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@Letter Bee I'll be posting soon.

Can I join?
Mysterious Keyhole, Ongoing World War II

It had been too easy.

Astus watched as the Corridor of Darkness fizzled out as soon as it came to life. He'd always wanted to learn how to do that, but now was not the time for wishful thinking. He sensed a man, one of immense power, approach him and Tocsax. There was an odd air surrounding him. It was as if he was a schoolyard bully about to kick a stray cat around. That cat was going to be Tocsax.

"And to think that this was a trap after all!"

"Of course."

The man appeared in front of them. There was something about him that made people swerve out of his way when he approached them. He was as cunning as a merchant, never without a way to get what he wanted. When the chips were down, however, he was a warlord, wholeheartedly willing to skin his enemies and hang their heads up on his porch. This was how Astus perceived him. He reminded the trickster god of someone he had met before, someone he had considered to be the most unpleasant being to ever exist. He was False Hakim.

"False Hakim! So, you're the one they sent to capture me. Whatever the case, you're not taking me - No one is taking me."

"Poor little Tocsax, still flailing around in desperation, all the while playing into our hands." In response to that, Astus held out his hand and imagined the outline of something: a slender blade with an accommodating handle. It glowed a faint light, masking its apparent translucency. Its defining feature, though, were the crown-shaped spikes on the edge of its blade. It was a weapon wielded by kings and peasants, a blade used by god and man. It appeared to the old and the young, to the righteous and mischievous. It was everywhere, and now it was in Astus' hands.

It was a keyblade.

"You do realize that there's two of us and one of you, right? Do the math."

As soon as Astus said that, the bodies of unconscious men and women sprang to life, holding weapons equal to the Sanctuary's best armaments. They flanked him and Tocsax, ready to fire on command.


Tocsax shouted a magic spell, making everyone into fleshy human-shaped balloons. He then charged in, hitting Hakim with a Zantetzuken. For a while, Astus foolishly believed that the fight was over, but he was proven wrong as Hakim no-sold the hit as if all of this was a wrestling match and Tocsax was a crappy two-bit jobber. He could almost see Hakim laughing.


Astus grimaced. There was no way he could scratch Hakim. Tocsax had displayed power equivalent to what the warrior gods of old displayed when they entered the realm of man in their divine vessels, and yet he couldn't scratch him. Brute force wasn't Astus' thing, so the best he could do was attack Hakim's psyche. Pulling out his Keyblade was nothing more than a feint. After concentrating a bit, he inserted an idea into Hakim's mind. It was him becoming as small as an ant and getting crushed under a massive anvil. With a little mental push, that idea became a sensation, and if Hakim's psyche allowed it, that sensation would become pain.

Astus then used Aero to fly and maneuver himself around the bodies of the armed men and women. They scrambled, trying to shoot Tocsax and Astus with their weapons. For a moment, Astus felt like a drunk driver speeding through traffic on a highway sitting on top of an ocean. With every swerve he took, there was always the risk of getting hit point blank with a plasma bolt. He then laid his eyes upon a heavily-armored man wielding a massive plasma rifle.

His name was Dave. He was born on the moon in a world where America had taken to space to satisfy its unending need of the world's resources. On his birthday, the moon became the newest colony of the United States, and when the announcement was made on the intercom the doctor handling his birth jumped out of joy and nearly dropped him to his inevitable death. Despite that, Dave joined the moon's Brotherhood of Steel and pledged that he would protect the moon at all costs.

Of course, none of that mattered. What mattered was that Dave was wearing a power suit that was designed for zero-gravity combat in case the power of the spaceships went out. Astus latched onto him and, upon recovering his psyche, took control of his mind. Dave then activated his suit's flight module and began shooting at the other men and women as Astus directed him to get out of the volcano.

As Astus, Tocsax, and Dave got out of the volcano, it erupted, spewing ash and lava everywhere. An army of Heartless emerged out of the ash, chasing the three of them. False Hakim followed along, only to be blockaded by a wall of ice that had arisen from another one of Tocsax's spells.

"We've already sealed the Keyhole, haven't we? Let's get out of here!"

@Letter Bee
Mysterious Keyhole, Ongoing World War II

"Thank you for making this much easier than it would have been otherwise, by the way."

He was right. It had all been too easy. Astus came in expecting a full-blown war between gods and got a bunch of underpaid soldiers not even putting up a fight. He knew things would've gotten worse. He'd peered into the minds of Tocsax's crew (he still asked him about them out of force of habit, you want to keep people guessing as to whether you've been screwing around with their minds or not) and seen the two Leo the Mathematicians seige the Blachrenae Palace. Those two people, no, things, had power that rivaled those of the Gods.

