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Chapter One: Deja Vu

      Dear Sora,

      I’d like to apologize for replying before ya really got a chance to settle back in with things on your island. But there’s trouble a’brewin’, and the Heartless are back again. The Nobodies seemed to vanish along with the destruction of Organization XIII, so that’s some good news. The Heartless seem stronger this time around, though. I suspect that they have a new leader commanding them, but this time it ain’t Maleficent. There’s a boy with a ‘key’, the key to our destruction. I need ya to go with Goofy and Donald and find this key, and destroy it. I’m sorry I can’t help ya out, but I’m going to try and find the root of all these Heartless. Good Luck!

      Best Wishes,
      King Mickey

Sora stared at the letter in disbelief. Only moments ago Kairi had brought him this message from a bottle with King Mickey’s seal on it. Riku and Kairi stood reading the letter, a feeling of uneasiness beginning to settle among the group. He knew he had already defeated Xehanort’s Heartless and destroyed Organization XIII, so what threats were left? With a sigh, he folded up the letter and placed it in his pocket.

Kairi’s face began to twinge with worry. “Sora, you’re not leaving, are you?”

He glanced at Kairi, and regretfully answered, “I’m not sure yet Kairi. I don’t really know what the situation is yet. Nothing’s set in stone, so don’t worry.”

Riku sifted his hand through his hair. “It seemed pretty clear to me. The King says darkness is threatening again, so we need the Keyblade master to set things right.” He turned to Kairi. “I can understand why you don’t want him to leave, though. If he dies, who’re you gonna marry?”

Kairi’s face turned red and she glared at Riku. “Oh aren’t you hilarious. No, that’s NOT the reason I’m hesitant. I’m hesitant because of what the King’s letter said. ‘A ‘key’ to our destruction?’ Does he mean another Keyblade?”

Sora remembered that ominous phrase of the letter. “Honestly, I really don’t know. You could be on to something, though. By the way, where exactly did you find this bottle?”

Kairi looked puzzled. “It was washed up on the beach.” She answered as if it would be obvious where she found it.

Riku turned to leave for his house. “Well, whatever it means, it can’t be good. Sora, Kairi, get a good night’s rest and we’ll talk about it more tomorrow.” He strolled off to his boat and was gone.

Before Sora could turn to leave, Kairi ran over and grabbed his arm. “Hold on. Whatever it is we decide, I’m going with you.”

“What?! No, you can’t come! It’s too dangerous!”

“What’s the big deal? For one, you can’t do this alone. You heard what the King said, the Heartless are stronger this time. Second, I have a Keyblade now too, remember?” She gestured out with her hand, and her flowery Keyblade materialized in her palm.

Sora’s shoulders slumped with defeat. “Kairi…”

She pursed his lips with her finger. “I think it’s sweet that you’re worried about me Sora, but I don’t want to risk losing you again. That time you turned into a Heartless…” She paused, the memory still branded in her mind.

Sora gently lifted her head up with his hand on her chin. “Hey, don’t worry about me. I’ve survived this long, right?”

Kairi glanced up and noticed the swirling black storm clouds approaching the island. “Let’s hope it stays that way.” She replied uneasily.

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Donald raced through the castle hallway towards the garden. He held a letter clutched in his palm, and he held it tight as he sprinted into the small courtyard. He glanced around and saw Goofy in his usual napping spot. He ran over and shook Goofy rather loudly. “Waaagh! Goofy, wake up! This is serious!” Goofy remained soundly asleep, a snore blasting Donald with sleepy breath. Now, Donald was known around the castle for his volatile temper, and a certain unsuspecting Captain of the Royal Guard was about to suffer the full brunt of it. Donald raised his staff into the air and shouted out in a shrill cry. A thunderbolt blasted Goofy and jolted him awake.

The bewildered Captain slowly blinked his eyes. “A-hyuck, geez Donald, do ya have to do that every time ya want to wake me up? What is it now?”

“It’s the King! He’s gone again, and he left us another letter!” Donald handed the letter to Goofy, who read it slowly while Donald waited impatiently.

“Gawrsh, the Heartless again? We’d better go tell Queen Minnie and Daisy! Sora might be in trouble!”

“Well then come on! We’ve got to get going as soon as we can!” Goofy and Donald turned and made a mad dash for the throne room where the Queen waited.

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Sora lay on his bed and stared at the ceiling. His mind was in turmoil over what the letter had said. The ‘key’ to our destruction? Last letter it was the ‘key’ to our survival, the key he has now. This meant that there was a Keyblade out there that would cause destruction, but who wielded it, and where? He turned over to his side and tried to sleep. Riku said they would discuss whether it was safe to try and find this new key tomorrow. It wasn’t that debate he was worried about. He was mainly worried about Kairi. She was determined to follow him this time, wherever he went. After finding each other during the battle against Organization XIII, they had grown a lot closer to each other, and it wouldn’t be much longer before they most likely began a relationship. He didn’t want her to get hurt though, or become turned into a Heartless like he did in his first adventure.

“Feeling indecisive, Sora?”

Sora turned to see a blonde-haired boy leaning against his wall. “Roxas? What are you doing up?”

Roxas shrugged, “You know that when you can’t sleep, I can’t either.” Roxas had previously become Sora’s Nobody when he was turned into a Heartless, and later become apart of Sora again, most of the time appearing to him in spirit form.

“Yeah. This whole deal about the ‘key’ to our destruction. It’s a little unnerving.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking. What if it’s possible that the ‘key’ that the King’s letter is referring to is mine?”

“Why would he do that? You’re the Keyblade master, after all.” Roxas smiled, and Sora felt a little more at ease. Roxas vanished, and Sora turned back over to try and sleep. His thoughts were still amok. How was he supposed to find this ‘key’?

“Perhaps the Key will find you.”

Sora jumped at the sound of the voice, and sat up to see a figure standing in the shadow of his room. This newcomer looked a little taller than Sora, with a shock of white hair and piercing yellow eyes. Once he stepped to be illuminated by the moonlight, Sora saw he wore a long brown cloak that seemed similar to the one Xehanort’s Heartless once wore. Underneath the cloak silver armor glinted in the light, with black fiber-material covering the rest of the figure’s body. He walked over and smirked at Sora, but in the moonlight his grin looked savage.

“Wh-who are you?”

The figure seemed to stifle a chuckle. “It doesn’t matter of who I am, Sora. What’s important is that the Heartless will soon invade.”

“Invade?! But, they can’t! The Keyblade can sense when they’re near! It would have reacted!”

“The Heartless have become stronger than you think, Sora. They are under the command of a new leader.” The figure outstretched his hand and a weapon materialized into his hand, similar to how Kairi performed the maneuver. The weapon was a Keyblade, almost exactly like Sora’s, only this one was pitch-black, and it seemed to be aflame with purple-and-black embers that threatened to consume light itself. “Me.”

Sora leapt out of his bed and brought forth his own Keyblade. “You! You’re the one with that new key! The one the King was talking about!”

The figure laughed. “Quick to make assumptions, aren’t we? I hate to stop this stirring conversation, but your island is breaking.”

Sora ran to his window and gasped. The island was breaking apart, and a massive red-and-black cataclysm hovered over the island, looming to swallow the island up. Sora whirled back to face the mysterious stranger, but he was gone. He ran and leapt out his window then ran for a boat parked on the shore. He began to row and head for the island, praying silently that Kairi and Riku were okay. The Heartless had returned.

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