W.I.T.C.H. Fan Fiction / Kingdom Hearts Fan Fiction ❯ The Keyblade Warriors ❯ Installment 1 ( Chapter 1 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Everything seemed peaceful.
Heatherfield was quiet; a light shower had started; and the moon was slowly starting to give way to the morning.
Yes, everything seemed peaceful.
Thrusting the covers off of him, 16-year-old Nick Kelly slowly reached for his blaring cell phone, wondering who'd be calling him at 4:30 in the morning. Yawning loudly, he flipped the phone open.
“H-hello?” Nick asked sleepily.
“Nick! Martin's at my house!” the unmistakable voice of Nick's girlfriend Irma Lair rang through the phone. That woke Nick up pretty quick.
“What is HE doing there?”
“No clue! Just get him out of here!”
“I'm on my way!” Nick exclaimed, rushing for his dresser. Two keychains sat there, emanating a mysterious light. Nick took both keychains into his hands and focused. Soon enough, the keychains transformed into Nick's keyblades, Oathkeeper and Fatal Crest. Instead of its normal silver hue, the Oathkeeper now glowed a brilliant gold as a result of a special power Nick had gained after he and Irma had defeated the evil Nerissa.
Keyblades in hand, Nick quickly exited his room and rushed outside.
Inside Irma's house, said 15-year-old brunette was trying to comprehend why Martin Tubbs was at her house at 4:30 AM - with a Keyblade, no less!
“Martin! Get out of my house!” Irma shouted, but to no avail. Martin just wouldn't leave. In fact, Martin seemed to inch even closer to Irma.
Thankfully, Nick made his entrance that moment, brandishing Oathkeeper and Fatal Crest. “Martin, what are you doing—”
Nick's sentence stopped on a dime as he took note of the keyblade that Martin was holding. It seemed to have a school motif to it. The handle was made up of a pair of clamps, the blade was a very long yardstick, and the tip was a pair of safety goggles. A beaker was dangling from the keychain.
As Nick studied the weapon, the words Scientific Theory ran through his head.
“Nick? Do you know why Martin has a Keyblade?” Irma exclaimed, wanting an explanation.
Nick stayed silent for a while.
“Nick?” Irma said again, only softer.
Five words escaped Nick's mouth:
“The Keyblade Wars have begun...”
“Keyblade Wars?” Irma and Martin repeated at the same time.
“Yeah,” Nick replied, launching into a story. “You see, the Oracle once told me that long ago, there was a trio of Keyblade bearers who eventually became corrupted by the amazing power of their keyblades. The dark sides of their hearts were beginning to show. The fools had no idea of the forces they were messing with. Eventually, they turned rogue, and began hunting down other Keyblade Bearers and taking their keyblades. The rogues began calling themselves the `Chasers'. They wreaked havoc for many years, until a pure-hearted Keyblade Bearer found the nerve to face down the Chasers. It was a long and fierce battle, but the chosen one was able to defeat the Chasers, but not at the cost of his own life. After the battle, the Oracle sealed the defeated Chasers in the deepest depths of Mount Thanos, and the only way they could be released was if someone of greater power than their own was able to make it to their tomb.”
Irma and Martin could only stare on, awestruck by Nick's story. Martin was the first to speak up, twirling his new Keyblade. “So, if I have a Keyblade... does that mean that the Chasers are back?”
“I'm afraid so, Martin,” Nick responded. “The real question is, who released them?”
Suddenly, Nick dropped his Keyblades and clutched his chest in agony.
“Nick! What's wrong?” Irma exclaimed.
“Someone's... someone's trying to... to take over my body...” Nick said with all the effort he could muster. Suddenly, Nick screamed out loud, his body enveloped in a dark aura. When the energy cleared away, Nick was no longer there. In his place was a young man who looked a lot like the “Ansem, Seeker of Darkness” that Irma remembered from Sora's stories.
“Ansem?” Irma asked cautiously, taking a step forward.
The man simply laughed. “How long has it been since I abandoned the name of my pitiful teacher. He was a fool.”
“So, I take it you're not Ansem?” Irma replied.
“Very perceptive, little girl,” the man replied. “I am Xehanort, leader of the Chasers.”
“So you're the one who released them!” Irma shouted, materializing Mysterious Abyss.
Xehanort laughed again. “Your efforts are futile, chosen one. Your pitiful keyblade cannot harm me where I am now. And remember, since I've possessed your little boy-toy, if you hurt me, you hurt him.”
Irma took a step back. He was absolutely right...
Xehanort laughed maniacally, but was cut short when Oathkeeper and Fatal Crest, which were laying on the floor nearby, flew straight into Xehanort's hands.
“What the...?” he exclaimed, trying to shake off the Keyblades. “I did not summon these infernal Keyblades! Who in their right mind...”
“That would be me, Xehanort,” Nick's voice rang out. “You didn't think I was going to let you get away with possessing my body, did you?”
A bright light burst from Xehanort as Nick made his way back. Once the two were separate, Nick charged forward and struck with both of his Keyblades.
Xehanort quickly disappeared in a swirl of dark energy. Before Irma could congratulate Nick, he quickly said...
“That wasn't Xehanort.”
“Huh?” Irma replied. Martin continued to stare.
“That wasn't the real Xehanort,” Nick answered. “He's still hiding. Where, I don't know.”
Nick walked up to Irma, taking her free hand and placing a violet rose keychain in it. “Here, Irma. You need this more than I do.”
When Irma looked at the keychain, it suddenly formed into Nick's backup Keyblade, Divine Rose.
“Wow,” Irma said in awe. “Thanks, Nick.”
“You can thank me later,” Nick replied, swinging Oathkeeper and creating a portal to Candracar. “We'd better see if the Oracle knows anything about this.”
Irma looked back at Martin, who was still twirling the Scientific Theory keyblade in his hands. “You're coming, too, Martin.”
After a bit, all 3 teenagers were in Candracar's royal palace, standing in front of the Oracle himself.
“I know of these Chasers,” the Oracle responded after hearing Nick recount what had just happened. “Xehanort used to be my advisor, like Tibor is now. However, he turned to the darkness when he saw the power it holds.”
“Figures,” Nick replied. “I have a feeling we may need some help if we're going to beat Xehanort AND the Chasers.”
“It just so happens that I have a new power for you, Guardian,” the Oracle said, raising his hands. Nick's golden yellow tank-top and green racing shorts began to glow, and were quickly replaced by an outfit similar to Sora's.
“These clothes have very special powers, just like the Keyblade Bearer from Destiny Islands.”
A glowing yellow orb appeared in front of Nick. “Take the orb,” the Oracle said. Nick slowly reached out and grasped the orb in his hand.
“And watch what happens.”
Suddenly, Irma was covered in a bright sapphire glow. “W-what's happening?” she exclaimed. She looked over to Nick, who was clutching his chest like before, only this time, he looked positively exhilarated. After a few seconds of this, Irma disappeared from sight and Nick threw his arms and legs out, a bright field of light flying outwards from Nick.
When the light surrounding him cleared, Nick was wielding Oathkeeper along with a new Keyblade that was orange and had a long silver wing at the tip and dangling from the keychain. The words One Winged Angel ran through his head. The silver on Nick's new clothes had shifted to a bright sapphire, and stars of powerful magical energy were swirling around Nick's legs.
“Wow! What happened?” Nick asked. The weird thing was, whenever Nick spoke, it sounded like he and Irma were talking at the same time. (Author's Note: When Nick is in his forms, just imagine Nick and the Guardian he fused with talking together.)
“With these clothes, you will have the power to fuse with your fellow Guardians to take on new forms and gain incredible power. You will have to discover the others' powers on your journey,” the Oracle explained.
“Sweet!” Nick responded, holding out Oathkeeper and One-Winged Angel. Focusing, the keyblades shot a series of magic bullets forward, opening a portal back to Heatherfield, where the other Guardians were chilling out at Hay Lin's apartment.
“Come on, Martin! We'd better tell the others!” Nick said, gliding along the floor into the portal, leaving Martin to follow.
“If they cannot stop the Chasers, no one can,” the Oracle said to himself.
In the basement of Hay Lin's folks' restaurant, the Silver Dragon, the other Guardians, along with Caleb and Blunk, were discussing something when Nick (still in Aquatic Form) and Martin came in through a mysterious portal, surprising everyone.
“Okay, I have two questions,” Will Vandom asked. “One, what is Martin doing here, and two, why does he have a Keyblade?”
“Long story, girls and guys,” Nick replied. “Here's the short version: this guy named Xehanort unleashed these super-strong freaks known as the Chasers, and we need to stop them!”
“The Chasers?” Caleb said with a hint of worry.
“You know those weirdos?” Cornelia Hale asked.
“Long ago, when I was just a child, the Chasers wreaked much havoc on Meridian. And then, I thought all Keyblade Bearers were supposed to be pure-hearted...”
“That kind of power will do that to you,” Nick added.
“Speaking of which, where's Irma?” Taranee Cook asked.
“Oh, yeah. I forgot about that,” Nick replied, and in a bright flash, Nick and Irma separated.
“Wow! What happened?” Hay Lin asked, awestruck.
“We went to see the Oracle about Xehanort, and he gave me some new clothes with some very special powers. He told me that I could fuse with you guys to gain some incredible abilities. Right now, I can only fuse with Irma. He said I'd have to discover the other Forms as we continued on our journey.”
“And that journey is about to begin,” the voice of Hay Lin's grandmother rang out as she entered the room. “I am sensing a very powerful evil...”
“It must be the Chasers!” Will exclaimed, materializing her Keyblade, Hero's Crest.
“I'm sensing a weird energy, too,” Nick added. “I think another Keyblade Bearer's just been chosen!”
“That must be who the Chasers are after!” Taranee exclaimed, materializing Bond of Flame.
“Come on, Guardians! Let's do this!” Nick shouted as Cornelia and Hay Lin materialized their Keyblades, Seismic Star and Sword of the Storm. Together, they all rushed out of the Silver Dragon, Caleb and Blunk not too far behind.
On a mountaintop, Will's boyfriend Matt Olsen was facing down a heavily armored figure with a monstrous weapon. What was peculiar about this scene was that Matt was holding a Keyblade as well! This new Keyblade had a motif that clearly represented Matt's job at the pet store. The handle was a pair of green and yellow parrot wings, the blade was a series of thick leaves, and the tip was a bald eagle's head with a very sharp beak. A little dormouse that strongly resembled Mr. Huggles dangled from the keychain.
“Hey, man, what do you want from me?” Matt asked, holding up his keyblade in defense.
“I want your keyblade, chosen one,” the armored figure said.
“Keyblade? What the heck are you talking about?” Matt shot back.
It was just then that Nick and the Guardians flew onto the scene, with Caleb and Blunk bringing up the rear. Nick looked at Matt's new weapon and the words Animal Breaker shot through his mind.
“Will!” Matt shouted.
“I take it you're one of the Chasers?” Irma shot to the armored figure.
“Yes, I am. My name is Mexsan,” the Chaser replied.
Suddenly, Nick was hit by a realization. “Yeah, I knew that... Xemnas.”
Everyone gasped in surprise - they thought that Nerissa had absorbed Xemnas during their final battle.
“You catch on quick, warriors of the Keyblade,” Xemnas replied. “That fool Nerissa only absorbed my clone. I lived on. I would actually like to thank you for destroying that fool Nerissa. She was... a roadblock.”
“Does it look like I want your sympathy, Xemnas?” Nick shot back, flying for Xemnas, his Keyblades raised. However, Xemnas was ready, swinging his gigantic weapon straight for Nick. Not only did the weapon block Nick's attack, but it broke through Nick's guard and sent him crashing to the ground.
