Chapter CCVIII: The Loot Of A Thousand Worlds, The Quest For Treasure Planet Part XX
“Ugh!” Angered as he fell to the floor painfully again, Zidane looked to the barred door with fiercely. His arms were tied tightly behind his back by some thick ropes, stopping him from moving the way he wished.
Seeing his comrade do this, while being tightly bound up too, Noel sighed and told him, “Zidane give it up, there's no way you're gonna break through that door just by brute force.”
Shaking his head though, hearing this pessimistic comment. Zidane then told him while getting himself back up, “I can't give up! We gotta get back to everyone! They're all waiting for us, I know it! Fran! Boss, plus Timbre too! We gotta get back to them somehow!” With that said, he quickly once again rushed to the door. Trying in vain to make the door open.
Seeing him do this, all Noel could do was shake his head. He understood his friend's feelings, but wasting energy like this wasn't going to solve anything. However looking down to the wooden floor of the RLS Legacy, he couldn't deny his frustrations for the situation... for he wanted to do something too! But the question that had to be asked, was what? Though before he could dwell further on this point-
Falling to the floor once again, feeling soreness spreading up along his right arm. Zidane irritated uttered, “Damn!” With that he banged his foot hard on the floor.
Then as he did this, there was silence in the air for some moments. Seeing it become this way, Noel decided to speak his thoughts, “Zidane... listen.”
Hearing his comrade say this, the monkey tailed young man, turned his eyes to the restrained hunter. As he did so, he heard him say, “I think that the two of us should-”
Turning in shock suddenly, the two young men saw the door had been slammed open! Seeing this, they then saw Mr Scroop come through the door and with an evil grin on his face, he informed them, “Dinner time lads!”
Quiet as they heard this, in seconds they saw one thing in one of his pincer hands, “Cait sith!?” They both cried out.
For there tied up and confined within a small bird cage, the small crowned cat was obviously not pleased with this set up. Complaining loudly, rattling away at the bars he was held behind, he shouted out mad, “Let me out of here! Ya big overgrown lobster! I'm gonna boil ya alive! I'll-!“
Silenced in seconds hearing this threatening growl, Cait sith looked up to the monster startled. Even Noel and Zidane were now on edge! The sinister red coloured alien, moving his right crab claw towards the small cat's cage, then told him seething with irritation, “Ya better watch yerself kitty... otherwise I'll be the one boilin' ya!”
Cait sith hearing this idea, did not like it in the slightest! He couldn't help but shudder...
Mr Scroop himself though seeing he'd finally been able to shut the small cat up, then smiled sinisterly. However before he could bask in this good feeling-
“Mr Scroop, that's enough now.”
Hearing this feminine tone, Mr Scroop turned and saw much to his displeasure that standing behind him was none other than, “Miss Raiyana...”
The long blue haired young woman, getting the red alien's attention. Looked to him with serious eyes, as she did so. She informed him, “I will not have you torment our...” with that she struggled for a moment for the right word as she looked to Noel.
The brown haired young man looking at her, had a stern look in his eyes, it was obvious that he was displeased by her choices. Averting her eyes away from him for a moment, she looked to the side as she went on to say, “Guests,” then looking back to Mr Scroop, she told him further, “I want you to treat them with the utmost respect, I will not have anyone here abused.”
Hearing her say this, Mr Scroop looked at the girl angrily. For Mr Silver had left her in charge of him and their prisoners. Just because she was his favourite, gave her power over him... which he detested bitterly it.
However looking to the serious young woman as she looked up to him, he knew that he didn't have the strength to go against her fearsome power. So for now he had to tolerate her... until he could find a way to turn things around. So gritting his teeth he answered, “Understood...” With that done, he gently and slowly put Cait sith's cage on the floor.
Seeing him do this, Raiyana was satisfied. Then turning behind she said, “Yeul, you may deliver the food now.”
At these words, the young uncertain white dressed girl behind her replied, “Alright...” with that she walked past her. Carrying a couple of plates with warm food in her hands, she made her way over to both Noel and Zidane.
Seeing her do this, Raiyana was silent as she saw her sit herself down before them lowering the plates with her. As she did so, she herself finally laid down a wooden pitcher onto the floor and getting quickly up again she told them, “I've left you with some fresh water as well, this should all be enough to sustain you.”
