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Chapter 17 - Hesitation and Confidence

Trapped in an unknown world swallowed in ultimate darkness, Sora and Riku must escape anyway possible! But someone lurks in the shadows ...

Its not the end of the world ... Its the end of the Universe!

Chapter 17 - Hesitation and Confidence

Chapter 17 - Hesitation and Confidence
“Wh-where am I? Why am I here!?” Kairi ordered the towering Xaphire, pressing her hand against her head to sooth the pain.
“Hmph! Such typical questions.” Xaphire moaned under his breath.
He knelt down to Kairi’s level and leant forward, his right eye piercing into Kairi as he gazed into Kairi’s eyes. To Kairi, it felt as through Xaphire could see into her mind and her heart. It was as though Kairi couldn’t hide anything from him whatsoever. But she refused to back away, feeling able to resist Xaphire’s dagger-like eye.
“How about I ask you a question: What do you think happened to Sora and Riku after they got dragged into that vortex 3 days ago?” Xaphire asked her calmly; although to Kairi, this felt like a threat.
“I know ... I know that they’re alive, they’ve survived through everything and can cope against anything standing in their way.” Kairi raised her voice as she spoke, showing she was confident. “They’ll find out what happened to me; they’ll come and get me!”
Xaphire continued to gaze at her for a moment longer, not speaking a single word. There was no emotion bearing across his face, making Kairi wonder if this man actually had a soul. Xaphire then closed his eyes and slowly nodded, rising back to his feet. Then, like an explosion, he began to laugh loudly and deeply, as if he was truly amused. Kairi watched him oddly and confused, then aching pain in her head grew as it throbbed.
“Wow! You certainly are the typical damsel in distress! Hoping her heroes are going to save her!” Xaphire bellowed proudly, chuckling. But then all of a sudden he stopped laughing in a click, as if it just turned off by a flick of a switch. “Well I’ll tell you this now; it is pointless for you to have this false, pathetic hope. In reality ... you shouldn’t even have any hope at all!” He uttered to her boldly.
“What!? Wh-why’s that!?” Kairi roared back, she was not going to be broken down by this guy.
“Because ... One of them is dead, and the other is suffering with severe amnesia, unable to remember anything.” Xaphire answered deeply.
Kairi’s eyes widened in disbelief, beginning to shake her head in denial.
“Y-you’re lying!!” Kairi screamed out, not believing any of what Xaphire just told her.
“Tch. If that is how you’re going to be ... I’ll prove it to you then.” Xaphire chuckled eerily.
He then snapped his fingers; the second figure, that was standing patiently as if it had been a statue, suddenly drew forward into the light. Kairi noticed that as it drew nearer, blank yellow eyes appeared glowing back at her. Darkness was seeping from the figures body as though it was some type of liquid evaporating from the skin. Kairi grew afraid of what she was about to see, fear building up inside her. But when she finally caught sight of the figure in the light; it wasn’t fear anymore that had been building up ... it was grief. She even dropped her hand from pressing against the wound on her head.
“N-no … It isn’t ... it can’t be.” She breathed heavily; not believing what her eyes were seeing, or not wanting to believe.
“Your eyes are not lying to you, Kairi. Who you see before you is the Heartless of the boy who fell fighting, believing in being able to return back to his home to see the one person he dearly loves and cares for ... you!” Xaphire explained, folding his arms and showing no emotion except for a small, horrifying smile. “What a fool he had been.”
“Sora ... no!” Kairi squeaked, tears rolling swiftly from her eyes down her cheeks. She was trying to hold it in but this grief began to take over her emotions entirely.
“How very sad and touching; this only proves how weak and pathetic those two idiots were. They believed in false hope just like you.” Xaphire continued to speak with not a care in the world. “In the end, both were doomed to fall.”
