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A Union’s New Star

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Tonight is a starry miraculous night in the keyblade nexus that is Scala ad Caelum. I’ve done my rounds at the memorials already giving flowers to all my fallen friends and loved ones but my job is far from done. Another set of flowers sits on the nightstand and we lay in bed impatiently waiting for a new star to be born. Our friends also wait impatiently outside our door Ven, Strelitzia, and Chirithy holding the blankets, and Elrena and Aqua ready with Max potions, the doc supplies, and Curaga as Lauriam and Terra guard the hallway. Snowy fractals grace the window sill framing Scala in a mirror-like glaze. Despite the cold January that will finish off today the harbor's waves still roll back and forth. I let their sound bring me to a daydream filled with memories choosing a union, meeting Player, Lady Ava at the hill and the fountain the times I tried to get info on the book of prophecies that soon would be given to one of my fellow union leaders, unfortunately, changing its intended owner when darkness intervened. 

The fated place then shows three times in a row in flashes, the first few before the ancient keyblade war began. The second batch of flashes took place after the fact saving Player and meeting my fellow union leaders my dear Skuld was one, Ven another, Brain my right-hand man, and finally Lauriam fashionably late due to unfortunate circumstances. Then the final batch the recollection of the modern keyblade war Sora charging through and what I did to help him. I remember being reminded of Ventus when meeting Sora for the first time and catching a glimpse of him in Sora’s heart. My thoughts back then were a mess of wanting to see my friends again, wanting to be free ironically from the unchained realm, and just trying to reach out to others to have connections that you knew hadn’t been severed or at least weren’t out of your reach. With my brief visit to Sora on that day though, at least I knew one of my old connections was okay, alive and well. My only wish was for someone to wake me if they were out there. 

The Scala clock tower rings 11:00 and a resonant kick from the little one snaps me out of it. “Daydreaming again Ephemer?” Skuld asks after I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming anymore. I smile sheepishly “You caught me red-handed. I know it’s not a good time to be daydreaming though.” Skuld shakes her head “No, you can rest, you should rest Ephemer, your presence alone is enough to help me push through this so please rest.” The little one shuffles and in response she gives a small wince. Clutching at her belly area with a half-tired half uncharacteristically impatient look on her face. I take a glance at the clock and meet her hand. “I should say the same for you, it's almost midnight.” I retort back.

“Exactly but I can handle this and I want you to have enough energy for the moments that really count.” 

“Every moment counts to me I’ll be fine.” I say trying to reassure her. However, it doesn’t work as she says “Ephemer you’re holding back your yawns.” The yawn escapes me coming out more like a sigh “your right... but how about we dream together.” She thinks for a tiny bit before saying with a smile “my pleasure” as the waves of the harbor slowly send us daydreaming once again. With only the heartbeat-like sound from the baby’s kicks and the slow whistle of the late winter wind to keep us company. We lean on each other holding hands and dream sweetly dream. Memories flow as pictures on the wind, memories of being party mates, memories of Player and memories of facing the darkness and flying off to the future through the lifeboat. Finally ending with both our reunion and our permanent union. 

First is the reunion. I've been in a comatose stasis for 5 weeks after getting rescued from the unchained realm by Sora. I wake to find myself in a castle lab located in the world I now know as Radiant Garden. I’m groggy but cognitive as a young blue-haired scientist checks the machinery that was healing me before whipping out his notepad, briefly explaining the situation, and getting right to work asking questions. “Hello Ephemer, welcome to the lab of Radiant Garden. I’m one of the scientists working here and will be taking care of you for a while. From my understanding of things the Guardians of Light brought you back from the Unchained Realm and brought you to our care after a skirmish. You were unconscious when you returned due to said skirmish and both your and our own actions forcibly taking you out of the Unchained Realm. Do you remember this?” I nod and say “Yes. But excuse me, do I know you?” He catches himself and politely says “Oh sorry for not properly introducing myself. I'm Ienzo and I know you through some of your friends.” 

Really you do? If they’re ok then where are they?

There in the castle in which this lab is located. But before you can meet them I have some questions for you. You can answer as vaguely as you want as I know from one of these friends that you might’ve been sworn to secrecy. Do you understand.” I nod again “Good first few will just be general things regarding your current physical status. First off, how are you feeling?” 

Ok but I’ve been better.

Noted. Are you able to move?

I test this out and it works.

