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Chapter XLVII: King's Caller

“What?” a gaunt old woman screamed. “A llama?”

Yzma and Kronk were pacing about in Yzma’s secret basement laboratory. Just hours before they carried out Yzma’s diabolical plan for exterminating Kuzco and taking over the Kingdom Under the Sun. The plan was to poison Kuzco and subsequently dispose Kuzco’s body.

“He’s supposed to be dead!” Yzma continued to complain.

“Yeah, weird,” said Kronk, a hefty yet comically looking young man.

But Kuzco was not exterminated. He became a llama instead and departed, completely oblivious to his new appearance. Yzma regretted not finishing the job herself. The shock of seeing the emperor as a llama held her in place for a fairly long while…

“Let me see that vial,” Yzma ordered. Kronk handed her a small glass vial labeled with a skull sticker. Or at least it looked like a skull. Yzma adjusted the sticker so that it was completely stretched out. For a moment, she wanted to bash Kronk’s head in. “This isn’t poison! This is extract of llama!

Kronk shrugged. “Y’know, in my defense, your poisons all look alike. You might want to think about relabeling some of them.”

Yzma groaned in renunciation and frustration, leaving her laboratory. Kronk still held a plate of steamed broccoli. It was his specialty.

“Go to town and finish the job now!” Yzma yelled from another room.

Kronk examined his broccoli. “Uh, what about dinner?”

“Kronk,” Yzma muttered, coming back into the laboratory. “This is kind of important.”

“How about dessert?”

“Well… I suppose there’s time for dessert?”

“And coffee?”

“All right!” Yzma grumbled. “A quick cup of coffee. And then go out and finish the job!”

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“How do I look, Sora?” Kairi asked cheerfully. The new robe she wore hung loosely around her, draped from the shoulder to a little past her knees. It was relatively the same color as her normal dress, a light to ashen pink.

Sora gave Kairi a thumbs-up. “Looks good,” he said. Sora was dressed in his black and blue tunic. It was not as baggy and loose as his normal clothes, but he reminded himself that these garments were just temporary. Besides, the clothes Kairi and he had on at the moment were not suitable for combat.

“You seem a little uncomfortable,” Kairi commented. “Anything wrong?”

Sora stood up and looked around him. “What if this village gets attacked by the Heartless? These guys are totally defenseless.”

“Then it’s up to us.” Kairi said, smiling.

Yeah, us, Sora told himself. He was used to these travels to distant worlds, worlds that he would never have dreamed of seeing in his life. But something was missing on these recent travels. Sora was happy Kairi was with him, but these travels no longer felt the same as his previous ones.

“You still look a little rough, Sora,” Kairi said again.

“Eh,” Sora sighed. “I wonder what Donald and Goofy are up to. And the King…”

Kairi reached into one of Sora’s large pockets and pulled out a keychain. She waved the metallic icon in front of Sora.

“Remember this?” Kairi asked, still waving the keychain around. “Something about contacting?”

“Oh, right,” said Sora. He completely forgot that he had that small gift from Mickey. Now how do you use it?

Sora took the keychain from Kairi and examined the Gummi symbol indented into the keychain’s ornament. Experience told him to try to attach the keychain to a Keyblade first, which Sora did. The Oblivion faded away as a glowing light transformed Sora’s Keyblade. The hilt and the blade became a completely new weapon… or supposedly a weapon. Instead of materializing into a deadly sword like the Oblivion, the new Keyblade was somewhat docile in appearance. The edges of the blade were dull, the tip blunt. Sora was about to protest this abnormality of a weapon before the new Keyblade displayed its first quirk.

The Keyblade floated out of Sora’s hands, shocking both Kairi and him. Continuously glowing, the weapon leveled its tip to point directly towards the ground then fired a blue helical beam onto the floor. First a humming sound resonated through the room Sora and Kairi settled in. But then came a familiar voice. Wak!

“Donald?” Sora questioned.

“Sora!” Donald’s voice sounded somewhere. “Your Majesty, Your Majesty, Sora got the keychain to work!”

Sora and Kairi snuck a glance at each other before staring back at the helical beam. The sounds coming from the Keyblade were crystal clear. Sora could even hear Donald’s frantic footsteps skittering away and the voice of Mickey sounding farther off. Goofy’s voice could also be heard in the background, chuckling and chortling away.

“Sora!” Mickey called out. “You got the keychain to work?”

“I guess,” said Sora. “But how do I turn this off?”

“Beats me,” Mickey responded. “You’re gonna have to ask Chip and Dale that.”

“Yeah, but…”

There was a knock on the door. “Hey, what’s that noise in there?”

“Umm…” Sora speedily yanked the Keyblade out of the air and detached the keychain. Fortunately for Sora and Kairi, the humming stopped and the Keyblade returned to its natural form. “Nothing, uh...”

“I heard a noise in there!” Tipo’s chirping voice sounded.

Instantaneously, the marauding Tipo, whose curiosity knew no bounds, banged the room’s door open. He bustled across the wooden floor, nearly tripping over both Sora and Kairi, in search of the humming noise. Rags covering the windows were yanked down, clouds of dust were completely blown out of the underside of the beds, and yet the little boy was oblivious to the mayhem he was causing.

