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Chapter Four: Atlantica

All of the friends got into the Gummi Ship. Sora looked at the map and smiled. "I know you guys'll like this world."

"What is it?" Riku asked.

Sora turned around. "Atlantica. You guys have got to meet Ariel."

Goofy nodded. "Yeah, she has the most perty voice!"

"But you'll look a little different in this world, too," Donald stated.

Sora glanced at him. "A little?! I'm still not used to swimming in that place!"

"You swim all the time on Destiny Island," Kairi said.

Sora looked at her. "Well... this place is different."

Kairi seemed a little confused. "What do you mean?"

"You'll see when we get there." They all went ahead to Atlantica.

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"Whoa..." Riku and Kairi said at the same time.

They were underwater and were looking at an underwater castle. Not only that, but they had turned into two mermen; a mermaid; a half-duck, half-octopus and a sea turtle. Kairi started swimming in circles. "This is amazing!"

Sora grinned. "I told you you'd like it."

Kairi laughed a little and glanced at him. ‘Wow,' she thought. ‘Sora. He's... he's...'

‘Shirtless?' a familiar voice said to Kairi in her head, and she knew who it was.

‘Naminé? Is that you?' Naminé was Kairi's Nobody, who had fused with her the same way Sora and Roxas did.

‘Yes, it's me. I've been wanting to talk to you lately.'

‘Oh. Well, anyway, shirtless wasn't the word I was thinking of.'

‘Yeah, but reeeaaally deep down, you were.'

‘N-no I wasn't! I... I was thinking of... of....'

‘You don't even know. But I do.' Naminé's voice disappeared.

Just then, a red-headed, blue-eyed girl came by. She gasped. "Sora! I'm so glad you're back! Who are your friends?"

"This is Riku and Kairi." He turned to them. "Guys, this is Ariel. She lives here."

Ariel nodded. "I'm the one of the princesses of Atlantica. I have six older sisters who are princesses, too."

"That's a lot of siblings," Riku said.

"You bet. Anyway, I want you guys to meet some of my friends. And my daddy." Ariel led them all to the castle. She showed them a man on a throne with a long, white beard and a blue fin. She swam up to him excitedly. "Daddy! Sora's back again! Isn't that wonderful?!"

The man looked at them and didn't make any expressions. "Well, it is, but who are those other people?"

"King Triton, these are my friends, Riku and Kairi. They have Keyblades, too."

King Triton frowned. "Oh, they do, do they?"

"Daddy, knock it off! You know how careful Sora is with his Keyblade, so I'm sure his friends are just as careful with theirs!"

"Alright, if you say so, Ariel." King Triton looked at the gang. "Why don't you show me your Keyblades, Riku and Kairi?"

Both of them made their Keyblades appear. "Mine's called Way to Dawn," Riku stated.

Kairi glanced at him. "They have names?"

"Yeah."

"I didn't know that." She looked back at the Sea King. "I'm not sure what mine's called...."

"That's okay," King Triton said. He turned his attention back to Sora. "So, why are you here again? Are there more Heartless?"

"It's a long story," Sora proclaimed.

King Triton leaned back in his chair. "I have time. Sebastian," a small, red crab appeared.

"Yes, Your Majesty?"

"Go get Ariel up to the surface so she can get ready." Sebastian nodded. Ariel looked ready to protest.

"Aw, Daddy, can't I listen to the story? There's enough time, I don't have to go now...."

"You might have forgotten, my daughter, but you have a wedding."

Sora looked at Ariel with surprise. "You're getting married?!"

"Yes, and to Eric! Oh, he's so-"

"Okay, Ariel, we don't need to hear everything you think about Prince Eric," King Triton interrupted.

Just then, a small, yellow fish came swimming by. "Ariel!" he exclaimed. He caught up to her and was breathing hard.

"What is it, Flounder?"

"Well, you see, there was this thing I wanted to give you but it's lost now and I don't know what to do and-"

"Slow down, Flounder. You can breathe."

Sora watched with anticipation as Donald swam toward Flounder. "Maybe you should tell us."

"Yeah, we could help," Sora stated.

Flounder made a weird, open-mouthed smile; almost too big for his head; and swam up to Sora and tackled him. "Sora! You're back! Where have you been?! We need some serious help with the wedding and-"

"Whoa, speedo, slow down a little!"

Flounder got off of Sora and took a breath. "Okay. This is EXACTLY what happened. There was this thingy that I found that humans use, but I didn't know what it was, so I asked Scuttle and he told me it was a... uh, I think he said it was a sparkletow, I'm not sure. It was shaped like this," he moved his fins around in the shape of a hectagon, but the bottom was longer than the top.

