Trust is [NOT] Resolute



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Deimos

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The rustling sound pivoted through his mind, a distant chime.

"So it was you...who's this?" Sae lifted a keyblade to a black foreboding mold within a cage.

"HRAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!" It snarled like a violent animal, rapid and abhorrent.

You could call this place a beautiful landscape of fields and sky meeting beautifully. The pits of what one would call "The Heart Station" or the image shone of what the inside of Saebyeolbe's heart resounded. Trace was here, red eyes, short cargo-pants, and sleeveless T with the heartless emblem on the shirt as if he were from the boardwalk, perhaps a twilight town resident designing it? Sae rolled his eyes and brought his attention to the caged heartless.

"Saved you from corruption, Resolute."

"You put stones in my feet so I couldn't move, should I force you out or outright end you here?" Saebyeolbe held his Alabaster in his left hand and raised it to prod Trace's chest.

"Easy now, I know you fucking keybladers are the bane of my existence, but hear me out...Shiki is near." Trace said holding his hands up indefensibly. "You've looked into my heart, seen what I remember...are you going to blindly deprive me and Anti of our vengeance..?"

Sae simply shook his head from side to side, and pushed further into Trace's chest, feeling the keyblade sink through his sternum ever so slightly. "Shiki is someone I have to find, If your going to take refuge here Trace and...Anti. Then you'll behave or I'll purge you with my resolve."

Scars appeared all over Trace, light wounds of light ready to be torn and inflicting lacerations at any given moment. A method to which he also enveloped upon the heartless as well. Sae was kind, a kind of altruistic man that sought for the good in every situation as often as possible, even for the unfortunate fate of this sour fool. The light eveloped his heard, and he was washed away inside of it alongside the other two.


His eyes returned to the surface.

Saebyeolbe looked at both of his hands, and the light being generated by his Induravitque was opaque even through The Linger Will's cloak. The darkness around him, was dissolved, this ground was of light it seemed. He took both of his hands and sprung forward with a tug and mild strength. Barefoot, his heels dug in and he gave an adamant tug, to fling the gates behind him. Looking dead ahead, the darkness that was Twilight Town, here it seemed even bleaker in comparison. Faint tints of oranges and browns, coalesced even with the light of the ground acting as a safe space.

When the doors opened, his eyes softened, body hardened. His sharp grays from roughly fifteen meters away could make them out clear as day. Blues he'd thought where a memory lost in the ashes of this hell, but they looked at him as if it'd been ages. The return, this was much different than it to be said he recognized, but his body communicated what he remembered much differently this time around. His body had never felt Eth, nor Trace, but it acted on it's own. The scars folding, every impress, every muscle carried with it a genuine mix of feelings and for the first time he'd been overwhelmed.

Strong emotions meant a weak rounded state, and she spoke.


“It's good to see you again, Sae.”

Anxiety digging into the pit of your stomach. He knew exactly who this was, and his body acted on it's own. His mind was given feint imagery with attachments to what his body vaguely captured. The fog that settled on his mind would clear soon, all the while unable to control the steps he was taking forward.

"Shiki..." he said, a faint hint or melancholy but heartfelt intimacy left his lips, resolving the storm burrowing beneath his scars. "What kind of reality did we wake up to...nearly everything is gone. The others, like us, scattered, why aren't we together with them..?"

This kind of pain was one, not even his resolve had an answer for, the pain crafted often so easily through the connections had with people. His hand wasn't steady as he was now but a single step from her. "Eth said you'd be here...I've been looking for you this entire time, so many questions I have, but well...when you're me, your body can only remember so much even if your mind forgets."

Saebyeolbe embraced her, a poignant state of remembrance washed over him.

"Dig as deep as you like." his scars illuminated and proceeded to share all that he had seen up until now.
 
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Try stood still as a statue. Even as the wind blew she remained motionless, one might think even a wave would simply split upon crashing into her. She was thinking, wondering what to do with the young man in front of her. She had to do something after all. She was one of only few remaining individuals in the universe that had the freedom to make their own decisions. And what decisions they were, the weight of literally thousands of worlds was upon their shoulders. She was strong, but not the kind of strong she needed to be.

Maybe she should just snap his neck here. He might be the traitor, he might not be. Either way it would be one variable she didn't have to worry about.

There was an itch at her neck, she finally moved. Her gloved right hand rubbed her throat for a moment until the irritation ceased. Without orders, without a clear path, without purpose. The collar was gone, no more tugging, no more yanking.

"Nagito..." Try spoke his name, this time with a hint of empathy. "I may not remember you, but..." She took his right hand and placed it over her heart, she then placed her own hand over his. "The heart never forgets, even if it wants to." She closed her eyes and listened. Something stirred, a familiar feeling. This person in front of her, he had once made her feel... welcome? There was even a hint of longing, as if she was meeting someone she'd wanted to see for a long time. It was strange feeling such attachment with not a single memory to justify it. She withdrew her hand and took a step back.

"I'm going to ignore the fact that you sound like you've got a screw loose. Words can lie but the heart is honest, and mine is telling me it can trust you." She took her eyes off of him and looked at their surroundings. Taking this scenery in, she could see how one could be so naive.

"If you are truly resolute, don't be so complacent. Any world can fall faster than it takes for the sun to set."
 
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Dari

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[Chapter 3]

Run The Risk Of Trust

Realm of Darkness - Eth & Midna
Twilight Town - Saebyeolbe, Reforge, Yamato, Shiki
High Grounds - Komaeda, Try, Jay/Jaz, Iontis, Lucrecia

Cul-De-Sac- Luxu

[location update: feb 16th]


[HR][/HR]


The End of Time

"This little game of ours has trudged on for centuries. Why do you trust humanity so much?"

A disembodied voice spoke across the table from the master clad in black as they played their little game of chess. The master was reluctant as always, sharpening his visage, he was hesitant to move the next piece. His pieces covered the board, simply twelve left, the king was sidelined. An infinite number of contenders where the other pieces he had to deal with.

"When you give Omni to Twelve of your Choice, you put it on faith. How many worlds are left? I still got a shot, I have the box and a cunning successor to lean back on. When will you stop with this charade?" the master spoke mockingly as he placed a piece forward.

"You really think that pitiful Luxu is worth anything? Who willingly cripples one of his comrades and makes them nigh unusable against the unrelenting waves soon to swarm you."

"That boy wouldn't make a decision to disrupt lightly, you never know what surprises wait the resolutes based on his movements in the background."

"You already failed once, this was your punishment for trusting them. Do you think memory-less Resolutes are any more effective than ones that don't even have the foggiest margin of what the endgame is? They'll certainly die this time, turning against one another was bad enough, but a worse fate awaits."

"Then lets make another wager. Do you believe the traitor will appear? The one my protege is to bequeath the gazing eye to and resolve themselves as the Dark Wielder. It's impossible to open the box without the Dark Wielder in play, so yes, I am betting on the betrayer to appear. Whether Shiki's memory hunting proves successful or not, my resolutes still run the risk of trust that can waver. The one who abandons their role, will be the one to save them all."

"Powerful words young master. You filled them with so much hope blindly, only to bet on their individuality and rebellion against the love and trust you've blinded them with to be their salvation. In order to win, the harrowed ends must be reversed, all of them. You really think this third method of yours will work? I do not understand. Your debt will cost them the fate of their reality and their master, is this the right call?"

"Yes. I trust that one will distrust me and in return, they will end the era of darkness as it's very wielder. If I win, my freedom is all I ask for."

"And if I win, reality will merge here, alongside the end of time itself."

"You can try." The master smiled beneath his hood and moved the next piece forward. "I'm counting on you guys, especially you Luxu."

[HR][/HR]​

"A-Choo!" the hooded man released a massive sneeze. "Hmm? Who even remembers me besides Ethy to use my name? Ahhh doesn't matter. Loose ends need to be tied up."

Luxu knocked on the door of a resident's home. The sound of a child rolled along, like water banging from a rooftop. Opening the door, she sprang forth with excitement, recognizing the man instantly!

"Daddy! Daddy! Look! It's the master! Hi master!"

Her father coming around the bend, recognizing the figure clad in black and freeze filled him rather quickly.

"A promise is a promise remember. I told you one day you'd give it back...Ethy." Luxu spoke, purging the Ethernal keyblade into his palm.

"Luxu. Don't do this...I have a family here, and my name is Reyzil Azzir."

"Ah! Ah! Ah! Lets stop pretending we can run away from destiny dear Ethy. Can't have any lose ends, the past is best forgotten...we don't need a part of Eth that exists that still remembers the past, that can control memories to boot. You did us a solid, wiping everyone like a clean slate leaving the one memory the master asked. But ya messed up by fleeing. Who'd a thunk it, Ol' Ethy, a daddy too?"

Luxu pressed Ethernal into Reyzil's chest, and pushed him onto the couch, his daughter stood there frozen. "I had to wait a really long time before I came after you. I'm sure you noticed that the other YOU ain't in the realm of light anymore. If I'm holding this blade here, you already knew what was to transpire next. So that means, when you disappear, those memories ain't goin' to him but scattered into the ether.

"Master...? Whats going on? Why are you trying to hurt daddy?"

Luxu turned and placed an arm on her shoulder, "Me and your old man are having a pow wow right now kiddo, he'll be back at a later point in time. Sorry sweetie, but we really have to check out." Luxu vanished with Reyzil in front of his young daughter.

They'd come out in front of the chapel doors. Unannounced, there were children here, noticing their teacher Reyzil and observing Luxu in his likeness to the master.

"Hmm. Whats the point of the caution tape if you just go through it anyway?" Luxu commented, he snapped his finger and a strong gust of wind torrent through the building and scooped up the children, as he grabbed Reyzil by the collar, hearing the doors shut after him. He dropped him and held a spell over him in place to deconstruct Reyzil's light.

"Sorry to do this to ya, this story isn't about extras, main cast only." he deatomized him and the collective of his light was gathered into a sphere. Purging the gazing eye in his other hand, it absorbed the memory of Reyzil into it's eye, sending it directly to the master. "I'll do you proud Master. Still don't know which one, but hell, shouldn't be too hard to figure out."
 

purgatory

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I couldn't tell you what I was thinking, I couldn't tell you why, my body just...moved on it's own. This man, something was clearly off about him, declaring a falsehood to embarrass the master like this? A type of resolve that permeated from him seemed not as cold as I would've imagined. Seeing him persist, defenseless and to rely on whatever he was emanating, clearly I had to force myself to help him. The heartless swarmed like an angry beehive and covered him in seconds, dragging him further down.

"Don't make me regret this Eth!" I shouted rushing in behind and diving into the pool of darkness the shadows forged to chase after him.


