and as I blinked, I stood once again upon the platform with the hourglass in front of me. I walked up the next flight of stairs, and this time there were two hourglass. Which to choose?
I ultimately decided to start with the left. I stared inside, and illuminating the night sky above stood a city. Not quite like my own home, but very much like it. A large bridge spanned across the bay nearby, and skyscrapers lined the streets. I closed my eyes, and as my feet hit the pavement, I was ready to tackle the next leg of my adventure.
So, tell me what you think. Be honest! And yes, there will be Disney worlds in this story, so feel free to tell me which ones you want to see and which ones you think would fit the narrative. That's it for now, but expect semi-regular updates! Thanks!