“Oh, you're going to pay for that, Xemnas!” Irma exclaimed, drawing Mysterious Abyss and Divine Rose. Xemnas swung his monstrous weapon again, but Irma expected the strike, doing a flying loop-de-loop over the blade and striking with Divine Rose. However, the powerful keyblade didn't seem to leave a dent in Xemnas' new armor.
“Pitiful. Why don't you vanish?” Xemnas said as emotionless as ever, aiming a powerful electric attack straight for Irma.
Nick wasn't about to let his own girlfriend get zapped, so he took out the orb that the Oracle had given him and focused on the energy it was emitting.
“Light, GIVE ME STRENGTH!” Nick shouted, and the silver orb began glowing a radiant sapphire.
Just in time, Irma began glowing the same color and disappeared from sight just as Xemnas unleashed his attack. Back on solid ground, Nick's body was now glowing a bright silver as he transformed.
When the light cleared, Nick was back in Aquatic Form, wielding Oathkeeper and One Winged Angel.
“So, you have a new power,” Xemnas stated. Saying nothing, Nick answered by holding both of his weapons towards Xemnas and shooting a stream of magic bullets for the leader of Organization XIII. He quickly held up his giant weapon in defense, but the humongous blade was no match for the bullets of pure magic that Nick was shooting, which quickly pierced through the weapon and struck Xemnas one after the other.
When the assault was just about over, Nick tossed his Keyblades around him, then thrust his hands towards Xemnas. A gigantic water spout surrounded by electric energy shot from his outstretched palms. A few seconds later, the “electrospout” made contact hard, sending Xemnas sprawling to the ground. Nick then caught his Keyblades again.
“How's that for you?” Nick shot as Xemnas composed himself.
“I say... there's no such thing as light,” Xemnas replied, his hands glowing with dark energy. Suddenly, Nick was encased in a dark orb. Before he could raise his Keyblades in defense, thousands of laser beams shot for him, knocking him around like a rag doll. When the assault ended, both Nick and Irma were on the ground and very beaten up after having been knocked out of Aquatic Form.
“Fools. I expected more from the bearers of the Keyblade,” Xemnas said, aiming a laser sword for the two lovers. It didn't seem like there was anything that anyone could do. But...
“STOP!” Will shouted without even knowing why she'd just said that. Matt was probably the first one to notice that Will's body was covered in an illuminating ruby glow as she shouted her command.
With all the effort he could muster, Nick looked at the fusion orb; it was now glowing a bright ruby. He looked up to Will and smiled. Will was smiling, too. She looked over to Matt.
Nick held his arms out.
“I'll see you in a flash,” Will said before disappearing from sight.
With that, Nick threw his arms out again, and a blinding light covered the entire region. When it cleared, everyone - especially Matt - looked at Nick's new form in awe.
The silver on Nick's clothes was now glowing a bright red. Ruby electricity was emanating from Nick's hands and all around his Keyblades. He was wielding Oathkeeper and another new Keyblade that seemed to have a jungle motif to it. The handle had a series of small spikes lining the outside of it, the blade seemed to curve outward a bit, and the tip was an open lion's head with very sharp teeth. A bear head was dangling from the keychain.
The words Circle of Life immediately rang in Nick's head.
Nick walked over to Irma and held Oathkeeper over her. All of a sudden, a very pretty flower appeared over the brunette, showering her with sparkles of light energy. When it disappeared, Irma stood up, good as new.
Nick looked back up towards Xemnas.
“It's on now, nobody.”
Brave Form Nick looked up at Xemnas, clutching his Keyblades.
“Do you know what I did wrong last time, Xemnas?” Nick and Will's voices asked at the same time. “I was merciful. I didn't finish you when I had the chance. I won't make that mistake again.”
With Irma backing him up, Nick charged for Xemnas, swinging his dual keyblades all the while.
All of a sudden, someone shouted the word “FORCE!” and a dark orb descended upon Xemnas. The orb seemed to have strong gravitational effects, as Xemnas collapsed to the ground, his armor shattering to reveal his black-and-white robes.
Nick and Irma, as well as Matt, Martin, Caleb, Blunk, and the remaining Guardians all looked around to see who had just done that. Nick was the first to spot the caster: a boy of about 16 with black and silver clothes that held traces of red, blue and yellow as well. Nick instantly recognized the person now!
“Sora!” everyone shouted. Indeed, Sora was standing there on top of the nearby mesa, with Donald and Goofy right behind him.
“Yep, I'm back,” Sora replied, twirling a new keyblade in his hands. Nick looked at it. It seemed to have a wizardry motif to it. The handle was covered with yellow stars, the blade curved outward, and the tip was a bright star inside a medal with sharp edges. A fluorescent moon was hanging from the keychain. The words Star Seeker ran through Nick's head.
“So, the first warrior of the Keyblade has returned,” Xemnas replied, composing himself and drawing his laser swords.
“You better believe it, Xemnas,” Sora replied. “And I have friends.”
As Sora said that, two more teenagers came into sight - teenagers that Nick recognized as Sora's best friends Riku and Kairi! What was more surprising was that both Riku and Kairi were holding Keyblades!
Nick looked at Riku's keyblade first. It seemed to have a darkness theme to it. The blade was a lot like Riku's old weapon, the Soul Eater, and the tip was a pair of dark angel wings. The symbol of the Heartless was dangling from the keychain. As he studied it, the words Way to the Dawn shot through his head.
Kairi's keyblade looked a lot like Sora's old Three Wishes keyblade, only it seemed to be covered with hearts. The colors of pink and yellow seemed to be a theme. The word Sweetheart ran through Nick's head as he studied the 16-year-old girl's keyblade.
“Okay! Let's give Xemnas a real pounding!” Sora shouted. “Strike Raid Triple Strike!”
Riku and Kairi nodded at Sora's proclamation and quickly readied their weapons. Before Xemnas could react, Sora, Riku, and Kairi all leaped off of the mesa. When they landed on the ground, they threw their spinning keyblades straight for Xemnas. A few seconds after they struck, the trio of Keyblade bearers called their weapons back and threw them again and again. The assault kept up for a while.
“We should give them some help,” Nick noted, covered in a bright light. When it cleared, Nick and Will had separated, reverting out of Brave Form. Everyone who had a Keyblade readied it for the attack.
“Now!” Nick exclaimed.
With that, all of the Guardians and Keyblade Bearers began throwing their spinning keyblades straight for Xemnas.
Suddenly, many voices began laughing maniacally, drawing the attention of everyone present.
Nick was the first to notice that a few other heavily armored figures (along with one less armored, presumably a female) were standing on a mesa overlooking the battlefield.
“The Chasers!” everyone but Xemnas shouted.
“That's right,” the first figure said.
“We have been revived by the almighty Xehanort,” the second figure said.
“And he gave us a little gift,” the female figure said.
Together, the other Chasers raised their hands, glowing an eerie shade of purple. Soon enough, a bright flash covered the area, and when it cleared, everyone noticed a gaggle of at least 12 other people in black robes.
The Chasers had just revived Organization XIII.
“That can't be good,” Nick noted.
The members of the renewed Organization XIII all looked down at the Guardians and Keyblade Bearers.
“Wow. Didn't know that `Keyblades' was the new central theme,” Axel, the `Flurry of Dancing Flames', noted.
“It's all a part of the Keyblade Wars, you nut,” Larxene, the `Savage Nymph', shot back.
“Now we can REALLY have some fun,” Xigbar, the `Freeshooter', replied.
Most of the Organization members disappeared in columns of darkness. Only two remained on the scene.
“I can't believe this!” Irma shouted. “Those armored dudes just supercharged those Organization freaks!”
“We `freaks' are now more powerful than you could ever imagine,” Xemnas replied before disappearing himself, the Chasers not too far behind. Will noted that they were heading for the Meridian Jail. Wait. Does that mean...? Will thought.
The two members of Organization XIII that remained on the battlefield unfurled their hoods. Now, they could be identified as Demyx, the `Melodious Nocturne', and Marluxia, the `Graceful Assassin'.
“Okay, dudes, who wants to be first?” Demyx shouted, drawing his sitar.
“Patience, water boy,” Marluxia shot back. “We cannot simply charge into battle. Not against THIS many Keyblade bearers. We must find the weakness of the group. Take out the strongest link, and the rest will fall one by one.”
Back on the battlefield, Nick readied Oathkeeper, when all of a sudden, he felt a pulsing energy. Out of curiosity, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his Drive orb. It was pulsing madly, glowing a mixture of golden yellow and royal blue.
He looked back at the Guardians. Hay Lin was enveloped in a bright turquoise glow.
“Wow! This must be a powerful new form for that thing to be going crazy like that!” Irma noted.
Hay Lin nodded and disappeared from sight. Nick concentrated and threw his arms out, covered in a blinding light.
When it cleared, Will was the first to notice Nick's new attire.
Nick's clothes colors had shifted from silver and black to golden yellow and royal blue. A turquoise headband was draped around his forehead, and a four-pointed cross adorned the pant legs. He was twirling Oathkeeper in his right hand, a yellow electric bolt coursing around his arm. Nick's left hand was encased in a shining blue orb, and just a couple inches away from his hand, a new keyblade was spinning around in midair. This new keyblade seemed to be modeled after magic itself. The keyblade was colored light blue, its handle curved outwards into an oval shape, and the tip was a cross between a blue star and a yellow heart. The entire keyblade was encrusted with ancient runes and magical jewels. The word Spellbinder ran through everyone's heads.
“Okay. Which of you wants to be first?” Nick and Hay Lin's voices shouted together.
“I'll take you both out with just one strike!” Demyx shouted, charging for Breezy Form Nick.
“Wait, you fool!” Marluxia shouted to Demyx, but to no avail. “That guy always was impulsive...” With that, Marluxia disappeared.
As Demyx inched closer to Nick, who just stood there smiling all the while, the Melodious Nocturne began swinging his sitar.
“Dance, water, dance!” he shouted, playing on his sitar and creating liquid clones of himself. Nick stood there until the clones were inches away from him.
What happened next came so fast, no one saw it coming. All they saw was Nick spinning his keyblades around him. In an instant, all of the liquid clones were gone.
“What the...?” Demyx exclaimed. Nick stole a glance at the sitar-playing Nobody before leaping up to his position. Grinning the entire time, Nick began attacking rapidly, slamming his keyblades into Demyx over and over again before delivering the coup de grace - a leap back followed by Nick throwing his keyblades straight for Demyx. He held his sitar up, but it was no use; the powerful blades tore through his instrument - and then right through him.
It took a while - and a lot of whimpering on Demyx's part - but the force of the attack eventually took its effect. Demyx's body broke up and faded back into darkness.
With that out of the way, Breezy Form Nick landed gracefully on the ground near where everyone was standing to a storm of applause.
“That was incredible!” Irma shouted.
“You took that little freak out with one strike!” Taranee continued.
“Just doing what I've got to do,” Nick replied.
Suddenly, Will gasped in shock as she remembered...
“Guys! There's no time to celebrate just yet!” Will exclaimed. “I saw those Chaser guys heading towards the Meridian Jailhouse! I think they're trying to break Phobos out of jail!”
“That's not good!” Caleb replied. “I don't want to have to go through any of that again!”
“Then let's go stop him,” Nick and Hay Lin's voices rang out.
As the Guardians and Keyblade Bearers raced towards the Meridian Jailhouse, no one noticed that a member of the Organization, who was carrying a large blue shield, was watching them.
“You fools have no idea who you're messing with,” the Nobody said. A gigantic dragon-type Heartless flapped its wings and floated aside Vexen.
“Storm Rider!” Vexen shouted. “This is your chance to prove your worth to me. Eliminate the Keyblade Bearers and those meddlesome Guardians!”
