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Fanfiction ► Kingdom Hearts: Hearts in Unison (Chapter 68 posted)



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Roxie1563

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Wow, what a fight! :D But there is still more to come, am I right? :p

That was funny of Fang slapping Zidane's butt twice. xD But it was to get the shard and get out of Dodge.. but alas, The Guardian got the hook in. :/

I wonder what Zidane's plan is this time?

Keep it coming, Sephy! :D
 

Daxwren

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This is getting good, I like how they "attempted" to sneak the shard away. I am also curious as to who this "Mistress" is. A FF character no doubt, but which one hmmmm. Keep up the good work and no more hurting Roxas or Ven (Dragons eyeing Sephy hungrily) XD
 

Sephiroth0812

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The whole "good luck pat on the behind" was hilarious, Sephy! lol. x'D If only it had worked on Ansem! I don't understand why Fang didn't hurried it up and get out of there, before the charade had been founded out. Made me feel anxious just reading that part, besides the humor intentions.

I'd say Zidane and Ansem are evenly matched. I wonder if, the chandelier could be used as a diversion to get out of there with Fang. What with Zidane having a mocking smile on his face.

The other thing I noticed about this chapter was the use of "Mistress". I can't figure out who that could be in reference to, but makes me question what side Zidane, Hope, Fang, and Lightning are really on. For all I know, they could of taken the villain side, believeing their ideals are the right ones.

I also wanted to let you know, Sephy; Should Sign ever be unavailable to update the thread title, you can just leave me a short vm about it. :3

I just couldn't resist to bring in at least one instance of Zidane showing his easygoing and flirtatious attitude, but doing this against someone like Ansem SoD makes it indeed very amusing. That it didn't work on Ansem has less to do with what Zidane or Fang did, but that he can feel where the shard is if he's in proximity of it. The full nature of Ansem's being is unknown right now, but he retains many of the qualities of a Heartless nonetheless and is thus highly sensitive to the shard.
That Fang didn't just hurry was indeed a mistake of her, which is mainly because while she claims that Zidane can take Ansem on without problems, she isn't too sure about it because she suspects Ansem has not shown his true prowess yet.
This combined with Yuffie calling her out resulted in a slight delay which was enough for the Guardian to sweep in.

At the current power levels, yes they are, although both have not yet shown their full potential, so it shall be interesting to see who gets the last laugh.
The scene with the chandelier and Zidane's tail I included actually as a throwback to FF IX, where Zidane evaded an angry Steiner by hanging on the ceiling with his tail, lol.
Zidane is definitely up to something as Ansem having him in a chokehold does not overly frighten him despite it being very uncomfortable.

The Grand Mistress is the supreme leader of the Order Preservers and thus responsible for assigning their missions. They call her "Mistress" out of both reverence and affection, because it's essentially an upgrade to the nickname this person had before the Fall of Radiant Garden.
She's neither a Yen Sid nor a Xehanort though and therefore the Order Preservers in general are neither full good guys (although they used to be) nor real villains. They work to keep the World Order intact as their name implies, in this they are similar to Sora & co., yet they are however willing to be quite more ruthless about it thanks to the General and Deputy Field Commander, who do not mind some casualties as long as the overall main goal is reached.

Ah yes, thank you, I'll make sure to remember that. ^__^

Zidane got the entire game by the balls, it seems. So, is he gonna Dyne on Ansem?

At least that's how it looks right now. Maybe, the thief certainly has some tricks still up his sleeve. ;)

Wow, what a fight! :D But there is still more to come, am I right? :p

That was funny of Fang slapping Zidane's butt twice. xD But it was to get the shard and get out of Dodge.. but alas, The Guardian got the hook in. :/

I wonder what Zidane's plan is this time?

Keep it coming, Sephy! :D

Yep, there is. They're about in the middle of the fight, lol.

It's intended as a mix of funny and seriousness, although someone less deeply immersed in Darkness than Ansem would probably have been fallen for their trick completely.
The Guardian was always lurking, Ansem just didn't use him because he wanted to gauge the strength of his opponents.

