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4: Dawn Rising

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Life 3: Blood Driven…


 

I had lived a world of swords and lives.

Wading through pools of my enemies, my sword gleaming through the night as I cut down all those around me, their frozen faces staring up at me as I smiled.

My heart welp for those that I had damned, but my people demanded that I take the souls of those that damned them, so I did as I must…

But I had fallen in battle, a cowardly archer sending me reeling, a lucky blade finding its way to my throat, sending me crashing to the Earth once more… bringing an end to the crusade that had consumed my life, yet the latest journey I had been forced into by destiny.

I grit my teeth, as my lifeblood drained from me, the light losing from my eyes as I fell… and gave into the same sensation that had haunted me since my final day as Harry Potter… that unnatural pull that led me on, forward past my death and into the life of another, yet another life to suffer through.

I let my armor drag me to the ground, as I closed my eyes.

I let go, of everything.

I gave into the darkness.


 

Life 4: Dawn Rising


 

I woke to a warmth that I wasn’t used to, my eyes heavy as I pulled myself from the bed I found myself in, what appeared to be wooden walls around me, but not ones professionally built…

“Am I… in a shack?”

I shook myself then, shaking off the exhaustion I felt, noticing that I was shorter than I was used to, the walls around me bare and emotionless.

Yet… I didn’t live here, that much was clear.

I was a child, though… very muscular. Odd.

Brushing that aside, I reached out my hand, feeling for the mystical chains that usually connected me to my Magic, feeling its soft embrace in the veins of my body… but it felt weak. Almost… simple.

The Magic around me felt… frail, it was… worrying.

Turning to the small wooden door of this hut, I pushed it aside and was blinded by sudden sunlight.

Where ever I was, it was bright as Hell…


 

“Riku, I thought we were working on the Raft?” A childish voice asked me as I stood on the beach of this… island.

The blue waves and sunny skyline met my weary eyes, as I tried to remember anything of this life’s memories.

I had only taken over another’s life once before, but I knew that was what I had done.

People aren’t normally born as children inside a shack…

So, I had taken over this kid’s life, and his-

My eyes widened as I took in the briefest memories of this boy’s life, the one that had become my own.

Riku Eos, an odd name if I had ever seen one, but it didn’t matter too much.

I was an islander, and-

“Riku… are you okay?” That same voice from before asked me, as I turned my eyes from the waters of the islands, resting my eyes on a young girl.

Her eyes were a bright blue, and her hair was a short red, the tips reaching past her eyes.

This was Kairi, apparently one of my new friends.

Apparently I had known her ten years… which makes it even harder to pretend to be this guy…

“I’m fine Kairi, just thinking.” I reassured her, a little surprised at how deep of a voice I had this time around. My original had been nowhere near as deep, but I shrugged it off.

A nice bonus.

“About what?” She asked me cheekily, getting on my nerves just the slightest bit.

God I miss England… the conversation was always better there.

“About… when we leave. How different things will be.” I left off, seeing that Riku had some obsession with leaving these peaceful isles, and traveling to other worlds.

I don’t know what this guy was smoking, but this place looked like paradise to me… especially after the Crusades…

“I know… everything will be different, but hopefully not too different.” Kairi said with a smile, her hands coming to rest behind her back, my mind wondering still about Riku’s motivations.

This guy was dense as Hell…

I smiled.

“How about you go check on Sora? He’s probably snoozing somewhere.”  I said with a wave, getting her out of my hair for a bit.

Sora was the other friend I had this time around, a boy around my age that apparently was determined to be better than me, whether at running or fighting.

Apparently I aced him in everything.

“Wow… Riku’s kind of a jerk…”

Guess I won’t be.


 

“So, Kairi's home is out there somewhere, right?”

I was liking this Sora kid, he had a good heart, and a fierce determination.

He reminded me of myself in many ways, always caring for his friends and never giving in.

I had a feeling we’d get along much better than Kairi and I.

I had never been good with girls, and could barely understand them, but Sora was even more clueless than I was.

Good not to be alone.

“I suppose so. It’s gotta be somewhere out there.” I said in return, my eyes consuming that beautiful sunset, perfectly content to sit on this island forever. Why would Riku want to leave.

