Welcome to Kingdom Hearts: World Destiny! We are an AU Kingdom Hearts RP with no word count. World Destiny's story takes place post Dream Drop Distance, at which point we make considerable steps in our own story direction. Feel free to check out the Plot link to find out more!
All guests are welcome to drop in and say hi!
Nightfall: Chapter 2
Two years after the events of Dream Drop Distance, the Darkness became so great that it swallowed the worlds, locking them away within its merciless abyss.
Twilight Town, now covered in eternal night, stands as one of last Sanctuaries of Light. It is where players begin their journey.
Ever resourceful, the Moogles have created a safe place for refugees. They have charged the Denizens of Light with finding Castle Oblivion: it holds a key to the puzzle of the lost worlds.
But within the dark shadows of the sanctuary world a powerful dark force still looms, waiting to strike. Each survivor must choose whether to go to Castle Oblivion or stay behind to protect the world from the dragon that lurks in the shadows.
The chilling touch of cement finally woke her from a slumber; with a soft fluttering eye lashes, hazel eyes blurred before focus on a ladybug crawling before her. Looking around, the atmosphere didn't feel like her room; it was too breezy, too open, and too sunny. Also her bed wasn't cold concrete. Sitting up, Olette found herself a gazebo. It peaked up and curved into an egg-like dome. From the outside looking in, it marveled an ornament egg or a cage. The sun was a high noon as light radiated through it.
The oncoming breeze brushed her flowly white dress like a field of flowers. The brunette frowned not remembering this dress at all, but found it overall comfortable. Rising up to her feet, she walked towards the exit to find herself in the middle of a lake. Naturally, she found it completely normal and didn't over-react not seeing the usual cobblestone of Twilight Town. She knew she was dreaming. Despite being spotted in a body of water, there was stepping stones towards the mainland.
When she took her first step on the stone, she noticed she was roaming barefoot. Curiously she walked on glancing at the numerously lillypads that speckled the lake; dragonflies chased mosiquitos, while fishes flicked at the lake's surface, "Hm I don't remember thinking up this place before. Hmm it's so much easier for me to think of new worlds versus going to actual ones."
Reaching the otherside, the land rose up to a hill decorated with wild flowers with a dense forest lining a passage way on both sides. Hiking up her dress, she ascended towards the top. The hill had slopped down, and at a far vantage there was a meek humble town divided into little islands by canals. It was hard for here eyes to see the boats circulating througout the town for travel. Unfortunately to get there, she'd have to cross yet another lake.
"I wonder if I've grown obsessive with nature lately," her world wasn't littered with natural elements except the small woods that hid the old mansion and the beaches that rimmed the world. A shadow flew over head, and a bit too closely as a loud flap past her ears.
Instinctively Olettle ducked down and peaked up to see a heron fly past, but eventually during it's glide, it was stuck. In mid-air, it flew in slow motion going nowhere. Looking around her, she saw other birds and creatures slowed down and paused in place. Browns eyes darted around curiosly before spotting a dandelion on the plain. Like a child, she kicked at it, and the seeds didn't flutter away like harshly blown feathers; instead they slow drifted apart as if someone slowled down time.
All he felt was cold. The chill seized his arms and legs, cramping them up, encasing him in what felt like a block of ice. A moan passed his lips, and he stirred, moving with difficulty through a strangely thick plane of existence.
Kuja's eyes fluttered open, narrowing against the thickness of the air that pressed in on him from all sides. He didn't seem to be laying on any particular surface, either; it was as though he was floating through this nearly-tangible fog, or whatever it was. Bright sunlight peeked at him from above, filtering in through the watery fog.
Watery... He sighed - and a stream of bubbles issued from his mouth. Eyes widening, he comprehended; he was not in thick fog at all, but water. And he was breathing, which could only mean one thing: This was a dream.
With unnerving calmness despite the discomfort the icy water was offering him - no doubt reflecting the chill of Traverse Town, where he'd most likely fallen asleep (come to think of it, when had he reached unconsciousness?) - Kuja moved his arms slowly, pushing his body towards the surface. He broke through the water with little difficulty; evidently he had been lying just underneath the surface. The warm sun caressed his freezing face as he shook out his mane of silver hair, water droplets carelessly cascading away from him. His feet - bare - touched the sandy bottom of the lake; shore was close by.
Lazily, silently, Kuja walked through the lake, water dripping off of him much faster than usual, as though his body was determined to get dry. As he reached the grassy shore - casually plucking a lily pad off his shoulder - he noted that he had gone through a costume change. Elegant though they were, the clanky, steel-toed boots were conspicuously absent (though he'd noted this earlier). He wore tight pants of the most luxurious velvet, a deep shade of purple and rolled up to the knee. As the wind flitted about his person, the clean, white shirt - unbuttoned over his torso - with bell sleeves fluttered, swishing about his elegant limbs.
