My Brother's Keeper

Chapter 2

Walking the streets of the marketplace, Sora had to practically beg to his mother to let him go. Thankfully with the persuasion of his father, they had come to a compromise that Squall would escort him through the streets.

It always takes a moment for Sora to register that they're talking about the same person. Squall always told Sora to call him Leon. He always hated being called Squall, and decided to unofficially rename himself. Sora didn't care either way.

The sky had greeted him with a gorgeous, cloudless sky. Banners strung across the cobblestone path, wagons filled with an assortment of flowers. All of the villagers merry-making of his birthday coming up. Flicking the hood of his cloak over his head, Sora makes sure it hides every strand of spikey hair that makes him so easily recognizable. Along with dressing in 'normal' attire fit for the marketplace. A simply faded blue tunic with dark pants and boots.

The lower market is laid out like a man's back. The main road forms the spine and leads towards the castle's North Tower, while smaller roads and alleys branch off like ribs running east and west.

"So what exactly are we looking for?" Leon asks after he hands the horses off to a guard.

"I just want to look around." Sora says as they wriggle their way through the masses of people.

The first stall he reaches is a trestle table laden with a few remaining crates of juicy pears and thick-skinned melons. A woman and her husband squeeze the fruit between their fingers before loading up their sack, murmuring to each other as they weigh each choice.

Peeking through his hood, Sora watches as Leon follows him. Leon was a fairly attractive man, in his twenties with perfect peach skin. His eyes are blue and he bears his distinctive scar, which runs diagonally across the bridge of his nose. His hair a lighter shade of brown and short, and his bangs sweep to the left side of his face.

"So what's the point of coming here if we're not buying anything?" Leon asks.

"Don't tell me you're complaining." Sora pesters. "I went through your training holding my tongue until it bled. Literally."

Leon rolls his eyes. "That's different. I was training you to protect yourself if you were ever to get in trouble. This is just, shopping."

"Well look, I just wanted to have a look around the market place, okay? I'm going to be king soon-"

"The thought of which scares me." Leon interjects.

Sora gives him a look that says, 'really?' "So, I thought I'd' get to know the villagers."

"Commoners?"

"Villagers." Sora emphasizes. The term commoners to him felt so degrading.

Sora passes the butcher, already cleaning his knives and packing away the last of his mutton, and wrinkles her nose as the rusty scent of drying sheep's blood lies heavy on the air, mingling with the smell of mud.

Two more stalls down, they reach the candle maker's and the first of the west-running roads. Sora tucks his head down, hiding both his hair and his face beneath his hood. No one stops them as they make a left turn, though he feels the stares burning through the heavy leather of his cloak.

It was then Sora realized, no matter how much he tried to blend in, people would still recognize him. Leon was the head of security for the castle. And Sora peeks out from his hood and sees Leon wearing the emblem of the castle. Sora mentally slaps himself for not really thinking the whole, bringing Leon with through.

They reach an open wagon filled with bags of dried lentils, onions, and white beans. The merchant's daughter scoops beans into burlap sacks. While Leon examines a sack of plenty-white onions, Sora sidesteps them but pulls up short as one of the men whistles softly, a low three-note tune that sends chills up his spine. His heart pounds, a thunderous, uneven rhythm. Relief fills him when he sees Leon coming up behind him.

Tugging at the beret under his hood, Roxas made his way through the Lower Market in search for his items. After collecting another haul from the traps, he had half a dozen fish, a gallon of greens and two squirrels and a rabbit. Along with the turkey, this should be more than enough to get what he needs.

Walking the street, he passes a few stalls consisting of a candle maker, a man selling fruits and a woman selling hand-knitted clothing items.

Two more stalls down, Roxas reaches the candle maker's and the first of the west-running roads. He tucks his head down, hiding both his hair and his face beneath his hood.

A man on his left is hawking a collection of hunting knives with leather sheaths. Giving his wares a cursory glance, Roxas slides his hand in the inner pocket of his cloak, and run his fingers along the sheath he wears strapped to his waist.

His knives are nice, he thinks. Mine is better.

Leaving his knife alone, Roxas keeps walking. He moves briskly and keep to the sides, hoping to avoid attracting too much attention.