The Storm Rider nodded its giant head and flew off towards the path our heroes are taking.
“I have already been defeated once by that brat Sora. It will NOT happen again,” Vexen said to himself before disappearing in a column of darkness.
As Nick and his friends inched closer to the jailhouse where Phobos was being kept, they noticed a large number of triceratops-like beasts stampeding in the way.
“We don't have time for the likes of you!” Nick shouted, materializing Oathkeeper and slamming it into the creature's side, knocking it off balance and clearing a road. Another beast charged for them, but Will materialized the Heart of Candracar keyblade and did a flying somersault over it, slamming the blade into the creature's back on the way down.
As more of the creatures came by, more just kept going down. Even Riku and Kairi were getting into it. Riku had blasted one in the face with his Dark Aura, and Kairi had smashed her Sweetheart keyblade into another's leg, toppling it instantly.
Once they had reached the jailhouse, however, they were greeted with a very unpleasant sight: Phobos was standing, free as a bird, right next to Vexen, the “Chilly Academic”.
“We meet again, Guardians,” Phobos said with a sneer.
“Phobos!” Caleb shouted, holding the Fenrir keyblade in a battle stance.
“I have given the true ruler of this land some incredible powers, the likes of which YOU'VE never seen before,” Vexen said, and with that, Phobos summoned a weapon that looked a lot like...
“Demyx's sitar!” Nick shouted. “Didn't Hay Lin and I destroy him already?”
“That's the thing. I can now use the weapons of any Organization members who have fallen in battle. It will make my plan unstoppable!” Phobos explained, laughing maniacally.
“What plan?” Will shouted.
“If this is Phobos we're talking about, it's got to have something to do with the queen...” Hay Lin mused.
Suddenly, it hit Nick like a ton of bricks.
“He's planning on turning Queen Elyon into a Heartless!” Nick and Sora exclaimed.
“You catch on quick, warriors of the Keyblade. And now, we shall take our leave,” Vexen said chillingly before he and Phobos disappeared in a column of darkness.
“Quick! We've got to follow them!” Sora shouted, materializing his Star Seeker keyblade.
All of a sudden, a loud roar shook the jailhouse and almost knocked everyone off of his or her feet.
“What was that?” Donald shouted.
Irma looked up and gasped.
“That's what!” Irma exclaimed, pointing upwards through a hole in the ceiling. A gigantic dragon was floating there, and on its head was the symbol of the Heartless.
“That's the Storm Rider!” Sora shouted, remembering the gigantic dragon-turned-Heartless that attacked The Land of Dragons' royal palace.
“We're gonna need to go airborne if we're going to stop that thing!” Nick exclaimed.
“My thoughts exactly, Nick,” Sora replied.
Donald and Goofy walked over by Sora.
“Ready, Sora?” Goofy asked.
“As I'll ever be,” Sora said, pulling out his Drive orb from his pocket.
“I guess that's our cue as well,” Nick said to Hay Lin, who nodded and walked over by Nick, who had pulled out his own fusion orb.
Donald and Goofy began glowing dark blue and emerald green, respectively.
Hay Lin began glowing a royal blue.
“Light, GIVE ME STRENGTH!” both Nick and Sora shouted at the same time. Donald, Goofy, and Hay Lin all disappeared from sight as Nick and Sora transformed.
When the light cleared, Nick was back in Breezy Form, wielding Circle of Life and Spellbinder.
Sora's clothes had changed to black and bright yellow. Like Breezy Form Nick, Sora was wielding 2 keyblades, one regularly and the other telekinetically. His right hand, which was wrapped in a golden yellow bolt of electricity, held the Star Seeker. The one that was enveloped in his telekinetic hold seemed to have an ancient Greek theme to it. A double-edged blade led to an old Roman palace on the tip, with a half star used for attacking. The Olympus Stone was dangling from the keychain. The words Hero's Crest ran through everyone's heads.
Everyone who could fly did so, chasing after the Storm Rider, which was heading towards the palace. Cornelia had picked up Caleb, who was holding onto Blunk, who was screaming like heck. Irma had picked up Martin, and Will was carrying Matt. Surprisingly, they were all able to keep up with the Storm Rider despite the extra weight.
Breezy Form Nick and Master Form Sora (who was covered by an Aero barrier) both shouted, “THUNDER!” and shot lightning bolts straight for the dragon, which easily dodged it. Taranee kept shooting fireballs straight for the Storm Rider, but they were simply swatted away by its tail.
“This isn't working! We're going to have to get on that thing's back if we're going to stop it!” Nick shouted. Sora nodded, floating over to the back of the enormous dragon. Nick and Irma (who had handed Martin over to Taranee) quickly followed suit, Irma materializing both Mysterious Abyss and Divine Rose.
Once Nick, Irma, and Sora had landed on the Storm Rider's back, they immediately began searching for a weak spot.
“I see something!” Irma shouted over the wind resistance, pointing to a pair of horns that seemed to be glowing bright red.
“Of course! Now I remember!” Sora exclaimed. “The horns! That's its weak spot!”
“Then I think you know what needs to be done,” Nick replied. Charging forward, he began spinning himself around in mid-jump, his keyblades following him and slamming into the Storm Rider's left horn. Sora began doing the same thing to the right horn, while Irma attended to a horn that rested on the center of the Storm Rider's backside.
After a while of this, Nick was the first to crack the horn he was attacking. The Storm Rider roared in agony and tried to shake the trio off. Meanwhile, the others, who were flying behind the massive dragon, were swerving around to avoid getting slapped out of the sky by its rather large tail.
As the Storm Rider tried to shake its attackers off, Irma and Sora only stepped up their attacks, eventually piercing through the other horns. The dragon screamed loudly and began thrashing, trying to force the trio off. Breezy Form Nick jumped high into the air, aiming an attack straight for the Storm Rider's exposed head.
“Irma, you may want to cover your eyes. This one isn't going to be pretty,” Nick said, charging for the head.
It happened so fast no one saw it coming.
Irma and Sora had to cringe as Nick literally drove the two keyblades straight into the forehead of the Storm Rider, completely stopping it. Irma and Sora had to jump to avoid getting thrown off by the whiplash.
The defeated Storm Rider began flapping its wings and thrashing about until it finally broke up into little pieces and disappeared, a giant silver heart heading skyward.
His Guardian wings fluttering, Breezy Form Nick floated there, carrying Master Form Sora safely to the ground, where the others were waiting.
Once the trio had touched down (and Nick and Sora reverted out of their forms), a wall of blinding light surrounded them all.
“What's going on?” Nick shouted.
“We're being summoned somewhere!” Donald exclaimed.
“And I think I know where we're going,” Sora stated.
When the light cleared, everyone was standing inside a palace of sorts in front of an old, yet very wise-looking wizard in blue garments, and a mouse wearing royal clothes and carrying a Keyblade.
“Your Majesty!” Sora, Riku, Kairi, Donald, and Goofy exclaimed at the same time.
“So, you must be King Mickey,” Nick said, walking up to the tiny king. “Sora and his friends told us all about you. We're the Guardians of the Veil. I'm Nick, and this is Will,” Nick explained, pointing to each of the Guardians in turn, “Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, and Hay Lin.”
“So, the Keyblade Wars have begun, huh?” King Mickey replied, noting that the other three boys that were here also had keyblades.
“Yeah. I was wondering if you knew anything about these Chasers?”
“The Chasers?” the old wizard asked.
“Master Yen Sid!” Sora, Donald, and Goofy proclaimed, doing a sort of bow.
“I take it you know those armored freaks?” Irma asked.
“Yes. Long ago, the Chasers used to be Keyblade Bearers who only used their keyblades for good intentions, much like yourselves. However, over time, they began to see the infinite power of their keyblades in the worst possible light. Their hearts were eventually consumed by the darkness. However, they produced no Heartless, being that they were Keyblade Bearers. They began calling themselves the Chasers, hunting down other Keyblade Bearers, defeating them, and taking their keyblades,” Yen Sid explained.
“Yeesh. And I thought my sister was possessive,” Cornelia responded.
“Eventually, they were defeated by a Keyblade Bearer who found the courage to face down the Chasers,” King Mickey continued the story, “sacrificing his life to release the power of his Keyblade and defeating the rogues.”
“Yeah. After that, the Oracle sealed them up in the deep depths of Mount Thanos, and they could only be revived by someone of greater power than their own,” Nick finished, recounting what the Oracle had told him.
“There's this guy named Xehanort who I think is commanding the Chasers now that they're back,” Irma noted.
“Xehanort has indeed returned,” Yen Sid proclaimed. “He is now more powerful than he was before turning into a Heartless. He must be stopped.”
“There may be a small problem with that,” Nick interrupted. “We have other problems, too. Organization XIII is back, and Phobos is trying to turn Queen Elyon into a Heartless!”
“That little freak is NOT touching my best friend!” Cornelia exclaimed.
“But how would that be possible?” Hay Lin asked. “Elyon would NEVER surrender to the darkness!”
Suddenly, Nick was hit by a realization.
“What if Phobos is trying to do the job via an outside source?” Nick explained. “What if he's trying to create something that would FORCE Her Majesty to surrender to the darkness?”
“Where would he get that kind of power?” King Mickey asked.
Nick thought for a while. Suddenly, all the Guardians gasped.
“The Crown of Light!” everyone shouted.
“That settles it!” Nick exclaimed. “We need to get back to Meridian and stop Phobos!”
“I'll take you guys there,” King Mickey said.
“Thanks, Your Majesty,” Nick quickly responded.
“Warriors of the keyblade,” Yen Sid stated. “Be very careful. The Chasers will try to mess with your head, to make you think that darkness is the only way. Fight bravely, but fight carefully.”
“That shouldn't be a problem, Master Yen Sid,” Nick replied. “Come on, everybody! We've got a queen to save!”
With that, King Mickey swung his Royal Kingdom Key and created a portal that led to the Meridian Royal Palace Courtyard - the quickest way to the throne room. Everyone present ran into the portal.
Outside the castle, unbeknownst to Yen Sid, Xehanort was floating there, grinning evilly.
“Stupid chosen ones,” Xehanort declared. “It's already too late to save your queen...”
After a while, Nick and the Guardians, flanked by Sora, Donald, Goofy, Martin, Matt, and King Mickey (Blunk, Kairi, Riku, and Caleb had stayed behind to protect Yen Sid) came through a portal into the palace's royal courtyard...
...only to find everything completely frozen!
“What the...?” Nick asked. “What happened here?”
“Why is everything all glassy and arctic?” Irma asked.
“It looks like Heatherfield during the winter,” Matt noted. “And that's saying a lot.”
“Vexen,” was all Sora said, twirling Star Seeker in his hands. “He froze the place. I'll bet he's trying to keep us at bay so Phobos can turn the queen into a Heartless.”
“Don't you catch on quick,” Vexen's voice rang out as he floated down from above, carrying a blue shield with the Nobodies' symbol.
“Where's Elyon?” Cornelia exclaimed, her Seismic Star keyblade appearing.
“The condition of the queen is none of your business,” Vexen replied, brandishing his shield. “My duty is to stall you while Phobos turns his sister into a Heartless. You will not pass!”
On the word “pass”, Vexen shot a bright blue beam from his shield. Everyone dodged the icy blast while trying to keep their balance on the slippery floor.
“I've had enough of this!” Nick shouted. “Move it or we'll MAKE you move!”
Vexen stood his ground, shield held high.
Nick grinned. “Didn't think so. THUNDER!”
With that, Nick swung his right hand forward, shooting electric bolts straight for the Chilly Academic. Vexen, however, simply absorbed the bolts with his shield, and fired them right back in the form of enormous ice chunks. Nick was struck right in the face, and crashed to the ground before he could react.
