Both Marluxia and Jason have a choice to make…and they will take the Third Option.
Fifth basement floor: "Uncle…have आप made your decision yet?" The Graceful Assassin did not stop his musings. After a while, he opened his eyes and asked Selene, "Remind me again what are my options." Selene ran her fingers through the red streaks flowing through her blonde hair. "Either आप fall at the hands of my father…or आप dispose of him and I at once. Your call." Marluxia opened his eyes, certainty flooding into the clear blue pools. "I have made my choice. Unsurprisingly, only someone as grand as I could have come upon this conclusion. I will be leaving now." He opened a Dark Corridor and walked through it in his regal manner. Selene groaned. That was her uncle Marluxia, arrogant to a fault. Larxene often went from cursing him to getting all nostalgic within the अंतरिक्ष of a minute. A sinister smirk grew on Selene's face. If course, in her time Markuxia was dead, या at least everyone thought.
Fifth basement entrance hall: After dragging Jason up the stairs from one floor to the other, Xion and Itzal set him down gently. Afterwards, Xion used a Curagun spell to heal Jason's broken arm. His broken leg was taken care of द्वारा Itzal, courtesy of a fat green pen that healed wounds wherever it touched. But during this entire healing Jason stared off into the distance, in deep thought. "Jason, what are आप thinking of?" Xion asked. Itzal shushed the replica. "He is making his decision. Now we see whether he chooses Light या Darkness." Jason's grass-green eyes became sharp and focused. "I know what to do!" he gasped, standing up on his feet suddenly. "That makes two of us." The group turned to face Marluxia, who walked out of the now open door. "If आप have truly made your decision…" The two men briefly looked into each other's eyes. "Then I'll see आप on my floor," Marluxia finished. He turned around at dashed through the opening. Jason and his group followed behind him. The clock read, "56hrs43mins".
First basement floor: Naminé started. Somehow, she knew what was going to happen to Marluxia. «They both discovered the Third Option,» she thought with wonder. Being that Naminé's interference would be hurtful, she decided to go digging around in Itzal's memories. She had often seen the boy in Selene's memories but wondered all the same what was in his head.
Wonderland: The group skidded to a halt. The place they were in seemed green, and scattered about were toadstools of various sizes. But wrapped around everything were throny vines, on the end of which were beautiful गुलाबी roses. Xion stepped आगे and pointed her Keyblade at the ensnarement and shoot off a Firagun spell. It cleared some of the rose vines but a lot still remained. "It appears we have to fight our way through," Itzal noted. Jason turned toward the young brunet boy. "Don't आप think your exaggerating?" He asked cautiously. Itzal shook his head and pointed to the vines, which were currently trying to strangle Xion, but the replica managed to fight them off. Jason summoned his knives while Itzal removed a fat silver pen from his बेल्ट and transformed it into a sword. He frowned briefly. Maybe it was just his imagination, but it felt like someone was digging around in his head.
Twilight Town: Itzal had never been a लोकप्रिय boy. Intelligent as he was, young children didn't like the philosophically blunt manner which Itzal inherited from his father. But he also inherited Zexion's emotionless life view, so Itzal simply read quietly under a पेड़ during recess, picking knowledge over human interaction. Until…
"Hey there, looking a little lonely. Want some company?" Nine year-old Itzal looked up from his book right into a pair of mossy blue-green eyes. Standing up, he discovered that the owner of the eyes was a girl a साल older than him. She had a pretty blue dress with a yellow lighting bolt pattern, and her streaky blonde hair was in a couple of pigtails. Her face had a playfully sarcastic look, accentuated द्वारा a lollipop sticking out of the corner of her smiling mouth. "Whether I want company या not is of no concern," Itzal responded flatly, "If आप will just leave my company soon afterwards." The girl extended a cream-colored hand towards the blue-haired boy. "I don't care how many big words आप use to scare me away," she stated firmly, "It won't change that आप need a friend, and I'm offering. My name's Selene." Itzal was genuinely suprised, and decided to give her a chance. "My name is Itzal. I hops आप keep your word." So began a wonderful friendship. Selene brought out the best in Itzal. The side of him he inherited from his mother Serenna.
"Itzal, how was school?" Serenna asked her young son. "It was enjoyable," He responded "I spent it with a girl named Selene." Serenna stopped her sewing and went to her husband's study. "Let me guess," Zexion said, "Our son has met Larxene's daughter." Serenna nodded, wondering what kind of influence she would be on her son Zexion smirked. "Good. Jason and I agreed not to introduce them to each other, but they will balance each other nicely now that they have met."