For years he'd scampered through vast cosmic patches of land, narrowly avoiding death by earth-splitting thunderbolt, colossal tsunami, or careless stumble into an abyss leading into the void. The Gods wanted him dead, and he wouldn't let them have him. He enjoyed seeing them stumble and fall upon one another like drunk coyotes struggling to catch a speeding roadrunner. At one point he stopped enjoying being on the run: those tough guys had too much matters on their hands to mind him. For years he roamed the earth, considering his actions and for once not running away from Gods.

It was only now that he had to deal with them again.

Bring the others here or I will kill him.

Astus snickered. He could feel the demon's ego radiating from the psychic link. Yuuta was nasty, he was difficult to exert control over, but a man throws away all other thoughts he has when in battle. Tapping into the psychic link, he found himself shoving away the psyche of the warrior and coming face to face with one of the princes of Hell. He suppressed a laugh as he began to imitate Yuuta's distinct lazy drawl.

Moscow, Soviet Russia, Ongoing World War II

"Hi, I'm Yuuta Yuudai, a virgin in his late twenties. I gamble a lot and read erotic magazines. People who've met me think I'm the most unremarkable person ever. One thing you should know about me, though, is that I'm a complete madman. I'm the perfect combination of foolish and brave. Wise and cautious people shape the world and people like me screw it up. Right now, what I'm going to screw up is whatever perverse plan for world domination you have in that narrow demonic mind of yours."

"By the way, if you kill me, then go get the others yourself. You're a prince of Hell, aren't you?"

As soon as Astus released his control of Yuuta's psyche, Yuuta's mind shot into action. One might not be too good at Math, but all our brains make countless calculations about what we should do when faced with a dire situation. They calculate distances to be run, heights to be scaled, and probabilities as to what will happen. The only difference here is that a literal God had given Yuuta's brain a push, one so forceful that it would take a while for him to get back to his senses.

Mysterious Keyhole, Ongoing World War II

"Lets keep going.", said Astus. "There might be more soldiers waiting for us."

@Letter Bee

Moscow, Soviet Russia, Ongoing World War II

Yuuta was very angry. First, the Yoshirou Clan had used him for their own benefit. After that, the Sanctuary had attacked, taking his homeland for themselves. They also took someone very important from him. All the anger he had felt from those ordeals, along with anger from all the petty tantrums he had when he'd stopped killing people and become a gambling idler, converged.

He didn't know why he was so angry. The Trickster God might've screwed around with him.

All he knew was that he had to kill that thing in front of him and the other thing in front of it.

In one quick moment he took up a stance and gathered all the ki around him, ki found in the plants, animals, and everywhere else. The Kremlin's once immaculate ground began to crack and shudder as the madman grabbed every bit of energy it had to offer him. He drew the sword, it's blade gleaming sickeningly. The simple yet harsh movement of his body and the rush of ki into it tore apart his attire, leaving his upper body, a gallery of scars and bruises, exposed. With one quick maneuver, he swung his sword at the dragon's neck.

If he was going to die here, then he was going to go out in a blaze of glory.

@Ryteb Pymeroce
Moscow, Soviet Russia, Ongoing World War II

The motley crew of Russian men was a mess. They scurried around, trying to find suitable positions to take aim at the Heartless, only to find out that those monsters were ridiculously sturdy. Antonov (that silly man who would've gotten his arms ripped off and shoved up his ass if not for elder Ramirov) had chosen to throw caution to the wind and shoot those beasts with his nifty submachine gun. He soon caught the attention of a Heartless soldier, who despite having been showered in lead, still managed to approach the giant Russian man. Antonov pulled out a combat knife and prepared himself for the inevitable struggle, only to see the Soldier get crudely ripped apart by the pseudo-Jap that he had interrogated earlier.

"Thank you for your assistance. My apologies for my rude behavior earlier."

"When did you start being so formal?"

"I have a major in Russian Literature. It got me nowhere."

The Soldiers kept on going, forcing the Russians to move further away and take cover in the ruins of demolished buildings. Yuuta didn't budge as he killed Heartless after Heartless in the most efficient way: punching them in the face. His hands were beginning to bleed, adding to the many shades of red that painted the burning city. He was used to this, though, there was a time when all he did was punch people in the face. Antonov ran out of a nearby tent with a wide grin on his face. "Comrades, man the machine guns!"

The deafening sound of machine gun fire filled the battlefield as the Heartless were eviscerated by smoking lead. A cluster of Heartless was blown apart by a riveting blast from the abandoned tank, now being manned by Ramirov. The Heartless were tough, however, and the Russians eventually ran out of ammo. The tents in which they stored their supplies were far away since they had to fall back. A cacophony of shouts accompanied the appearance of a Large Body Heartless.

"Quiet down! The battlefields already noisy enough."

"What do you think we should do then?" said Ramirov as he inched out of the tank.