You'll see next chapter. ;)

This is getting good, I like how they "attempted" to sneak the shard away. I am also curious as to who this "Mistress" is. A FF character no doubt, but which one hmmmm. Keep up the good work and no more hurting Roxas or Ven (Dragons eyeing Sephy hungrily) XD

Heh, thanks, Fang also just hesitated one moment too long.
It'll be quite some time until her identity is disclosed, although I can already disclose that she's an authority figure who is also very well liked among her subjects.

As for Rox and Ven, that actually lies right now partly in Xion's hands, depending on how well she can distract Anti-Sora from wreaking further havoc. ;P
I'm nonetheless afraid though that their way of torment isn't yet over...
 

Roxie1563

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... It has been too long!! D: Sephy, where the heck are you and the chapter?!

I'm having withdrawals.. O_O If I remember correctly, we're still in the middle of Zidane vs Ansem along with Leon and Yuffie dealing with the Zip-Slashers while Fang is trying to escape with the Dark Shard.

Don't make me have to hunt you down to post tons of chapters! ;D :p
 

Sephiroth0812

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... It has been too long!! D: Sephy, where the heck are you and the chapter?!

I'm having withdrawals.. O_O If I remember correctly, we're still in the middle of Zidane vs Ansem along with Leon and Yuffie dealing with the Zip-Slashers while Fang is trying to escape with the Dark Shard.

Don't make me have to hunt you down to post tons of chapters! ;D :p

It has been two weeks and two days, thus just two days delay right now, lolz.
Since I had my birthday to celebrate this weekend (and catched a cold on Monday) as well as we having three projects running at once at work, there were several things outside the internet to take care about.

Yes, that is correct, and the next chapter will continue with that, although I cannot yet say if I manage to set it up still this week or only on the weekend.

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one worried.

There's nothing to worry about, I just have even less time to be online right now than usual.
 

Roxie1563

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Ah, okay. :) Glad to know that you're still alive and well.

Happy birthday to you, Sephiroth! :D May you have a good one and enjoy it greatly!

Like Zero said: We'll be waiting on your post of Chapter 52 of Kingdom Hearts: Hearts in Union! :D
 

Sephiroth0812

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Oh, good to hear that you're still slive, man. Happy birthday and condolences for your flu.

Awaiting for Chapter 52 as usual.

Longer periods of absence from this forum are almost always rooted in Real Life issues that go beyond the usual stuff.
Thanks, I've now finally get rid of it, right before Christmas arrives. ;)

Chapter's coming. ^__^

Ah, okay. :) Glad to know that you're still alive and well.

Happy birthday to you, Sephiroth! :D May you have a good one and enjoy it greatly!

Like Zero said: We'll be waiting on your post of Chapter 52 of Kingdom Hearts: Hearts in Union! :D

That was really more annoying and unpleasant than hurtful. It just sucks when you cannot really concentrate on anything because of feeling like you're in delirium, lol.

Thanks, luckily I got the cold after my birthday so it wasn't impeded.

Speaking of it, here is the next chapter, with one week delay, but making up for that we'll get two chapters in a row, the next one already due next week:


#####

LII. The Dragon King


"Think what you want silvermane, but I prefer to not judge an action before its been fully done."
Bringing up his free hand Zidane gave Ansem a punch right across the face from left to right while simultaneously releasing his tail from the chandelier.
It didn't faze the Heartless much and he answered by increasing the pressure of his hand around the boy's throat.
"Not very impressing." He mocked.
"Ghh...this was..only the beginning." Zidane answered in a faltering manner, between some more gasps for air.
As he swung the arm back Ansem suddenly realized that it held one of the short swords that was aimed at directly cutting his head off, the young thief blocking his double-bladed Soul Eater with only the other one right now.