Sora and Leon approach the town's square, the road turning to cobblestone as the silhouette of the fountain comes into view. A statue of Sora's great-great-great-grandfather stood atop the fountain. He rode a horse that reared its head, eyes bugging, hooves pawing at the air. His arm held a mighty sword, armed and ready to charge into battle. Water pours from underneath the horse's hooves, streaming down and around the circular basin into the polished base where villagers sat and mingled.

As he approaches with awed steps, Sora gazed at the sculptor until his nose caught the whiff of something sweet. "What's that smell?"

He and Leon look to see a tea makers stall. The sweet smell of chamomile and lemon wafting towards him.

Leon looks to him and smiles. "I'll be right back."

As he goes towards the man, Sora continues to stare at the fountain and at his surroundings. The market seemed more, open than the castle. Even with the luxuries he has, the marketplace was where true socializing happened. Not at some formal ball where everyone judges you on your language and etiquette. If you didn't stick up our pinky, everyone else sticks up their noses in disapproval.

While gazing around the market, a voice catches his attention. "Copper tubing. Twenty-two gauge." He turns and finds another cloaked man. "A spool of wire. Sixteen gauge."

Peering around the boy's frame, he can see the outline of a burlap sack and something heavy inside.

"That all?" the proprietor asks.

"I'll also take those laces, along with the knife."

The proprietor stares him down, his hands slowly working to tap on a large wooden box. "Don't think I righty heard you."

Sora unknowingly steps closer. Curious. The man had a balding head with a jagged line of an angry scar etched like a curved lightning bolt along one side. He wore no shirt or jacket, which was what revealed the most unusual thing about him.

Scrolling designs covered much of his exposed skin. His chest, sculpted and smooth like a polished statue, depicted minutely detailed tattoos of sailing ships, tossing waves, and foam. A long-haired mermaid graced his existing shoulder, her scaly tail sweeping the length of his arm. A swirling whirlpool, a rolling cascade of waves and foam, the curling tentacles of a giant octopus. Though the pictures themselves might have been beautiful, Sora was too distracted by the fact that they had been chiseled into his skin like carvings. That thought, combined with his demonic grin, the garish white of him, made them somehow vulgar.

Sora couldn't help but applaud the boy for dealing with the man, alone.

The boy keeps his voice low and repeats his request as he leans on the bar-top counter. The wood, a dull dirt brown, is slashed and scared from possible weapons demonstration, hopefully.

The man slaps the laces and a heavy wooden mug filled with ale in front of the boy, though he hasn't ordered a drink. "Ain't got a knife."

Sure he does, Roxas thought. "What do you want for it?" Roxas bids.

He's already traded the rabbit and a squirrel for the wire and copper tubing. He still had the greens and fish and the turkey, but he needed that for another proprietor.

The man shrugs his massive shoulders and picks up a grimy rag to smear across the greasy countertop as if cleaning is suddenly a priority.

"That turkey should be able to pay for it." The man gestures to the bird strapped to his waist.

Roxas places his hand on it to intend it's not going anywhere. "I already gave you half the greens. I'm willing to give you maybe two to three fish."

"The bird for the knife." The man barks.

"How about you give me the knife and I'll let you walk away with what you have. Limbs included." Roxas barks back slapping his palms on the table.

The man's face suddenly contorts into a predatory glare and as he rises, Sora's eyes widen as the man easily out-sized the boy. Roxas slides his hand beneath his cloak. Sora has a terrible suspicion there's a weapon hidden in there.

He's going to get himself killed over a stupid weapon he already has?! Sora needs to find a way to defuse this, but he doesn't know how. Sora's stomach clenches as he frantically run scenarios and try to see a way out of this. There isn't one, unless the man gets his wager.

With nothing but quick thinking Sora rushes over to the boy, clamping a hand on his shoulder.

"Oh hey bud! There you are! What the heck, I've been looking all over for you!" Sora turns the boys away.

"What are you doing?" the boy whispers through grit teeth.

"Just play along." Sora whispers back.

"Excuse me, boy." The man calls, and Sora turns. "Do you know this guy?"

Sora strode up to the table, keeping his posture. He leans on the table to act casual. "Unfortunately yes. He is my, cousin." Sora looks back to Roxas for emphasis. "He can be grouchy sometimes. So, what's the total price?"

The man's posture seemed to relax, and yet he looked confused. "Here, we trade for goods."

"Well, what would be the total, in change?" Sora asks.

