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Warin

Kingdom Hearts: Journey of the Wandering RP

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Chikao stepped forward from his portal into a snowy town, the opening between worlds looking astral in its silver color and spotted in cosmic colorfulness as though part of space itself had been brought onto land. Looking around, he realized that he was already in a populated town and quickly moved to close the portal behind him. Chikao always found a small comfort in coming upon a world or at least part of a world that was covered in snow as it reminded him of his own home of The Faded Realm of which its cold weather three quarters of the year he was used to was the reason he kept his jacket around his waist. The likes of which he put on and now felt like he would thrive with the coat snugly over his cardigan and long sleeved shirt. Chikao started looking around as he wondered what kind of trouble could be afoot as teleporting with the guidance of his keyblade usually resulted in him going to a world in danger of being consumed by darkness, and through observation he came to realize the location was a mining town and with a lack of some form of library or archive, he realized he'd have to find out about current events the old fashioned way of speaking to the locals.

After doing this for some time, Chikao came to understand that the town was called Narshe and had been dealing with conflict against an impressive world power that was Imperial in nature called the Gestahlian Empire. However, what he was most interested in were statements about a being trapped in ice which he knew to be unusual even in a cold place such as Narshe. Though such matters were treated as rumors, Chikao was quite familiar with such thoughts and knew that it was best to go about investigating potential leads and that such testimonies were likely to actually be true. An idea further supported once on his way to find the frozen being, Chikao saw three mechanoid armor machines approaching the location. Seeing this, he sprinted hoping to reach the esper before the Imperial soldiers would.

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A short while before Chikao arrived, a second portal had opened up on the side of one of the multitudes of snowy mountains within Narshe's landscape, revealing a shivering redhead who was a little half-dressed for the snowy weather.  Holding check her breath, she allowed the hole in space to mend itself and put away her keyblade, murmuring a light fire spell of her own devising that wreathed her in radiant warmth.  Then it was on to business.  There had been rumours and tips about this place that were seedy at best within her master's inner circle of information gathering.  Unfortunately, even with all of the information in the world, it was challenging for her to land in the location she desired most, a curse of lack of direction.  Nevertheless, a town was nearby.  The pinpoint glints of cabin lights were a telltale sign of civilisation.  She had no choice; she had to go there, if only for a clue.

After multiple castings of Inner Resolve, her fire-based spell, and a longer distance down steep and treacherous snowy terrain, she found herself near the entrance.  She dared to slip inside a larger building that seemed like an adventurer's den, the signs remarkably similar to those of back home, but as she did so she caught a glance of three Magitek suits of odd, steampunk design, with a woman with a blank expression leading the pack.  Shuddering even if the cold did not touch her, she entered wordlessly and -- she hoped -- without detection.

That was the easy part.  Now was the harder part:  talking to people.  Swallowing hard and whispering pacifying things to steel her unsteady self, Rabia Polvo went further in.  It was time to collect information of her own.

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The crunching of snow underfoot and the howling of the wind were the only sounds reminding Mirai that she was still alive.  The cold pierced through her flesh, causing her to go numb, her teeth chattering as she plowed forward.  The jade-haired woman was not in appropriate attire for winter, and she had never even seen a winter quite like this one.

Her fingers ran over her gooseflesh.  Before she continued she thought it may be best if she went back into town, using what coin she had to properly outfit herself to continue trekking through this blizzard.  As it stood, she would not be able to find that frozen Esper if she so desired.

Movement ahead caused her to give pause to her momentum.  Her dark-green eyes quickly scanned the area, noting only three figures looming into view.  Their teeth were among the first features that Mirai took notice to, saliva seeping out the sides of their chops as it fell to the ground, steam produced from its warmth upon the snow.  Approaching the young woman were three large wolves, known as Silver Lobos in this land.  Upon their chest was a Heartless symbol; whether this was something that the townsfolk were privy to, she didn't know, but she summoned her Keyblade, Mirror Mirror, to get the job done.