The wind began to blow and the ground started to crack as every ounce of ki this hostile place could generously offer Yuuta rushed into his body. He felt his muscles twitch and his head ache as the struggled to keep up the stance he took to facilitate the entry of ki into his body. His body then began to move on its own, ignoring Yuuta's own will and forcing itself into another stance. He then put all of his focus into moving his body. His muscles violently scraped against each other like rusty cogs as he held his hands up to strike. In an instant, he thrust forward, giving the massive Heartless an equally massive punch to the face. The sheer impact of the punch sent the abandoned tank skidding away. Needless to say, the Heartless died. Yuuta wanted to scream in pain, but he kept himself quiet.

"What on the green face of Earth was that?"


The Russians regained their composure and started to move back to where they stared: the tents. Ramirov scuttled over to Yuuta. "My comrade, you've shown unsurpassed prowess in combat today. I am not one to seek help from strangers, but desperate times call for drastic measures. Yuuta, you've shown me that, in choosing to fight alongside us rather than flee, you value justice above all else. The Kremlin has been besieged, and our great leader Stalin may be dead by now. I need you to fight alongside us in the guerrilla movement that we will partake in."

Yuuta wanted to scoff at the line "great leader Stalin", but these burly men had helped him fight. He only had bad memories of war, but part of him missed having bonds with comrades forged in the fires of war. These men did not deserve his prior disrespect.

"I've got a better idea. Where's the Kremlin?"

Ramirov pointed to the Kremlin. Well, not exactly the Kremlin, but the direction in which one would find the Kremlin.

"Alright, I'm going to go there and do what I just did earlier to whoever started this." The Russian was about to warn him, but he was abruptly cut off. "I can actually do those explosive punches at a rate of three hundred per second. I can also punch even harder. I can punch at the force of, let's see, one of those atomic bomb thingies. I can pick up continents and throw them into space. God challenged me to an arm wrestling match once and I came out alive. All you should do is get out of here before those things eat you alive."

Yuuta was lying. The elder could sort of see that, but in good faith he nodded anyway.

The former child soldier then began the long and harrowing journey to the Kremlin. As he got nearer, the debris was replaced with pieces of charred corpses, then those pieces were replaced by charred corpses. The glaring red of fire and blood was everywhere in sight. The sight of such madness would've made a sane person turn back and walk away, but Yuuta had a mission to fulfill.

He stepped into the Kremlin, coming face to face with a demon sitting upon a throne of flesh and blood.

"Why hello there."

@Ryteb Pymeroce

Near Mount Etna, Sicily

Astus immediately went to work, putting the soldiers to sleep. Their armor was sturdy, but they had no protection against a direct mental assault. Most of the soldiers were simple people, in fact, one of them was considering having spring chicken for dinner. He felt some hostile presences nearby, but he didn't mind

"Now tell me, what are our teammates going to do? Could you also give me a quick rundown on them? Fun facts are encouraged."

@Letter Bee

Gummi Ship Renovation's Might, Renovation

"Well that was convenient."

Astus had just formed a psychic link between him and Yuuta. As soon as he did, however, his instincts caused him to lurch back. Yuuta wan't drunk anymore, he was unconscious. It would be safe to assume that he was safely sleeping in the shuttle. Learning from someone this skilled at spellcraft would only benefit the trickster god.

"Let us do what we must do. Afterwards, we can do nicer things, like sit down together and talk about the state of the Multiverse. Wouldn't you like that?"

Astus found himself smiling. So far, everything was going at his own pace. He hadn't sensed anyone else on the ship who could form psychic bonds like him (aside from that kid named Vic, though it didn't make that much of a difference, he had potential though). All he had to do was to determine which side of the conflict he would support. As for Yuuta, he wasn't worried at all. He'd watched him out of curiosity back then. It was amazing how he managed to survive on sheer luck and stupid determination.

Moscow, Soviet Russia, Ongoing World War II

Yuuta woke up in a luxury suite. There were Lazy Boy couches, woolen mats, and a chandelier that could eternally pay him out of debt. The only thing that seemed odd was the huge dent in one of the room's walls. His back was aching and the rest of his body refused to cooperate with him, but hey, things sure did take a turn for the better, didn't they? Yuuta walked over to the door, expecting it to open to a well-off subdivision where he could finally find peace.

What greeted him was an arrangement of demolished buildings bathed in fire. He looked back and realized that he had recklessly hopped on a Gummi Shuttle, which had crash-landed in the middle of a war-torn city.

He closed the door with a thud and tried to make sense of his surroundings. The unmistakable stench of blood strangled Yuuta's nose, triggering an unpleasant chain of memories. For a moment he wandered around aimlessly until a huge-bodied, wide-shouldered Russian man passed him by. He scrutinized Yuuta's face, from the squint of his eyes to the sharpness of his chin.

"What's your name, boy?"

"Yuuta Yuudai. Have I seen you somewhere?"

The giant Russian man raised his hand. Within seconds, Yuuta was surrounded by a group of smaller Russian men.

"We've got a Jap here, comrades! Lets rough him up!"

