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Future Masters

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“In your hand, take this Key. So long as you have the makings, and in this simple act of taking, its wielder you shall one day be…”

 

Two children placed their hands upon the blade. The boy couldn’t help but pay little attention to the Masters words, sounding like nothing but archaic gibberish to his young ears. Rather his focus was upon the solemn redhead standing beside him, also taking this future oath. 

Though it had only been a few weeks, Eraqus had already begun to take a liking to this girl, having rare time to interact with other children. It was just as well. When they grew up, he and her would become not only Keyblade Masters, but also Man and Wife and carry on his ancient keyblade legacy. He would rule this world, and Ilysia would be his warrior queen. 

 

~~~

 

Ten years later...

 

Masako glanced up at the impressive redhead as she grinned at her certain victory, no, she may be down but she was not out. Quickly she raised Destiny’s Embrace in front of her to guard as the older girls blade, called Honored Divinity, clashed with her’s. Ilysia jumped back as Masako lunged at her. She blocked the younger girls attack with ease. 

“You’re getting better at blocking!” She said. “But…” 

At once she saw an opening and knocked Masako back on her feet, pointing Honored Divinity at her in victory. 

“You still have a long way to go before you’re at my level!” 

The younger girl blinked up at Ilysia for a few moments before laughing. She had held her off longer than usual this time so she could not be too upset at yet another loss.

“Hmph! We all can’t be Royal Keyblade Masters!” She laughed. 

“I suppose.” Ilysia replied, turning her head to Eraqus, who had been watching their match the whole time. She smiled at him. “Wanna be next?” 

“Oh no!” He laughed. “You’ve already bested me once today, you’re not getting me a second time!”

“A wise decision, Eraqus!” Masako replied. 

“Hmph! Some future master you are!” Ilysia scoffed. “What? Afraid of losing again?” 

“I’ll take you on.”

The three turned their eyes to meet those of the newcomer. Dark clothes, dark skin, contrasting dramatically with his silvery hair and eyes. He wore a smirk of confidence that Ilysia could not help but want to wipe clean off with her blade. She took a battle stance.

“You, you’re that new kid!” She said. “The one who just arrived here from another world. Xeho...Xena..”

“The name is Xehanort.” The newcomer replied. 

“Well Xehanort,” Masako grinned. “You have my blessing!” 

“Huh? Whose side are you on?” 

“A games no fun if you know where it's going!” Eraqus replied, “Let’s see what this newcomer can do.”

Xehanort and Ilysia locked gazes before blades clashed and their spar began. Though she was clearly the more experienced fighter, he was stronger and she found herself actually having to put an effort into her victory. But not too much effort, such would imply she thought Xehanort had a chance. 

“So, where ya from?” She asked when their blades clashed again.

“The Destiny Islands. My desire to seek out greater things brought me to your world.”

“Really?” This interested her. “Do you think becoming a Keyblade Master will lead to those greater things?”

“Who knows.” He replied as he swung his blade around him in a stylish block. “But already it has allowed me to see the world beyond my small cluster of islands. Time will tell what else fate has in store for me.” 

“Fate?” 

Ilysia found her guard lowering temporarily but she quickly raised it again as she saw his keyblade lunge towards her. Xehanort was rather skilled to her surprise, but victory would still be hers. Or so she thought.

He saw an opening and quickly swiped his blade at her, making her lose her footing. She brought herself back to her feet but found his blade pointing at her nose before she could raise hers again. Xehanort had won.

Eraqus and Masako watched them with widened eyes. It was a rare thing for their fiery companion to ever lose a match and they knew what would now happen. Ilysia raised her blade again and pointed it indignantly at the smirking face before her.

“Hmph, not bad, for a newcomer.” She said. “Granted I let you have that one but…”

“No, you were distracted.” He replied, pointing his blade at her as well. “One must always keep their mind on the battle no matter what. Any prospective warrior should know that.”

Ilysia glared at him but she knew he was correct. Something about this newcomer intrigued her. Even if he had just broken her winning streak, he had at least proven himself a worthy opponent. She found her face softening and soon enough she was laughing. Xehanort laughed too. 

“Well fought.” She said with a smile.

“I try.”

“Wow, Xehanort!” Eraqus grinned. “I think you just earned her respect, and mine as well.” 

“Is that so?”

“Ilysia is not normally such a graceful loser.” Masako added. 

“Oh? Then in that case I’m honored.” Turning to Ilysia with a smile. “After all, I never lose.”

Now her irritation was returning but she continued to smile in spite of herself. Xehanort had won her respect and, though she would not admit it yet, her friendship. She would get him back for it though, once she found out if he was any good at chess.