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Lunarmaster54

Her Trouble-making Paladin
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AU. How about we try that again?

Chapter One.
Part One.​


Reality hit me like a bucket of ice water.

I shot up, breathing in and out and looking around erratically, eyes trying to adjust from the shift. Last thing I remembered was the brightest of whites, now the only light was the moon, stars and crackling campfire not too far away from where I had been sleeping. I swallowed, hands going up to my face as my eyes started to water and my heart started to pound.

She had done it.

Jiminy looked over at me, obviously concerned from his spot near the fire and his little journal that he was scribbling away in.

She had done it.

Goofy snored loudly not too far away, Donald using him as a pillow and looking quite comfortable laying on top of his best friend.

She had done it!

I whooped, voice higher than I remembered being. Heart lighter than it had been in Zeus knew how long as I started laughing half hysterically, falling back on the soft grass my fourteen year old self had been napping on at this point and time. I wouldn't doubt her ever again. If there were rules then she was going to shatter them into a million pieces. That's just the way things were.

Donald and Goofy remained asleep, unaffected by my outburst. I stood up, stretching arms that were too short and scrawny while yawning as I tried to push away the sleepiness that accompanied just waking up from a long nap. I was also pushing away the headache that apparently accompanied slingshotting your heart five years into the past. I didn�t know the exact side effects of such a trip, just that what was done and what I planned to do broke any and every rule that governed time travel. You couldn�t really do that without some sort of backlash. I knew it but at the moment I was just too elated to give a damn. I was fourteen again! I was back! I could save everyone!

�Sora! Are you okay?� Jiminy had come over and I quickly swiped my arm across my face, brushing away the tears that had started to fall as I realized that things were going to change and everything was going to be okay again.

�I�m fine Jiminy, I�m fine.� I assured him. My voice was so�young sounding. I missed the deeper one that I had grown accustomed to. Last time I had just slept through puberty, this time I had every intention of experiencing the whole thing. I wonder if I was going to get acne?

�I�m going for a walk.� I said, waving off Jiminy�s lingering concerns. I finished my stretching as I started to make my way down the dirt road that Donald, Goofy and I had been following up until this point. Judging by the way everything looked, and from my own knowledge of this place, I could get us to civilization in about a week and a half. Two weeks would get us off this world and three would get us to Destiny Islands, where we would grab Kairi, Selphie, Wakka and Tidus. Once they were picked up we�d get them all trained up for the hellstorm that was coming our way. I nodded, drifting off into a quick little fantasy of an easy victory over Xehanort that came from a few years of hard work, sweat and the right application of future knowledge. Naturally I couldn�t do any of that. I knew where this was after all. We were in the Land of Departure. Castle Oblivion stood around here somewhere and inside was about half of the Organization, along with Ansem the Wise, Riku and Namine. Arguments could be made that the members of the Organization stationed there currently were traitors and leaving them be would cause them to whittle away the members stationed elsewhere, which would weaken the group of nobodies as a whole and make it much easier to annihilate the rest of them. That was true. It was also true that Ansem the Wise had plans for Riku and wouldn�t let him get consumed by darkness and on top of that Riku was capable of taking care of himself.

The problem was Namine was in that castle. She was being held against her will and I couldn�t just ignore the fact that the enemy had one of my closest friends in their clutches. Especially when said friend was the whole reason I could come back here in the first place. So even though it would be best to go ahead and skedaddle on off of this world I knew that I was going to charge into Castle Oblivion gung-ho, guns blazing and smash my way up to the top floor. I was going to save Namine even if I wound up a drooling, memory free zombie.

If a empty suit of armor could animate itself and fight well enough to grind my ass into the dirt using nothing but echoes of hatred for Xehanort I�m pretty sure Namine can shatter my heart and I�ll have enough hate left over to do the same thing if someone leads me to the old man. Xehanort stole Terra�s body and killed his master.

That sucked.

He started a war and flooded the realm of light with darkness, ripped the doors open to Kingdom Hearts and personally murdered everyone I ever cared about.

That sucked a little more.

So yeah, heart or no heart, memories or no memories, I�m going to kill that bastard good. Thirteen times over if I have to.

�Along this road lies something you need.�


I froze, pushing down the old resentment and trying to channel my magic as a familiar voice washed over me. It was about time.

I turned around, eyes sweeping the empty field and looking for any sign of the man laying a trap for me. My nineteen year old self could have pinpointed him the moment he got within a certain distance of me and then I could freeze him in place with a time freeze or simple telekinesis. I knew the mechanics behind both things but for whatever reason my body refused to go ahead and start doing it. That irritated me because that means the various high level magic I knew would be worthless until I trained my body to the point where it could handle it again. Damn it this wasn�t even fair! I was supposed to be instantly powerful and easily outclass everything I came across right now! I didn�t really count on having to grind all over again.

Seeing nothing I turned back around, Marluxia suddenly standing in front of me, coat billowing in the soft breeze with the hood up. I glared at him, wishing I could burn him where he stood.

�But to claim that something, you must lose something precious to you.� He said cryptically before vanishing into the shadows. Something tugged at my heart and in that moment I knew. Down the path would be Castle Oblivion and Namine.

�Sora!� right on time, Donald, Goofy and Jiminy were rushing towards me, weapons drawn and thinking that I had gotten myself into some sort of danger. Which I was prone to do at any age.

�Guys, you aren�t going to believe this.� I said, moving towards them.

We were going to storm a castle, save a lady, reunite with a friend and be done before the week was over.

Then we�d get ready to save the Realm of Light.

NG+


�But we don�t even know if this is going to work!�

�Your right. We don�t. But isn�t it worth trying? Isn�t the chance to make things better worth a little risk?�

�A little risk? You�re about to kill yourself!�

�If this works it�ll be worth it.�

�If it doesn�t work you�ll be dead for nothing! Why can�t I power the spell and you go back in time to fix everything?�

�Because that�s not what the worlds want and you know it. If I try then you�ll die and I won�t survive the trip�

�I hate this.�

�I know. But think about it! You�ll get to see Riku again! You�ll get to make sure none of this mess ever happens. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few�

�Don�t even quote that bastard to me.�

�You�ll probably get a chance to punch him when I send you back.�

�Surprisingly enough that makes me feel a little better about doing this.�

�Really?�

�No.�

�So do you really not want me to do this?�

�We really don�t have a choice. I just don�t want to see you die..your all I have left you know. I can�t�I can�t handle being left all by myself.�

�Then just have faith in me and don�t worry about it. No matter what has to happen, no matter what rules I need to break, I�ll get you where you need to be.�

�Alright.�

�Good. And Sora?�

�Yeah Namine?�

�Make sure you win next time.�

�Don�t worry. I will.�

�Promise?�

�Promise.�



AN: Alright! So this is the first part of my newest project! A good old fashioned time travel set right what once went wrong style story. With plenty of twists and turns of course. Kh3 didn't go very well for our heroes, so hopefully it'll work out better this time! The second half of chapter one will be posted at a later time. Please tell me what you think!
 
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BlackOsprey

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Whoohoo, a new story to read!

So, Sora gets himself shot back into the past to make sure the (bad) events of III never happen, probably by breaking every established rule about KH time travel in the process. Interesting. Will this be a history that can be altered, or will his actions only end up contributing to the same end result? Ah, time travel and all its weirdness.

The kind of voice you use reminds me a lot of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, particularly this line:
Xehanort stole Terra’s body and killed his master.

That sucked.


He started a war and flooded the realm of light with darkness, ripped the doors open to Kingdom Hearts and personally murdered everyone I ever cared about.


That sucked a little more.
So good job on that, because that means the narrative sounds like it's being told by a teenager. Which it is.

Look out for little grammar things, though. I noticed a couple things like "your" that should be "you're" and other minor mistakes such as need for commas here and there.

Post more, and I'll be back, I assure you. :D
 

Lunarmaster54

Her Trouble-making Paladin
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Whoohoo, a new story to read!

So, Sora gets himself shot back into the past to make sure the (bad) events of III never happen, probably by breaking every established rule about KH time travel in the process. Interesting. Will this be a history that can be altered, or will his actions only end up contributing to the same end result? Ah, time travel and all its weirdness.

The kind of voice you use reminds me a lot of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, particularly this line:


So good job on that, because that means the narrative sounds like it's being told by a teenager. Which it is.

Look out for little grammar things, though. I noticed a couple things like "your" that should be "you're" and other minor mistakes such as need for commas here and there.

Post more, and I'll be back, I assure you. :D

Thanks for the feedback :) I'm glad that you liked it and thanks, i'll keep an eye on the grammar. Here's the rest of chapter one!