With that hearing these words, all everyone could do was stare at her silently. None of them liking this situation despite the hospitality that was being given.
Expecting as much, Raiyana said, “Our business is concluded then,” with that turning around, she instructed, “Mr Scroop, let's be on our way.”
The red skinned alien hearing this, uttered no words. Doing so, he made his exit and left with a slight growl in his throat. As he did so, Raiyana then went to leave as she followed after him.
However seeing her go, Yeul anxious couldn't wait another moment! Running forwards, she cried out, “Raiyana!”
Hearing her, as she bolted and shut the brig door. The long blue haired girl turned around to look through the gaps in the bars. As she did so, she heard her dear worried friend ask her, “Why are you doing this?! Why are you siding with Mr Silver, those pirates and the heartless? Why-?”
“To protect you,” Raiyana answered as she looked to the distressed young girl. These words silenced her in seconds and in turn, Noel and Zidane were left utterly baffled as she finished saying, “To protect all of you.”
Zidane not getting it, repeated confused, “Protect?”
With that Raiyana looking at them all explained simply, “From myself... and the monsters you call heartless.”
“Yourself?” Noel asked, for he didn't understand what she meant. So he asked her, “What do you mean?”
Gazing towards Noel, with a serious gaze still in her eyes, Raiyana answered, “I've been made to discover... that I'm not human.”
Startled as she heard this, Yeul asked, “You're not human?”
Shaking her head, Raiyana then explained, “Correct, I'm a creature...called a nobody.”
Immediately catching onto this, Cait sith clenching the bars of his cage asked in alarm, “A nobody!?”
Hearing the alarm in his voice, Raiyana assuming he didn't know explained, “I am a being that possesses no heart... created by the heartless, when they stole my own heart a long time ago...”
Shocked to hear this, Yeul Noel and Zidane couldn't believe it! However Cait sith knew better... as this truth settled into his mind, the skilled hunter asked, “You have no heart?”
To which Raiyana answered, “Correct...” then with a sad look in her eyes, she revealed further, “And just that alone makes me dangerous to be near.”
Yeul hearing this, was confused. However she didn't believe that in the slightest! So she tried to persuade her friend, as she began to run to the barred door, “Raiyana! That isn't true! Even if you are that! You're-!”
Coming to a halt in seconds, Yeul terrified was now gazing into the face of one of the terrible monsters that had attacked, when she and the others had tried to escape the ship!
Shivering, she could it's sharp teeth were bare and it's snake like tail was gazing straight at her, hissing menacingly as it wavered to and throw! Seeing this she took some very cautious steps away from the monster. However as she did this-!
Immediately the creature went to strike her with one of it's sharp claws!
As the claw came straight for the young girl, she closed her eyes terrified as she waited for the agony to come storming into her!
However, she felt nothing? Confused by this, she opened her eyes to see that the monster had stopped dead in it's tracks it's claw barely inches from her face!
Seeing this with widened terrified eyes, everyone in the room was silent! None of them quite believing what they were seeing...
Raiyana herself though, looking on coldly told them all, “It as I said... don't underestimate my words, Yeul,” with that said behind the closed door, the long blue haired girl made a motion with her right hand.
In seconds as this simple action was performed, the monster vanished away! Disappearing into a portal of dark mist! As this occurred, Yeul still in shock finally moved and collapsed onto her knees. Breathing in and out hard from the terror she first experienced.
Cait sith seeing this happen from within his cage, then looked to Raiyana and as he did, he heard her say, “Now you understand what I mean... when I say you're better protected being in there.”
The small crowned cat listening to this though, still had one thing that was nagging at him that Raiyana hadn't explained. So he asked her, “Alright then... but what were ya talkin' about when ya said we'd be safe from the heartless here too?”
Listening to this query, Raiyana looking to the locked away cat answered him, “I have been promised, that if I work with Mr Silver... and Pete, I will be shown how to use my powers better and you along with the others will be spared.”
Zidane then recovering from his shock looked to Raiyana and asked her dismissively, “Spared?”
“Correct,” she answered and as she did so, she went on to say, “You will not be hunted down by the heartless... even the others below won't be, I've been promised that.”
Hearing her say this, Zidane quiet for a minute then had to sigh shaking his head. As he did so, he admitted to her, “You know? You may look beautiful... but you're an idiot!”