Kairi also looked at it. "I think it's a diamond. What else did you notice about it?"

"Well, it was clear-ish and was really sparkly."

"Yep, that's a diamond."

"But when I went down to hide it until the wedding, I think it was too heavy and I dropped it down a hole...."

Sora, Donald and Goofy did their regular three-part sigh they normally did when something bad happened. Sora got upright and looked at Sebastian and Ariel. "You guys go ahead. We'll help Flounder."

King Triton got off the throne and swam toward them. "Listen. You can go help Flounder if you wish, but, as you know, Ariel's not used to the human world that much. Could one of you help her out?"

"I'll do it," Kairi said.

Sora glanced at her. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, we're both girls."

King Triton nodded. "Thank you, Kairi. I'll go with you so when you get up there, I can also turn you into a human."

"Okay." Kairi faced her friends. "Bye, guys! See ya at the wedding!" She, Ariel, King Triton and Sebastian swam up toward the surface.

Sora watched silently, not paying much attention to his surroundings. Riku noticed that and tapped his shoulder. "C'mon, Sora, let's go."

Sora snapped out of his daze and looked at him. "Sorry." The five boys headed out of the palace and into the open ocean.

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"So, Sora, what were you thinking about back there when you were watching Kairi?" Riku asked with a smile on his face. They were following Flounder to where he thought he dropped the gift.

Sora quickly turned his head to look at Riku. "N-nothing. It was... nothing."

Riku grinned more. "Yeah, sure. And you just happened to be staring at her for no exact reason?"

Sora didn't answer for a while. "Kind of..." he muttered, his face a little pink. Riku couldn't help but laugh.

"Don't worry, Sora, you don't have to be embarrassed," Goofy stated.

"Embarrassed about what?" Donald hit himself in the head and Riku softly made a "pssh" noise. Sora was confused. "What?"

"N-nothing. It was...nothing," Riku said in a mocking tone. Sora made an "oh, you're so funny" face at him. Riku laughed again and hit him on the back. "Don't worry, these things take time." He started to swim faster. "Last one there's a rotten egg!"

"Oh, no, you don't!" Sora also sped up and the two best friends were off again. Donald and Goofy raced to keep up with them.

"Hey! Wait for me!" Flounder called from behind, also trying to keep up. They all started racing with as much speed as they could. Then Flounder stopped, looking right below himself. "I think this is the ditch...."

Sora, Riku, Donald and Goofy all went back and glanced down it, too. It was pitch black and they couldn't see anything. "Whoa..." Sora muttered.

"I'll go in and check it out," Riku stated. He swam down into the hole scanning the place. He couldn't see anything because of the darkness, though, and swam back up.

"Did ya find it?" Goofy asked.

Riku shook his head. "Nope."

"Good, then let's get going," Donald said and started to swim away.

Flounder started to follow him. "Yeah, what he said."

"Come back here, you two," Sora said and pulled them back. "Do you wanna find Ariel's gift or not?"

Flounder sighed. "I guess you're right...."

Donald folded his arms and turned his head away. Sora smiled. "Alright, but don't come cryin' to me when you get eaten by a shark." Donald still didn't respond as the rest of the group went into the hole. Donald looked around and heard a loud, roaring-like sound. He suddenly started swimming down with them. "Wait for me!" he cried.

Sora, Riku and Goofy laughed. Then Sora remembered something. "Hey, guys, I have an idea." He put his hand out. "Fire!" he exclaimed. Absolutely nothing happened.

"Sora?"

He looked at his hand. "I don't get it. I thought it would help us see, but-"

"Sora, just so you don't embarrass yourself and make everyone think you're really stupid, let me tell you something: fire doesn't work underwater!" Riku exclaimed.

Sora blushed. "Whoops, forgot." He looked down at the bottom and noticed something glistening from the light above. "I think I found it!" All of them rushed to it. Sora lifted it up in his palm. "Guess we're done."

Donald stretched out his hand with wide eyes. "Can I take it for you?"

"No, Donald. I've seen you with jewels before, and if I give this to you, it's not reaching Ariel any time soon."

Flounder had already begun to get out of the ditch. Everyone else started to follow, but right as Flounder got out, two people appeared: one was a boy and one was a small girl. They were at the top of the hole and made a glass circle cover it, making it impossible to escape.

"Hey!" Sora exclaimed as they disappeared.

All of them swam up, trying to escape. Sora and Riku made their Keyblades appear and started hitting it, but it wouldn't break. "What do we do?!" Donald yelled.