“But how far could a raft take us?” Sora asked me, leaning forward on the tree trunk beneath us, his eyes questioning and innocent.

I didn’t know why these kids thought a raft could take them to another world, but I wouldn’t pop their bubble.

“Who knows?” I said aloofly, flexing the sore muscles in my neck. How this freaking kid carried logs so effortlessly… I would never know, but it was exhausting.

“So, suppose you get to another world. What would you do there?” Kairi asked me while giggling, her eyes searching for mine as I just grinned. These two had a magic all their own, and it was nice to just relax after all the darkness and gloom of my previous life.

This place was a treasure to be held, that much I was sure of.

“Doesn’t really matter, so long as we’re all together.” I said with a smile at the two, feeling true affection in my chest as Riku’s emotions flooded me… and a hate struck my chest like a gunshot.

“What… what in the world?”

“Riku… what’s wrong?” Sora asked me, both children looking at me as I froze then, the sunlight shining down on me as my vision flickered.

“Riku?” I almost fell off the small island then, before shaking off the haze I found myself in. I gave a weak smile at the two of them.

“I’m fine. Just a… I don’t know.” I said as I truly didn’t know what was wrong with me.

This Riku guy… had some demons.

And I didn’t really want to be in him.

That Sora kid looked more fun than being in this edgy muscle kid, but I was stuck with the cards I was dealt.

“I’m fine, really. Just wondering if this raft of ours will really work.” I said, hoping that I could just have a bit more relaxation here with my new friends, but I had a sickening feeling that I wouldn’t get such an easy life.

I haven’t thus far.

“Really? Normally you’re so sure of yourself.” Kairi asked me, a smile that brought me back a bit on her face. I just smiled in return, as I got lulled once more into a sense of calm.

No matter what was wrong with this Riku guy, I wouldn’t let it hold me back.

I’m going to enjoy myself, no matter what.

Wait… do I go to school?


 

I lay in bed that night, having met my new parents. They were an alright sort, considering I hadn’t had much experience with parents so far, but they were nice.

Symon and Jillian were their names, and they weren’t too good at the parenting game, as they didn’t pay too much attention to Riku, as I was given a hello and a goodnight last afternoon, and left to my own devices.

Swell.

Brushing it aside, I tried to fall asleep, looking out at the night sky to try and ease my mind… only to feel an odd tugging in my chest.

Giving into an odd urge, I reached my arm out into the air, my fingers outstretched, like I was reaching for something.

I felt stupid… until I saw a sparkle of light at my fingertips… like a spark or a flame… and then nothing.

I held onto this odd feeling, my magic coiling inside me like a spring, as I tried again to focus on this oddness.

Letting out a breath and focusing, I felt that same strain, and let it out.

To my utter shock and amazement, a holy light shined in my bedroom, a giant cartoonish key appearing in my hand.

It was more of a blade than a prop or toy, the handle feeling strangely right in my grasp, the metal of the blade reflecting in the moonlight.

“What the fuck…?” I asked of it, turning it over in my hands… only for something odder to happen.

The shadows of my room seemed to rise then, a dark shape flying at my hand, a coldness coming over me instantly.

With a jolt, I jumped from my bed, and to my misfortune, the key disappeared.

Wondering what that even was, I was left with a feeling of failure as I stood alone in my room, in my boxers…

“What the hell am I even doing?” I asked myself aloud, marking this all off as being tired. I was running all across that damn island earlier after all, along with lugging around all the crap Sora was too weak to.

It wasn’t easy.

Hopefully sleep comes easier this time…


 

“This world is ending, you’ve felt it… haven’t you?” Said a voice in my mind, as I opened my eyes.

Rather than my comfy, if bare bedroom, I now stood on a beach as far off from Destiny Islands as possible, dark branches flying off above me as a dim skyline loomed ahead.

The sand below my feet was black, almost like melted glass, and the water assured me that I would never want to swim in it…

Then that voice…

“Who are you?!” I called out, turning around to see a man in a black coat, his face hidden in the shadow of his hood, but a smile clear to see through the darkness.