My heart was racing, it felt like we were falling slowly at first, I was tearing through the heartless with my Cedo in hand. A vortex pressured into my back almost knocking a decent amount of wind out of me, but I slashed across and managed to free us both and we fell even faster than the shadows that pursued. I could see it, briefly, but there was a light hanging over in the distance, and a body of water below us.

SPLASH!

Both of our bodies thud into the dark ocean, quickly fleeting from consciousness. Too much adrenaline was pumping through my system, to think a merchant's daughter would end up in this kind of situation. I frantically flipped over, but felt an arm sweep past me to scoop me up and my breath I'd been holding this entire time. It was him, he'd pushed through the torrents and tides and carried me to the shoreline, and with baited breath we were gasping for air.

"Thanks." the only words I had the strength to muster as I rolled over to look straight up. Where are we now?

I couldn't tell you how long i've been here, I woke up in the realm of darkness and I definitely don't remember anything outside of the master's final sentiment and leaving me with a name. This Eth, wasn't him. I contemplated it for a while when I met him, but where was his keyblade? Every Resolute should've forged one from their hearts, well before the master's gift, did he simply not posses one?

"I've been meaning to ask...where is...you know what, come here." Rather than ask him, I could figure it out by giving it a look for myself.

I took his hand with a firm grip and my palm illuminated with one of my alchemic circles releasing a white light. I was scanning him, the other palm doing a quick pass over his body. I was shocked to discover, this man...something here was just wrong. Normally I could see the shape of the blade carved out by their heart, but this shape just seems to elude me. I wonder if it's due to the realm of darkness acting as interference? Hmm! Get it together Midna, resolve should be enough to see what that keyblade looks like!

"Ok. I'm gonna transmute you a keyblade Eth!"

I clasped my hands and tapped the ground, preparing a circle for him to sit in, and mark over the outside of the left part of his black coat. My palms radiated with a surge of white electricity as I went to touch the circle on his chest and slowly pull my hand backward, carefully crafting that unknown shape...into a keyblade.

An ashen gray keyblade, stark with threads of dark and light swords threaded together, in constant war for harmony.