That was when she snapped. Kairi screamed, breaking down instantly when she heard those last words. Xaphire watched awkwardly as Kairi continued to weep loudly, showing no emotion or expression whatsoever. Sora’s Heartless continued to gaze at Kairi, not moving at all.
Xaphire then began to lose patience, “For goodness sake, no wonder you’re a Princess of Heart; you’re too pure for your own good!” Xaphire roared over the screams and weeps.
“YOU’RE A MONSTER!!!” Kairi screamed with a high pitch, grieving for Sora.
“I’m a monster, am I?” Xaphire wondered curiously, “Will a monster command a vile order for the amusement? Sora … hit her!”
Kairi suddenly halted her weeping as she gasped, switching her sight straight towards Sora’s Heartless with incredulity. Her eyes were red and bloodshot, her face dripping wet from her tears. Sora’s Heartless whipped its head round, it glared wide-eyed towards Xaphire as though with shock. Xaphire stared back, showing off a dark, serious look.
“I’m going to count to three, and then you’ll strike her across the face.” He told the Heartless slowly and clearly, his eye fixed on it.
Sora’s Heartless turned its head back and gazed upon Kairi; it noticed her mouth gaping as she shook her head. The Heartless then slowly stepped closer to Kairi until it was literally towering over her, the blank yellow eyes still fixed on her. Kairi was shaking uncontrollably; she couldn’t believe what was going to happen. Sora’s Heartless gradually raised its right arm while its hand strengthened into a fist. At first, Kairi thought it was herself shaking but then she realized: the Heartless’ was shaking with hesitation, but Xaphire wasn’t able to see this.
“Three...” Xaphire began the countdown.
Kairi continued to gaze at Sora’s Heartless; she was trying to tell him, “Please, no.” But the words were not flowing out of her.
Sora’s Heartless slightly lowered and its fist very slowly loosened, feeling as though the Heartless began to have second thoughts.
Xaphire was switching gaze back and forth with the pair, his eye pierced like knives stabbing through the body.
“NOW!” Xaphire then bellowed.
Sora’s Heartless hesitated for a second, and then launched its fist towards Kairi’s innocent face. Kairi caught the full force of the punch, her left cheek bone caught by the knuckles of the Heartless’ fist. A light crack was heard as Kairi’s head turned away by the force of the Heartless’ strength. Xaphire smirked; although he was a Nobody and has no true emotion, he showed he was amused by what he watched. When it all ended, Kairi continued to look away, her face hidden by her soft, reddish-pink hair. Drops of blood fell to the floor and spattered on its impact. Sora’s Heartless dropped its arm but continued to stare at her. Although it was impossible to see as it was hiding it, the Heartless was regretting. Xaphire suddenly took a deep breath, breaking the silence.
“Tch. A monster would be a small, weak runt compared to me … Sora, grab her and follow me.” Xaphire commanded deeply, his dark voice echoed around the hall. “It’s time we began.”
As Xaphire turned, Sora’s Heartless continued to stare at Kairi. She was sobbing silently and her hand rose up behind her hair as she soothed her cheek. Sora knelt down beside her and took her arm lightly. She turned her head towards the Heartless, showing the result of its strike. There was blood dripping from the side of her mouth and a large, dark and horrible bruise swiftly appeared on her left cheek. Her cheek bone had been cracked by the force. Kairi gazed at Sora’s Heartless sorrowfully and painfully as it continued to gaze back, eyes meeting each other.
“If she’s resisting; just hit her again!” Xaphire called out eerily, he stopped to wait for the two.
Sora’s Heartless got to his feet, lightly clutching onto Kairi’s arm. Kairi slowly rose up, her whole body shaking due her legs becoming weak and close to giving way. Sora’s Heartless tugged on her arm and turned away, looking at her no more. Kairi was pulled and the two strode towards Xaphire, a door had appeared through the darkness on the other end of the hall. Xaphire lead the way and the two followed, with Sora’s Heartless keeping its grasp of Kairi and dragged her along. Kairi’s cheek continued to throb even more painfully than her head, tears and blood still rolling down her face. Kairi closed her eyes, taking her mind off the real, cruel world that she was in.

