Chapter 5: The Mysterious Tower
Sora went under Ed's arm to support him, "Don't push yourself. We've got a motto on this ship:"
" 'All for one and One for all!' " Donald chimed for him.
The group looked up at the tall tower. The last time they were there, Sora just woke up from a year-long nap. Now, it was Ed's turn to meet the man who had trained King Mickey: Yen Sid.
Ed smiled at their motto. "Hmm...Kind of reminds me of my teacher's term 'All is One and One is All..." he said as they approached the tower. "Wow, you're right! This place is huge!"
"Ah hyuck! Yup! Also, be ready in case any heartless appear!" Goofy said, holding out his shield.
"So those things can appear ANYWHERE?" Ed asked in disbelief.
"Anywhere," Sora repeated with a nod, "Even when we lock a world. The only thing is though, when that's the case, they can't take it over then. It's a bit complicated."
Donald shrugged, "We may fight heartless all the time, but we still don't understand them. Even the guy who discovered them didn't."
Ed sighed. "Great... That means, once we restore my home, those things will still attack harmless people?"
"Sadly, yes..." Goofy said as they walked up to the front door.
Sora grabbed the large handles to the wooden entrance and tugged on them with all his might. They finally managed to creak open after he took a backwards dive into the wet grass.
"I get the feeling we should have told Master Yen Sid we were coming before hand..." Donald mumbled.
"He probably already knows," Sora said, standing up and wiping himself off, "He pretty much knows everything!"
Ed blinked and shrugged. "Oh c'mon! This guy can't be that tough and scary!" he said and marched up to the doors. He then tugged hard on the doors until they opened all the way. "C'mon guys! What are you doing?" he waved and walked inside.
"Gwarsh! Ed don't go rushing into things!" Goofy yelled, but the boy already disappeared into the tower.
Sora summoned his keyblade and looked over at his friends, "It's now or never anyway, guys! Let's go!" He then was the second one in.
"Oh boy..." Donald sighed as he scratched the back of his head with his wand.
Goofy nodded and ran inside after them.
Inside, Ed already had his keyblade summoned and he was surrounded by shadow heartless. "Dammit! Is this some sort of trap or something?" Ed growled, whacking one of the heartless away.
"They appear in Yen Sid's castle too!" Goofy said and charged through a bunch of heartless.
"See? I told you so!" Sora said, part of the melee as well.
Donald cast some thunder spells at the surrounding heartless to clear a path for the boys, "We gotta keep moving! Ignore the small fry!"
Ed growled as he ducked from an incoming attack from a heartless and spun around, slicing it in half. As soon as the heartless disappeared, Ed bent over and panted. "Man, I must be more out of shape than I thought..."
"It's also a new experience for you. You're probably just worn out because you're not use to it yet," Goofy said and chuckled. "C'mon! Let's get to Yen Sid before more heartless appear!" he said, pointing to the large stair case.
"I hate stairs!" Sora whined as he and the others were only on the third flight of the magical staircase. He was swinging his keyblade lazily as one or two Shadows would appear at a time.
Donald was panting as well, "Why couldn't Master Yen Sid live in a castle like everyone else...?"
"BECAUSE HE'S STUPID!!" Sora huffed in frustration.
"Didn't think you would talk about your master like that..." Ed mumbled as he collapsed at the top of the stairs. "Ugh... Can we take a break, PLEASE??"
"Ah hyuck! I thought you said you'll be fine?" Goofy asked, walking up beside Ed.
"See? I told you even with automail this would be tough!" Sora said in an 'I-told-you-so' tone.
Donald became frustrated with the bickering boys and used the last of his magic for a Curaga spell to relieve them of their fatigue. "Come on now, we're more than half way there! Let's go!"
Ed blinked, realizing he didn't feel as exhausted as he did before. "Yeah, yeah, yeah..." he muttered and got up.
A few minutes later the group finally made it to the top. "You know, remind me to suggest to this Yen Sid guy to put in some elevators!"
"Sounds like a plan," Donald huffed. He knocked on the door and plopped back onto his rear.
"Come in," came a hollow and deep voice of an older gentleman.
Sora opened the doors and saw Yen Sid, not at his desk, but standing up and looking out the window of his study. He turned and saw the group. Despite the stern look on his face, he smiled, filling the room with a warm energy. "Oh, Sora. I had a feeling it was you. And it's nice to meet you, Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric. I've been waiting."
Ed suddenly stood up straight as the man spoke. Something about him seemed so powerful. "H-How did you know my name?" he asked, surprised.
"Master Yen Sid knows everything!" Goofy chuckled.
Yen Sid chuckled and walked over to Edward, "I know why you're here too of course. You want training with the keyblade."
"Yeah, and magic. He wants to know magic too," Sora added, shoving his hands in his pockets.