Sora glanced at him. "I'll tell you what we do." He glanced back at Flounder. "Flounder, can you hear me?!"

"Yeah!"

"Go get Kairi-"

Donald pushed Sora's head down. "And tell her we're stuck in a hole!"

"Got it!" Flounder swam upward toward the surface.

Donald pointed his wand at the glass. "Th-" Sora covered his mouth.

"Donald, if you use thunder now, we'll all be toast! Literally!" Riku nodded.

Donald pushed Sora's hand away. "Well, if we can't use Firaga or Thundaga, can we use Blizzaga?"

Riku stood there for a moment, thinking. "Yeah, if you wanna be an ice cube."

"Great." All of them looked out the hole.

"Kairi and Flounder will be back soon," Goofy stated.

"Goofy, it's really good to be optimistic, but sometimes, you can be a little too positive," Sora stated. He looked down. ‘This is a bad situation we've gotten into. I hope Kairi gets here.' Just then, Sora's head started hurting again. He grabbed it, and he couldn't take the pain anymore and fell to the bottom of the ditch, unconscious.

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"No, no, no, Ariel. The shoes point to the inside. You've got it on the wrong foot," Kairi explained. She was trying to help Ariel get ready, but it wasn't going too well. They were in the ship where Ariel and Eric would get married.

Ariel sat down. "I'm never gonna get used to all this human stuff...."

"Of course you will. You just have to try a little. Here." Kairi helped her get her shoe on.

They heard a tapping at the window and saw a white seagull outside of it, hitting it with it's beak. "Scuttle!" Ariel exclaimed and opened it up.

Scuttle flew in. "Ariel! Uh...who are you again?"

"I'm Kairi."

"Right. Well, Flounder just came to tell me to tell Kairi that Sora and all those other boys are stuck in a hole and can't get out!"

"What?! How in the world-"

"No time for that, you've gotta get down there!"

Ariel looked ready to help, but Kairi glanced at her. "You have to stay here, I'll handle the boys. Can you do the rest yourself?"

"I think."

Kairi poked her head out the window. "King Triton!"

He looked at her. "I already know! Get ready!" He pointed the trident at her and a laser shot out. Kairi turned back into a mermaid and dove into the water.

‘How in the WORLD did those four get stuck in a hole?!' she thought.

‘Because some boys are a little stupid,' Naminé stated.

‘No, I don't think that's why they got in there. Something really bad must have happened.' She continued to swim, looking for her friends until she found a sealed-up hole. She raced to it. "Riku! Donald! Goofy! Where's Sora?!"

"Kairi!" Riku exclaimed with excitement. "Well, actually, he kinda...." Kairi waited for an answer. "He... he... well, you know, that thing that keeps happening to him...."

"Oh," Kairi said, seeming concerned. "Is he alright?"

"For now. Kairi, can you break it? I think if we all combine powers, it'll burst open. When and if it gets open, I'll go down and get Sora."

Kairi nodded. "Good plan."

She, Riku, Donald and Goofy all put their weapons in and used Reflect, a magic attack which made things bounce back (although Kairi's didn't go so well). A bright light appeared and blinded them for a moment, then, when it passed, they noticed the glass had broken. Kairi gave a sigh of relief.

All of them went down and tried to wake Sora, and after a while, he eventually stirred. "Sora, you okay?" Riku asked.

"Yeah..." Sora replied, his voice a little weaker than usual. He realized Kairi was right there. "I guess you broke it, huh?"

"WE broke it, Sora."

He got up, a little dazed. Donald and Goofy seemed a little worried. "Sora, did you see anything that time?" Donald inquired.

"I did. There was that boy and girl again, and they were saying something about leaving each other for a while. I'm still not completely sure what the one guy's name is, but all four of the people I've seen have Keyblades."

Goofy pointed at him. "Y'know, I bet that the other people you've been seein' are those Chasers the King told us about."

‘I bet they are.'

"Well, I know that the guy who came back from darkness to help his friends is Kapashnet, the girl's Seladina, and I think the evil guy's Hyrono. But I still don't know who the other guy that keeps appearing is." Sora thought about who he possibly could've been.

‘Those Chasers remind me of some people,' Roxas stated and vanished. Sora wondered exactly who they reminded him of for a while.

Then all of them swam out of the hole. When they got to the top, the diamond started floating in the air. "Guess it's time to go," Sora stated.

Kairi glanced upward. "I hope Ariel likes her wedding."

"Yeah, me too." Sora repeated the process of unlocking new worlds. "Alright, let's go." They all got into the Gummi Ship, awaiting the next world.

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