Good did you feel any pain while moving?

Just slight soreness but that’s just about it.

Ienzo nods gently saying “Ok,” he moves to a drawer and takes out a couple flashcards, returns and asks “what’s the answer to this?” Showing me an equation on the flash card:

7*2 

Fourteen,” I answer.

Good. How about this?” He says pulling out another card and showing the equation: 

13-8

Five,” I say confidently. 

Great. Last one.” The card shows 140/7

I think for a bit before answering “Twenty.

Excellent. Your mind seems to be in top shape in terms of logic. But now it’s time for memory. These next few questions revolve around some broader information about you and your past. First off, what world are you from? The guardians are all keyblade wielders so sharing this is not against the world order.” 

Thanks for letting me know that. I was born and raised in a town a little northeast of Daybreak Town, however, the latter’s form is now changed into the world you know as Scala Ad Caelum.

Ok. I’ve guessed this before but I want to make sure of this. you are a keyblade wielder correct?

Yep. Proud one.

Good to know. Can you summon your keyblade for me please?

I nod and promptly summon it saying “It’s called Starlight.” 

Ienzo nods “I’m familiar with it, a certain other wielder I know can summon this one too. Next question, do you remember joining any sort of wielder group?

Yes I do fondly. Made quite a few friends too along the way. I hope they’re all alright.” 

They are so don’t worry. Were you part of multiple groups?

Yes.”

How many and can you name them?

Five of them but I can only give you the names of two the Unicornus Union and a small party I made with one of my dear friends we called ourselves the Lux Scouts.

I take it your from the Age of Fairytales then.

That’s what they're calling it now sheez. Makes me feel old.

Well that’s because you technically are it’s been millennia.

I sit back in the chair a bit flabbergasted “It’s been quite a while then I wonder how the worlds are now…

I can assure you they’re doing alright. One last thing: did you have a master to train from and if yes are you a master yourself.

Yes, I had multiple masters if you count a certain way. They call me Master in Scala but frankly, I’ve never liked the title.

Ok then final batch of questions. These will be focused questions revolving around the events during the Age of Fairytales in much more detail. Are you ready?” 

I’m all ears.

Good first one is it true that Foreteller Ava created a secret organization separate from her own union known as the Dandelions?

I look at him in shock. How do they know that name did they read the book?  

He smiles warmly “By your surprise I’m guessing it’s true.” 

But how do you know that name? Where it’s found is off limits unless he…” 

Ienzo turns curious “He?

I answer with a knowing smirk, “A good friend of mine but I’ve already split too much.

Ah don’t worry we have an inkling on that friend of yours his writings are a joy to read through.

Yep that sounds like him alright.  So, shoot, what's your next question?” 

Are you aware of reincarnation and the concept of possession by a person's hand and do you know anyone who has gone through it?

Yes, I'm aware of reincarnation as well as people possessing other people and know that a good friend alongside let’s just say an acquaintance of mine went through it. The latter going through multiple possessions so he can continue to live. However for the friend their heart was clouded for a long time and the acquaintance has returned with yet another new form.

Does the acquaintance happen to be a man by the name of Luxu?

Yes, I reckon you guys ran into him doing some pretty dubious things.

Ienzo nods “Indeed we have and he’s quite the formidable foe even with our numbers.” 

The Foretellers were always such hard puzzles to crack. I couldn’t tell you their allegiances now even if I tried. Except for one and, that's if she’s even still around.

If you're talking about Lady Ava she’s had descendants, one of which you’ll soon meet. We’re not sure if she’s still alive but all the Foretellers and their followers have left footprints within the scattered worlds which brings me to my next question. Are you aware that the other citizens of Daybreak Town were able to escape the world's destruction and although scattered they founded this kingdom among many others?

Yes for the first part as I gathered some of them to help me build Scala from Daybreak Town’s ashes. I wonder whose followers founded this kingdom?

Ienzo answers with a small smile “They were Ava’s followers.

I smile back “Of course. I’m happy they were able to thrive.

Ienzo continues starting to ask one final thing “Ok final question Ephemer do you know of the-” before the sound of loud hurried footsteps echoes from outside and a voice I’ve longed to hear for millennia rings familiar as it enters my ears. She’s upset but still, her voice is a welcome sound “If he’s awake then let me see him. Why won’t you let me see him?!

