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Chapter XLIX: The Village at Night

Sora slurped noisily on the bowl of food before him. He did not know what was in the bowl, but he did know that it was very appetizing. Kairi and Pacha watched as Sora ravenously devoured his meal, both of them amazed and somewhat disgusted at the same time. Sora shelled out some more munny as he ordered yet another bowl of “food.” Kairi was already full quite a while ago, but she continued to watch in incredulity at Sora’s seemingly insatiable hunger.

“Kairi, was it?” Pacha asked after a period of observation. “Has he always been like this?”

Honestly, Kairi never noticed.

“Sorry, just hadn’t had a good meal for a long time,” said Sora. He dug his face into a new bowl. “Almost done?”

“Sora, you pig!” Kairi scolded as she smacked the backside of Sora’s head. “Don’t shove your whole face in there. There are forks here for a reason…”

Sora rubbed his head and picked up a fork.

“Sorry again,” Sora sung.

Before Sora dug into his bowl for another bite, a heavy, fibrous shingle from a nearby roof slid down and landed on the table. Bystanders turned their heads at the loud crash. Sora, who was closest to the fallen shingle, fell back from his chair and stared up towards the roof. As soon as he did, another barrage of torn shingles came crashing down. Sora darted backwards to evade the falling panels. This was not a mere loosening of shingles on the roof, he decided. Something or someone was pushing the shingles down.

“Be right back,” Sora whispered to Kairi.

Sora leapt onto the roof to investigate…

Nothing.

“Sora!” Kairi’s voice sounded. Yelps and screams and cries from the nearby villagers erupted moments later.

“What the?”

Sora pivoted to see what was happening below him. But before he could get a good footing on the roof, something pushed him from behind. Sora crashed headfirst toward the ground, but he managed to agilely get his hands and feet to strike the land first. A little unsettled, Sora quickly turned his attention to the noise around him. The small number of villagers out in the night panicked in total disarray.

Kairi rushed over to Sora, her Keyblade gripped tightly in her hand.

“Kairi, what’s up with the villagers?” Sora asked.

Kairi pointed her Keyblade towards the sky, the sides of the booths, stands, and cottages, and the roofs of many edifices. Sora looked to every direction Kairi pointed to and squinted his eyes in spite. Heartless. Heartless of all sorts: the basic Shadows and Neoshadows, the swift Soldiers and Armored Knights, and the flying Dragonflies and Emerald Blues. Sora knew immediately he had to act as fast as he could to take control of the situation. He had to do the first part last. Actual combat with the Heartless had to be postponed; the well being of the villagers outweighed the disposal of the Heartless.

This Sora knew. He motioned to Kairi to literally herd the scattered villagers and vendors out of the surrounding areas, somewhere to safety. Sora hurried over to the bewildered Pacha and shoved him awake.

“Pacha, get moving! Go home and lock your doors and windows, there are Heartless here!” Sora cried frantically. “Kairi and I can take care of this.”

Pacha felt his head whirl out of his inept state. Heartless? he thought to himself. What on earth is happening here? Who are these kids?

Those questions had to be left unanswered for Pacha as Sora pushed him away again and motioned the Keyblade towards the inner parts of the village.

“Come on,” he said. “I bet there’s more down there!”

“More what?” Pacha wondered out loud.

Kairi shot out a bullet of flame to take down a Dragonfly Heartless hovering towards their group just in time. “Heartless,” she muttered at the cloud of dusty smoke that were the remains of the Heartless. “I guess we can tell you some stories after we clean the village up.”

Baffled, awed, and horrified at the same time, Pacha found himself slowly following Sora and Kairi as the two young warriors endlessly slashed and shot waves of magical spells. Most of the villagers that were out in the open were now hiding within their homes or nearby cottages. Most of the villagers that were indoors or sleeping were now peering out of their windows in search of the commotion.

Pacha stood idly, helpless amidst all the confusion. Once in a while, he would duck his head as a dissipating Heartless crumbled through the air. And sometimes he would simply stare, mouth agape. In time, though, after Sora and Kairi brought down the last of the invading Heartless force, a tranquil silence returned to the village. It only was only minutes that passed, and it felt like seconds to Sora and Kairi. On the other hand, for Pacha?and the other common folk?the battle seemed to last a whole night. It was due to the fact that none of the villagers have ever lived in the face of war before; they only knew peace.

Sora let out a deep breath in triumph and chuckled as he called off his Keyblade.

“Hey, Kairi,” he said with a smile. “Is it just me, or are you getting better at this every day?”

Kairi felt herself blush at the unusual compliment. It never occurred to her that being called a good fighter would be a nice, flattering remark. She shrugged. “Maybe it’s just you,” she answered coyly. “Or maybe you’re the one that’s getting better.”

“Ah, you know you’re getting better at this…” Sora returned, trailing off as he remembered Pacha was still hanging around. “Oh yeah, umm, Pacha?”

Pacha had his whole body pasted against the wall of a nearby cottage. He was drenched in sweat.

“Pacha, are you okay?” Sora asked. “You look completely worn out.”

“Uh, I-I-I… uh, uh,” Pacha blathered incoherently. “W-w-what’s going on, h-here? What w-were those th-things-s? I-I… I’ve never seen those… things h-here before!”

Kairi strolled over and patted Pacha’s giant belly. “It’s okay, when I first saw the Heartless I was a bit nervous, too. Actually, I don’t think I was ever that scared before…”

Several villagers cautiously exited their homes to catch a glimpse of Sora and Kairi. They were just as perplexed as Pacha. It was merely more attention that Sora and Kairi grew more and more accustomed to as they visited foreign worlds. There were murmurs, some gasping sounds as older villagers realized Sora and Kairi’s ages. Eh, whatever, Sora thought, shrugging in attempt to brush the attention away.

What a crazy day, Pacha thought to himself. First, the emperor plans on destroying this village to make room for his ridiculous summer home, and now supernatural warrior kids?

“We’ll tell you what’s going on if you want, Pacha,” Sora suggested. “It’s sort of a story we basically told everyone else we met on our trips. Let’s go back to your house, okay?”

Good idea… Pacha thought. All he did was nod, though, as his mouth still hung open as he rose to his feet.

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