Inside the Castle of Hollow Bastion
The place was called Hollow Bastion: barren and abandoned. It was decrypted, yet the waterworks still ran across the city. It was littered with Heartless, more so than any other world she had encountered. It was as if this place was the center of the darkness; and at the heart of Hollow Bastion, was a large castle. Just as broken and strange as the rest of the city, covered in thick vines lined with thorns. Just then, she heard a roar. It made her jump.
“What was that!?”
She looked down. Her heart skipped a beat. There, on a pathway leading to the courtyard, was Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Riku. Only, something was horribly wrong. Riku was holding Sora’s keyblade. Sora was on his knees. Riku dispelled the Kingdom Key, and pulled out a wooden sword. Riku spoke some words, too quiet to hear over the crashing of the waterfalls, and tossed the sword to Sora. Donald and Goofy exchanged glances nervously, then followed Riku inside the castle.
“No, that’s not right…”
Kiera hopped down the ledges and down a series of stone stairs towards him.
Sora’s head lifted, and spotted Kiera rushing towards him.
“Kiera?” he breathed.
“What’s happened? Why does Riku have your keyblade?” Kiera exclaimed.
“He…He took it,” Sora replied, his voice quiet and greatly discouraged, “He said…that the Kingdom Key was meant for him, and I was just its carrier until he could take it!”
“What?” Kiera gasped.
“I…I don’t have the strength to stop him. Kairi’s in trouble, and so is Riku. But I can’t do it…”
Immediately Kiera grabbed Sora’s shoulders.
“No, don’t talk like that. You will have the strength…!”
Sora said nothing.
Kiera finished: “-Because you’ll have me.”
Sora lifted his head.
“I promised myself that I would not lose anyone else today, and I intend to keep it. We’re gonna save Riku, and Kairi, and I’m going to make sure it happens.”
“You’re…you’re not angry anymore?” Sora asked.
Kiera shook her head.
“No. Not anymore. Now come on, with the two of us, Riku doesn’t stand a chance.”
Kiera suddenly heard heavy footsteps behind her. She whirled around. There stood before her, a giant beast, with horns and sharp teeth, with an old, purple cape flowing behind him. Sora smiled.
“The three of us,” Sora corrected.
He gestured to the beast.
“This is Beast. I met him earlier. He came here to find someone too. He’s gonna help us.”
Kiera glanced at the Beast and nodded.
“Thanks. We’ll need all the help we can get.”
It didn’t take as long as they expected to find Riku, in a dark room with stairs leading up to another floor.
“Riku!” Kiera exclaimed.
“Quit while you can!” He snarled.
“No! Not without Kairi!” Kiera exclaimed.
“The darkness will destroy you, Kiera!”
Riku began to change form. His yellow shirt and baggy blue pants changed into a blue and black textured outfit with a heart as the breastplate.
“Riku please! Think about what you’re doing!” Kiera pleaded, “You’re letting the darkness control your mind! Where’s the real Riku!?”
“Shut up!” Riku snapped, “The darkness will never take me! I have grown stronger since the Islands! But you! You are weak, just like Sora!”
Kiera couldn’t believe what she was hearing. But, she stood her ground.
“You’re…you’re wrong Riku!” she snapped, “The darkness may destroy my body, but it can’t touch my heart! My heart will stay with my friends! It will never die!”
“Is that right?” he sneered, “We’ll see about that!”
Suddenly, he sent a black and purple fireball hurtling towards her and Sora.
“Look out Sora!” she shouted as she threw up her Keyblade to try and block it. But, there was no impact. There, in front of her, was Goofy!
“Sora and Kiera ain’t going anywhere!” he cried.
“You’d betray your king?” Riku asked.
“Not on your life! But I’m not going to betray Sora and Kiera either because they’ve become two of my best buddies after all we’ve been through!” Goofy replied.
Then, he turned to Donald.
“See you later Donald! Can you tell the king I’m real sorry?” he called.
“Hold on Goofy! We’ll tell him together!” exclaimed Donald as he ran to their side.
“It looks like you’re out of companions Riku!” said Kiera, gritting her teeth.
“But how will you fight without a weapon!?” Riku asked Sora, “Without the kingdom key, you are nothing!”
Sora stood up tall and walked in front of Kiera, Donald, and Goofy.
“I know now I don’t need a Keyblade,” said Sora bravely, “I’ve got a better weapon: my heart!”
“Heh, your heart? What good will that weak little thing do for you?”
“Although my heart may be weak, it’s never alone. It’s grown with each new experience, and its found a home with all the friends I’ve made. I’ve become a part of there heart, just as they’ve become a part of mine”
Kiera began to feel deja vu. She remembered someone saying that before. Then, on top of Sora’s voice, she could also hear someone else say:
“My Friends are my power, and I’m theirs!”
“That’s right. He won’t be alone. Not only will he have the friends he’s made, but he will have me!” Kiera exclaimed, “Even if we may not ever be best friends like you used to be, I will not hesitate to protect him!”
Suddenly, Sora’s keyblade disappeared from Riku’s hand. Riku gasped in surprise as the wooden sword in Sora’s hand turned back into the Keyblade. Kiera put her hand on her heart.
“Ventus,” she thought, “Will you stand by me too?”
Kiera and Sora dodged Riku’s fireballs as they took each opportunity to give Riku blows. Kiera summoned lighting while Sora summoned light. Goofy initiated a force field to protect them for a few seconds so they could keep hurting Riku. Suddenly, Riku tembled back as his purple and black attire faded away and turned back into his ordinary clothing. Riku looked at Kiera for a moment with eyes of disbelief, then retreated. She could hear footsteps as she turned around and saw Beast.
“So, your heart won this battle…” he breathed.
“So, what made you decide to come back, Kiera?” Sora asked.
“I found some answers.”
“You remember where you come from?” Donald asked.
“I remember enough.”
She turned to Sora.
“I also realized I was selfish. I was jealous,” Kiera explained, “I was jealous of Kairi, and the affection you and Riku always showed her. But it’s not her fault that it turned out that way. Jealousy is a poison, and an easy route to darkness. I don’t want to be that way. I want to help people no matter what they’ve done. I’m sorry, Sora.”
Sora smiled. “I forgive you, Kiera; and I’m sorry too. I had no idea that’s how you felt. When we get back to the islands, I’ll make sure that’ll never happen again!”
She looked on to the large door up the stairs, deeper into the castle of Hollow Bastion.
“Let’s go get Riku.”