Kuran, Rena and Kairi were waiting for the others to arrive, spending all the time by telling small stories. Kuran had started by how he and Will have met the first time during a tournament on Olympic Coliseum.
Just then Will flew by carrying Edea and Dan, landing next to them. Kairi and Rena looked shocked To see Will in his dragon form.
"So, you guys find the stone piece?" Will asked, letting Dan and Edea down as he did so.
"Nope! Only the key towards it. First we have to go to a witch to get) a description of where it is"
"Hope it's not that pumpkin witch again, she is beyond crazy," Will said before he transformed back into a human.
Kairi shook her head. "No, she's called the Forest Witch."
"Though the Forest and the prison to visit don't have really good names" Kuran said.
"Still, we have no other option," said Rena.
"Did you get your piece?"
"Yes, we have it," answered Edea, while Dan showed the Anubis Stone piece.
"Then let's move to the forest," suggested Kuran. Hethen asked "Uhm.. who has the map?"
"I don't remember anything about a map," replied Edea.
"Pretty sure he means he has no idea where this forest is."Said Will
"Oh, that's simple, it's just in that direction," said Al, signaling the direction from Dan's eye socket.
"Thanks Al," told Kuran. "Shall we go?"
"Yeah." Will said. And they move to the forest, which was blocked off by a door. After using the key, Al just commented "Behind the Enchanted Forest lies the Sea. Romantic, innit."
"Al… I have my doubts that ANY place of this world is romantic right now" told Kuran with a deadpan
"True! And remember we are looking for the Forest Witch! Just look for old hippie chick." answered Al "Probably hugging trees or somethin."
"Thanks captain obvious"
"Let's just find her."
After of look around, having to take care of some mix of frog and dragon, they found a witch cauldron.
"You think that your amulet and work again?" Asked Edea to Will.
"Mind to tell why we need this amulet?" asked Kuran "And which amulet?"
"We need to use it for call the witch. We needed to do that with the Witch of Pumpkin Gorge." Explained Edea.
"Oh, I see it." Said Kairi.
"Then call her" suggested Kuran
Will noded before holding up his Amulet to the cauldron. And for their surprise, appeared a 'hippie witch'.
"Greetings, sir Daniel Fortesque, Will, Kuran Kura, Rena, Edea Lee and Kairi, you have summoned the Witch of the Forest." Said the Witch. "But Ah-HAH! I see you are surprised I your names. I have the power, you see. I commune with the tree spirits."
"Oh really." Babbled Dan, doubting of her as dideveryone.
"I can see auras. I can see psychic imprints. I can see the label in the back of your armor." She said, making Dan look behind his armor.
"I bet that she guessed our names fluke." Said Kairi.
"But wait, I also see a vision. You seek a mysterious lady to advise on your color therapy for the mono-visual, and teach you the meaning of leathery love."
"Eh? Whoa, time out! Time out!" Said Kairi, surprised. "We're only looking for the Shadow Demon Prison, only that!"
"Me for my part didn't understand what you were trying to pull." told Kuran with a shrug "Where is the Prison please? So we can go in, slay a few Shadow Demons, get the Anubis Stone and wonder where to go next"
"Oh OK, you're looking for the prison of the Shadow Demon. I knew It! I see all! But the prison is hidden by an enchantment, dear friends!"
"And where is it exactly?" Will asked.
"And how we find it if is hidden by a enchantment?" Asked Rena to Will.
"Let me guess: We have to collect something from this Forest… and I go further and guess: Fairies?"
"Fairies? Really?" Asked Rena.
"I just go for the obvious"Kuran replied
"How is fighting Fairies obvious?"
"Well, if you want me to dispel the enchantment, first you must do something for me." Said the Witch, but then stared Kairi for a moment. "Hold on child. I sense some mysterious power on you, and is similar to a one that I saw time ago. Tell me, little one, who are your parents?"
"The truth… neither I remember them correctly." Said Kairi, sad.
"Why you're interested on that?" Asked Rena.
