Re: A Keybearer's Journey [Azrael] AU Fan-Fic
Chapter Four: Key-Bearer's Coronation
Get off me! He shook the darkness off his body and raised his head, finding himself in another glass stained platform. When is this going to end? It was a good time to ask the question, as it seemed that he's been here living this nightmare forever. Standing back up up, like the other platforms, this one contained a woman on the stained glass floor. Her hair was scarlet red in color. It reached to her shoulders, making it long enough to hide the beautiful smile on her face.
In the back was a large, blue bow that complimented her. The woman wore a medium between a long-sleeved shirt and a traditional dress, which was of a cerulean blue color and flowed across her arms making it obvious their larger size. Covering her chest was a black corset that ended in a large triangle at her waist, with the top having a smaller triangle cut out the middle. At the corset's end, blue reached down to her ankles where plain black shoes covered her feet. Her hands were clasped together over her neck, as if she was mute.
Around her head and waist was the circle, that Ben noticed appear in each stage he came across. The respective circles which held the same colors as the stage, shown a picture of a castle although much in contrast to the images shown in the last stage. This castle had towers jettisoning out of the grounds in all directions, and looking at the theme, exemplified an oceanic theme. In half of the six circles, the sun setting on the west was shown.
On the opposite sides of her waist, two creatures were shown. At the right, was a fish with three stripes and sharp teeth while that of the left contained a seagull that held a fork in its right wing. On the other edge to the girl's right, a young adult man wearing regal clothing was seen. He had deep, dark eyebrows and perfectly combed thick hair. To the girl's left was an older man. He had a long grey beard, with a spiked crown resting atop his head. His chest was fully exposed but his lower body was cut off by the circle. He held a weapon that had three sharp points spread across it's top, the middle standing tallest. The circle below had an unusual crab. The crab had huge pincers and a large mouth, made into a frown. He was staring anxiously up at the girl in the middle.
Four circles stood out below the girl.The two circles nearest the center held in each a woman. In one was a beautiful woman with long dark hair, her face carrying a strange smirk. She adorned around her neck a seashell that had three cracks on its edge. She wore across her body a wedding dress. She looked strangely like the woman in the center.
Across from her was one of the ugliest women that the boy had ever seen. She had long slick hair, that floated above her head. Her skin was darkened and her face was covered in eyeliner and lipstick with a mole on her lower right cheek. Thick lines of age circled her cracked smile and piercing eyes. She held her hands in front of her, clasped smoothly together looking directly forwards. Her overweight body was joined with the form of an octopus, her tentacles wrapped around her plump arms. Strangely, she wore the same seashell necklace as the woman across from her.
The outer two circles of these women were identical. They each held a slimy looking eel with a thin line of hair like a mohawk going straight across the top and bottom of its snake-like body. The remaining circles held a various assortment of underwater animals.
At the top of the platform, just above the maiden's blue bow was a door. It was a peculiar door as it had no back to open to and it was see through seeming to be only an illusion. It had designs paralled on each side of the two handles at it's center, all of which blended with the burgundy. On each side, directly beside the handle, there was a jut inwards, that looked as if an oval piece had been cut out of each side.
Finally! A door! exclaimed Benjamin, as he walked towards the door and extended out his hand. The youth's lips formed into a smile as his hand was closing the gap between it and the knob. Time to end this and return back to the real world. thought the brunet mercenary, grabbing the doorknob with his hand. Got you. Now time to open it and end this. Ben thought, smiling as he turned the knob.
Huh? was all he could emit out his lips. His hand, attempting to turn the knob, fazed through. What the- He took several steps back and tilted his head downwards, looking at the doorknob. I can't...open the door even though it's right in front of me! Aw no! In those few seconds following that, every swear word or phrase from every language he learned throughout his mercenary career was blurted out. From the ancient Gaelic languages spoken by the Celtic nations to basic Arabic, the language of the Koran, Islam's holy book.
الباب الغبي! لماذا لا تفتح؟ moaned Benjamin, banging his fists on the locked door. Letting a deep sigh emit from his lips, the brunet stood up and turned his body around. Why bother even trying anymore? From what it looks like, this voice isn't going to let me go until my business with it is done. That depended all on the voice as it was the key to his escape. I haven't heard much in a while. He spotted the wooden chest on the other end. In the middle, there was a small indentation. Looks good enough for me to put this thing....