Despite being in such a bad situation, this guy actually remains calm enough to disconnect his weapon back into two and try to go for a killing blow!
Having no choice but to back off, he released Zidane from his grip and floated a bit away just enough so the sword won't hit him.
"Impressive, but it won't work nonetheless."
Zidane's grin even widened at this while he adjusted his position on the chandelier.
"You've no idea, silvermane. Getting this near to you certainly wasn't just for this. Nope, you actually have a date."
"What?" Ansem tilted his head in slight confusion.
"Of course not with me, as you're really not my type, " the young blond continued while mockingly twinkling one eye, " but with this: Free energy!"
A rune of blue energy suddenly appeared between them that almost immediately exploded, catapulting Ansem away.
"Ugh...insolent BRAT."
"Bye, bye, silvermane." Zidane stuck out his tongue after him before jumping from the chandelier and continuing his assault with another volley of Solution 9.

Ansem crashed into one of the walls, but could catch himself fast enough to avoid the barrage of orange energy runes by just letting himself fall down to the floor.
"Free Energy" had burned a clearly visible hole in his overcoat a tad left below the Heartless emblem and an open wound was located below, although it didn't release any blood but darkness.
"Hmph...you actually managed to hurt me, brat." He grunted with a slight vibe of admiration while dismissing his weapon.

Yuffie and Leon had meanwhile managed to wear the Zip Slashers slowly down and surround them.
"These guys are real pests. I'm more exhausted fighting one of these than a whole legion of the normal shadow-like critters." Yuffie complained while panting heavily.
"You're right, these must be of a more elite species, created from hearts that had very much darkness." Leon agreed as he slashed his enemy another time, causing it to bump into the other Zip Slasher.
Fang and the Guardian had exchanged plenty of blows up to now, but were nearly completely evenly matched, although stamina seemed to be of no concern to the Guardian.
This is bad, its going to wear me down to nothing if this goes on. We have to abandon the fight.
Fang raised her spear again as the Guardian suddenly backed away, releasing a weird, gurgling sound before it punched the floor.
"What the...ieh."
Several dark tendrils shot out from the ground and entangled her like a bunch of vines.
To her great surprise, she felt the shard in her pocket moving by itself, slowly moving towards one of the tendrils.

Seeing that he actually managed to damage Ansem, Zidane quickly dashed towards him to continue the assault.
Noticing it, Ansem smirked another time.
"Again so predictable."
The sphere-like energyfield expanded around him again.
"Nope!" Zidane countered as this time he stopped his dash early enough and performed an upwards flip in the air instead.

"Like I said, predictable." Ansem mocked as he reached out more quickly than any eye could see and got a hold of Zidane's tail, pulling harshly in an instant.
"Uwaaah."
The following scream was unnaturally high-pitched indicating severe pain as Zidane dropped his swords.
"How convenient."
Ansem swung his opponent around by his tail, slamming him first into the wall, then against the staircase and finally another bookshelf.
"Ououou, let go of me, you bastard!" Zidane yelped as he fruitlessly tried to break free of Ansem's grip.
Instead of an answer Ansem simply laughed as he continued with brutally slamming Zidane against the floor, followed by a harsh kick to the stomach.

In desperation, the young thief grabbed one of the books spread around on the floor and tossed it towards his tormentor.
The Heartless used his free hand to swat the flying book aside and retaliated with another kick that made Zidane wince before placing one foot directly on his head while pulling on the tail even stronger.
"Aaagh, do you want to rip it out, you idiot?" He screeched.
The high sensation of pain made Zidane's eyes watery, although part of it was also anger at being placed in such a humiliating position.
Ansem displayed another cynical grin. "Thanks for the suggestion, but I actually thought about something else."
He summoned his double-bladed Soul Eater again, placing it like a sword of Damocles over the boy's twitching form beneath him, ready to stab him right through the heart from behind.

"One nuisance less to worry about. You were an entertaining opponent, ape-brat."
Sensing the immediate danger Zidane began to flinch and struggle with way more ferocity in order to get free, the growing fear getting a hold of him.
Just as Ansem was revelling at this sight, a triumphant howl of the Guardian distracted him for a moment as he noticed the monster holding up the shard surrounded by many of the dark tendrils protruding from one of his hands.