Quiet as she heard this remark, Raiyana said nothing in reply.
But Noel now recovering from his shock then told her, “Zidane's right Raiyana, how can you believe what that guy Pete says? Or even Mr Silver himself? What makes you think that-?”
“Because I do!” Immediately this stopped Noel in his tracks, as it did so. Raiyana then continued as she explained, “He knows what it means to be different... to be considered monstrous, I know I can trust him...” then with a saddened look on her face, she finished saying, “And I know you're all scared of me now... even the others down below too will be terrified of me.”
Hearing her say this, Cait sith then decided to inject his own words into the conversation, “That's a whole load of poppycock ya've made yaself believe lass!”
Raiyana listening to this, then turned her eyes to look in Cait sith's direction. As she did so, she then asked him coolly, “And what do you mean by that?”
Cait sith listening to this question, answered her, “I mean this lass! Just cause yer a nobody, don't change who you are!”
Listening to this, Raiyana's eyes widened but she didn't get a chance to reply as the small crowned cat continued on to say, “You're still Raiyana lass! Me, the lads here and Yeul... the others down below and especially Nozomi! They all consider ya still to be there friend! Don't imagine us to be so shallow as to change our views of ya, just from that fact alone!”
Hearing this, Raiyana couldn't believe what Cait sith was saying. However remembering some logical words of wisdom that had been given to her before, she knew she couldn't be swayed so easily! So turning her face away from the brig's door, she replied, “I don't wish to discuss this anymore with you all... please don't cause anymore trouble.” With that she departed away from them all.
Seeing her do this, as she walked away from the door. Yeul now recovering from her fear, couldn't help but look on sadly. For she could tell that Raiyana was suffering terribly, but... if she wasn't willing to listen to them. How could they change things between them all?
Walking out of the corridor that led to the prisoner holding, Raiyana walking down the corridor could feel doubt circling within her. For Cait sith's words struck a chord somewhere deep inside of her, 'Just cause yer a nobody, don't change who you are!'
Remembering these words, she put a hand to her chest. Where once upon a time, she was sure her heart would be racing and stinging with anxiety. Her eyes downcast she couldn't help but ask, “Is that true?”
Then she remembered something else Cait sith had revealed, '...Especially Nozomi! They all consider ya still to be there friend! Don't imagine us to be so shallow as to change our views of ya, just from that fact alone!'
Thinking of her, Raiyana then asked aloud, “Nozomi?” For in the beginning despite the warnings she'd told the female keyblader, she hadn't been frightened of her at all. In fact... she'd been sad for her.
As she thought of this, she remembered a particular thing she'd said to her, 'It proves you care! If you didn't then you wouldn't have said anything to me! That in itself proves to me I can trust you!'
“Trust me?” For thinking her thought aloud, Raiyana had to ask, “Would she still though...? After everything that's happened and-?”
“Troubled are you?”
Hearing this voice startled, Raiyana immediately turned! There she saw in the distance of the dark corridor, it was none other than, “Hari...?”
Seeing that she'd been noticed as she stood with her back against the wooden wall of the ship, the cold green eyed keyblader opening her eyes looked to the surprised blue haired girl. As she did, she asked her, “I assume they have fed you misleading information to sway you, from your desired path, correct?”
Listening to this lengthy question, Raiyana turning her face away from her then replied, “I suppose that's what you can call it?”
Expecting as much, Hari then moving from her standing position walked over to the uncertain nobody. As she did so, she decided to inform her, “I will remind you again, not to be deceived... for they will do all that is necessary, to make you release them.” Then concentrating her cold eyes on Raiyana, she told her, “You remember their feline companion has already tried to so, don't you?”
Remembering this one incident which had led to him being caged, Raiyana then nodded averting her eyes from Hari's critical gaze. She replied, “I do...”
“Then that speaks for itself as evidence for their intentions, I advise that you keep your wits about you,” Hari instructed her. With that she began to make her exit, as she proceeded down the corridor.
Raiyana was quiet as she heard this... however she decided she wanted to ask one thing, “Hari?”
Hearing her name being called, the stoic keyblader turned and looked to Raiyana silently with her green emotionless eyes.