"Here." She flipped the blade around and handed the hilt to him, "What will you name it?"


~~~~~


I was uneased by him talking, that much was clear. I couldn't understand him, I was trying my hardest to put my finger on it, but it required me to think about it deeper. The worlds were falling, resolving was all we could do as a commonality shared. This...idiot talked so lightly about the sensitive word Try used, it was pissing me off in a way. Traitor. Trust. Allies. What were these things...sure, we knew each other, but even still trusting the master's will seemed like all that I had to go off of. This harbinger was a damned fanatic, he'd betray the darkness??

I closed my fist, and grit my teeth.

"You shouldn't talk so recklessly about resolve, about betrayal...how anyone could trust you, even in these dire circumstances is disorderly and yet..."

I placed my hand over my heart, feeling this sensation of warm irritation, very similar to what I was feeling now. Truly, I was getting extremely irritated with this manipulation game he was pulling out of his ass. As my fist balled even so, I couldn't bring myself to his level of maleficence, or false altruism.

Once Try began to speak, something chimed in the back of my mind. The heart. It really doesn't forget...a sensation that felt, right...and it was then I looked at Jay. It reminded me that when I didn't have to...I exhausted extensive resources to save Jay from Traverse Town's collapse. Why...did I do that exactly? What did Jay ever do for me..? A stranger, someone I can only now say that I remember having known but...still. Some part of you holds onto a pass thats long since slipped through your fingers and the reluctance to go against what my master said is keeping me from being completely onboard.

Doubts had were natural, i walked in between the two of them and quietly placed began to unbutton the first two buttons of my shirt and pulled down. Just below my collar bone, there was a tattoo the size of my fist.

IV.

"Trust that it's real. We all should have one, master gave me this. It should be your proof that you are who you say you are right? Number IV, Monochrome."
 

Dari

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What was today other than a nightmare made real. Questioning everything now, he was truly terrified of virtually everything he'd come to experience upon forcibly being trapped here in the realm of darkness. The fleeting feeling of falling, and falling, and falling even deeper until his body, Midna's, and the heartless came crashing down with a hard splash into a body of water. His adrenaline was high, and inducing some manner of response that was completely foreign and even unnatural to Eth. He scooped her up and swam towards the beach's shoreline. The heartless that clung to his back, he knocked off his coat and watched them drop into the expanse of the sea.

The black coat he'd been wearing had it's scar of small pricks and holes along he upper half. He wobbled at first, before collapse on his rear end to Midna's side. His right hand trembled before he dropped his grip and landed on his back, sprawled out along the sand.

"Thanks."

Words he wasn't really expecting to hear, he heard them. Eth flicked his hand with a wave, this was their reprieve, for now. You would thinking being in the realm of darkness, the last thing you'd want to see is more of it. His eyes were closed briefly as he lay there motionless.

"Master...I can't call anything, is there something wrong?"

"The time isn't right. Looks like it's gonna require help that I can't provide, but don't fret Eth. You'll meet that person one day, and claim a keyblade as your own." The master patted Eth on the head as he was a young boy then.

The naivety of the resolute was warranted based on just how exactly he'd conducted himself on a split for so many years. Almost completely drowning out Midna's voice, but could hear something as he lay there. The indentation of the ground came to light itself and a circle was over Eth's chest. She pulled something out and it constructed itself through white lightning of some sort, Eth hardly understood anything, but remained quiet as something long floated between her hands.


"Here." his first gift, he looked at as he leaned up towards her to hold position in place, this wasn't something of his imagination.

"This...is for me?" He inquired slowly reaching forward and taking a hand full of the keyblade, left hand to the grip as the right stroked the entirety of the guard and blade. The ground permeated with an impress of more salt water falling from the unclear visage of his hood. The resolute cried, was this a mercy or a kindness and be happen to him unexpectedly like this. He trembled in his own hysteria, his own emotions and it showed in his body language. "Thank you so much. Really, thank you Midna."

"What will you name it?" she inquired

Eth closed his eyes and the image of his mother appeared in his mind. He remembered the events that lead to her eventual forgetting of her son, thanks to his inability to grasp his power over memory. How he failed as a son and resolved to ensure that didn't happen to anyone else, but from what and how he felt...was this not the same to, he had to believe were his friends? Did this happen to Shiki and Saebyeolbe and even Midna? All resolutes like him, all aiming to face the dangers of this world in his current state as it is even now...falling to ruin.

"Dusklanzer" Eth uttered slowly, slinging it over his shoulder. "I should probably say this now, but...before now, I didn't have a keyblade. In fact, it was odd waking up to discover I had one in my possession."

♫

Eth looked at Dusklanzer, and then at Midna again. "I've never really been good at making friends, the idea of even being vulnerable just means a repeat of what unintentionally happened to my own mother, you see...I think I might be at fault for why you or I don't remember the other is resolute. I can't explain it, but it isn't my role to teeter in the past we've forgotten about, it looks as though someone else I met is already doing that."

Eth sighed, "I don't mean to talk your ear off Midna, but everything thats happened to me is becoming a gradual eye opening experience. I suppose i'll trust that since you woke up here in the realm of darkness, then you didn't receive any additional memories, as light cannot freely travel between realms, worlds sure, but realms? My goal was to procure a method to stop the worlds from becoming physical manifestations of places that extend from here the Realm of Darkness, Harrowed Ends."

He placed his keyblade in the sand and stood up, taking her hand to raise her to feet.

"Impossible I thought, my resolve doesn't even work here or on a harrowed end, what could I possibly do? I looked to the past, but it would service me none, so I ventured to defeat a figure from history that's protected the light of keyblade graveyard all this time. Sure enough, it safe guarded a method which has allowed it to go uncontested all this time and keep that place firmly in the realm of light. And i'll teach you it as a show of gratitude more so than it being my role."

"This darkness...this tainted light, it's going to be purged once we leave this place. You see...my resolve is something of a mirror of itself, at least if I'm remembering properly, I could be wrong. I use light to dilate time, places like here and harrowed ends possess no existing flow of time, and my "resolve" and by all extensions related to time, don't work as they should. The keyblade I no longer possessed was my only means of fighting...those women, I didn't know them, and ironically...my heart didn't even remember them, which is weird" Eth reached for his chest, Midna being here now felt even the slightest bit familiar to him.

A tear trailed down his cheek. What is this feeling? he thought, a sensation leaving him to think someone's heart was crushed. His hand staggered uncontrollably so and he cried. Legitimately cried, a feeling that swelled up inside of his heart, unable to keep track of it all, it hit hard an unexpectedly so. The weight of loss is what he'd been filled with, holding a hand in place over his heart. For now he'd pulled his resolve to suppress this sensation of grief that weighed on his heart.

"We can't stay here any longer Midna, the others, while they don't remember...they need us in the realm of light." he was scratching around for an idea, but he didn't have to. "Our enemies will be our way out. If the heartless can freely travel through dark corridors between here and the realm of light, we'll just have to find a group of them travel-"

Darkness burst forth on the water, Eth turned his head. "You wanna help me deal with that?" he said casually pointing over his shoulder as a Darkside's arm was pulling itself through. "Ticket outta here found. Time to go." he stepped forward and broke into a mad dash with every intention of diving straight into the portal beneath the dark side's feet. As for where they would end up being spit out at, was anyone's guess.


[HR][/HR]
Seemed like he was just making all kind of friends today. Komaeda smiled, the heart seemed to do some of the remembering and when thinking about it in that regard, Try calling him by his proper name without knowing it, made sense to him. He foolishly assumed wrong here, to that he found it would be fitting to apologize and start anew. Starting off as a reckless banter, further evolving into what felt like the borderline between his own death and making a breakthrough, neither of which bothered him or he didn't anticipate.

He smiled, genuinely this time as his hand did some odd twitch given that Try moved it on her own, by it, he meant his hand.

"You may just be right about that Try. Well, the idea that this world could fall at any moment." his hand returned to him and he folded his arms "Well Lucrecia, lets just work on trust for now. I never asked either of you to trust me, but since we're here, lets assume we're all operating under the same umbrella of the master being our common thread along with being his resolutes, sound fair?"

He took a moment to indulge in Lucrecia's gesture, by slowly lift the left side of his hoodie and undershirt, to reveal a roman numeral on his upper left thigh.

V.

"You'll have to pardon the, ahem...intimate placement. I didn't get to pick where the brand ended up." he stuck his tongue out and tapped his head, before he fixed his clothing.

There was a tilt to his head and he shifted his weight onto his right hip. As he placed his hand into his pocket, he had a strange sensation overtake him.

"Hmm?" both of his eyes were open as of now, and he turned his head looking aways over, no one was there. "So I wake up to waves crashing, lightning striking, and getting tackled by another Resolute. Can this day get any stranger?"

Before he knew it, it got stranger...

[HR][/HR]

Luxu smiled, slinging Ethernal over his shoulder.

They fled to the one place besides the keyblade graveyard that didn't need saving, at least not at the moment.

"This is boring. Lets give them all a small reminder of who they used to be."

He traveled through darkness and emerged on the world far, far away from the rest of them but chose to remain out of sight. Instead what he chose to do was make things a little bit interesting. In practice he'd seen the hybrids do this, so why not use it on them?

"Sink." he quietly muttered.

Individual and flat planes of darkness began to form as puddles underneath each of their feet, to bring them to a place of his choosing. "Time to go home, Recia, Try, Iontis, Jay, and Komaeda. Home to the dorms."

[HR][/HR]
The Dorms

Seemed rather appropriate and for the most part rather unchanged. The Courtyard opened up with a massive field and hilltop of greenlands. The massive piece of architecture felt Victorian-Cathedral esque. The halls were grandeur looking and large in scale, it's interior possessing a subtle charm and all facets of this building and it's contents save for the placement of a few items in particular, where largely untouched since the last time the resolutes (to their lack of remembering) were here. They each spawned one by one by one on the hilltop looking directly at the building itself. The lobby opened up nicely, seated with couches and small chairs respective to certain tables. A dividing staircase that lead upstairs, broken in to three halls, a hall leading to the rooms, a hall leading to the master's study and other facilities, and the third hall lead to a series of odd rooms, a few water closets, and weight training room.

On the base floor, you had the lobby itself, directly ahead and off towards the left was the hallway that entered the kitchen. To the right of that were doors that lead to the back of the dorms, a yard that stretched far and the fields themselves were quite flat and already designed for nice and neat for recreational fields dedicated to a tennis/badminton court while the others where basketball court and a baseball field.

Luxu was directly in front of the gate waving at them as he quickly disappeared walking into the building itself. He was going to thoroughly enjoy teasing them, but they'd soon come to discover that all these movements were necessary.
 
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Try contemplated showing her own mark. Actually, where was it again? She rarely ever took the time to look at her body. She couldn't stand the sight of it anyhow. Before she could ponder any longer her attention was pulled towards a more pressing issue. She seemed to be sinking into the ground, and quite quickly at that. Try struggled in the darkness but it didn't matter if she could lift a planet, there was nothing to hold onto. As her vision went black she found herself frustrated, she wasn't in control, again. Why was the world so insistent on robbing her of agency?

Just as swiftly as she'd been sucked in, she'd been spat back out in a new location. She sprang to her feet with a huff and looked around frantically. This wasn't the same world... or was it? It seemed familiar, the architecture pulling on bits of nostalgia like a sting on a harp. The melody was still out of tune however.

Her eyes locked onto a figure by the entrance. She recognized him, he was in the memory she had, the one with everyone else.

"You!, did you bring us here!?" She yelled, summoning her keyblade. The man entered the building, clearly egging them on to follow. "Hey, don't run! Honest people have nothing to hide!" She screamed as she chased after him.
 

Deimos

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Holocaust Beginnings.

"Look Sae! Plums!" a young girl said forcing the fruit into his hands.

"Theft again?" he looked at her with a spur of disappointment. "...seriously Alison why do you keep bringing me these...?" Sae, maybe no older than eleven years old sighed.

Alison's eyes watered, she blushed between each nostril, touting steam from her nose and looked at Saebyeolbe wide-eyed. "Why do you have to be so insensitive. Be more grateful, you jerk!"