The other leftover tendrils were still wrapped around Fang, which the Guardian proceeded to use to toss her across the room. Two further slashing sounds made Ansem also aware of the fact that Leon and Yuffie had finally defeated the two Zip Slashers.
Letting out a scream at noticing Zidane's situation, Yuffie immediately summoned a giant glowing Shuriken while Leon started to dash towards Ansem.
One nod of the Heartless later the Guardian intercepted Leon with a heavy punch, the shard still entangled in some of the energy tendrils connected to its other hand.
This short distraction however was what in the end prevented him from performing the death blow to his fallen opponent. Just as Ansem was about to stab Zidane, Yuffie's shuriken blasted the double-bladed Soul Eater out of his hand as she had thrown it the very second his attention was turned towards directing the Guardian against Leon.

"Alright, then have it the other way." He snarled as he removed his foot from Zidane's head and yanked him up into the air by again pulling harshly on his tail, causing more pained outcries.
Fang had recovered by now as well and noticed with an expression of horror on her face that was shared with Yuffie and Leon that Ansem was actually swirling Zidane around like someone would do with a lasso.
The Guardian disengaged from Leon and appeared behind Ansem, the shard still in the provisional "cage" of dark energy tendrils.

With a furious growl Fang advanced on him, spear hoisted high.
Leon joined her just a second later.
"Time to end this folly." Ansem declared with utter calmness as he used the screaming Zidane like a swinging club and swatted Fang away by slamming him into her, following that by zapping the poor thief with a load of dark energy unleashed from his arm before throwing him directly into Leon, causing both to topple over and land on the floor with the dark energy ravaging through their bodies with crackling sounds.

Satisfied, Ansem mockingly crossed his arms again as the Guardian prepared another flurry of dark energy discs to finish them off.
Groaning, Leon slowly got up while Zidane struggled to do the same, all the while making a huge effort to hold back some sobbing from the immense pain, his tear-stained face showing defiance and a burning anger.
"Don't overdo it!" Yuffie shouted as she jumped beside him to help him stand.
"He's going to pay...to pay dearly." The young thief replied with a shaky voice.
"Watch out!" Leon interrupted as he shoved both Zidane and Yuffie aside, the Guardian's energy discs hitting him full force.

"Leon!" Yuffie and Zidane screamed in unison, it being the first time the thief actually used the chosen name of his old comrade.
Ansem hovered a tad away, smirking calmly but inside he was clearly enjoying the moment as Leon was blasted several metres away and crashed into another bookshelf, the whole library a total mess already from the battle.

Sensing a movement in the corner of one eye Ansem's smile vanished as an unfamiliar feeling of pain roared through his form.
What the...
With some surprise he noticed Fang's spear stuck through his abdomen, the woman looking him straight into the eyes with an expression of fury, the black hair partly falling messily in her face.
"I'm going to wipe that smirk right off of you, freakish' monster."

"Enough of the insolence!" Ansem yelled in a mix of anger and sheer disbelief of having been damaged like that.
Using it's free hand the Guardian punched Fang straight in the face as Ansem grabbed her by the collar.
"You're going to fix that damage youself!" He snarled as he casted the spell Drainra, absorbing some of Fang's energy to replenish his own.
"And now perish!" He continued as he flung her around and tossed her out of one of the stained glass windows of the library, the shattering glass flying outwards as well.

Yuffie was just about to work some healing magic on both Leon and Zidane as she noticed the new development. Before she could act on anything or even express her shock, the Neoshadows that Ansem had summoned to guard the portal to the Lanes Between advanced on her and the other two, intent on swallowing their hearts.
"Damn youuuu..." She prepared to use a Limit as she felt Leon's hand on her shoulder.
"Don't. Use your healing limit for Zidane and me...I destroy those Heartless. Renzokuken!"
Clad in a glowing red aura, Leon charged forward and began a wild slashing frenzy with his Gunblade, destroying Neoshadows left and right.
"Alright, let's go then: Clear Tranquil!" Yuffie summoned up her healing special technique, causing the badly battered Zidane to sigh in relief as the effect set in.