Seeing her do this, a little nervous at asking. Raiyana though felt she had to have this question answered, “You will keep to the promise won't you? You won't let the others here or on the planet be devoured by the heartless will you?”
As she heard this question being asked, Hari was silent as she stared at the wary nobody. However after a moment, she then answered, “As long as you continue to work with us... then the agreement will be kept.”
Hearing these words, as Hari continued to look at her. Raiyana didn't feel exactly comforted... but she accepted this answer as she replied, “Alright... thank you,” with that said she walked away, to keep an eye out and maintain the status of the ship.
Seeing her depart, Hari quiet for a moment then walked further down the corridor. As she did so, she spoke aloud her final assessments of the conversation she'd reached, “She may not be of further use to us... for much longer.” With that said, she faded into the darkness, to proceed with the next phase of their mission.
Sitting in the dark, within the confines of their 'sanctuary' the group of heroes, were all keeping a lookout for the heartless that were waiting to attack outside. Along with the band of treacherous pirates, led by Mr Silver. For at dawn, they would all be attacked... and with the way their ill were suffering, it wouldn't be a fight they'd be able to win against such immense numbers.
Breathing in and out hard, Riku was struggling to breathe. He was almost wheezing as the horrible dark mists, of the wolf bite were leaking out of his arm, his complexion was getting worse by the moment as he was becoming deathly pale.
Mickey doing the best he could, had almost used all the magical remedies that he could consider. But nothing was working at all! Looking to his pained pal, he uttered anxiously, “Riku...”
Standing near to the king, Nozomi looking to her fellow weakened keyblader was torn inside. Seeing him suffer like this was tearing her heart apart inside! Gripping her fists tightly either side of herself, she couldn't help but say, “It should have been me!”
Puzzled as he heard her say this, Mickey looking up to her asked, “What?”
Hearing this question, Nozomi then confessed frustrated and upset, “I was the one the monster was aiming for! If he, if Riku hadn't protected me then...” with that turning her face away, her regret and guilt ate her up. She almost felt like she could cry!
Hearing this and seeing her react this way, immediately Mickey went to persuade her otherwise as he said, “Nozomi don't say things like that! It wouldn't be good for ya to get hurt! Neither me or Riku would like that! Not at all!”
Nozomi hearing this though, couldn't help but protest as she said, “But-!”
“His majesty's right!” Stopping her in her tracks, Nozomi saw it was Riku who was now speaking. Though he was clearly struggling, he told her honestly, “We couldn't... I couldn't have you get hurt like that, there was no way I was gonna let that happen.”
As she heard Riku say this though, Nozomi shook her head as she told him, her own voice quivering, “But! You still got hurt because of me... if I wasn't so pathetic and helpless then-!”
“You're not pathetic!” Riku spoke up immediately! With that as he said this, it made Nozomi look at him with widened eyes. Quietly she heard him go on to say, “Though you're stubborn and a scatter brain... you're not that at all... so don't-!” However the pain was too much as it struck him deeply inside, feeling it do this Riku gasped loudly, “Agh!”
“Riku!” Mickey cried out! With that he went to attend to his friend again, while Nozomi herself quivered terribly inside still. For why wouldn't he blame her? Even now? When all she did was bring misfortune to all those around her?
Seeing the emotional moment that was going on between everyone, Timbre looking at the keybladers. Turned back to his own comrades as he told them, “Man... everyone's in a really bad way right now...”
“Clearly,” Fran responded simply. However it was clear that looking at her, the tall rabbit earred woman was feeling saddened by the situation herself, as she looked at all the melancholy that was about the room.
Balthier himself with his arms folded, then sighed and had to admit aloud, “I can't deny it... everything seems to be leading to a dreadful tragedy.”
Ben standing nearby and hearing the gentlemanly pirate say this, couldn't help but repeat worriedly, “Tragedy?” However before he had time to dwell on it-
Turning around immediately, as did Balthier, Fran and Timbre did. Ben saw that it was now Captain Amelia speaking, it was clear that she was struggling badly with her injury too. Even though she'd been treated with the effects of a Curaga spell, it looked like the damage might have been deeper than anyone had suspected.
Jim and Delbert were watching over her closely with Morph hovering nearby and despite her pained condition, she was still trying to voice herself as she said, “We must...stay together and... and.”