A bulb flashed on the youth's head. Eureka! Ben shouted, having an idea form in his head. He walked towards the wooden chest His primary idea was to have his hands wrap around the edges and attempt to pull it upwards but it wasn't feasible plus he knew what he was going to do. Taking a good look at his sword's edge, it was exactly what he thought it was. A perfect fit! Only inches separated Ben and the chest as he pressed the blade onto the indent, and not surprisingly, the lid popped open with a snap.
Wonder what's inside. Benjamin thought, reaching his arm in to the chest. Huh? He felt something and slowly pulled his hand out and there behold, two oval-shaped sapphire jewels appeared. Then, the youth eyed back at the locked door and saw that there were two empty slots on the middle. I'm guessing this is how you unlock that door...nice. His back facing the chest which disappeared, he went back towards the door and inserted them into the slots. Now let's see what happens.
The knob that his hand fazed through was now solid. Good. It worked. He grabbed on the knob and turned it, relieved that part of the debacle had ended. But I know that it hasn't ended yet. As he opened the door, a powerful beam of light shot out. Ugh.... groaned the brunet, letting go of the door knob and then backed off. As protection from the light, he covered his eyes with his arms and hands. Ugh...so much light...can't see anything... The door meanwhile was being pushed open by the light's overwhelming power.
Lancaster. Don't blind yourself from the light! The voice shouted out, screaming in the boy's mind. You can not be afraid of a light that's from your own heart. You must accept its power...or lose yourself in it...
My light? Benjamin questioned himself, but that's strange...my heart isn't that strong... Surely the disembodied voice had to have been jesting, he couldn't hold a power that strong. Especially not in a place that he least expected to be, his own heart. I've been through so much in my life. Benjamin didn't need to say them out loud nor put them into mind. He already knew that he's been through a lot. At least, a lot more than any normal kid my age should handle. Terres and Ura, I'm sorry. I didn't deserve you guys...if only I could have...
His head bowed down and once again, the brunet sighed. No use looking back on the past. I'm sorry Ura and Terres but I need to move on...even if it hurts so much in here... Benjamin frowned, somewhat preferring to have his fragile mind look back on a more or less happier time. Even if reflecting back on those same times brought tears to the boy's eyes and made his heart feel heavy. A feeling that even starting with a rough start, you had everything yet because of your own selfish intentions, you ended up losing everything that you probably took for granted and now treasured. I'm sorry but I'm moving on...I have new friends now.
Irregardless of what occurred in your past, you have an obligation to fill as the Key-bearer of Light.
He looked up. Huh? Where am I? No longer was he in the stained glass stage, but was now stuck in an islet, surrounded by an seemingly infinite stretch of open sea. Like the previous location, it was colorful but in a different way. The islet was covered with brush added with some palm trees there and there. Dangling along the loose branches hanging above him were small peach colored fruit that resembled a star in shape. What kind of fruit are those? He questioned himself, unfamiliar at all with the food item at question. Moments later, his stomach grumbled loudly and the brunet blushed. Guess I'm hungry...
It didn't take much, just ten seconds for his stomach to grumble again at a louder pitch. Like before, the youth's cheeks flushed a deeper shade of red. Hm. Correct that. I'm really hungry. Benjamin said, rubbing his stomach and then looked at his blade. It's kind of weird but I want my tummy from grumbling! Now time to grab some and stop my tummy from grumbling! Intending to use the sword like a fork, he grabbed it with both hands and raised it to puncture one of the fruits. Come on...come on.
If I were you, I would back away from that tree if you know what's good. That's our paopou tree, not yours!
He wasn't alone, or at least he wasn't now. Right in the spot where the tree whose branches held the fruit that Ben's stomach lusted over were now three boys. Judging by appearance, they looked to be more or less the same age as him. Aside from that, they looked completely different in clothing apparel to each other and to him, presumably from different nations and cultures. Yet when it came to comparison between facial appearances, they looked a lot like him.
