Ball of Fantasy
The castle was enormous and bright. As they approached it, Kiera was in awe and slightly intimidated all at the same time. It seemed…larger than life itself, and that was enough to take her breath away. Kiera suddenly grabbed Terra’s hand and subconsciously pulled him back. Terra was surprised.
“Hey, you alright?” Terra asked.
“Huh? Oh, yeah!”
Kiera realized what she did and quickly pulled away, cheeks growing a little rosy.
“I’m just…amazed…!” She breathed.
“Come on! I think I see Cinderella up ahead.”
Sure enough, when they arrived at the entrance to the castle, Unversed were everywhere, and surrounding Cinderella, who had shortly arrived. Terra and Kiera summoned their keyblades and got to work. Kiera stuck closer to Cinderella, while Terra mopped the floor with the ones bordering between the stairs and the gardens. When they were finished, they regrouped.
“Ah, hello again!” Cinderella greeted, cheerfully.
“Hi Cinderella. Your Fairy Godmother sent us to make sure you have a good night without any…Well, distractions” Kiera explained.
“Dangerous distractions” Terra added.
“Oh, alright then” Cinderella replied, smiling.
“You’re not worried?” Terra inquired.
“Didn’t you tell me it was important to stay strong?” said Cinderella.
“Yeah, I guess I did.”
As they went inside together, Kiera sighed.
“How much ya wanna bet they’re skulking around inside the castle?” She wondered aloud.
“A lot, probably” Terra answered.
Sure enough, Unversed littered the castle, but this time, in fewer numbers. Cinderella was good to stay back and let Kiera and Terra handle things before progressing forward. Finally, they arrived at the ballroom. It was crowded with guests, mostly women. Others were dancing with the few men that were there. Everyone seemed full of light and joyous being there. The room was full of music, lively and bombastic. Kiera noticed that she and Terra were getting a few looks. At first, she wondered if it was because they were wearing drastically different clothing than the guests. But then, she realized that more looks were directed at Terra than her. Kiera grinned mischievously.
Then, something unexpected happened.
“Terra, would you like to dance with me?” said Cinderella.
Both of the travelers were stunned. Terra went all red in the face.
“What?” He stammered.
“Well, it’s the least I can do for watching over me” Cinderella replied with a smile.
Terra turned to Kiera for help. Kiera giggled, but said nothing. Finally, Terra caved.
“All right. Sure.”
“I think the correct term is, ‘I’d be honored’…” Kiera added.
However, he bowed respectfully and echoed, “I’d be honored.”
Kiera watched with swelling pride as the two danced. Terra stumbled around at first. Cinderella laughed and spoke a few words to them. Then, they slowed down, and Terra kept up a better pace.
“I wish Ven was here…”
Kiera closed her eyes.
She imagined Ventus chuckling sheepishly, putting his hands behind his head. It would take some coaxing, as dancing at a ball is more of a girl’s thing. Then, Ventus would give in. They would shyly take each other’s hands, and enter the dance floor. They’re dancing wouldn’t be anything complex or grand, but they would enjoy it all the same.
Then, she promptly shook the thoughts away.
As Kiera opened her eyes, she saw something interesting. A young man in a golden uniform and gloves politely interjected himself into Terra and Cinderella’s dance. Cinderella’s eyes widened with pleasant surprise. Then, Terra excused himself, and exited the dance floor to meet up with Kiera.
“So…? How was it?” Kiera asked, with a prankish smile.
“Not…as bad as I expected” Terra replied.
“Would you do it again?”
“Who was that, anyway?” she asked.
“I think…it was the prince.”
“Yeah, seems like Cinderella caught his attention.”
“You know,” she observed, “I’ve been hoping that maybe this night will never end for Cinderella. Where she comes from, it doesn’t seem like she’s loved, only used. Maybe she’ll find somebody here. Someone who can protect her, and love her.”
Terra closed his eyes and nodded.
“Yeah…I think you’re right.”
Just then, Terra’s expression went serious.
“What? What is it?” Kiera asked.
She looked over to what Terra was seeing. Glancing at a balcony overlooking the ballroom, Kiera and Terra caught a glimpse at a giant Unversed jumping about.
“Come on!” Terra exclaimed.
Kiera nodded, and sprinted to follow him.
This Unversed was different from the others. It had the appearance of a soldier with a red uniform and poofy pants, but had the wand of a symphony conductor. Ghostly instruments floated around him creating an eerie orchestra. A man also in uniform with a spectacle ran in terror from the monster.
“Guards! Guards! Ooh, where could they possibly be?” He cried.
Terra and Kiera summoned their keyblades.
“Don’t worry! We’ve got this!” Kiera exclaimed.
This Unversed was surprisingly easy, as long as Terra and Kiera steered clear of his shockwave attacks and dodge the forces exerted when it lept. After a while, he was starting to weaken. Kiera observed Terra was growing cocky and got a little too close and the Unversed sent one of its ghostly instruments after him and began pummeling him.
“Terra!” Kiera exclaimed.
She raised her keyblade into the air and shouted.
A flash of lightning came down from the sky and electrocuted me Unversed, causing its instrument to drop. Kiera ran to Terra’s side.
“Heal!” She cried.
Terra’s strength was restored and Kiera helped him up.
“Thanks” he said.
He seemed a bit discouraged.
“No problem” Kiera replied, “Now let’s finish this!”
Finally, after a long fight, the Unversed was defeated. Kiera and Terra panted for a moment as their keyblades disappeared. Then, Kiera glanced at Terra and smiled.
“We did it!” She cried.
Terra smiled back.
Surprisingly, all the noise on the balcony didn’t scare many guests away, although it was emptier than before as the clock ticked closer to midnight. The man, whom later they discovered was the Grand Duke of the Castle, returned to them all flustered.
“Thank you. You saved us all!” He exclaimed. Then, he groaned discouragingly. “The guests were just starting to enjoy themselves…”
“Well, don’t give up just yet” Terra observed.
They turned to see a couple sneaking out of the party and into the courtyard. It was Cinderella and the Prince. They sat down on a bench and began to converse. Cinderella was laughing, and the two were holding hands.
“Her light shines that much brighter when she laughs” said Kiera.
“You know her?” asked the Duke.
“Oh, just someone we met today” Terra replied.
Then, Terra asked the Grand Duke: “Tell me something. Have you always had a problem around here with those monsters?”
“No. I believe…they began to appear shortly after a boy in a mask arrived in our kingdom. Those that saw him said the monsters obeyed his every command.”
That bothered Kiera.
“So it’s not a random chance that they’re prowling about the worlds…” Kiera mumbled.
“A boy in a mask? Do you know where he is now?”
“Well… No, I don’t believe anyone has seen him since then.”
Kiera once again glanced at Cinderella. She sighed satisfied.
As her eyes glossed over the castle entrance, she spotted someone coming up the stairs. It was Aqua! Kiera yanked on Terra’s arm.
“Terra, Aqua’s here!” She cried.
Terra was surprised. He ran up to the balcony railing to see for himself.
Aqua paused, and looked up. Kiera waved. Aqua waved back. But Kiera was concerned. She seemed worried.