Looking at her anxiously with Jim as she said this, Delbert then demanded some answers as he asked her, “And what!? What?! We must stay together and what!?” He was so frustrated that he even removed his spectacles from his doggy nose, to look at her more closely.
Amelia though hearing Delbert's voice, looked to him hazily. As she did so, she couldn't help but confess in a dreamlike happy voice, “Doctor... you have wonderful, eyes...” with that she sunk back into the realms of unconsciousness with a smile on her face.
Hearing this baffled, Delbert then immediately concluded alarmed, “She's lost her mind!”
Jim couldn't deny that fact, however he answered immediately with urgency in his voice, “Help her!”
Delbert hearing this simple request then replied back flustered with desperateness, “Dang it Jim! I'm an astronomer, not a doctor! I mean I am a doctor, but I'm not that kind of doctor! I have a doctrine, that's not the same thing! You can't help people with a doctrine!” Then looking back to Amelia, he added feeling horribly powerless, “You just sit there and you're useless!”
As he heard Delbert carry on like this, collapsing onto his knees holding his head. Jim could understand the helplessness he was feeling. So walking up to him, he put his hands to his shoulders and told him as gently as he could, “It's okay Doc! It's alright...” with that he trailed away as he looked into the distance, to where Nozomi was still agonising over Riku with Mickey.
Seeing the female keyblader look this way with such a terrible expression, he didn't want her to be stay like that. He didn't want her to suffer like he was, so he started to walk in her direction. Looking at him as he went, Morph then decided to follow after him.
Watching him, as he started to go. Ben then walking over to Delbert spoke up trying to be positive, “Yeah, Doc! Jimmy knows exactly how to get out of this! It's just that...” with that Ben tried to think of the right way to say what he meant. But he couldn't give a proper explanation as such, so he just finished saying, “Jimmy just has knowledge of these things!”
As he continued to talk on though, Jim had made it over to the female keyblader. As he did so, he put a hand to her shoulder and asked, “Hey Nozomi?”
“Hm?” Hearing him and feeling his touch on her shoulder, the dark haired girl then looked to him sadly curious.
Seeing her be like this, Jim asked her feeling terrible still, “You wanna go over there? To talk?” To which he indicated with his head towards the opened entry way to Ben's home.
Looking in the direction where he was pointing to, Nozomi was quiet. However looking to Riku again who continued to breathe in and out painfully, she knew she wouldn't be of any help there. So she responded weakly, “Sure, okay...”
Hearing her agree, Jim made a simple nod. With that he removed his hand from her shoulder. As he did so, Nozomi then began to follow after him, as he arrived at the opened entry way with Morph still following on with them.
Ben with his head lowered, didn't know what to now in this awful situation. However he spied the two of them at the corner of his eye, heading towards the entrance of his home, as he did he called out, “Hey! Nozomi! Jim!” With that he ran in their direction, waving his robotic arm and hand.
Hearing Ben call out himself, Timbre looking at the robot and seeing him make his way over to the two of them. Then became curious himself, so taking his leave from Fran and Balthier, he headed in their direction.
Meanwhile, Jim and Nozomi were both silent as they looked out of the entrance way towards the dark night scenery that was Treasure Planet. Looking on, the two of them saw in the deep blue coloured sky, underneath a radiating river of green which one of the halos of the world was the RLS Legacy. Which still held Zidane, Noel, Yeul and Cait sith prisoner.
Then looking down below, they saw in the distance the remaining pirates, with a campfire made emitting a small trail of smoke. It was probably dying away slowly, like their time was.
However looking about, Nozomi could see in the sky and in a few other places amongst the trees, were the haunting yellow eyes of the heartless. As they were guarding the parameters in the sky and land for their slumbering masters... the situation really looked hopeless at that moment for them all.
Nozomi seeing everything like this, couldn't help but say, “It looks bad, doesn't it?”
Hearing this sentence, Jim then replied, “Yeah... no disagreements there.”
Then as this was said, it was finally that Ben made his way over to them all. As he did so, he decided to ask them both in a hushed way to not upset anyone more, “Psst! Jim! Nozomi!” At the robot's utterance, the cabin boy and keyblader turned their attentions to look at him. As they did, he proceeded to ask, “Do you guys have any thoughts? Do you know what we're gonna do?”