(If anyone wants to aid Mirai as backup, please feel free to do so!  She'd welcome the company)

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Malac ran through he frozen forest, hearing a howl to his right. He lunged forward, letting his feet leave the ground. While air born, he twisted in midair to throwing Dreadnaught's Swarm towards the howl. A Heartless Wolf tried to alter course to avoid the spinning Keyblade, but it was too late. The weapon cleaved through it, turning it into a small could of darkness before fading. Malac hit the snow covered ground a few feet from where he leapt, rolling up into a crouch. After a moment to confirm that the Heartless was gone, he dropped to a knee to take a few deep breaths. 

"Typical." He grunted as he reached out a hand towards his Keyblade.

Dreadnaught's Swarm disappeared from where it lay and reappeared it's master's hand.

"Go someplace new, immediately try to get eaten."

Using his blade to help him get back up, Malac took stock of his surroundings. He only saw one wolf, but it had howled. That might mean there are more. That was assuming that's heartless wolves acted life the real thing, but Malac wasn't about to assume that he was safe yet. He took in another deep breath, this time through his nose, sampling the scents on the wind. 

"There you are." He growled before taking off again. 

Sprinting through the woods, Malac followed a scent to more of the Heartless Wolves. He caught sight of three of them, facing down...a person? His instincts were to go for the wolves directly, but there was possibly someone in danger. It might slow him down, but that had to take precedence. Putting on a little extra speed, the Keyblade Survivor made to reach the wolves' target, sliding in next to Miari, his Keyblade in a ready stance. 

"Weird time for a stroll." He commented in an off handed way as he glared at the wolves.

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Chikao had been on his way to find the Esper when he saw a pair of other Keyblade Wielders fighting a pack of Silver Lobos Heartless, which he considered much more worth his attention. He always skirted the rules regarding Keyblade Wielders not being allowed to interfere in the matters of a world he visited so to deal with something he considered much more in line with his general responsibilities was something he prioritized. Looking back at the frozen figure and the group in magitek armor approaching it he debated with himself over whether it was a good idea to leave the being in their hands, still not knowing whether the group was benevolent or malicious. However, he also knew that it would be best to be among a group of his fellow Keyblade Wielders and that helping them would be the best way of establishing trust with them.

Rushing into the middle of the battle, Chikao was oddly relaxed in his fighting stance and simply kept Scholar's Study gripped in one hand raising it as his magic began to quickly channel through it. In accordance with his preferred form of magic he cast a series of gravity spells which first kept the Heartless in place and which he pushed on in order to cause them to collapse due to the force of the magic, which did well against many of the already weakened Heartless that disappeared in black smoke which Chikao held the constant hope would one day form back into their Somebody. Against the rest of the Silver Lobos, Chikao began casting fire magic in knowing that there was a natural weakness in consideration of the environment they'd naturally be used to.

Looking at his fellow combatants and their enemies, Chikao began to come up with a plan. "Stay close, but try to isolate the remaining Heartless into three areas separated by our blades. Pack groups are less effective when they're in lesser numbers." he said in expressing his strategy. Casting a blast of fire with the intention of forming a line between the Heartless to enact the plan he had described.

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Exiting the adventurers' den with a bit of payment spent upon them as thanks, Rabia stepped out into the cold streets, now armed with information.  It seemed that this small town was the source of a bit of excitement, and that there was a new discovery within the depths of the vast caverns of Narshe, though not even a minute after she left the doors did she see a familiar man pass her by.  He did not seem to see her, given her sticking to the shadows, but he was in a hurry, but she looked at him studiously.

"Chikao . . . ?" she asked as if to her lonesome, too quiet to be heard by anyone other than herself.  However, it could not be him.  Why would he be in this neck of the woods, much less passing her by in such an auspicious time?  However, this rushing mystery man did seem to resemble Chikao in many ways, and so she followed him from a distance at a brisk pace.