Chapter One
Part Two


My world was pain.

It ripped its way through my body, it made me feel like I was being turned inside out. My mouth was open and I was trying to scream but no sound would leave my lips.

Side effects.

She wasn’t kidding when she said there would be side effects.

It stopped when I hit something that was probably the ground. For a few moments I just lay there, eyes closed and panting. The pain was subsiding but my right hand still felt like it was being dipped in fire. I opened my eyes, wincing because everything around me was white, so white, and my eyes weren’t ready for such a bright color. Getting myself into a sitting position I ripped off my right glove and stared at my hand, trying to suss out why it was hurting the way it was. On the back of it was an angry red symbol. It looked like some sort of star. That right there was the answer to that question.

“You aren’t dead anymore. I’m glad.”

I looked around even though I had a good feeling it would be fruitless. If I was where I thought I was then I’d be talking to thin air for quite a while. I grimaced. I didn’t like talking to thin air then and I probably wouldn’t now.

“Aren’t you going to thank me Riku?”

If I actually trusted the feminine voice and knew that she had helped me from the goodness of her heart then yes, I probably would be thanking her. On bended knee. However I knew much better than that and so I had no intention of showing any sort of gratitude that she had actually kept up her end of the bargain. It was to be expected of her.

“I take it whatever this is on my hand was the price you were talking about?” I asked instead. Funny. My voice didn’t sound too different at fifteen than it did at twenty.

“It’s my sigil,” The voice said “it’s what binds my soul to yours. It’s how I can take up residence in your heart. It’s very comfortable in here.”

“I’m glad you like your accommodations.” I said sarcastically “Wanna tell me how to get out of here?”

“Surely you remember how this goes.” The Voice replied.

I did. I knew exactly what was going to happen next and after a minute of sullen silence on my part it did. A blue card floated in front of me, beckoning me to take it. Last time around I thought Diz was the one who had made it for me, or maybe Namine, but a few years later I would learn that my heart was what created the card that would lead me to my eventual salvation.

Well. What would have been my salvation had I not screwed everything up later on.

“Shouldn’t Diz be here giving me the choice to stay here and sleep forever?” I asked, staring at the card as it floated cheerfully in front of me.

“He’s currently scouring the Realm of Darkness for you. He didn’t find you sleeping here for another day at least and Sora was already a few floors up the Castle. I took the liberty of jolting you awake early so that you’d be harder to find. You don’t really want him to interfere with you right now do you?”

Last time around I had needed Diz and had partnered up with him to protect Sora. I was afraid of the dark and I didn’t want to be alone. Not really. This time I wasn’t afraid of the dark, I wasn’t about to let Sora take his yearlong nap and if I succeeded then I wouldn’t have to worry about being alone. So no, I didn’t need him sniffing around right this minute.

Which means I needed to take this card and start moving.

I put my glove back on and reached out, snatching the card out of the air and shutting my eyes tight as a blindingly bright light shone from it. When I opened them again I was standing in the lowest basement of Castle Oblivion, card clutched firmly in a hand that was finally starting to feel normal again.

Movement caught my eye and I raised an eyebrow when a woman stepped into my line of vision from seemingly nowhere. She had straight, flowing light purple hair that reached down to her mid back. Her eyes were ruby red and lit with dark amusement and she was wearing a long, elegant black dress that hugged curves that would make anyone who didn’t know what this creature was drool. Hell I knew what she was and I had to school my features to look cold and disinterested. She must have some sort of allure magic going on or something.

This woman was named Nevaeh and she was the demon responsible for taking the memories of my twenty year old self and shoving them in the head of my fifteen year old self. For the low, low price of bonding herself to my heart and soul for the rest of eternity. Normally I’d never even give such a disgusting idea a passing thought but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, as Yen Sid beat into our heads. I didn’t like this, at all, but if it means stopping Xehanort, if it means keeping Sora and Kairi safe with a home to go back to, then what did my personal preferences matter?

“Good to see you looking so well Riku,” Nevaeh said “Much better than you were before.”

“Before I was dead. Anything is an improvement over being dead isn’t it?” I replied, stretching and trying to get used to being so little again. How did I even manage to live as long as I did while being so small?

“Do you know where to begin?” Nevaeh asked curiously.

“I’ve got a castle to scale.” I nodded, cracking my knuckles. It seems like I’ll need to kill some heartless if I wanted to get my blood pumping properly. That’s the only way for me to really get used to being fifteen again. Besides, I haven’t had an actually body in who even knows how long. I took a deep breath, slipping into the proper mindset, before holding out my dominant hand expectantly. In a quick flash of darkness Soul Eater appeared. I narrowed my eyes.

“Your heart isn’t strong enough to call it yet Riku,” Nevaeh said pityingly “It’ll take time before you can call the keyblade again.”

Yeah screw that.

I glared, giving my old sword every ounce of my concentration as I remembered that no I am NOT scared of the darkness inside of me anymore. It didn’t own me, it wouldn’t claim me. I had learned this lesson already and I was a keyblade MASTER. I refused to wait around for it to get off its metal ass and come around at the last possible moment. Did it think it was special? Did it think I don’t know that there are hundreds of keys out there? I refused to play the waiting game. I was the master of this key and I’d always been the master of this key and when I said come it. Was. Going. To. COME!

Soul Eater was engulfed by darkness for a moment before that darkness was banished away to reveal Way to Dawn. My keyblade. The symbol that represented the path I walked. The path that I wouldn’t ever stray from, no matter what I had to do or what unsavory figures I had to bargain with to get another chance to make everything right again. A glance at Nevaeh told me that I had shocked her by forcing my keyblade out like that. I smirked, feeling some satisfaction. She didn’t know who she was dealing with, that’s for sure.

“You need a strong heart to wield a keyblade,” I said to her “When I was fifteen my heart was annoyingly weak. But by twenty it was stronger than steel. You sent my memories back and those memories gave me resolve. That resolve was all I needed to make my heart strong enough to call this key back to me.”

That resolve was going to save the Realm of Light and stop Xehanort and his thirteen lackeys. That resolve was going to keep the things closest to me safe and sound. I failed once before and the people I cherished suffered for it. Well no more, never again. I wasn’t failing this time and I wasn’t doubting myself this time. No matter what that old man threw at me I was going to throw it right back at him.

Ten fold.

NG+

“What if I told you there was a way to turn back the clock?”

“Sorry lady, but I’ve learned by now that when things sound too good to be true, they are.”

“So you just want to sit here? You just want to stay dead?”

“Of course I don’t. Of course I’d love to go back and change everything. But that’s not how time travel works. Try another pitch.”

“There are more ways to traverse the sea of time than the one Xehanort used.”

“Then why didn’t he use them?”

“Because the other ways are dangerous. Bending and breaking the rules can cost you your very existence. Can you see a man like him gambling with his own existence?"

“Well..no.”

“I will take your memories and place them in the head of your other self. Then you’ll wake up, in the past, ready to change things as you wish with no fear of vanishing at a certain time.”

“Okay. What’s the catch? There’s always a catch.”

“My price is a small one. If I do this then I’m going to bind myself to your heart and soul. I’ll live in your heart and provide you with power, share my knowledge with you. You’ll use that power and know how to stop the man you call Xehanort from opening Kingdom Hearts and letting my kind out with the darkness.”

“Then after I do that you take over my body and use it like a new suit of clothes. How stupid do you think I am?”

“What you assume I’ll do to you after the fact doesn’t matter does it? The real question is how desperate are you to change the past?”

“….”

“Well?”

“Just do it.”

“So agree to my terms and conditions?”

“Yeah. I accept. Do what you need to do.”

“Good. Then let's begin. By the way, there might be a few side effects...”
 
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KingdomKey

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Oh boy. This is so damn good. I really love this twist. I'm actually kind of sad to hear Riku died in KH3. I like the thought of both Sora and Riku returning back to the past to right things from becoming the mess they were in the end. I'm a little wary of Nevaeh because, I don't trust those that help Riku as much as I do Sora. In any case, I hope Sora and Riku realize they're doing the same thing and try to outsmart Xehanort and his thirteen lackeys together instead of apart. Overall, good chapters, Lunar! I hope and look forward to more! C:
 

Lunarmaster54

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Thanks as always for the feedback KK :)


Chapter Two

The inside of Castle Oblivion was just as white and oppressive feeling as I remembered. In fact, that feeling of oppression weighed down on me so heavily I had to pause in the doorway for a minute to catch my breath while Donald and Goofy went on ahead, looking around in wonder. It was probably a pretty impressive sight for them. Goofy looked back at me as I got myself under control and walked towards them.

