“Kiera…? You okay?”
Kiera snapped back to reality. She had been staring out into the sunset of the world they arrived at. Sora, Donald, and Goofy all looked at her concerned.
“Oh, sorry, yes, I’m fine!”
She looked up at the long, peculiar shaped tower standing before them. The magic train that had sent them here had vanished, leaving them stranded. Kiera was puzzled. The tower looked so familiar…
“You ready to go in?” Sora asked.
Kiera nodded. “Mhm, let’s go!”
They went up a long flight of stairs until they came into a spacious loft, with a long wooden desk in the middle, and front walls lined with bookshelves filled to the brim with written works. There, a tall, old man, with a long, thick beard, blue coat and wizard hat, sat patiently. Donald and Goofy bowed to him, excited.
“Master Yen Sid! It’s an honor!” they exclaimed.
“Hi there” Sora greeted.
“Sora! Show some respect!” Donald scolded.
The wizard raised his hand, signalling the passionate, avian wizard to calm himself.
“So, you are Sora, and Kiera. Now then, have you seen the King yet?” His voice was deep, and monotone.
“Yes, we did, Master. But we didn’t get a chance to talk to him” Goofy responded.
“Yes…the King has been quite busy of late. Therefore, it would seem that the task of instructing you three falls upon my shoulders. You have a perilous journey ahead of you. You must be well prepared.”
Sora was alarmed.
“Wait! another quest? I was looking forward to finding my friend Riku, so we could go back to the islands!” He exclaimed.
Kiera’s hairs stood up hearing the name, “Riku.” Riku was Kiera’s older brother. She had given little thought of him up until now; and now that she heard his name, anger rose inside her.
“Yes. I know. However, everything in your journey, Sora, is connected. Whether you will find your way home to the islands… Whether you will return alone or with your friend…And, whether or not the islands will still be there. And the key that connects them all is you, Sora.”
“I’m…the key?” Sora echoed.
“Yes, chosen wielder of the Kingdom Key. You are the key that will open the door to light.”
Then, he asked: “Master Yen Sid, why are there Heartless still running around? I thought we got rid of them!”
“Your past endeavors did prevent an immense effusion of Heartless from the great darkness; make no mistake about that. However, the Heartless are darkness made real—and darkness lingers yet in every heart. The Heartless are fewer. But while darkness exists in a single heart, it will be difficult to eliminate them.”
Sora, Donald, and Goody all sulked, discouraged.
“Gawrsh, that must mean…if everybody’s heart was full of light, them
Heartless would go away!” Goofy stated.
“And that’s impossible…”
Everyone jumped to hear Kiera speak, who had been quiet for a while.
She continued: “Thought light is inherently more powerful than darkness, it can never permanently go away.”
Yen Sid nodded.
“Now it is time to speak of the enemies that you will encounter.”
Master Yen Sid explained to them a new enemy in addition to the Heartless: Nobodies. There were two kinds: Husks, who were mindless monsters to be controlled, and Intelligent Nobodies, ones that looked like normal people, but used it to deceive others. The husks did little, mostly attacking heartless, but would become hostile towards keyblade wielders. That would mean trouble for Sora, Kiera, and any of their allies. Both Nobodies and Heartless were using new lanes between worlds to terrorize them.
“The beings you see before you now are different. These powerful Nobodies have formed a group called Organization XIII. It commands the lesser Nobodies.”
“Organization XIII…” Kiera echoed, quietly, “Why does that sound familiar…?”
“While Heartless act on instinct, Nobodies function in a higher manner. They can think and plan. And it seems they are working towards a goal. What that goal is, we do not know. The King sensed the danger, and journeyed forth to fight it. He found the dark realm’s Keyblade, and with it, closed the door. Now he’s traveling from world to world, fighting the Heartless as he seeks the answer to the riddle of the Nobodies and Organization XIII.”
“Then I guess we better go find the King first!” Sora declared.
