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Chapter XXXVII: Port Royal

A violent toss and a rough shake threw Sora and Kairi out of their portal and onto what felt like a roof. Wincing and rubbing their sore backs, the two Keyblade-wielders slowly sat up and examined their surroundings. It was mid-afternoon, with the sun glowing in the horizon. They were still near the water as the sea breeze continued to flow around them.

“Where are we?” Kairi asked.

Again Sora gazed around their surroundings, trying to identify any clues or symbols that may be used to provide answers. There was not much to be seen though, just planks and bricks and random half-lit torches and… And then Sora noticed some other more distinct objects. There were cannons and piers with antique ships all docked side by side with each other. The more Sora thought about it, the more he was convinced of where Kairi and he were transported to: Port Royal. He spent his last adventure in Port Royal at night, hence why he did not recognize the region in daylight.

If they were in Port Royal, Sora pondered whether Kairi and he should scout for wandering Heartless. Perhaps they could also visit the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl crew. There were so many things they could do in Port Royal! Sora showed signs of excitement, which Kairi noticed right away.

“Oh yeah,” Sora said suddenly, remembering Kairi asked him of their current locale. “I think?I’m pretty confident that we’re in Port Royal. It’s a docking area for ships and such. But the cool thing is… there are pirates here!”

“Pirates?” Kairi repeated in question. “You mean, pirates pirates? Like the ones you hear of in wild sea stories?”

“Yup, real pirates!” Sora said excitedly. “I’ve been here before on my last adventure, so I know.”

“Ooh,” Kairi smirked. She felt a shiver tingling up her back. “That is exciting.”

“Come on!” Sora said enthusiastically. “I know one of the pirate captains. His name is Jack. A pretty weird guy, though, but he won’t hurt anyone.”

Kairi nodded as both Sora and she leapt down from the roof of the town house they fell on. Running down the familiar rampart, Sora led Kairi to the harbor like resided between the rampart ad the town. However, running to the dock, Sora realized finding the captain would not be as easy as he thought it would be. Apparently, the Black Pearl does not stay at the harbor like it did on his last adventure. Sora thought of something else instead of searching for the pirate captain. Maybe Kairi and he could visit Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann instead…

“Hmm, I don’t think Jack expected us to visit. Maybe we can visit someone else instead,” Sora suggested.

But I wanna see a real pirate! Kairi felt her sense of adventure rising. “Umm, sure,” she said as an alternative. “But as long as we get to see some pirates later on, okay?”

“Alright. There’s this guy named Will Turner and this lady named Elizabeth, I dunno, I think she’s his girlfriend or something. But I met them the last time I was here, so I think it’ll be nice if we visit them,” said Sora.

“Okay,” Kairi said. “Let’s go see them then.”

Yeah, but where…? Sora asked himself. He never asked Will or Elizabeth of their homes or wherever they lived. I wonder if?

A platoon of soldiers marching across the harbor into the rampart interrupted Sora’s thinking. All of them held rifles and seemed stiff and resolute. Curious, Sora decided to followed them, compelling Kairi to follow along. The platoon seemed to have around forty of so soldiers, but none of them seemed to notice Sora and Kairi quietly tagging along behind them. The soldiers continued to march around the rampart and halted at the entrance to the town, when the leader, a short man with a white powdered wig, waved them in. The leader fashioned clothes symbolized nobility; perhaps he was a lord. Sora, from reflex, pulled Kairi into the shadows when he thought the nobleman looked in their direction.

In another moment, when the coast was clear, Sora pursued the soldiers into the town, with Kairi running next to him. She appeared slightly worried, or merely nervous about the circumstances. Sora felt more curious than ever, but as soon as Kairi and he turned around the corner and into the town, he only experienced distress and shock. The platoon of soldiers surrounded a defenseless couple that Sora immediately recognized. Will was in manacles and Elizabeth appeared rattled.

“Will! Elizabeth?” he shouted before someone covered his mouth.

“Sora!” Kairi shushed him, but it was too late.

Half the platoon closest to Sora and Kairi aimed their rifles at the two kids. The other half remained locked onto Will and Elizabeth.

“Why is this happening?” Elizabeth protested.

“Sora?” Will shouted over the heads of the soldiers. “Is that you over there?”

“Yeah, hey everyone,” Sora greeted with his naïve smile.

The leader of the soldiers shook his head and turned to face Will. “I have the warrant for the arrest of one William Turner…”

Elizabeth muttered something that in turn had rifles pointed towards her. “…Arrest her too,” the lord added.

“No!” Will shouted.

“What charges!” Elizabeth cried out. “What… are the charges?”

“Yeah!” Sora yelled from the opposite side. “What charges?”