This confused Yuuta, who, easily being the least responsible of Tocsax's men, did not read up on Original History. "Hey, what's a Jap?"

"Don't play dumb, boy! From your name to your face, you're obviously a Jap!"

"Threaten me one more time and I'll rip your arms off and shove them up your ass."

The giant Russian clenched his fists, but before he could head off into his inevitable death an older Russian man signaled for him to stop and took out a propaganda leaflet with Emperor Hirohito's face on it. "If you're really not Japanese, then would you be okay with stepping on this poster?"

Yuuta went and stepped on it. This caused all of the Russian men to scream in shock.

"It can't be!", shouted one of them. "Damn, this spy's a really good one!", screamed another. The old man raised his hands up, signaling for everyone to be quiet. He then took a rifle out and with godlike accuracy honed from shooting Nazis while riding bobskis in the winter, shot a bullet that grazed Yuuta's cheek.


"Guys, is "damn" a Japanese swear word?"

"Not quite, they say things like "baka" and "chikusho"."

"If that's the case, then he isn't a Jap." As the old man spoke, the other men came to realize the purpose of the tests that he'd been running on Yuuta and that Yuuta wasn't Japanese, despite having an uncanny resemblance to one. They put their weapons down and begrudgingly walked back to their makeshift dwellings, one of which was an abandoned tank. "Sorry young man", said the old man, "We just really need to be careful here. Those Nazis have recently gained a foothold in Moscow, we've seen those creatures that they employ storm the Kremlin. It all happened so quickly, we don't even know how."

"I don't understand half of what you just said."

"Are you some sort of caveman?"

"No. What I do understand is that this country or state or whatever it is is getting invaded. That Kremlin place seems really important, and the Nazis, wait, I think I know who they are!"

As soon as Yuuta finished, an army of Heartless came out of nowhere.
Renovation, Gummi Ship "Renovation's Might"

"As for me and the Master of Trickery, we will be going to seal the world's Keyhole - A Keyhole is a special entrance into the Heart of the World, which if left open will allow the Heartless to eat the World's Heart and doom it to being consumed by Darkness."

"Tocsax, I don't think Yuuta can go. He's pretty much incapacitated."

As soon as Astus finished speaking, Yuuta stumbled out of the hallway leading to the pantry holding an empty bottle of wine.

"Let's kill 'em! I'm going to rip the silly man's moustache off and wipe my ass with it!"

Yuuta then did a couple of inappropriate ballet spins and cartwheeled up to Hirutila. "See, a gun's a pretty little instrument of death. Point the nozzle, pull the trigger, and phsew pshew pshew! Death sauce will splatter over the ground and that insufferable asshole you've wanted dead all your life is dead! Ka-bam!" His speech was accompanied by wild gestures and motions, reminiscent of a certain little dimwit.

"Don't worry, I can explain."

The Day Before
Astus had struck another bargain. For a long time, his bargains and deals meant nothing much to him. What else would they cost but a ruined day for an unfortunate simpleton, anyway? However, this one was different. This one would cost the fate of the Merged World, the only place that he could ever come back to when all of this was over.

He began learning how to cast Aero. At first, he began visualizing a tornado, ravaging the landmasses of the earth and sending them into disarray. He got very tired from that, and then remembered that he was not exactly Astus. He wasn't the cosmic being who could cause discomfort with a single premonition, rather than that, he was a wimpy little house cat. He closed his little cat eyes once more and envisioned a ball of yarn, except that it was formed by raging air currents. He opened his eyes and saw it in front of him.

Within moments Astus took to manipulating wind in its purest and most essential form. He first used it to propel himself upwards. He then used it to create a miniature tornado. Things got out of hand quickly, and Astus, having used up so much mental energy, forgot that he was in the pantry. He ended up coating the walls with mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, squashed tomatoes, and many other foodstuffs he wasn't familiar with. After using Aero again to fly across the walls and wipe them with an assortment of towels, he sat down and meditated to regain his lost strength. He then popped another telepathic message into Yuuta's mind.

Yuuta, we need to talk.

Are you Astus? Do you possibly need anything from a wee little mortal like me?

As a matter of fact, yes. Our world is in grave danger.

I thought I'd never agree with Astus himself, but hey, you're right. Diplomats keep stuffing their pockets with tax money, gangs keep splitting the heads of helpless people open, and I can't get a damn job.

Yes, those are certain, but they, and many other atrocities committed upon our people, and caused by the divergence of the World of the Gods and the World of Man. To put it rather bluntly, God and Man cannot live without each other. Without Man, the Gods will become primordial masses of cosmic energy, and Man will fall into disarray and wage war with one another.

Wait, weren't the two worlds always, uh, together? Like, they were two places but also one place?

Astus tightened the psychic bond between the two of them in case anyone tried to listen to their telepathic conversation. He was sensitive to fluctuations in mental energy, so he could react to any unwanted listeners and even punish them. However, other powerful beings might've sneaked onto the ship, and it was better to be safe than sorry.