Roxas looks to him with an irritated shocked look, as if Sora had just made the biggest mistake of his life. Only those who were wealthy could pay in change. And if he just offered to pay for everything, he might as well cover himself in bloody meat and jump into shark infested waters.

"Well, the total would be five thousand money." He says.

Roxas walks forward, knowing the man was lying. He reaches for his knife, ready to strike when the boy helping him drops a pouch onto the counter without argument.

"Here you go." He says in a normal, even pleased voice. He gathers everything, practically shoving half of it in Roxas' arms. "And keep the change. Have a nice day!"

Sora had on his best and friendliest smile, gripping Roxas' shoulders as he carried the haul, he shoves Roxas away from the stall. Once they were out of hearing range, Roxas stops.

"What the hell was that? Who do you think you are budding into my negotiations?" he seethes. Without waiting for an answer he turns and walks on.

"Hey, you're welcome by the way!" Sora barks back. "I could've let him pound you! I didn't have to pay for you!"

Roxas stops. "Yeah exactly, you didn't." he counters, snatching the rest of the purchased items and unceremoniously shoving them into his burlap bag. "so why did you?"

"Well, one it was merely a whole week's allowance," Ignoring Roxas stare of unconvinced and disgust, he went on, "and because my mother always taught me it's good to help people in need." Sora answers with just the right amount of snob in his tone.

"Who said I needed your help?"

"Uh, you did apparently, by being stupid and challenging a man who is twenty times your size!"

"Oh please, I've beaten bigger bastards than him." Roxas dismisses. Sora's face becomes shocked. "And will you stop following me?!"

They had wandered through the streets, and while Roxas had intended to lose Sora the moment he snatched all his things, somehow Sora kept up well.

"What? I've pissed you off so much you don't want to be seen with me?"

Roxas stops and swirls around, shooting Sora a look of absolute loathing. "No because obviously you are in the wrong side of town." Roxas sneers, pointing an accusing finger at Sora's chest.

"What?"

"A guy like you walking around with that much money in his pocket? You're just begging to be robbed. You're a danger to yourself, and more importantly, me."

Roxas turns without waiting for Sora to reply. Sora still follows.

"Well excuse me, I was just trying to help!" Sora says, then irritated, he speeds up and cuts right in front of Roxas, stopping him dead. "But, the fact of the matter is, is that now that I've paid for you, you now owe me."

"What? No way!" Roxas sneers as he steps around him.

"Oh not so fast!" Sora says, grabbing Roxas' arm.

"Geez, you don't let up." Roxas groans, pulling his arm roughly away.

"Look," Sora grabs Roxas' shoulder and turns him around, they cease their walking once more. "you owe me for paying for your, 'stuff'."

"I don't have any money obviously."

"I don't want money." Sora suddenly says, and within the twenty seconds they've met, Roxas looked surprised. "I want knowledge."

"What?"

"Look, where I come from, fighting is, proper. Simple jabs and blocks, it feels more like learning a dance. I want to know how to really fight."

Roxas ponders on this thought. He shrugs his burlap sack across his torso. Who is this guy? He buys him all this stuff and suddenly wants to learn how to fight?

"You said you've taken down guys twice, twenty times your size. I want to learn how to do that. I'm willing." Sora adds on.

"It won't be easy. It takes time." Roxas informs.

"The kingdom wasn't built in a day." Sora retorts.

Sighing, Roxas looks to Sora. It surprised him how similar their eyes matched.

"You're a freak, you know that?" Roxas snaps.

Sora gives him a dirty look.

"Alright." Roxas answers. "Deal. If it'll get you off my back."

Shaking hands the boys exchange a smile. Suddenly Sora's head perks up. "What's that smell?" he inhales deeply.

Roxas sniffs the air. "It smells like-"

"Chocolate." They say in unison.

"Come on," Roxas says. "I know where it is."

Roxas' made the journey to the baker, Oliver's tent together more times than he can count, and there are never any guards on the western side of Lower Market this late in the day. Their eyes scrape over the canvas tents anchored to the ground with iron pegs. Sliding past a wagon, crowds begin to sluggishly move along the streets, conversations muted. Two left turns later, they're at the western edge of the market. They sidestep a woman wrestling a plucked turkey into the woven basket strapped to her back, and approach Oliver's stall.