“My name is of no importance…” The man said, his words deep and menacing as he walked closer to me, observing me as much I was him.

“If it’s so unimportant, then why don’t you tell me it?” I asked in return, a feeling of wrongness flowing off this guy in waves only I could see.

My Magic really didn’t like this guy, and neither did I.

He laughed then, his arms coming to rest behind his back as he circled around me.

“I would… but I’m sure you will hear much of me soon enough… but I believe I asked you a question first.” He said coldly, though I guess I had to give him that. “You know these peaceful islands are dying… don’t you?”

I just frowned then, as I had felt the odd vanishing points on the islands… where it seemed to just end. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t leave the islands… and that limit kept getting closer.

This world was getting smaller, and in enough time, we’d likely be trapped on the one we played on, the mainland consumed completely by the waves.

Unless… this guy did something.

He looked the evil type.

“Say I do… what do you know?” I asked him, my fingers curled, ready to throw an Unforgivable if this guy even stepped near me.

“I know that you need not be destroyed with it. You’ve noticed it decaying, but this world will see much worse in the coming days. With my aid, your friends and you can leave this world, and travel to new ones. You can see anything you like, and go anywhere.” He said, his arm waving in the air to express his point, really selling how wondrous his proposal was.

This guy sounded like he was offering free candy in a nice van, so I instantly didn’t trust him… but if he was telling the truth… could I doom my new friends so soon after meeting them?

They were kids… and their whole world would collapse around them…

This guy seemed evil as sin… but shouldn’t I give them a chance?

“What… what do you want in return?” I asked him, taking a breath as I felt an almost devilish vibe from this guy, almost feeling like I was selling my soul to Lucifer himself.

He smiled then, pulling back his hood to reveal an appearance scarily similar to the face I now wore, white hair reaching upwards, golden eyes replacing those of Riku’s cerulean ones.

“Simple… you will become my student, and I… your master. I will teach you of the worlds beyond, and of the power you now possess… and you simply act on my behalf.” He said with a sickly grin, his eyes glowing with twisted glee as he seemed almost overjoyed that I was actually entertaining the thought of his offer.

“And this power?” I asked him, really getting skeptical of my potential ‘Master’. Like I wanted a master after the whole Dursley mess…

He held up a gloved hand then, and suddenly darkness, black and corrosive flowed from his arm, the power of it drifting away like smoke, an empty void forming on his wrist.

“The power above all others… Darkness, the truth to every Heart, and one you hold much strength for. With my guidance Riku, you could save your friends from demise, and even… if you were so willing, rule the worlds. You could be King Riku, your friends at your side. Forever happy, never bothered. All would be as you desired, forever.” He said in a grandiose voice, the beach around us fading as instead I saw a beautiful kingdom, Riku… Myself, older and garbed in shining armor, sitting on a throne, Sora standing beside me, Kairi in my arms.

All of us happy.

This all seemed perfect… but then I saw the flaw in this delusion.

The one thing that told me this man was lying.

Sora was smiling.

In the brief time I knew the kid, he was head over heels for Kairi.

No way on any world would he be so happy with her by my side, by any man’s side beside his own.

Also, don’t know where this guy got his info from, but I didn’t care for the girl as much as Riku seemed to have.

Overall, that was the final pin to seeing through this man’s wonderful offers.

He kept offering more and more, because he was afraid I’d say no.

This wasn’t an offer.

I was meant to say yes, I had to, according to him at least.

He kept offering me more power and prestige, and I just smiled.

“You need me. That’s what this is. You keep offering me more and more, more than you actually can give me.” I said, laughing at this man’s silly attempt. Honestly, who’d be dumb enough to fall for this creepy fucker’s lies?

“So, mister molester, I will not take your candy. Take your darkness and shove it where the light don’t shine, oh wait.” I said with a laugh, walking away from the man as I felt his rage.

“Foolish boy! You would invite Death due to your arrogance?!” He screamed at me, marching after me as I walked off the beach, darkened woods surrounding me as his voice echoed around me.

“Nope, I just don’t feel in a ‘Sell your soul to the Devil’ kind of mood tonight. Nothing personal.” I said as I gathered all my latent Magic together, this life’s weird enough limit on it, and performed a spell I hadn’t in a while.

