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Chapter 19 - Fallen Origin

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 19 - Fallen Origin

Chapter 19 - Fallen Origin
Sora eyes slowly flickered open, feeling a sudden halt in his falling. He gazed up to the pitch-black sky, gasping upon realizing why he stopped falling. His arm was caught by a silver gauntlet, whose body seemed to be completely engulfed in the darkness to the point of only the gauntlet being visible. Sora was speechless. Who was this being before him? Why save him from falling further into the darkness? Is he a friend or a foe?
Just then, the gauntlet began to pull Sora into the wall of oozing darkness. This caused him to panic for a moment, feeling as though this was part of his submersion into eternal darkness. But as the gauntlet pulled, a bright light began to appear from it, swiftly growing in brightness. Sora didn’t know what was going on, all this had been confusing him greatly. He instantly squinted as the bright light became blinding. Suddenly, it felt as though his whole body had been thrown like a ball, tumbling through the air. Unexpectedly, Sora collided against a ground of some sort; it had a soft yet grainy feel. Sora slowly opened his eyes, not knowing what to expect. Sora caught sight of his surroundings, and gasped instantly with wonder of the world he had just entered. He sat up to gain a clearer view, awestruck by the environment around him. The sky was showing that it was night time, with the clear and diverse sky showing off thousands of different stars. Sora has not seen the sky since the last time he was on Destiny Islands, just before he had been dragged into the vortex. This had felt like it had been forever since the chaos happened. Around him, there were various sharp pointed cliffs towering over him, as though they were alive. To Sora’s right, there were two small, miniature waterfalls falling freely towards a clear, healthy pond. There were a few torchlights scattered across a few of the cliff’s walls, laminating the area. Sora steadied himself to his feet, trying to gain strength back into his muscles. He gazed around, feeling as though this had been a pleasant dream.
“They call this place ‘The Land of Departure’.” A sudden yet familiar voice called out cheerfully and calmly.
This caused Sora to jump out of his own skin unexpectedly; not realising there was another person with him. But upon hearing the familiar voice, who was not Vanitas’; Sora swiftly switched round, expecting to see his own Nobody, Roxas, before him. But who he caught sight of wasn’t Roxas. A boy about Sora’s own age stood before him in metallic, unique looking clad of armour. The armour’s various features were similar to the gauntlet Sora had seen. This included a light, tough-looking helmet in contrast to Vanitas’ own. Sora could tell this boy was a friend, but slightly disappointed that it wasn’t who he thought it had been.
“Am I not who you were expecting to see?” The boy wondered with a cheerful voice, having noticed the slight disappointment in Sora’s face.
“Oh … sorry. I thought you were someone I knew.” Sora apologised innocently. “May I ask for your name?”
“Unfortunately, I cannot tell you that. You see, I can’t seem to recollect my own name at this moment in time.” The armoured boy shook his head sadly.
“That’s a shame.” Sora commented, his eyes dipping. But then he brightened up instantly, “So, have I truly returned to the living?” He wondered, his eyes beaming with excitement.
The armoured being shook his head again, “this is a fragment of my own memories structured to shield your soul from fading forever into darkness.” He explained, crossing his arms. “Take it as a sort of base camp.”
“I see…” Sora nodded, saddened but had expected to hear that answer. “Is there any way to return to the living?”
“It’s possible but can only be done from the outside. So, all you can do is wait and see.” The boy answered pleasantly.
“Well, I’m glad that I’m here rather than falling forever in darkness.” Sora chuckled, feeling appreciative of being in this world. “Thank you for this.”
“No problem. You saved my own soul from fading away 11 years ago, so I decided to return the favour.” The boy laughed.
“Wait, I did!?” Sora echoed with startle, caught out by what the armoured boy told him. “I honestly don’t remember about this!”
“You were only 4 years old at the time, and you have lost a significant number of memories during you time falling in the darkness.” The boy pleasantly explained. But then began to speak in a serious manner, “Unfortunately, this place is only a temporary memory fragment. Meaning that once time is up, we’ll both return to the dark abyss.”
“How long have we got?” Sora wondered cautiously, hoping for a decent amount of time.
“We both have only a day.” The boy answered with distaste. “This means that we have a lack of time to prepare ourselves.”
There was a moment of silence at that point. Sora’s eyes locked onto the armoured boy with surprise, trying to read his motive.