The wizard was a bit surprised, "Even though you have said on many an occasion that it doesn't exist?" Again he chuckled.
"I think we proved him wrong though," Donald added with a smile.
Ed shrugged. "Well, I still don't believe it unless I can do it myself..." he said with a bit of a blush in his cheeks.
"Then let's take care of that, shall we?" Yen Sid suggested, "But first, a lesson in Heartless."
"Right! He still doesn't know what it means to be a keybearer!" Sora chimed!
The wizard nodded and opened a large tome on his desk. An image of a Shadow danced on top of the pages, "Heartless are beings of darkness which manifest in two forms, 'Pureblood' and 'Emblem'. While most Heartless are in fact manifest hearts, they behave entirely devoid of emotion, and were thus named 'Heartless'. This Shadow is an example of a Pureblood. They are natural Heartless, born from the darkness in people's hearts." He then turned the page and a Soldier took the place of the Shadow, "This is a Soldier, an Emblem Heartless. Emblem Heartless were originally created from machines that reproduce the process of a heart being consumed by darkness. Afterward, stolen hearts can become Emblems. They have more varied shapes, colors, and are branded with a symbol to differentiate them from the Pureblood ones. They are more common on the worlds within the Realm of Light, and usually mimic the shape of creatures or objects within that world."
Ed blinked as he watched the heartless dance on the page. "I see..." he muttered and shrugged. "So humans can become heartless?" he asked and shuttered, thinking of the people back home that most likely lost their hearts.
Yen Sid nodded, "That is generally how they are made. Once the world lived in harmony and there were no Heartless, but things changed long ago." He then turned the page and a keyblade danced on the pages, "So, now to the true nature of your visit. It is still unclear on the origins of the Keyblade, but their masters are always ones of strong heart. Though also a weapon for fighting Heartless, the main power of the Keyblade, is the ability to seal or open the barriers between worlds, as well as to 'lock' a world's Keyhole, preventing the Heartless from attacking that world's heart. As an offset of this ability, the Keyblade can also be used to lock or unlock any lock, allowing the user to access any sealed interior, whether it be a locked room, gate, or treasure chest. The Keyblade also has a special power that only lets a chosen wielder hold it."
Ed nodded. "I remember opening some chests in Traverse Town..." he muttered and blinked. "Oh! That reminds me! I forgot to give these things to Cid!" he said and took some potions out of his pocket.
Goofy chuckled. "Oh you can keep those! You use them to heal yourself in battles when you're running low on energy," he said and smiled. "It would've been useful for the journey up here."
Ed gawked. "Damn, I wish I knew that sooner..." he muttered and looked to Yen Sid. "Okay, so I kind of get it... What else?"
"Well... there is one more enemy that you should probably know of, but I'm not sure..." Yen Sid said in deep thought.
Sora blinked, "You mean Nobodies, right? I thought we got rid of them all."
"Perhaps not, but even so, Edward should know of them." He then flipped through the pages and a white creature danced on top of the page. Its mouth was that of a zipper and emblazoned on its chest was an upside-down heart. "This is a Dusk, an example of a Nobody. A Nobody is what is left behind by those whose hearts have been consumed by Heartless and are made of body and soul. Those with the strongest wills manage to retain human forms (under special circumstances, sometimes the Nobody is formed with some slight changes to their appearance,) while the rest possess malformed, barely humanoid appearances; such examples are this one. Therefore, the more humanoid a Nobody, the more powerful it is. This is opposite the nature of the Heartless, whose form is more monstrous the stronger the original heart is. However, they are still incapable of feeling real emotions as they lack a heart. On the other hand, Nobodies manage to keep their memories of their former lives, but unusual Nobodies lack memories of their former selves. Through these memories, Nobodies are able to remember what it was like to have emotions, thus allowing them to respond correctly to specific situations. Despite their lack of emotions, Nobodies are able to think for themselves and attack with definite planning, which makes them more dangerous than any Heartless."
Ed shrugged. "Nobodies, huh?" he asked, staring at the thing dancing on the page. "I haven't seen these creatures yet..." he said but shrugged. Just looking at them gave him a bad feeling.
"I hope you don't! I mean, the Organization was really strong!" Sora sighed in exhaustion.
Donald looked at Yen Sid in concern, "But yeah, I thought we destroyed them all."
"I am not sure," The wizard replied, "As there are still Heartless in our worlds, there might still be Nobodies."
Ed frowned. "I hope I don't have to encounter any..." he muttered and looked at Yen Sid. "So...is there anything else I need to know before we move on to the magic?"
"That you reek of sweat and puke..." Sora said, holding his nose.
Donald smacked the boy upside the head, "You don't say those things out loud!"
"But it's true!"