The yeasty aroma of braided raisin loaves pierced by the sharp sweetness of orange buns wraps around the boys, and their stomachs growl like ravenous dogs. Oliver stands alone amid wooden tables draped in crumb-coated white cotton and covered with trays holding the last of his baked goods.

"Oliver!" Roxas calls.

Oliver looks up, smiles, and plucks a sticky bun from the stash he always keeps for the children who visit. He knows they're one of Roxas' favorite. "Almost thought you'd forgotten I made your favorite."

Roxas smiles. He snatches the sticky bun Oliver tosses in his direction. He tears off a chunk of bread, popping it in his mouth. The warm gooey sweetness permeating his tongue.

"And who's this?" Oliver asks as he pats away the flour coating his hands.

"Eh, this is just an acquaintance." Roxas says as he leans against the table. Sora couldn't help but looks to him with slight offense. He would've at least thought his stubbornness and persistence would've earned him the title 'friend' now. "He helped pay for my things so I'm showing him around."

"Nice to meet you, sir." Sora says as he exchanges a handshake with the baker.

"Likewise. So let me guess, Jesse was about to get into another scuffle?" Oliver teases as he goes back to kneading the dough.

Roxas rolls his eyes as Sora laughs. "Really lucky guess." Sora suddenly turns to Roxas. "I don't think you ever told me your name. Jesse, huh?"

Roxas stares to Oliver with an annoyed look. Oliver only kept kneading with a smug look on his face. "I thought you were on my side." He mumbles.

"Well, I just thought it would be appropriate for him to know who he's looking for when he comes back." Oliver says.

"If he comes back." Roxas retaliates, not even staring at Sora.

"Uh, 'he' has a name." Sora interjects, pointing to himself.

"Yeah," Roxas finishes the bun, sucking his fingers and wiping them on his cloak. "I just don't care what it is."

"Now Jesse." Oliver chimes in. "Is that anyway to talk to the prince?"

The sweetness of the sticky bun turns to sawdust in Roxas' mouth. Prince? Prince Sora? That's who saved him?

"Prince? Prince Sora?" Roxas stutters.

Sora shrugs, and his hood slips a bit. Roxas catches a glimpse of his spiky brown hair.

A rush of emotions floods his sense, but the one feeling snaking its way into his heart is the reminder of his father's long-time vengeance on the king. And here was the king's son, right in front of him.

Roxas slides his hand to braise over the sheath of his knife.

But if he's here, then that means the guards have joined him. But Roxas could take them down. Because he can think on his feet.

Roxas can see the plan form in front of him as Oliver hands Sora a slice of lemon cake.

Now that he's agreed to teach Sora how to fight, they'll be spending more time together. If he can gain enough of Sora's trust, he might possibly invite him to the castle. His birthday is in a matter of weeks. No doubt a celebration is upon them. Roxas retracts his hand from his knife and steps closer.

He changes his posture. He widens his eyes and does his best to look surprised. "I, I'm sorry. Your majesty." He nearly chokes on the word majesty. And he had to force himself to slightly bow as is proper.

"Please," Sora waves off. "Call me Sora."

Sora walks up to lean next to Roxas, chewing on the slice of lemon cake. "So, aren't you supposed to be, inside the castle?" Roxas asks.

Sora swallows the sweet before speaking. "Well, I decided to take a visit to the marketplace and see the villagers. I remember I used to do it when I was younger, but we stopped when I got older. And it's changed a lot."

"Huh, I'll give you points for not using 'commoners'." Roxas said.

Sora issues a look of disgust. "Ugh, I hate that word. I mean it's so . . . uh, what's the word . . ."

"Degrading?" Roxas finishes.

"Exactly."

"Tell me about it."

Oliver hands Roxas a slice. He takes the piece, thankful to cease the growling in his stomach.

"You like lemon cake too?" Sora gestures to the slice topped with whipped cream.

"Yeah, it's one of my favorites."

"Oh, cheers." Sora jokes as he holds up his slice.

Roxas rolls his eyes, but lifts his slice in a toast. They bop pieces and take a bite. Oliver watches them with observant eyes.

"I take it your smiles are hard to come by?" Sora jokes.

Roxas rolls his eyes.

"So how did you manage to sneak past your guards?" Roxas asks. He boosts himself up onto the table, crossing his legs.

"Uh, well actually, I came with the head of our guards, but I ditched him. Accidentally." Sora says as he wipes his hands. "No doubt he'll either panic and call the rest of the guards or come and look for me himself in every nook and cranny in the marketplace. He has the castle's emblem on his back, so I had to ditch him in order to not get noticed."