Irma suddenly stepped up, wielding Mysterious Abyss and Divine Rose.
“You forgot one very important thing, you arctic freak,” Irma explained with a wide grin. “Water and ice is my element, too.”
With that, Irma held her keyblades out and began spinning like a top, a powerful waterspout forming around her. After a while of spinning, Irma leaped out the top of the spout and landed right in front of it. Thrusting Mysterious Abyss towards Vexen, she guided her Tsunami Strike attack (“It just came to me,” Irma says) straight towards the on-guard Nobody.
Vexen simply froze the spout with his powers...
...just as Irma had planned.
Once the watery tornado was completely frozen, Irma charged forward, slicing through the frozen spout with Mysterious Abyss and attacking the surprised Vexen with Divine Rose. Vexen didn't have the chance to get his shield up in time, and was sent flying from the force of Irma's surprise attack.
However, Vexen was back on his feet in no time.
“You got lucky, water girl,” Vexen said. “That's not happening again.”
Suddenly, everyone could hear a pulsing sound. They all looked towards Nick, who was holding his fusion orb in his hands. The sphere was glowing a fiery orange.
Out of curiosity, Nick looked over to Taranee, who was glowing a bright orange. Nick's grin doubled in size.
“Hey, Vexen, have you ever heard the old saying?” Nick said, crossing his arms.
“If you can't take the heat...” Taranee continued.
“Stay out of the kitchen!” Nick and Taranee both shouted as Taranee disappeared from sight and Nick threw his arms out, covering the courtyard in a blinding flash.
When everything was clear, Nick had changed again. The silver on Nick's new clothes had shifted to a fiery mixture of orange and red. He was telekinetically wielding two keyblades. The new keyblade in his left hand was peculiar. It seemed to be completely made of silver, the handle just barely disconnecting from the grip. A lion's head was on the tip, teeth bared. A flame crest was dangling from the keychain. The word Lionheart ran through everyone's heads.
“I told you it wouldn't be easy, Vexen,” Nick said, spinning his keyblades around him.
“I don't think so!” Vexen shouted, charging straight for Nick.
When Vexen was close enough, Nick used his new telekinetic powers to swing his keyblades around in a vicious assault, knocking Vexen around like a rag doll. When the assault ended, Vexen crashed to the ground, dropping his shield.
“You... I underestimated you...” Vexen said, composing himself. However, Nick was on him in a flash.
Nick leaped onto his hands and began twirling around in mid-air, his flying feet slamming into Vexen on every pass. After a while of this, Nick shouted “FIRE!” while spinning one more time. At Nick's command, a gigantic assortment of flames began revolving around Nick's spinning form, knocking the Chilly Academic skyward.
“That's my cue!” Donald shouted, also disappearing from sight. Out of curiosity, Nick looked down at Sora while still keeping his other eye on the flying Vexen. This new form of Sora's looked almost identical to Nick's Aquatic Form, only Sora was only wielding one keyblade - the Star Seeker.
Wasting no time, Wisdom Form Sora immediately began shooting magic bullets from the tip of Star Seeker, each and every one slamming into the wayward Nobody. In a rapid attack, Sora and Nick both shouted “THUNDER!”, knocking the now-helpless Vexen around like a dodgeball.
Speaking of dodgeballs, Sora created a sphere of energy with his magic and sent it soaring towards Nick, who subsequently performed a flip kick that sent the magical ball flying towards Vexen. The energy sphere shattered on impact, easily stunning Vexen.
Taking his chance, Fire Form Nick made a gigantic leap for Vexen, his keyblades trailing behind him. The Chilly Academic held up his shield in defense, but it proved to no avail, as Nick easily tore through him with a powerful dual strike. The two hung in midair for a while, completely still. After a short time, Nick landed on the ground, and Vexen faded back into darkness, his shield clattering onto the frozen ground.
Nick and Taranee separated, the fire girl still wielding Lionheart.
Okay, they'd just defeated Vexen...
...but why wasn't the ice melting?
“Guys? Why is the courtyard still frozen?” Nick asked. Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of someone out of the corner of his eye.
“Your Majesty?” Cornelia asked.
Indeed, the flaxen-haired Light of Meridian was standing close by, wielding her own Keyblade. This seemed to have a snow theme to it. The handle was a pair of stormclouds, the blade curved outwards to the tip, which was a crystallized snowflake. The entire Keyblade seemed to be made of pure ice. The words Diamond Dust ran through everyone's heads.
“Hey, guys,” Elyon said. “Thanks for getting rid of that freak.”
“It's no problem, Your Majesty,” Nick replied, but quickly stopped upon getting a good look at her crown.
No, wait. That's not Elyon, Nick thought.
Raising Oathkeeper and Fatal Crest, Nick charged forward.
“Nick! What are you doing?” Irma shouted.
“Don't attack my friend!” Cornelia exclaimed.
“Look at her crown!” Nick shouted, pointing towards the Crown of Light, which had the symbol of the Heartless on it.
No one said a word.
Suddenly, Cornelia joined Nick in the attack, brandishing Seismic Star.
Elyon quickly jumped over her attackers, throwing Diamond Dust at them like a boomerang. The spinning blade struck Nick in the back and launched him into the air before he could turn around and counter.
“Elyon! Snap out of it, girl! Don't let Phobos control you!” Nick shouted after making a quick aerial recovery, hoping to get the queen to shake off the Heartless thing, but to no avail.
“That's why I let him turn me into a Heartless! He has given me powers you can't possibly imagine! Powers even the Light of Meridian couldn't comprehend!” Elyon shouted. “Like so!”
Suddenly, Elyon's Keyblade changed from Diamond Dust to...
“The Dark Keyblade!” Sora shouted.
“I thought I destroyed that thing when Irma and I took Nerissa down!” Nick shouted.
Saying nothing, Elyon thrust the Dark Keyblade forward, shooting numerous bolts of dark energy straight for Nick and his friends.
“Damn it! There doesn't seem to be a way we can...” Nick shouted while doing a sort of reversal around the bolts, but stopped on a dime upon realizing...
“What's `it'?” Will asked.
“Girls! You have to try to get the Crown of Light off of her! Then I'll see if I can purify it!” Nick explained.
“Right!” the girls shouted.
The Guardians formed a circle around the corrupted Elyon, giving her no place to move.
“Sorry, Your Majesty, but this is for your own good,” Will said, charging forward and delivering a powerful uppercut with the Heart of Candracar keyblade. However, Elyon swung the Dark Keyblade and blocked the attack. The Heartless queen quickly knocked Will to the ground and raised the Dark Keyblade. Unbeknownst to her, Will motioned to Nick, who nodded and began charging forward.
Elyon quickly struck, but Will had rolled out of the way, giving Nick the leeway to charge and slam his foot down on the Dark Keyblade.
Elyon tried and tried to pull the blade out from under Nick's foot, but to no avail. Nick reacted quickly, doing a 360 and slamming Oathkeeper into Elyon's side, knocking her skyward.
Taking his chance, Nick jumped into the air, somersaulting over Elyon and grasping the Crown of Light, subsequently pulling it off of her head.
When they landed, Elyon quickly slipped into unconsciousness, possibly from the release of the dark powers. Nick let go of the Crown of Light, which began floating in midair. Acting quickly, Nick held Oathkeeper out towards the corrupted crown, which began glowing with a bright silver light. When the crown came out of the cocoon of light, the Heartless symbol had disappeared entirely.
Walking back to the queen, Nick placed the purified crown back onto Elyon's head. Once the crown was firmly around her forehead, Elyon's keyblade quickly changed back to Diamond Dust.
Elyon quickly woke up, nursing her throbbing head.
“Oh, man, what happened?” she asked. Then, she caught sight of Nick and the Guardians.
“Hey, guys,” Elyon said.
“Welcome back, Your Majesty,” Nick replied.
“What happened?” Elyon continued, picking up Diamond Dust.
“I'll tell you on the way,” Nick said, taking Elyon's hand and leading her back towards the throne room, the others following.
We now shift over to Organization XIII's headquarters. Thirteen seats lined the circular meeting room. Black-hooded people were sitting in all but the 4th and 9th seats, those two having been eliminated.
Xemnas was standing in front of a newcomer in another black hood.
“So, my fellow non-existent one,” Xemnas said. “Do you think you have what it takes to join our ranks?”
“I have some valuable information on the ones who destroyed Vexen and Demyx,” the girl in the hood said. “I can help you with their destruction.”
“Very impressive,” Xemnas replied.
The hooded girl pulled her cloak off to reveal a face that looked exactly like Queen Elyon.
“Excellent, Crown of Meridian,” Xemnas quickly said, the other members clapping.
The girl smiled wickedly.
“My name is Sakura,” the girl said.
“So Phobos tried to turn me into a Heartless?” Elyon said after hearing Nick recount everything that had happened since they'd arrived in Meridian.
“Yeah,” Cornelia responded. “He tried to corrupt the Crown of Light with his dark intentions. I'm pretty sure that those freaks from Organization XIII have something to do with this, too.”
“They're back?” Elyon said, a hint of worry in her voice. “I thought Nick and Irma defeated Xemnas!”
“He survived,” Nick said simply. “The Chasers revived everyone else. Simply put, we need to stop them!”
“We'd better be a little more careful,” Sora noted. “If there's anything I've learned from fighting these guys, it's that they could attack at any time, so stay focused.”
All of a sudden, Hay Lin gasped in shock.
“What's the matter, Hay Lin?” Nick asked, the Oathkeeper quickly materializing.
“My grandma just sent me a message! Someone's attacking her back on Earth!”
“That's our cue!” Nick shouted, swinging Oathkeeper and creating a portal back to Heatherfield. Everyone present ran into the portal, while Will flew back to Yen Sid's palace to pick up the others.
“Chasers...” Elyon said to herself. “They sound so familiar...”
A little while later, back in the throne room, Elyon was sleeping peacefully on her queen-sized bed. Unbeknownst to the queen, two black-hooded figures were watching her from the shadows.
“Is this the one?” a younger boy said.
“Yes. That's her,” the hooded girl replied. “In order to take her power, you'll need to take the crown.”
“She's all mine,” the boy said, materializing two keyblades in his hand.
An hour earlier...
Back at the Silver Dragon - which looked almost completely trashed - Nick, Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, Hay Lin, Sora, Donald, and Goofy had just came through a portal to face down Phobos (who was holding Vexen's shield) and two hooded figures standing right behind a masked Heartless that seemed to be swinging a large scythe on a chain.
The female hooded figure was juggling a medallion around in her hands.
“These cursed medallions,” the female said in a voice that sounded strangely familiar. “Drawn to the darkness in people's hearts. Consumed by the very greed that makes these trinkets special.”
She now walked over by the giant Heartless. “And this Heartless, a veritable maelstrom of darkness and avarice. I wonder, are they worthy to serve Organization XIII?”
Everyone looked at the hooded figures. Something about them seemed strangely familiar...
Suddenly, it hit Nick like a ton of bricks.
“You can stop your babbling now, Roxas.”
Sora gasped upon hearing that. The male figure laughed and pulled down his hood, indeed revealing Roxas, the Key of Destiny. He swiftly materialized Oathkeeper and Oblivion.
“Hey!” Nick shouted, materializing his own Oathkeeper alongside Circle of Life. “Don't copy me!”
“Copy you? I don't think so,” Roxas said. “I'm not here to fight you, pitiful child. I'm here to fight my other.”
With that, Roxas charged forward, aiming his keyblades straight for Sora. Wasting no time, Sora quickly materialized a new keyblade. This one seemed to have a flower theme to it. The handle was made of prickly vines, the blade seemed to be like a sword (similar to Irma's Divine Rose in appearance), and the tip was a rose with three very sharp thorns. The words Rumbling Rose ran through everyone's heads.