“Are you sure we should just barge in like this?” he fretted. Goofy was a stickler about being polite.

“We have to if we’re going to find Riku and The King.” I replied. When I said it last time it was just Namine playing with my heart to make me think that I’d gotten a hunch. This time I knew perfectly well that both of them would be in the Castle and all I had to do to meet up with them was not fall asleep. Shouldn’t be too hard, hopefully. I’d like to say that I’ve got a plan for making it through this place in one piece but really I’m just winging it since that worked so well the last time.

It’s not like me winging it had eventually caused the end of the world or anything. No that’s crazy talk.

Even crazier, before I made this trip I had just recently gotten my memories of this place and everything that had happened in it back. Memories that were already getting hazy. Poor Namine must be going crazy trying to figure out why I already had memories of her. Heh. Just wait until you dig deeper into my mind friend.

Just wait.

“The King and Riku?!” Goofy sounded shocked “They’re here?!”

I nodded, “one look at this castle and I just knew..our very best friends are here.”

The best part is I can say this without even having to lie.

Donald, Goofy and Jiminy talked about how they all had the same feeling and I tuned them out, trying to focus my magic so that maybe my scan ability would start working again. I doubted it, since I hadn’t gotten it up to a high level back when I was fourteen and it didn’t work when I tried it last time, but it was worth a shot. I really didn’t like the idea of Marluxia getting the drop on us again. It bugged me because any time spent under his thumb is much too long in my book.

“-We’ve gotta go take a look!” Donald was finishing his sentence and I nodded, giving up on trying to sense the nobody before he wanted to be sensed. Fine then. I squared my shoulders and moved past my companions, walking towards a door at the far end of the room even though I knew it wasn’t going to budge until I had a card in my hand.

This castle was strange like that.

“Where are you going?!” Donald demanded shrilly. I grinned a little, I’d missed the little duck. The three of us had eventually split up back in my time, Donald and Goofy going to protect The King while I teamed up with Riku and Kairi for a depressingly short time. This would be the first time in quite a while the old trio was back together and even though I had no intentions of telling them the truth about the future (Namine had always warned me that the less people who knew the better before going on a long winded speech about butterflies that I couldn’t pay attention to no matter how hard I tried) I looked forward to working with them again.

“That way.” I pointed towards the door with a smirk “To the door. Are you scared?”

Donald flapped and sputtered while Goofy went to shut the door behind us. I narrowed my eyes, this time a coldness entered the room. I could..I could sense something! Marluxia, who at the moment was completely covered from head to toe in his coat to seem mysterious, was standing by the door as it closed. I was elated though because it was coming back! My scan ability was slowly but surely coming back! That means it wouldn’t be too long before my other skills came back too and I’d be where I was before, making it a lot easier to deal with the Organization.
However the cold feeling abruptly vanished and I quickly strained my senses, trying to get a lock on Marluxia again. He hadn’t moved a muscle so then why could I suddenly not sense him anymore?! It didn’t make any sense! Unless.. unless…

“Damn it Namine.” I muttered under my breath, moving closer to a very tense looking Donald and Goofy. Of course just when it was coming back to me Namine picked now to erase every spell and ability I knew. I dunno how she even works that quickly! If a fight broke out it was going to be hard dealing with this guy. Donald was busy fruitlessly trying to cast some magic on him and being baffled when that naturally didn’t work, confirming my suspicion that yup, this was the doing of my blonde soon to be friend.

“Why isn’t it working?” Donald slumped, defeated.

“I should think it’s obvious.” Marluxia replied and I gritted my teeth. The very sound of his voice made my skin crawl. If Marluxia repulsed me this bad, then who knew how I was going to react to Larxene! Hopefully I wouldn’t be reduced to a gibbering ball of hate who could only say her name as I swung my weapon around. That wouldn’t do much but get me mocked and killed. In that order.

“The moment you set foot in this castle you forgot every spell and ability you ever knew,” Marluxia said, gesturing with his hands in a way that reminded me a bit too much of a certain old keyblade master “in this place to find is to lose and to lose is to find, that is the way in castle oblivion.”

Goofy and Donald exchanged a confused glance as Marluxia vanished in a flash of darkness. I hate to say it, but I floundered and looked left and right trying to get my eyes on him again. Not being able to keep track of everything around me at all times was really starting to freaking bug me! How did I ever even survive as long as I did without being able to scan at super high levels?

The nobody reappeared behind me and I swore under my breath. He was doing that to keep me off balance and it was working!

“Here you will meet people you have known in the past,” Marluxia explained, laying the bait “People you miss.”

Riku. He was talking about Riku. It was a reminder that yeah, I was actually going to see him again soon. It was a reminder that I’d get to be with my very best friend, the friend who was cut down right before my eyes. I bit my lip as a familiar and very unwelcome pain flooded my heart. Why can’t Namine erase that memory so quickly?

“Riku.” My voice was thick with emotion, with a weakness that Marluxia was just itching to exploit “Riku’s here.”

“Would you like to find him?” Marluxia asked fake curiously “If you do…”

He moved right through me like a ghost so quickly that I couldn’t even begin to prepare myself for the intrusion.

“Sic him boy.”

A gesture and a cruel laugh was all I heard before Riku started to scream. I threw myself towards him, held back by the restraints that grew tighter and tighter as I struggled and cried.

“STOP IT!” my voice cracked as the monster tore at him while he was defenseless, bound.

Riku’s screaming didn’t take long to fade away into gurgles. Then into silence.

I shook myself out of the memory and quickly scrubbed at my face to hide the tears that were threatening to fall.

Marluxia was holding a blue card in his hand.

“I sampled your memories.” His voice was empty “From those memories I made this card, designed to reunite you with those you hold dear.”

He threw it at me and I didn’t bother to catch it. The card hit me in the chest and fluttered to the ground as I glared daggers at the man in the coat. He was full of it. Marluxia didn’t have any sort of ability to sample memories and make cards out of them, no that was Namine’s doing. She sampled my memories, made a card and then popped it into Marluxia’s hand. This whole thing was a carefully rehearsed ploy to trick my friends and I when we came into the castle and it would have worked wonderfully if I didn’t already know the game plan. Marluxia didn’t see that memory but Namine sure did, and I knew for a fact that she was probably shaking with horror right now at what she just witnessed. At seeing an Unversed tearing Riku apart while I watched, shackled to a wall.

“Is that a card?” Goofy asked, squinting at the blue thing at my feet.

“It’s a promise of reunion,” Marluxia replied “Hold it near the door and step forward into a new world.”
I bent down slowly, picking the card up and squinting at the picture of the world printed onto it. A world that was most certainly not Traverse Town.

“To lose and claim anew, or to claim anew only to lose.” Marluxia vanished with those parting words and I was left to stare blankly at the card in my hand, which would lead me to a world and sequence of events that I didn’t ever want to relive again.

“Sora?” Jiminy was on my shoulder, sounding worried again. If I was going to keep this whole future thing a secret from him then I would need to not wear my emotions on my sleeve.

“We’re going.” I said shortly, gazing at the card and digging around my memories. The card was crafted from my memories and after a tutorial from Namine I knew I could change the card to something different, which was what I was trying to do now. She said she’d be erasing my combat related spells and abilities but it would take time for her to dig up this particular conversation, which I would need if I was going to shuffle about the worlds I personally wanted to move towards and avoid the memories I didn’t want to deal with right then. I wasn’t going to watch Riku, or anyone else for that matter, die again. We were going to a different world than the one printed on this stupid card and with it, a different memory all together! There was a flash of bright light and the card obeyed, changing into something different.

“What just happened?!” Donald gasped.

“I..I dunno!” I made sure to sound baffled “I was just thinking about seeing Riku again and suddenly the card changed!”

Yeah that’ll do it. A perfectly legitimate sounding excuse.

I walked up the steps and up to the door that would lead me to the illusion of another world. To illusions of friends that were very important to me. Namine had warned me not to get blinded by the illusions and fake friends because that’s exactly what the Organization wanted and now that I had memories of what they were planning there was no need to walk into that trap. I had told her not to worry about me and that I’d be fine but after that thing just now with the Riku memory I wasn’t quite so confident in myself. Riku’s death haunted me and it wasn’t the only thing. The future was full of blood and dead friends and maybe… maybe I wasn’t strong enough to handle it. I knew why I was sent back to this specific timeframe to start changing things up, it’d been discussed at length for quite a while. Starting before I got the keyblade meant that there was a chance I could change too much, causing Roxas and Namine not to be created and changing things so much that my future knowledge would be useless. If I went back to when I woke up after being out of it for a year then the Organization plan would already be firmly in place, and although it seemed like I stopped it the first time around with Riku and The King, we’d find out later that it wasn’t the case at all and Xehanort had planned for things to go exactly like they had.

