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Chapter 18 - Traverse Town

After the Battle of Long Valley, the KH team reached the waning stage of their adventure.

Chapter 18 - Traverse Town

Chapter 18 - Traverse Town
Traverse Town

Ophelia sat at the local tavern, helping herself to another cup of coffee. This is the first time since she had joined the KH team that group had rested. Though a long needed rest, it was not one that was spent in relaxation. The team was always weary. Ophelia herself feared for Riku and Sora, not knowing if the two young key bearers could survive the harsh training from Lord Thundro. Thundro was known for his ruthlessness and mercilessness with his students. Though his training day was average, a full twelve hours, he did not let up on his regimen unless necessary.
But it was not only the training of the key bearers that concerned Ophelia. It was also to fact that General Saber, the last of the Blade Generals remained at large. Though there had been no news of any recent activity he was involved in, the mere thought of him helping the Imperial Axis to gain more was unfathomable. It was this type of doubt that made the former colonel apprehensive.
Another miserable night for me, Ophelia thought to herself. I dont think I can stand another two weeks here, waiting for those two. Her thoughts turned to her silver-haired prince. She remembered that moment in Twilight Town where she and Riku touched lips for the first time. She could still feel the warmth and the comfort in the young mans embrace. Riku, come back to me.
Miss Billiard, a voice said. Ophelia turned to see Olette standing near her.
Miss Olette, Ophelia replied. What are you doing here?
I just wanted to see how things were going out here.-
Everythings alright, how are the children doing?-
Goofy and Donald are watching over Hayden and the others. The children are a little bored though. This is the first time that theyve been so far away from home. Then again, this is the first time that Ive been so far away from home. She then looked at the seat next to the colonel. You mind if I sit down?
By all means, Ophelia offered the seat and the two young women sat together. Would you care for some coffee?
Oh yes, that would be great. A cup was handed to her and the two began to drink the bitter liquid. So how long do you think well be here?
Until things blow over with the Imperial Axis, Ophelia said. I dont know how long that might be though. I worry about Riku and Sora though. They right now are undergoing the hardest and most strenuous form of training regimen ever known.
Olette only looked down at her cup. For some reason she began to sniffle a little. A tear formed in her eye Ophelia noticed this and had a feeling of what motivated Olettes tears.
Are you thinking about Pence and Hayner? she asked.
Yes, Olette replied. Why did they have to die? Why did my town have to be attacked? All those people, why&?
It is what the Imperial Axis defies as judgment against those who oppose them.-
But what kind of logic is that? We did nothing to deserve getting attacked. We had nothing to do with this confrontation. We didnt desire to have this happen to us. So why&?-
You did not want to be part of the conflict, but the Imperials didnt care. All they know is that one world gained is more power achieved. Thats all they know and thats all they care about. The axis will not stop until they have every single world in their grasp. That is the goal they wish to achieve. Ophelia cringed. And to think that I was stupid enough to actually follow their philosophies for a time, and all for the sake of a promise that could never be kept.
What was it that motivated you to join the KH team?-
You might say it was due to a change in logic and philosophy, a change of heart, a realization of my worth within that organization, which of course amounted to nothing according to them, perhaps destiny found a better purpose for me than acting as a pawn of the Midnight Faction. Her thoughts once again sent to the face of young Riku. Then again, it might be love&
Love for whom?-
Well&uh& Ophelia started to blush a little, she saw Olettes anxious eyes, wanting to know who it was that she admired.
Miss Olette, a voice said. The two women turned to find Goofy coming towards them, We need your help.
What is it? Olette asked.
One of the kids wet the bed.-
Oh boy, Olette stood up. I better go take care of this. Sorry to have to run so soon, Miss Billiard.
Thats quite alright, Olette.-
You cant take care of one spill?! Olette said, scolding Goofy.
Sorry, Im not really accustomed to doing this kind of thing, you know. Goofy replied.
Once again the night was quiet. Ophelia continued to sip her coffee, keeping her hands warm around the cup.