While all this transpired, Ansem simply shrugged and let the Guardian hand the shard over to him.
My job is done, should I just return or take the opportunity to finish them off?
He heard a low voice in his head that was undoubtly his original self, Xehanort.
Don't bother with them, bring back the shard!

That of course settled the matter and Ansem turned around summoning a Corridor of Darkness.
Just as Leon had defeated all the Neoshadows and Zidane managed to shakily get into something that resembled a battle stance again, the whole window-front of the library with all remaining stained glass-windows exploded, debris raining into the room.
"What the hell???" Leon shouted.
Slightly surprised, Ansem turned around as well.

Outside, Fang was sitting on a giant floating dragon that had a slight metallic look to it, her face determined and spiteful despite her tattered appearance.
"I told you I would wipe that smirk off of you. Shorty! Leon! Yuffie! Get out of there!"
Holy Kingdom Hearts, that's a version of Bahamut, the King of Dragons...
Yuffie gasped in surprise.

Realizing what she was about to do, Zidane yelped shortly.
"Oh no, oh no, not good. Leon, Yuffie, we need to get out of this room, quickly!"
Leon also realized in an instant and seeing that Zidane was barely able to walk despite the help of Yuffie's healing magic, he simply picked the thief up under his arm as he started into a run alongside Yuffie.

Ansem meanwhile didn't lose his mocking smile. "Oh yeah? Let's see what you've got! Come, Guardian!"
The Guardian teleported in front of Ansem as Fang swung her spear around on the dragon's back.

#####

Throwing her out of the window might not have been Ansem's best idea, was it? *ggg*
 

Roxie1563

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No, no, it wasn't the best idea Ansem ever had.. Now, it's time for the real deal about Fang. xD

I actually liked this fight as it's closely similar to Aqua vs Sephrioth. But Ansem is like Loki; He just steals the show brilliantly. :D

Looking forward to the next chapter, my friend!
 

KingdomKey

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I loved this chapter! Definitely worth the long wait! :D I loved it when, Zidane mentioned a date to Ansem. Was quite funny. Damn, I didn't know Ansem had it in him to swing Zidane around by the tail like a lasso. The most fascinating battle, I've ever read. Ten times better than the fight with Aqua and Sephiroth from previous chapters. I hope Fang kicks his butt, and retrieves the shard from the Guardian.

You're welcome. Updated the title for you, Sephy.
 

Sephiroth0812

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Finally a new chapter!!!

Mega Flare incoming...

Next one is also around the corner, just one more day. ;)

Yep, just remains to see what it actually accomplishes. <__<

No, no, it wasn't the best idea Ansem ever had.. Now, it's time for the real deal about Fang. xD

I actually liked this fight as it's closely similar to Aqua vs Sephrioth. But Ansem is like Loki; He just steals the show brilliantly. :D

Looking forward to the next chapter, my friend!

Getting actually injured pissed Ansem off so to say, so he lost his cool a bit there.

Ansem's way to do things also serve to distinguish him from how Xemnas approaches things. While the latter preferred to not cause too much of a ruckus the former doesn't care and just drops the hammer so to say. Nonetheless though, both Zidane and Fang caused him quite some damage that actually threw him off-balance. Using that drain-spell is normally not Ansem's usual modus operandi.

I loved this chapter! Definitely worth the long wait! :D I loved it when, Zidane mentioned a date to Ansem. Was quite funny. Damn, I didn't know Ansem had it in him to swing Zidane around by the tail like a lasso. The most fascinating battle, I've ever read. Ten times better than the fight with Aqua and Sephiroth from previous chapters. I hope Fang kicks his butt, and retrieves the shard from the Guardian.

You're welcome. Updated the title for you, Sephy.