He chanced a glance at the water and found it perfectly reflective, clear and lovely, like his favorite mirror. Violet lipstick, lavender eyeshadow, a feather in his hair - all his usual accessories adorned his person. But his skin looked healthy, clean; it lacked the sickly tinge it'd taken on in recent times. Pale, yes, but in a pretty way.
The lightest of smiles slid across his face for the briefest moment. Simplicity was nature's charm, as it were, and in this fascinating dream, it had sought to bestow the gift upon Kuja. Today, he didn't need the loud costume; his internal beauty radiated from natural grace.
He was lovely, if he did say so himself.
However, there was but one flaw, and Kuja noted this with a tiny frown. An extraneous limb - an unwanted one - was poking out of the seat of his pants; a monkey tail, reminding him forcibly of Zidane. He often hid this part of him out of shame of being like the common Genome - but this dream exposed it, like it exposed the rest of Kuja's natural beauty. Hmm. No matter. The thing was still graceful, despite being... well... in existence. It was attached to Kuja, after all, so how could it be anything but?
Enraptured as he was with himself for the moment, he almost failed to notice the gazebo in the center of the lake - or the person emerging from it. He glanced up from the reflective surface, watching the image from far away. A figure - humanoid, clothed in flowing white, brunette and female from the looks of it - was gently hopping on what looked like stepping stones on the opposite side of the lake from Kuja. He watched her for a moment; really, what his subconscious came up with, was she supposed to be a metaphor for his femininity or -
The Princess, maybe.
The idea took hold. Taking his time, he decided to follow her, for the moment. He strode easily around the lake, examining everything with interest; the scene was all very lovely in a quaint sort of way. The sun was a bit of a nuisance, but it did dry him off with unusual quickness, and with none of the usual stiffness that happened after a dry-off. He flowed in his steps, airy and light.
As he neared her, a bird - a heron, it seemed - flew daringly close to her, before ascending yet again. And then, it seemed to hang in the air, move as slow as if someone had cast Slow on it. The girl atop the hill continued to move in normal time - well, normal for his senses, anyways - yet everything else moved in an untimely matter. Kuja paused, bemused. Interesting, though not unprecedented... This is a dream, after all.
He neared the other actor in the play he thought his mind was setting up as she not-so-elegantly kicked at a dandelion, the seeds flowing as though through the water he'd been in at the beginning of this curious occurrence - slowly and thickly. The wind caught them, bringing them in all directions - and towards Kuja, a few feet behind the girl.
He caught one in the air, delicately turning it over with his violet-painted talons of fingernails. With a gentle sigh, he let it loose - and his touch seemed to grant life into it again as it moved with a normal speed.
"Odd, perhaps," he said lightly by way of introduction, addressing the dream (or so he thought). With some disappointment he registered that she was not, in fact, his canary, but some other young brunette with too much energy. Echoing his own thoughts from earlier, he added - with the shadow of a smirk - "Odd, but not unprecedented."
Following the trailing seed, they blew over to a man; men were of-course common in Twilight Town, but she'd never seen him in particular before. It was always strange to find new faces in one's mind as if her unconscious had an abundance of creativity to craft him. He held a richness about him that she could attach to Setzer; perhaps its the aura they carried along with the fondness of purple. His hair was silver like Setzer as well with a few modifications in stylization and stray angelic white feathers.
Had she unknowingly wanted to fraternize with him? The thought was alarming, but not all too surpising since Setzer was an elegant noble gentlemen. It was difficult for many girls to resist her charms, but Olette never closely interacted with him to become a victim of it. What was her mind telling her? Was it merely projecting romantic figures that she would read about to occupy her time and sate her heart with romanticisized adventure and affection. In Twilight Town, she'd considered herself a late bloomer, who's been masked as one of the guys. From time to time she'd indulge herself to simply 'be a girl', but hardly had anyone treated her like one, a girl, a maiden, a young woman.
She found her face warming from staring and embarrasment if the inclination was true. Oh relax you're not some school girl just a scholar in the shadows.
For her own sake to mask her embarrassment, Olette concluded that it's all a metaphor in seeking companionship. Lately in Twilight Town, she was mostly on her own. Of-course, there's Hayner, Pence, Post, but in some twisted away she'd always feel emptier when their presence was gone as if their company was a mere distraction. She could go down the line how her relations with them bore limited fruitation, but that would only be rude to not verbally acknowledge her company. Also it was easy to conclude by blaming herself; ever since she knew the existence of other worlds, Olette was becoming restless by hours, days, and the arrivals of newcomers.