It was Sunday in the afternoon, a day after Sora’s and Riku’s disappearance, and Kairi sat on her bed motionless. She had not moved all day, her parents heard about the incident not long after it happened and left her alone, not wanting to interfere. Selphie had been trying to call her all day but Kairi didn’t answer back. She was too depressed and spaced out to move or do anything. She sighed, feeling the heart-broken pain run through her body. All she could do was worry for Sora and Riku’s safety. Suddenly, there had been a knock on the door and instantly opened on its own. Kairi snapped out of her trance and watched the door. Selphie appeared from behind it, her head peeking through the opening. She slowly walked in and closed the door behind her. She waddled up to Kairi and sat next to her on the bed.
“I had to come and see you, you weren’t answering my calls.” Selphie admitted to her. “I’m worried about you, about what happened to you and to Sora and Riku.”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t get it out of my head.” Kairi apologized quietly, struggling to speak. “Watching as those two had been dragged into that vortex or whatever it was … Watching helplessly Sora and Riku disappear like that!”
“I can’t believe something like that would happen ... again! Seriously, it’s like those two have the worst of luck!” Selphie began to joke, trying to lift the atmosphere in the room. But Kairi showed no smile. Selphie continued, “I know that you care so much about those two ... I know how much you loved them both. But me, Tidus and Wakka also care about those two, we’re all their friends. I think both of them want you to be strong, to believe in them being able to come back just like they did before … at least I want you to.”
“But ... but what if they don’t? What if they don’t return home this time!?” Kairi answered painfully, feeling the grief increasing. “I couldn’t bear the pain of losing them forever!”
“Because they’re both really strong; they can look after themselves wherever they go. And don’t forget; you believed in them before when they were missing and look what happened, they returned to you.” Selphie explained hastily, trying not to make her feel any worse.
They fell silent, both gazing down to the floor. Kairi’s body began to shake with angst, causing Selphie to feel uncomfortable. Selphie then swiftly broke the silence again, beginning to explain about the aftermath of the crisis.
“The Island had been closed off from the public, meaning we can’t go back there for the time being. The devastation had been colossal. Authorities were told about Sora and Riku and an investigation began immediately. I bet us two plus Tidus and Wakka are gonna be interviewed about it soon.” She discussed to her, trying to get her speaking.
Kairi merely nodded. Selphie sighed, it was time she admitted the truth of why she had visited.
“There was another reason why I arrived to see you; I was given this by Sora’s parents a moment ago to pass on to you. I think you’ll like it.” Selphie told her, she slipped into one of her pockets to reveal an envelope addressed to Kairi. She handed it over to her and watched curiously as she gazed at it.
“I haven’t opened it!” She hastily admitted, knowing about her own curiosity.
“This is ... Sora’s handwriting.” Kairi suddenly realized, her spirits began to lift slightly. “I know his handwriting from anywhere; it’s always this messy.” She began to giggle.
“Are you going to be able to read it?” Selphie wondered, having trouble to spell Kairi’s name in Sora’s awful handwriting.
“Yeah. After knowing him for so long, I’ve grown used to it.” Kairi nodded with a smile.
She then ripped the top of the envelope, taking out a folded letter from inside. She opened it out and read through straight away:

11 years I’ve known you now and not a day have I not thought about you,
Thinking of you gave me the strength to accomplish my goals and conquer my fears,
When I, you and Riku were split apart, I was determined to find both of you,
When Riku had your body and fallen to the darkness, I was determined to protect you,
When I became a heartless and plunged into darkness, I made sure not to forget you.
When I and Riku were stuck in the Realm of Darkness, reading the letter you sent to me gave us hope.
And so I want you to know that if I end up in a situation like before and we get thrown apart from each other,
I want you to believe in me like you’ve always done before,
Just picture the drawing we did of giving each other paupu fruits and I’ll always come back no matter what happens,
I’ll always be there for you, I promise!


