The Woodland Forests
The portal led Kiera and Terra into a dark, dreary castle. Kiera shuddered at just how cold and unfeeling it was.
“I don’t trust anything here.” Kiera whispered.
“I agree. The air is all wrong,” Terra agreed, “Wonder why we were led here?”
They continued up a flight of stairs until they could see a glowing green light. Suddenly, Terra grabbed Kiera’s hand and pulled her back. He put a finger to his lips and gestures at the other side of the wall. Kiera put her back to the wall and leaned forward slightly to see along with Terra. There was a woman, in a long blue robe with white cotton edges. Her hair and back of the head was completely covered with a black cap, and was adorned with a golden crown with a large red jewel in the center. She was standing in front of a mirror, blank and unrealistically dark.
“Spirit of the Mirror, come from the farthest space,” the women spoke, “Through wind and darkness I summon thee. Speak! Show me thy face!”
Suddenly, lighting and fire clashed within the mirror. Kiera jumped. The fire turned to green, and a mask-like face appeared within.
“What wouldst thou know, my Queen?” The face inquired.
“Magic Mirror on the wall: who is the fairest one of all?” The woman asked.
“Famed is thy beauty, Majesty, but hold–a lovely maid I see. Alas, she is more fair than thee.”
“Alas for her! Reveal her name!”
“Lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin as white as snow…”
“-Snow White!” The woman gasped, and scowled in disgust.
“A mirror that sees everything. How ‘bout that?” Terra stayed in a low voice.
“The heart of Snow white doth shine bright. Beware my queen: hearts of light!”
“Another one? Wait, could Master Xehanort be here?” Terra whispered.
Terra must have been speaking louder than intended, because the queen suddenly turned around, alerted to their presence.
“Hark! Who goes there?” She demanded.
“Nice going, Terra” Kiera groaned.
The two stepped out into the open to face the queen.
“My name is Terra, this is Kiera,” Terra introduced, “We’re looking for a man named Xehanort…Master Xehanort. I thought maybe you might have seen him.”
“That name is of no consequence to me” the Queen snapped.
“Well she’s not very nice” Kiera observed.
“Right. Come on, Kiera” Terra ordered.
The two started to leave, but then the Queen called:
“Wait! Ah, yes. I have a task for you. If you succeed, I will ask the mirror where you might find this Master Xehanort.”
“And the mirror will know?” said Terra.
“Do you dare question me!?” The woman cried, angrily.
Kiera raised an eyebrow, suspiciously.
“What’s the task?” She asked.
“There is a young maid who resides in this castle. Her name is Snow White. Kill her. And to make sure you do not fail, bring back her heart, in this-“
The Queen handed Terra a blue and red box with a golden heart as the lock. Immediately a red flag popped up in Kiera’s mind.
“I knew this woman was trouble. She must be the reason this castle feels so odd.”
“Her heart? I don’t understand. You’re after hearts of light?” said Terra.
“What I demand is her life. I have had more than enough of her light.”
“What did this maiden done to you?”
“That is no concern of yours. Now, heed my words. My radiance is all the light this kingdom needs.”
Terra was quiet for a moment.
“Where can we find her?” Kiera asked.
“Outside the castle, there is a glade of wildflowers. You are dismissed. Go now and seek her there!”
Kiera and Terra nodded.
When they exited the castle and into the meadow, Kiera asked:
“We’re not…really gonna take her heart, are we?”
“No, of course not!” Terra exclaimed, “it’s just…”
Terra was quiet for a moment.
“Eraques said that Master Xehanort was looking for the Seven Princesses of Heart, pure lights that are the key to opening the realm of darkness. It’s possible that…”
“That this Snow White person might be one of them?” Kiera interrupted.
“And if that’s the case, and if the Queen wants to take her heart, then she’s in danger” Terra finished.
“Then we’ve gotta warn her!” Kiera exclaimed, “Let’s go!”
The meadow was a luscious green field, on the outskirts of a giant forest, littered with flowers of all shapes, colors and sizes. It didn’t take long to hear the sound of a woman humming. Kiera and Terra began walking towards where they heard the sound.