"I suppose," she still held unto her dress, but wondered in whether to approach him or not. He was a stranger, but this was her dream, so he would be...hospitable. If he was a reflection of Setzer, then yes, he would, "strange things can happen when asleep, but I can't say I've seen this happen before. Also I don't believe I've met you. Olette."
No one would ever dare say that Kuja is not perceptive. True, he loved to flaunt center stage... but he was also prone to quietly wait in the wings, to tarry in the interim until it was his cue (though he would take cues from no other; surely none could direct him better than himself). He watched, he waited, he listened... and then, when the moment was right...!
Veni, vidi, vici.
So, when the girl blushed - and couldn't seem to take her eyes off of him - he was not blind to the attention he was receiving. Rather, he thrived on attention, soaking it in, a flower under the sun. And especially when the attention was deserved and complimentary - for, he knew, it was his distinctly appealing appearance that had drawn out such a response from the little lady.
And he waited for her to speak, merely basking in the rays of attention and the sun (though privately wishing it might rain a little).
... Though, when she did finally emit a few words, his previously relaxed countenance changed, his eyes tightening only slightly as he detected something amiss. Yes, he was oft wrapped up in himself - but that didn't mean he could let the rest of the world float on by, even if this was a rather floaty dream. People assume that narcissists think of nothing but themselves, but then, how can they explain the clever ways said egoists achieve what they want? They are so attentive to everything else in life, for if they weren't, they would be blind and unable to find what would satisfy them. So Kuja's attuned perceptions were, indeed, picking up something that was a bit amiss.
No, there was no danger - none that he saw, anyhow (though there was much to be feared from a subconscious, and reflected on that thought with a brief moment of bitterness). But this dream lady was one he'd never seen before, and for coming from his own mind she seemed to possess an awful lot of autonomy. He couldn't recall ever meeting an Olette himself - a feminine, if bland name - though he'd certainly crossed paths with dainty 'ettes' in Treno: Babette, Annette, Alouette, Jeanette...
... and if this was his subconscious, how could she claim to never have met him? The audacity. Every figure in his dreams knew him; it was his nightmares that made everybody ignorant, as if he were nothing but a speck of dust floating by on the wind... And this was not reminiscent of a nightmare.
So there must be something else going on here entirely.
Kuja's thought processes passed by in perhaps half a second, or a little more; he gave away none of what he was thinking to this mysterious dream relic, nor did - after that split momentary lapse - any change come over his lazy expression.
"I've not met you, either," he said - charming and charismatic as ever. "But," he added, sweeping his arms out elegantly, "my name is Kuja."
With a slightly mischievous smirk disguised as a gentleman's smile, he took a step and gently reached forward to take a hand that had been playing with the edge of her white gown. His grip light on her dainty hand, he gave an eloquent bow and brought her hand to his powdered lips, bestowing on it a chaste kiss.
"It is a pleasure, Olette," he purred to the little dream, before letting her fingers slide from his.
…is different name, unusual, peculiar, and foreign. Green eyes widened at the implications, while her mind ran a mile a minute. Would she really dream up someone from a foreign world: a world hopper of the lost? Also had her literature gave inspiration of the mystery and unknown in the wrapping of a handsome stranger? Why must dreams be so cruel to dangle everything in her face? It was unreachable and unobtainable in various ways. It was just a good story for the ordinary to meet the extraordinary and the elegant, a finch in the shadows of a dainty peacock. She was a dull earthly brown, which was typical in birds; very few females can carry the bright colors and plumage like the indigo and green eyes of a peafowl.
Her thoughts distracted her enough to not notice him step forward until he blocked out the sun. It radiated hot light to rim him like a halo; it made the edges of his snow white hair even brighter and silvery. His hand was hot and pale like the hottest flame, but gentle like the cool lights of the moon. Every feature on him was soft like the air-brushed tender softness of Rococo and Romantic paintings. He could easily be the Eros to Venus ravaging the world with enough beauty and inspiration to paint for all time. The bow, the kiss, it was all too much and unnecessary for a mere finch who lightly gasped like a blushing bride.
It would be rude to snatch away, but her arms were softened in a trance to not move away as if awaiting commands from a puppeteer. Actually for that swift fleeting moment, she felt warm, stiff, yet relaxed; she didn’t feel the sense of self-control until he set her free from his radiance, a cruel thing to share and overwhelm her with. The same hand still warm from his hospitality ran up to take a braid behind her ear. While smoothing the strand back, a stray brown feather that was stuck in it drifted away.