Yen Sid laughed, "Perhaps you should pay a visit to the good fairies down the hall. I'm sure they can fix your predicament."
Ed gawked at Sora. "You don't smell any better!" he yelled and turned to Yen Sid. "Three good fairies?" he asked confused. "Uh, sure...Thanks, Gramps."
"You address him as Master Yen Sid!" Goofy said, standing up straight as if he was in the army.
Yen Sid sighed, "I am fully aware of your disrespect, Edward. You are most welcome nonetheless."
"You're really just going to let him get away with that?" Sora asked sheepishly.
"There's nothing I can do otherwise."
Ed grinned. "That's right! That's because I'm a key bearer! HAHAHA!" he said, laughing as he walked down the hall.
Goofy shrugged. "Sora's a key bearer too..." he mumbled. In the back of his mind he was also thinking that Sora was a lot nicer too.
"No, it's because... never mind..." Yen Sid sighed. He decided not to press the matter further. He turned to Sora, "Go with him. I bet those kind fairies are wondering how you are."
Sora nodded, "Yeah, I want to see Flora, Fauna, and Meriwether too! I want to tell them everything!"
"And I'm going to go to keep Edward in line..." Donald grumbled in frustration.
When Ed opened the door down the hallway, there were three women crowded around what seemed like a dress.
"No, I'm telling you, it should be pink!"
"Well, I say it should be blue!"
"Well, I'm fine with whatever color you guys choose."
Ed blinked as he watched the three. "U-Um, excuse me?" he asked, shrugging as Sora, Donald, and Goofy walked in behind him.
"Oh! Don't look now, girls, but we have some guests!" said the woman in the green dress.
"Oh my! You must be the fourth key bearer Yen Sid was talking about!" the one in pink said.
"And Sora, Donald, and Goofy are here too!" said the blue one, jumping up and down with joy.
"Hi ladies! It's good to see you again!" Sora said politely, bowing slightly.
Donald snickered, "Fighting over color schemes again? What's it for this time?"
"Princess Aurora's new dress!" said the blue one. "And I still think it should be blue!"
"Oh! Never mind that, it can wait! We have a new hero to attend to!" the pink one said.
Ed blushed. "Hero?" he asked as the three walked closer to him. He noticed they were much shorter than him which made him smile.
"I'm Flora. This here is Fauna and Meriwether."
"How do you do?" Fauna asked and took the end of Ed's coat. "Well these clothes will never do! They're so shredded and worn out! Not suited for fighting heartless."
Ed shrugged. "Does it matter? I did pretty well on the stairs back there..."
"Oh, but you need special garments to use magic, dear! Especially if you want to use drive forms," Flora said and smiled.
"Drive forms!" Sora exclailmed, "A Drive Form is a special ability that allows one to transform into stronger forms by using a friend's power. Drive Forms also allow you to use different, more powerful attacks and combos like, dual Keyblade wielding, gliding, or to use abilities that couldn't normally be used before. Like, I can do, uh... 5 drives already!"
"Not to mention the ones we use in worlds like Atlantica and Halloween Town, but those are different circumstances." Donald added.
"Wow...interesting...I guess..." Ed muttered, blinking.
"Oh it is!" Meriwether said and brought out her wand, flicking it towards Ed. Suddenly his outfit remained the same but turned blue.
"Oh, not this again!" Flora said and flicked her wand as well. Ed's outfit then turned pink.
"PINK???" Ed yelled in horror.
"Of course he wouldn't like pink! He's a boy!" Fauna said and giggled.
Sora held his breath to stifle a snicker. "But only real men wear pink~..."
"Oh brother..." Donald sighed, remembering what Sora was talking about. Before they all got separated, Sora and Riku decided to play Truth or Dare. Riku, being the 'brave' one, took dare and Sora... well... let's just say Kairi was not impressed.
Goofy chuckled out loud, knowing what Sora was talking about.
Ed just glared, obviously not amused. "Is this going to take all day?" Ed growled. This surprised the women a bit.
"Oh, now girls, let's not do this again. Together, alright?" Flora asked and the other three nodded. On the count of three, the three of them flicked their wands and Ed's outfit looked the same, only his red coat was gone and his black jacket with the white outlining was longer like his red coat and his belt wrapped around not only his waist, but around the black coat too. On the back was his flamel symbol, but in red.
"Wow...Not bad..." Ed said, looking at himself.
"Could you bring out your keyblade for us, dear?" Flora asked.
Ed nodded and summoned out his keyblade. Flora flicked her wand and a red orb floated toward it and disappeared into the keyblade. "That there is fire. It's a magic spell so you'll be able to use it against enemies. Also..." she then flicked her wand again and another orb floated toward Ed. "Go ahead and take it."