First floor: Zexion sniffed the air briefly and frowned. For lack of a better word, Marluxia's scent had विभाजित करें, विभक्त करें into two: One half which contained most of his power and another which contain only a sliver of power. This half vanished soon afterwards. «I wonder…»
Wonderland forests: Jason and his group continued to travel through the फूल and fungus forests of Wonderland. "Jason, do आप know where you're going?" Xion asked timidly. Jason pointed off in the distance, where a locked door in the distance signified their अगला destination. "Ohh…" she sighed, crestfallen. Itzal patted the girl on the back. "Umm, guys we have company!" A group of Creeper Plant Heartless was now surrounding the group. "Figures," Jason muttered as he summoned his knives, "That Marluxia would send these after us." Itzal held a thin red Firagun pen in one hand and his fat silver sword pen in the other. Xion summoned her Keyblade and decapitated the nearest Creeper Plant Heartless. "Why am I having bad luck with plants today?!" Xion yelped as the sharp roots of the Heartless stabbed into her ankles. Jason, who was slaying his own group, threw his knives at the Heartless attacking Xion, which died. She returned the favor द्वारा hurling her Keyblade at a Creeper Plant Heartless which was about to spit seeds at the redhead. "I'm sorry I let आप get hit द्वारा your own Keyblade," Jason apologized as soon as the last of the Heartless was dead. Xion cracked a small smile. "I accept your apology…now can your mom apologize to me? She used her frying pan to bat my Keyblade back at me." Jason hung his head shamefully. But panic struck him when he looked around and realized that Itzal was gone.
In another room: Itzal's chase ended. During the battle against the Creeper Plants, he had seen a flash of blonde out of the corner of his eye and ran after it. But now, he had no idea where he was, या where Selene and his group could have gone. "Drop the disguise…" Itzal started. The voice continued to say, "No one is watching…drop the disguise." The boy did so, his brunet hair turning back to its natural dark blue, as did his eyes. Out from under a मशरूम walked Selene. Instead of the her usual clothing, she wore and Organization बरसती, लबादा like Itzal. And of course, she was twirling her signature red-streaked blonde hair while smiling a Larxenish smile. "Ah, Selene," Itzal stated, "I have finally located you. I was alarmed when Brinax dragged आप into the Darkness, but आप are fine. Furthermore—" Selene thumped the boy on the forehead. "Oh stop posturing and give your best friend a hug." she rebuked affectionately. Itzal dropped his composure and wrapped his friend in a भालू hug. "I missed you," He murmured softly. Selene ruffled the boy's head. "Of course आप missed me," she teased softly, "Who else would put up with your big words?" In her head, she thought, «I missed आप too. Who else would put up with the fact that I am my mother's daughter, and proud of it?»
Royal garden maze: "Are आप sure we shouldn't go looking for Itzal?" Xion was worried for the boy. That was natural. But Jason had और pressing concerns. "The only way to guarantee his safety is to beat Marluxia," he reasoned as he ran. "So the wisest course of action is to get to him as fast as possible." Xion nodded and concentrated on the task at hand. They were almost to Marluxia's room, but barring the way was a hedge maze. The two had wandered through it for the better part of…well, they didn't know. Along the way they killed और फूल Heartless, but the exit was nowhere in sight. All of a sudden, Xion perked up. "There it is!" she exclaimed as she spotted a doorway in the distance. Jason high-fived the replica and the two rushed towards exit. As they approached the exit, a tangle of vines burst through the hedge and grabbed Xion. "Noo!" Jason shouted as he watched the dark haired girl get dragged over the hedges and out of sight. He cast a look of determination at the doorway. Only stopping Marluxia would return his companions to him. But he couldn't help but wonder, «Where's Larxene? I haven't seen her in a few floors.»
First floor: As Jason's family talked amongst themselves, Larxene pretended to be asleep. But what she was really doing was using on of her Fourde knives to cut the metal chains holding her captive. Before she had been captured द्वारा Roxas, she hid the single चाकू in her delicate fist. She managed to do without cutting herself, and so now was a few chain लिंक्स away from cutting herself free. As she continued to work on the metal chains, her mind wandered to the following match: her lover Jason versus the her old friend Marluxia. She realized what Mar Mar's intention were; he wanted to die द्वारा Jason's hand in order to keep from getting a heart. But would her redheaded lover do it? The only fatality so far was the later revived Luxord, and it hadn't been Jason's intention. और importantly, Jason was going to make his choice: Light या Darkness. «Jason…never in either of my lives have I been so sure that I wanted to be with someone. Make the right choice.»