“Yeah?” To which surprised for a moment, the small band saw they had another member join the conversation, as Timbre looking to them asked, “Do you guys have any plans at all?”
Nozomi hearing the pink haired cat boy ask was quiet. However, Jim himself looking outside again to the forces and terrain that was working against them, he admitted pessimistically, “What can we do? Without the map we're dead, if we try to leave we're dead, if we stay here-”
“We're dead! We're dead! We're dead! We're dead!”
Morph piped up, trying to uplift the situation with a smile, repeating the words he heard.
Hearing him do this, Nozomi revealing a small smile for a moment then told him, “Thanks Morph... thanks a lot.” With that the smile was dropped in seconds, as she looked away to the side depressed.
The small pink jelly like creature seeing this reaction from the female keyblader, saw that he'd failed in trying to cheer everyone up... he then looked downcast as he averted his eyes sadly.
Timbre himself seeing the doom and gloom that was gracing the atmosphere, then sighed. He couldn't help but utter aloud, “Well, life really is a bed of roses for us... isn't it?”
Hearing this statement, Ben laughing then decided on something. Moving to the side, he told everyone, “Well I'd say all you guys need a little... quiet time! So I'll just slip out the backdoor.”
Jim lost in his melancholy for a moment, then repeated puzzled, “Back door?”
Nozomi too then hearing this, repeated curious, “Back door?” To which, she saw Ben heading over to a strange sphere like structure in the back. Seeing him go over to it, the female keyblader had to ask, “Ben? What do you mean by a back door? What-?”
Suddenly surprising her and the others, Ben turned the sphere over! As he did so, immediately light began to shine from within it! Seeing this happen, Timbre started to race over exclaiming, “Whoa! What's that!?” Then as he did so, Nozomi and Jim followed on over with Morph following on behind.
Ben hearing this question, then replied casually as he got the object turned fully up right, “Oh this? I get this delightful breeze through here, which I think is important!” With that turning over to lay over the rim of the opening he went on to say, “Because ventilation among friends!”
Hearing him say this, it was then that everyone peered through the opened shaft. Then as they did so, all of them saw down it, were a whole sea of pipes wires and lights! It looked like a huge constructed factory set up of some kind!
Looking down at it, Jim had to ask him, “What is all this stuff?”
Timbre then added still in disbelief, “Yeah!? I mean? Just how far does-?”
Ben hearing these questions then replied interrupting the pink cat boy, “You mean the miles and miles of machinery, that run through the entire course of the inside of this planet?”
Hearing this detailed question, Timbre looking to Ben asked, “Well yeah?”
To which Ben simply answered, “Not a clue!”
Timbre hearing this, was baffled to hear this response and so asked him, “You don't have a clue? How can you not!? Plus how do you know it all goes-?”
However feeling a hand on his shoulder, Nozomi stopped him in his tracks as she told him, “You better not ask.” Timbre hearing this further puzzled was about to ask what she meant, when she whispered into one of his cat ears, “Remember? He's doesn't have his mind!”
Quiet as he heard this, Timbre turned to look at Ben again. As he did so, he then saw once more the trailing circuits coming out of the back of his head, as he did so he remembered. As he did so, he replied, “Oh yeah? Alright...” however he was still annoyed, for he wanted to know what this all meant!?
Nozomi herself though shaking her head was slightly amused by all this. But still a little saddened she turned and looked to the floor. As she did so, a glowing object caught her attention. Seeing it, she went to investigate becoming curious.
However Jim, realising what this 'back door' was. Then realised immediately what it meant for him and the others! Looking back, he called out, “Guys! We've found a way out of here!”
Immediately hearing this, everyone turned to look at Jim, Timbre and Nozomi. As they all did so, Balthier repeated curious, “A way out?”
Nozomi making it to the glowing object, saw that it was a blue and white glowing round stone. As she saw it, her eyes widened as it shone in the light. As it did, she realised quickly, “This must be-?”
However she didn't get time to finish asking her question, as Jim then turned back and told the others more, “Exactly! With this passage, we can make our way back to the ship! We can get the map and-!”
“We can rescue our pals!” Timbre realised in seconds! As this startling revelation came, he saw Jim nod to him. As he did so, he knew what he had to do! So becoming determined he said, “Okay! Well that settles it! I'm going with you!”