“You fool.”

Ignoring the man, I apparated home, and left that weirdo behind.

Hopefully he can take a hint that I’m not interested.

I had a feeling he couldn’t…


 

“Hey Riku.” Sora asked me as I helped tighten the flag of the Raft, the one Sora had dubbed Excalibur. I wasn’t going to race the boy over it, if he felt happy naming the Raft, I certainly wasn’t going to bring him down.

Shaking my hands clean of the sand, I turned to Sora with a tilt of my head.

“Yeah Sora?”

“Can I… can I talk to you about something weird?” The spikey headed boy asked me, almost like an embarrassed little brother. I laughed at the look on his face.

“Sure Sora, what’s going on?” I asked him, giving him my full attention as I finished my work on the raft. It had a proper sail now and basic steering device, and I had even taken a few parts from my personal boat, turning our raft from a hunk of wood into a proper sea ready vessel.

“I’ve… I’ve been having some weird dreams lately…” Sora said, coming to a rest on the floor of the Raft, looking up at me in need of guidance.

“You’re at that age…” I said with a smirk, watching as the boy’s face lit up like a firecracker.

“NOT… those kinds of dreams.” Sora mumbled under his breath, before continuing on this weird speech of his. “There’s been this voice… telling me about how I’m supposed… to do something, open a door or something. There’s these monsters and…”

Sora seemed to lose himself in his thoughts then, and I didn’t really know what to think either.

It certainly sounded like a dream, but Sora having weird dreams after I was abducted by that creepy guy?

Something was screwing with us, and this island, and I didn’t like it.

“I’m sure it’s nothing, but if you have any more, you come talk to me, alright Sora?” I said to him, resting a hand on his shoulder as he nodded.

“Now come on then, I’m sure Kairi’s waiting for us back on the beach. Get off your lazy butt.” I said with a chuckle, giving Sora a hand as we took off down the beach, the two of us keeping pace as we got going.

I… I’m actually happy.

I had almost forgotten the feeling…


 

“Riku! The Island! Quickly!” A voice screamed inside my head, waking me from my sleep as I jumped from bed. A storm raged outside my home, as light flashed through my window in a blinding sonata.

A vortex of clouds rampaged above the small island, and I could almost feel the destruction from here.

Throwing on a shamble of clothes and a raincoat, I jumped out from my window and tried to apparate to the island… only to fall straight into the bushes.

Shaking that off, I started into a run, quickly reaching the dock… only to remember that I had taken apart my boat… I had been using theirs to get across.

“Damn it all!” I yelled as I tried to pull together as much Magic as I could, only to see, to my amazement, a series of stained glass platforms appear out of nowhere, leading across the water to the other island.

“Thanks, whatever this is…” I said to myself, running and jumping from the platforms, hoping beyond hope I wasn’t too late.

Halfway across, I heard a sickening noise, as the glass platforms began to break beneath my feet as I swayed on my now unsteady legs.

“Shit!” I yelled, quickly speeding up as I lunged from platform to platform, sweat dripping from my brow as I sped across as fast possible, only to go flying as the platforms ran out.

“Oh crap!” I screamed as I flew wildly through the air, my body flying straight towards-

I slammed right into that damn waterfall…


 “Riku! Are you alright?!” Sora’s scream woke me up, as I saw the boy standing before me, a wooden sword in his hand as he tried to pull me to my feet.

I rose with a groan, my head pulsing as I struggled to stand.

“Sora… when did you get here?” I slurred, leaning against the nearest tree… until I saw the panic on Sora’s face… and the shadowy creatures running towards us.

“What the Hell?” I yelled out, pushing Sora behind me as they came running at us.

I reached my hand out, the red glow of a Reducto shooting from my palm, only for the familiar spark to appear once more only to vanish again.

Shaking it off, I just let out a scream.

“Reducto Maxima!”

The creatures were blown backward with the sheer force of it, strange glowing hearts appearing from their remains.

Seeing more coming, I readied myself again, only for Sora to grab my arm.

“Riku, where Kairi?” He asked me, bringing my focus away from destroying these monsters.