A man follows behind her answering with a deep yet soft boom clearly exasperated from the rushing “Because even though he’s awake his condition is still unstable you of all people should know hearts are fragile things.

She snaps back at him “Don’t you dare lecture me about hearts Ansem besides his heart is different seeing me will surely only make it stronger.

Please Skuld… at least slow down.” She doesn’t listen and I hear her footsteps tapping faster, closer. Ienzo shuts down the machine completely giving a soft knowing nod. I smile in thanks before calling out. I remember thinking I need to make sure I’m not dreaming. Skuld… is that you?” I ask, trying my best to hide my tiredness looking back it probably didn't work. She answers a relieved and resounding “Yes, Ephemer it’s me. Are you alright?

I’ve felt better but I’m doing fine now.”  a heart pang rings in the memory and in real life as I hear her key summon itself and start to unlock the lab door. I stumbled to my feet as the door opened and in a flash, we started toward one another the rasp in my voice unable to hide my hope as I called her name again “Skuld how I missed you…” she doesn’t respond instead pulling me by my scarf and slapping me with it twice over one for using the Unchained state again and another for using it to escape my duty. But then before I could apologize for either she pulled the scarf again and made my mistakes just wash away like a receding wave. Our sheepish smiles after the fact slowly but surely turn blissful as she softly chuckles at my awestruck face and says “And that’s for waiting for me, for all of us all those years oh Eph I missed you too!” We embraced again and even though her tight grasp made me wince a bit I didn’t mind. Not at all. 

We soon walked hand in hand up the stairs to reunite with the others once more and as the lab door closed behind us another opened, transitioning me to the memory of a very special day, a perfect spring day on Partner’s Pier.  Flowers lie across a red carpet aisle bordered by white and gold seats. I spot my friends, no, my family in the front row. All except one of us gentlemen dressed in our best whites and the ladies looking fine as ever. Smiles embrace as the music comes in with the waves. I take a deep breath and adjust my scarf. Lauriam couldn’t get me to wear a tie but he sure did try. I recenter one of the ends of my scarf at least it looks the part

 

Everything's in slow motion, as I walk down that aisle with a Sakura, Rose, and Dandelion bouquet in hand ready to truly unite with my dearly beloved. She was truly radiant, her smile welcoming me, beckoning me toward her and the sea. Her jet-black hair is tied up in a nest-like bun held together by a single pair of platinum, white and red pins. A blueish silver tiara almost like it was made of diamond nestles itself in her bangs and by her ear gold, ruby, and turquoise gems line the edges while a single tear-shaped emerald sits in the middle. Her signature star-shaped earring once sterling is now a glistening gold alongside the chain for a small but still stunning pearl and aquamarine studded necklace with a certain knot at its center. Her dress was simply magnificent in its sleeveless floral frills colored a pure white. The top is graced with a Lux symbol pattern while the frills at the bottom simply fly free with the sea breeze not afraid to show off a few golden sparkles. Wrapping it all together with two belts of embroidered flowers lacing between red knots of fate forever intertwined mirroring the studded belts on the skirts she wears every day. But wait there’s another jewel sparkling by her hand could it be?   I came ever closer and saw it. Her right hand was clear and blank but her left held a certain amber fox fastened by hand to a group of woven together silver, green, red and platinum strings of fate the charm Brain had left for her. Of course he has an invitation with a front-row seat. Our vows ring true even now and on that day we loved, we laughed, we danced and we dreamed for us, for them and for the ones who can dance and dream no longer. The celebration lasted the whole day but the adventure had only just begun and now a new one is set before us. The bells of Scala’s clock tower ring 11 times with an extra chime for the chorus awakening both me and her. A kick and heart pang come with a message: Are you ready to wander with me through the many moments to come?  

Our answer rings clear as we hold tighter Of course little starlight even if the moments are ephemeral they will forever last in our hearts.

With another kick a small cry escapes from my beloved’s lips as the little one's light calls out again. Starlight, Starbright. Am I truly loved tonight?  

We answer yes starlight so bright you are dearly beloved tonight.

A shuffle then comes alongside another pang as the little one continues to call. I feel warm like a fire. Is this what you call desire? I sense your fires too alongside another few. Please tell me who do they belong to?  

Our hearts answer again to the little one. Those fires are the desires of the friends and family who wait for you in a realm full of many wonders. People oh so pure and people who’ve made many blunders. From those blunders come the cold that eats away at all that is bold. It eats from old, it eats from new leaving nothing not even a single dew. 