Which means change needed to happen during the year I was asleep. Which meant I had to not go to sleep in the first place. Which is why I was here in this castle right now.

Could I deal with the painful memories? I shook my head to clear it of the doubts and worries. Of course I could. I didn’t have much choice. It was either deal with the memories or watch the worlds burn all over again. I held up the card, resolve pumping through my veins again as I repeated to myself over and over that this time things would be different. No one was going to die. No one except the bastards that wanted to blanket everyone and everything in darkness.

The door opened and I stepped into the light, the world shifting around me as I walked forward and swore to myself that I’d face and deal with these memories as they came. Even if that meant at some point down the line I had to watch Riku die again while I was here. I just had to stay strong and remember that it wasn’t real, that it was an illusion.

“Wh..what is this place?”

I blinked and looked around after hearing Jiminy’s baffled question. We weren’t standing in Traverse Town and we weren’t standing in the world that would become Riku’s grave.

We were instead standing in Radiant Garden.
 
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BlackOsprey

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Aaargh, ending with a cliffhanger?! Why must you do this to me?

By the way, sorry that I didn't give feedback about part two earlier. Things got crazy and it slipped my mind til I noticed a new installment was up today.

Can't say I'm too surprised that Riku went and more or less sold his soul to OC Satan. Seems pretty in-character for him to tether his being to pure evil in order to possibly save his friends, although I'm making two predictions already: first, when he meets up with time-traveller Sora, there are going to be lots of misunderstandings and things will get complicated; second, judging by the way he summoned Way to the Dawn, there will be something in this story that will eventually let him take the Third Option. He's all about taking an unbeaten and alternative path, after all.

Onto chapter three. I must say, this is probably the first fic I've seen that has actually tried to implement the mechanics of Scan and Lock-On into the narrative. Neat little detail. Also, it looks like we got some insight into The Bad Future. Something I was wondering (but didn't mention earlier) was whether we would get some details on what happened there, because I really had to wonder how Sora survived a conflict that left everyone else dead. Oh, good job on making me even more interested with that one gut-wrenching scene. Now I really want to know what happened there...

Quick thing to note: I like the voice you use for Sora, but I've noticed there are a couple points where it could use some punctuation. It's an internal monologue from a teenager, so incomplete thoughts are perfectly acceptable in this context, but be sure to keep the commas and such where they are needed. Also, the tense switches to present here and there. Gotta keep it in the past like everything else.

Aaaalright then. I'll be waiting for what's next. With lots of anticipation. gah cliffhangers, I swear...
 
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Muke

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Whoa! This is so good! I will sure follow this. Love it! :D
 

KingdomKey

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This cliffhanger is too much. I really cannot wait to read the next chapter for this so damn bad, Lunar. C: <3 I'm full of anticipation and hype for it right now. I can't believe Sora has the ability to manipulate the cards to his own will too. I'm quite curious how it'll go for the Namine in this timeline after witnessing some of Sora's memories too. And even more curious is why Sora couldn't just skip to the end of Castle Oblivion... plot bunnies maybe?! Anyhow, fantastic chapter as always!
 

Lunarmaster54

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@BlackOsprey It's not a problem, thanks for reading and leaving behind feedback :) I'm working on my punctuation and hopefully i'll get better at it.

@Muke Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

@KK No worries, i've already thought about Sora just haxxing his way up to the final floor. It won't happen ^^ thanks for reviewing!


and now for an update!




Interlude

Snap.

Namine had never broken one of her crayons before.

Her crayons and sketchbook were literally the only two items in all of the worlds that she could call her own and she was very attached to them. So she made sure to never do anything that would put those things at risk. She never pressed the crayon to paper more roughly than was needed, she never crinkled the sketch paper and when it came time to tear out a page from the book she did it with the utmost respect and care. So when her crayon snapped and broke in her hand Namine stared at it and felt like she wanted to cry.

Which in itself was ridiculous because nobodies like her didn’t have such feelings. It was impossible to feel without a heart and she had been told again and again that she didn’t have one of those, that she was just a dirty witch who needed to do what she was told. No one would ever give a damn about her because once they found out she didn’t have a heart they’d run away. Larxene and Marluxia had made sure to make it very clear that Namine was a monster. The blonde sighed, eyes on the broken crayon as she placed it carefully on the table next to her pad of paper. The sadness she was feeling wasn’t real, and if that wasn’t real then neither was the stress that had made her snap it to start with. But even if she told herself that the stress wasn’t real that didn’t make the phantom feeling go away, it didn’t give her any clues on what she was supposed to do.

Her job had been simple. Sora and his friends would come, she’d rewrite their memories and then she’d meet Sora, who at that point would care about her and want nothing more than to protect her. If he wanted to do other things besides protect her and be there for her than that meant Namine had done something wrong. She couldn’t interject feelings into the boy’s heart but she could give him fake memories that would cause the feelings to blossom. Fake feelings. Larxene had been delighted (fake delighted) in informing her that no matter how Sora felt about her that it was nothing more than his feelings for someone else redirected towards her and that she herself was just a shadow. No matter what the authenticity of the feelings were, Namine wanted to do it. Sure if she tried to refuse they’d just torture her until she said yes, but that wasn’t really needed. If she did this then that means she’d have a friend. It meant that someone would finally care about her well being and she wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. It was selfish, it was mean, it made her the lowest trash of the trash, but if it meant having someone smile a genuine smile at her, then Namine would grit her teeth and ruin poor Sora’s life. She didn’t have feelings, so that must mean that the self loathing she was feeling was fake too, right?

The problems came when Sora actually got to the Castle and Namine had gotten to work, using her special magic to get inside of his head and heart.

He was from five years into the future. That fact fake shocked her to the core. Time travel was real? That sounded like something straight out of a fantasy novel! Not only was time travel real, but it had been a future version of her that had done the deed, shooting his heart back to this time. In the future she was friends with Sora? Namine hadn’t understood what was going on, so she had started digging. She saw that Sora had already lived through this plan and she’d worked her magic on him in the past, yet he’d forgiven her! She saw that she met and became one with her other self. She saw that that particular existence wasn’t what she wanted and eventually Sora freed her, making her a separate person at last. She saw all sorts of violent misdeeds done by people wearing the very same black coats that Larxene and Marluxia wore. She saw herself and Sora come up with a plan to change it all so that none of that ever happened.

Sora had come back to this castle knowing full well what she was planning to do and why she was doing it, yet he blithely walked into the trap anyway, trusting that if it worked out before than it would work out this time around too. It was like he’d never even heard of the butterfly effect! Change even one small thing and that could spiral off into a completely different future! Just because everything hadn’t gone sideways in here last time didn’t mean he’d make it out this time! The other Namine might be strong willed but the one here and now? Absolutely not. No there wasn’t anything special about her, she didn’t have the strength to defy Larxene and Marluxia the way she did in that other timeline. She was going to screw everything up all because she was just a weak little nothing who couldn’t put her faith in a stranger, who couldn’t say no when she should. She was just a wench who’d ruin the last hope this future has because she didn’t want to die alone here in this white hell.

Knowing all of this was the source of Namine’s distress but it wasn’t the reason why she had snapped her precious crayon. No, the reasoning behind that was seeing Sora enter a world that wasn’t where he was meant to go. Sora was currently in a rather pretty looking world called Radiant Garden. Why did that matter? Well Sora was supposed to go to Traverse Town, yet there had been some sort of mix up and he’d somehow used an ability to change what was on the card. Namine was supposed to have erased every spell and ability he had but she wasn’t done doing it yet. She’d scratched the surface and had wiped away his more commonly used stuff, but it’d take time before it was all gone. She was lucky that for whatever reason he couldn’t do everything now that he could in the future (and she had a theory or two about why that was) but her luck was about to run out. Any second now.

There was a whooshing sound, a sound Namine knew meant someone had utilized the corridors of darkness, and then pain. A sharp pain in her head as a hand yanked her backwards by the hair. Namine stared into Larxene’s angry (fake but looking oh so real) eyes before she was ripped from her chair and thrown on the ground. Marluxia watched quietly from a corner.

“What the hell is this?” Larxene demanded.

“I..I don’t..”

“Don’t you even DARE say that you don’t know!” Larxene moved forward, forcing Namine up onto her feet so that she could throw the girl into the table. Namine gasped in pain as she fell to the ground a second time, taking her little chair that she sat in with her.