"Oh, nothing. Is that I feel a similar power sealed inside the prison of the Shadow Demon." Replied the Witch. "And if I'm right in my doubts, maybe can be a wrong idea put you in this errand." Kairi was perplexed of what the Witch was saying. "Now GO. Henceforth you will find the Prison of the Shadow Demons revealed to you." She said and disappeared.
Soon some spiked branches were moved aside, revealing a way deeper in the forest.
"This was thestrangest conversation I've ever had with a witch." Said Kairi, scratching her head.
"So much for my ability to guess things" told Kuran with a shrug. "Let's go to the prison"
Will nodded in agreement as they all went. As they reach a door and Kuran pulled out the Shadow Demon Claw and used it. The door opens up, opening the access to a tunnel that takes them to what they were looking: The piece of the Anubis Stone. The problem is that was in a pedestal covered in fire in the centre of what seemed a puzzle that works with the water around the structure.
"I bet here are some levels or buttons that makes the puzzle move… or we let Will get the stone. As immortal he can just grab the stone out of the fire."
"I honestly don't mind either way." Will added.
"I don't know if it will work." Said Kairi. "I have my doubts about that fire barrier."
"Want to find out anyway?" He asked.
"Let's try it," suggest Kuran "If it works, we save time, if it doesn't work, we've lost nothing."
"I have the feeling that whatever happens, it will end in disaster." Murmured Edea.
"You know" began Kuran, "I bet that whatever we do, we have the Shadow Demons to deal with."
Will placed his hands on the flame engulfed stone and managed to pull it out, leaving his arm burnt down to the bone.
"Well, I guess that saves us some trouble."
Suddenly the platform began to shake, and seeing it come, Edea put her hands on her head closing her eyes. The platform exploded, sending everyone flying against the walls, and from a magic hole began to appear black creatures that after of get out there, rushed quickly, breaking a wall of the cave to the outside.
"I guess this is what we get for cheating." Will joked.
"Something tells me that his piece WAS the key that kept them sealed." Said Kairi, rubbing her head.
"We should think more how to deal with them now" guessed Kuran "And (to) answer this question: What is our next step? Aside from slaying every Demon we can find."
Dan shook his skull and looked the magic hole, and suddenly got worried, 'glupping'.
"Don't tell me that there is something MORE inside it." Said Rena.
From the magic hole began to appear a black smoke, and soon from it appeared a reddish-blue demon with large wings and steel plates in arms, thighs and head. The creature yawned sinisterly… but then had a crack on his neck and yelp in pain.
"Lying 100 years down theregives you you arthritis, you know?" Said the mysterious demon, trying toreset his bones.
Kuran looked to Will and said "Reminds me somehow on Genie… at least the speech just now…."
"Who knows….But what exactly are you doing here? Aside from the possibly obvious trying to stop us?" Will asked the creature.
"Stop you? What made you think that I'm with the Shadow Demons exactly?" It asked.
"The obvious fact that you were locked up with them?" asked Kuran, pointing to the platform from where he and the Shadow demons showed up.
"I just assumed you were associated with the Fallen." Will admitted.
"I admit that I was treated as them when they captured me, but it was good be there without that Eidolon hunters following me."
The girls looked between them and Kairi asked. "You're… an Eidolon?"
"So you can be summoned?" asked Kuran "Could be an odd choice for Kairi… after all she is a princess of heart… and somebody with pure light summoning a dark being?"
"I'm not too surprised…. you always were a sucker for strong summoners." Will mused at the creature.
"But I can't exactly summon them." Corrected Kairi. "I can only unleash their power on myself. I can't summon a Chocobo or Shiva. If I could be able to do that, our trip in the Asylum would been easier."
"That's the difference between you and the Kairi I know" told Kuran "And what I mean… Will got his fair trouble from the other version of you and she used a Chocobo."
"Whatever, but I don't care if she is a princess of heart. If she can use my power, she can use it." Said the demon.
"Fair deal I would say."
"But knowing the Eidolons, I bet surely that there is a BUT." Said Al.
