The Beast’s Castle
Saïx sent me on a mission with Xaldin, Number III today. He’s a stern guy, like most of the other members, but retains some degree of charisma and refinery, with his voice and choice of words. Again, like most of the Organization members, he’s not very friendly, and only focuses on his work. Which once again, was fine by me. I don’t like stiffs as my friends.
The castle we went to was dark and dusty. The name “Beast’s Castle” seemed to fit the place rather well. There were creaks and moans throughout it, and hideous statues of goblins and demons scattered throughout, casting frightening shadows. There was a big heartless spotted at this castle. It would be a jackpot for the Organization if we took it down. That’s why I was there. Xaldin commented that out of all the other keyblade wielders, I was the most “competent.” I could’ve been sarcastic and go “What? A compliment? What is this witchcraft?” But I wanted to get this mission done as soon as possible so I could get back to the castle.
I couldn’t remember what exactly happened. But there was and earthquake of some sort, and Xaldin and I got separated. This gave me some time to explore the castle on my own, without a member breathing down my neck. I observed that there were quite a bit of enchanted objects walking around, including a candelabra, and a small clock, who were the hardest to avoid since they were everywhere. They kept mentioning “The Master,” and a woman named “Belle.” That name sounded familiar. I entered into a particularly dusty and rundown wing of the castle. In the open doorway to the balcony overlooking the rest of the palace, I saw a small, stone table with a glowing, dark magenta rose, sparkling and reflecting off the glass case it sat in. I stared at it for a minute, trying to decipher why it would be so special. A magic rose, maybe? I quickly had to leave that room because I heard a large mass bounding towards the room. I managed to catch a glimpse of this hideous beast. But shockingly, as I was suspecting a demon, or even perhaps the appearance of a heartless, I was surprised to see he was…not as frightening as I anticipated.
I passed by another room with muffled voices inside. I peeked through the keyhole and watched. There was a young woman wearing a simple blue dress, with brown hair tied back with a blue bow, and glowing brown eyes. She was sitting on a bed, in a room that was grand and beautiful, as if she was held in high regard, surrounded by talking plates, teacups, and so on.
“I wonder if he’s off chasing those horrid creatures again. He’s had to do that every day for weeks… I wish there were some way I could help….” I heard her say.
She sounded like a nice enough person. I wondered why she was the only person in this castle that looked normal.
Finally, I opened a couple doors that opened into a bright, glimmering golden ballroom. The crystal chandelier glittered in the light, and the ceiling above was painted with cute little cherubs in the clouds. I was in awe. This seemed to be the only place in the castle with whom the darkness hadn’t touched.
Sadly, I didn’t get to enjoy it long. I heard the skittering and warbling of Heartless approaching. I summoned my keyblade and got rid of all of them. Suddenly, I saw the massive heartless that I was looking for. I was preparing to take it on alone, but I heard a mighty roar. The beast suddenly came bounding in and I was unable to hide in time. He saw me clear as day, and scowled. Belle had come rushing in as well.
“Beast! You’re hurt!” She exclaimed.
“Go back to your room, Belle!” Beast ordered.
He faced back to me.
“You!” He growled, “I know there’s been others skulking around the castle! It’s your fault the Heartless are here!”
I summoned my keyblade again and faced the giant Heartless.
“Look, let’s get rid of this thing before we start pointing fingers!” I called.
The Beast reluctantly helped me defeat the Heartless, despite the fact he was injured. When all the hearts were released, and floated out the window, I whirled back around, expecting the Beast to attack me. Instead, when I turned around, he was more puzzled than angry.
“That blade…” he said, looking at my keyblade, “I’ve seen it before…”
I was surprised.
“You have?” I asked.
I suddenly wondered if this was an opportunity to learn about my past.
“I…don’t remember what her name was…” the Beast continued, “It was a girl. She was kind to me.”
There was a moment of silence. Suddenly, I realized these people were aware of my presence. I summoned a portal behind me.
“I’m…I’m sorry!” I said sincerely, “I…I’ve got to go! Please, don’t tell anyone else I was here…!”
My eyes drifted to Belle, who was in awe, and had a peculiar look of sympathy on her face.
And with that, I bailed out.
I met with Xaldin and Saïx later at the castle. They were a bit suspicious as to how I took on the Mother Heartless alone. However, they didn’t question it too much. I was suddenly curious about the rose I found in the castle. So, I went into the Organization’s computer database and searched to see if I could find anything. Coincidently, I found an entry written by Xaldin himself. It was a record of a day he had done a reconnaissance mission with Roxas. My heart sank at that name. Xaldin mentioned that the rose was one of the Beast’s more treasured possessions, as it seemed to be some kind of magic rose. He noted how the one corner it stood was tidy compared to the rest of the Beast’s chamber. Xaldin also noted that Belle was the other of the Beast’s treasures.
“The beast’s weakness is clear: To hold something dear is to let it hold you. His heart is in thrall to it. And that, is ample weakness. We have no heart to love with, so we will never know what this feels like.”
Love. I wondered about that word. It was an important word. I felt like I knew what it meant, but didn’t know as the same time.
As I went back to the entries list, I saw an entry labeled “Xion,” written by Vexan. It was the only entry with a name as its title. I was curious why Vexan would have any interest in her…
I was sitting at the top of the clock tower in Twilight Town, with sea-salt ice cream in my hand. Roxas was next to me.
“Roxas,” I asked, “What do you think ‘love’ is ?”
“Huh? Whaddya mean?”
“It sounds like something really important. But I don’t know if I fully understand what it means.”
“Well, Xaldin said love was a sign of weakness. That it can consume you, and drown you.”
I turned to Roxas.
“But what do you think it means, ignoring what Xaldin said?”
Roxas thought for a moment, taking another bite of ice cream.
“Well,” he replied, “I think it means, something you give to someone when you care about them. Something that meant you would put yourself in the way to help them if you could.”
I turned back to the sunset.
“Yeah…I think so too.”
A warm feeling entered my chest and I clutched it. I felt pain as well, but also happy.
“Xzylair, you okay?” Roxas asked.
Love…Is that was I was feeling…towards Roxas? Is that why I felt so aggressive towards his friends? Towards Xion? Is that why my chest hurts, yet feels light as the same time when I see him? Is that why I want to stick up for him every time an Organization member talks down to him?
Yes, I think it is.
I looked at Roxas, my chest beginning to ache again.
“I miss you, Roxas.”
“Whaddya mean? I’m right here!” He chuckled.
Suddenly, in a flash, his outfit changed to the black and white jacket.
“I miss you, Ventus.”
“I miss you too…Kiera…”
I suddenly woke up. I discovered tears running down my face. I quickly wiped them away, and went back to sleep.