“But I don’t!” Namine held her hands up in front of her as Larxene called forth her knives with a crack of thunder, looking ready to gut the younger girl.

“So you can’t explain why boy hero down there changed what was on his memory card?” Marluxia asked smoothly “You can’t tell us why he’s in a world he shouldn’t be in?”

She could. It’d be easy enough to explain that he was from the future and knew what was going on in the castle, who they all were and what could be done to adjust the plan accordingly. But Namine had no intention of doing that. She was weak, nothing more than a trashy wench, but when Sora’s big plan failed it wasn’t going to be because she squealed. She was already betraying him enough by erasing everything in his heart that wasn’t her. Namine was going to keep his secret and bleed for it. Bleed, but not die. They’d never kill her, she was far too important to them right now. However they’d hurt her, oh would they hurt her. Larxene’s eyes flashed as she forced Namine up again, pulling back her free hand, fingers curled tight around sparking knives.

Namine shut her eyes, trying to brace herself for the hurt and telling herself that the tears sliding down her cheeks were fake.

“No. I can’t.”

It would all be worth it when she saw Sora. He’d be mindless, his important memories would be gone, he’d hate her if he ever got his right mind back, but in the short term it’d be worth it. Because he’d be happy to see her, would hug her and tell her heroically that it would all be okay, that he was here to save her from the monsters not knowing that she herself was worse than any of them.

Larxene struck.

Namine screamed.

Far below Sora would stop what he was doing and look off into the distance, frowning and wondering why he felt like something bad was happening.

Unaware that high above him white was being stained red.

Author's Note: Every now and then there will be a third person interlude that'll give some other characters spotlight besides our main narrators Sora and Riku.

Next chapter we'll be checking up on Riku and seeing Sora's adventures in Radiant Garden​
 

BlackOsprey

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I love starting another morning off with a new chapter. It makes my morning. So, interesting shift in style, going from strong personal voices in 1st-person to a more detached third POV. Kinda fits the focus, considering that Namine is basically nothing incarnated. Great chapter as always. I don't see any issues that stand out here, and I'm still waiting on that cliffhanger to be resolved. :D
 

KingdomKey

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The ending. Oh my god, I can't handle it. Sora needs to hightail it up there before things get too out of hand! Larxene has become much scarier to me now. Gosh, Namine willing went ahead and lied to both of their faces. I'm shocked they even knew Sora went into a different world instead of one they had planned for him. I thought they wouldn't care, except it makes sense. Oh boy, what about Axel? How is this going to play out?! Namine, you poor girl. If only you knew how much Sora goes through to help you! I'm proud of her for at least not betraying him in this. It just sucks she can't let him keep his abilities. This was an awesome chapter and full of suspense!
 

Lanydx reborn

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Okay, The title is clever. Time Travel and set things that once went wrong, stories are very tricky tightropes to write. I'll keep my eye on this.
 

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Order up.

Chapter Three

Sora​

At this point and time Radiant Garden was looking very well. The various shops and houses didn’t have patchwork roves anymore, the people milling around looked happier than before and less poor and downtrodden, and the castle off in the distance had finally been restored to its old glory. Leon and the others had worked overtime to get their home back to what it once was before the heartless invasion and it was always nice to see that their efforts hadn’t been in vain. I grimaced, bad memories surfacing as I remembered the second time heartless had invaded.

“Is this…Hollow Bastion?” Donald sounded confused as he and Goofy looked around, taking in everything. It certainly wasn’t the Hollow Bastion that they remembered, the broken down old castle with its traps and contraptions as Goofy called them. By all rights this was a brand new world to them and that wasn’t the memo that we’d received from Marluxia. This world was actually the first one to be erased last time around when Namine had gotten to work on my memories. Out of the three of us, only Goofy had managed to retain enough of his memory to know that the important events there had taken place in a castle. By the third floor even that had gone poof. I wondered how long it would take to lose the memories this time. In fact I wondered what memories I’d be losing now because Namine sure had a lot more to choose from.

“It..looks like it.” I put some confusion in my voice as we moved instinctively closer to one another, ready and waiting for anything to pop out. Donald and Goofy were keeping an eye out for heartless that I knew wouldn’t show up for a bit. I was keeping an eye out for angry organization members. They watched every move we made and this most certainly wasn’t part of the script.

“Let’s look around a bit!” I suggested, wanting to get this show on the road. I planned to herd us off to Merlin’s house, that way he could teach us some magic and I could get to work on learning the things I’d need to scale the castle, save Namine and meet up with Riku, who was currently stressing and fighting his own personal demons. This time I planned to make the experience a lot easier for him so he didn’t spend a year and a half brooding and worrying that he could never go home ever again. We walked through the streets, Donald and Goofy craning their necks and wondering just what in the world was going on while I kept my eyes peeled for any signs of both trouble, and the event marker we needed to stumble into. That’s how this was going to work after all, we’d go to a world, relive the key events of my visit to said world, and then boogie on to the next floor after beating some sort of powerful enemy. When we’d done this previously no one had recognized us when we went from floor to floor and I had at the time not really cared enough to theorize why that was. Later on I’d guess that since we were reliving my first visit to most of those worlds, then that meant we were reliving my first meetings with friends on those worlds, which would explain why they had no idea who I was. If I tried hard enough I could get them to remember my name and that they were supposed to know me, like in Traverse Town, but I didn’t because the moment I stepped into the new world room my memories of that world went poof. As I thought about that I did a quick rundown of the main points of what went down when Donald, Goofy and I had visited Radiant Garden after my second failed attempt at a Mark of Mastery, a failure that would kickstart a new journey for us and Xehanort’s inevitable victory when the lights clashed with the darknesses. It was good to know that I still knew what was about to happen, all I had to do was roll with the punches and not get too choked up when I saw..

“Sora!”

…her again.

Before I knew what was happening I found myself tackle hugged to the ground. Donald and Goofy jumped, startled, and I spluttered while my attacker giggled. I would know that giggle anywhere.

“Hi!” Selphie said, cheerful as she always was. It was obvious that she was the event marker I’d been looking for because meeting her was the first thing that happened to me when we arrived the first time around. This time though I was a bit chocked up because naturally she had died in the last timeline. However the difference was that time was explicitly my fault and so seeing her like that, giggling and fine and not dead was enough to force me to close my eyes and take a breath so I didn’t start blubbering right there. I had to remind myself that Selphie was on the islands and that this was an illusion.

“Selphie!” I said the second I trusted myself to speak “Let me up!”

Selphie smiled wide and moved off of me, and I got up, glaring at Donald and Goofy as they smirked at me. Oh I was gonna hear about this. Those two loved picking on me about girls..

“What are you doing here?” I asked my childhood friend. She was dressed in a sensible yellow short sleeved top and black pants. Typically she wore a yellow dress that her mom hand made for her but that wasn’t exactly suitable for what she planned to do here.

“Training!” she said brightly, looking over at Donald and Goofy “You must be Donald and Goofy! Sora’s told me all about you two! My name is Selphie.”

When Riku and I returned to the islands it was about two months or so before Mickey sent us the bottle that would lead us to take our Mark of Mastery exam. During those two months we had to adjust to regular island living again. During that time I found out that Selphie had spent lots of time with my mom while I was gone, something that didn’t stop just because I was home now and having a hard time adjusting back to my old life. Selphie and I had gotten pretty close and I had told her all about my previous adventures after she poked and prodded and begged me to.

“It’s nice to meet ya Selphie!” Goofy said good naturedly “You’re one of Sora’s friends from the islands right?”

“I am!” the brown haired girl nodded.

“What’s this about training?” Donald asked curiously.

“See, about that..” Selphie’s smile turned mischievous and she held out her hand. There was a flash of light and a keyblade formed. A silver one with a blue guard and star shaped blade on a spike at the end. Starlight. Donald and Goofy’s jaws dropped and I had to chuckled at the looks on their faces. They had done the same thing last time and I had right along with them. Selphie suddenly having a keyblade was quite a shock at the time.

Selphie. Dead. Gutted.

My good humor left just as quickly as it came and my insides twisted. If it wasn’t for that keyblade Selphie wouldn’t have been in a position for me to get her killed..

“Sora?” Selphie dismissed her weapon and poked me. I jumped and she grinned and kept doing it while I tried to bat her away because damn it that tickled!

“You’re supposed to say oh wow Selphie that’s amazing! I didn’t know you were so skilled, talented and wonderful enough to be chosen by a weapon as fabulous as the keyblade. You shouldn’t look sick sir. Try again.” She lectured me.