"Like fighting him? Doing a big favor? Or what?" asked Kuran
"The fighting, of course."Replied the Eidolon
"Any rules or simple survival"Asked Will
"The usual one, but with a exception. The girl must fight YES or YES."
"What, you mean like by herself?" Will wondered.
"You want her to use my power? So she must fight too."
"Well yeah I guess that's true."
"Should we wait outside or can we watch?" asked Kuran.
"I guess so." He shrugged. "Guess what? I asked for one of two things and guess so isn't answering it"
Suddenly the two exits got blocked. "Sorry, but nobody will get outside of here until the fight is over."
"Don't have to be an ass about it." Will huffed.
"Good luck Kairi" told Kuran.
She sighed and looked the Eidolon. "And which is your name?"
"Heh, I'm Diabolos, the Dark Messenger." Answered the Eidolon, Diabolos.
Dan scratched his skull for a moment and then rushed at Kairi's side, while Rena got at her side too.
"Move you two too!" Said Edea, pushing Will and Kuran to the battle, soon she running with the rest.
"Okay, when the more, the better." Said Diabolos, taking flight, flying at only a half a metre from the ground, prepared for the battle.
"Do you have any confidence to Kairi?" wondered Kuran as he was dragged into the fight, despite the stated rules.
"I only said that she should fight, but I don't said nothing about the others." Said Diabolos.
"We fought anEidolon before, and trust me, they're not pushovers." Said Edea.
"You know what? Screw this I'm fighting too." Will smirk before summoning his Keyblade.
"...For like the 20th time.."
"And the other 19 times?"
"Oh they weren't big or anything like that, it was just one of thoses 'test your strength' kind of things."
"Less talk and more fight!" Said Diabolos, sending dark energy balls against Kuran and Will for cut their conversation.
Will blasted the balls of darkness with a Mega Flare.
Kairi used that moment for strike Diabolos with her keyblade at his chest.
"This happens to me fordistracting myself with a dark user amateur and a immortal." Said Diabolos rubbing his chest where was hit and backslap Kairi away of him.
She landed on her feet, while Rena shooted some mana arrows at the dark Eidolon, but he formed a shadow claw and tried to slash them with it. Luckily Edea and Dan blocked the claw attack in time.
"Amateur?" asked Kuran and slashed the wings from behind, but his weapon didn't affect it, and was slapped away by the very own wing.
Will transformed and flew at the Eidolon, biting its neck. While Kuran slashed him with the keyblade.
Kairi began to attack him with her keyblade at the same time as them, but he moved into a shadowed area, and disappeared, making her attacks hit air.
"He can disappear inside shadows?" Asked Rena, looking around.
"Behind you!" Will shouted.
Kuran jumped and pushed Rena out of the way, only to get the full impact of the attack. Kuran winced but blinks confused "Uhm… was it supposed to hurt?"
"What? I thought that only worked with his own dark weapons." Will stated.
"I agree" told Kuran "Heck I know everything else with darkness did hurt me until now, but now I just nosold an eidolon attack?"
"Maybe your darkness blocks my dark attacks." Supposed Diabolos, but then kicked him away. "That only leaves physical contact."
Kuran grunted and threw his keyblade, hitting the chest, but he only grunted and sent a dark ball against Edea, who blocked it, sending it away.
Rena then began to shoot mana arrows against the Eidolon, trying to weaken him, while Kairi launched some Fira and Blizzara against him.
Will managed to get Diabolos in a headlock before grabbing his Keyblade with his tail and forced it into his back.
He grunted by that hit and released a dark ball just on Will's face forcing him to release him. And Kuran teamed up with Edea and sliced the wings, but they were really hard for be cutted, but was enough for get his attention, giving Kairi time for attack him with a Thundara.
And while the shock made him unable to react for a moment, Kuran dived in and trusted his Keyblade into the stomach, wanting to give Kairi more time for either a stronger attack or if possible for a strike from her. Kairi used that moment for start to strike Diabolos with her keyblade.
"Again" told Kuran, striking the Eidolon a few more times with his Keyblade before hitting with his double bladed spear.