There was a shove into Saebyeolbe's chest and a turn of Alison's heel as the sound of her sandals taking off against the dirt alley was cue for Sae to give chase. Yet, he didn't. Picking up the plums she'd given him, his pensive expression was followed by one of a mild nonchalance. Too young to really get why she stuck to him like the opposite charge of a magnet. Gathering the plums, he used his already dirtied shirt to wipe the residue of dirt from the plums. Placing them in a basket he shuffled down the alley and onto the street.

"Come back here you brat! Return what you stole!" the sound of a shop keeper in the bazaar as he paced with sandals through the sand after young Alison.

"Here we go again..." Sae sighed, beckoning his Alabaster to his hand and setting it to slide across the sand to trip the shop keeper pursuing Alison. As he rolled in the dirt, the blade disappeared instantly and he darted to grab her by the hand and the two of them vanished into the heat.

"You really should stop taking from Abdul, are you hearing me Alison?" Sae was giving her a serious expression.

She couldn't look at him for very long seeing the number of bruises that covered him from past transgressions. "Oh like your one to talk. You remember the time Abdul scolded us about tagging the side of his shop?? What does he know! We're just having fun..."

"We can't keep doing things like that forever. The townsfolke already pity us orphans, we're homeless, but they've shown they wanna help out...we should seriously consider staying with mother Amed. She-"

"Have you lost your mind Sae??" Alison stood over him, "We only had one rule. NO RULES. If we stayed with her we'd be tied down to whatever she'd want us to do. It's better to just do whatever we want!" she shouted, her face was bright red.

Sae lurched over and didn't say anything, he stared at the embers of the fire and took a bite out of one of the plums from before. "Your wrong Alison...who knows how long we can keep doing this, not relying on those that wanna help us because we're being selfish."

There was a strike across his face, and the lifting of a bag as it was slung over her shoulder. "No Sae, I'm sorry but, your on your own with that venture...goodbye."

Leaving his portion and taking hers Alison headed back towards the bazaar and small town. Saebyeolbe stared vacantly and he could feel his heart sinking as the loneliness would soon set in. As he rubbed his hand over a lot of his old bruises, he knew he didn't want to repeatedly receive them meaninglessly. It was the following day that set everything ablaze.

The Next Day

On that day, the dark emperor came and their small home, was lit ablaze with fire from the cast of the first megaflare he'd ever seen. People were burning, the screams of anguish and agony circulated, and the blood that covered the young Sae
as the initial blast was shielded by Alison and she burned in his arms, singing him in the process. Creatures he'd never seen before, black faces and yellow eyes, and a man baring the same kind of weapon that Saebyeolbe had. In the wake of the destruction, nearly dehydrated, he willed himself from the ashes of what was once his home.

Before a loud scream filled his grieving heart. He roamed about for a time, before passing into a low state of consciousness, with the brink of his will about to shatter when he spotted a man in black in his peripheral.

"Such spirit and struggle to survive even in the harshest of conditions. You're definitely something else!"

Saebyeolbe was scooped up and that was the last thing from that day that he remembered. Meeting the master and he'd go on to smite the enemy of his people several years later. The thought alone was polarizing, and he could feel this unfettering obsession for a man he respected beyond normal parameters. His role was pivotal in his life and was not to be understated by any means.
 

Vibrant Fervor

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Last Leg of Civilization

Flying off, Iontis traverses the heavy rains that litter the sky of High Grounds. The storm's winds are very powerful and create a wall of force causing pushback for Iontis. Trying as he might, the winds started picking up even more to the point where he contemplated going any further. With a spark of inspiration, Iontis taps his glider two times with his fingers. This actions prompted a cannon to form. A large laser shoots out, creating a large hole in the clouds. It leaves a tunnel of sorts
for Iontis to jet through without any issues.

After sometime of travel, Iontis makes his way out of the atmosphere and into the area between the worlds. A large
space of nothingness... or it seemed. The paths were interwinded and litted with meteorites and astroids. There seemed to
be strange gummi matter floating around. Some of the heartless seemed to have formed the ships into their own ships. From afar, Iontis could see the next world, it looked like a town of sorts like Traverse Town. There was rows of meteorites and space debris that colagilated into a town park. Iontis proceeds through this park. The heartless ships persue him and begin firing beams at his dragon glider. Iontis casts Wall on himself, creating a shield against physical/magical attacks for a short time. The wings on his glider fires Homing Firaga at ships as they come.

After little while, he runs into a larger ship that appears before Cul-De-Sac. It is shaped like a huge donut with spikes.
The ships rams into Iontis and he looks his balance. THe glider is knocked back and he falls on to the side of the ship. He goes into his second form armor and elongates his keyblade. Like a crank, he pulls him self up and runs up the ship toward the control area. The keyblade shifts into a chainsaw and cuts the ship in half. The ship explodes as he jumps back on the glider and heads toward Cul-De-Sac.

As he is making his way toward the world, Iontis starts having a flood gate of memories come to him that fill the blanks in his mind. He didnt remeber what happen to him in a three year span. He has memories of the resolutes he met in the High Grounds and others he has yet to run into. He says "..... #10 Harbored Destiny..." He lands in the town square and undons his armor.

Its been awhile sinceHe walked around with no armor on. There seems to a few people in town and wanted to keep the world order. He looks around and somehow runs into Maximes and the others from Traverse Town. He walks up to Maximes and says "Its good to know you all made it out but how?" Maximes looked confused for a moment but recognized Iontis's voice. "Oh, so thats what you look like without the armor on, Iontis. Yes, when it seemed we were done for,
A light protected and sent us here. We are just still getting our bearings. Come talk to us later." Iontis nods and does alittle sightseeing.
 

Dari

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The master rolled back his sleeves as a piece fell on his side of the board. His head jerked back in initial shock. The pieces were already starting to fall this early in the game. A small presence of light released from the board and wafted back to the master.

"....." he was silent, a nervous silence.

"Looks like that stubbornness you showed earlier has waned a bit. Someone has died."

A piece on the board was then removed, and the number from the chess board illuminated "VIII" obscured and faded into memory.

"You reckless idiot...dying on twilight town's harrowed end of all places...what the hell were you thinking avoiding the wells of light." he mumbled almost inaudibly and to himself.

"It's my move...I believe it's time we advance the darkness while I still have field advantage eh?

The formless hand raised a tower/century into place and it landed directly on top of a world labeled "The Dorms".

"Lets see how you like it when the home you built for your precious resolutes falls to ruin and they don't even remember it's significance to them. Whatever shall you do?"

Come on Luxu...hopefully they cooperate and hold the line until those two escape the dark world.

The master never anticipated anyone actually being killed and set to the end of the world in limbo. This was going to be an issue if more of them kept expiring before they even saw a world saved or a traitor raised, the candidates needed to be alive in order to be chosen goddamnit.​

[HR][/HR]

Cul-De-Sac
♫


The two of them stumbled forward and came out into what he believed to be a church of some sort.

!!!!!!

Eth clutched his heart and trembled as he hit his knees on the concrete.

"What...is...someone's here. Someone's here in this town! I have to...sorry, but I have to go!"

Before Midna could react, Eth was gone. Returned to the realm of light, his resolve functioned in full-force and he froze time the moment he felt something was off. Footsteps of light, HIS footsteps, he'd been here before...but in the past? He was traversing through his own steps and he felt like a frantic parent desperately fighting through crowds, until he eventually ripped off the black coat and bolted down an alleyway.

"Hah...Hah....hah...." his breathes were heavy, as he stared at a wooden door, his heart seemed to pulse even harder. He could see the glow of a hand from his own resolve touching the door and then things really got weird for him. Even the smell here, was familiar, like...himself, but...he was here? He was so confused, feeling a mixture of things, and he proceeded to turn the knob and open the door.

A girl shuffled around hiding behind a couch, eyes seeming to gape open as they connected with his. Eth looked hard, extremely hard at the child and in his bewilderment, the feeling was just like him. This person...who was this person, why were they so familiar and yet he just couldn't remember.

"Oh..." He said completely lost in her eyes, the small girl was hiding behind the couch hesitant at first, but she looked really hard at him. "Sweetie...whats your name?" Eth inquired.

"I'm Freya." she replied, and she came fluttering towards him and tucked into his arms. "I didn't think you wanted me anymore..."

"?????" Eth was even more astounded, he could feel tears permeating into his clothes, "I'm speechless Freya, but...I don't ...remember the last three years of my life..."

"Daddy said really mean things about you...said that he would never come back, that he would forget about Freya. And here, you finally came and Freya is just so...happy."

"Freya...that name...it was my mother's." Eth said closing his eyes and lifting the child into his arms as he stroked her head. "I said to myself in the past...that if I ever had a child...I would name her after the mother that forgot about her own child. That child would be the source of memory restoration..."

Eth didn't realize it, but as he held the young girl his resolve seemed to activate on it's own. "And I would love her like my mother couldn't love me when her memories were erased..."

The light collected itself in fragments, bits and pieces as he kissed Freya's forehead.

"If daddy forgets, then Freya can just remember for daddy!" he raised her arms and produced a glass crystal ball. This one was blue compared to Eth's yellow one.

"Where did you..." he said reaching into his pocket and pullet out his crystal ball, as it touched Freya's, it was then he started to remember things in a burst.


[HR][/HR]

The past was dark and bleak, as the light dimmed.

"Listen Eth...I'm begging you, just tell me what happened to the master. Maybe he can give us a clue as to what we can do in the defense against the darkness?"

"You keep asking me this and I know just as much as you do Saebyeolbe, if you won't join me on trying to figure out how to revert harrowed ends, then you're just wasting time."

"I wouldn't ask you if I wasn't confident you were aware of where the master went and how to reach him. When are you going to realize that we need him Eth! Luxu even he's gone, your the last person any of us can ask or turn too about him, so please!"

"No matter how many times you ask me...my answer remains the same Sae, I just don't know."

A blade of light shattered cross-clashing with Saebyeolbe's keyblade.

"So thats how it's gonna be...did you learn nothing, number 1? You're the best...you have no end to your potential and here you waste that potential in arms against a man who's shone you no such ill-will. We're friends aren't we Saebyeolbe..?"

"If you were my friend Eth, you wouldn't keep secrets from me! From any of us, especially when it's so important! Don't make this harder!"

Eth felt a thud in his chest, moved, but pain resided.

"Why are you such a stubborn fool...I thought you would understand Saebyeolbe...you would understand what your duty was and resolve to see it through, but I was wrong...I was wrong about all of you."

There was a sensation of light slowing the flow of time and See's mind was slowed with it barely able to comprehend what Eth was saying.

"Making friends. Building relationships. All of it was just a bullshit distraction for you all to stab me in the back...to think that everything that I've done, I've done for the preservation of OUR master's will, to protect those I DEEMED my family! But no one will trust me...hah...it always ends up like this anyway..."

Eth sighed, and his light shifted blue, inside of his mind he'd released his body of time and he carve non-lethal lacerations across saebyeolbe's body, before rewinding time and preserving his memory, as the multiple hits of physical damage would translate to his mind having received them, despite the lack of physical scars and wounds, and flow of time picked up as Eth walked away in an even slower manner, as Sae was shrieking in pain.

"Don't come after me. I'm going to find a way to end things, and I don't need any of you...I never did. Hmph. Sorry Shiki, Recia, Try, Nagito, Yamato, Iontis, Midna, Reforge, Jay, and even you Sae. All this time was just a goddamn lie...This is goodbye, indefinitely."

Eth then vanished into the light without leaving so much as a hint of his existence behind him.


[HR][/HR]

The light of the past had shown it's despair.

Worthless trash isn't fit to exist in the order of things now.

Light bearers? Resolutes?

How far we've fallen from grace, defiled, and worthless.

RESOLVE!? DON'T INSULT OUR MASTER WITH YOUR LACK OF CONVICTION!

Trash only fit to express your true confessions to allegiance with the darkness you refuse to help stop.

Until it bubbles and festers will you watch another world die?

Is Lucrecia the only one among you with a spine to do anything!?!

"Yet what have you done...other than wine...wine...wine..." Eth said coldly.

"Shiki's been helping Lucrecia along with, Iontis, and Midna. I have my role to do and it is in isolation from the rest of you, we simply meet back here everyday as the darkness spreads. What more do you want from us Komaeda..? Saebyeolbe, Try, Jay, Yamato, and Reforge are highly upset and who could blame them. Be less of an insensitive dick and understand things are a lot more complex than just hoping and despairing as the darkness runs wild."