Sora swung Rumbling Rose and blocked a double attack from Roxas' Oathkeeper and Oblivion and jumped back, running around to confuse Roxas.
Before Nick and the Guardians could follow Sora, the Grim Reaper roared, swinging its scythe. Nick and Irma hopped over the swinging blade and delivered a powerful strike, knocking it back.
When the Grim Reaper recovered itself, it began firing bolts of darkness from its mouth. Irma deflected a number of them with Divine Rose while giving Nick ample time to wail away on the monster.
After a while of this, Nick leaped onto the wall of a nearby building. Using his terminal velocity, he aimed an attack straight for the Grim Reaper.
However, he looked up when Oathkeeper and Circle of Life only struck air. He landed and looked around.
“Where'd that thing go?” Nick asked, only to be answered with a blast of wind to his back, sending him crashing to the ground.
Nick looked back, only to see the Grim Reaper in its powered-up form, floating right next to a chest full of gold medallions.
“This could be a problem,” Nick said.
“The legends of this cursed gold are true,” the female hooded figure said. “The only way you can stop this veritable Heartless is if you find all of these medallions.”
With that, the girl and the chest disappeared, leaving only the Grim Reaper - and Phobos, who they'd almost forgotten about.
“Foolish Guardians,” Phobos said, brandishing a really long sword, similar to Sephiroth, along with Vexen's shield and Demyx's sitar floating behind him. “Did you really think I'd forget about the fact that you still exist?”
“Do you think I forgot about you, Phobos?” Irma shot back. “Didn't think so.”
With that, Irma charged forward, swinging Divine Rose all the while. Phobos simply focused on Demyx's sitar and a liquid clone of Phobos appeared in front of Irma.
“Is that the best you've got?” Irma exclaimed, grabbing the thin bottom of the liquid clone and slamming it around in random patterns, finishing off with twirling the clone around in her hands, directing it towards the surprised Phobos, who was quickly knocked to the ground.
Phobos, however, was quickly back on his feet, swinging his very long sword. Irma made it a point to jump over many of the attacks, countering with Divine Rose when she could.
Nick had a nagging feeling that something really bad was going to happen if Phobos played around with that sword any longer. He'd seen what that sword could do. And he didn't want to know what it could do to his girlfriend. He swiftly replaced Circle of Life with One Winged Angel.
There's a chance I could die here, but if I can save Irma from an attack like that, that's all that really matters, Nick thought.
As Irma continued her high-speed counters, she barely noticed something behind her charging up an enormous ball of energy. Suddenly, Nick noticed that it was another of the hooded figures.
Nick looked back towards Irma. She hadn't noticed the giant energy - she was too busy trying not to get sliced in two by Phobos' sword, and some of those attacks were bare misses.
If that energy bomb connected, Irma would be done for, and Nick wasn't about to let that happen, so he charged forward, swinging his Keyblades all the while.
Before Irma could even see what was going on, the hooded figure launched the energy ball. It began traveling at an alarming pace towards the brunette, who was still too busy trying not to get skewered.
“Irma!” Nick shouted. “Watch out!”
Irma finally noticed the ball of energy that was rapidly approaching her, but it seemed that she didn't have enough time to get out of the way.
That's when Nick stepped in, hopping forwards and taking the full force of the gigantic blast. Irma gasped in shock when she saw that ball, Nick included, crash into a nearby wall and explode, covering the area in a blinding flash. No one noticed that Phobos had taken that moment to escape via a column of darkness, thinking that he'd played around long enough.
When the light was clear, Nick's limp body dropped to the ground, Oathkeeper and One Winged Angel clattering to the floor beside him.
Out of instinct (and because Irma was just standing there in shock), Will ran up to Nick's slowly fading body.
“Nick! Why'd you do that?” Will asked, her voice starting to break up.
“I... I didn't want my girlfriend... to die like that...” Nick said weakly. With all the effort he could muster, Nick reached for Oathkeeper and handed it to Will.
“Will. Give this to Irma,” Nick said. Will took the mystical blade, her eyes shining with tears.
“We're... we're going to miss you,” Will said, trying her best not to cry at a time like this.
“I'll be fine,” Nick said with a small smile, even though he knew he was done for. “You... you just stop Phobos and the Chasers. I-I'm counting on you...”
With that, Nick's eyes closed and his body faded away, One Winged Angel disappearing with him. Composing herself as best she could, Will picked up Oathkeeper and walked over to Irma, who finally fell to her knees and began crying. Sora, his friends, and the other Guardians could only stare on.
“I... I can't believe he's gone...” Irma said through a haze of tears. She looked up when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She looked up, and through tear-stained eyes, saw Will holding out the Oathkeeper towards her.
“Here. Nick wanted me to give you this,” Will said to Irma. She slowly took the mystical blade.
“It's okay, Irma. His death won't be for nothing. I promise you that much,” Will comforted, giving Irma a hug, who gladly returned it.
“It's what Nick would want,” Irma replied, gazing at the Oathkeeper. She could already feel the strength of Will's promise coursing through the blade. Looking up with newfound determination, she brandished the Oathkeeper.
“Nick promised me he'd protect me no matter what. And I promised I'd do the same for him. So let's finish this battle once and for all... for Nick. It's what he'd want,” Irma stated with a seriousness no one had ever seen in her before.
Everyone nodded, materializing their Keyblades.
“Irma, you lead,” Will said. Irma nodded her head, and together, the team began their trek towards Phobos' hideout.
Nick's eyes slowly opened to reveal the palace of Candracar, in all its splendor.
“Wow. Never thought I'd come here when I bit the big one,” Nick said to himself, holding his hand out. One Winged Angel swiftly materialized.
Suddenly, he saw the Oracle walking up to him, looking a little bit surprised.
“You have arrived,” the Oracle said.
“I kinda had a feeling I'd be coming here when I fell in battle,” Nick explained.
The Oracle looked kind of confused. “When did you fall?”
Now Nick was confused. “What do you mean? I got hit by that giant energy ball. Even with the Keyblade, there's no way I could have survived that!”
“But you did,” the Oracle explained. “You made a promise to someone you hold very dear to you. Your Oathkeeper, fueled by that very promise, kept you from dying even after taking the full force of that attack. It proves that you would sacrifice your own life to save the ones you love.”
“So you're saying... I'm alive?” Nick said in awe.
“Yes. When your body faded from the battlefield, your Keyblade's first instinct was to take you here, where you could recover from that attack,” the Oracle explained. Nick looked his body up and down - indeed, the scars left behind by the attack that supposedly killed him were disappearing!
“My friends are still in trouble. I wish I could go help them,” Nick said.
“Ah, but you can. Go now, and stop Phobos before he can cause any more damage.”
“Thanks, Oracle,” Nick said, holding out his free hand. Instantly, the old version of Oathkeeper materialized in his hand.
“This should do until we get things settled,” Nick said, opening a portal and heading into it.
“Phobos, you're about to be in for a rude awakening,” Nick said to himself as he neared his destination.
Irma was the first to act, slicing through the doors of Phobos' hideout with Nick's Oathkeeper.
“Phobos!” she shouted, angrily swinging the mystical blade. Phobos just stood there, brandishing his long sword.
“Well, well. If it isn't the water girl,” Phobos remarked. “I thought you'd lost the will to fight after I killed your little boyfriend.”
“You're wrong, freak. You killing Nick has only made me stronger,” Irma shot back. “Would you like me to demonstrate?”
Not waiting for an answer, Irma charged forward, wielding Nick's Oathkeeper and her Divine Rose. Phobos swung his lengthy sword for the brunette, but she easily dodged it, somersaulting over Phobos.
Taking her chance, Irma slammed Divine Rose into Phobos' back, knocking him off balance. Wasting no more time and showing no more mercy, Irma performed a rapid series of attacks with the dual keyblades, ending in a spinning uppercut with Divine Rose that sent Phobos skyward.
Irma then spun the keyblades in her hand before leaping for the flailing Phobos, aiming a powerful attack for him all the while. However, Phobos was expecting the strike and launched a ball of dark energy that knocked Irma back to the ground, her keyblades clattering far away from her.
Phobos was on her in a flash, holding an enormous dark energy ball - the very one that had taken care of Nick - towards Irma.
“Now you're dead,” Phobos smirked. “And this time, Nick isn't here to save you.”
Suddenly, a very familiar voice rang out.
“Did someone call for me?”
Irma looked around for the voice and suddenly noticed that Oathkeeper had just disappeared from view.
Phobos also looked around for the source of the mysterious proclamation, but was met smack in the face by the business end of the One Winged Angel keyblade. That could only mean...
“Nick?” Irma asked.
Indeed, as Phobos' dark energy ball dissipated, Nick was hanging in midair, driving One Winged Angel straight into Phobos' chest. Continuing the attack, Nick's Oathkeeper, which was now back in his hands, began glowing with a bright orange light as Nick performed a rapid series of powerful attacks that Sora recognized instantly as his old Ars Arcanum attack.
Nick then delivered the finisher, a super-fast sliding dash that knocked Phobos skyward yet again, similar in retrospect to Sora's Sonic Blade attack.
Nick hopped back over to Irma and held out Oathkeeper towards her, taking note of the surprised look on her face. Not being able to say anything, she simply placed her hand on Nick's, the Oathkeeper shining with a blue light.
“I've had enough of you, Phobos! This time, you're not coming back!” Nick shouted, the Oathkeeper shooting a beam of light straight through Phobos.
Consumed by the very dark power he'd been gifted with by the Chasers, Phobos quickly disappeared, his body fading to the darkness. When Phobos was completely gone, Irma looked at Nick.
“Nick... is it really you? But... how is that possible?” Irma said, awestruck.
Nick simply held out his golden-hued Oathkeeper keyblade. “The Oathkeeper. It saved me.”
Irma simply opted to throw her arms around Nick, who happily returned the embrace.
“This is real...” Irma said softly.
Before Irma could say anything else, the couple barely avoided a swing from a giant scythe.
“And unfortunately, so is that!” Nick shouted, pointing to the Grim Reaper in its ascended form. There was a chest in the middle of the battlefield and golden medallions scattered everywhere.
“I think I got it!” Taranee stated. “That thing can only stay in its current form if any medallions are missing from the chest!”
“Then I think I know what needs to be done,” Sora exclaimed, raising the Star Seeker. “GATHER!”
With that command, Sora thrust his keyblade upwards, casting a Magnera spell to draw in some of the medallions. Hay Lin flew up and used the wind to scoop up a good chunk of the medallions as well. Irma had also gone after some medallions, launching them into the air via a waterspout. It seemed that Nick was the only one to notice that the Grim Reaper was sucking medallions out of the chest. Letting the others handle the remaining medallions, Nick ran towards the Grim Reaper, jumping over flames that were revolving around it. Taking his chance, Nick jumped and kicked the Grim Reaper in the face, causing it to drop its staff and stop sucking up the medallions. Nick grabbed the Reaper by its arm and threw it into the air.
Reacting quickly, Nick grabbed the staff and threw it straight into the airborne Grim Reaper, making it drop a considerable amount of the gold it had just stolen. Focusing on his keyblade, Nick also cast a Magnera spell and captured the medallions that had just fallen from the monster Heartless.
“Girls! Get the medallions back into the chest!” Nick shouted. Everyone nodded, using their powers to send the medallions they'd all collected back to the chest. Nick hopped over and replaced his share of the gold.
Then, the Grim Reaper reverted to its dark red normal form.
“Now! Let's take this freak out!” Nick shouted, drawing Lionheart alongside Oathkeeper.
Suddenly, he heard two very familiar voices.
“You weren't going to let my girl fight without me, did you?” the first voice said.
“Yeah, what he said!” the other voice responded.