He grunted by the multiple hits but then unleashed a dark wave that pushed them away, darkening the room completely.
"Great, now can't see as a bat!" Exclaimed Al from Dan's skull.
"Don't tell me." Said Rena.
"Kairi! To your right!" told Kuran "And before anybody asks: I cannot see in the dark!"
Kairi striked to her right, hitting something hard, but how she was unable to see, she doesn't know if was Diabolos or anything else.
Will blasted a series of Mega Flares, lighting up the room a bit in the process. And they saw that shehit Diabolos and the others jumped to hit him as well.
Diabolos moved to a side, avoiding their attacks and began to shoot dark balls against them.
Will knocked away the balls of darkness before managing to slash him with his blades. Kuran made a darkness hookshot and shoot it at the enemy, pulling them on the ground.
Kairi got that moment for start to strike him with her keyblade all the hits she could made to him.
Will made sure that he would not escape by casting Bind, wrapping his wings in chains of Light and Darkness.
And Kuran slammed his Keyblade into the wings to make them useless, but they resisted the hit and grabbed Kuran and threw him to Will, hitting both the wall.
"I've had enough of both of you." He said, before of wrap them in dark balls-like prisons. "Now let's see how you deal with me WITHOUT them." He said, disappearing into the shadows, getting free of the Bind effect.
Rena began to look around, trying to figure where is he, either recurring to her instinct for detect him, while Edea and Dan stayed near of her for defend her back.
"Girls, I have a idea that will illuminate the room." Kairi said and began to concentrate.
Kuran was hitting his cage and tried to figure out how to get out since he isn't a fan of restricted movements.
At that time there was a flash where was Kairi. Now was no longer wearing her normal clothes, but a kind of upper red plate that foreshadowed her figure, not forgetting her defense, and a long red skirt with embellishments as if they had been made of red scales, and a pair of red gauntlets which gave off flames, also wearing a diadem on the head like horns remember to the Eidolon Ifrit. After that change, used the power of the Ifrit form for illuminate all the room, showing Diabolos.
"Good idea." Said Rena, now aiming to Diabolos.
"She can do THAT?!" Asked Al, Will and Diabolos surprised.
"You weren't here when she did it the first time" told Kuran while trying to cut open with a saw.
With the light made with Kairi's powers, Rena began to attack him with her mana arrows, at the same time that Edea and Dan attacked him from behind, and Kairi began to throw Fira and Firaga Spells against him.
The dark Eidolon was able to escape from their attacks and kept attacking them with his Shadow Claws and Dark Balls, but they were able to avoid his attacks.
Getting tired of the battle, Kairi charged a large fireball on her keyblade, but instead of throw it, she jumped to Diabolos and striked at the ground just in front of it, causing a large explosion similar to a volcano explosion that engulfed Diabolos and sent him flying against a wall, hitting hard.
Consequently, the balls that held Kuran and Will disappeared, while Diabolos was watching the stars of his head.
"Whoa that was awesome." Will said.
"Thanks." Said Kairi.
"So… what happens now?" asked Kuran "Have we use smell salt now?"
"Truly, I think I over exceeded a little." Said Kairi. "Neither I know what and how I did it."
"Well… it's not like we don't have all time of the world but I think we should get a bucket of water and splash it on him" told Kuran "or use a water spell if anyone knows one"
"On it." Will said before rummaging through his bag pulling out a fire house. one can only wonder how it could fit in a small bag.
The girls looked wide eyed what they were looking, and Dan was actually believing that was mad.
Kuran looked deadpanned "Say… isn't this an overkill? Or are you trying the no-kill-like-overkill here?"
"Unfortunately this is the only source of water I have on me at the moment." Will said before spraying the Eidolon.
Soon Diabolos awakened by the splash of water.
"Morning" told Kuran "So… you accept defeat or does we have to add more pressure?"
"And receive another Fury Volcano?" Asked Diabolos. "No, thanks."
"Fury Volcano?" Asked Kairi.
"The attack you used… don't tell me that you used it without thinking." He asked and Kairi just shrugged.