“Likewise, it’s nice to meet you too,” subconsciously she turned a shoulder away from him, “even if it is just a dream, imagery wrapped in who knows what meanings and cryptic metaphors. Do you remember how you got here? Funny thing, it can be hard to recall this once waking up let alone to try to understand it.”
As she took steps from him to peer at the lake a peculiar shadow wrapped around her, an intricate iron design, but there wasn’t anything solid to project it as it cascaded and stalked her. The intricate curls were in the shape of an egg, which was mainly noticeable against the grass alongside her shadow. An invisible and untouchable cage surrounded her forged by her own mind and limitations.
She was babbling; something had caught her off guard.
Well. Who had just invaded her space and dared make her feel like a princess for all of one shining moment? It was nice to know that even in dreams he could wrap anyone around his little finger... one just had to know the quickest way to their heart, which was often making them feel special and radiant.
Plain as she was, the girl - Olette - looked radiant for a moment as she spoke, words tumbling from her lips like a waterfall. He listened with the air of benign patience, but inside the cogs were turning. She seemed to have caught onto the strange lucidity of the dream and its peculiar inhabitants - which, being the dream figure she was, shouldn't have a clue that she was the dream... or was she in one?
Even if it was just a dream, she had said. Somehow, incredibly, this so-called figure of his imagination had gained knowledge, insight, and autonomy - and this only proved his theory that had been slowly starting to form ever since he realized that she was not his little canary.
Amazingly, impossibly, they were two people - perhaps thousands of kilometres apart - that were dreaming the same dream.
He did not let on his own thoughts; if she was smart, she'd catch on as well, for what two dream characters both acknowledged they were dreaming? Well, true, he had not have voiced this opinion yet... And a game formed in his mind, a short little scene in which he would watch and wait and see how long it took for her to catch on, for he was absolutely certain that his theory was correct.
He did not respond to her open-ended sentence, watching as the shadows of symbolism fell into a cage-like shape across her body. Interesting, though not necessarily eloquent; the message behind a cage is always very clear: the feeling of being trapped.
Naturally, he found himself caring very little about what trapped her, but rather paid attention to the way she held herself within the cage, and the design of the shadow itself - as well as the design of the world. He wondered if it, too, would conform to his internal feelings, and an abruptly cold look swept across his face... wouldn't that just be lovely, his feelings laid bare for a dream-stranger...
"Instead of awakening," Kuja mused aloud, "why not solve the riddles in slumber? The magic ends once the show is over, after all; nobody wants to see the fall of the final velvet curtain."
Eloquent and enigmatic as usual, he left the thought hanging, leaving her to make of that what she would. No sooner had the words left his mouth than a distant rumble of thunder could be heard in the sky. The warm, sunny day faltered a bit as, off by the horizon, thick gray clouds roiled and billowed.
Failing to be amused by this not altogether unexpected turn of events, Kuja arched a single, delicate brow. Well. Here was the rain he'd been in want of; as he'd predicted, the dream was - unfortunately - echoing his subconscious.
Two mentalities intertwined in a dream of reality...
There was no telling what else could be in store for them.
As he spoke, the teen scooped down and rose up cupping a dainty warm sunset toned butterfly in her hands. The sunlight made it iridescent and even reflective forcing her to closer her eyes when the flecks of light were too bright. Holding her hands out she let the thing crawl along her arm before looking back at Kuja with his present question, “As entertaining that would be, wouldn’t it be as equally cruel? You can have over four dreams in one night; all of them happen in a rapid succession that it’s hard to tell where one stopped and the other ends.
“Everything would end up being an unreachable,” the butterfly inched towards the tip of her finger before leaving, while she stretched to compete with its distance to catch it again,” right at the tip of your tongue, at the brink of your mind an incomplete puzzle while all the pieces are just scattered at the whims and endless creativity of your unconscious.”
She watched it fluttered away, but her attention was drawn away by the incoming darkness and coolness in the atmosphere. A chilling breeze surprised her at the contrast with a short squeal, while it ruffled her dress, “in a fraction of the night, you can have all the answers nearly gone in oblivion in the morning.”
This is…odd, she can’t remember when it looked like this is Twilight Town. Rain would come but the sunlight is so bright that it’d look like the sun was shedding tears. The water would reflect its warm hues and evidentially drench and drown the world in orange. It was the most beautiful and relaxing sight Olette grew up with; it was the most fabulous in the woods short of the Old Mansion. Green moss would speckle the trees rimmed in orange slivers of light. The leaves would’ve blockaded the sun leaving little dots to peak through like lights reflecting off of broken glass. It was her favorite in that specific scenario until the white lithe dusks interrupt the peace.