Meanwhile, Kairi, Kirin, and Triiken finally arrived. The cruiser touched down and the three exited as the hatch opened up.
So this is Traverse Town? Kirin asked.
This is the place. Kairi replied. I remember coming here years ago.
So it has a history then.-
But as they stopped a while to stretch their legs, there seemed to be some debated discussion about the cargo that was brought along with them. Triiken wanted to keep trek of all the equipment listed.
Prince Kirin, he called. Kairis brother walked up to him and the pilot.
Whats the problem? Kirin asked.
Youre experienced with cargo listings arent you?-
Do you mind giving us a hand?-
Sure, Kirin turned to Kairi. Kairi, you go on in. Ill be with you shortly. I have to take care of this thing. There was probably a miscount with the cargo.
Alright, Kairi replied and strolled to the gates. She looked about the first district square. It had remained the same, just as she envisioned it. The night was a little nippy and Kairi had no means to keep her warm. I could go for a nice cup of coffee. She went into the open air tavern, which was bare of people, and looked at the hot beverages. Unfortunately for her though, she did not have any money on her at the moment. Aw man, I dont have anything to spend.
Excuse me, Miss. A voice implied. Kairi looked to see none other than the venerable Colonel Ophelia Billiard sitting not too far away. You care for some coffee?
That would be great.-
Ophelia signaled the innkeeper and the he brought out a fresh brewed cup.
Care to join me?-
Thank you. Kairi replied. The two sat together and sipped from their cups, still oblivious to each other.
Youre a new face around here. Ophelia said. However, you seem somewhat familiar. Have we met before?
I dont think so. I might just have one of those faces.-
I see. Ophelia sipped her coffee again. So tell me, what brings you to Traverse Town?
I have to meet with my friends.-
I see,-
And what about you&? Kairi asked. What brings you here?
Im here awaiting the return of my friends. Theyve gone off to fulfill a training regimen.-
For what&?-
For the next upcoming battle against the Imperial Axis, Ophelia openly declared with such passion.
So youre a soldier?-
Thats right.-
But, Kairi looked at Ophelias uniform, Why is it that youre wearing that black and red outfit. It looks more like an Imperial uniform.
Its my form of distinction on the battlefield. I promised myself that this uniform will always see its fare share of Imperial blood until this fight with the factions is over.-
I see,-
Why do you ask? Ophelia wondered.
I was just saying because my brother, Kirin, also wears that same kind of uniform.-
Kirin, It was the uttering of that name that Ophelia realized who it was she was talking to. Are you referring to Kirin of the Flaming Blades?
Thats what a lot of people call him. I guess its because of those weapons he carries with him.-
You must be her then. You must be his long lost little sister, right? You must also be the other best friend that Riku and Sora were talking about. Your name is Kairi. And that means you must be& Ophelias heart began to pound as she recalled that conversation she and Riku had one month before when they were originally enemies. Inwardly, Ophelia sobbed, her heart seemed to open. That means that this girl, she is Namines other half. Kairi was stunned and a little freaked out.
How do you know that? How do you know about Riku and Sora? Who are you?-
Im& But before Ophelia could utter a word, another voice rang out.
Kairi, is that you? it said. Kairi looked to see Olette coming towards her. Its been a while hasnt it.
Thats right.-
Oh my God, its great to see you. The two embraced. Its been so long.
Over eight years I think. She then looked at Ophelia. I see youve already gotten in touch with Ophelia.
Ophelia&? Kairi looked at the colonel who now arose from her seat.
I didnt properly introduce myself. The colonel exclaimed. I am Colonel Ophelia Billiard. Kairi was again stunned.
You mean youre Ophelia Billiard?-
Thats correct.-
No wonder youre wearing that uniform. Triiken told me all about you. Youre the one then. Youre the one that Riku likes arent you.-
Uh, well&um&-
Riku&? Olette said. Oh, so thats who youre in love with.
Well&I& Ophelia was a little flustered. Well&yes&its true. Ive fallen in love with Riku.
Its nothing to be ashamed of. Kairi said. Im just glad that Riku found another girl.
He hasnt really been the same since my other half passed away, if she passed away at all, though Id like to think shes become a part of me again. It sounds a little crazy, but its true.-
I know&You are the original half of Namine&? Kairi was shocked again.
Namine&? she uttered. How do you know about Namine?
She was my step-sister. We took her in, my father and I, before the organization took her away. Riku told me all about it back in the Deep Jungle.-
I&I dont know what to say.-