Ideally, that is the case. However, they are moving apart. You can't feel it, being the mortal you are, but I can. Now listen to me and, for your own sake, keep this between us. I've observed that Light and Darkness are two forces that keep the world in balance. While those people have tasked you with fighting in order to preserve Light, I theorize that we instead need to fight to retain the balance between Light and Darkness. The realm of the Gods, being the moral guardians of the world, may primarily contain Light, and the realm of Man, who are capable of free thought and therefore harm, may be attributed to Darkness. The divergence of the worlds might be caused by an imbalance between the two. We at least need to retain the natural order in our world, and to do that, we must partake on certain actions here that might diverge from the goals of Tocsax and the rest of the group. In fact, I hate to say it, but I think I agree with Leo the Second Mathematician.

What kind of lame stripper name is Leo the Second Mathematician?

Were you even listening?

I think you lost me before you even started. You're making my head hurt.

Astus cut the psychic connection between the two of them and approached Yuuta in order to make an even stronger connection. If he couldn't convince that simple-minded two-bit troglodyte to cooperate with him, then he'd force him to do so. He needed manpower, and that manpower was going to be Yuuta.

"Sorry kupo, but all the paperwork and scheduling got to me and I got you on the wrong ship!"

"What are you talking about? That Tocsax guy and his merry crew are here."

"Actually, I think nothing bad really came out of it. There was a siege on the castle that the crew was brought to, and they might've been really hurt!"

Yuuta laughed to himself and smiled until he saw a visibly disturbed kid holed up in a corner of the ship. "Actually, something bad came out of it. I could've saved that kid from almost getting killed or whatever happened and she wouldn't have been that shaken up. Say sorry to her. Also, shower her with candy from the pantry or something. I heard that works." The Moogle was about to protest as there was another Moogle already taking care of the kid, but the thought of Yuuta appearing behind it and chopping its head off entered its mind and it headed off to the pantry, drafting the curtest apology it could give in its mind. As it headed off towards a hallway, Astus came out of it.

Astus concentrated, and without any warning, his consciousness began to merge with Yuuta's. Given that Yuuta was sleepy, he could've easily issued him some commands. However, to truly manipulate someone, one must know who he is inside and out. Astus visualized a simple hallway, much plainer than the gummi ship's ornate ones, and began to rush down the metaphysical memory lane.

"Aaaaaaaand that's a twenty-one!"

Yuuta wore a massive shit-eating grin on his face as Hans and another idiot gasped at what they were seeing: a six, nine, and another six. In order to win a game of blackjack, one must either be dealt the right combination of cards valued higher than the dealer's cards without exceeding 21 or risk everything on getting a 21. Usually, blackjack players only dealt with luck and misfortune, but Yuuta didn't. By memorizing the cards that had been dealt and the pattern the tired dealer always used to shuffle them and using his enhanced senses years of training had given him, Yuuta knew which position he needed to be in order to get a blackjack, a pair of cards valued at 21. All he had to do was inconspicuously switch places with Hans, and the money was his for the taking.

What a slimy excuse for a human being. Astus dived deeper.

"Go, Shizue! Show 'em that cleavage equals power!"

"Did you seriously bet on Shizue just because she was a looker?"

Yuuta, Hans, and the rest of the idiot gang were crowded in front of a TV. In the Eastern Lands, instead of playing volleyball, girls in sportswear fought each other with various magic weapons and martial arts across marked arenas reminiscent of volleyball courts. However, these courts were levitating on Magitek-powered platforms and if one girl got hit too hard, she'd fall off the arena. The winning team would be the one with the last remaining player. Most people voted on players based on their records, but Yuuta voted Shizue because she was "cute as heck". Needless to say, he walked away with his pockets empty.

Astus was getting tired of Yuuta's horseshit, so he decided to take a leap. He forced himself out of the hallway, making a small hole in it, and reentered it at a further part. As he re-entered, however, the hallway had become a stony dungeon beset by chains, rusty blades, and faceless prisoners hiding behind wilting bars. As he went further, his body yelled at him for pushing against a force he understood yet still found immensely dreadful.

What he saw made him nauseous.

He saw a battlefield stained with blood and sweat and whatever bodily fluids were left of the people and creatures that fought in a grand war. The ground was dry and cracked, the sky grey and lifeless, and what little light the sun seemed to emit revealed horrors no living being would ever wish to see. Whatever life the Gods had given Man was so utterly violated. What were once living men and women with families to attend to and goals to fulfill were now corpses helplessly strewn about the ground. A man in cracked battle-armor raised his hand and gasped for breath, then fell into a void so empty and lifeless that he couldn't comprehend it.