This event was an alien and anomaly; she didn’t feel or think this; naturally her head turned with sharpness to watch Kuja, who didn’t make a particular surprised reaction. He was still…still as before. Was he expecting this to not be surprised you, “You did this…”
The question came out more like a statement, but before she heard his answer or reply, the rain interrupted with a soft pitter patter on the grass and against the leaves of the trees behind them. Droplets dotted on her shoulders, while rain gathered in her hair.
I hope this isn’t a heavy storm…
A shiver trailed up her spine at the horror of being at the whims of another’s unconscious thoughts. Wait? How could he even do this? This was her dream, but apparently it wasn’t at the sudden change. It was their dream; the territory was shared amongst two people, but she never saw this man ever. What in the worlds was this? Was her mind being so crafty to fabricate another so intricately to have a mind of its own dictated by her unknown thoughts, or was this some weird anomaly or occurrence that can’t be explained? The only answer she had heard was this far-fetched idea of astral projection.
Being an avid reader, she had dabbled in enough subject, but one she couldn’t get too into was the concept surrounding was having so much spiritual freeness to leave your body and roam unknowingly roam the world as a mere projection. The overall adventure would be so odd that one would just confuse it for a dream. It was just too odd to digest, since it was never solidly proven outside of theories or one’s one-sided experience which just could’ve been a series of elaborate and whimsical dreams in one night.
Still her mind couldn’t compute what was going on to make crystal clear sense; naturally she could only feel anxiety towards it. How can people from different world cross paths like these? Olette has been staring and spaced out for so long her eyes began to sting and water.
“Wh-what d-d-d-does," she shivered again and brushed the water out of her hair to secure herself, "this even means?”
Unknowing a clear unseen dome stretched over her forcing the rain to bend away as it was hitting glass.
If Kuja was not the king of masquerades, a delicate sneer would be adorning his currently serene countenance. As the girl crouched to the ground and let a honeyed butterfly crawl up her arm, he looked on with utter distaste - though none of that was conveyed in his expression. Oh please. She must think herself so romantic, so lovely, so symbolic with the wings of metaphors touching her skin. He'd always liked birds, but insects were not his thing, no matter the colors. Butterflies were nice to look at... but that was all.
Irritation bubbled under his skin; the longer he listened to her, the more he was convinced that she was a sheltered idiot; the shadow cage from moments before did nothing to help her case. She went on and on about dreams, completely drowning in metaphors and symbolisms until Kuja was certain she was just saying whatever came to her head. It sounded like a garbled, inarticulate mess to his refined ears. Did she purposely carry a dictionary around in her head? Did she care so much about others' opinions that she wanted to be viewed as intelligent and mature? He saw right through that - not that there was much to see through.
Why, why would the universe intertwine his conscious with a lowly, self-righteous, proud peasant? She knew nothing of dreams, despite being in one... nothing at all.
Youth understands little.
He spoke naught during her anecdote, just observing her as if she were a mildly engaging actress. He continued to watch - calm and impassive as you please - as the storm clouds rolled over to them, bringing with a storm of mediocre proportions (he gathered that there would probably only be a little bit of lightning). Yet her face changed into a mask of fear as she watched, and he arched an eyebrow - afraid of a little rain, was she?
... And then she dared to turn on him and accuse him, her and her foul mouth and foolish words, to recriminate him for something of which she had absolutely no basis in fact? What a darling halfwit. The simplest of conclusions must have been drawn, of course; a scary thing is happening, must be the scary person's fault!"You did this..." she said... Tch. Of course he didn't do it. He merely thought about rain, and it happened. It was the universe, not him.
Completely convinced of his companion's idiocy, Kuja turned his eyes skyward and watched with apathy as rain drizzled onto a protective shield of some kind. Lovely. It was raining and he wouldn't even be able to feel its heavenly glow? He thought for a moment of giving the peasant girl a taste of her own medicine - This is your fault! - but he, being an intelligent man, considered himself above such crude behaviors and knew - unlike her - that it was simply the fault of emotions and thus, no one in particular was to blame. Anyone with half a mind could draw that conclusion strolling down the street, and yet here was Kuja... trapped with a little girl who knew a lot of big words and thus thought herself tall.
He gave a delicate sigh, tossing his pretty hair behind him, enjoying the way it shimmered like the aforementioned rain. Deciding to verbally ignore her theory that the rain was his fault - oh, the nerve - he, instead, spoke a single sentence on the topic of dreams.
"Or you can choose to keep dreaming."
It was hard to tell what dreams Kuja was talking about now - but he preferred it that way: hard to tell. He knew what he meant, and if she wasn't clever enough to figure it out - and instead talk up a storm of information, chock full of things that everybody present already knew - well, that wouldn't come as a surprise.