Heh, technically there was a date, lol, at least with Zidanes dyne attack which actually injured Ansem for the first time. That "offended" Ansem though and that's why he retalitated as cruel as he did in the further course of the battle.
Fang then injuring him seriously again was what made him lose his composure, similar to how when Mickey prevented him from possessing Riku again in CoM.
Ten times better than Aqua vs Sephy, huh? Maybe one reason for that is that unlike Sephy, in this battle no one actually held back and both sides dished out some serious damage. ^___^

Summoning Bahamut was clearly a trump card move on Fang's part, as not even Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, can defend against a point blank Megaflare (but maybe the Guardian can?).

Thank you, I tend to always forget it when I first post a chapter. It hasn't sunk in fully that I cannot change the thread-title by myself anymore.
 

Sephiroth0812

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So, seems like Ansem's gonna raise the bars again in order to defend himself.

Really, I never noticed how he used to go all-out on Sora in KH.

I get the vibe you might be surprised what Ansem actually does. ;)

When Sora fought Ansem in KH 1 he was at a different power level though. As Xehanort pointed out in an earlier chapter, although "Ansem" is still Ansem in that it is the same existence, he was restored from being vanquished once.
This combined with the fact that he coexists with Xehanort results that Ansem is much more powerful than he was during the time of KH.
One hint towards it is how Ansem can summon and control his double-bladed Soul Eater, which in KH he could only summon when connected to the World of Chaos.

But now it is time to continue the story:

#####
LIII. Pyrrhic victory

"Okay then, Bahamut! Rain down hell!"
On this command, the dragon unleashed its mighty Mega-Flare attack, nearly obliterating the whole library.

As the dust cleared a bit and Fang could get a look at the burning mess of rubble that remained, she was astonished to see that the Guardian was apparently alone there, badly damaged as it disappeared only a split second later.
"That Pest. He used that weird Heartless-like Guardian as a cover to retreat safely." Fang growled angrily.
"And worse, he has the shard."

The doors to the library opened with a slight creaking sound, one wing falling down as it was torn form its hinges by the heat.
"Oh crap!" Yuffie squeaked as she saw the huge swath of destruction.
Leon just let out a sigh and put his hand against his forehead as Zidane limped beside him.
"Sorry Squall..eep, I mean Leon. Looks like we just put back your reconstruction work for quite some months..." He tried a sort of apologizing smile, but it didn't really work out, indicating still lingering pain from Ansem's brutal treatment.
The older man shook his head. "That's not what I mean. As it looks like right now the whole thing was for naught."

"Afraid you're right on that one." Fang's voice came from above as she was in the process of bringing Bahamut on the same height level as the former lower level of the library.

"While I managed to defeat that weird Guardian, that "Ansem" actually escaped with the shard. For that result, the amount of collateral damage does bear no proportion that is acceptable."

Yuffie threw up her hands in horror as she evaluated the whole damage.
"You don't say...damn it Fang, had you really to blow up the whole library?"
"Lucky that we actually have digital copies of most of the books stored at Merlin's house." Leon answered before Fang could, shortly patting Yuffie on the shoulder to calm her down.

As Bahamut remained hovering near the breach in the wall, Fang jumped back into the room and approached her comrades, untying a small leather bag from her belt and throwing it to Leon.
He catched it mid-flight.
"What's that?"

"Munny. 6000 munny to be exact. I know it won't be enough to rebuild the library, but it's all I can do now to help since it was I who caused this mess." She answered completely serious while looking around at all the damage.
"Now let's go, shorty. Grand Mistress E and the General C1 won't be too pleased to hear about our supposed "secret" mission being not only totally uncovered but also a complete failure, but I guess the weird circumstances will make up for it. At least we know now that we are not the only party looking for these things that cause an increase in Heartless all around the worlds."

Zidane gave a weak nod as he started to limp over to her. "See you sometime later, Yuffie, Leon."
Seeing this Fang let out a sigh while her expression changed to a concerned one.
"I bet you now wish you had hidden your tail, huh?"

The young thief gave her a pained grimace as he shortly rubbed his back.
"You betcha, but now let's get off from here."
Fang already had taken her seat on Bahamut's back again.