A young boy painted the unmistakable red of carnage walked around aimlessly. Whatever ambition he had was robbed by the sight of those rotten pigs raising the white flag, a symbol of the very hopelessness they had so greedily avoided. At one point he fell to the ground and clenched his teeth.


Tears made their way from his eyes to the ground his crippled hands touched. He cried, and his cries made the earth shake, along with everything that wearily rested upon it. He punched the ground, sending cracks rushing as far as they could. Those diplomats and politicians that had negotiated the end of the war thought they heard thunder, and drove away in their flying ships at full speed. The boy cried and cried until he heard a voice, a faint light that glimmered in the vast abyss he had fallen into.


The boy turned around to see a familiar figure wearing a ponytail, dressed in green robes, and carrying an unsheathed sword.


He then rushed over to her and hugged her with all his might. Finding such warmth within the coldness of the battlefield gave him more comfort than he ever needed.

"Are you okay? Do you need any help?"

Elise did not need to answer. As soon as the boy took his hands of her, he saw them soaked in the same red his body was drenched in. He then saw her body leaning heavily against him, her breathing becoming more rushed and agonized. She tightened her grasp around his hips, pulling at the only hold she had left on what was alive and what wasn't. Her breathing ceased, her rival-turned-dear friend desperately tried to shake her awake, and she drifted away.

And with that, Yuuta let out a scream that pierced the heavens.

Astus wrestled the force that strangled and choked him. He had trouble visualizing it, he couldn't in the midst of all that was happening. Slowly, he tried to close his eyes and imagine a being of pure hatred, one that he'd encountered and dealt with before. Everything is okay, he assured himself, things won't go downhill from here.

He opened his eyes and saw Yuuta, his body lined with scars and wounds, lifting Elise's blade upon him. For that moment, he had stopped being a God.

Astus cried, shook, shouted, he did everything that denoted shock and fear. He closed his eyes again and shut out everything. From there, he opened them again, not to see Yuuta, but to see his own little cat body cowering before the colossal figure of an enraged man bringing a sword upon him.

His view zoomed out and his eyes flew upwards. His own body was nothing but a small dot, but the apparition was now just the size of a regular person. It went further and further until he was only a speck of light, a small fragment of existence, lying across an endless sea of stars and celestial bodies. Soon enough, all those were but a stain on an otherwise perfectly empty universe.

Whether you were a God or a Man, you were but a tiny and insignificant part of the world around you. Astus took comfort in such a thought. It meant that he was no different from any living being, whether they were weaker or more powerful than he. Everything was bound by Fate and Fate alone.

Yuuta sure wouldn't.

"Do you understand the struggles of being thrust into a situation so unusual that it makes you feel completely helpless? Yuuta here definitely did. That's why he went to the pantry and downed at least thirty different kinds of alcoholic beverages and is now currently able to fight or do anything that will benefit the team."

However, it was too late. Yuuta had already stumbled into a Gummi Shuttle and set it off.

"Either that, or Leo and his forces are at work here. By looking at footage of the recent incident, I've seen how efficient they are at sabotaging our efforts. I will investigate further. Anyways, have a great trip, you beautiful people!"

Astus then gave Tocsax a telepathic message.

Could you give me some time to telepathically sober up Yuuta? He can't be that far away, I might still be able to establish a psychic bond with him.

(i'm editing my character post for real tomorrow)

Renovation, Gummi Ship "Renovation's Might"

A true soldier sizes up the situation around him. He analyzes his surroundings and the people around him. He listens to any figures of authority present and calculates the most convenient way to get out of a sticky situation, should one arise. A conman does the same, with the added bonus of determining how he could make money out of it.

Yuuta wasn't in a sticky situation, but in an odd one. The hooded man in black was giving a rundown on the specifics of the situation, until flirting with a white-haired young man in fancy armor (Yuuta could already gauge the cost of it: 60000 Eastern Dollars. It probably had an in-built cooling system too.) and promptly getting punched in the stomach by the man covered in whatever noxious miasma that was. He shook the punch off and opened a portal to what was probably another room of the ship, where a fox-person and a red-haired man threw knives and magic at each other. An old man apparently didn't know what a gun was, but somebody explained it to him while Yuuta was readying the most awe-inspiring speech he could deliver on the inconveniences of warfare.

"Wait, so as you can see here, I've already got a weapon. My pockets are empty but always welcome. How much would I get if I rented my Keyblade off?"

I'm afraid you can't. From what I gathered, it's bonded to you.

Yuuta heard the message almost exclusively in his head. He knew this because he couldn't hear it. He could sense it, though, as a faint voice in his head. He turned around to see the cat looking at him. Cats looked cute, but they were almost always exclusively after your food, so Yuuta kept his distance should this cat be one that needed to eat people to sustain his magical powers.

"Hey look, it's a talking cat. Are you lost?" Yuuta thought this to himself, as he was sure that was how to reply to telepathic messages. He'd never received one before. Perhaps those eggheads over at Enlightenment's Reach were going to invent psychic ear chips in the future.

