Sorry for the wait! I had to catch up on a lot of school and I am rarely home on the weekends because of dance competitions. Anyways, here' the 7th chapter. Once again, it is more information because I am trying to fill in the gaps between Roxas' birth to his completion. I promise that the next chapter will have much more action.
I hope you guys like it. Sorry for the wait and thank you for your patience
Copyrights: All characters, settings, weaponry, and magic in this story belong to Square-Enix. This story, however, is mine.
Chapter 7: De-Weeding Our Garden
“Well, this is a total blow,” Xigbar said angrily the next morning. “Wanna know what Saix told me? Vexen left this morning to join Flower-Power in Castle Oblivion.”
There were a few of us congregated in one of the many hallways found throughout the Organization Headquarters. Demyx sat on the ledge of one of the windows, which overlooked the dark, empty city of the Nobodies below. Beside him was Luxord who shuffled a deck of cards as though he found those to be more interesting than us. Opposite of them, I sat silently on the white, marble ground, leaning against the wall. Xigbar had just recently joined us, storming in from one of the rooms to deliver this information to us.
“I knew it would only be a matter of time,” the gambler said without care. “Being a man of science, there was no possible way Vikusen could pass up that offer. Everyone has their personal cocaine.”
Turning his pale blue eyes on Demyx, Luxord added. “You owe me some munny, mate.”
“Awww, man!” The Water-bender clutched at his dirty-blonde hair in dismay.
Luxord was a gambler by nature. Anything to do with bets or wages was his own personal cocaine. He had never spoken to me about his previous existence, but I had the feeling that the man was some sort of gambler. Maybe even a pirate. The man had such a precise, calculated air about him. Most of the time he was deep in thought, with his hand resting just under his trimmed chin as though strategizing his next move, whatever it was. And, always, he carried around a deck of fifty-two playing cards, which he shuffled very often. Axel said that he treated everything, from battle to everyday actions, as a game that needed to be handled carefully. Though Luxord didn’t appear to be cruel or spiteful like the others, I felt that he was still a person I should be wary of.
“If you think that’s a change of cards,” the Gambler of Fate added, “Axel is also set to join their ranks.”
The words escaped my mouth before I knew I was saying them. “What?”
“Aye. As luck would have it, I was in the right place at precisely the right time. You see, I happened to hear Saix and Axel conferring and from what I gathered our fiery-haired friend is all set to leave for Castle Oblivion this afternoon.”
I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. In the place where I should have had a Heart, I could feel my empty cavity swell with the most unusual feeling. I didn’t want Axel to leave. Out of all the other Organization members who I had to live with he was the only one who I felt I could connect with. Axel was the one person who did not treat me like some pawn or an expendable little toy. He treated me like I was a Somebody. And once again he was leaving without telling me. This meant I would have to endure long days of dodging Demyx’s persistent attempts at brotherly bonding.
But then I remembered something from the previous day. After Marluxia, Larxene, Zexion, and Lexaeus had left for Castle Oblivion Axel was missing as well. Had the Superior himself summoned him? Maybe he had already known about the Graceful Assassin’s plot all along.
“Man, this bites,” Demyx pouted as he drew invisible circles on the ledge’s surface. “They get to do work on a brand new research expedition while we’re all stuck here to finish our lame findings. Maybe we should just join too.”
“And if we all went about jumping off cliffs I suppose you’d do the same thing too.”
“Axel!” As the enigma stepped through his archway of Darkness, I leapt to my feet to greet him. However, after seeing his new demeanor I decided to stay in my spot, simply standing against the white-wall. There was something different about my friend. His usual arrogant, carefree persona had changed drastically to that of a very grim air. Tension buzzed and crackled in his wake. I had never seen Axel look so deadly before. Still, catching my eye he smiled for only a moment before turning his attention to the rest of the group.
“You don’t want to join Marluxia and the others at Castle Oblivion. Believe me.”
“Is that so?” Luxord asked skeptically as he took a step towards the redhead, folding his arms across his chest.