“What do you mean by ‘prepare ourselves’?” Sora then asked with hesitance.
The armoured boy took his time to answer, as though he was trying to think of the best way to answer.
“Follow me; I wish to show you something.” The boy finally spoke, twisting round to lead the way.
Sora glared at him oddly, cautiously wondering about what the armoured boy was planning to show him. But Sora gave in and followed the boy, treading on the path between two towering cliffs. As the two pressed on, the path they followed began to twist and turn around boulders and cliffs. Sora continued to wonder about where he was and about this boy in armour. Everything continued to feel more mysterious, but also it began to feel more familiar to him. It was as though he had been here before, as though this was his home once before. But that was also the problem; Sora’s home had always been Destiny Islands. So why was it that he kept feeling this place was his home once before?
Sora then switched his sight back towards the boy in armour who led the way towards their destination.  The boy was silent, the only thin making a noise was his footsteps and clattering of his armour. Sora kept on feeling that this boy was the most mysterious out of the Land of Departure; his familiar voice, the things he had been saying, and his similar personality. Sora couldn’t figure out who he was. Just then, the boy halted his movement and casually lifted his head, gazing towards where they were heading towards. Sora stopped beside him and followed his gaze, wondering why they stopped. Instantly, Sora’s mouth fell open with shock and awe. What they gazed upon was a large, speed out Castle situated between various tall mountains. Chains attached from the Castle to these mountains hung loosely, swaying slightly from the wind. Its cathedral-like windows reflected the moonlight, releasing numerous colourful auras into the horizon. The Castles style gave it a very homely and comfortable feel, as though it would literally welcome guests into its magnificent building. A courtyard situated in front, with stairs leading up to the Castle. The boy switched his view towards the mountain underneath the Castle, with Sora following his sight. It seemed that in order for Sora and the armoured boy to reach the Castle, they would need to walk up a large spiral staircase leading up from underneath the building. The boy began to stroll towards the direction of the Castle, not speaking a word. Sora almost didn’t notice the boy walking off due to him being so silent, only just hearing the small clattering sound from his armour.
“Huh … H-hey! Wait up!” Sora called out, beginning to run so he could catch up to the boy.
 Suddenly, Sora felt something grab the back of his clothing, catching him off guard. Within a second, several hands caught him from behind and threw him to the ground. The boy in armour abruptly turned to find out what was happening. Realising the problem, he swiftly ran to Sora’s aid. Sora did not hesitate as he brushed off the enemies who were holding him down, releasing a swift swipe of his Keyblade of Darkness. Leaping to his feet, he turned to face these new enemies and examined them in full detail. Sora realised straight away that these enemies were not Heartless, nor were they Nobodies. These creatures had a different emblem tattooed on their bodies, shaped as though two scythes overlapped each other to form the outline of a heart. Sora tightened his grasp on his Keyblade, feeling somewhat edgy by their appearance and how they moved about.
“What are these things?”  Sora hesitantly whispered, his eyes locked on these new enemies.
Just at that moment, the armoured boy leapt past him towards the creatures, weapon in hand. Sora noticed that the weapon the boy grasped had been in fact a uniquely shaped Keyblade. The way he gripped onto the Keyblade had been different to other Keyblade Wielders Sora had come across in the past. The boy struck the enemies with a backhand attack, which seemed to be his style of fighting. The boy smoothly turned round and struck the creatures with a powerful but swift swing of the backhand Keyblade. With that, the creatures backed away, cautious about facing the boy.
“They’re known as the Unversed.” The armoured boy stated, keeping eyes locked on the creatures. “And if they are here, then that means Vanitas has broken through the barrier into this world.”
“Huh!? But, how is that possible!?” Sora wondered, shocked and confused.
“These creatures are part of Vanitas’ actual being.” The armoured boy began to explain. “Meaning that he has complete control over the Unversed and no matter how many time we destroy these things, they’ll just flow right back into him. “
“Then, how was he able to get into this world?” Sora asked cautiously.
The armoured boy took a moment to think, and then spoke, “Vanitas is a smart guy; he must have somehow used the Unversed to gain access.”