Everyone turned around and gasped, Taranee and Hay Lin the loudest. Nigel Ashcroft and Eric Lyndon were standing a few yards away from the Grim Reaper, both holding keyblades themselves.
Nick closely studied the new keyblades. Nigel's keyblade seemed to reflect Taranee's mom's job as a judge. The handle was that of a judge's table, the blade and tip consisted of a silver gavel. A judge's wig was dangling from the keychain. The word Judgment ran through everyone's heads.
Nick then looked at Eric's keyblade, which seemed to have an extreme sports motif to it. The handle was Eric's crash helmet, the blade was a snowboard, and the tip was a pair of skateboard wheels. A tiny version of Eric's electric scooter was dangling from the keychain. The words Ollie Buster ran through Nick's head.
Before Nick could ask Nigel and Eric how they got to Meridian, the Grim Reaper swung its scythe again. However, this time, Eric swung Ollie Buster and countered the strike.
“Long story short,” Eric explained, “that wizard guy told us all about the Keyblade Wars and you girls. I'll fill you in later. Right now, we need to stop this little freak!”
Hay Lin sighed dreamily.
“See? This is why I fell in love with him. He's got such a take-charge attitude...”
“Hey! That's supposed to be my defining point!” Will shot back.
Barely dodging another strike from the Grim Reaper, Will and Hay Lin flew over the monster and struck it in the head, sending it off balance.
“Okay. It's time to finish this,” Nick stated.
Charging for the monster, he began rapidly attacking, giving the others time to charge up for a final attack.
After finishing the combo with an attack that resembled Valor Form's Sonic End technique, Nick hopped back towards the others. Everyone who had a keyblade (including Martin, Matt, Nigel, and Eric) readied it, each blade glowing brightly.
After a short time, each keyblade shot a beam of light for the Grim Reaper, which quickly pierced through it. It took a little bit, but the Reaper finally dissipated, a gigantic heart floating into the sky.
“And that's that,” Nick said.
“Oh, is it?” a female voice said.
Everyone turned around, looking for the source of the voice. They eventually found it - an armored figure standing near where the Grim Reaper once was, holding a monstrous keyblade.
“Not another one of YOU freaks!” Nick shouted, brandishing Oathkeeper and One Winged Angel.
“Unfortunately, yes,” the Chaser replied. “I am Lara, the Seed of Destruction. You keyblade bearers will not be leaving here alive.”
Nick simply grinned, looking over to Will. She subsequently nodded, covered in a bright ruby glow. Nick took out his fusion orb and concentrated.
Will disappeared from sight as Nick threw his arms out, covered in a bright light. When it cleared, Nick was back in Brave Form, wielding Circle of Life and One Winged Angel.
“Now, what was that you were saying?” Nick retorted.
A little while after the Grim Reaper battle, back in the throne room, Elyon was sleeping peacefully on her queen-sized bed. Unbeknownst to the queen, two black-hooded figures were watching her from the shadows.
“Is this the one?” a younger boy said.
“Yes. That's her,” the hooded girl replied. “In order to take her power, you'll need to take the crown.”
“She's all mine,” the boy said, materializing two keyblades in his hand. He slowly inched his way towards the sleeping queen. Suddenly, the Crown of Light began pulsing brightly. Before the hooded boy could strike, Elyon had instantly hopped out of her bed, materializing Diamond Dust.
“Nice try, Roxas,” Elyon said. “That's not going to work.”
Roxas simply lashed out with Oathkeeper and Oblivion. Elyon jumped and dodged around the attacks, countering with Diamond Dust when she had the chance.
Unbeknownst to Elyon, the female hooded figure had just snuck up behind her. One backhand to the neck, and Elyon was out cold.
“Nice job, Sakura,” Roxas said, letting his keyblades disappear.
The girl pulled her hood down to reveal Elyon's Nobody - Sakura, the Crown of Meridian.
“Thanks, Roxas. Those Organization XIII guys are so stupid,” Sakura replied. “They have no idea that we've been using them all along.”
“Very good, my fellow non-existent one,” Xehanort's voice rang out.
“Master Xehanort,” Sakura said, bowing as Xehanort made his appearance.
“Do you have the crown?” Xehanort asked.
“No problem,” Sakura replied, holding the Crown of Light in her hands.
“Excellent. Now we are one step closer to immersing this world in permanent darkness...”
“So you've learned a few tricks since the last time we've met,” Lara stated. “It doesn't mean you can win!”
With that, Lara charged forward, surprisingly not being weighed down by her gigantic keyblade. As she charged, the arena that surrounded the two became engulfed in a circle of dark energy that slowly drained Nick's energy. Staying unfazed, Nick charged for the Chaser.
Aiming a powerful attack for Nick, Lara swung with her weapon, but Nick simply performed a high jump over it.
Taking his chance, Nick slammed One Winged Angel into Lara's weapon, knocking it (and Lara, subsequently) to the ground. Still on the offensive, he knocked Lara into the air with Circle of Life. Switching Circle of Life with Oathkeeper, Nick quickly jumped into the air at the flailing Chaser, aiming rapid attacks for her. Lara was able to block most of them, but the last one pierced through her armor and stunned her. Reacting quickly, Nick raised both of his keyblades and slammed them into Lara, knocking her right onto the center of the dark circle, surrounding it with beams of light.
When the light cleared, the dark circle was gone and Lara was standing there, stunned. Nick quickly charged for the dazed Chaser...
...but was met with a smack to the face by Lara's monstrous keyblade, knocking Nick out of Brave Form and sending both Nick and Will crashing to the ground.
“You really think something like THAT would daze me?” Lara exclaimed, picking up her keyblade. “You really must think I'm stupid!”
“She's got a point,” Nick said while rubbing the spot on his face where he'd been struck. “We're going to need to try something new if we're going to beat this little freak.”
As if on cue, Nick felt a pulse shoot through him. Out of instinct, he pulled out his fusion orb, which was glowing a bright green.
Nick looked over to Cornelia, who was enveloped in a radiant emerald glow.
“Looks like it's showtime,” Nick stated.
“You said it,” Cornelia replied, brushing a lock of hair away from her face before disappearing from sight.
When the light from the transformation cleared, Nick had changed yet again. The silver on his clothes had shifted to a bright emerald green. He was holding Seismic Star in front of him and a new keyblade behind his back. It seemed to have a casino theme to it. The handle was a purple, curved heart, the blade was a spear with a star on the end, and a pink heart extended from the tip. A card, the ace of hearts, was dangling from the keychain. The words Lady Luck ran through everyone's heads.
“All right then,” Nick said, holding both of his keyblades. “Let's see how you like this!”
With that, Terra Form Nick slammed both of his keyblades into the ground, creating a seismic tremor that knocked Lara to the ground.
Taking his chance, Nick suddenly teleported towards Lara, and in a spectacular move, he pummeled the Chaser with a rapid series of spinning attacks. When the assault ended, Lara had been sprawled about on the ground, her weapon a good ways away.
“Is that good enough for you?” Nick asked.
“I'm actually glad,” Lara replied. That confused Nick.
“What are you talking about?” Nick shot back.
“It's been too long since I met a keyblade bearer that was actually a challenge for me!” Lara continued.
“Lara, we must make haste. Have you revived the true prince?” a mysterious voice said.
“Somehow, I'm not surprised,” Nick said while searching for the source of the voice. As expected, it was another black-hooded guy. This one had spiky black hair that reached down just over his left eye.
“Do not worry, Zexion. I am always one step ahead,” Lara replied, throwing something into the air. After a couple seconds, a blinding flash filled the area. When everything came back into focus, Phobos was standing in front of Lara, holding his really long sword.
“Phobos! Didn't I take care of you before?” Nick shouted.
“That's the thing. The Chasers have made sure that unless you can take out the Organization, I can't die,” Phobos explained.
“Okay. Didn't see that coming,” Irma said sarcastically.
Nick held his keyblades in a battle stance.
“I've had enough of this playing around,” Lara stated, walking over to Zexion.
“Indeed. Let us take our leave,” Zexion replied, opening a column of darkness and disappearing with Lara.
“I don't think so!” Nick shouted, reverting out of Terra Form. “You're not getting away this time!”
Nick made a break for the dark portal, the others following.
Nick looked around his new surroundings: a castle-type place where the color white seemed to show.
This was a place that Sora instantly recognized.
“This... this is Castle Oblivion!” Sora exclaimed.
“Wait a minute, Sora. Didn't you say that Naminé erased your memories of what happened here?” Taranee asked.
“Yeah, she did. But when I merged with Roxas a while back, I suddenly regained all the memories I'd lost while I was in this castle,” Sora explained.
“I wonder if Naminé's still here?” Nick wondered, twirling Oathkeeper behind him.
“You won't be getting that chance,” a new voice said.
“Okay, look. Let's just skip the formalities, okay? I'm not in the mood for this,” Nick stated, turning to face another member of the Organization: Lexaeus, the `Silent Hero'. He was holding a gigantic tomahawk...
...which he had just slammed to the ground, creating a tremor that would have knocked everyone off balance had they not taken to the sky.
“Okay. You wanna fight with earth? I can do that,” Nick said, nodding to Cornelia. She nodded before disappearing from sight. A couple seconds later, Nick was back in Terra Form, wielding Seismic Star and Lady Luck.
“Now, then,” Nick said. “Where were we?”
“I believe we were right about here!” Lexaeus shouted, rapidly attacking with his giant tomahawk. Nick noticed that the tomahawk seemed to weigh him down a bit, and began thinking of a way he could use it to his advantage.
All of a sudden, Nick had a fantastic idea.
“Girls! That tomahawk thing he's carrying must be the source of his power! If we can get that away from him, he'll be child's play!” Nick explained. Everyone nodded.
Nick started the attack by aiming and throwing Seismic Star and Lady Luck straight for Lexaeus. The rapidly spinning keyblades slammed into the Silent Hero, knocking him off balance.
Irma took that as her cue, flying towards Lexaeus and holding a growing sphere of water in her hands.
“Okay, Nobody, if you've been to as many earth science classes as I've been, you'd know that water breaks up the earth!” Irma shouted, firing a gigantic waterspout straight for Lexaeus. At the last second, Nick added a touch of his electric energy, forming a powerful `electrospout' that quickly slammed into Lexaeus, making him stagger and drop his tomahawk.
“NOW!” Nick shouted, and everyone who had a keyblade materialized it and charged for the weakened Silent Hero.
In a massive assault, everyone struck more or less at the same time.
“You... you're good...” were Lexaeus' last words before he faded back into darkness, dropping a mysterious crystal as he disappeared.
After reverting out of Terra Form, Nick walked over and picked up the crystal. It seemed incredibly similar to the jewel in the Crown of Light.
“So, you defeated Lexaeus. I thought for sure he had you there,” a female voice rang out.
Nick instantly turned around and spotted a girl who looked almost exactly like Elyon! She was shrouded in a black hood, so that meant a member of Organization XIII. But why would Elyon, of all people, join the Organization?
“Elyon?” Cornelia asked.
“No, Cornelia. That's her Nobody!” Nick quickly stated.
The girl chuckled. “I was starting to think you'd never catch on. My name is Sakura, the Crown of Meridian.”
“That's crazy!” Sora shot back, wielding Star Seeker. “Her Majesty was never turned into a Heartless!”
“Yes, she was, Sora! Remember at the palace? Phobos corrupted the Crown of Light. It must have happened back then!”
“You're very perceptive,” Sakura replied, bringing out her weapon, a black and orange version of Elyon's Diamond Dust keyblade.
“Okay, I've had enough of this!” Nick shouted, materializing Oathkeeper and Fatal Crest. “Everywhere we turn, there's an Organization member not far away! And I'm sick of it!”
