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Chapter 12 - Chapter 12

Axel returns as a biker to aid Sora, Riku and Kairi in their battle against the Heartless.

Chapter 12 - Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Chapter 12
Heartless Hunter Axel
By Axel Ingleson

(a/n: Saveena-001 has asked me to ad Seraphine to this story in exchange for a picture she is kindly drawing for me.)

-Chapter 12-

Axel walked quietly into the town library, which he was sure he would not be allowed in if they knew the type of person he was.

“Can I help you?” Asked a man, who looked old beyond his years.

“My name’s Axel,” the fire mage replied. “Got it memorized?”

“I’m Charles Holloway, and there’s nothing wrong with my memory, thank you,” the old man replied, curtly. “Now, what is your business in our town?”

“My friends and I are searching for a friend of ours that got lost,” Axel explained. “Have you seen any young men around here with unusual hair?”

The other man looked pointedly at Axel.

“Other than me.” Axel added.

“Nope,” the man told him. “Though that carnival’s got some interesting folk in it. I wouldn’t go near it though. If your friend’s in there, I feel very sorry for him. Very sorry, indeed.”

“Sounds like a bad scene,” Axel commented.

“Oh, it’s bad alright. Nothing good ever comes from the Autumn People.”

“The Autumn People,” Axel pondered. “Tell me what you know about them.”

“Well,” Holloway recalled, “my grandfather told me about them when I was younger than you are. He said that the Autumn People were a band of spirits who came to this town to steal the souls of the people by granting them their fondest wish."

"Not much different from the Heartless," Axel observed. "Except that the Heartless take people's hearts."

"Sounds to me like you and I are of a similar cloth," Holloway told Axel. "Though something tells me you're not showing me all that you are."

"Perhaps not," Axel admitted as he departed from the library and headed in the direction of the Autumn People.

* * * * *

Sora had long since pulled his hand out of Dark's grasp.

Riku decided he didn't like the man at all. There was something about him that reminded him of Xehanort. He wondered if the two might be related.

“Tell me,” Dark asked. “Have you, by any chance, come across two boys? They would be about your age. Not much different from yourselves in how they differ from each other. One dark haired, one fair. Their names are Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade. You see, I am seeking them out.”

“Why?” Riku asked, already determined not to believe whatever answer the man gave.

“They’ve won prizes,” Dark replied. “And I wish to give them what they so richly deserve.”

“Well, I for one have no desire to receive any kind of prize you might have to offer,” Riku scoffed. “Come Sora. We’ve got no further use for a man such as this.”

“Use?” Dark asked, viciously. “Mind your tongue, young one. Or perhaps you would like to ride the carousel. I could age you until you were in your forties. Or even older.”

“Been there. Done that.” Riku scoffed. “I was possessed by a man far more deserving of the name Dark than you are.”

“Riku,” Sora warned. “This man is dangerous.”

Riku decided to back off for once. “It’s a good thing for you that my friend is here,” he told Dark.

Dark chuckled. “Indeed. Or perhaps not!” he turned to the man at his side. “Mr. Cooger,” he said. “See to it that these boys enjoy a ride on our carousel. Perhaps in reverse, until they disappear.”

Cooger stepped forward to grab Sora and Riku.

But Sora and Riku were not the everyday small town boys that Cooger and Dark had anticipated.

Drawing their keyblades, they dodged and struck, leaving Cooger senseless, and Dark fuming with rage as they ran to find someone who could help them find Demyx.

“Maybe in there,” Sora suggested, pointing to a square building not far off in the distance.

“In a House of Mirrors,” Riku shook his head. But Sora was once again already running off. And Riku, reminded of himself in more ways than he would have liked to admit, followed after.

As they made their way through the maze of their own reflections, they came upon a girl who was sitting on the floor, looking into a mirror with sad eyes. To their utter amazement, they saw in the mirror, not the girl’s reflection, but Edym!

“Edym…” the girl was weeping. “Where are you, Edym?”

The girl looked starved and they wondered how long she had been sitting there pining for her lost cat.

“You say you’ve lost a cat named Edym?” Sora asked her.

She looked up in surprise. “Yes. Yes,” she told them. “Do you know where he is?”

Riku glared at Sora who realized, too late, that he shouldn’t have said anything. Well, he had, and now there was nothing for it but to confide in the girl. Perhaps she would take it better than they were expecting her to.

“You cat was found on a world quite far from this one,” Sora told her, much to Riku’s annoyance.

“My cat was on a spaceship?” the girl asked in a disbelieving tone. It was a more innocent time, but even the people of that day weren’t stupid enough to believe such a ridiculous tale.

“Something like that, I guess,” Sora scratched his hair. “My name’s Sora, by the way. And this is my friend, Riku.”

“Mine’s Seraphine,” the girl introduced herself. “Can you really take me to see my kitten?”

“Sure,” Sora said, before Riku could protest.

Seraphine gave them a not quite trusting look. But before she could say a word, about a dozen Soldier Heartless came crashing through the mirrors.

Riku and Sora drew their keyblades.

One of the Heartless tried to grab Seraphine. Riku and Sora moved to defend her, but before they got to her side, she had wiped out two Heartless with a long black cat o’ nine tails.

“You got some sort of cat thing going?” Riku asked once they had fought their way back out of the House of Mirrors.

“Why do you ask?” Seraphine asked, as she continued to battle their foe alongside them. “And just what are these things anyhow. I’m sure I’ve seen them before. Somewhere. But not here.”

“Perhaps you’ve been on a spaceship, too?” Sora suggested.

The thought stirred a memory in Seraphine. “Perhaps,” she agreed as the last Heartless fell.

Axel came running up. “We’ve got big problems.” He told them. “The Heartless are overrunning the town. Any sign of Demyx?”

“None,” Sora admitted.

“Who?” Seraphine asked.

“Your kitten’s Nobody,” Sora replied. “I’ll explain later.”

“Explain now,” Seraphine demanded as she followed them.

“A Nobody is the being who is created when someone loses their heart.” Riku told her.

“Oh no!” Seraphine gasped. “My kitten lost his heart! How dreadful. Is he…?”

“No,” Riku assured her. “Your kitten is alive and doing quite well. But because he lost his heart, he cannot grow up to become a cat.”

“Well, there are worse things than remaining a kitten.” Seraphine replied.

“Like that, you mean?” Riku asked, pointing at a giant Heartless which looked much the same as the one Sora had encountered in Wonderland.

“I can handle him,” Axel told them. Then, seeing the worried look on Sora’s face, he added. “Don’t worry. I don’t intend to go that far.”

Axel summoned his chakrams and hurled one at the middle of the Heartless which burst into flame.

“Oh, that really helped,” Seraphine remarked sarcastically as the Heartless took a swipe at her. But she smiled when her whip scattered the charred and ashen remains of the creature’s arm.

The touch seemed to have a domino effect. As soon as the arm was gone, the rest of the burnt Heartless crumbled to dust and blew away.

“Now,” Sora said, to Seraphine. “Let’s go see your kitten.”


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