Suddenly, the enemy Unversed leaped in to attack, catching the both of them off guard. Sora retaliated the moment he came into contact with the Unversed, striking his Keyblade into the creatures with full force. The Unversed disappeared from sight, causing Sora to feel relieved. Meanwhile, the armoured boy evaded the incoming Unversed, allowing him to gain the advantage. With a swift turn, he was able to catch the Unversed with his back-hand Keyblade, defeating them instantly.
“One-hit kills? Nice!” Sora cheerfully spoke out with a fist-pump, feeling the ease from that fight.
“Don’t let your guard down, Vanitas purposely made them weak.” The armoured boy hushed him, gripping his Keyblade tightly. “He’s toying with us.”
“But what should we do?” Sora curiously wondered, “We have no idea on where he is or what he’s planning.”
“Well, he isn’t being very thoughtful on his own whereabouts.” The armoured boy answered coldly.
Sora glared towards him with a clueless expression. The armoured boy pointed out towards the Castle. Sora followed the direction of where the armoured boy was pointing, switching his sight to the Castle. Upon the spire of its tallest tower stood Vanitas’ figure, his arms crossed and a dark smile strapped across his face. He was waiting for them as though eager to clash Keyblades.
“Hmm … I wonder what he wants with us.” Sora lightly commented, curious on what was in Vanitas’ mind.
“I don’t know; he was never the type of person that would express his own intentions.” The boy replied, who seemed as curious as Sora. “But right now all we can do is press on and meet him at the finish line.”
“But would we be running right into a trap?” Sora argued, doubtful on the armoured boy’s idea.
The boy switched his sight straight towards Sora, as though staring at him straight in the eye, “Does it look like we have a choice?” he argued back.
Sora shrugged, not knowing what to do at that moment in time. The armoured boy then immediately began to sprint towards the Castle, Keyblade tight by his sight. There had been no warning that he would do this, and so caught Sora off guard.
“H-hey! Hold up!” Sora yelled out, calling after him. “Will you PLEASE stop leaving me behind!?”
Sora ran to catch up to the armoured boy, being careful that his Keyblade was still by his side. The two Keyblade warriors continued to follow the path as swift as they could as they headed towards the Castle. Sora constantly had a keen eye on the Castle, but he could see that Vanitas never moved from his position, continuously watching them from above. Sora bit the inside of his lip; he could feel Vanitas somehow dragging him back by unnatural pressure. But all he could do for now was brush it away and ignore any of Vanitas’ influences and torment.
“Sora! To your left!” The armoured boy shouted out from ahead.
Sora instantly noticed the Unversed leap towards him upon the armoured boy’s call. He swiftly tensed his grip on the Keyblade and waited for the right moment to strike. Once the Unversed were close enough, Sora struck with a devastating spin. The Unversed caught by the blade and instantly disappeared in defeat. Sora took no time to recover and continued to follow the armoured boy towards the Castle. After a while of running, both Sora and the armoured boy halted to a stop as they finally arrived to the foot of the staircase leading up towards to Castle. Both of them examined the spiral staircase swiftly and assessed the situation they would be in.
“It seems we may have to fight our way to the top.” The armoured boy concluded, spotting some Unversed poking out from above.
“Well, that doesn’t seem too bad.” Sora responded in a positive tone, shrugging as though they would be a piece of cake to beat.
“The one thing you shouldn’t do is get cocky with Vanitas or the Unversed.” The armoured boy warned, his head switched round towards Sora, “Don’t forget that he’s toying around with us, underestimating him would be the last thing you would want to do.”
Sora drew back slightly, realising what the boy meant, and gave out a small, serious nod. The two of them took one last glimpse of the spiralling staircase just before they began to hastily ascend.
“One more thing: try not the fall off of the staircase!” The armoured boy called out loudly, leading the pair up the staircase.
“Right, I’ll keep that in mind.” Sora answered back, keeping himself close to the inner wall as they ascended.
They continued to swiftly climb the spiral staircase, Keyblades grasped tight ready for the upcoming conflict. Sora took a glimpse of the mountainous surroundings as he pressed on, allowing him to clear his mind of a moment. He had just enough time to think things through; about what he was going to do once, and if, he defeats Vanitas. But as he began to think, his mind suddenly wondered about what has been happening back in the living worlds during his time away. He began to worry about Riku, wondering if he survived the battle they both had with Xaphire. Hoping his was safe and well. This, in turn, caused him to wonder about Xaphire, about the progression of his plans and how much time Sora had left to prevent this plan from reaching a catastrophic conclusion. Finally, he wondered about Kairi, hoping more than anything she was safe back in Destiny Islands and not involved with all of this.