I looked around then, my eyes falling on the dock.

Kairi’s boat was here… so where was she?

“I don’t know, but we’re finding her and getting out of here.” I said to him, pulling him with me as we made our way forward, only to notice something odd.

There had been a strange hole in one of the island’s huts, one I had never investigated, but in it’s place was now an ornate door.

“I… I know that door.” Sora muttered out, pulling me to a stop as he stared at it. “I saw it in my dream.”

I nodded then, letting off another blast of energy at the approaching wave of monsters, before allowing Sora to lead the way through the strange door.

Through the darkness of the passage, I made sure to keep the door clear of any of the following monsters, letting Sora scout ahead… only to hear Sora scream out Kairi’s name.

“Sora! What’s going on?” I yelled out in concern, pulling the doors closed as I ran through the tunnel… only to be blasted back through the door by some unnatural and unstoppable form, no sign of Sora in sight as I was shot out into the air.

Fighting against the force, I tried to resist and get back control of my body, only for the maelstrom of dark energy to slam me into the ground of the smallest island, mere feet away from the tree we had sat on for so long.

“Ouch…” I groaned out, wincing as I pulled myself up from the ground, my ribs aching as I tried to ignore the pain.

My raincoat was torn into scraps by this point, my yellow shirt and a pair of black shorts being all that remained of my clothes, my shoes and coat being torn from me.

“Gotta… find Sora and Kairi.” I said firmly, as I began walking forward, only to be knocked clean to the ground again as a huge shockwave slammed down behind me.

Wincing, I rolled over to see a giant creature standing above me, a huge heart shaped hole in it’s chest, oddly enough looking much like Sora. I scrambled back from it, as I readied myself for combat.

“You’re the one doing this all right?” I asked it, a snarl growing on my face. “Then you’re going to pay for it!”

I had a random idea at the time, and the knowledge to do it, and it was a great idea…Especially after how much I’ve been through.

“Lumos Maxima!”


 “Did I… hit my head again?” I groaned out, opening my eyes as I pulled myself from the ground, only to look around in shock.

Rather than the beach and oceans, storms and monsters… I was in a wasteland.

Broken mountains, rock and bits of sand… and thousands of metal swords stuck into the ground.

One in particular drew my attention as it seemed familiar.

I made my way over, and pulled the bent and rusted blade from the ground, with a bit of effort, and saw that it almost perfectly matched the blade that had come to me that night…

Only for it to vanish and reappear in the ground, like I hadn’t even pulled it out…

“What is this place?” I muttered out, turning as I began walking, lines of these blades meeting me as I walked on, no end in sight.

I walked through paths and fields of blades, nothing meeting my gaze except more and more carnage, only ruins… Nothing living in this land… besides myself.

“Am I… going to be stuck here?” I thought to myself, only to come to a large clearing, a valley cleaved into the mountainside and void of blades… But not of the armored man standing before me.

He knelt on the ground, a blade in hand, almost impossibly still. Bronze and crimson armor covered his body, long points extended from his ancient helmet menacingly, and a dark cape flew from his back.

“Excuse me… I think I’m lost…” I asked him, limping slightly as I stepped closer to the man, wondering if he was more hurt than I was. Despite the fact that I spoke, he still stayed stone still.

“Mister? Are you okay?”

I was stopped then, as a sudden creaking sound rang out in the dead land, and the man began to move almost mechanically, slowly standing from the ground.

I backed up, as no human moved like that…

To my surprise then, the man turned his head right at me, a cold feeling spreading through me just at his gaze…

The man slowly reached a hand out to me, his head shaking slightly, unnaturally.

Aqua…Ven…Key… blade…Who…  are you? I can feel it…we have met before.” I heard a voice say within my head, as the armored man came closer. I certainly didn’t remember meeting the freaking black knight, so I stepped back a healthy amount, hoping I’d have the strength to defend myself if he went violent… Most people I meet do tend to…

“Yes… You are the one that I have chosen…” He said to my confusion, as he sped forward and grabbed me by the shirt, almost looking as if he was staring into my very being.

He likely was.

“Riku, I have waited long enough...”