At the very border of the forest, Kiera spotted the woman picking particularly pink and orange flowers. She had hair black as night, and brown eyes like chocolate, a dress with a blue torso, yellow skirt and red collar, and her skin was as white as snow.
“Wow. She’s pretty” Kiera thought.
They slowly approached, as to not frighten the woman. The woman heard them, and glanced over her shoulder.
“Oh, hello” said the woman.
“Aren’t you startled?”
“Should I be?” the woman asked.
Terra was silent. He seemed to be thinking hard about something.
“Is something the matter?” The woman asked.
“Does the name ‘Xehanort’ mean anything to you?” Terra inquired.
“Why…Why no, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that name.
Terra frowned, disappointed.
Just then, there was a strange wharble. Suddenly, jagged blue and red creatures swept into view. They twitched like a robot, but light on their feet. Kiera was shocked.
“Are those the Unversed?” She wondered
The woman jumped to her feet in fright dropping her flowers and fleeing into the forest.
“Wait! Don’t go in there, it’s dangerous!” Terra exclaimed.
Kiera watched the woman disappear. Terra summoned his keyblade and poised to fight the creatures off.
“I’ve got to help her!” she thought.
She glanced at Terra for a brief moment, knowing that he was still unaware of her presence, debating whether or not to help.
“No…Terra is strong, he can handle himself. I gotta find the woman and make sure she’s safe!”
And with that, Kiera took off into the woods.
The woods were dark, so dark that the sun had been completely blocked out. The wind howled, making the gangly branches on the trees look like arms waving. Kiera shivered, brushing her shoulders as chills ran down her spine.
“I gotta find her soon. I don’t want to be here any longer than I need to.”
Just then, she felt something brush past her. She jumped and summoned her keyblade. But there was nothing behind her. Kiera frowned. The wind turned to inaudible voices. Kiera could see strange lights in the trees, but they weren’t the lamps of elves or fairies. Kiera felt something else, this time it felt like someone was attempting to grab her. She whipped her keyblade behind her. This time it wasn’t her imagination. The branches were really trying to grab her. She kept back. She realized the lights were eyes. She could hear growling and cackling. Kiera slashed her keyblade around again, this time snapping a pair of branches snatching her hair. Finally, Kiera took off into a sprint.
The trees became wild and roared in the night, aggressively grabbing at the keyblade warrior and biting her ankles. Kiera kept running and running, praying to find something, anything that could hide her away from this horrifying place. Suddenly, Kiera tripped on a root and slid onto the ground. She cried. She scrambled up and then collapsed again. Her ankle had been twisted. Dirt was now spattered in her face and her pants were stained with green and brown. She knew she could use Dreamseeker to heal herself, but she was paralyzed with fright.
“Ven…Where are you?” She moaned.
She could hear the trees grow closer, laughing viciously at her misfortune. She could see their bright orange and yellow eyes, crinkled noses and gaping mouths.
“Ventus…Terra…help…! Somebody…!” She cried, desperately.
There was no answer. She could feel the ground pull up with giant, thick roots, crawling their way towards her.
“Ventus…! Terra…! Aqua…!”
Her heart raced faster and faster. Finally, she shouted:
“VENTUS!!! TERRA!!! AQUA!!!”
Suddenly, there was a bright flash. The trees hastily retracted, now groaning with pain and terror. Kiera felt her body lighten. She opened her eyes. She was glowing bright gold. Her ankle no longer ached and the dirt and bruises disappeared. She stood up. She realized what was happening. The trees were terrified of light.
“What…what is this?” She thought.
Then, she remembered her wayfinder charm, and pulled it from her pocket.
“You mean these aren’t real good luck charms?”
Kiera aggressively elbowed him.
“Ow!” Ventus exclaimed, glaring at him.
“Well, that remains to be seen. But I did work a little magic on it.”
“D-link…” Kiera whispered, “Of course…When I fall upon my friends, I have their power.”
Kiera smiled, feeling a special someone close, but yet far away.
Kiera suddenly sensed, without explanation, which direction to continue to find who she was looking for. Without fear, she pressed on deeper into the woods, continuing to search for the Princess of Heart.