Don't worry about them. Consider them an extension of my will. They're brought here from Heaven to help you answer some important questions. Questions whose answers would tell me if I was right on choosing you to bear the responsibility of wielding the Key of Light and defeating the Heartless.
As he looked around, the blond boy noticed that three people sat around him in a semi circle staring straight at him.
Why don't you hold on? I won't allow the dream to end...until you get the message of what you must do. the voice said to him, the first time he had heard it since he had phased through the platform with the blue dressed young lady.
The boy decided to just talk to these people. Maybe they knew some answers to what was happening right now. He walked forward to the girl. Before he could open his mouth she had asked him a question.
Out of a random pick in his mind, he decided on the boy to his right. A random pick meaning he chose the one that he could best relate to and indeed he did, the other boy looked a lot like him. Then again, so did the others but he had the same hairstyle. Only difference was that he was a blonde, while he had brown hair. Eye color was identical. Armor was similar in various aspects although in contrast, the other boy had some motif with an armored gauntlet and chest plates on one side and normal street clothing on the other.
Name's Ventus and it's a pleasure to meet you. said the blond, introducing himself and waving his hand. Now I'm asking, what's most important to you?
Well... Benjamin paused momentarily, thinking about the question Ven asked him. I got to say it's keeping a promise.
Is keeping a promise that important to you? Ven commented, before fading away.
Second on Benjamin's list was the boy in the middle, between the other blond and Ven. This boy's hair was spikier than his own and a darker shade of brown, in contrast to his wavy, light brown hair. His clothes were to put it simply, different from the others. It was different than any sort of garment that he was familiar with seeing when traveling throughout the known civilized world but in his opinion, it looked nice although really big on him. He wasn't familiar with it but basically, the kid was wearing a kimono.
Hey dude! Name's Miyano Sora but call me Sora! grinned the brunet, pressing his thumb on his heart. Now that we've been introduced to each other and are chums, I'm forced to ask you this. What's your greatest fear? As soon as he asked this, he crossed his robe-covered arms and began tapping his feet. Come on...spill! Tell me what scares you so I can go home and get some paopou fruit to make smoothie for me and Kairi. I'm not getting any younger, y'know?
Uh okay... muttered Benjamin, slightly uncomfortable with Sora's manner of asking questions. He was not crazy about answering them, especially to a trio of strangers who just popped out of nowhere but if it meant that he could leave in the end, he was more than willing to go ahead and comply with the requests. Out of everything, what I fear most is losing my friendship.
Is losing your friendships such a big deal? Sora commented before he too, like Ven before, disappeared.
Not expecting different from the last one standing, Benjamin's eyes shifted to the left. Like Ven and him, they had the same hairstyle although like the first blond, they shared the same hairstyle but that's when the similarities ended and the differences started. If it's that important, my name's Roxas...or that's what I was named. Unlike him or the others who had disappeared, he wore a black leather coat over his body and a small chain necklace dangled around his neck. Benjamin couldn't make out a lot other than that and listened in for the boy to speak. If you could pick one thing, what would you want out of everything?
Out of all the questions asked so far, that seemed to be the most easiest. He knew the answer to the question; the answer was the focus of the strange dreams he had been experiencing in the past few days.Just become normal for once. replied the boy confidently as he placed his hands on his waist.
To become normal, huh? Roxas said as his essence disappeared back into darkness. Guess unattainable dreams are the best kind...like thinking that I could have a heart... The blond kid faded away after giving his last words to Benjamin, leaving him alone on the islet.
The information collected from you told me enough about you and I'm satisfied. Your journey begins at nightfall. Your journey will be filled with difficulties and times will come that you would wish it would all end, but remember that night is not eternal. Do not forget. said the disembodied voice. The day you will open the door is far away but the journey shall begin sooner than you realize...
The trio of similar looking boys surrounding the small island the boy stood inside had faded away. As he reached the latter, the ship once again disappeared, fading into another stained-glass platform.
What's is going on? questioned Benjamin.
Nobody responded to his question.