I narrowed my eyes and wiggled out of the way of another poke “Oh wow Selphie that’s amazing. I didn’t know you were so skilled, talented and wonderful enough to be chosen by a weapon as fabulous as the keyblade.” I deadpanned. Selphie rolled her eyes.

“No sarcasm! That’s Riku’s thing!”

“He rubbed off on me.” I shrugged.

“You have a KEYBLADE?!” Donald quacked and pointed at her with a shaking feathered finger.

“See that. That is what you were supposed to do.” Selphie pouted at me. I smiled and didn’t reply.

“She has a keyblade.” Another voice spoke up and we all looked around as Leon came onto the scene, looking annoyed “She also ran off without permission when she saw you three arrive.”

Selphie didn’t look in the least bit apologetic so I apologized for her. Leon waved it off, shaking his head in exasperation.

“So you’re training her Leon?” Goofy asked. Leon nodded.

“Not just her. Heartless have started showing up in large numbers and we need all hands on deck to fight them back. Selphie and her showed up a few days ago to help.” He explained.

The second heartless invasion. A threat that Radiant Garden just barely managed to survive. Xehanort’s way of showing off how much power he had and what he could do at a moment’s notice. That’s what he said at least. In reality it was a test to make sure the seven lights were up to snuff to face off against his thirteen darknessses. It was something he did frequently before that fated showdown, cause big time trouble and leave it to us to clean it up. His ‘tests’ resulted in plenty of death and destruction and the seven lights that eventually faced him and his ilk were a lot different than they had been when it all started.

“Tidus and Wakka are here too!” Selphie added.

Which could be blamed on Xemnas, who arrived at Destiny Islands with a bunch of nobodies to mock Kairi. Only to find out she wasn’t even on the islands. So he attacked everyone who actually was there in order to suss out where Kairi actually was. It was the reason Selphie had a keyblade and the reason why Tidus, Wakka and Selphie had decided to get involved with fighting back the darkness. The King showed up, too late as always to do any real work, and took them to Radiant Garden for Leon to look after. Selphie should have gone to Yen Sid but she had refused and The King had caved.

“Sounds like you could use our help.” I said to Leon with a confident smirk. It’s what I said last time after all.
“It would be appreciated, yes. Let’s go meet up with the others. They’re in the castle right now.” Leon said. We nodded and he lead the way to the castle that was off in the distance.

Goofy followed with Selphie, talking about this and that while Donald watched everything with a thoughtful frown on his face.

“I don’t understand. None of this happened before.” He explained when he noticed me staring “We’re supposed to be seeing our memories aren’t we?”

“That hooded guy said we’d meet people that we knew in the past.” I evaded “I guess this is what he meant.”

Donald looked uncertain as we followed behind the group. I shoved my hands in my pockets and felt something plastic. I pulled three cards out of my pocket and stared at them for a moment before returning them back where I found them. Key of Beginnings, Key of Guidance and Key to Truth. These three cards would appear at the start of each floor and I’d need them to progress through the world I was in. Truth tended to be some sort of climatic battle that was fought during the world so of course I’d need to be prepared before using it. The invasion wouldn’t happen until Donald, Goofy and I’s second visit to the world so I kinda wondered what I’d be facing. I’m sure the castle would cook something up.

Something hit me then, a cold slimy feeling of dread. I paused and looked up at the sky, shivering.

Something was wrong. Very wrong.

NG+

Riku

My blood was pumping and my body was singing as I let out a loud battle cry, stabbing my keyblade deep inside of the black dragon that I’d been facing off against for the last ten minutes. Maleficent’s dragon form was just as annoying to fight against as I remembered it being. Between her long reach, her black magic making rocks shoot up from the ground and slam into me in awkward places, and of course the green fire that was everywhere it had taken me a lot longer than it really should have to land this final, fatal blow. My fifteen year old body’s limitations didn’t help matters. Neither did Nevaeh whispering things into my ear.

“If you would just let me help you then you’d have killed this illusion a lot faster.” She sounded annoyed at me and I have to admit that filled me with some satisfaction. I didn’t reply as I watched Maleficent morph back to her regular form and then vanish into the darkness, spouting all of the usual threats that my busy schedule didn’t have time for. I was on floor two of thirteen and once I finally made it up to the entrance of the castle I’d have to climb even more floors to get to where Sora was. That meant I needed to move as quickly as I could. I took a breath, muttering a cure spell to deal with all of the annoying burns and scratches that covered my body as I allowed myself to fall into a sitting position on the floor of Maleficent’s haunt in Enchanted Domain. Okay so maybe a quick rest wouldn’t hurt. I’d freaking kill for some potions and ethers right about now but of course this castle was quite lacking in either of those things.

“Bravo Riku! You are very skilled to have made it so far in such a short time. Sora is still wandering around on the first floor, chatting it up with his memories.” A new voice interrupted my wonderful resting time and I cursed, standing up again and quickly calling my keyblade to deal with whatever this new threat was that had managed to sneak up on me while my attention was elsewhere. Sloppy. Very sloppy.

The figure in question was wearing a black coat and had long ash blonde hair and cold green eyes. Those eyes were calculating as they looked me up and down and I suppressed a groan. Vexen.

“You even found yourself a keyblade! Excellent. Oh so excellent. Watching you fight through your own memories has given me some very valuable data.” Vexen rambled, as excited as a nobody could appear. I narrowed my eyes, I knew what he was going to do with that data and I certainly didn’t need a replica Riku slowing me down like it did last time. It also almost killed Sora a few times and that wasn’t something I wanted my best friend to have to deal with. That meant I had no choice but to kill Vexen right now.

Instead of answering him I moved, closing the distance between us with a burst of speed as I brought my key down on him, going straight for a vital spot. Vexen wasn’t a slouch though and in a burst of cold and ice his shield materialized and stopped my attack. I pounded at it but Vexen didn’t budge, just laughed maniacally and pushed me back. I stopped my backslide and rushed him again, throwing a ball of darkness fueled fire magic at him. He moved out of the way easily, knowing just as well as I did what fire magic would do to him. I smirked and clenched my fist, causing the fireball to expand and explode into a bunch of smaller fireballs which changed their direction and homed in on him. He raised his shield to block the onslaught and this time I could tell it took some real effort for him. Elemental rock, paper, scissors at its finest. I jumped high, angling myself so that I could get in a good stab around his shield, which would hopefully kill him. Nobodies were durable but they sure as hell couldn’t deal with being stabbed through the eye. Vexen retreated into a dark corridor and I missed, my keyblade embedding itself into the ground instead. He popped out a little ways behind me and I waved my free hand at him, causing several bolts of lightning to fall from the sky and damage him. While he was distracted I pulled my key out of the ground and focused my magic into it, adding power to the weapon. Vexen looked at me in amusement and the look made me a lot angrier than it should have. I charged again, repeating what started the battle. He blocked my attacks and I once again pounded on his shield. This time however I started leaving cracks and his amused look quickly morphed into one of horror. I smiled viciously and raised my blade high, cloaking it in black fire. I laughed as I brought my weapon down and broke through that damnable shield of his, feeling it as my weapon dug itself deep into his torso and the flames burned the nobody from the inside out. Vexen slumped, dropping what was left of his shield as he wilted and sank into the darkness. I stared at the place where he vanished, a grin still splitting my face as I relished the kill.

Wait. Why was I relishing the kill? I didn’t hate Vexen that much and I didn’t even enjoy fighting that much. But here I was, damn near high off of slicing Vexen the way I…oh that bitch!

“Nevaeh stop it!” I growled out. She was influencing me! I didn’t want her help, didn’t want her power, didn’t want anything to do with her now that she’d brought me to the past. The high faded away and I gasped as I suddenly felt almost faint.

“Just trying to assist you Riku.” The demon sounded almost apologetic. I growled.

“Keep your magic to your own self!” I snarled. I was strong enough on my own.

“Well. Wasn’t that educational.”

Vexen’s voice sounded smug, oh so smug, and I glared at him hard as he stepped out of the shadows, looking none worse for wear despite the fact that I just burned him from the inside out.

“What you just fought Riku was a replica.” Vexen casually explained “A rather weak one too. Your spirited battle provided me exactly what I needed to finish up my experiment.”

The Riku replica. Once again I fell right into his trap. Damn it all.

“Whatever it is you need that data for, I’m going to tear it down.” I promised him. He was going to send that replica at me for a test run and I’d have the perfect chance to destroy it right then and there.

“It will be very interesting to see you try,” Vexen replied “Until we meet again Keyblade wielder.”