“But where could he be?” Donald wondered.
“Well, we won’t know ’til we look!” Goofy added.
“Yeah. And the King must know where Riku is, ’cause the two of them were together in the realm of darkness when we closed the door. You know, after defeating Ansem.”
Kiera bit her lip. She glanced out the window again, lost in thought. Yen Sid noticed. He spoke softly:
“Kiera, I sense your heart is disturbed.”
Kiera picked up her head.
“Yes sir. It seems that…That I’m starting to remember things, things about my past, about Ventus and my other friends. But it hurts my head, and everything is still fuzzy. It feels like I should be able to remember easily, but I can’t.”
“Mmm…Your memories are still scattered. It appears someone had attempted to reconnect them, but was interrupted,” Yen Sid replied.
“Huh?” Sora gasped, “When did that happen?”
“Did that have something to do with when we were sleepin’?” Goofy inquired.
“But if that’s the case, then how come my memories aren’t jumbled up?” Sora added.
“Kiera’s journey began long before yours” Yen Sid explained, “She had more memories to piece together.”
He looked back to Kiera.
“Your memories will return in due time. Do you believe you’re still capable of traveling the worlds with Sora with a clear mind?”
He seemed to know exactly what the answer was, but wanted Kiera to say it.
Kiera sighed. Sora was disturbed.
“Kiera, we need to find Riku, remember? Don’t you want to see him again?” Sora asked.
Kiera didn’t answer. She only frowned. Suddenly Sora understood.
“Are you…Are you still mad at him?”
Kiera sighed, and looked away.
“Kiera, I know he’s your brother,” said Goofy, “But y’know he’s not a bad guy anymore, right?”
“Yeah! He helped us close the Door to Darkness!” Donald added.
Kiera picked her head up slightly.
Sora nodded fervently.
“He’s out there somewhere, Kiera! The King is proof that he escaped the Realm of Darkness!”
Kiera said nothing for a little while. It seemed selfish to continue to have lingering anger for her brother. But what Sora didn’t understand was that Kiera idolized Riku. She trusted him with her whole entire being, and with that reverence now shattered, she just couldn’t be as passionate about finding him as Sora and his friends were.
Finally, she resolved:
“Sora…I think…I need to go home.”
“What?” Sora exclaimed.
“Someone’s gotta tell Kairi what’s happened,” Kiera reasoned, “And I…I feel like someone’s gotta be there for her…in case the Heartless decide to attack the islands.”
Sora frowned. He folded his arms. He seemed more distraught than disappointed.
“I was really hoping you’d come with us this time,” he said, “I mean, we barely crossed paths, and I was worried about you.”
He closed his eyes.
“You were getting more and more upset. I didn’t know what to do to help.”
Kiera was surprised. She didn’t think he felt that way. Suddenly, Sora grabbed her hands.
“Please come with us, Kiera! I promise I’ll protect you! So if you start to get your memory back, and you need help, I’ll keep you safe! Please don’t leave me again!”
Kiera was shocked at his sudden passionate burst. She observed him closely. Sora was sincere, and honest. However, she felt some of his words coming from elsewhere…somewhere else.
“You two are so much alike” Kiera breathed.
“Huh?” Sora tilted his head.
“Before you go,” Yen Sid cut in, “You will need more suitable traveling clothes. Those look a bit too small for you.”
Kiera and Sora looked down. Suddenly they realized: Kiera’s skirt had gone above her knees, and Sora’s pants had shortened drastically. Goofy and Donald giggled.
“Gawrsh, you two sure are growing fast!” Goofy laughed.
“Uh, I guess…” Sora chuckled sheepishly, his cheeks red with embarrassment as he tried to stretch his pant legs.
Kiera’s face suddenly grew pale. She had dug into her pockets and froze. Sora quickly noticed.
“Kiera, what’s wrong?”
Kiera placed her hands on her chest.
“My Wayfinder…! It’s gone…!”