Komaeda's eyes were both open and they looked mift, and exasperated.

"You don't get to lecture the lead or anyone else here about "duty" and what we should be doing. The master told you to do whatever your heart feels is right, to let it guide you, you don't have the right to talk down to those of us that are chained to a task and to fail means to fail our peers, humanity, our own master, and most of all ourselves. Pfft...you waste words trying to manipulate us to do whats right, when you can't even empathize with the weight of what it is some of even have to do to begin with, and thats something you'll just never understand."

Eth got up and walked up the steps from the lobby, he passed Shiki who stood quietly against the wall as the hall opened up.

"And what exactly is it that you have to do...?"

Eth stopped brief, before he uttered something.

"To make sure that we all still have a future to look forward to...regardless of what it will take to see it come to pass."

[HR][/HR]


The edge before the end

Holding a child in his arms, she was a mere infant and a beautiful one.

Eth stood bearing a black coat, across from a man that bore his face and features and even a specific trait. His first self-sustaining paradox of himself he'd created after countless failures. It'd been a time and then some since he'd seen young Freya, she was his daughter, incarnated from his resolve that safely guarded memories, but could only restore them.

"Reyzil, I want you to remain here. The master's will demands that for a brief period you will be guiding one of us after we've forgotten things. To tel you the truth..." he stared at his daughter for a really long time, "I'd rather not forget, but it's a part of his plan after all and I accept that."

"You would think after all this time, knowing for so long, you would resist..?" Reyzil's eyes were soft, much softer than Eth's.

"There isn't a traitor, there was never a need to resist each other. We were all just overwhelmed, despite our resolves...we succumb to human sensitivity, things like love, and in our uncertainties we arguably changed over time. I've seen it happen in all of them and while not drastically different in everyone, each of them has changed. Its only when you give up on your resolve or role, yet we're out of time...and this is our last chance at a better future, the master's final gambit."

Eth removed his black hood and gave it to Reyzil.

"Shiki will meet you at the keyblade graveyard. It's time for everyone to get some much needed rest and to come wake up knowing absolutely nothing, I'm counting on you, Reyzil."

"I'll return it to Castle Oblivion where I got it from once my task has been completed."

"Be sure to write that letter to Shiki before she wakes up. While I don't know what Luxu's supposed to do in all of this, all I can do is trust he will ultimately save us some frustration...if he ever returns. I personally don't believe with how horribly I've been treated that we deserve a second chance, but I do believe in the master's will and thats enough. I never want to be counted on by anyone, by them, Sae said it didn't he...who'd want an unreliable leader that can't even tell them whats really about to happen only do it all over again praying we'll work together given the dire situation unfolding and how the remaining life and by extension reality...will be on it's very last legs."

Eth looked at his keyblade Luxu had given him, and it flickered at the eye, "Trust huh? Who'd of thunk it?"

"It isn't resolute, it can be broken so very easily, but takes so very...very long to build."


[HR][/HR]

The grip on Freya tightened as his daughter could feel it emanating through Eth. His heart hurt, his heart felt personal and emotional pain in a burst that felt like he was being stabbed straight through the chest multiple times. How he felt a coldness, an anxiety of loss, and the warmth of so many smiles he'd seen that had gone unseen from so many years of isolation. Tears billowed into the small child's shirt as her forehead and lifted her up slowly.

"I kept you waiting a lot longer than I should've and I'm sorry Freya." Eth sniffled as released a deep breath, "I'm here now and I know what I have to do, for the rest of my comrades."

"It was so much fun, but mommy never came home, I never gave up hope!" Freya smiled and radiated a bright yellow glow. "We can spend more time together now, please touch the hearts of more!"

Reduced to a mere collection of light, the small crystal ball she carried is what Freya had been reduced to. Holding it and the other crystal ball, he'd folded them together into a single ball. He held a silent prayer for Freya and touched his heart briefly before he'd collected himself. So much had happened, and as he was weathering through all these images connecting and possessing different meanings and significance the constant remained the same. Those events, ran their course thanks to what was akin to the master's will so then...was this disparity and unfamiliar during this era too the master's will?

"Sorry that I can't take you with me Midna...and master...whether you were wrong or right about any of this, we'll never know for sure until we do something."

[HR][/HR]

Luxu twirled around inside of the dormitory's lobby and facilitated his honest thoughts. The footsteps clad from Try, Lucrecia, Komaeda, and Jay were upon them. He finally stopped with his back to them for a feint number of seconds before he prompted them with a proper greeting.

"Welcome welcome welcome." he said in an unusually cheery manner, flicking his wrist. "You're finally home, I can't tell you how long it's been since I set out to look for you all one by one."

Luxu took a step forward and stood under the chandelier, and glass overture of what looked like a cathedral-esque dome with stained glass of multiple colors, thirteen in total. The sun breaking through cast a warm and familiar shine on his black coat as he reached, hands towards the sky taking it all in. It was good to be home, but the sense of dread he felt was imminent.

"Try. Number Three, The Echo. Lucrecia, Number Four, Monochrome. Komaeda, Number Five, The Harbinger. Jay/Jaz, Number Six, Crossroads. Oh I remember you all juuuuuust fine, no need to get reacquainted, your obviously more interested in who I am right?" the question was rhetorical, and Luxu paused.

"The names good ol' Luxu and my number? Well, it ain't a roman numeral thats for' sure. Perfect Zero." He removed his left glove and clenched his fist to show his mark of the infinity symbol.

"You've got questions, I've got answers. You want to know things right? Haha, no problem guys, you just gotta do me one favor and anything you wanna know, i'll tell ya." Luxu said pointing up at the glass.

It shattered with a fist of what looked like a Darkside slamming on top of him, but he held it with but a single finger and next to no resistance what so ever. "Well, two things. Number 1, trust me. Number two, help me repel the darkness thats going hardcore in trying to take this place from us. It's our jobs riiiiiiight? Hop to it!" he released a powerful burst of light back upwards and the remaining glass chipped away like a shower and crashed around the spot he was standing.

He turned with a cool little shuffle in his step and danced across the hall with the swiftest glide. "So help me you better not break anything else this time Try! Now, back outside we go, we'll repair the damn room later!"

Luxu bursting through the doors they burst through, again, with close observation you could see it. The spirals and dark clouds of the darkness quickly overtaking the world in a rapid fashion unlike anything they'd witnessed on Traverse Town. The numbers expanded rapidly, pushing out to the hills, and the lush green hills were becoming occupied with shadows and neo-shadows rapidly. This offensive knew that Luxu, out of all the other resolutes, was present and it wasn't about to pull any punches here.

"We can have that little pow wow later, hell, if we survive you can just check the place out and learn a few things yourself without me needing to talk as much. Death however, pfft, As if." the beckoned the gazing eye to his hand as the collective mob of heartless that built along the tops of the hill were panning towards them like a chinese army from the land of dragons.

"Well, looks like it can't be helped, I'm gonna forge a head and cut the numbers by a fifth by myself. You guys got the rest yeah? Cool." He said casually thumbing along as he was releasing a string of light from his dark form leaving white footprints in his wake.

"Haven't gotten serious in a while, welp, can't be help." He stopped once he got to the halfway point between him and the closest side of the wave. "Cut them down with one swift blow. Come darkness, envelop the light and twist."

A stark figure appeared behind Luxu, towering the size of a dark side, but slightly larger. "Jötunn."

The Giant Shadow that loomed behind luxury possessed his appearance and keyblade and mimicked his motions as he swirl the gazing eye with a powerful swing and it surged a brush of what looked like an aero-based twister through the hoards that approached the dorms. He dropped his keyblade over his shoulders and the giant did the same as he waited for the remaining resolutes to pick up the pace, or die here.

"Now or never Resolutes. It's fight or die, you won't be escaping this time if you get caught out. Show me something!"
 
Last edited:

Lumine

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A Moment of Relief

“I don’t know… I don’t know what to believe anymore, Sae.” She sighed, her dark hair swaying as she shook her head. How could she even begin to tell him? Where could she even start? So much was wrong and so very little seemed right. And the glimpses of what truths she had witnessed, the hints and the memories and the secrets, in the shadows and in the light, drew such a terrible image that she wished deeply in her heart was not true, because if it was, then it meant that they had failed the Master. That they went against all that he wished they’d become. But truths are just truths, Shiki knew that all too well. And truths demanded to be answered as they are, harsh and cruel as they might be.

"Eth said you'd be here...I've been looking for you this entire time, so many questions I have, but well...when you're me, your body can only remember so much even if your mind forgets." He said, closing the distance between them. Her eyes searched him for the slightest moment, wondering. He hasn’t changed much, not since she last saw him. There were newer scars, she noticed. He seemed to have grown more, if it was possible, stronger. She felt as if his light was more tempered, a little more refined. It seemed that in one way or another, his heart remembered even if his mind couldn’t. She could only imagine the strangeness he’d experienced when he called upon his resolve, the paradox of knowing but not seeing. Especially when you entrusted too many things to your light. It must’ve been harsh to wake up to that.

He embraced her then.

Her breath caught in her throat. For a moment, she stood still in his arms. Emotions brewing beneath her skin. She was so relieved she could see him again, to know he was safe and sound. His heart beating and warm, and brimming with its own resolve and truths. And yet, her own heart felt heavy with what she had seen in the memories. Guilt and relief clawed within her chest at each other, the things she’d done. The things she might have to do, again. One part of her wanted to tell him to run, to leave. Maybe he had a better chance following his own task than trusting in her. But she just couldn’t abandon her friends. She put her arms around him. Not anymore.

She was done with losing people…

"Dig as deep as you like."

His scars glowed, and Shiki was thankful she could lose herself in someone else’s memories for once. She closed her eyes, rested her head against his chest. This time, she let the voices in, didn’t curb their pull, left herself wide open. She got swept away in the whispers, thoughts and memories, their light filling her silence, pouring through the emptiness till they overflowed her. She didn’t experience his memories as Shiki, she relieved the memories as him. Vivid as if they happened an instant ago. His awakening. The Keyblade graveyard. Reforge. The Lingering Will. And all the pain, the struggle and confusion. His dangerous flight through the lanes between worlds. The terrible trudge through Hollow Bastion. His dark and bizarre encounter with ‘Trace’, then his charged and tense meeting with Eth. So much in such a little time, but it all whirled and settled within her. One memory after another, like pages of a book, leafed through enough to know it cover to cover. She pulled herself out before she sunk deeper, before she intruded further than was needed to.

“You always were a reckless fool, Sae.” Her lips curled into an admonishing smile as she leaned backwards, “Taking on the Lingering will like that…” She shook her head at him.

The memory of Trace bothered her. His malevolent presence within Sae’s heart lingered at the edges of her thought. Another thing she didn’t remember, another deed to sit and contemplate. She didn’t mention it to him, and wouldn’t bring it up. His heart was his own, his choices and his secrets and truths belonged only to him, even if she didn’t like the dark presence that lingered there. She knew that he was sometimes too kind to a fault, but his heart always found the right path. He would deal with this in his own way and in his own time. After all, who was she to judge? Of all people. Look how she dealt with her own…

“Well, first things first, we have to find you some clothes,” she indicated his current attire with raised eyebrows, before sitting down on the steps next to him, “then we need to find the others.” Her voice grew solemn at that.

“I’ve only met Eth, and our meeting was rather brief. I didn’t… I didn’t remember him. Not really. I sort of knew him but the memories aren’t… there. It’s weird. ” she paused for a moment, almost in contemplation.

“All I had when I woke up in Cul-de-sac was the one memory of the Master before everything went blank. So what was left for me was simply to guess where the bread crumbs would lead me.”

“I’ve tried Castle Oblivion. I’ve tried data Twilight town, but to tell you the truth, the more I saw, the more I don’t understand. I don’t know what’s happened or what’s happening anymore.” She rubbed her eyes tiredly, “There was barely anything left to follow to begin with. Even Eth wasn’t very informative.” She wondered where he was now, where the rest of the others were.

“At least, he was okay.”

“I was weighing my options of whether I should come here or check out Traverse town when he suggested I might be able to find some information here. All I’ve gathered is that something went wrong in the past three years. Something so wrong to warrant wiping our memories.” She knew she was treading on thin ice here. Whatever she knew, there was time for everything even if she had so little of it left. Mistiming it, or handling things with negligence would cost them too much. More than any of them could bear. The things we want are not always the things that we truly need.