Ed hesitated for a bit then reached out his hand and touched the orb. He was then surrounded by light and his outfit changed again. It looked the same, only the black coat was red again, but it kept the same white outlining and there were white symbols embroidered on the end. He then blinked, noticing he was holding two keyblades. "Whoa!"
"Yay! Your first drive form!" Sora exclaimed happily, "Mine was Valor form too."
"Yup! That's the one with Goofy. Mine's Wisdom form," Donald clarified.
"I like that one! It feels like I'm surfing, floating around like that. Oh! And the magic bullets! That's what I call awesome!"
Ed was gawking over his outfit and extra keyblade to haer anything Sora was saying. "O-Okay, so how do I change out of this?" he asked, overwhelmed a bit by the new powers he's received.
"Just concentrate, dear, and you'll be able to control it," Fauna said smiling.
Ed concentrated a bit and went back to his original form. "Phew..."
"Well, do you have any questions for us before you leave?" Meriwether asked.
"Um, yeah...Is fire and the drive form my only magic power?"
"Oh don't worry! You'll learn more spells and drives on your journey. We helped you out, now you have to learn the rest on your own," said Flora.
"I see... It figures."
"Well learning is half the fun!" Sora said with a smile as he put his fists on his hips.
Donald nodded, "I bet wherever he is, your brother's learning some new stuff too!"
"I hope so..." Ed said and smiled to himself. "So, what do we do now?"
"Well, I suppose we go to the next world and search for your brother..." Goofy said in thought.
"You take care now! All 4 of you! Make sure to see Master Yen Sid again before you leave," Flora said as the three of them waved.
"Of course! Thanks again, ladies!" Sora curtsied as he left. Donald pulled him back into reality.
"Sora! Only girls courtesy!"
"Oh, right, sorry..."
As they left the fairies' chamber, Yen Sid greeted them with a smile, "So, I see they did a good job on you, Edward."
Goofy chuckled at Sora's mistake.
"Yes, sir..." Edward said, still admiring his new clothing. "It'll just take some time getting use to..."
"Well, they always know what the heart wants whether the brain agrees or not," The wizard chuckled richly. "So, now that all this is settled for the most part, what are your plans now?"
"Finding Ed's little brother!" Sora exclaimed, bringing the alchemist into a headlock and giving him a noogie.
"Agh! Hey cut it out! That hurts!" Ed yelled and got out of Sora's grip, tackling the boy to the ground, trying to give him a noogie back, but did so like he was doing it to Al.
Goofy ignored Ed and Sora and turned to Yen Sid. "We're going to check the closest world from here. Would you happen to know which one that'll be?"
"That's Twilight Town of course! Not too far, you know where it is." Yen Sid said with a warm, fatherly smile.
Sora untangled himself from Edward and shot to his feet, "I do remember! I woke up from like, the longest nap ever there!"
"Ah hyuck! Oh right! Must have forgotten after all this time," Goofy said and nodded to Sora.
"Longest nap?" Ed asked and blinked as he stood up. "So you think my brother will be in this Twilight Town?"
"Perhaps. It's a good place to look," Yen Sid said with a sly smile.
Sora yawned and looked at Edward with a sleepy smile, "Yeah, I was asleep for a year. I had crazy dreams but turned out they weren't dreams and-... I have a headache now..."
"A year?" Ed gasped. "Why were you asleep THAT long?"
"Well, maybe we should talk about it in the gummi ship?" Goofy asked and turned to Yen Sid. "Thank you for your help, Master Yen Sid. We promise we'll keep an eye on Edward," he said as he, Sora, and Donald saluted.
Ed blinked and saluted as well a little too late as he was shoved out the door by Donald.
Yen Sid nodded and bid the group farewell. "Take care! And Edward! Don't be afraid of the darkness!"
Once the door shut, Sora scratched the back of his head as he started down the stairs again, "What did he mean by that? He never said anything like that to me."
"Don't be afraid of the darkness? Why would I be afraid of something like that?" Ed asked and marched down the stairs, shrugging Yen Sid's comment off. He was surprised that they didn't run into any heartless on the way down.
"Hmm...maybe it's because Ed's new to all of this?" Goofy guessed.
"Let's hope so," Donald hissed to his friend.
Sora shoved his hands in his pockets and shrugged, "Whatever, let's go to Twilight Town. I'm going to nap on the way there... Thinking about sleep is making me... sleepy..."
"Sleep sounds good...As long as I don't get motion sickness again," Ed muttered as they got closer to the bottom. It was much easier walking down than up.
"It's alright. You two ought to rest up for awhile before we get to the next world. We don't know what kind of trouble we'll face," Goofy said, looking back at the two key bearers.
Donald opened the hatch to the Gummi ship and the crew climbed in. Sora naturally took his seat and rubbed the dashboard, half-awake. "Oh... so good to be able to relax..." And without warning, the boy was out.