Yuuta's slight grin was turned into a a look of shock as the cat transformed into a humanoid cat-like creature wearing a poncho with odd inscriptions on it. It was Astus, the God of Trickery. He was the star of every creepy story his friends used to tell him. Heck, if he wanted to, he could probably transform into a dragon at the very moment just for kicks. Either that, or he could transform into a voluptous woman and seduce you but leave you in the dust as punishment for desecrating holy grounds. He was just that unpredictable.

Perhaps this is a form you're more used to. Are you familiar with me? Despite asking, Astus knew damn well that Yuuta had at least heard of him. He then proceeded to stop delivering telepathic messages and talk using his little cat mouth.

"Hello, beautiful men, women, and whatnot of the Multiverse! I am Astus, a wee little cat person, and I am going to serve as your team mascot. Meow!"

Yuuta clamped his teeth together. The God of All Things Sour and Prickly was not going to be the team mascot under his watch.

Astus then sent a telepathic message to Tocsax.

Hello there, I'd like to make a deal with you. You see, I'm an illusionist of sorts. My powers are pretty much useless in direct confrontations, unless I plan accordingly. However, I've heard that as I gain experience wielding a Keyblade, I will be able to improve on my powers. I might just be able to project those illusions into reality. You and me, we'll be unstoppable.

However, I'll need some cooperation on your part. You need to help me gain new abilities other than telepathy and illusion-weaving. I need to be at least a little bit more useful on the battlefield.

As for why, let's just say that I've got my own problems to solve.

@Double @Gentlemanvaultboy @Ryteb Pymeroce @ShadowVentus @Nerevarine @Tenma Tendo @Letter Bee
That would be nice.

(Considering that I need to build my world a bit more)
Yuuta Yuudai found himself in a place unfamiliar to him. The sky was gray, the ground was cracked, and sloping hills appeared to be in the distance yet stayed out of reach. Yuuta, a warrior of fabled strength and ability, was unfazed by the sudden change of background. However, a roaming specter wrapped in bandages and painted in blood appeared in the distance.

"Surely you do remember this place, Yuuta?"

Yuuta pointed his blade at the ghostly apparition. The ghost smiled and responded by taking out a heart-shaped tin that definitely had chocolate in it. Was he going to fight Yuuta Yuudai, the hero of the Eastern War, with a pack of chocolates? Was he perhaps an absolute madman?

"It's been years, Yuuta. Years ever since I met you on this cursed land"

"Do you want to fight or what? Is this a vengeance sort of thing?"

"No. It's been years ever since I was drafted to fight the war. I was supposed to give this pack of chocolates to Stella, my beloved. She was just a simple shop clerk. I was a wage slave shifting from job to job, working night to night, when I decided that I would finally man up and confess my love. Stella was such a simple woman, she'd love a good pack of chocolates at the counter. However, I forgot that I'd been drafted, and they pulled me away. They said it was an urgent sort of thing, and I thought we'd be escorting some two-bit diplomat down the airplane, but no, we were dropped down somewhere I don't know, and before I could make sense of the situation an irate half-naked man in a ponytail split my head open with his bare hands. I'm sure that man is you, and if that's the case, then damn you to hell."

"Oh no!"

Yoshirou Perfecture, Eastern Lands

Yuuta awoke to the sound of two grown men arguing on what to do with his sheathed sword, which he had carelessly left lying beside him. He fell asleep leaning against a graffiti-laden wall, not the best place to fall asleep, but Yuuta was broke and he didn't have money to afford anything.

"Wait, quick, do the act!"

The men, who were also half-naked, heavily-muscled, and carpeted in facial hair, left the blade alone and began pointing their swords and cudgels at a much smaller woman. "Help!", she screamed. "Ha ha, we're going to kidnap this woman, and you if you don't do anything about it, then we're, uh, going to kidnap this woman!"

Yuuta slowly stood up and lazily aimed a basic front kick at the first man, who threw himself into a nearby wooden cart and forced himself to scream. The next one slowly threw a punch at Yuuta, who, sensing the utter lack of effort on the man's part, took the hit, screamed like a dying cat, and then kicked him again. This one jumped right into the wall and screamed "Kaboosh!" before pretending to limp on the ground and cry.

"Thanks for saving me, young man! Now if you don't mind, I'll call my friends."

Five other half-naked, heavily-muscled men carpeted in facial hair came out of a nearby alleyway and the other two stood up.

The woman pulled out a machete. "Ha ha, the entire fight you had was an act all along, and my men were not using even on ounce of their power to fight you! Now, my men are going to fight for real, and you're going to die, uh, wait, no, get knocked out and we're going to steal your possessions! We don't really kill here, right? We're just going to injure him until he, uh, faints." Some of the men laughed, while the other tried to assure their leader that killing innocent people wasn't really in their plans.