He laughed and vanished into the darkness. I berated myself for my stupidity. That was uncalled for. A dumb move that could ruin everything. What if the replica was stronger now? What if it succeeded in killing Sora? It’d be all my fault because I didn’t think things through. Of course he didn’t put up the fight he should have, of course he was just trying to provoke me. It’s exactly what happened last time. It didn’t help that I had a demon in my body trying to mess things up for this timeline even more.

“If we work together Riku then this quest of yours will go a lot smoother for you.” Nevaeh said.

I shook my head and started to walk. I had to get to the next floor. I’d wasted enough time on this one already and I still had a lot of ground to cover.

Nevaeh radiated disappointment.


NG+

Axel​

It was odd, seeing this place again after so long.

Axel watched the keyblade master walk with his companions, standing in the shadows of a nearby rooftop with his hood up. The moment he saw Radiant Garden, formed to its past glory, something told him he needed to come see the place for himself. Marluxia and Larxene were dealing with Namine, whom they blamed for this mix up, but Axel figured that scoping out the situation was more important. How could Sora create this place with a card? The only memories he should have of this place are of a rundown castle where he became a heartless for his friend’s sake. This world hadn’t been like this for at least nine years or so. So why? Axel didn’t understand and he didn’t like all of the old memories that were surfacing. Memories of a simpler time when the only really important thing to him was sneaking a peek at what was inside of the big castle that only a select few were allowed in.

Considering what he and Isa had found when they finally snuck past the guards, Axel wished they’d never gone in at all.

“What’s going on Sora?” he wondered aloud “What’s happening with your heart?”

Sora knew the reason why this world was made. Axel would bet his non-existent life on it. The dog and duck look baffled and had kept that look for as long as they’d been in the room, obviously not understanding anything that was going on around them, as it should be. Sora on the other hand looked unruffled , the surprise on his face and most of his other reactions faked to near perfection. But the keyword was near and Axel could tell they were forced. Being a nobody for as long as he had Axel knew a thing or twelve about faking emotions and so far, the only truly real thing that had gotten under Sora’s skin was when that girl in yellow hugged him. Something about her forced him to lower his guard, a guard that shouldn’t even be there at all if the data Vexen had provided them was correct. Axel made a mental note to talk to the scientist about it later when he got back from gathering data on Castle Oblivion’s other guest, Riku. Shockingly enough he had somehow snagged himself a keyblade of his own. Which meant that along with the yellow girl that made three keys in this castle. Two keys that shouldn’t even exist at all. A entire world that shouldn’t exist at all.

The red haired man narrowed his eyes as he watched the boy. If he couldn’t figure out an appropriate answer himself then the only thing left to do was force it out of Sora. Sure it wasn’t going according to Marluxia’s plan, but it was looking like the flower power’s plan was going to need a few adjustments anyways. Whatever happened Axel needed to put on a good show so that he could get into the other nobody’s good books which would mean he could be let in on the plan to overthrow Xemnas. All that was left to do after that was kill Marluxia and Larxene when the opportunity presented itself and take Sora back to Xemnas for study and experimentation. It wouldn’t be the easiest mission Axel had ever gone on, but he had no doubts that he’d be able to handle it. Maybe if he brought Riku back too he could get himself a few days off as a reward for a job well done. Considering all of the fighting that Axel was no doubt going to have to do he thought he deserved something special for his services. Especially considering that Axel was going to have to return to this white bore of a castle anyway to search for the chamber of whatever that Xemnas wanted to find so badly. A room that frustratingly enough wouldn’t appear no matter how much Axel explored on his off time..

Unless..

Axel blinked, a slow smile making its way onto his face as the pieces started falling into place. Sora and Riku were literally the keys he needed. If he was going to track down Xemnas’s chamber then he had no choice but to use the two teen’s and their keys to do it. If he successfully found the room, brought back Sora and Riku all on top of weeding out the traitors then his vacation time was all but assured. Maybe he could even bring Roxas along when he searched out the perfect spot to do nothing.

Axel moved, his focus on the keyblade master tightening. Yes, this would work out very nicely as long as he played his cards right. A vacation, Saix getting off his ass and four keyblades under Organization control.
Things were looking up and it was time to figure out just how he was going to confront Sora. He’d need to be quick about it too.

Being back in this place made his skin crawl.
 
Last edited:

KingdomKey

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Axel... why...? I get it... but no. Please tell me Axel remains with a keyblade or he stays a good guy! Anyways, I'm really surprised we'd be finding out who the next keyblade wielder is in such a short amount of time. I kind of feel for Sora, since it's never easy seeing who's gone after what went down in his timeline. Furthermore, I dislike Nevaeh. :c Up to no good. I hope Riku won't be stuck with her forever. Good chapter overall! <3
 

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*pokes thread* I hope that this is still alive...

Well then! Butterflies, butterflies everywhere! Sora's probably going to have to face off with a Keyblade-wielding, Nevaeh-enhanced Repliku. Hope it doesn't get him killed. And why do I get the feeling that this is only the start of the troubles that Nevaeh is going to cause? Also, nice job on the part with Axel. Like everyone else, I'd say you caught his character- particularly his more slippery CoM persona- perfectly.

This didn't leave on a sheer cliffhanger (thank god) but I'm still looking forward to whatever is to come.
 
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Love it! Love everything about it! Everyone is in character, my favorite being Axel (with him being the sneaky double agent he was back in CoM). And some the terms bring back the idea that KH is a game. In the games there was always a disconnect between what you did in battle, and what happened in cutscenes. But Sora talking about levels and skills kind of allude to that. I have feeling that since Sora knows everything that's already happened, if he gets in a pinch he's going to be able to use Ven's Keyblade, but that's just a theory. Anyway, I can't wait to read more :)
 

Lunarmaster54

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I'm glad everyone seems to like this :)


Don't worry it's not dead, there will be a new chapter on Monday. After that the story will update weekly
 

Lunarmaster54

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Chapter Four

Sora​

I probably shouldn’t have laughed at Donald.

When we reached the castle and went inside Donald, Goofy and I were the last ones to go through the door. Donald took the lead and me, being suspicious about something, held back for a moment and let him. Just before he could cross the threshold the door slammed shut on its own accord and Donald ran straight into it and bounced off. Furious he tried to wrench it open to no avail. He pounded on it, tried to shoulder tackle it and even whipped out his wand and started attempting to cast spells at it, forgetting that he currently couldn’t exactly do any spells just yet until we all went to Merlin’s. It was a pretty funny sight to me and I hadn’t had very many things to laugh about recently so I laughed. Hard. Which naturally caused Donald to turn his sights on me and start yelling and hopping because when Donald gets worked up his first instinct is to yell and hop.

“That door won’t open without a card.” I chuckled.

“What do you mean Sora? It opened for everyone else just fine.” Goofy looked confused.

I responded by pulling out one of the three keycards that were in my pocket “This and two other cards materialized in my pocket earlier. I think that we need it to proceed.”

“and why didn’t you mention something while I was beating on the door?!” Donald demanded. I laughed again
“Because it was funny.”

Ignoring Donald’s righteous indignation I walked up to the doorway and held up the Key of Beginnings. There was a flash of light and the door swung open, ready for us to enter Leon’s office. It would be like the door never shut and technically if we were to go off and do some stuff before I unlocked the door we could and when we finally got back the events of the world would carry on as if hours hadn’t passed by. Right this minute I didn’t have time for any of that so I lead the way into the room, smiling as I looked around at the faces of friends I hadn’t seen in months.

There was Yuffie, cheerful as she ever was eating some ice cream.

There was Aerith, smiling and nodding at something Cloud was saying. Cloud himself looking cold and serious.

Cid typed away at a laptop and the three pixies Yuna, Rikku and Paine flew about chattering.

The only person who wasn’t there was Merlin, predictably. He’d be at his house, frantically searching his library for some way to fend off the heartless threat in his books to make himself feel safer. He was going to need a good pep talk when I went to see him.

Activity paused when we all entered the room and I waved, pasting a cheerful smile on my face as Donald, Goofy and I were bombarded with greetings and small talk. I basked in it, ignoring the fact that none of this was real and just letting myself be happy for a minute. I’d actually get to see the real deal soon enough, as soon as I left this castle and did some business back home on the islands. My friends really were all waiting for me and it would be a lot like this when I saw them.

It would be wonderful.

NGP

Axel

“What could possibly be so important that you must interrupt my experiments?!”