Not saying another word, Nick quickly charged for Sakura, swinging both of his keyblades.
Sakura simply laughed and jumped over the incoming attack, just as expected.
What Sakura didn't expect was for Nick to step vault off of the ahead wall, flying straight for her. Taking advantage of the surprise, Nick began spinning like a top, his keyblades held out all the while. Sakura couldn't get her weapon around in time, and Nick's spinning form slammed relentlessly into her. Nick finished the assault with a variation on Sora's Aerial Finish technique, slamming the dual keyblades into the Crown of Meridian in a series of fierce slash attacks. When it was all over, Sakura crashed to the ground, dropping her weapon. Nick held out Oathkeeper straight for Sakura.
“Now it's over,” Nick said. “And this time, you don't have one of your little friends to save you.”
With that said, Nick started a final attack, but was quickly knocked off guard by another weapon - a longsword, no doubt.
Nick turned around, still clutching his keyblades, and saw Phobos standing there with his sword, right next to another girl in a black hood.
“So, now you know who Sakura really is,” Phobos said in a mocking tone.
“I was beginning to think they'd never catch on,” the hooded girl replied.
“Okay, you freaks,” Will exclaimed as W.I.T.C.H. summoned their keyblades. “I've had enough of you always popping up wherever you think you want!”
“Oh, I'm sure you'll learn to like it,” the hooded girl replied, holding her hands skyward. Out of nowhere, a giant Heartless with a birdcage-like object hanging from its underside appeared in front of the Keyblade Bearers. Once the Heartless had appeared, the hooded girl disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Sora instantly recognized it as the Prison Keeper, the very Heartless that kept him busy in Halloween Town while Oogie Boogie had kidnapped Santa.
Nick took the silent approach and pulled out his fusion orb. Irma began glowing a radiant sapphire.
At the same time, Sora pulled out his Drive orb, which was glowing a golden yellow.
Just then, the Prison Keeper made its move, opening its monstrous metal mouth and creating a sort of suction. Nick and Sora tried their best to hold on to their fusion orbs, but the Prison Keeper eventually pulled them away.
“Great! Now we can't fuse!” Nick noted.
“That's the idea,” a familiar voice said.
Nick spun around to see Marluxia, the “Graceful Assassin”, standing there, with Nick and Sora's fusion orbs in his hands.
“You may only take these orbs back if you can defeat me,” Marluxia explained. “But, just to show you that I'm not completely heartless, I will test your skills. Master these cards, and I will prove if you are worthy to challenge me.”
That said, Marluxia threw a deck of oddly shaped cards to Nick before disappearing.
“The cards. I'm not surprised,” Sora noted.
“There's three world cards in here right now,” Nick noted, looking over the deck of cards. “We should all split up to cover more ground fast. That way, Sora and I can get our Drive abilities back faster.”
“Sora, you, me, and Irma will take this one,” Nick said, holding up a world card that had a picture of a Chinese palace on it.
“Donald, you go with Will and Taranee and check this world out,” Nick continued, handing Will a world card with a picture of a rose-covered castle.
“Goofy, you head out with Cornelia and Hay Lin and see what's in this world,” Nick finished, handing Cornelia a world card with a light and dark-sided coliseum on it.
As if responding to Nick's ideas, three doors appeared in front of the groups.
“Shall we?” Nick said, walking up to the first door and holding up his world card. Will did the same thing at door two, and Cornelia likewise with door three. A couple seconds later, each door opened.
“Okay. Let's do this,” Nick said. With that, each group entered their door.
As Nick, Sora, and Irma stepped out of the door, they studied their surroundings: it seemed to be a perfect replica of ancient China.
“This must be Mulan's world,” Sora stated, looking towards a palace in the distance.
“Who's Mulan?” Irma asked.
“I'll fill you in later,” Sora replied.
Nick, meanwhile, was busy studying the deck of cards that Marluxia had given him. He noted that there were four types of cards in the deck: red cards, which apparently seemed to be attack cards; blue cards, which seemed to be emanating with a magical energy; green cards, which seemed to hold special items; and a couple gold cards that he didn't recognize.
Suddenly, Nick found out that he couldn't summon his keyblade.
“Sora! What gives? I can't use my keyblade!” Nick exclaimed.
“You just have to pick an attack card and focus on it,” Sora explained.
Taking Sora's advice, Nick sifted through the available attack cards until deciding on the One Winged Angel card. Holding said card into the air and concentrating, the card eventually disappeared and the One Winged Angel keyblade appeared in Nick's hands.
“All right! I think I've got the hang of this,” Nick said, swinging the keyblade around a little bit.
“That's pretty much all there is to it,” Sora continued. “If you want, you can also pick three cards and use them all at once. That's called a `sleight'. Sleights are usually hard to break, since their value is usually really high, and the combos deal lots of damage. You can perform special sleights if you pick the right cards.”
“Really, huh? Okay, let's see now...” Nick said, searching through his deck, eventually picking out three cards: a 7-value Oathkeeper, an 8-value Fatal Crest, and a 5-value Potion card.
“All right. Let's see how these work,” Nick stated, holding his chosen cards into the air. The cards eventually began glowing brightly and spinning around Nick. A bright flash covered the surrounding area, and when it cleared, Nick was dual-wielding Oathkeeper and Fatal Crest.
“Wow! He really does know how to do it,” Irma exclaimed.
“That's the Synch Blade sleight. As I'm sure you already know, you can wield two keyblades at once with this,” Sora explained.
“I'm getting the feeling that there's more to these cards than meets the eye. These cards aren't invulnerable, are they?” Nick asked.
“Nope. It goes like this,” Sora explained. “Draw a card.”
Nick did so, picking out a 5-value Oathkeeper. “Okay?”
“Now try attacking me,” Sora continued. Nick did so, focusing on the card he was holding. Just as he was about to call the keyblade from the card, Sora picked out a card of his own and struck back. Nick's card flew out of his hands and disappeared.
“What just happened?” Nick exclaimed. Sora showed Nick the card he'd picked: an 8-value Hero's Crest.
“That's called a `card break'. If you play a card that's a higher value than the card your opponent is trying to play, you'll punch through his defenses and leave him wide open. Just be careful, because your opponents can do the same to you,” Sora explained.
“Wow! You sure know a lot about these cards,” Irma noted.
“I guess I've had a lot of experience with them. One more thing: there's also a special 0-value card that can break anything, even a sleight. Just be wary, because any other card can also break it if you're not quick on the draw. You got all that?” Sora explained.
“Crystal clear,” Nick replied.
Just then, a horde of Nightwalker Heartless converged on the trio. What made these Heartless a little weirder was that they were carrying their own sets of cards.
“Even the Heartless have cards!” Irma exclaimed.
“You get used to it,” Sora replied, brandishing Star Seeker.
Suddenly, a young woman of about 18 ran up to the trio, carrying a longsword.
“Sora! You're back!” the woman shouted.
“I'm guessing that's Mulan?” Irma asked.
At that moment, Nick took notice of a mysterious, glowing gold card in his deck. Pulling it out, he noticed that it had a picture of Mulan and Mushu the dragon on it.
Out of instinct, Nick held the mysterious new card into the air. After the ensuing flash, Mulan had jumped right in front of him, Mushu on her shoulder.
“Let's do this together!” Mulan shouted.
“Right,” Nick replied, brandishing the One Winged Angel.
“I'll handle this!” Mushu shouted, breathing fireballs that slammed into the Nightwalkers, giving them no chance to draw their cards.
Mulan started the attack, covering herself in Mushu's fire and performing a spectacular charging attack.
Nick followed up with a fire-enhanced spinning attack.
Nick and Mulan alternated their attacks for a while until Mushu decided to finish the Heartless off, launching tons of large fireballs into the air that crashed down to earth, wiping out the remaining Nightwalkers.
Once the attack was over, Nick looked at the gold card he'd used to perform the attack.
“Wow. Did I just do that?” Nick asked himself.
“You did. You have quickly mastered the cards,” Zexion's voice rang out.
“I have Sora to thank for that,” Nick replied, turning towards Zexion, who was psychically wielding a mace. The ball was shaped like the Nobody's symbol.
“It will be a shame to destroy such a worthy adversary,” Zexion said, jumping down towards our heroes' position.
Nick simply held his dual keyblades in a fighting stance.
All of a sudden, Zexion began spinning his telekinetic mace and swung it for Nick.
Catching Zexion completely off guard, Nick easily caught the mace in his hands, surprisingly not hurting himself in the process. Zexion tried to pull his weapon back, but no such luck.
Taking his chance, Nick jerked his hands upwards, causing Zexion to fly into the air. Nick began spinning the mace, Zexion attached, in circles before eventually letting go. The terminal velocity of the spinning attack sent Zexion crashing into a nearby tree.
As Zexion recovered, Nick and Sora quickly began searching through their decks, searching for cards to use. They eventually decided on using a sleight. After a while, the two had picked their cards: Nick had a 2-value Oathkeeper, a 6-value One Winged Angel, and a 0-value Lionheart; Sora had picked out a 5-value Fire magic card, a 7-value Kingdom Key, and a 7-value Metal Chocobo.
“Gotcha!” Nick shouted, using his sleight cards. He floated in the air, holding his keyblades in front of him as energy rays concentrated around the tip of the mystic blades. Nick held his position as Zexion charged forward, swinging his mace all the while.
Meanwhile, Irma began sifting through her own deck, eventually picking out a 7-value Mysterious Abyss, an 8-value Mysterious Abyss, and a 5-value Divine Rose. Concentrating on her cards, Mysterious Abyss materialized in her hand as she prepared.
Sora, meanwhile, began spinning his Kingdom Key in his hands, which was glowing with a frost-colored energy.
Just as Zexion was about to attack...
“NOW!” Nick shouted. Responding to that call, everyone used their sleights.
Nick went on the offensive first, releasing his collected energy and firing it in the form of a column of energy rays that struck Zexion and knocked him off balance.
Sora continued the attack, throwing his glowing keyblade for Zexion in what appeared to be a variation on his Strike Raid attack. Every time the spinning blade damaged Zexion, he seemed to be frozen for a bit.
Once the Kingdom Key had returned to Sora's hands, Irma finished up the assault, rocketing forward and striking Zexion. Sora instantly recognized that move as his old Sonic Blade attack. Before Zexion could recover from that attack, Irma quickly turned around and charged again. The brunette continued her rapid-fire charging before rocketing forward one last time and slamming into Zexion with a spinning uppercut, sending the `Cloaked Schemer' into the air.
Wasting no more time, Nick quickly leapt for Zexion and struck, tearing his dual keyblades straight through him. When Nick landed on the ground, Zexion had finally faded back into darkness, dropping another card. Nick let his keyblades disappear and picked up the card Zexion had dropped. It had Zexion's face on it, and the border was completely black.
Mulan just looked on. “Who was that guy?”
“We'll explain on the way,” Nick replied, looking around a bit.
I wonder how the others are doing...
Meanwhile, Will, Taranee, and Donald had arrived in a mysterious castle after using the world card they'd been given.
“Wow. What is this place?” Taranee asked.
“It's bigger than Candracar's palace,” Will replied. “And that's saying a lot.”
Donald instantly recognized the place. This was Beast's Castle!
“I wonder how the Beast is doing?” Donald asked himself.
Donald didn't have to wait long for an inquiry, because at that very moment, a loud roar came rumbling through the hallways of the massive castle.
“What was that?” Will exclaimed.
“I have this feeling we're about to find out,” Taranee replied.
At that very second, two figures came out from the west hallway, fighting over a mysterious glowing rose.
Will and Taranee jumped in their spots when they heard another roar coming from the first figure: a brown-furred upright beast with large claws and teeth. He was taking fierce swipes at the hooded figure, which turned out to be Marluxia!