At any rate, this was a dream he wouldn't mind forgetting; he was growing bored, and irritation at the girl's unknowing slander still bubbled slightly under his skin, despite his aloof mask...
... though his face seemed to twitch a little bit, as though he were holding in a retort he longed to spit out.
She hummed lightly thinking no one ever chose to just keep dreaming, since it merely happens, then wake up. The teen ended up looking at him incredulously with curiosity. Plus, how can she simply continue on as if this meeting didn’t happened; it would be a rather awkward dream to wander with a stranger with a mind of its own in a world dictated by the dark catacombs within them. Either he was suggesting something impossible yet simplistic or being cryptic. Either way was getting her nowhere. Then again what’s the use not speaking one’s mind, but now seeing how they were somewhat sharing that field…with their minds…it was probably better that way. Who knows what could be blurted or occurred subconsciously; the rain was already validating that whether he openly admitted it or not.
The brunette looked onwards to the town wondering how long it would take her to get there. If she was going to indulge herself in figuring this out, where else could she start than the only piece of civilization amongst the natural realm that surrounded it? From the distance, it was hard to judge what it looked like now with the cast shadow of the rainy clouds, but the silhouette looked like a town of sort. Hiking up her dress to her calves, she took a few steps. “Well,” she switched her gaze over to him, “are you going to keep dreaming, or wake up?”
It was rhetorical, since she didn’t wait for an answer merely assuming he would follow suit. He didn’t seem like the type to ignore his own words and advice. Pink toes continued to step into the freshly wet grass as the smell of rain started to take over the field.
“So,” she interrupted the silence, while trudging onwards, “where are you from, since I highly doubt its Twilight Town.”
Twilight Town, her world, in the grand scheme and design of the universe was a dwarf; ever since getting a speckle of insight that there were more worlds out there, it seemed impeccably smaller than before. She couldn’t continue a day without thinking what else could be out there. She’d even be-friended some of the Lost, people who randomly emerge on her world; they all generally had the commonality of losing it to heartless. And like the worlds, they were all unique individuals, Netti and Post. Yet with them it could be difficult to break the ice to ask them about their worlds; Post was apparently bored with his homeland and found Twilight Town refreshing. Netti actually appeared to be more open on the subject even if it was stripped away from him on the darkest of days; still she wasn’t around him much to inquiry more about Home and his world.
With this being a dream, she felt freer to inquire; after all it was but a dream, and he can humor her, since he had a mind of his own, which could incline he had his own history. Who knows how much being in a dream can distort things, because it was all just a phantasmagoria. Not only could this, this atmosphere change, but their inhibition as well, since they aren’t too bound by reality.
Oooh, she thought herself so cryptic, didn't she? Resentment stirred in Kuja's skin; who was the mysterious one here? A mirthless smile found its way to his face... speaking of pettiness. He felt his individuality was being threatened by a young girl, barely older than a child, who hadn't a clue of which she was speaking. She had no idea what real dreams were - the insatiable urges to achieve something that had been haunting and haunting at you, singing a beautiful, ghostly melody whose words he ached to discern.
But he did; he knew all about the unfulfilled, the longing, the very core of dreaming. Regardless of whether they were discussing the mindless sleep-dreams or closely held desires, it was all the same to him; Freudian belief once declared that dreams were but an echo of subconscious wishes anyhow. One cannot dream without dreaming.
So he followed her, his usual verbosity strangely keeping to his thoughts rather than tumbling out of his mouth. He had nothing else he wanted to do in this odd dream, and so chose the path of least resistance by continuing after Olette.
Twilight Town... he'd never heard of such a place. Interestingly, it shared a similar naming scheme as that of Traverse Town, the peculiar city in which he found himself trapped as of late. Nothing like "Gaia" or "Terra..."
However, it was a question she had asked him and, like a gentleman, he would have to respond in some way. Ruminating would have to wait until later; while in company - no matter how petty - it was rude to stay silent.
... But an answer wouldn't so easily come to his lips.
He was from Terra, but had lived on Gaia, that was true... but neither had felt much like a home. With a slight tremor of panic that felt a bit like those hated identity crises, he wondered if he could even have a response. He continued to follow her, even as their route took them closer to the village and up a grand staircase, off of the refreshingly wet grass and the smell of rain...
Was the Black Mage Village his home? He pondered that. It might've been; it was the only place he'd felt comfortable. But then, she'd not asked where his home was... she'd asked where he was from, and to Kuja, they were very different answers.