Sora digs through his satchel bag, looking for his wallet. Suddenly he hears Oliver's voice. "Not today, son." He says.

He looks to him in confusion. "How else can I pay for the bun?"

"You're going to be turning seventeen soon. The bun is a gift. Same for you Jesse."

Roxas looks to him in surprise as he hops off the table. "You sure Oliver?"

"Please, I insist."

Sora and Roxas looks to each other, exchanging a look of surprise.

"Thank you." Sora says.

Continuing on, Roxas remains two steps behind Sora as he wanders the marketplace. A look of excitement on his face as he checks out each stall. The boys stay close to one another as they pass guards patrolling the village. They both tuck their heads down and pull on their hoods making sure not to be noticed.

They come across a woman singing a beautiful lullaby. She wears a long dress under her cloak. Long curling tendrils of ebony hair spill forth from her hood. Her hands remain folded neatly in front of her, the woman sang with a wispy and ethereal voice, one infused with control, less like an angel's and more like that of a ghost, heartrending and full of mystery.

At her feet was a can for change.

Sora digs through his satchel and pulls forth three gold coins. Roxas' eyes widen in surprise as he approaches and drops the coins into the can. The woman continues to sing, but spares Sora a thankful smile. Sora smiles back and take a few steps back to give her space.

"Do you know her?" He asks Roxas.

"Uh, I think she works at a dress parlor." He answers.

At the end of the song, the crowd claps and she takes a timid bow.

Sora and Roxas were about to turn away when Sora's eye caught three men, dressed in clothes that looked as if they hadn't been washed in a week approach her. Sora snatches Roxas wrist with a harsh grip.

"What?"

Sora keeps his gaze ahead and Roxas follows to the men. Roxas' lip curls in disgust, his hand disappearing underneath his cloak. From the way they walk, they're drunkards, thinking they can easily access what the woman is so falsely offering. They crowd around her, and she burrows into herself as they boys here disgusting things whispered to her.

"We need to help her." Sora says, but Roxas stops him.

"You haven't even learned on thing and now you're suddenly ready to take them on?" Roxas questions.

"She needs our help." Sora hisses, wrenching his arm loose, ignoring Roxas as he hisses his name.

"Come on, just one walk around the Square. A lovely lady like you shouldn't be walking around here alone." the man with a snaggletooth smile speaks.

"No. Now leave me alone." she demands.

But the man only smiles and slides his hand down her back.

"Hey!" Sora snaps. Their attention draws to her, and Roxas facepalms himself as he watches Sora's approach. He reaches the woman and in one swipe of his arm pushes her behind him "Leave her alone."

"Oh?" the man's stagger is pathetic. He might be able to throw a good punch to start things, but in a group, that's a challenge. He hiccups as he speaks the next sentence. "Who are you?"

Roxas goes rigid, but Sora maintains his composure. "My name is of no importance. And you probably won't remember anyway, given you're too drunk to register anything."

"Did you just insult me?" he hiccups.

"My point exactly. Now look, I don't want any trouble. So why you just move along and we can all go home -"

The man raises his hand and backhands Sora, sending him sprawling. Another shaggy-haired man presses his boot on Sora's back, pinning him to the grit. The woman screeches as the man grabs her wrist.

Roxas reaches in and snatches his knife. He heads towards the men, and grabbing the arm that holds the woman, Roxas exchanges a quick 'Hey', then sucker punching him right in the face. His grip on the woman releases immediately. By now a crowd has gathered around them, watching as the battles takes place.

I'll give you a show, Roxas thinks.

Roxas spins down and kicks the man's legs out from underneath him. Before the man's head even hits the ground, the hilt of Roxas' knife slams into the crown. He crashes to the floor, nearly unconscious.

The man pining Sora now rushes Roxas, the woman helping Sora up. Roxas rolls on the balls of his feet, and waits until the last second, then drops to the ground and rams him with his shoulder. The man's forward momentum carries him over the top of Roxas and he lands face-first crashing into a table that collapses underneath his weight. He's strong and quick, but he doesn't know how to anticipate the unexpected.

"Jesse!" Sora screams.