Yuuta tried to pull out his cockiest smile, but ended up pulling out his creepiest one instead. "Well, as you can see, I was only using one percent of my true power. Now scurry away!" None of them went away, so Yuuta picked up the still-sheathed blade and did some nasty sword tricks. That seemed to intimidate them, but they ran at him anyways, since the bandits didn't often meet legendary heroes while robbing people and thus lacked the genre savviness that this situation so direly needed. They all fell after receiving quick blows to the back of their heads.

The woman was shocked, but she tried to keep her composure. "You may have beaten my men, but you haven't beaten me yet! I'm a very accomplished swordfighter! During the Eastern Wars, I-"

Yuuta cut her short by using the hilt of his blade to lift up her shirt, exposing her almost bare but actually pretty well-chiseled body. Her composure shattered, and she began rolling around the ground and sobbing violently, as the other bandits who had come to their sensed rushed over to comfort her. They never came back to the prefecture ever again.

The Snack Shack, Yoshirou Perfecture, Eastern Lands

"Five Eastern Dollars."

"Only five? Weren't these bandits threatening to put you out of business?"

"You need to understand, Yuuta. We're just as broke as you. If you wan't we'll give you free meals every time you drop by."

"Nah, everything you cook is burnt."

"It's called well-done, Yuuta"

"No. It's just burnt. Your meat cracks when I bite it."

"If you insist, then."

The Snack Shack™ was a mess. It was a run-down concrete box filled with long tables and short tables. The long tables were for eating and the short tables were for gambling since you couldn't fit a full platter on the small tables and you could fit too many sets of cards on the long ones. The only thing around worth anything was the Magitek-powered TV, which despite being made with the best materials the manufacturers could procure looked like an old cathode-ray-tube TV box. Seeing that the more sensible adults were watching the news, Yuuta went to the gambling tables, leaned his blade against a nearby wall, and waited for a less sensible adult to come.

Suddenly, an odd creature peeked its head out of an empty mahjong tile set box and threw an envelope at Yuuta. Yuuta caught the envelope and promptly opened it, reading what was inside.

"Heartless, Nobodies, no, I don't need a new weapon because I'll have to pay the interest for it, and-"

"Surprise, kupo!"

Yuuta looked behind him to see the odd creature behind him. A fat pause followed.

"Aren't you surprised! Shouldn't you at least open your mouth in shock and say-"



The moogle began hiding behind a table leg, but since Yuuta was a magic kung fu guy, he appeared behind it in an instant.

"Look, I understand that you'd want me to join your magic interdimensional fighting force or whatever that is, but I, Yuuta Yuudai, am sick of killing people. The job's gonna call for just that, and I don't want to do it, because it won't accomplish anything. Talk to my Hans over there at the counter instead, he's an awful cook but he's damn good with a frying pan."

The moogle took some time to regain its composure, and then tried to convice Yuuta.

"Aren't you Yuuta Yuudai? The hero of the Eastern War. The pride of the Yuudai Clan? The-"

"Enough honorifics. I'm just a murderer and a failure. Now, if you may, please let me wait in silence for somebody who I can indirectly extort money from in a game of blackjack. Hey, I forgot to mention that, I'm some sort of conman too."

"What's the point in playing blackjack if you can just whack your opponent in the head and empty his purse?"

"Why the hell would I do that?"

"See? You're not a bad person!"

Yuuta began looking the moogle directly in the eye.

"Look, the fate of universes are at stake here, Yuuta! If you don't cooperate, your world will be consumed by an unending darkness. The sky will be gray, the ground will be cracked, and all that will be in the distance are broken, abandoned, buildings devoid of life and sustenance. The ground will be painted in blood, and all that will be left to roam the earth are specters, ghosts, and whatnot. Are you with me yet?."

"Yes, I am coming with you. Take me to your headquarters or wherever you guys set camp."

Renovation, Gummi Ship "Renovation's Might"
Yuuta awoke to the sound of constant bickering.

"We've just met and you're saying this too. I wonder why people say that to me. I know I'm wearing a magical armor, but it doesn't have any magnet functions. At least, I don't know if they do. Mom never tells me if she installed any sort of weird properties anyways..."

"I do have somethings that I'd like to know more about the Keyblades and how they function, so I suppose I accept the invitation. You don't mind if I take notes while we talk, do you, Sir Tocsax?"

Woah, there were people. One thing that Yuuta's war days taught him was that walking in randomly into conferences was not a good idea, but he walked towards the room where the talking came from because hey, as a wise bearded man in a toga once said, men are social animals. Yuuta also recognized the ship. He was dragged there and was assured that the ship belonged to the good guys and that the people in the room were good guys too and if that wasn't the case, God knew what would happen.

Yes, God would know what would happen. Sneaking nearby was a literal God under the guise of a walking, talking cat. What could he possibly want from Yuuta?


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