Re:Connect – Kiera Dreamseeker {Part 3} – Chapter XXV

The Olympus Colosseum

It was supposed to be friendly competition. No one was supposed to get hurt. Yet there she was. As her friends in the eastern quarter stood opposed to her, the darkness in her veins revealed itself. It poured out, enveloped her lungs and eyes. Her pupils grew pure white, and her being floated in ash and purple. She screamed. 

“It’s like what happened at the Exam” Ventus gasped, holding her breath.

“What?” inquired his friend, Hercules. 

Ventus ignored the question. 

“We have to figure out a way to snap her out of it!” He exclaimed.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

This brand new world had a bright clear sky. They landed in a grand structure composed of stone and clay. The entrance branded two large statues of men in heavy steel armor, helmets, and swords, crossing each other in a mighty stance. Ventus and Kiera could hear the cheers of an audience from within the inner wall. 

“Wonder what’s going on in there?” Ventus wondered.

A few minutes later, they came across a strange sight: a small man with hooved feet and horns sprinted by, gasping for breath as he appeared to be in a hurry. Soon, they met up with two more colorful characters, one was a boy with ginger hair, blue eyes, and a white tunic with sandals, whom Phill called, “Herc (they later discovered was short for “Hercules”), ran towards them. Another was a mysterious young man with a soldier uniform with steel armor and a blue tunic underneath. They couldn’t see his face. All that Kiera noticed was the boy’s blue eyes. The soldier boy was pleading with the satyr to be trained as a “hero.”

“Really? You can teach that?” Ventus inquired.

“’Course he can. C’mon, Phil, please. I really wanna be a hero!” The soldier pleaded.

“Look, we’ve been through this… I got two words for you–student-teacher

ratio!” Phil objected.

Kiera and Ventus sounded the words on their fingers puzzlingly, and came back with nothing.

“I already got my hands full with this one. C’mon, Herc.” 

Phil gestured to Hercules, and they began walking away. Kiera leaned over and whispered in Ventus’ ear.

“Do you understand anything that’s going on right now?” 

Ventus simply shrugged.

“I’m low maintenance, I swear!” The soldier boy pleaded again.

.

Suddenly, Unversed appeared out of nowhere. Kiera and Ventus instinctively summoned their keyblades.

“Look out!” Kiera exclaimed.

But the soldier and Herc remained. The soldier boy unsheathed his sword while Hercules raised his fisty-cuffs. 

“Hey Phil! Watch this! I’ll show ya what I’m made of!” The soldier boy called.

“And I’ll help, too!” Hercules added.

.

Once Ventus, Kiera, and their new acquaintances finished off the Unversed, Phil came to a decision.

“Okay… Change of plans. The Games are comin’ up. So, I’m gonna watch both of your matches…then I’ll decide which of you rookies I wanna train” he decided.

Hercules was horrified.

“Sweet! Thank you, thank you! I’m gonna go sign up right now!” The soldier exclaimed and immediately took off inside the colosseum.

“He seems very excitable” Kiera commented.

“‘The Games’, huh? Sounds fun!” said Ventus.

“Sorry kid. Captain Eager there just took the last spot” Phil informed.

Ventus sulked a little, disappointed.

“I don’t understand! Phil, I thought you were my trainer!” Hercules exclaimed with a tone of betrayal.

“You wanna be a true hero, Herc?” Phil replied, “Then you’re gonna hafta go out there and show me that everything I’ve taught you so far is gonna pay off.” As Phil started towards the entrance to the colosseum, he added, “Oh…and no more trainin’ sessions for a while. Wouldn’t be fair if I helped you and not him.”

.

Hercules bowed his head in discouragement. Kiera and Ventus exchanged looks. They seemed to be thinking the same thing. Ventus smiled.

“Hey, cheer up! So you gotta fight a couple of matches, no big deal. I’m Ventus. Want me to help you train?” He offered.

A glow seemed to return to the young man’s face. 

“You’d really do that for me?” Hercules gasped.

“Sure!”

Hercules grinned.

“Thanks!”

Ventus, Kiera, and Hercules entered into the colosseum. It was then, that Kiera had an idea. She paused when they arrived at one of the training rooms.

“Hey Ven,” said Kiera, “I think…I’m gonna go hang with the other guy.”

Ventus seemed surprised.

“What? Why?” he asked.

Kiera shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m just thinking…It’s been awhile since you and I have had some friendly competition; like Phil said, it wouldn’t be fair if Hercules had two keyblade wielders to help him out. I think you’ll be able to handle him fine on your own.”

Ventus didn’t seem convinced. Then, after some thought, he nodded.

 “Okay. Sure! You’re on!”

Kiera grinned.

 “I’ll see you at the fight” she announced with a wink.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Kiera found the soldier boy in an alternate training room, knocking around some barrels recklessly with his sword. In fact, one barrel decided to bounce back at him and knocked him over.

“You know, if you had your feet better planted into the ground-”

The soldier boy noticed and looked over his shoulder in surprise. Kiera strolled down the stairs and into the room.

“-that barrel wouldn’t have attempted to give you a nose job” Kiera finished.

Kiera walked over to him and held out her hand to him. The boy looked at her hand for a moment in surprise, then took it, and Kiera helped him back on his feet.

“Hey, I remember you. You were outside the entrance of the Colosseum with that blonde haired boy” the boy announced. 

He reached behind his head and removed his helmet, revealing spiky black hair combed back.

“My friend Ven is helping out with Hercules, and I thought I’d give you a hand as well” Kiera explained.

“Ooh. It’s personal, eh?” Zack implied.

She chuckled. “Just having a bit of fun.”

She reached out her hand.

“I’m Kiera” she introduced.

Zack grinned and shook her hand.

“My name’s Zack! Soon-to-be-hero of the Olympus Coliseum!”

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