Roxas whirls around and he arches back as a third man's sword whizzes over his head, plunging deep into the chest of the one pushing to his feet. Roxas hood flaps off, but he catches his hat as he felt it teeter. The man makes a wet gurgling noise in the back of his throat and reaches one hand up to grasp the blade embedded in his chest. Blood pools beneath his palm and slides along the silver in a single, sinuous streak as he slowly crumples to the floor.

Sora can't remember how to breathe.

Without waiting, Roxas knocks aside the man's blade, out of his hands, and spins burying the blade of his knife between the man's shoulder blades. Prying it lose a second later, he comes back around, grabbing the hilt of the sword and yanking it free.

He spins the sword above his head before switching both weapons into different hands. The knife behind the man's head, ready to slice it, and the sword pointing until the tip digs into the soft skin beneath his chin.

Sora gags, bile rising at the back of his throat as he watches the blade drip along the silver of the blade, yet Roxas seemed immune. The cold stark glare of his eyes could cut as much as convince.

The man trembles, his hands shaking and palms sweaty. Roxas has the crowd suspended in a moment of intense anticipation as he keeps both weapons steady.

"Please." The man breathes the word, but even that slight movement scrape his skin across Roxas' blade. The tip digs into his chin, and tears sting his eyes. A hot trickle of blood slowly snakes its way down the man's neck.

Roxas sighs and lowers the sword. He switches his grip on the hilt, and thrusts it into the ground, barely missing the man's toe. He's shocked, and looks to Roxas.

"Get. Out." He hisses.

The man, along with some other member, gather the man who got stabbed and carry him down the street while the man who crashed into the table struggles to push himself to his feet.

Roxas sheaths his knife, pulls his hood over his head and walks over to Sora and the woman. By now, a small red mark with faint finger outlines were forming on his cheek.

"Good luck explaining that to your mom." Roxas points out.

The woman breaks away from Sora's hands with a gentle pat and looks to Roxas.

"Thank you." She speaks softly.

"Are you okay?" Roxas asks.

"I'll be fine. Thank you, again." She says, struggling to smile. Clearly she'd been as affected as Sora, who appeared whiter than before.

Sora hands her the can and she shyly smiles. She walks off a little shaken as her mother comes out after the commotion. Looking back at Sora and Roxas, they couldn't tell if she as mad or grateful.

Sora looks back to the pool of blood left by the man Roxas, stabbed. It was weird. It was so much easier to imagine killing a man, but seeing it in real life was different. Sora looks to Roxas who's' still making sure the woman's made it back safely.

Roxas catches him staring, but Sora doesn't look away.

"What?" Roxas asks.

"How did you do that?" Sora blurts.

"Do what?"

"Fight like that, with the blood and the men, how are you not, breaking out?!" Sora babbles on.

Roxas sighs and shrugs. "I've been fighting my whole life, when it comes to taking a life, you just grow numb to it." He admits.

And it was close to the truth as he could tell. He had been killing his life, and he has grown used to it.

"You re-thinking this whole thing?" Roxas asks as Sora drifts off into a self-induced trance.

"No," Sora answers and Roxas looks to him eyebrows raised in surprise. "I still want to learn."

Before Roxas could answer, Sora's name was called. "Sora!"

Looking back, Leon was approaching in a jog, a worried expression on his face.

"There you are. I've been looking all over for you!" he rams on. "What happened?! Where did you get that?" he motions toward Sora's slap mark.

"Long story. I'll tell you on the way back." Sora said.

"And who's this?" Leon says to Roxas.

"Depends on who you're asking." Roxas snaps.

Leon's face contorts to irritation. He had a huge pet peeve about respect when it comes to people. And with already half his day with Roxas, Sora knew he loved to irritate and disobey authority.

Sora steps in front of Leon to halt his walk towards Roxas. "This is Jesse. He helped me in the fight. Or more like he took over."

"I'd offer a hand but it's clear we have no intentions of getting to know one another." Roxas said with a sarcastic tone.

"Maybe because you lack respect boy."

"You'll get my respect when you earn it." Roxas bites back.

"Okay!" Sora defuses them. "Well I need to get back. Jesse I'll see you tomorrow."

Sora guides Leon over to the royal carriage, where they mount the steps. As the horses trot off, Sora looks behind and waves Roxas off.

Roxas felt the corners of his mouth twitch as he waves back.

Once the carriage made a left turn out of sight, Roxas turns and rushes towards the woods.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.