At the top of the stairs, he suddenly stopped, the feeling of deja vu sweeping over him, like a sickness racking his body. His poker face changed, his pretty eyes widening fractionally as he took in the sights around him. From where they had stopped, two smaller staircases split down and into the village they'd seen shimmering at them from afar. A narrow balcony branched over that... but seemed to end for no particular reason, hanging off into the abyss.
He knew what he would see, should he stroll down those stairs. He knew the blueish-silver color of the stone and rock that made the houses, the mushroom-topped roofs, the too-still lake emitting its eerie blue light. He knew this place better than he knew himself, having been born into it as a pawn. The name bubbled up to his lips, and he could not stop it.
"Bran Bal," the Angel of Death said softly, hating the sight, but overtaken by a strange ache that filled up the emptiness in his chest. "The Soulless Village."
Was this how Zidane had felt when he first saw Terra? The musing was odd, off-kilter, echoing in his head until he was sure the silent sound was reverberating through the entirety of this hated village. Almost in a trance-like state, Kuja swept down one of the stairs, almost not daring to believe that this was really happening.
Angry, bitter resentment curled up under his skin until he was sure he was positively bubbling. His subconscious dared play this trick on him, especially with another present? The tail that he'd only felt mildly disinclined towards earlier now felt dirty, unwanted, disgusting. He wanted to shut himself up, hide away everything about this place, this place where he'd been told he must not have his own identity...
And he laughed, mild and serene, yet edging on a bit insane. "Pretty, isn't it?" he called up to Olette - for even the silent, almost-dead village had a strange unearthly beauty. "Oh yes, this is where I'm from, indeed." He swept his arms out, as if he were basking in the blue light emanating from the still lake, but in reality his eyes burned at the sight of it; like every other Genome pawn, the blue light of Gaia hurt them, making them feel like their insides were being rubbed raw. Part of their conditioning, pain resistance.
He knew it was all in his head, but that didn't stop the memory of the blue light from pinching at his brain. No matter; Kuja was used to the pain, in all shapes and sizes. He smirked, a glint of something dark and hateful dancing in his eyes, as he drank in the memory of this old place.
And he remembered how he had, in a moment of vindictiveness and terror, completely and utterly destroyed it.
Ascending the stairs, Olette didn't recall this village to look like this from a far. Maybe it was all the trick of the eyes. Her eyes squinted as a blue light cast over her until she became comfortable with it; even with it in her face, she stepped around to the staircase on the right to see the rest of it. What thrilled her more was Kuja's soft voice; he knew this place, and the name of it chilled her excitement.
For something to be labeled Soulless, she felt enchanted by it when she looked past the houses towards a luminous lake. So this was the breathtaking response and feeling of seeing a new world. It seemed she was getting the better end of the stick with that experience. Many lost their worlds to discover a new one, and Olette knew they weren't excited to see a new one. They were explorers like how she was becoming, but victims. For a moment, she quieted her anxiety down; it was a twisted thing how fate fall into play. She desired to venture out to new worlds, yet the majority won't get that wish without suffering. The moment of silence slowly passed as she caught up with Kuja on the stairs. She was so drawn to everything here that the brunette didn't spy a flowing brown appendage in her peripheral.
Again she found herself standing still to drink everything, but slower this time. If there was something to remember from this dream would be this place and her company. Olette was so focused that she missed Kuja's laughter, but got the tail end of his question. Still taken back by the sight, she slowly nodded her head, while following after him. Despite it being a dream, he knew his way around.
"Why is it called the Soulless Village, and where did you live specifically...here?" Her eyes were glued on the lake wondering what made it glow and how. Now she felt like a child on vacation asking and thinking up a series of questions under the sun. Her eyes trailed from the lack, the small houses, then towards the large structures that stood out in the horizon, "Yes...it is beautiful."
Feeling that word leaving her lips, she looked at him wondering. Was he like many others? Did the fate of this place played the same requiem induced by the heartless? Olette met few people from foreign worlds, and they both seemed at peace with it. Then again she hardly knew them, so who knew how genuine that was. Still she didn't put it pass him to not be so forthcoming either; unlike her at times, Kuja didn't seem like the man to where his heart on his sleeve. Actually she hardly knew any man like that, openly expressive ... unless she counted Post with his music. Still there wasn't any harm in asking, especially if it would most likely be forgotten, and he could simply just deny her curiosity, "Did you loose this world to the heartless?"
She assumed he would know what they were by now. Even when people didn't know them by name, they still managed to connect the apathy annotated name with the beasts that ravaged their world.
He neared the dreaded lake, knowing it was not his reflection he would see, but the pulsing blue. It was the lure of his reflection that typically brought him to most reflective surfaces, but that was not the case in this instance; he was drawn to it out of disgust, out of dramatics, out of this all being in a dream.