“You, boy,” the lord said glancing over his shoulder. “I am Lord Cutler Beckett, and you will treat me with more respect than you have so clearly shown already.”

Lord Beckett faced Will and Elizabeth again and resumed talking. “Perhaps you remember a certain pirate named Jack Sparrow?”

Captain Jack Sparrow,” Sora and Elizabeth both interjected.

Beckett swung around and strolled over to Sora. “Hmm, Captain Jack Sparrow. Yes, I thought you might,” he said on his way over to Sora. He leveled his face with Sora and squinted his eyes. “And who might you be, boy?”

“That would be Sora,” Will spoke up. “You might not want to mess around with him.”

“Nonsense,” Lord Beckett chuckled, waving off Will’s words. “What could a measly boy and his lady friend possibly do?”

“This!” Sora shouted as he summoned his Keyblade and began bashing the soldiers around him. The sudden action triggered Kairi to do the same as she joined Sora in knocking Beckett’s soldiers in every direction. Beckett, shocked, but resolute, stood his ground. A few soldiers out of the forty that remained standing were leaning against the walls or hunched over lopsided. Kairi ran to Elizabeth and Will and cut off the manacles that cuffed their wrists. Lord Beckett saw this, but did not stop Kairi.

“How I see this fit,” Beckett sneered quietly at Sora and then turned to the freed Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. “Mr. Turner, perhaps you can act as our agent in a business transaction with our mutual friend: Captain Sparrow?”

“More acquaintance than friend…” Will muttered.

“By your efforts, Jack Sparrow was set free. I would like you to go to him and recover a certain property in his possession.”

“The Black Pearl?” Sora and Will asked at the same time.

“The Black Pearl?” Beckett repeated. Evidently he did not know what Sora and Will were talking about. Neither did Kairi know, but she remained silent.

“The property you want that he possesses,” Will explained.

“A ship? Hardly,” Beckett scoffed. “The item in question's considerably smaller and far more valuable. Something Sparrow keeps on his person at all times. A compass. Ah, you know it. Bring back that compass, or there's no deal. Either face imprisonment and death or find this compass and be rewarded with freedom!”

Now that Sora thought about it, he did recall seeing Jack fiddling with a small object every once in a while, he just did not know what it was. It was probably the compass.

“I have warrants for your arrests, your imprisonment, and your eventual executions, Mr. Turner and Ms. Swann. What’ll it be?” Lord Beckett asked, almost menacingly.

Will thought a moment, and finally agreed. “I will go and find Jack?”

“And Ms. Swann will stay here,” Beckett ordered as several soldiers seized Elizabeth. Will immediately made a move to rush over to Elizabeth but was blocked off by a couple of other soldiers. “No, Mr. Turner, I cannot possibly allow both of my prisoners to run off together. I must have an additional factor in forcing you to do your job. Retrieve the compass! And Ms. Swann will be guaranteed her freedom in one piece.”

“I swear, if you dare touch her, you will beg for death,” Will snarled.

“I’m afraid I am the one in control of this situation, Mr. Turner. Nobility reigns,” Lord Beckett declared as he waved his soldiers away, who took Elizabeth with them. Will took a step forward, but reluctantly held back as Beckett and his soldiers departed.

“Find Sparrow and his compass, Turner!” Beckett’s voice sounded in the air.

Will shook his head and kicked the sand in blind fury.

“Mr. Turner?” Kairi asked quietly. “Sora and I will help if you want…”

“Please, young lady, call me Will. And your name is?” Will asked, still shaking his head.

“Kairi.”

“Kairi. Hmm. Well, Kairi, I will be glad to have yours and Sora’s help,” said Will. He paused, turned to Sora, and, quite quickly, changed his tone. “And it’s been a long time, Sora! What brings you back to Port Royal?”

“We kind of landed here by accident. And it’s a long story,” Sora said.

“Plenty of time for stories,” Will chuckled. “Come on, you two, we will take one of the boats on at the harbor.”

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Many miles off past the seas, on Isla de Muerta, a familiar figure appeared in the Moonlight Nook. Again blindfolded and wielding his Way to the Dawn, Riku sought out the keyhole to this world. But after hours of ineffective searching, he began to feel discouraged. Where was the keyhole? Riku kept wondering. Once in a while, one or two Heartless would rise out of the ground, but posed no significant threat at all. Maybe these are just the leftovers from when Sora was here before. Or maybe he had already stopped here before I did.

Deciding to leave Isla de Muerta, Riku summoned a dark portal and decided to investigate at another location. If the keyhole was neither at the port, nor the graveyard of ships, nor here, on Isla de Muerta, perhaps the keyhole could be at an unexplored territory. Riku considered the possibility and stepped into his portal.

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