"Wait a moment, take this for your way home." Yuffie stated eagerly as she threw a Hi-Potion towards Zidane who easily catched it.
"That's a useful farewell gift, see ya around."
He managed a genuine warm grin this time before he took his place behind Fang with some effort.

Fang and Leon gave each other one last understanding nod.
"Okay Bahamut, lead us home!" She commanded and the dragon flew off from the Hollow Bastion Castle in an instant.

Seeing the dragon slowly growing smaller as it flew away, Yuffie grunted disappointed.
"I still don't get what's with all that mysterious fuss they do."
Leon shot her a side glance.
"As I said already they surely have their reasons and if they do not want us involved, who are we to force our involvement with their affairs? The main concern is that they didn't turn into our enemies and that overall we still stand on the same side, even if they choose a different way."

"That may sound logical to your ears, but I really do not understand why they act this way. They treat us as if we would be only some citizens from the same world that finally see each other again. Damn it Squall, we went all to the academy together as kids, we were close comrades before things started to go downhill and finally Maleficent appeared, aren't you interested in how they survived and who may be also with them from our peers back then? Who else survived and what they know about the threats still looming over the worlds?"

Leon turned fully towards her with a hard stare that made her gulp.
"Yuffie, I thought that you would know me better by now. Just because I'm playing along with their conditions on how to handle matters right now does not mean that I'm not contemplating the very same questions you are. Unlike you however, I approach the issue more with logic and with a glance at long term consequences. Think about it, how big will the chances be of them opening up to us if we try to force information out of them? What if due to our actions they would take an antagonistic stance towards us?"

Yuffie was about to retort something, but Leon interrupted her with a dry smile and a finger put over her mouth.
"I know, your argument is that Zidane would never do such a thing, but my answer to that is that Fang would have no problem with it, as her whole behaviour indicated. She was not hostile towards us, but certainly reserved and I didn't want this stance to be turned into hostility by putting unnecessary pressure on matters. Besides, as her statements when ordering Zidane to board Bahamut imply, there seem to be more higher up personalities in the hierarchy of their "guild" that seem to uphold a similar strict stance as Fang does."

As she let all this sink in the Ninja slowly nodded.
"That's all fine and dandy, but it doesn't mean I have to like it."

"No one asks you to, although one thing I do want to ask you is to accept it for the time-being. Believe me, I'm as interested in answers to all these new mysteries as you are, but it is the wrong time to pursue these answers. Patience is needed Yuffie, and while we are at it, let's continue doing what we have to anyways, which means clearing the rest of the Castle of Heartless, find the workers and then join Aerith, Tifa, Cid and Beatrix in the town."
This time the nod was more determined as she let the issue go with a low sigh.
"Alright then, let's quaff an Elixir and go on some more hunting."

Instead of an answer Leon just allowed himself a small smile as he followed Yuffie out of the smoking ruins that once were the library of the Castle.

On Bahamut's back, Zidane let out a relieved sigh as he slowly wrapped his arms around Fang's waist from behind and leaned forward a bit. This served not only to get a more secure position as the second passenger on the dragon's back but also as a means to get some more rest and relax.
Noticing just how worn out the young thief really was, Fang refrained from making any more teasing or snarky comments.
He really did well, and I guess being swung around by your tail is not only incredibly painful, but also highly humiliating and frightening considering the complete helpless situation it brings about...huh?

She was ripped out of her thoughts as she noticed that one of Zidane's hands was warmer than the other, the one he had rubbed his back with.
"Damn it. Shorty, you're bleeding, aren't ya?"
She shortly brushed over his hand with her own, cringing as she saw the red liquid when she took a direct look at her hand.

There was a small groan.
"Well what do you expect? That guy nearly ripped my tail out or continued to use it to fling my weight around."

"It's so typical for you to not actually say that you got a serious wound, dammit. This needs further medical attention you little idiot."
She snapped in frustration at him always playing the tough guy.