“You are NOT taking my rose! I've had enough of you hooded freaks trying to take what belongs to me!” Beast shouted.
“I am not interested in your precious rose,” Marluxia replied. “I am interested in your Nobody. I need your rose to access your putrid little heart.”
“You'd better listen to him,” Will proclaimed, holding one of her cards into the air and materializing the Heart of Candracar keyblade.
“You don't want to see him get mad,” Taranee continued, focusing and summoning the Bond of Flame keyblade.
“Ah. The Guardians. I underestimated you before. You've gotten further than I ever thought you would,” Marluxia said, brandishing his scythe. “However, this is as far as you go!”
Barely dodging a vicious swing from the scythe, Will and Taranee performed a somersault and rolled out of range while Donald began searching for a weakness in the “Graceful Assassin's” attack pattern.
As Will searched through her deck, she came across three Heart of Candracar cards, all 9-value. Taking her chance, she focused on the cards just as Marluxia prepared his own attack card - one that looked deadly.
Will's keyblade began glowing brightly as she neared Marluxia, who had just readied his card.
“I don't think so!” Will shouted, making her move and slamming her glowing keyblade into Marluxia. As the Graceful Assassin staggered backwards, the card he had been planning to use disappeared. Soon enough, Marluxia found out that he couldn't reload the card he'd just lost, thanks to the Keeper's Zantetsuken attack.
“So. You're better than I thought.”
“Hey. I guess we learn fast,” Will noted, picking out three more cards: a 4-value Heart of Candracar, a 7-value Circle of Life, and a 3-value One Winged Angel. Holding the cards skyward, she channeled their power into her keyblade and leapt very high into the air.
Before Marluxia could react, Will had reached her target, her keyblade crashing into Marluxia.
Will wasn't done yet, however. She leaped skyward again, her keyblade crashing into Marluxia again. Taking to the sky one more time, Will shouted, “Take this!” and brought her keyblade down hard, knocking the Graceful Assassin all the way across the room.
That was when Will took notice of a mysterious gold card. She held it up, and was surprised to see a picture of the Beast on it, said Beast swiping furiously at Marluxia.
“Hmm... I wonder what would happen if I used this card?” Will wondered, holding the mysterious card in the air.
One bright flash later, the Beast was by Will's side, shielding her from the Graceful Assassin with his cloak.
“Get out of my castle, freak!” the Beast shouted, and roared so loudly, it created a sonic shockwave that stunned Marluxia.
Taking advantage of the lull, Beast charged forward, slamming his glowing claw into Marluxia over and over again.
Will was taking the offense into her own hands, using her powers over energy to create and attack with a 360 degree radial shockwave. The two alternated their attacks for a while, giving Marluxia no chance to find a card that could break this limit.
Beast let his hand rest on Will's shoulder. The Keeper nodded, and together, they threw their arms out in a final attack that sent Marluxia crashing to the ground.
Once the limit attack was over, Marluxia composed himself, and promptly became enraged.
“That's it. I've had enough of you!” Marluxia shouted, drawing his namesake Flower Scythe and swiping madly for our heroes, the four of them just barely able to dodge.
Suddenly, Taranee noticed that Marluxia was channeling what looked awfully like dark energy in his hands.
“Dark Magic Strike!” Marluxia shouted, clapping his hands together and shooting a powerful burst of dark magic towards the Guardians and Beast, who just barely dodged it.
“What the heck was that?” Donald exclaimed.
“Don't know, don't care. We need to find a way to stop this freak!” Will shot back. However, no sooner had Will said that than...
“Blossom Laser!” the Graceful Assassin shouted, summoning a storm of flower petals, each one shooting powerful laser bursts for the mobile heroes.
“SCATTER!” Will shouted, searching through her deck for a card that could help her. Alas, she found nothing. Her intuition was telling her that this attack was too high-valued to break.
While dodging and rolling around the laser bolts, Will suddenly got this nagging feeling that something wasn't right. She dodged one more series of lasers...
...and that's when it happened.
Marluxia's scythe spun around and slashed into Will's side, causing her to scream in agony and drop her keyblade and cards.
Taking advantage of his successful attack, Marluxia glided over to the wounded Keeper, holding his scythe straight for her.
“I must admit, you had me going there for a while,” Marluxia stated. “But I'm afraid that this is where it ends.”
Will could only watch, clutching her wounded side, as her impending demise neared.
“Now you will die, just like all the fools who think that they are better than Organization XIII,” Marluxia said, bringing the scythe back.
Will covered her eyes. After a few seconds, she began wondering why she hadn't been cut in half yet. She slowly opened her eyes and noticed two keyblades - the Kingdom Key and Oathkeeper, no less - holding back Marluxia's scythe.
“Nick! Sora!” Will exclaimed.
“Now, what was that you were saying?” Nick shot to Marluxia.
“YOU!” Marluxia shouted.
“What can I say? Zexion wasn't really a challenge,” Sora responded.
“But you're my kind of opponent!” Nick finished, uppercutting Marluxia into the air with Oathkeeper.
“All right, let's go!” Nick shouted, hopping onto Sora's shoulders and using his velocity to propel himself skyward. Drawing Oathkeeper and Fatal Crest, Nick made his move, slamming both of his keyblades into Marluxia in a furious series of spinning attacks.
Irma, who had just appeared, made her move as well, using her Sonic Blade sleight to knock Marluxia through the air.
Nick was ready for Marluxia's return trip, readying a Ragnarok sleight. Once Marluxia hit the ground again, Nick fired, the energy rays piercing through Marluxia.
“I... I can't believe I lost to a bunch of kids...” were Marluxia's last words before fading back into darkness. His scythe subsequently disappeared as well.
“Well, that's that,” Nick said, twirling the Oathkeeper in his hands. Smiling, he walked up to Will, who was still clutching her injured side, and held Oathkeeper out towards her, the blade glowing brightly. In an instant, Will's wound was gone.
“Thanks, Nick,” Will stated as Nick helped her up.
“Let's see... I think only Xemnas, Saïx, Xaldin, Luxord, Larxene, Xigbar, and Axel are left. That also counts Roxas and Sakura...” Taranee noted, taking into account how much of the Organization had been taken out by the Guardians.
When Marluxia was completely gone, two glowing orbs fell to the ground. Nick and Sora went to pick them up. Holding them into the air, they felt the power of their Drive abilities being restored to them.
“All right, let's go check on the others,” Nick said, walking towards a door that had just appeared.
In the white-paneled halls of Castle Oblivion, Nick, Sora, Irma, Will, Taranee, and Donald were heading towards the door that the other three had entered, when all of a sudden, who else but Phobos appeared, wielding Marluxia's scythe.
“Well, well, Guardians. I never thought you'd make it this far,” Phobos noted. “However, you will not be getting past me.”
“I'd like to see you try,” Nick challenged, swinging his keyblades.
While everyone else shifted into battle stance, Sora began searching through his own deck. After a while, he pulled out three cards: a 7-value Goofy card, an 8-value Kingdom Key, and a 5-value Crabclaw. Holding the cards into the air, Sora concentrated, his body glowing with a brilliant white light.
“Light, GIVE ME STRENGTH!” Sora shouted, the cards circling his body. When the light cleared, Sora's clothes had changed to black and red, quite similar to Nick's Brave Form. He was wielding two keyblades. The first one seemed to have a Final Fantasy motif to it. The handle looked like that of the Kingdom Key, but the tip appeared to be a perfect replica of the chain on Leon's necklace. The words Sleeping Lion ran through everyone's heads.
The words Decisive Pumpkin ran through everyone's heads when they looked at the second keyblade. It seemed to have a Halloween Town theme to it. The handle and blade were decorated like candy canes, and the tip curved and formed a sort of sleigh bell.
“Good idea, Sora,” Nick said to the transformed Sora, searching through his own deck, pulling out a 5-value card with a picture of Hay Lin on it, an 8-value Aero spell card, and a 7-value Oathkeeper. Also taking out his Drive orb, Nick held all four objects into the air, each one glowing brightly.
When the light from the fusion cleared, Nick was in Breezy Form, wielding Oathkeeper and Spellbinder.
“I guess I can't really help it if you want to die first, Phobos,” Breezy Form Nick said.
“All right then! Dark Magic Strike!” Phobos shouted, using the same dark magic attack that Marluxia had used. To Phobos' surprise, it was easily dodged.
“This is for nearly killing my boyfriend!” Irma shouted, once again unleashing her Sonic Blade sleight. This time, however, Phobos dodged it by jumping high into the air...
...just as Nick had expected.
“Let's see you dodge this! Breezy Lance!” Nick shouted, aiming a powerful attack straight for Phobos. In a flash, Nick was all over Phobos, pummeling the evil prince with a series of Aero-charged spinning attacks. After a while of this, Nick finished the attack by piercing his keyblades straight through Phobos.
Phobos was quickly back on his feet.
“All right, I've had enough of you! This time, I'm sending you to the great beyond!” Phobos shouted, drawing his trademark long sword and holding it in his left hand and Marluxia's scythe in his right.
“You want to dance, huh?” Nick exclaimed. “All right then...”
Nick shifted into battle stance.
After a while, back in the throne room, Elyon quickly woke up, having been knocked out by a vicious backhand to the neck from her Nobody, Sakura. She suddenly noticed that the Crown of Light wasn't on her head. Oddly enough, she smiled.
“They took the bait,” Elyon said to herself. “For someone who's MY Nobody, Sakura isn't very smart.”
With that, Elyon pulled out her Diamond Dust keyblade. The real Crown of Light was dangling from its keychain.
“That fake crown should give Xehanort one heck of a surprise.”
Back in Xehanort's lair, said leader of the Chasers was studying the Crown of Light that Sakura and Roxas had given him.
Suddenly, Xehanort noticed something - the Crown wasn't pulsing like it did when there was dark energy nearby. That's when Xehanort realized...
“This one is a FAKE!” he shouted, an angry-looking dark energy aura surrounding him in his rage.
“If those two were here, they'd be in so much trouble...”
Roxas and Sakura, meanwhile, had found their way back to Organization XIII headquarters.
“I think Master Xehanort knows that the crown we delivered to him was a fake,” Sakura said to Roxas, shuddering as a wave of uneasiness passed over her.
“We're lucky he can't track us in the Organization's headquarters,” Roxas noted, materializing Oathkeeper and Oblivion.
“I don't really want to know what he'll do to us if he finds us,” Sakura replied, sounding worried.
“It's okay, Sakura,” Roxas said, resting his hand on Sakura's shoulder. “I won't let that freak touch you.”
Suddenly, Elyon appeared out of nowhere, brandishing Diamond Dust.
“Lot of good that'll do you,” Elyon said, shifting into fighting stance.
Roxas simply smirked and charged, using his Oathkeeper to knock Diamond Dust away from Elyon, and quickly using Oblivion to keep Elyon from reaching it.
The queen, however, simply smirked and held out her hand. Instantly, Diamond Dust returned to her hand.
“What?” Roxas shouted, surprised.
Elyon took her chance and attacked with Diamond Dust, slicing straight through Roxas.
As Roxas faded back into darkness, he looked at the radiant queen.
“Thanks,” Roxas said. “If... if you see a girl named Naminé, tell her I'm waiting...”
When Roxas disappeared, Sakura gasped in shock.
“So, you want to be next?” Elyon challenged.
“I can't believe you! Why'd you kill him? I loved him!” Sakura exclaimed. This surprised Elyon.
“WHAT? How could you love anyone? You're a Nobody! You don't have any emotions!” Elyon shouted.
“I'll never forgive you for this! NEVER!” Sakura screamed, materializing her Dark Crystal keyblade and charging for Elyon.