The maiden strawn across this platform adorned a blue gown detailed with parallel lines along the entire length, originating at the white collar wrapped loosely around her slouched shoulders, and was encompassed by her extensive yellow locks. Her eyes were still and she seemed to be sleeping. The only people pictured atop the red platform were three stout women, who had no lines to detail them in the circular highlights placed above the maiden's head. The outer circles were of roses which were identical to the single rose the maiden burdened in her hands, resting on her chest.
Huge briars with sharp, black thorns were wrapped around the circles with roses.
He walked forwards to look for anything that might need to be accomplished. As he did, the creatures that attacked him before appeared out of the ground and surrounded him from all directions. The sword appeared, once again, in the palm of the boy's right hand. He attacked, lurching forward to catch one off guard.
The rest doing an awkward dance as they advanced on him. He spun around, slashing the sword against any creature within his reach. Slowly, the Heartless' numbers diminished. As he slashed the last creature and it disappeared, leaving green spheres to join the littered floor of the platform, a light shown down from the darkness above, creating a small circle. He walked to the circle of light and, as he stepped upon the light, he felt better than he had ever been. He guessed the circle of light healed you of all ailments once you touch it.
Suddenly, the light moved itself until it hit the darkness beyond the end of the platform, where the maiden's head lay, and created a rising stair of rainbow steps through the darkness. He ran forward, tested the steps to make sure that they wouldn't fall by jumping on them, and then ran up the stair of colors until he had traveled to another platform.
The platform was a bright yellow, standing out beside the darkness. The maiden amidst the circles surrounding her had deep, brown hair that flared against her pale, white skin. Her dress, which began from the yellow fabric held loosely around her shoulders, began with a yellow corset and endng with an expanded dress that had gentle, curved patterns in each row. Her arms, like many before her, were covered with yellow gloves that originated just above her elbows. A dark figure protruded from behind her. It was hairy with short horns where ears should have been, fangs, a fluffy tail, and a scornful face. He was cloaked with a purple cloth that was kept together with a round brooch.
The circles above the maiden's and beast's heads were of several furniture and household items. Each seemed to be alive in it's own way. A royal looking clock with short stubs for legs, its clock hands portrayed a mustache to his annoyed face with its handles against its sides in a motherly manner. To the clock's opposite direction was a candelabra. It looked to be made of brass, it's eyes at the center candle, and body slouched with its two other candle arms hanging hopelessly at its sides, all this making it seem to have failed at something of extreme importance.
Below the ornamental clock was a plump tea pot, looking as perturbed as the candle holder. Its eyes closed in a graceful, excepting manner with a small handle and a top that was curved, with a sphere seated atop it. Across from the tea pot was a tea cup which looked to be, obviously, ornamented the same as the tea pot. With a small chip in it's handle as the nose, it had it's center puffed out like a man would his chest in a proud stance with a smug smile. The circles lining the edge of the platform were filled with a collection of live kitchenware, cleaning items, and other comforting things consisting of cutlery, footstools, feather dusters, china plates, birds, and drinking glasses. The circle at the top held a glass cover that contained a red petaled rose, with the circle at the bottom containing wilted red petals.
The boy slowly walked forward to the center awaiting instructions from the voice, The closer you get to the light, the greater your shadow becomes.
He looked back to his shadow as the mysterious voice spoke about it. The large and peculiar black depths of his shadow began to rise. He jumped backwards, but his shadow didn't follow him.
Don't show fear in front of them. The voice said although the advice was easier said than done. These Heartless may not seem much at first but within time, they were proving themselves to the brunet. Benjamin turned and retreated, but there was nowhere else. The rainbow stairs had long since vanished. He turned around just as the creature had rose to its full form. His hand raised up and the sword was summoned.
The creature's skin was black. Its chest contained a cut out heart so that you could see through it. It had claw-like fingers, spiky wings, glowing yellow eyes, zig-zag feet, and unruly hair that mimicked the boy's. It rose its hand to grasp thin air as colored sparks surrounded the hand and plunged it into the platform. Swirling darkness formed around its fingers. The boy knew he had to fight, even if it did seem hopeless. He climbed up the creature's lowered hand up to its head and striked with the mighty sword.
It was hit in the eyes and it rose quickly into the air clutching them in voiceless agony. The boy feel from the creature's hand to meet the ant-like creatures from before down onto the platform. He guessed they had come from the swirling darkness, because they were as dark as it had been.