Hearing him say this, Jim nodded glad for the assistance so with a smile he replied, “Good!”
Balthier though quickly had to speak up, as he told him, “Timbre! Don't do anything reckless out there! Remember, your sister told me to look after you! You can't just-!”
“That's exactly why I have to go!” Timbre replied interrupting him as he looked back at Balthier with determination in his single revealed green eye. As he did so, he added, “I gotta get the rest of my family back! I'm not gonna leave them in the clutches of these guys!”
To which hearing this, Balthier though felt he had to protest against. But before he could move to speak, Fran put a sharp nailed hand onto his shoulder and told him, “Let him go.”
Surprised to hear her say this, Balthier then uttered, “Fran...”
Seeing him react this way, the long rabbit earred woman told him, “You know it's pointless to argue against him when he becomes this focused... also we need all the assistance we can gain,” with that she finished looking to the opened entry way. As she did so, she added, “Especially when we'll be having an unwelcome reception, come the morning light.”
Looking to the opened doorway, there wasn't anything Balthier could say to argue against her on that point. So conceding with a sigh he said, “Oh very well, Fran! You certainly are great persuader amongst all others aren't you?”
To which Fran said nothing in reply, but she looked to Balthier with a smile upon her face. Showing she approved of this compliment.
Seeing her do this, Balthier turned back to his feline crew mate and as he did, he told him, “Looks you've been granted permission Timbre, but remember what I said! You must be vigilant and cautious.”
Hearing this being told to him, Timbre smirked as he replied, “Don't you worry boss! I always am!”
Nozomi listening to all of this conversation, then put the glowing and blue round stone she'd found away in her pocket. As she did so, she spoke up saying, “I'm gonna go too!” With that everyone's eyes were turned and focused upon her, as they were she added, “I'm gonna get the others all out of Pete and Silver's clutches too!”
But Mickey hearing her say this, had to say, “But Nozomi! If ya go with just Jim and Timbre, I won't be able to give ya any support! Plus-!”
“Don't worry your majesty!” Nozomi spoke up, interrupting him. As she did so, with a look of determination of her own, she added, “I'll be fine! I'll bring the others all back here, we'll make everything better again!”
Riku though hearing her say this, spoke up despite the struggles he was suffering from as he told her, “But... on your own, it'll be difficult, we can't leave you alone to! Agh!” However quickly again, he was unable to speak as the pain made him writhe terribly.
Seeing him become like this again, hurriedly Nozomi made her way over to him. Then bending down, she took his right hand in both of hers and told him firmly, yet gently as she could, “I'm going to go, I have to make up for what happened to you...” with that she gently squeezed his hand and added, “Don't be difficult for me while I'm gone, okay? Snowball?”
Hearing her say this, Riku was breathless. He couldn't say anything, but feeling Nozomi's warm touch upon his right hand, he then reluctantly squeezed her hand back. Showing that he understood her words and accepted her words.
Feeling him do this, Nozomi smiled gently. Then looking to the king she asked him, “Can you look after him as best you can, till I get back Mickey?”
Hearing her ask this of him, the king was quiet for a moment. Though he wanted to argue with her not to do this, he knew time was of the essence. So revealing a smile of his own, he told her, “Okay, I'll do that for ya, Nozomi... just be safe, okay?”
Nodding as she heard this, Nozomi looking to Riku smiled at him gently. For she was going to do her best, she was gonna rescue the others, get the map back. Then finally... she would heal him! Determined to accomplish these goals, Nozomi finally released his hand gently, placing it down and looking to them both, she told them, “Don't worry! We'll be back guys!”
With those words, the female keyblader ran to the opening. As she did so she met Jim and Timbre who were waiting for her along with Morph and finally Ben. Making it over, she told them, “Okay! Let's go guys!”
“Right!” Jim responded and with that he fell through the sphere opening, Morph following fast after him! The others all quickly started to follow after him!
Seeing them all depart though, Delbert spoke up as he said, “But wait! All of you! The Captain ordered we should all stay together! We can't-!”
“Don't worry, Doc! We'll see ya soon!” With that Timbre jumped in!
Then following fast after him, Nozomi cried out, “Hey! Wait for me!” Saying that, she leaped in too!
Watching all his pals go, immediately Ben went and grabbing his legs, he cried out loudly, “Cannonball!”