“Unversed incoming!” The armoured boy suddenly bellowed with warning, causing Sora to snap out of his worrying trance.
The armoured boy had been correct; several Unversed flew in from above to attack them. With the Keyblades firmly in their grasps, the two Keyblade warriors began to clash with the Unversed while still ascending the staircase. Sora swiftly struck his Keyblade of Darkness into one of the larger Unversed; but, unlike last time, this one strike didn’t defeat the enemy. The armoured boy inflicted several strikes to a few of the smaller Unversed, but this only stunned them.
“They’re much tougher to defeat now!” Sora called out towards the armoured boy in front, continuing to push on up the staircase.
“I knew Vanitas was toying with us!” the armoured boy bellowed back, sounding as though he had been frustrated about the situation.
Sora and the armoured boy continued to brush away incoming attacks by the Unversed, having no intention of facing then head on due to the time limit they had stuck in their heads. Sora wished to properly defeat the Unversed but he remembered from what the armoured boy had told him that these enemies were a part of Vanitas’ being. And so if the Unversed had been defeated then they’ll just return to Vanitas straight away.
At that moment, the armoured boy got caught by one of the Unversed that he struck down earlier, causing both the Unversed and the armoured boy to slip off from the staircase and began to fall towards the ground far below them. The armoured boy hastily retaliated and grasped onto the edge of the staircase, preventing him from falling. He swiftly took a glimpse of the falling Unversed below that had caused the surprise attack. Dangling from the edge of the spiral staircase, the armoured boy noticed Sora arrive to his aid, holding out a hand.
“I’ll be fine, just keep going!” The armoured boy commanded him, refusing the help up.
“You saved me from falling into eternal darkness; it’s time I started to return the favour.” Sora stated to the armoured boy in a positive tone, giving out a cheesy smile as he continued to hold out his hand to help.
The armoured boy took a small moment to think; he then reconsidered the help and grasped onto Sora’s arm, being hoisted up back onto the spiral staircase. Sora hoisted the armoured boy with much strength as he needed; knowing him and the armoured boy had a decent amount of trust in each other. Once they succeeded, they took a moment to gather their strength back, taking in long breaths of relief. They then nodded to each other and pressed on, Keyblades grasped strongly by their sides.
They finally reached to top of the spiral staircase, after fighting trough more of the Unversed on the way up. Upon their arrival, Sora noticed they had entered a large, circular courtyard. As Sora became immersed with the new surrounds, he noticed that various, large chains were wrapped around pillars surrounding this courtyard. Sora then focused where the chain originated from; the Castle stood high above the two Keyblade warriors, towering over the courtyard. Sora couldn’t take his eyes of the elegant detail on the whole Castle up close; everything in this world made him feel out of place, and yet it also felt homily to him for some reason.  When examining the Castle more closely, Sora began to feel a case of ‘Déjà Vu’. He began to gain sudden flashbacks; but it wasn’t of this particular Castle, it was another Castle. Sora caught sight of images that showed his younger self walking up and entering the Castle with Donald and Goofy by his side. There were images showing some of Organization XIII’s members, Axel included within the pack. But these flashbacks didn’t last for long. They swiftly disappeared from Sora’s mind, causing him to have more questions rushing through his head. Why had he been shown those flashbacks? When did it happen? Why ‘that’ Castle?
“I can’t see Vanitas anywhere.” The armoured boy suddenly stated, stepping up towards Sora. “He must be waiting for us inside the Castle.”
Sora instantly jumped up with fright, not expecting the armoured boy to appear. He hesitantly switched to the boy’s direction.
“R-Right!” Sora stuttered, nodding with a shaky reaction.
The armoured boy glared at him blankly, but the turned and led the way towards the Castle entrance without a word spoken. Sora took a moment to gather his own thoughts, the images repeating in his mind so he didn’t forget about what he saw. He then ran to catch up with the armoured boy, who had just entered the Castle entrance.
Sora’s mouth fell open upon amazement of the inside of the Castle; it’s high, rich halls dazzled with a strong, light welcome. The cathedral-like windows and walls added to the peaceful, light-hearted tone of the Castle’s interior.