“I’d wager your life on it,” Axel replied dangerously, his cat-like eyes glinting with a strange light. This seemed to be enough to catch the gambler’s attention, for he merely nodded. “This is a match you don’t want to take a gamble with. Savvy?” the Nobody mocked Luxord, though this comment was directed towards the other members as well, all who said nothing. He must have felt that his orders were clear, because the redheaded enigma smirked knowingly and began to walk down the hallway, away from us. No one followed and no one said anything more.
It was clear Axel knew something about Marluxia and his true intentions in Castle Oblivion that we did not. He didn’t –and wouldn’t- say anything about the information he had been given. I then began to wonder if it was the Superior who had summoned him yesterday evening, after the four Nobodies had departed from the World That Never Was. Pieces of a puzzle were beginning to fall together, mapping out the truth. Still, I had to know for certain what was going on and how it involved my friend. I had to know the truth!
“He must think he’s real smart, thinkin’ we’re suckers for his smooth-talk,” I heard Xigbar comment bitterly.
“Actually,” Luxord said, staring at the ground. Once again the gambler was deep in thought, “I think he’s genuine. If we don’t trust his word, we could lose the game.”
“Axel!” I called, taking off after him. Leaving my comrades to speculate over the little pieces of information they’d been granted I ran towards Axel. They may not know what was going on, but I did. After all, I had heard most of Marluxia and Larxene’s conversation, which I now could confirm was what they were planning at Castle Oblivion. I didn’t have any doubts that Axel already knew this, but I just wanted to tell him to let him know that I knew what was going on.
“Axel!” I said once again. The enigma stopped in on of the doorways that lead into one of the large rooms of the Castle and turned around to face me. He looked very tired and maybe even a little annoyed; I could see it in his sea-foam eyes. Two weeks ago, this might have taken me aback, but I was more comfortable with my position in the Thirteen Order. I was a member and, though I was still a newcomer, I had just as much right as anyone else had when addressing other members with concerns. Besides that, Axel was my closest friend here, the only one I could talk openly with. If he didn’t hear what I had to say then who would?
“Yeah, what is it, kid?”
“I just thought you should know… it’s about Marluxia and Larxene. They’re up to something. Yesterday, before we were called to a meeting, I –
“Hey, hey, relax,” Axel said, sounding very amused at the dismay in my voice. “I already know.”
Turning towards me, Axel crouched down slightly so that we were eye level. Clapping his hand on my shoulder, the enigma pulled my close to him. “It seems that we have some weeds in our little garden,” he spoke softly. “And do you know what happens when weeds are not taken care of? They get out of control and infect the other flowers. The only way to stop that from happening it so destroy the weeds before the problem becomes even worse. Got it memorized?”
I understood what Axel was saying and nodded my head slowly to confirm this. He was going to Castle Oblivion to get rid of Marluxia and Larxene: traitors to the Thirteenth Order. But weren’t Lexaeus and Zexion there to keep their eyes on the pair? They had said that the Superior had sent them to Castle Oblivion, so maybe they were accompanying Axel with the extermination of the traitors as well.
“When are you coming back?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Axel sighed, adverting his gaze. However, he once again caught my eyes and he smirked. “Don’t worry. You shouldn’t be too bored here. I heard a rumor that the Superior might have some assignments for you.”
Now this peaked my excitement. “Really?!” Did the Superior think I was now ready to represent the Thirteenth Order in executing a mission? I was no longer a neophyte: I was a full-fledged member of the Organization who could prove his power.
“Yeah, maybe,” the redhead chuckled, letting go of my shoulder and ruffling my hair. “So you’ll have to tell me all about your first mission when I get back.” Releasing me, he took a step away and opened an archway of Darkness. “But now I have to clock-in to my new job. Don’t want to be late on the first day.”
Smirking, Axel turned towards his newly opened passageway and stepped through, waving as he disappeared into the Darkness. Once the portal was closed I was left in the hallway alone, staring into nothingness.