They attacked before he even touched the ground, jumping up to meet him. He fell flat yet stood up quickly and began to whack them with his sword when he was hit hard in the back. Stumbling, he turned around, but kept moving for fear of being attacked by the ant-like creatures again.
The former shadow of his had recovered from being slashed in the eyes, and was on both it's knees, arms spread wide. Purple light was shining from the heart shape in his chest. He was wondering what had hit him so hard when the shadow released several moving globes of purple light. The color blurring backwards like fire as it flew, it headed straight toward him along with its companions.
Nice move, but I'm better! Hyah! Jumping upwards then following with a mid-air flip, he dodged several spheres and slashed some more with a strike from his sword. Is that all you got? You're a big, ugly thing...give me what you got! The monster roared loudly and falling for his opponent's constant teasing, threw more at his way while the youth was still in mid-air. Have some of this! yelled Ben, as he held on to the sword tightly and like a baseball player, smashed the barrage away into the monster, hitting it right between its eyes.
Feeling the pain, the Heartless screamed and backed a few steps away from the sword-bearer. It jerked around as bolts of lightning bombarded the monster with an onslaught of attacks. Powerful was the attack yet the Darkside still stood proudly, although it was clearly weakened. It was powerful enough that after several seconds had passed, the monster's legs lost strength and the abomination fell face-down on the dozens of Shadows that were foraging below, destroying them all at once.
It's not knocked out. Reflecting on his martial skills, Ben kept his distance from the creature and held onto his sword, making sure to be ready in case anything were to happen. The lightning that was raining down on the creature weakened to the point that it's effect was null and void, and its strength slowly recovering, it tilted his head and glared at its opponent menacingly as it stood back on its feet. Its hand was formed into a fist, the Darkside lunged at Ben, hoping to kill his opponent with little try.
Oh shi- muttered the youth to himself as he panicked briefly but jumped back. As the fist made contact with the floor, the force threw Benjamin off his feet. Ouch. he groaned as his butt slammed into the floor hard. He shook his head and reached for his sword, only for it to vanish. Oh damn it! He didn't bother to think too much about it nor summon it. Instead, he got back on his feet and jumped up, narrowly dodging the monster's hand lurching for a grab.
Didn't get me, ugly! smiled the brunet as he easily dodged the monster's apparent miss, not noticing the gradual transformation of the ground. Whilst Benjamin was gloating, the stained glass floor had transformed and given to the liquid darkness underneath and surrounding what had been the stage. He didn't notice from behind him the tentacles, formed out the ground and slowly headed towards him. Hm. My problems are over. thought Benjamin, seeing the Darkside struggle to break its hand out of the stained glass and roared angrily. Huh? He said, immediately sensing something on his feet and before he had a chance to look and gasp, the tentacles made their move and rushed him.
He tried to scream after catching sight of two tentacles grabbing his legs and pulling them but Benjamin was muted as another tentacle from below covered his mouth. To make sure that his fate was to descend down to the darkness and become swallowed by it, or at least that's how it appeared to Ben. Muted, he could do nothing but stop resisting and accept his fate as more and more tentacles came for him, constricting his neck and arms. His body stuck to the liquid darkness, he saw the Heartless he had managed to defeat release its hand out of the hole on the floor, now covered in darkness and approached him. Benjamin wished to scream but instead, remain mute as the darkness had consumed him save for his head.
Do not fret. You will wake up where you last caught yourself sleeping. said the disembodied voice, assuring the helpless brunet that despite it all, it was just a dream. Yet a dream that was a warning of what was expected to happen in his near future. Lose your fear of darkness or let yourself be consumed by it. You don't need to be afraid for you are a person aligned with light. Entangling itself and constricting the boy's movement, Benjamin rested on the floor and listened to the voice as Darkside drew near and readied itself for an attack. A power that can't be easily destroyed, you hold it. A mighty weapon lies within yourself, ready to serve its master. He relaxed his body, allowing the voice's prophetic words calm him down. Don't forget what I said to you here for you are the one to save the world once again from the Heartless. These last words were embedded into his head and then, his eyes closed as the darkness engulfed him completely.