Skuld shivers cuddling closer wincing slightly with another shuffle the cold I feel it too but will I be able to brave it with you? 

Of course little starlight so bright for there's hope still within you and others too thawing away the cold with their fire and might for spring to come anew. Some desire a cure but we’re not so sure as everyone has a little cold and a little fire. If we removed one how do you think we’d grow and how would we inspire? Illuminated they reveal an inner gold, hold them tight and many stories will be told.

A series of almost galloping kicks rouse her from my shoulder and with a bigger shuffle than ever a louder cry escapes as the little one's light asks a final question: So much to do so much to see. I sensed a desire for me to be free but will you take this journey with me? My light can’t exactly stand tall. I worry I might stumble and my light may fall. Will you all catch me when I call?”

Yes starlight oh so bright for that is all we know that we love you and we all can’t wait to see you grow. Staying together is the key united we all will journey. We will catch you when you call and lift you up when you can’t stand tall and so you too can see this realm in all its beauty.  As we journey on you’ll grow and you’ll change but it’ll all be just fine because I know our light is yours and yours will forever be mine.

A pang rings out as the little one kicks and shuffles once more calling out a final time: Starlight, Starbright I truly feel loved tonight. I am proud to be this Union's new star and with them, I'm sure I'll journey far. The ephemeral memories we make as I grow will always glint and shine and so I know everything will be just fine. They will catch me when I call. I wish for my light to bring joy to them all.  Starlight, Starbright this is my only desire. Can you help me cut the wire? With that, I bid you adieu but only for a few. I’ll say hello again when I come about and with my cries, you will shout. My heart is here, and here it’ll stay, it can't wait to see the break of day. As I unite with friends and family I’ll find that I am truly free. I’m proud to be your union’s new star and with you and them I know I’ll journey far. 

Skuld gives a squeeze telling me “it's time.” It seems we’ve reached the peak of this journey's climb. A sudden strong kick then brings out a yelp and I soon will call for their help. Bursting through the door they quickly get to their places with smiles of hope shining on their faces. The newborn's light soon graced this worldly star and with its babble, all our hearts flew far. Far up in the sky, it was a bliss in the chaos but the baby's cry soon called back for us. Then one tether broke as both my beloved and the little one cried but soon enough another was tied. As we saw tiny glistening and curly silver hairs fly alongside a tiny peek of an amber eye. 

The little one is swept up in swaddles galore as family and friends celebrate some more. We embraced again once the chaos shifted and as my soft whistle played we drifted to the times when we all were able to be together and stay. A seed travels far in the late winter wind drifting like our dancing dreams up to the stars. I hold tight to the memories, the here and now knowing in my heart they will always glint gold and with that, I forever vow. Starlight, Starbright I promise I’ll protect you in the night. I wish you the sweetest dreams where nothing will burst through the seams yet adventure still rings true. I can’t wait to go on some with you. But now you rest and I do too. However I know we’ll meet again with the morning dew and still, I’ll have nothing but love for you. Before you go don’t forget to seek the view and know I’m so proud to bare a star with your hue. Together we drift to dreams we fall prey. As this Winter's night turns to a glorious Spring day. Our union star, so new and bright, know that we’ll forever make sure you travel far and always carry the warmth of the light.

We awoke in lazy afternoon light hearts refreshed and smiles ever bright the ephemeral moments prior leaving only a glint in our eyes. Rising from our slumber we had little time to wonder what the other little ones thought of the miracle that came in a flash like thunder. We’re met by happy commotion and our little one so full of pure emotion. Our hearts, prompted by the bigger little ones' curious flames, then proudly proclaim that Klintepher shall be this new star's name. May it give him pride and never shame but may his heart stay humble all the same. We feast that night spirits bright knowing he'll be forever welcomed here in the realm of light. Wandering alone he can travel a decent way but with future friends Jaime, Flueritzia, Igneo, Quinora and Zenithya he’ll travel ever farther into the unknown frey. Wherever it leads them together they will surely stay. Our star feeds safely nestled for now but as we cuddled and I softly whistled the new night away I found I had one more wish and another vow to say. Daybreak will come once more I’m sure may it then inspire you to soar. Soar high soar far knowing despite these ephemeral moments we’ll always proudly remember the beginnings of our little star. We’ll be forever waiting for you Klintepher at the foot of the stairway to the sky.