Her hand rose to her mouth as she witnessed a keyblade being brandished by him.  It was certainly Chikao, but he was not alone.  Two other keyblade wielders were holding their own against a pack of large wolf-like Heartless, with him making the fighting group a trio.  Against her better thoughts, her feet carried her toward the battle too, stopping about two hundred feet away from the wolves with a hand outstretched.

"Crimson searing flames!" she called out, invoking fire from her whole hand that gathered into three Fire spells and launched towards the now separated wolves.  At best, the Heartless would be incinerated by the blasts.  At worst, she drew three wolves' attention to her, as well as their ire.  However, at the very least the wolves would find themselves at a positional disadvantage of being surrounded.

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The jade-haired woman glanced over her shoulder as Malac fell into combat alongside her.  She gripped her Keyblade tighter.  There was much she wished to discuss, though now, as they stared death in the face, was not the proper time.

"Don't be a fool," she murmured darkly.  "I came for likely the same reason as you.  But we'll have time to talk later.  For now we must get these guys."

Extending her free hand and twisting her wrist, Mirai summoned forth a strong gust of wind, casting Aerora to trip up the Lobos.  The beasts did indeed lose their footing, getting consumed by the gust of wind that picked them up and off their feet.  Upon the spell's disbursement the wolves fell in a heap, which Mirai decided to take advantage of as she leapt forward, Keyblade outstretched, as she slashed at them with a horizontal strike.  Two of them howled before disappearing in a cloud of darkness, much as the ones Malac had destroyed earlier.  As though sensing the danger at hand, the third wolf retreated, leaving the two Keyblade wielders alone.

A sigh escaped Mirai, her Keyblade de-materializing along her side as she whipped around to face her companion.

"Thank you, though I do wonder if we are indeed here for the same reason."  She squinted, studying him more carefully.  "Have we met before?  You seem familiar.  My name's Mirai, Mirai Juniperus.  And you?"

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Malac tensed up to launch himself at Heartless, but the other Keyblade wielder was faster with a spell. As she went in to take advantage of the Lobo’s weakened state, Malac hung back and watched. He gave an approving grunt as she dispatched two of the Heartless and caused the third to run.

“Nicely done.” He said, straightening up into a more relaxed stance.

He kept his Keyblade out, however. This place was new to him, so he wasn’t going to assume it was safe.

“Malachai Racton.” He answered, resting his Keyblade on his shoulder. “Though most call me Malac.”

He gave a shrug as he continued.

“I honestly have no idea if we’ve met. I move around a lot and meet a lot of people.” 

His eyes narrowed as he studied Mirai again.

“Though you may have met my brother Eli. You seem like someone he would hang out with.”

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Chikao looked upon the group that was now before him, familiarity dawning upon him now that he was getting a good look at them. His thoughts focusing on how Mirai and Malac seemed to so casually converse with one another despite the dangers around them, something he felt not used to though rather because of lack of company as he was skilled enough as the rest of the group to focus on a potential conversation and combat. Though he continued on the fight until all the Heartless had disappeared, once that had happened he looked over at the three other Keyblade Wielders around him.

"Now that she mentions it." Chikao started his statement, focusing his attention on Mirai to indicate who he meant by that. "You all do look familiar to some extent." his attention then was directed at Rabia. "Actually you I even remember by name, Rabia." he said to the red-haired girl. Looking between Mirai and Malac, however, he continued questioning what was going on, they seemed to be at the edge of his memories but not in clear focus. For the moment he simply wondered what had happened that Rabia had made such a much better impression with him than the other pair did. Then again he did consider himself just being in the possibility as Malac that traveling around several worlds and meeting many people made it difficult to remember all of them even if they seemed familiar.

"Well I'm sure we'll have the chance to get to know each other or reknow each other well on our journey. For now, I'm sure we all have the same responsibilities as Keyblade Wielders and I actually think it's imperative we find this Esper trapped in ice I heard the villagers talking about when I got here up that mountain. Especially considering a small though what seems to be an elite force of the ruling Empire of this world is making its way there to find it." Chikao said, trying to encourage the group to join him in his goal.