Kairi stood dumbfounded at first at the chaos. But when the clouds of dust piled up in the air, she grimaced and inched into the corner of the room. Sora, on the other hand, wanted to laugh at the mess. Never in his life before had he seen such a mess. Not even his room in Destiny Islands was ever this messy. Yet the young Tipo did not give up and ransacked the room for another long ten minutes. It was then he plopped onto the floor in defeat.

“Surrendering already?” Sora teased. “It’s only been ten minutes.”

“N?Ah?” Tipo gasped. “Ah… ah-choo!

Sora chuckled as the spunky little boy shook the dust off of his bare back.

“Tipo, Tipo!” Chaca squealed as she slid into the room. “Dad’s h?Tipo! You’re a mess! I’m telling Mom!”

Just as quickly as she entered, Chaca disappeared back down the hall. Little Tipo spastically got up on his feet and chased after his older sister, screaming in excitement or protest (who knows).

Again it was just Sora and Kairi in the room, both standing in the middle of the devastated room. Indeed it seemed as if a natural disaster did rip through, since barely a single spot in the room was left right side up or untouched. Scratching his head, Sora wondered how Chicha dealt with her kids.

“I don’t think I could ever have kids,” Sora grumbled. “I mean, just look around us!”

“Well,” Kairi snickered. “We’re still kids, kinda, right?”

“Yeah, but we know better…”

“Psh, sure, Sora,” Kairi scoffed playfully. “Remember how you and Riku always threw coconuts at Selphie, me, and other girls back when we were like… five?”

Sora remembered. It was like a classic activity Riku, he, and the other boys did back when they were little. They didn’t just throw it at girls though, if they see older boys or girls, coconuts were thrown without hesitance. Sora scratched his head again and shrugged. “Nope.”

“Coconuts, Sora! Those hurt!”

“Fine, when we get home, I’ll let you throw coconuts at me and Riku, okay, Kairi?”

Kairi flipped her hair diffidently and nodded in agreement.

“Anyway, that was over ten years ago. We grow up eventually, you know?” Sora said.

“I know,” Kairi agreed. Then she stared at Sora deviously and winked. “But I’m still gonna get you and Riku back.”

Suddenly, Sora felt a tingling static feeling in his back pocket. He reached in and realized it was the Gummi keychain that was bothering him. Sora picked through his collection of keychains until he located and retrieved the Gummi-stamped one. The keychain was glowing with a bluish radiance. Were the King, Donald, and Goofy trying to contact Kairi and him? Sora knew that if he reattached the keychain to his Keyblade there threat of Tipo charging back into the room would be imminent.

“Aren’t you going to attach the keychain?” Kairi asked Sora after realizing the Keyblade master did nothing but stare at the keychain.

Sora nodded and again replaced his Memories Past keychain with the Gummi-stamped one. Again the Keyblade transformed into a blunt sword and released a blue helical beam towards the ground. The process seemed faster than before, probably because the keychain itself called for Sora to attach it. The weapon hummed… and soon the voices of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy could be heard in the distance. But there was another set of voices that could be identified though: Chip and Dale’s. Eager to say hello, Sora sat down on the ground and called out.

“Hey, you guys, are you all in the same spot or something?”

“?Oh! Sora!” Mickey’s voice sounded. “I was thinkin’ that you didn’t get our message.”

“So you tried to contact Sora?” Kairi asked.

“Yup! That’s right. Right now it’s me, Donald, and Goofy in the Gummi Ship with Chip and Dale on the transmissions screen?”

“Hey, Sora!” Chip and Dale called out simultaneously. “Can ya hear us? How do ya like the keychain we made?”

Sora glanced at the keychain. “Umm, it’s pretty cool. What do you call it?”

The chipmunks could be heard whispering to each other.

“Eh, we gave one to the King too,” Dale reported. “He calls it the Gummi Transmit keychain. Pretty simple, right?”

“Simple indeed,” Kairi commented. “What about the Keyblade itself? Does it have a special name too?”

“Of course!” Chip squeaked. “We call it the King’s Caller. Makes sense if ya think about it. His Majesty uses it to contact ya both, and ya can do the same back to him!”

Sora and Kairi looked at each other and shrugged. “Sounds good,” said Sora as he returned his attention to the blue light. “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you two. How do you turn this whole thing off… err, the normal way. I sort of just yanked the Keyblade out of the air before.”

“I figured out a nice way, Sora,” Mickey declared. “Use magic. Imagine you’re turnin’ the contactor off. Give it a try.”

Sora figured as much. Nowadays physical methods are usually obsolete when compared to the things magic could do. Hence another reason why Merlin was so pushy in getting Sora back on track with magic and Kairi initiated with magic. All of a sudden Sora remembered that he had to teach Kairi magic still. All Kairi mastered, or almost mastered, so far was the fire element. Yet another thing on my long to-do list, Sora thought.

He closed his eyes and channeled the energy within him. Sure enough, the humming died away and the helical blue beam of light faded out as the King’s Caller dropped onto the ground with a weightless clank.

Kairi, amused and interested, lifted up the Keyblade.

“How do you do that?” Kairi asked quietly. “Sometimes I know for sure how to use magic, and sometimes, actually usually, I don’t understand how it works.”

Sora’s Keyblade disappeared from Kairi’s hand and reappeared within Sora’s. Kairi summoned her Oathkeeper.

“Sometimes you just know… and sometimes you learn, I guess,” Sora answered. “These magic questions. You’re gonna have to ask Merlin about it.”

“Yeah, but too bad we’re stuck in this little village, and this… smelly world.”

Sora laughed.

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