Despite the burning hatred he felt roiling under his skin, despite the very feeling in his bones at the sight of this place, Kuja was enjoying himself, in a sick sort of sadomasochistic way. He suffered, delighting in the suffering; he tore himself apart to see how long he could keep himself together. The appearance of this new, strange world to Olette was no doubt enticing, and it was all his; hated, painful, unhappy though it was, this moment belonged to him, and he would live the tragedy, for he'd been born to be tragic. Or, rather, created.
It is odd, the variety of paradoxical feelings the tragic romantics love to feel. A world without feeling, to them, is a world without taste or color or shape - a world that is not worth living in. Every feeling is magnified and intensified until some seem false, designed to revel in the drama of the moment. Kuja was reveling, all right. He was reveling in his own negativity and finding some perverse enjoyment in it.
That's not to say he was happy to see his old "home." Happiness was a shallow emotion, one not befitting of a man of his character depth; he'd rather feel nothing but painful melancholy than shallow happiness for an eternity. He was suffering... but to suffer was to draw attention.
The girl was curious - nosy without warrant. Kuja cast his eyes upon the child, his face not quite that serene mask; his lips were curved into a semblance of a smirk, and his eyes flickered in and out of memories and nostalgic aches; one might wonder if he was having some sort of quiet paroxysm. Regardless, when he looked upon her, his eyes were quite clear, and his voice was light, as if he had the same sort of childish curiosity that she was sporting.
"I did not live in this village... necessarily." He lazily stroked his cheek with a finger, the very picture of an aesthetically appealing man, despite the madness that seemed to threaten to spill out of his pores. "I lived in a castle, a floating castle that oversaw Bran Bal. Much like a fairy tale, no?" He smiled, mirthless, musing aloud. "I suppose Garland could be construed as king of this barren land..." A chuckle escaped his lips, though it didn't sound quite right, as if he were unbalanced. "That would make me a prince, heir to inherit Garland's bloody title!
"Oh but of course," he continued on, lost in his metaphors, "he never intended for me to... continue on... Hmph. So Prince Zidane was the true heir... and Princess Mikoto to follow..."
He stared at a place above Olette's head, his eyes not meeting hers, his lips frozen in a weird contortion of a smirk and a dying man's desperate gasp for air. "Even as a prince, I was nothing but a pawn."
A violent fury ripped through him; had it been a living creature, it would have carved lacerations upon his organs and punctured his heart. Abruptly, he turned his back on Olette, clasping his hands behind him and staring out across the lake with the burning blue light. Calm though he may have seemed, something inside him was unraveling at the emergence of memories he hadn't dared look into for years. He stood like a statue - fancying himself the glorious David - with not even a strand of his silver hair flowing in the non-existent breeze. The rains from earlier had completely gone, but there was no sense of a sky... just the blue light and the empty village and the yawning chasm in his chest.
Olette's question of the name of this place seemed impertinent, downright stupid, now; could she not feel it, the emptiness in the air that clawed at one's emotions, fraying them and breaking them until one was as empty as the eerie silence?
There had never been a name more befitting to a place.
And then, she asked the question, and despite his consistently low opinion of her, she was finding the quickest ways to the core of it all. In truth, it was an honest question, and being in this situation, she no doubt found it pertinent, if a bit wary of its effect on his memories. Alas, she had no idea of the parasitic effect of memories; memories destroyed and unbalanced, and it was far better to recreate them in an artistic setting, to reimagine them away from the poison of what they actually were.
He very much wanted to tell her the truth.
He couldn't say why, exactly; there was always the sense of taboo with those dangerous topics, a delicious taste of the forbidden, an exquisite glimpse at the dangerous and the dramatic. He remembered most of his life in dramatics; if something had been trivial, it was not worth remembering at all. But oh, how thrilling would it be to indulge in this tale, to reveal to this tiny, porcelain doll of a girl what an equally porcelain-seeming man had the capabilities of doing. Breakable or not, Kuja had committed unspeakable acts... and he so delighted in speaking of them.
Not turning back to face her, he deliberated, and wondered if it would be prudent to explain. He loved storytelling - especially about himself - but this was almost another case entirely; this was the confession of the most horrid of his thousand crimes, and if that wasn't dramatic, than he shouldn't be studying theatre anymore. He lived for drama.
But now... now did not seem the time. So - in answer to the question still hanging in the air, a question that was too loaded for Olette to possibly know - he uttered a cold and simple "No."
And he let his answer hang for awhile, allowing her imagination to divulge into whatever fantasies she pleased.