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Rabia blushed at the sudden attention, gladdened to have been remembered from the brief encounter way back when, even though she had a peculiarly strong memory of Chikao himself.  The others seemed familiar as well, and it took her a moment to realise that she met these other keyblade wielders at about the same time as she met him.  And now they are all together again, fighting for a common goal of slaying Heartless and rescuing the world of the clutches of darkness.  An odd beginning which seemed fated, and yet not unheard of.

"An Esper?" she asked musingly.  "Is that what those mechanised forces are after?  I saw three soldiers heading into the town, with a chilly woman leading the march.  If we chase after them, maybe we can stop them, or even get there before they do.  Four together is better than four separate.  Shall we?"

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"Eli?  Eli's your brother?!"  Mirai's demeanor changed entirely, shoulders relaxing slightly as she considered Malac.  "That would explain why I thought I recognized you.  I may have seen the two of you together.  How is he doing?  Last I saw of him, he was just acquiring his Keyblade from the Master."  It had been an obviously long time since Mirai had seen him, and clearly the young woman was oblivious to his death.

The two were interrupted, however, when Chikao and Rabia made their presences known to them.  Mirai was silent as the others exchanged pleasantries, not wishing to comment that she did not recognize either of them.  Only Malac felt familiar, though this was probably because of knowing young Eli back in the day.

"What is this Esper, exactly?" Mirai questioned.  "I hear that it sleeps, whatever it is.  My only concern is that trouble may be lurking for us around it.  I doubt that we are the only ones interested in its slumber in this village."

She extended a hand to shake Chikao's and Rabia's in turn, before finally falling to offer her hand to Malac, a warm smile in the direction of the young man.  "Regardless, I would agree with Rabia.  We will be stronger in numbers.  Who wants to take point?"

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Chikao reached forward to shake Mirai's hand and then listening to her question regarding the Esper he did his best to explain. "From what I've been able to understand, the Esper seems to be some kind of person with a remarkable amount of power. I've been in this world for a brief moment and already heard stories of grandeur about them I can't be sure whether they're accurate or exaggerated. At the very least, it should be possible for them to recover from an icy prison like the one they've been stuck in." Hearing the agreement that they, as a group would best serve this endeavor, made him feel quite pleased.

Though he was briefly surprised by the mention of an Eli individual, a similar vague memory that came to his mind simply that of a friendly individual.

For now, the group already had a clear mission and with Mirai asking who would take point, Chikao was surprised she didn't simply take that chance given that initiative was usually a good sign of someone being in such a position but in light of having such an ideal opportunity he took it. "I'll take point for the group, being on foot we can cut off those soldiers who have to lumber in their machines. They're taking that wide path up the mountain. I have a path in mind we can travel on quick that will lead to it, and later investigate the Esper itself." he said. Gesturing towards the path in question and encouraging them to follow him as he would lead the way. Feeling personally confident in his magic in the way he felt he could generally keep a team going and defending them even as that came with a price of his bladework itself. Then there was the matter of general tactics and strategy. Wanting to have the group in a good spot and well off when it came to succeeding in their mission.

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Malac nodded to himself when Mirai reacted to Eli's name. He had been good at making friends. The surviving brother's jaw tightened when asked how Eli was. 

"She doesn't know." He thought, some of the pain of the loss flooding back. "How do I tell her?"

That question was postponed with the arrival of two more travelers. Malac tensed for trouble, but the newcomers seemed more interested in teaming up than getting in a fight. That could just mean they were bidding their time for an opportune moment to backstab, but that was the kind of pessimism Eli frowned on. One of the new comers did seem familiar, though. And not in a bad way.

"Heh, first Heartless, now soldiers?" He said with a chuckle. "And here I thought coming to this world would be a vacation." 

He took in a deep breath through his nose, tasting the scents in the air. If this esper was powerful, he should be able to get a lock on its scent. 

"And just like that, we're a team." Malac muttered as Chikao took off. "That's certainly new."