“Whatever happened though, we can’t let it continue like this.” She stood up, her dark coat billowed faintly as she descended the stairs and turned to him.

“I assume the Master left you a role to fill, just like me and the rest of the Resolutes.” She absently touched the left side of her neck, right where a dark roman numeral of II marked her skin, hidden by her hair. “We can’t fail him, Sae.” Her eyes met his. I can’t fail any of you.

“We need to fulfill our roles, and find a way to end this.” A faint melody flickered through the air as Memento mori materialized in her hand, “And we need to do it together.”
 
Last edited:

purgatory

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How was it that he braved the elements in such a manner, it made little sense to me. I listened intently to Eth's pleas, how he was a strobe of light lost to the realm of darkness, not much different than I. I'd taken a fondness to the name he'd decided to give the keyblade, but I had an even better idea.

"How about." it danced on my tongue, "Darkest Before?" I couldn't help but smile at my own craft.

The more I listened to Eth speak, the more I felt that I had mistakenly handled my words with him upon our first meeting. He seemed rather familiar, but his heart didn't seem very...connected? Not to mine no, but you could never tell with light or darkness just where the line is ally or enemy alike. It was comforting, vulnerability was comforting, even in a place like this where it all started...how I haven't seen anywhere else and it's felt like an eternity since I've been here.

Looking at the keyblade of white, tinted with red in between it's circles, my Cedo was all I was left with...and a message from the master. To find...him, the often fluted leader-esque armored man. I only knew his name. Iontis, #7 The Skyward.

"I don't mean to talk your ear off Midna, but everything thats happened to me is becoming a gradual eye opening experience. I suppose i'll trust that since you woke up here in the realm of darkness, then you didn't receive any additional memories, as light cannot freely travel between realms, worlds sure, but realms? My goal was to procure a method to stop the worlds from becoming physical manifestations of places that extend from here the Realm of Darkness, Harrowed Ends."

"
Additional memories...?" I paused, inquiring because I didn't know what he meant by that and continued to listen.

This divide, wasn't something I was particularly fond of. He seemed to know things, prior to the gap in our memories that I didn't. I didn't know the master for very long in my alchemic studies and he's a fairly recent figure in my life. To come entire your life, only to exit so quickly...all that you'd come to cling to, only seems to make sense in wanting to maintain what you built. My eyes squinted, as I could hear it at first before I could see it.

"
Uh-oh." I said almost instinctively as a hand emerged on the water inside of pool swirling of darkness.

"You wanna help me deal with that?" he turned to her briefly with a turn on his heel before he broke into a dash and I did behind him.

"
H-hey! Wait a minute Eth are you-!" my words didn't stop his legs from moving and neither could I allow him to just run towards danger alone. "Not again!" I shouted before diving directly into the pool of darkness and swimming behind Eth. The torrent was strong, and what happened, seemed to come about unexpectedly as I grabbed his hand and we were whisked further along. Passing what looked like the semblance of a cracked door. I clutched cloak and placed my keyblade to purge a light to convert us both into small lights chasing the crack, and emerging on the other side of it.

It was bright here.

I could barely feel anything as I move, a voice seemed feint but by the time I realized it, that very same voice was gone. My body shuffled, when I came to, my eyes searched to the left and the right. "
Wait a second?" a light skated past me and I could finally see it. I started to remember things, people, faces, and Eth's face was among them. Resolutes. Resolve. The Master, and the contentious situation he put us in, meeting? Others like myself, called that word..."Resolute" he said there were others, but this is the first I'd even known of them existing outside of Eth. Could this memory I was happening upon...even be deemed reliable?

"
Now that I know what you look like, where are you now...Iontis."

I jerked my head finally realizing it. Eth was gone, like, actually gone. My hat shifted to the side and I caught it briefly as it ruffled underneath a bit from my nervousness. I walked forward, my eyes scaled what looked like a cathedral of sorts. I walked away from the the door and entered the street level. It felt like the presence in this town was more...magnanimous than the realm of darkness, I'd never seen anything like it. Though if this truly was the end of days, it likely meant another barren - correction, almost.

Cedo to my side my steps were light and unfettered. The glaze of the hazel colored bricks warmed the soles of my heels. I let a release go as I came out wandering around and ended up at what appeared to be an Academy of sorts. Children, so few, that I could see where hanging around the front gates. Looking up, they approached as if they knew me.

"
First Shiki appears, now Midna? What a day." one of the young boys said.

"
Erebos was chasing someone earlier, he hasn't come back yet..?" spoke a concerned young girl.

"
Is the master with you Midna?? We miss his classes, but the staff said he hasn't returned from his leave of absence." One of the other boys said with a pout.

"
Oh...the master is spending time traveling, we're holding the line in his stead...you lot should go home soon.
" I said trying to maintain my composure, I certainly didn't remember them by any stretch of the imagination.

They shuffled past me as a group and I stood staring at the academy. Holding my head, I felt some sense of nostalgia here and yet the memories eluded me. With a sigh, I contemplated looking into the academy, perhaps something within would help me along? I was starting to wish Eth hadn't run off leaving me by myself. As I entered the doors, the hallway blew out and the doors and halls...were empty..? All of them. Looking around, it felt like a wasteland, and I thought to myself was this the last of the population..? This world should have more people here right..?


[HR][/HR]

This day series of events that followed had to really test my patience. Jay's silence didn't help me, Komaeda's incourigable banter was more than I could stand, the brusque nature of Try was also something I was adjusting to. These misfits, resolutes, all lacked the structure and decorum that I did from my family's military background. My short temper was a bi-product of both expectation combined with a myriad of stress. I knew this wasn't going to play out as well as I would like it to, but we were already taking risks. Iontis had parted ways and set off for the next world, and here we were on a place that wasn't threatened.

Yet it filled me with a strange feeling, I couldn't be secure. I couldn't feel ok, not now. The darkness swirled around me, and the others that remained, and we were dragged along, without enough time to get our bearings and forge a plan. The resistance at that point seemed pointless. I grunted as my eyes were flooded with light again.

"Wait...where are we...?" I said as my eyes fanned the outside and sure enough the massive building which looked like a home of some kind, cathedral esque victorian design, it was glorious. A hooded figure taunting us with a wave before disappearing, and watching Try give chase, no questions asked as she barked about honesty and trust. I shirked, slapping my face and burst through the doors alongside her, Komaeda, and Jay.

As he spoke, he unwraveled the web of his identity and confirmed who he was with a tattoo in the same vein as us. Proof enough, but...something was off about him. In the memory...we were here...weren't we? How did we get there in the memory...how did we get here now? Was Luxu responsible? Bringing us together now, was he expecting some form of cooperation? Hell, we were kind of already doing that so it wasn't out of the question but I was too methodical to just let him do whatever he wanted. Diem floated behind me, as well as Noctem.

I was honestly going to threaten him, but well, he was threatened and emphasized some Try level antics. Herculean strength to repel a Darkside's fist with a single finger. Who the hell was this Luxu?? In moments he darted past us as I was still on edge and sure enough as we went outside my eyes spread to the max. The dark clouds that picked up in the distance and the spawning of hoardes upon hoardes of heartless that just seemed...like a blatant full out assault. These numbers broke Traverse Town's waves by tens of miles. The collective of heartless were shuffling from an incredible distance away descending the hill and I staved, pulling Lucient into my hand. I watched him, Luxu, prance about and annihilate a flank alone, and he even said it. He said we could do that, and I thought to myself, in what world was he a believer in that?? With what?? My fist clenched and the stress was getting even harder to suppress, I wasn't used to being this anxious, this nervous, my composure is what made me who I am, but I was starting to really feel the stress this time.

"Damnit..." I said dropping to one knee, trembling as I watched his shadow towering over. This resolute was cut from a different cloth, but if he asked for our help, then I couldn't ignore him. This was the true nature and the true stress of my role, and I couldn't leave, not after everything the master had done for me prior to the things i've forgotten.

I had to resolve.
 

Deimos

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[I want to preface my post by saying I was given a set of instructions via PM, just so we're clear theres no confusion of my set actions in this post ;)]

It was often said and even speculated by the master so very long ago that the heart was a thing of beauty. It had the capacity to take on the burdens of the ver world, and the old saying was that all these worlds in the beginning where originally one world. All connected, all these hearts that aspired a tenderness and gentleness in the balance that seemed so heavily skewed now. One sky, One destiny, a fate that was shared no matter where anyone permeated space with their very existence. Saebyeolbe's quiet contemplation of this harrowing reality left him to ask many questions, more so than normal.

He naturally scratched his head, sterling gray orbs that he possessed were nothing short of alive. The morning star's ears twitched intently as he heed her choice of words intently. A small breath, the feint release of what little he could call relief, was the feeling nostalgic? It felt like a very similar conversation had, he was indeed reckless and much of what he'd done by throwing himself into the fray, to press for action over passive observation.

Sitting on a pile of rubble from the stones left over where a pillar from the old mansion stood, bleak and dark. He closed his eyes and simply listened, for the first time since he'd woken up, his muscle finally seemed as though they could relax. Even on the terror's of these harrowed ends, that he'd weather and then some for his comrades sake. Forward, the most dominant thought rest at the top of his mind.

"I haven't really maintained my fashion sense if we're being honest here." he said jokingly looking at his bare and scarred arms, exposed thighs, all beneath the cloak. What exactly happened, what did he even wear before he wondered? The role he was left with, seemed odd to him. As he'd surfed in between the crossfire and had to fight with very little rest up until this point, was he really any closer to answer? Perhaps it rested with the cooperation that Shiki seemed to be advocating for.

"The others. They've crossed my mind, but I can't say that I am particularly interested in their involvement in what I must do Shiki." Saebyeolbe seemed obstinate, but with reason he would then go onto explain. "Help, almost seems surreal. While I am not against it entirely, I will acknowledge this - I'm sure whatever your role is, the reason you were entrusted was it because the master must've felt you were the only one among his resolutes capable to carry out such a task."

He stood up and looked at her. "Someone like me. Asking for my comrades to stand by the way side, likely seems arrogant given the state of reality...but i've seen horrors beyond even that woman's capabilities....Try?" he said almost confused as he folded his arms.

"I don't remember enough about whatever happened, but I've realized something Shiki." Saebyeolbe clutched at his left arm, where the I radiated briefly. "What our memories were, what we did back then, seems inconsequential right now as we face the brink of extinction. That our history before that is all we were left with a a cryptic message from our departed master to guide us. So i'll trust not knowing and persist, whether I was meant to remember anyone doesn't seem nearly as important as what I must do."

He turned to give her a potent and warm smile.

"I may have forgotten, but it doesn't seem like much a secret that I really grew fond of you as a person precious, near and dear to my heart. For all our sakes, this pain thats acclimated over the course of years seemed to be what still connects us all. I must know what that means, all the more Shiki..." he paused briefly, "--You're correct in that we must do it together. So we shall."

Saebyeolbe had a collected understanding of one thing by this time since he'd come to wake. This world was a woeful wasteland, a shadow of it's former self and so did his ears pick up on the screams of resident's long since expired. How their hearts were filled with sorrow when even a bastion such the betwixt can become a shadow of it's former self under the right circumstances. Standing together in pain seemed to be the answer to his perpetuated question, something...not even considered given the nature at which he was forced to operate. Trust. How finite and limiting such a philosphy could prove to be, but to the challenge the nature, the goodness, the very hearts of the men and women he'd come to meet...the lingering will, Trace, Eth, Shiki even. Each person so very...very different, convictions and beliefs far from removed one another even by the subtlest of margins.

Saebyeolbe fell silent, on this harrowed end he listened and listened well even after Shiki fell silent. Trying explicitly hard to find something, the would go where was fresh, being inflicted. That very same feeling he trusted is what even brought him to Trace in the first place. Unable to ignore the duty to defend, a sharp pinching of a nerve cross his mind, he'd found them.