Immediately, Ophelias heart began to pound as the name of her adopted step sister reverberated again and again in her ears. Upon her face came this sad smile.
Miss Billiard&? Olette asked as she saw the glint of a tear appear amidst the lashes.
Are you alright&? Kairi asked.
Its been so long. Ophelia said. She suddenly embraced Kairi and took in all those lost memories which Namine and her shared. Kairi was at first a little surprised, not knowing this young woman who hugged her. But for some reason, there was this feeling that surged through her, as if there was a bond there between them all along, like they had known each other for a long time. Kairi put her arms around the colonel, this sad feeling coming over her. Ophelia began to whisper in a wavered voice. My sister&you have returned to me.
Sister&? Kairi said nothing, not wanting to break the heart of the young woman, and only smiled. Its alright, Miss Billiard. The colonel released her and wiped the tears from her eyes.
Im sorry, Ophelia said with a slight sniffle. My conduct was inappropriate. We did just meet after all. I was just too overcome with joy, knowing that you and my sister were and still are part of each other.
Were all friends, right? Kairi asked.
Well, Olette said, wrapping her arms around them both, Im glad to see that you two managed to get on the right foot at least.
So where are Riku and Sora? Kairi asked.
They are at the present moment undergoing a severe training regimen under Lord Thundro to increase their strength. Ophelia said.
They said that theyd be back in three weeks. Olette added. Or so Ive been told.
How long has it been now? Kairi asked.
Its been at least a week or so, maybe a little over.-
Weve been assigned to wait here until they return. Ophelia said.
Three whole weeks&? Kairi sighed. It seems so long though.
That it does. But you might as well enjoy it while you can. This has been the first time in a little over a month that weve been allowed anytime to rest. Besides, if rumors are true about Lord Thundro, he may say that hell train them until they die, but he wont let anything remotely dangerous happen to our boys.-
I guess youre right.-
Kairi, a voice suddenly called. The three girls looked to see Triiken and Kirin coming towards them. There you are. Everything has been straightened out.
Thats good to know. It was then that Kirin laid eyes on the venerable Colonel Billiard.
Colonel Billiard, he said.
Kirin, Ophelia replied. Its been a while hasnt it.
That it has, colonel. And so here we both stand, two former allies, to enemies, and back to allies again for the opposite cause.-
Is that so? So youre fighting alongside us now?-
Who is that? Olette asked. Hes really handsome.
Thats my brother. Kairi said. My long lost, older brother, Kirin.
I see.-
How is it that you know him, Ophelia?-
We were both former and loyal officers of the Midnight Faction. Ophelia said. So how is it that you have decided to join us?-
I came to the same conclusion as you did, colonel. Kirin replied. I now realize the extent of my lifes value within the Imperial regime. And it matters very little to them. Besides, Kirin then looked at Kairi, I had bigger matters to attend to than the faulty ideals of a corrupted government. I had my family to look after.
Ophelia smiled. She placed her hand upon his shoulder. Secretly, she searched his heart and soul, looking for any flaws. But it was true. Kirin had turned against his former overseer.
I see,-
Do you have faith in me now? Ophelia then grasped his hand in a hardy handshake.
Welcome to the KH team, Kirin.-
So where are the rest of your comrades? Triiken asked.
They are all at the hotel in the second district. Olette said. Goofy and Donald are watching the children.
And Goten and Leon, where are they?-
They were summoned away again. They had to take care of some unfinished business.-
As is expected, Triiken pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time. I must return to Oceansburg and finish my tasks there.-
You never seem to stand still, dont you Triiken? Kairi said.
Its what a man in my position is required to do. There is no time for mischief and rest in my line of work.-
Im so glad that I dont have your job then.-
Farewell then. Triiken said. He thus scurried back to the cruiser.
So now what do we do&? Olette asked.
The only thing we can do for the next few days. Ophelia replied. We have to wait for Riku and Sora to come back.
I hope theyll be alright. Kairi said.
They will.-
The team thus, withdrew to the hotel to get a good nights rest. It would be the first time in a long time that the team would sleep so well. But then again, there was still that apprehension regarding the safety of the key bearers. More likely, if something were to happen in the course of the next week and a half, would they be able to deal with the situation despite the absence of Riku and Sora?


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