He glanced over at Mirai and Ravia, giving them a shrug before heading off after Chikao.

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Ravia accepted everyone's hands in a warm handshake, marvelling in the fact that their hands were as cold as they were before recalling her spell for radiant heat.  Everyone proved resourceful in their own way, though there was something that had not yet been mentioned.

"New indeed.  It is a pleasure to meet you all," she replied over a gust of snowy wind, matching pace with everyone and bounding to the middle of the group, "but there is something you should know, a tidbit I gleaned from the adventurer's guild and tavern.  Magic is almost unheard of here, and is quite feared.  There's talk of a sorceress in an Empire down south of here who can use it, and she is quite powerful according to hearsay.  Your magic is how I gauged you all to be otherworlders like myself at the start, so be careful and do not unveil it needlessly.  The last thing we need to do is generate a panic."

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Mirai had noticed Malac tense, though didn't press the matter further in favor of falling in line with the rest of the group down the chosen path.

The wind remained relentless as they trekked on, causing Mirai to grip the longer side of her skirt in hopes of sheltering herself further from the bitter cold.  As they continued onward she took in what Ravia had to say concerning magic in this world, to which she nodded.  "Good call.  I'm glad that you have observed this, Ravia.  The less talk we can conjure in this town, the better. This sorceress indeed sounds like she could be trouble if the empire's motives conflict with ours, though she shouldn't be anything that we cannot handle, especially if we work together."

Unfortunately Mirai had little to offer in terms of intel; she had only shortly arrived around the time that the Lobos attacked her, leaving little opportunity to be able to observe Narshe and the ongoings.  She unfurled a map with fingers that could barely function from the cold, considering it whilst observing the path beyond.

"So I understand that the Esper we're seeking is in the mines," Mirai murmured, concentration laid out upon the map.  "But there's the miners to consider.  We should concoct a tale in case we run into any, lest they grow suspicious of us or deny us entry, which is possible even with a plausible tale."

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"The Gesthalian Empire. They're currently an impressive world power." Chikao mentioned to inform Ravia of the Empire she was thinking about. "Though very well, I'm glad you agree with the needed limitation on our magic, Mirai." he said, though in truth the need to limit the use of their magic made him nervous. He was much more of a mage than adept at his keyblade, in fact being in direct combat like that was usually more of an advantage of his enemies than anything else. "Let's hope this empire isn't too malicious then. According to those who live here they appear to act frighteningly expansionists." he said when Mirai started talking about how their motives could conflict.

Seeing Mirai struggle with the cold environment he cast a small flame spell in his hands and brought it close to Mirai, offering his companion warmth especially seeing how she had handled unfolding the map. Hearing the suggestion that they'd have to come up with some kind of cover story for the miners, he paused thinking about it for a moment as to what they could say. "The people here seem to actually have quite the hostile feelings towards the Gesthalian Empire. If we tell them we're scouts who arrived to warn them about the approaching troops they might even be on guard near the entrance holding off those in the magitek armor for us." he suggested then took a pause to see what everyone else thought of the plan. 

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Malac listened to the discussion of the situation in silence, digesting what new information there was. Limiting magic wasn’t a great loss for him, as he preferred his own strength and steel. This Empire was interesting, something hated you could divert attention to when dealing with locals. 

“The old enemy of my enemy trick.” He said, nodding to Chikao’s idea. “A classic. Should be enough to get us partially in there good graces, but they might still be wary.”

He switched his gaze to Ravia.

“You hear of any other threats in the area?” Malac asked.

He noticed Mirai’s problem in the cold, causing him to weigh his options. His coat was good, so could keep her harm, but that would leave him with bare arms. Time in extreme environments had touched him up, so he figured he would be fine without his coat for a little bit. But this could slow him down, cost him his edge. His instincts were to keep the coat, thus keeping himself at peak condition. But that’s not what Eli would do.

Grunting something, he shrugged off his coat and offered it to Mirai.

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