"I can feel in my bones. They need us, need us to return..." he drew silence as his Alabaster purged into his hand calling forth his vehicle.

"I'm going to open the lanes between. Dare I say I hope I'm not imposing, but we won't be acting separately anymore, got it? Reckless fool." he stuck his tongue out as his body and hers became encased in armor.

His Alabaster released a light that pierced through the sky of the darkness that shrouded the harrowed end and he looked up as it was a feint sign of hope for the two resolutes. He may have admittedly been altering her path perhaps, but one thing could be sure, he wasn't about to abandon a dear friend, memory or no.

"We'll go together." Saebyeolbe said to Shiki as both, powered through with the last of the well of light from the world. The hole in the sky, and broke through an unfettered darkness. He felt this a second time now, and his heart purged forth a road of light to safely guide them forward and reveal the enemies that awaited. "They're calling to us Shiki...something awful is happening, I can just feel it."
 
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This was still reality, wasn't it? That thought echoed in her mind again and again as she looked upon the hoard of heartless approaching. Everything felt like a dream. Why did Luxu seem to still remember everything, why did his mark seem strange? Was he really going to take on that many foes by himself? Why were all the worlds falling to darkness in the first place, why did she seem to care so much more about this particular world? It wasn't fair, just how long was this going to go on? Why did she need to keep fighting, knowing that it was all pointless? Why?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Wh-



"Stop Thinking. You Were Never Good At Thinking. Just Swing Those Idiotically Strong Arms Of Yours And Do The Only Thing You're Good For. Destroy."



A voice that was both nostalgic and terrifying. A voice that filled her with an unsettling calm. If her unease were a bucket of water upon her back, the voice was a drill into it's bottom that let it all out.

CRACK



A fissure appeared on her mask, running down it akin to a lightning bolt. Like a TV running static smashed in by a hammer the noise in her mind cut off. She held out her right hand. Her bright, translucent keyblade vanished, and in it's place another was summoned. This keyblade was-

Spoiler Spoiler Show


Try walked towards the army of heartless quietly. Her steps were different from usual, quick, as if her feet hated the very ground they walked on. A group of the mass of shadows ran towards her, she swung her blade to the right before they were even in melee range. A sound like the severing of flesh and metal across a chalkboard reverberated through the air. In the next moment the space in front of her shivered and quaked, a surreal sight to the eyes that defied common sense. Color vanished and objects warped for a split second across this space, as if it had been wounded by her strike. The heartless unfortunate enough to be caught in it's wake were torn apart. Half a second later came the echo, the same effect but slashing through space from the left instead of the right, taking out even more foes.
 
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Dari

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  • Superior of the In-Between
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The master moved his I in place with II as the frontline in the area called dorms. This made seven resolutes gathered in one place. Sliding his hand over the table, the endless waves of darkness would find trouble in staying truly endless.

"Take it as a compliment. You get to face seven of my finest in one place, Luxu being among them. Fat chance you walk away with any ground gained here sport." the master spoke poking at the disembodied mass as it's hand moved.

"Laugh it up while you can."

The figure moved a figure from it's side over to the world named "Cul-De-Sac"

"Have you already forgotten the casualties those poor fools caused..? Unwittingly expanding my options. Now you'll reap the consequences for your misguidance with this."


"Worlds are much like people themselves. Worlds possess hearts, and when those worlds lose those hearts, they enter a state known as a harrowed end. A world's state of being heartless. So then, what happens when you follow the rules of human hearts? Nothingness, Harrowed Ends, Lingering Remnants, Betwixt, it's all the same. The intersection of all four of these forms of existences and boom, we get here right? The End of Time."

The thumbed his hand over the board and moved his piece without a roman numeral forward, instead it was simply blank.

"Playing by the rules has never been my style, but I'm a man of principle. Trust. The prophecy as I've seen it already happened, we're in the endgame now old friend, I may half lost half of the bet and being here is proof of that, but these kids still got a shot."

"Arrogant as always, young master. It will be the unmaking of you and reality after all this fooling around you do."

"I train resolutes, not fools."

[HR][/HR]
[resolve]

"A classic age old tale of the light battling the darkness..." Komaeda uttered as he slowly removed himself from the doors. "
That has to be the epitome of flattery!!!"

He released an extremely loud cackle that seemed to explode outward and echoed off the brisk blowing of the wind.

"So this is your little ploy Luxu? These dorms conveniently targeted? So comes forth endless darkness and heartless seeking the heart of the world. Oh hooooo how convenient, downright lucky even. Well do me a favor Luxu." his eye orientation swapped and his left eye closed and the right one opened. "Smite them ALL alone."

Luxu simply laughed before it expanded outward and cast the Ethernal into his vacant hand, and his Jötunn did the same.

"As if your little trick'll work on me. I've only got one Master."

Luxu turned and shirked, the heartless forces were moving slow enough and for starters, he wasn't moved by this defiant asshole. Unlike them, he had his memories, to their knowledge they only knew what Try unintentionally exposed with the Traverse Town stunt that doomed the world. Luxu couldn't let it stand, the world was being engrossed in a wave of darkness, heartless, and the forces marched on the dorms door step from afar.

"Listen Komaeda. I really don't have time to deal with the shenanigans of trusting me midst a crisis. You want me to fight'm by myself, sure, I can. As can Try, AS IF the rest of you are worth anything less than the blade you came with." Luxu turned as did his Jötunn's shadow. "Unless you all wanna die, better get serious, I can't save any of you if I am fighting for my life as we-"

the ground rumbled and a demon tower came to sweep Luxu off the field and spirt him away towards the hoards with a flick.

"Lesson number 1. Resolve and say the words engraved in your heart. The heart never forgets, just a single phrase."

He landed and drew a deep breath, "Jötunn!" Luxu called as his shadow emerged from under him and he finely sliced through the demon tower and struck at the core with his other Ethernal.

"A powerful technique unique to each resolute. This fella here? It's called the All Series, named after the master's power he'd gifted each and everyone of us. It's your limit removal phrase to manifest the core of your resolve as a moving avatar. Each one of you has different functional variations, depending on how you battle. Some over others will have limited range, and your avatars can emphasize use of your resolve pending on what it is. Meant to mirror you, but be wary, your resolve is apart of you...if it gets taken out, say good bye to your power too!"

Luxu turned and sliced two Darksides that approached with wound up fist, cutting them to ribbons using his Jötunn's physical attacks.

Komaeda trembled, grabbing at both arms as he quivered with trepidation, how the darkness swirled, how they would soon despair. Recia was trembling not far from him, and Jay had gotten cold feet. In this place, that seemed so familiar to them, how rapidly it was becoming hell. How this hell was the reality they'd woken up to. The master, in all his knowing, kind, cryptic isms, and wit, would leave them to face what virtually seemed like impossible tides without so much as a single memory save for one isolated one upon waking. It was the cruelest of acts, one that didn't slip beyond his thoughts as he teetered between sleep and death before he awoke.

Try had finally snapped, the demented feeling permeated, he could feel the air grew colder. The young man was at wits end here, he knew the score, and he took but a single step, realizing those two were cowering.

"Fear's normal, Lucrecia." He spoke soft and with a sigh. "Don't disappoint us, you're incredible, take my word for it alright?" he gave her a nod, and a smile as his head tilted to the side and his Serendipity came to his hand.

"I'll give you the courage you need." his eyes remained unchanged, and it was then he issued a command. "Lucrecia. Jay...resolve. Fight until you can't anymore, you have to, or it's game over."


Komaeda's resolve activated for real this time, and he emitted a powerful light, and his influence would spread and affect the two of them as he drew his blade, gripping it like a dagger and raising the keyblade to fight as if he were holding a combat knife. His other eye opened, his command was issued, and a sigh left his breathe as his eyes swirled in pure madness.

"It's light that shall prevail, the darkness has NO place here!
"

Before you knew it, he'd walked slowly and placed his hand on Try's shoulder. "Not sure what's propelling you forward, but you've got help." he said point up at the sky, as he could faintly see something breaking through the atmosphere, all the wall a ball was seen rolling down the hill and rolling over, crushing several heartless. "If I had to guess the words engraved in my heart, the only that that sticks is..."
Nagito searched for the words.

Loki."

A mask emerged, and grafted to Komaeda's face, half worn and the corners of his mouth twisted with a heinous grin. Beside Try he was release insane volumes of his own light, and gripped his serendipity tightly. The clouds grew dark and the winds picked up, natural disasters were abound as he went from giving things a gentle nudge, to inducing certain ripples through time, chancing more and more on certain outcomes to manifest themselves, misfortune to befall the heartless as a bolt of lightning was hitting in multiple spots across the field and obliterating them into a black mesh of death and torment. A an apparatus of blue lux twisted around Komaeda as he grinned, finally understanding it.

"SO THATS WHAT YOU MEANT?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Chaos ensued and rippled throughout the long fields, between Try's repeating effects and the natural disasters to follow, he was hardly worried. Though the same could not be said for the stability of his overall sanity the longer Loki remained in play.


[HR][/HR]
[resolve]​

Eth walked slowly down the street of the cul-de-sac actually taking in the view for a change. He'd already gone back to the church but Midna had already gotten up and disappeared. Pressing a hand to his heart, his eyes were remorseful and full of a subtle sorrow. The other role he had to play in all of this explained to him in the past, taking the heat of everyone's frustrations as he was the only one who could. Limiting options to expand on certain relationships...all done to honor the master's will...or so he thought.

Where they supposed to be above the suffering that doing and being resolute meant..? Was it enough to have broken histories, the people they became as a result of those dire crisis weathered. Eth asked himself these questions, but he could only reflect on the memory of his mother, and if she were still around. How was she doing anyway? Cul-De-Sac sent some of their young to other worlds to combat the darkness, but none of them ever returned...and so the population depleted to what it is now.

It was Shiki's idea...the others weren't budging from their despair over the master and the help was appreciated, but Eth couldn't help but feel their hands were bloodied with the hearts lost to fight their war. Those kids...weren't expendable, they were valiant and brave, but they never returned home.

"Limit techniques. All Series. And the Linger Will's last gift. I have everything I need now...but do I really want to bring them all into it...? After what...was essentially my job...I'm so unreliable. Trusting me is a mistake." Eth sighed, as he firmly scratched his head, his hair was smooth as silk, it'd been some time since he'd felt it. He spent so much time roaming around hooded like Luxu and the master that he'd almost forgotten what his face looked like, what the touch his hair felt through his finger tips. Feeling his stomach, those two women from before in the realm of darkness, he finally remembered them too.

"Calpurnia and Vi. They were...angry because their friend Trace turned their homeward into a harrowed end and...he devoured the worlds heart and went on a rampage, forcing us to apprehend him. Shiki and I couldn't bring ourselves to killing someone who was human once, so we bound him to a console in Hollow Bastion while he trapped his comrades in the safety of the dark realm...Ugh, what else did we do...?"

He stroked his head again.

"Saebyeolbe and I...we were friends. I couldn't get too close to anyone, but...I tried anyway. I liked them, all of them...they made me feel...something. Less alone...less forgotten...acknowledged. Heh...I kinda miss them all, but lets weigh the options here." Eth said with a faint smile. "But nearly everyone hated me...was I so bad that I couldn't be trusted? It hurt...it hurt like losing my mother again when I was a child...like they were forgetting everything we'd gone through together as the collapse of what we had to do was on our shoulders."

Eth pulled up his sleeve to wipe his face, even more tears.

"Shiki was supposed to be the one to lie us all...but it turns out I ended up doing that too....and I paid the price, cost us so much grief and even our memories...why is it so important for us to suffer like this so we don't break any taboos...how did we become enemies, when all of our causes to resolve coincided with the goal of protecting so many innocents...that we gave up our innocence instead..."

He looked at his hands and felt his resolve flowing from him actively.

"Lets do it right this time...together." he balled his fist and turned to the academy, not realizing it's where his feet carried him. Children brushing past him, as if they didn't even recognize him, turns out he'd tampered with their memories too and he could see it. His eyes shifted from them in that instant and fell upon Midna. Midna...that wasn't even her name, not her proper name.