It wasn’t surprising to Axel that Vexen was displeased with him. One of the icy nobody’s greatest pet peeves was when people barged into his laboratory. Especially when he was in the middle of some sort of research project. It was a necessary evil though, because if Axel wanted his plans for Sora to go the right way he couldn’t do it alone. Trusting Larxene or Marluxia was out of the question, they would be furious enough as it was that he wasn’t sticking to the script and interfering with the keyblade master on the very first floor.

“There some things going on topside that you’ve gotta see.” Axel said smoothly. If he just flat out asked his fellow organization member for assistance he’d be laughed out of the lab. So what needed to be done was get Vexen curious. Vexen was a slave to his own curiosity and that made him relatively easy to manipulate when needbe. Like right now.

“Whatever it is, I highly doubt it’s more intriguing than the discovery of a third keyblade wielder.” Vexen sniffed, not looking up from his work on what looked like a silver haired doll. Axel fought to keep the smirk off his face.

“Your right. There’s no reason to study a fourth keyblade when you’ve already got your hands full with the third one.” He said casually.

Vexen stopped and looked up “Fourth?”

“That’s right.” Axel nodded “One of the phantoms in Sora’s heart has her own keyblade. Which brings the number of legitimate wielders up to what? Five if we count Roxas?”

Hook, line and sinker. It was clear that Vexen’s interest had been captured.

“Imagine the data you can get from this girl.” Axel said “Think about all of the research you could do just by coming up with me and helping me with a little scheme I have.”

Vexen’s face shut down “The last time I helped you with something we were both on janitor duty for three months when The Superior got ahold of us. We’re lucky we weren’t turned into dusks on the spot!”

Axel waved a gloved hand dismissively “Come on now Vexen. This will be nothing at all like that…unfortunate incident. This is purely an educational venture. I promise.”

Vexen didn’t look in the least bit convinced “You do realize I don’t trust you as far as I could throw you correct?”

This time Axel couldn’t fight off the smirk “You’d be a fool to Vexen. You’d be a fool to.”

The other nobody shook his head “I take it you want to leave right this very minute?”

“Of course I do. Can’t have Sora finishing the floor and dismissing the memory can we? Who knows if she’ll pop up again before Namine boots her out of his heart.” Axel shrugged. Namine worked very quickly when she wanted to and once she got her wits back she would have plenty of motivation to get to the bottom of why Sora’s memories weren’t what they should be.

“Then let’s move.” Vexen said briskly.

Axel nodded and a corridor of darkness sprang up behind him.

If there was one thing he loved, it was getting his way.

NGP

Sora

“What do you mean I can’t go?!”

It didn’t take us too long to get down to business. Leon and everyone else brought us up to speed about the large quantities of heartless that were appearing, the training of the younger rookies who were on world and wanted to help defend it and what would be needed of us. Mainly fighting when the time came and using our experience to help train people since after several world hopping adventures we had gotten quite a lot of experience under our respective belts. Donald had to be..gently..reminded in whispers that he’d forgotten all of his spells and abilities and therefore couldn’t take over the magic tutorials with any flashy displays. However the real reason we were all gathered here was because on the outskirts of town a nest had been found of heartless, including a boss creature. When large groups of heartless attacked there was typically one or more particularly strong ones needed to be killed in order to scatter the small fry and naturally Yuffie had elected to call them bosses. It eventually stuck. Leon, Cloud, Yuffie and my group were to go to this nest and bring down the bosses, which would scatter the rest and hopefully buy some much needed time before the town was attacked. Who knew, maybe by doing this it would stop the attack all together!

Well. I personally knew it wasn’t to be and that the attack was for sure still going to happen but I could at least let everyone else be optimistic. Selphie had quickly caught that she wouldn’t be part of the away team and she wasn’t at all happy about it. Which is why she was currently up in Leon’s face having an argument. Everyone else was wisely staying right the hell out of it because as the de facto leader of the group Leon needed to handle this himself. Me though, it was getting harder and harder to watch all of this play out again without stepping in to say something. My more logical side was telling me to just be quiet and watch, but my more emotional side was snarling that my island friend needed support so hop to it.

“You’re green, you’re impulsive and all you’re going to do is get yourself killed.” Leon snapped.

“I have a keyblade and I’m older than Sora was when he first started!” Selphie snapped right back.

“A keyblade you barely know how to use!”

“I don’t have to! The keyblade is powerful enough that it’ll carry me through until I get some skills on my own!”

Well she had a point. That’s pretty much what I did when I first got the keyblade. It explained how I was able to fight off monsters and people who really should have killed me on the spot while Donald and Goofy were knocked out. But at the same time doing that sort of thing wasn’t going to fly when the real live Xehanort was running around and it really was one of the many factors beside myself that had gotten Selphie…put down.. in the first place. When I started training her myself, just gotta get back to the islands, I had no intention of letting her pull such nonsense.
Leon was staring at her as if he didn’t quite know what to make of such audacity and Selphie was puffed up and looking defiant. Leon closed his eyes, sighed, and then opened them again looking detached. I braced myself, this wasn’t going to turn out well.

“I’m sending you home.” He said.

You could feel the shock bounce around the room. Even unflappable Cloud raised his eyebrows.

“Wh..What?” Selphie was caught flatfooted.

“The invasion ten years ago wasn’t a joke. The heartless destroyed our home and if we don’t play our cards right they could very well do it a second time,” Leon said.

“That’s why you need me!” Selphie pointed out “That’s why I’m here!”

“No actually. I don’t need you. All you are as of this moment is a liability. The idea of just letting the keyblade carry you through the battle? The idea that you won’t accept what I said about you sitting a single battle out? The fact that you shouldn’t even be here right now, you should be with your friends practicing the spells that Merlin taught you? I’m not dealing with that. Sorry but I’ve got more important things on my plate than dealing with inexperienced children who wanna play games. Screwing around against the heartless means death. If not you then one of the comrades who had to stop what they’re doing and pull your butt out of the fire.”

“The King wanted me here!”

“Well if The King wants you trained then he can come do it himself.” Leon shrugged.

I couldn’t contain myself “Fat chance. That would require some competence.”

Donald looked utterly scandalized and Goofy frowned at me. I avoided their gazes and coughed. Riku and I had already fought pretty hard on the subject of King Mickey Mouse and his habits and I wasn’t about to rehash it with them. Relying on The King to do anything wasn’t high on my list of things to do this time around. Never even mind our so called leader in his tower. He can blow his ‘needs of the many’ mentality right out of his ass.

“This isn’t fair Leon! You can’t do this to me!” Selphie actually sounded on the verge of tears. Which wouldn’t at all help her case.

“If you actually think life is always fair then that’s just another reason to get you off of this world.” Leon replied “I’ll have Cid set you up with a way home and if I see you back here before the invasion I’m having you arrested.”

There were actual guards and stuff now so Leon really could make good on his threat. I wasn’t actually sure how to confine someone who could magically summon a key that can undo any lock though.

Selphie looked around the room for some support but no one was speaking up. Leon’s leader position really was taken seriously around here and now wasn’t the time to divide the ranks with a schism for a girl that didn’t arrive here very long ago. Selphie stormed out of the room and Leon relaxed.

“Harsh.” Yuffie remarked “Are you going to make bringing girls to tears a habit Squall?”

Leon glared at her. Yuffie might not undermine his authority in front of strangers but once things were settled and dealt with he was open season. I excused myself.

“I’ll go talk to her,” I said “Soften the blow.”

So I turned around and left. When this all went down the first time I was convinced Leon was full of himself and being in a important position had gone to his head. I knew better this time around, seeing the things that I’ve seen, but I had a script to follow and that script demanded I track down my old friend. After a trip to Merlin’s of course.

Me and Selphie? We were going to attack that nest all by ourselves.

Because what’s the worst that could happen?
 

KingdomKey

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I never would've thought I'd see the day come where Sora actually swears and complains about the King. lol. This was a fantastic chapter and well worth the wait. :) I imagine this so called script is more of a ploy for him to encounter Axel? Maybe. I'm not sure. I also love seeing how much has changed with the Radiant Garden committee. And I feel like you revived my fangirl self with Axel. You got him down really good with Vexen.
 

BlackOsprey

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Oh geez, that image of Axel and Vexen mopping floors and cleaning the bathrooms in the Castle That Never Was... brilliant.

So anyways, characterization is spot-on like usual. I was actually surprised that Sora actually seemed to be harboring some resentment towards the King, but given what happened in the future, it's not hard to believe at all.

Any issues can mostly be summarized as little grammar things here, random typo there. Also, it kind of felt like Sora's narration didn't have as much of a distinct voice as it did in the last few chapters. Nothing that makes or breaks the story, but just something I noticed.

Really hyped to hear that we can expect weekly updates now. Keep it up~
 
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