“Vanitas is most likely up the stairs towards the Throne Room of the Castle.” The armoured boy pointed out, directing Sora to the stairs in the distance. “You’ll need to use every power you have you’re going to stand up to him.”
“W-Wait … what about you?” Sora wondered curiously.
“There’s a weapon in this Castle I need to find that may give us an advantage.” The armoured boy answered, turning his head towards a door at the side of the Entrance hall.
“Ok…” Sora hesitantly nodded, feeling odd about the situation.
“Trust me, we’ll need it.” The armoured boy stated confidently, suddenly bolting off towards the side-door.
“H-Hold on!” Sora hastily shouted out, caught out by the boy rushing off.
But the armoured boy had already disappeared out of sight.
Why do I have the feeling this isn’t going to end well? Sora’s mind hesitantly doubted.
Sora climbed to the top of the stairs, entering the largest room in the Castle: Land of Departure’s Throne Room.  The room had a similar feel to the Entrance hall below, but a darker feeling seemed to be battling for control. Upon Sora’s arrival, he instantly noticed that Vanitas was nowhere in sight. At first Sora thought that he was somewhere else in this Castle, but then he changed his mind upon feeling a dark aura loom around the room. Vanitas was hiding somewhere within this room. Sora cautiously began to search around, checking every side and corner as precisely as possibly. He also checked his back in case Vanitas tries to backstab. Eventually, Sora halted his search and stood in the middle of the Throne Room, cautiously gathering his thoughts.
All of a sudden, Sora twisted his body to face towards the ceiling of the Throne Room, bracing with his Keyblade of Darkness in his grasps. Blades clashed against each other in an instant, ricocheting upon impact. Sora instantly caught sight of his own reflection; but instead of his own serious expression, the dark reflection showed of a horrid, insane smile. Sora hastily leapt back, keeping his eyes locked on Vanitas’ movements. Vanitas coolly leapt toward the direction of the Throne, lowering himself to a sitting position. He laid back against the Throne with mocking eyes and expression, chuckling deeply with an intimidating smile.
“You certainly have good reflexes.” Vanitas sarcastically remarked, leaning his head back lazily. “Certainly an improvement from our last conflict.”
“Stop messing around!” Sora bellowed to him, swinging his Keyblade in anger. “I’m going to end this now!”
“Why? So you can return to the living worlds? So you can save your pointless friends from certain destruction?” Vanitas mockingly questioned, leaning forwards as his eyes began to stab into Sora’s being. “Sorry kid, but it isn’t that simple.”
“I know that! You’re in my way from the process!”  Sora argued somewhat confidently.
“Heheheh … that’s not the point I’m getting at.” Vanitas chuckled lowly. “This Xaphire guy is no pushover, especially after your failure of a battle against him a while ago. And from what I’ve seen so far, he’s just pushed up his standards ten-times higher.”
“What do you mean?” Sora hesitantly asked, not looking forward to what about to come.
“Well, from what I’ve seen through the eyes of your Heartless … he’s inflicted significant damage to your friends.” Vanitas answered, showing off his horridly mocking smile.
“Wh … WHAT!?” Sora roared in shock. “What has he done to them!?”
“(Sigh…) He’s inflicted severe amnesia to that Riku kid and left your weak nobody Roxas with him beaten up.” Vanitas began to explain, sounding as though he found it a hassle to answer. “Oh … and he’s taken your girl – Kairi, was it? – hostage with your Heartless under his control.”
Sora could not believe what he had been hearing, stepping back hesitantly with eyes wide open in utter shock. “N-no way …”
“Tch … how he treat’s her shows that he knows his evil.” Vanitas stated, nodding in approval as his stood back to his feet. “But his motives … sicken me.”
“What … do you mean?” Sora then asked, shock still running through his body.
“The idea of a Universal Apocalypse is ridiculous and stupid.” Vanitas answered with spite, looking away in anger. “He should be using those powers and strength of his for ruling and playing with chaos, not trying to end everything with it!”
Just at that moment, Vanitas abruptly leapt towards Sora with his Keyblade ready to strike. Sora hastily retaliated with his own Keyblade and both clashed against each other.
“So … what are you going to do about this ‘Xaphire’ guy?” Vanitas began to ask on the other side of the two conflicting Keyblades. “Whatever it may be … I feel like helping you with it.”


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