"Sorry about running off earlier...something in my heart was waiting for me here, I needed to see it for myself." Eth smiled, he believed this was her first time seeing him without the hood or hooded. He brought forth her creation, the one she called "Darkest Before" but he would stick to Dusklazer, it was his after all. He placed it into the cobble stone and invited her to sit on the bench with him.

"I think it's time you told me who you really are." Eth said sitting next to her.
 
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purgatory

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2nd Earth.
Cowardice.

My legs were shaking, that adrenaline from Traverse Town had long since faded. Irritation, frustration, fatigue, were all very real afflictions to me. Somewhere on this corporeal world we found ourselves wanting to survive, to live. How even though I was a resolute, this...THIS was the true nature of what I had to contend with. Seeing everyone here, perk up, wake up my shaking started to still.

I listened to Luxu and Komaeda's exchange, and I couldn't help but feel the thought provoking bastard was trying to make enemies out of someone just like us. The tattoo on his hand was already strange as it wasn't a true number...but none the less, he knew each of us. Couldn't I trust that anymore than I could the nightmare that was the darkness' descent? It was all building up, welling up inside, and I didn't know what I could do with it.

Anxiety.

I was drowning in that very feeling, these numbers could fuel multiple different wars across worlds...and this place wasn't a harrowed end so I could only imagine what one looked like. I thumbed through my brain for the resolve, my orbs were readied and steel, but my legs...and me, were not. I was trembling and it was a natural reaction sure. Then HE had to go and say something mundane again.


"Fear's normal, Lucrecia."

No shit sherlock, my snark rang in my head. I really didn't want to continue to feed into his captain obvious bullshit, whatever he tried on Luxu seemed to have failed, he moved onto Jay and I.

"I'll give you the courage you need."

I looked at him sideways for a second as my eyes narrowed rather quickly. Not likely, can you even fight yourself??

"Lucrecia. Jay...resolve. Fight until you can't anymore, you have to, or it's game over."

It then got weird from there. The sound of his voice possessed a weird ringing in my head, he was asking me to fight. My body began to stand, that anxiety was starting to wane rapidly and I placed my lucient to my left and took stance. Thoughts of my father's tactical training from base he taught me started to re-run inside of my head, this kind of strategy I hadn't implemented in a very long time. My head was ringing like the sound of a wind chime, this circulation of determination was surging to the surface.

Power sleeps, and before I knew it, something else came out.

"Noct et Diem" the two orbs slammed together and my resolve activated it's primal state. Something was different this time, essentially I never absorbed the orbs when this happened, but this time...I did.


"Griseo Aetheres."

Light was a pretty and all, but the color said something when it showed. The color was gray, the light leading from me dulled with a subtle calm and the area surrounding me as I stepped away, also gray. Burgeoning from my chest, an orb that I'd never seen before, a likely latent piece of my resolve, as it was starting to effect things in a rude fashion. There was a closed eye on this orb, and it seemed like it wasn't quite yet open as of yet.

I raised my Lucient, and held the Noctis in my other hand, it felt...almost permanent this time. This calmness, I hadn't felt like this in quite a while. To think that dad was such a strict and stoic man and would ask that of his only daughter, I didn't smile, but I gripped the guards of both key blades. Three orbs rotated around me now, and as two of them shot into the third, gray orb, the eye finally opened.

The heartless that were tagged by Noctem, where shot with a beam of petrification, as Diem pumped light into the gray orb several flashes of gray where fan firing cross the field. The heartless, where now frozen in time, but in a fitting sense of mortality, unmerficfully so. Turned to stone, unable to move, indefinitely and no duration to run out, when they bathed in the light for more than a hand full of seconds, we'll say around six, they were fully petrified. There was a haunting sound that the orb was making, it sounded almost ghoulish.

Try's second wave of a massed attack, hit with a devastating sound of stone crumbling, splintering off into dust and ashes. I looked on with a grimace as I wanted to forget about the awful unfair advantage I had here, and that wasn't even the full extent of what Gris could do...i raised my finger and formed it like a gun.

"Bang."

Diem purged a violently hot beam of light the swept across the field at it's maximum output firing continuously. Over the heartless, the splattering mesh of black and gray stone fragments decorated the field in a lovely gray colored wonderland. Thinking I couldn't do anything was foolish, I would fold them all back, neatly, before destroying every last statue one by one.



--------

To my surprise there was someone walking in the distance, dressed almost as if he'd belonged to this academy. The age of college student, but his face, as he inched closer and closer. Wait a minute, I thought in a huff as my heart skipped a beat or two, for only a moment I remembered. That memory...this is what Eth really looks like now...versus back then? He's definitely aged from what I could tell, a bit gracefully to be sure.

"Who...I really am?" I fumbled on the question for a moment. "I'm not sure I understand what you mean Eth."

I knew exactly what he meant, the names i've used over the course of a number of years stuck for a reason. Going by Ten and Midna my saving graces, but neither of these were my names that my parents gave me...nor the name of the master that trained me before the Master of Master's discovered me. My previous master...had actually told me a lot about the current one I had, prefaced my entire life as an observer and a name I was given.

"K
ambria. The name I was given by my mother and father, but my other name is Vera The Clarity, given to me by my former master preceding the Master of Masters."

I let aloft a sigh, it was rare to talk about something like this, no one to my memory really inquired about my past. I tapped my leg nervously, but Eth seemed to be listening attentively. "You know, its weird actually talking about this now post apocalypse. My old master said that the world would end and with it I'd be blessed with a family, and yet here I am, without one. Seems almost silly how wrong he got it you know?" I scratched my nose and blushed a bit as I looked forward at the just past the sun hanging in the west.

"You know something Eth." I took a brief pause before continuing to collect my exact thoughts, "I've been to this world before I encountered anyone else that is a RESOLUTE. As a merchant, I traded with the locals here, the children know me, and I was here during a disaster that befell the world some short years ago. Its still fresh in the minds of the residents and the effected keyblade wielding children here. I feel this world has survived, because it epitomizes resolve itself and how so many people here have that same resolve to persist, to survive, to hope."

I truly couldn't tell you why I was so open with him, it was almost like we knew each other better than I expected. There was a sense of familiarity that came from him, especially now...and being on this very world. I'd forgotten it all...maybe that was what the master wanted from us, to forget so we wouldn't worry about the past we can't recover in order to focus on the goal? It sounded like another one of my architected theories, but I couldn't help myself and the thought persisted.

"What about you Eth. Is that even your real name? Are you really number Zero?"

I leaned forward to roll up my right arm to display the roman numeral "X" on my right wrist and my had slid a ways off as the flick underneath, plucked a single ear exposed. I shuffled and repositioned my hat, blushing a violent red, "...you saw it didn't you..."
 
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~- Desperation -~

Jaz sat on the ground, violet eyes narrowed to slits. The Master stood a couple of feet from him, the disarmed keyblade laid between the. Dark paradise glinted in the twilight, he couldn't reach the blade without being struck. "You're still too tense Jac--."

"Shut up!" Jaz snapped, lunging forward, he snatched up his weapon and swung.

The strike was deflected, he was spun around and his shoulder screamed as the limb was forcefully pinned to his back. Humiliation burned Jaz's cheeks, and he fought back tears at the disarming. Why was he so stupid? The Master stepped closer, leaning in he whispered, "Calm. Your powers are starting rage, Jaz."

Squirming in the surprisingly tight grip, tears prickled at his eyes.
Why am I being so emotional? Jaz thought, his bitterness dripping from each syallable. He couldn't understand it, normally his interactions with the Master wasn't this frustrating, but today.... The twelve-year-old shook his head, closing his eyes tight as he tried to calm himself.

"Peace. How do you feel about ice cream?"

Jaz stiffly nodded, and the pressure eased up on his arm. Leaping away, he rubbed at his wrists even as he grumbled a bit as he listened to the Master talking. A hand clapped his shoulder, earning a wince from the boy, he held his breath as he waited to see what would happen next. The hand lifted from his shoulder, ruffling his hair and Jaz opened his eyes, looking up at the man that had moved in front of him. Leaning into the embrace, Jaz took comfort from the gesture, returning his eyes to a closed position once more. He took in the smell of the Master, memorizing it and he found it weird how the scent shifted. "Your resolve is a non-combative type, it's true strength lies beyond fighting. It will also reveal itself late to you."

"Why?" Jaz breathed.

"Because, despite your...lineage, you're special. You don't have the heart of a warrior."

Jaz doubted that fact, he had grown accustomed to being shunned by his village. Cracking open an eye, he looked at the Master with skepticism. "Yeah right, how about the ice cream?"

The master laughed and lead Jaz back to the nearby village, intending to make good on his promise.


Jay blinked the fog from her eyes, it seemed as if nothing had changed during her space out. Or, apparently she was wrong. There was another person there, and she wasn't sure who they were necessarily, glancing at Lucrecia for a suggestion of who the person was she watched as Try flipped out on them. She sprang to her feet, she nearly took a step forward even as she called, "Try, calm!"

The man that had caused the disruption spoke, sending Jay's skin crawling at the words. She understood that she was probably being unreasonable, but the air was changing with everyone there. So while unhappy, Jay wasn't surprised to see the heartless that had manifested. She tried to piece together the best course of action, especially with her lack of combative resolve. Yeah, thanks Master! She shouted mentally.

"Lucrecia. Jay...resolve. Fight until you can't anymore, you have to, or it's game over."

Her eyes skipped to him, fury gripping her as she screamed, "Sod off! We wouldn't have to fight if it wasn't for you!"

She knew she was being unreasonable, but that just wasn't something that Jay could help. The heartless that hadn't been petrified by Lucrecia moved toward her at the shot, conjuring her keyblades she was about to attack when a voice called out to her in her mind. Hesitating for the briefest of moments, she leapt away, her arm stinging again from where a heartless had cut her.

Sh....

She cut the thought short, knowing that if the thought finished she would be in trouble. She glanced toward the heartless, her brain scrambling to figure out what her resolve was. Why did she have to be a late bloomer? Why couldn't her resolve manifest before now? It was all so frustrating.

Jay destroyed a couple of heartless that got too close, anger burning in side of her as the man's command wrapped around her, compelling her to fight even as her entire being wanted to flee. She'd still fight, she'd give it her all but doubted that she'd be able to use her resolve. Not with it still being locked to her, she didn't even know the potential trigger word.

What was she supposed to do? She didn't want to die.

Wolves manifested on either side of her, their fur was a pale silvery-grey and their eyes glowed an ice blue. They stood at her chest, indicating that they bigger than normal wolves. They looked at her, calculating her desires before they jumped into the fray. She didn't remember calling them, she was pretty sure that she didn't. Another wolf manifested next to her, lowering itself so she could climb on, a thought coming to her mind she was about to ask when it spoke in her mind. No, we are not your resolve. We just are the wolves you can call to help you.

She frowned, she just wanted...

You'll unlock, you just have to break past the mental barrier you put in place because of your village. Once you do that, you can access it. You must learn quickly or you will die.

Jay grumbled a quick thanks, the sarcasm palpable before she directed the wolves to the ones on the outskirts, insisting on keeping Try and Lucrecia safe.
 
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Try took a deep breath, what seemed like steam seeped from the crack in her helmet. A hand was placed on her shoulder. Usually one would lose their hand if they recklessly touched her on the battlefield, but she wasn't the same woman she usually was right now. Her head tilted with curiosity as she watched her allies join the battle. They had interesting abilities, tied to their Resolute? She was sure she just heard something like that, it was hard to make out words. The thing that could only be called a Keyblade but not perceived as one was altering her senses. Words were like static and shattering glass. She tried to look at it, but it didn't have a shape.

Much like how the mind will conjure sight and sounds in the sudden absence of senses, this Keyblade appeared like one thing, only to change completely in the next second. Was she really even holding a Keyblade?

A Heartless leaped for her neck, she calmly swung the weapon. The neo-shadow broke into pieces like a disassembled radio. It didn't even take much force, in fact now that she saw it up close she knew now that this blade didn't 'cut' things, it tore them apart. Fine by her. Rip and tear, that's what she was here for.

She dove into the wave of Heartless, fighting naturally as only someone raised on a battlefield could.
 
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