"It's not that bad. I won't die because of blood loss, y'know. I'm just really exhausted." He played the whole thing down with a low voice, but smiled unseen at her concern.
This time it was Fang's turn for a sigh.
"Alright, alright, lets get back quickly nonetheless to get that wound checked. Bahamut, let's go some faster here."
She whipped her spear around and pointed it forwards, opening another portal to the Lanes Between as Bahamut encased himself in a protective energy bubble that still left enough room to flap his wings, speeding up and flying through the portal in an instant.

---

At the computer room, Isa's fingers flew over the keyboard loading up the digitizing procedure.

"As soon as I'm inside the system, I'll open up the way to the laboratory floor for ya, blueberry." Braig stated as he started to be digitized.
Instead of an answer Isa simply nodded, ignoring the nickname.

A life form that came to be down there. How ironic, considering how many lives actually were taken there, his and mine in some way as well.
He turned sideways and started to move towards the Heartless manufactory.
Stepping through the door he stopped for a second.
Wait! That's it, all those whose lives where "taken" there became Heartless, and if the Heartless is destroyed and purified by a Keyblade the original person gets reborn. If a Nobody is involved it needs to be vanquished too, that means the lifeform down there could actually be a recompleted human. If so, Braig is completely right that we cannot let it get away, especially if it's one of the original specimens from the experiments.
With a grim expression Isa summoned his claymore and sped up his steps.

Meanwhile in Space Paranoids, Braig appeared in a swirl of data at the I/O-Tower, his black coat outfitted with several red glowing circuit lines.
Checking himself out, he chuckled.
I look like a perfectly lit billboard, how totally convenient for secrecy.
First I have to open the way to the laboratory, that should be manageable from the Communication Interface here in the I/O-Tower, then there comes the main difficulty of finding that blackbox and...ah.

Two programs had approached Braig, interrupting his thoughts.

"Please identify yourself, program, you are not registered in the current cycle of this I/O-Tower!"
Unlike Braig, those two programs had blue circuitry, wielded some odd-looking pike-like staffs and looked oddly similar to each other.

These must be System Sentries of the new Control program it seems. I guess I better play along.
"As if, programs, you can't have me registered since I am a user, not a program." He answered in a serious tone.

The two programs exchanged a glance.
"A user? There has not been any direct user inclusion in over a month."

"There has also not been an emergency like right now in the user-world for over a month." Braig remarked with some inner glee.

As soon as these words were spoken, a third program teleported in with another, notably brighter swirl of data.
"Kapersky.exe, Norton.exe, Authorization for user granted, shifted priority to command layer 0. You can resume the usual operational routine, thank you for your cooperation." The third program addressed the two others, which immediately nodded in acknowledgement and walked away.
Now this is getting interesting.
Braig crossed his arms in expectation, eager to see the situation unfold further.

#####
 

Roxie1563

Actress/Healer in Persona: Icebound
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*chuckles* What a Mega-Flare that was! The Guardian took the entire blast of it.. except for the Library. D:

At least Fang gave them some munny for starters. I sure hope Zidane will be okay. :(

But now we're going to Isa and Braig, huh? Looks like something is going on inside Space Paranoids/The Grid..

To be honest, I was expecting more fight sequences of Ansem vs Fang/Dragoon.. Ah, well.
 

KingdomKey

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Oh boy, this can't be good if, Braig is lurking about in the computer system. I wonder what life form, could be lurking about in the Heartless manufactory? :3

I feel really bad for Zidane. I hope it's not permanent damage to his tail. I can understand why, Leon and Yuffie would be frustrated with the situation with their former comrades, but hopefully they can meet up again under better circumstances.

I like this chapter a lot. Can't wait to read more, Sephy.
 

Zero Dozer

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And so the fight ends with a heavy... defeat? Interesting. Also, it's funny seeing how Ansem had to hold his own asshole for that Mega Flare.

Meanwhile, we finally get back to Lea and Isa, as well as we finally start to watch Braig's course of action, in his classic "as if" line.
 
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