Watching them all depart like this, Delbert wasn't impressed with that last departing word. So he uttered exasperated, “Woof...!” With that, the band of remaining heroes were left behind, to wait and hope for Jim and the others to return.
Jim lifting up a lid of something they'd come across as they made their trek. Immediately everyone looking out of it discovered that they'd come near their target! They hadn't had any encounters with any heartless at all! However-
SNORE! SNORE! SNORE!
They'd appeared practically beside the enemy encampment and they were just feet away from them all! Looking at them all snoring away, peacefully, Nozomi couldn't help but whisper, “Wow! Looks like we got closer than we thought we would!”
Hearing her say this, Timbre then whispered back equally amazed, “You got that right!”
Listening to Timbre say this, Jim simply nodded and he opened his mouth to say something. But before he could make any audible words-
“SO WHAT'S THE PLAN!?”
Immediately appearing with them, came Ben! Morph bursting apart re-gelled and looked spooked! Hearing him practically shout this out, Nozomi whispered bitterly with anxiety, “Ben! Shut it!” With that, she and Timbre pounced on him, making him hush up in seconds!
Seeing them do this, Jim quickly looked to the encampment panicked! However with major relief, he saw none of them had awakened... as Silver simply turned over in his sleep.
Ben himself, feeling Nozomi and Timbre hold him down. Tried to speak as mumbled, “Mmph! Mmph! Mmph!”
Feeling him do this, through gritted teeth. Timbre then told him whispering, “You gotta tone it down Ben! One wrong move here and we'll be doomin' ourselves and our friends!”
Hearing these words, Ben looking to the pink haired cat boy finally clicked with what he was saying. As he did so, he also heard Nozomi say to him, “Now Ben, if we release you. You've got to promise, you won't make any loud noises okay?”
Listening to the female keyblader say this, Ben then nodded hurriedly showing he'd keep to his word.
Glad for this with some relief, Nozomi and Timbre finally released the energetic robot. To which as they did, he smiled awkwardly to them, showing a thumb's up.
Jim himself seeing that thing's were finally under control again, decided to inform them what the plan was as he whispered, “Okay, here it is...” immediately everyone's attention was on him as he continued on, “We sneak back to the Legacy, get our friends back and bring back the map.”
Hearing this, Nozomi and Timbre nodded. While Ben himself said, “That's a good plan! I like that plan!” However he had to ask one thing, “The only thing is I'm wondering, how do we get there?”
To which hearing this question being asked, that was the one thing neither Nozomi nor Timbre had thought about at that moment. But before more questions could be asked, Jim pointed to the answer as he told them all, “On that!”
With that everyone turned and looked. There they saw floating just a little above their enemies was an available long boat, hung down by a single rope! Seeing this Nozomi smiled, this was it! That was their ticket upwards!
Timbre grinning as he saw the ship himself then replied, “Now that's what I call good thinkin'!”
Glad for the praise, Jim though knew they had to act! So looking to them he said, “Okay guys, now let's go! Nice and quiet, right?”
“Right!” Nozomi answered, as she did so. Everyone went towards the boat, doing their best not to arouse their enemies. As they all treaded carefully and quietly along the ground.
After some moments, they all got on board. As they did so, looking up above. Jim then said, “Okay! Here we go!” With that he started to manouvre the boat!
Watching as they started to leave the ground, Nozomi looked up and saw the air pirate heartless that were all still above them. Seeing them, she said, “Jim, be careful of the heartless above us!”
Hearing her say this, Jim then replied, “Okay! I will, but if thing's get messy-”
Nodding, Nozomi then told him, “Don't worry! I'll take them out!”
As he heard her say these words, Timbre then agreed to the plan as he said, “I'll help ya on that too!”With that he brought out his spear, ready to take down the heartless if needed!
Glad to know this, Jim nodded and with that he moved the ship upwards. Being careful not to attract the monsters or the enemies that were below them.
Looking up as they were fast approaching their destination, Nozomi whispered, “Hang on guys! We're coming for you!”
However what none of the ascending heroes could know, was that down below one pair of keen eyes had seen their departure.
Grinning to himself he then said, “Looks like you punks have just dug yer own graves!” For the one who'd spotted them. Was none other than Pete, as he stood within the darkness of the jungles of Treasure Planet...