Kairi smiled, she began to tear up with happiness. Selphie read the letter herself and her mouth instantly dropped with shock and awe from what was written.
“I ... I never knew he could write like that!” Selphie admitted with surprise, having trouble finding the words.
“He ... he does tend to surprise people, that’s for sure.” Kairi giggled cheerfully, teared up, “But now I know, I know they’ll be back.” She admitted confidently.
She then suddenly rose off the bed and moved herself over to a small draw on the opposite side of the room, where a simple desk was situated. She opened it up and took out a star shaped object. It had been her good luck charm. She gazed at it and sighed, continuously smiling.
“I wish I gave this to him before the disaster, but I know he’s got luck on his side.” Kairi spoke as showed to Selphie.
Selphie nodded to her cheerfully; relieved she was finally happy again.
Kairi then gazed out of her bedroom window, but her smile suddenly faded away the moment she caught sight. She noticed a figure standing towards the end of the street that she normally see through the window. The person was staring right back at her, but this figure was standing too far away for Kairi to find out who it was. Kairi then unconsciously blinked. The figure suddenly disappeared from sight, nowhere to be seen.
“Kairi, are you okay?” Selphie wondered, she was confused to why Kairi was gazing dreamily out the window.
“Y-yeah ... it’s nothing.” Kairi stutteringly replied, still staring out towards the now empty street.

Kairi eyes opened up to reality once again; she was being dragged by Sora’s Heartless down a long dark corridor, no lights anywhere around the extent of the room. Xaphire was leading the way, his Organization cloak flapping freely behind as he strode. Kairi noticed Sora’s Heartless had a fairly loose grip around her arm. Upon glimpsing towards the Heartless, Kairi suddenly realized something.
“Oi, Xaphire! Do you know if Sora’s Nobody appeared?” Kairi called out clearly, showing a slight amount of hope.
Xaphire instantly came to a halt, causing Sora’s Heartless to react the same. He turned round and laid his deadly eyes upon Kairi. He began to chuckle.
“Oh yeah, I forgot about him. Yes, he appeared.” He answered eerily with a small sigh. “When I shattered Sora’s heart, he appeared not long afterwards. He fought me and Sora’s Heartless with Riku’s assistance. It was fun beating them up, but I decided to leave those two to rot after I broke every chain in Riku’s memory. Right now, they’re probably searching for a way to repair his memories. Fat chance that’ll happen though.”
“You truly are a cruel man…” Kairi growled, drawing back.
“Clever girl, did you only realize that just now?” Xaphire sarcastically clapped his hands to her.
“As long as Roxas or anything close to Sora is still around, there will always be hope and chance that’ll he’ll come back.” Kairi confidently spoke out. “It’s happened before and it’ll happen again!”
“Tch, so that’s how you’re going to be. Well guess what ... his heart is demolished! No matter what you do, you can’t bring him back, no one can!” Xaphire argued back, showing he was growing tired of this.
Kairi glared at him with despise, and then switched to Sora’s Heartless. The Heartless was gazing straight back to her. Everything fell silent. It had been close to impossible to read Sora’s Heartless, but Kairi knew that what she spoke out had dug into its mind, questioning possibilities and reality.
“Now that’s over and done with, we have worked to do.” Xaphire demanded them, breaking the silence.
Xaphire turned and continued on towards the door on the other end of the corridor, the other two dragged on behind. They reached the door and Xaphire threw it open with force, causing it to slam against the wall. The other two followed as he continued through. The door slammed shut behind them as they passed by, causing Kairi to jump slightly. The room instantly lit up but there was nothing in it, just an empty, small, circular room. Xaphire threw his arm out in front, towards the wall. Instantly a Dark Portal appeared, darkness pouring out freely.
“Where are we going?” Kairi wondered, glaring towards the portal. She remembered the last time she went through a portal just like this one, knowinf that it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
“There’s one thing special about this room; no room in this Castle would allow a Dark Portal to be summoned ... apart from this particular one.” Xaphire explained, ignoring Kairi’s question.
“Why is that?” Kairi then asked curiously.
“This world used to be a prison for the accused and the worthless. If they were able to successfully get past the numerous traps and spells, they would end up here. They were free to leave this world … that is if they were able to cast up a Portal.” Xaphire continued on, chuckling. “Where we are going is identically as tormenting as this world.”
“Where are we going then?” Kairi repeated herself, louder and clearer this time.
“Castle Oblivion.” Xaphire spat out.


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