"Leave me guess… is by the way the Final attack of her Eidolon forms?" Asked Edea.
"Yeah, that is. Usually, when anybody has this power, can unleash a powerful attack as that, but requires a lot of magic."
"Now you say it, I'm a little tired." Said Kairi, panting a little.
"Which means you go to hold back in fights, until you are back in shape" told Kuran and turned to Diabolos "Any theory how exactly my darkness could block yours? Because normally I am only protected against my own darkness"
"Well, that's a good question. I never had met somebody with so much darkness. Usually the people in your positions disappears after some days, weeks luckily."
"I run around like that for years" admitted the darkness user.
"Then you're really lucky… in some sense."
"Are we done here? Cause we need to move on." Will added.
"Goodpoint" told Kuran "We really should leave now."
"But before that…" Diabolos said and formed a black ball of light, and sent it to Kairi that went into her chest. "It was part of the treat."
Kairi somehow got recovered immediately after that.
"Well, see ya." He said and disappeared in black smoke.
"So does this mean you can use his power now?" Will asked.
"You mean a princess of heart using darkness? that is a sight worth to seeing"
"I would like to see that too, but we have things to do." Said Rena.
"Let's get going before anyone else decides to show up."
And they went out, and outside the cave found that the forest was now filled with Shadow Demons, and a large number of Fallen, surely attracted by the Demon Shadow's darkness.
"Want to test out your new powers?" asked Kuran towards Kairi while drawing his weapons.
"No, I think I will wait for the best moment." Said Kairi. "I believe that will have some use later."
"But first we must deal with them before continue." Said Rena, preparing her bow.
"Sounds like a plan." Will grinned. Shrudding Kuran rushed over and began to slice their opponents.
The others rushed too for fight them. Either if the Fallen were easy to deal, the Shadow Demons were another story, because they attacked like mantis, and were able to block frontal attacks.
"I really wish I could use my dark corridors" told Kuran "Then hits from the back were only a formal thing"
Then he hit from the front to force it to block while one of the others struck the back.
Blocking an attack, Will grabbed one of the shadow creatures and threw it into a small group of others.
Kairi while attacked them with her spells while Rena kept the Shadow Demons at distance with her arrows, at the same time that Edea and Dan fought the creatures and the Fallen in melee combat.
One that wanted to jump at Rena was caught by Kuran slamming into it with a shield before slamming the keyblade into the head
Will finish off the remainder with a burst of lightning.
"We should keep moving,"
"And fast… I have the feeling that at least two winged ones are somewhere around" told Kuran, shouldering his Keyblade.
"Yes, let's get outta here at soon as possible." Said Kairi.
After using an elevator, where they had to shoot down two flying monsters, they reach slowly the exit of the exist of the forest…
In the meanwhile, Zarok was on board of a flying pirate ship and looked at the castle while the captain reported "Mr. Zarok, sir, Gallowmere Castle lies yonder off the bows."
"Ah, the castle!" Said Zarok. "Ancestral home of a long line of kings, last relic of a more noble time." He continued while the captain dig his finger on his 'ear'. "I've long dreamed of this moment… Oh lord look at that PROVINCIAL decor."
"Aye, tis a pretty fortress, yours for be taking!" Agreed the captain.
"Well, the common sense says that a king needs a castle." Comments Morrigan, looking the castle.
"Actually I thought I'd start with a few modifications." Said Zarok. "Open fire, Captain, pound the walls to rubble, and smash the rubble to dust!"
"But, sir, the castle rests on a long dormant volcano - might that not be tad... risky?" Warned the captain.
"Why Captain, you might be right!"
"Ah… I see!"Exclaimed the Captain
Then both began to laugh madly, until that Zarok had his cough attack. "SILENCE!" He yelled, making the captain shut up. After that, the captain ordered to shoot the ship's cannons against the castle, destroying some parts of the castle and awakening the dormant volcano.
"Apparentlyhe knows what he wants." Murmured Morrigan.
"Could have fooled me." Null mused to himself.
"Well, you must admit that for be an evil necromancer, is original and classic at the same time."