Selene's room: Selene was about to catch up with her childhood friend when she felt a disturbance in this air. "Listen Itzal," she कहा as she prepared to leave, "I have to take care of something. Stay here, and if Jason defeats Marluxia they will come through this room." The girl left. Itzal looked around and spotted a familiar head of spiky red hair through the crack in the door. He pressed an ear to the door as Jason began to speak…
Queen's courtroom, three मिनटों ago: Xion felt the vines drag her to a location unknown. Five मिनटों after she was captured, she felt herself get unceremoniously dumped on the ground. She looked up to see a judge's podium, behind which sat Marluxia. Facing him was Jason, who turned around at the sound of Xion hitting the ground. "I don't think so," Marluxia कहा softly as a दीवार of thorns obscured them from Xion's view, "Jason, its obvious that आप have a strong heart, as आप have made my oldest friend fall heads over heels for you. But the time has come to make your choice: Will आप ally with the Light या the Darkness?" There was a pause as Xion strained to hear what Jason's response. He drew breath and said,
"My response might take a while, so sit tight. I have thought about it, and the Light holds my whole life, my family, and my best friend Serenna. But the Darkness hold my love, the Nobody I want to be my wife, and my new best friend Zexion. I really didn't know 'till just recently just what was I wanted. But now I know. I choose the Light, because that's who I am. But!" Jason interrupted Marluxia before the Graceful Assassin could speak. "I also choose to live with Darkness…to live with Larxene. I know that's just who she is and I accept it. But that's when I think, Light and Darkness live together naturally, that's the way things work. So it shouldn't be an impossibility for Larxene and I to settle down in Twilight Town and live together. I प्यार her, and I want to be with her. That is my choice." The silence that followed was deafening.
Xion's mouth dropped. That was the most romantic thing she ever heard. All of a sudden, she flashed on Riku's face, the man who went to Darkness and back for his best friend, and blushed. Even on his mission, Riku seemed to be gentle to her. Meanwhile, Selene and Itzal had the same thought: «Oh sweet Kingdom Hearts my/Selene's existence is guaranteed. In fact, I wouldn't be suprised if my mother/Larxene carried Jason off right now to conceive me/her.» Both teens spared a moment to shudder at the thought.
First floor: Larxene's face went completely blank, then turned redder than Axel's hair. For the first time in her two lives, she could clearly see herself in white. A white wedding dress. And maybe children? No way would she have और than one. Would she want a boy या girl? A girl, but she would have to get around to discussing that with Jason, after all they were going to get married eventually. If it was a girl, what would her name be?
As these thoughts raced through Larxene's head, James, Nicole and Eileen all looked at Larxene and then at each other. "It's not just me, right? I'm not the only one who's terrified at what kind of kid those two could produce." Eileen's parents nodded in agreement. Zexion mentally rolled his eyes. «Selene isn't that bad. But still…I feel so proud of Jason that my phantom दिल could almost burst.» He turned to Serenna to mention this, but she had turned bright red at some point and passed out.
Fourth basement floor: Roxas, Axel, and the Serenna replica all stood there with their mouths gaping open. The Serenna replica turned bright red and fainted. Roxas warped away to the first basement to have a talk with Naminé, Xenmas be damned. Axel was the last one left standing, and after a moment's pause he began to laugh with complete abandon. After he calmed down, he wiped his eye tattoos. "Son of a bitch! I knew आप were resourceful, but not this resourceful. I can't wait to settle things between us, once and for all. I'll be waiting."
Back in the Queen's courtroom: Marluxia looked at Jason. He looked और determined than Marluxia had ever seen any human. A smirk grew on his face. "I see. If that's how आप feel…" A single sakura petal fell into his outstretched hand and turned into his scythe the Graceful Dahlia. "Let's see if your दिल will survive my ever-blooming Darkness, या succumb and drown!"
The most dangerous this about Marluxia was his movement. He had this floaty manner of moving that caused आप to let your guard down, and the अगला thing आप knew there was a gash in your chest. Jason very nearly fell into this trap not ten सेकंड्स into his match. He watched Marluxia float backwards in his flowery fashion and he almost stopped unsheathing his knives. There was a गुलाबी flash, and the अगला thing Jason knew his Fourde knives were keeping the Graceful Dahlia from slitting his chest. "Careful," Jason grunted, "These knives were a personal gift from Larx." Marluxia visibly sneered as he backed away for the अगला assault. He threw his knives at the pink-haired feminine executioner, who blocked them with ease. "This is a battle आप cannot win," Marluxia stated melodically, "I know every one of Larxy's tatics." Jason skidded to a halt. «Larxy?» The battle's difficultly cranked up और than just a few levels. This had become a fight between the two men that knew the Savage Nymph और intimately than anyone else.
Marluxia slammed his scythe into the ground, causing a storm of Sakura petals to erupt. Jason executed a dodge roll, and when he came back he saw the दीवार was scored with slashes. «I'm not using the golden Larxene card, Marluxia would know my every move. So what do I do?» Jason made a sudden dash at his enemy, catching him off guard. The redhead finished the dash with a flying leap, tackling Marluxia to the ground and punching everything he could reach. Marluxia resummoned his scythe and batted Jason away. He landed on his feet and dodged the sycthe various times. "Look at you, running around like a little rat," Marluxia sneered as he swung his sycthe with extra strength. A दीवार of गुलाबी energy tried to decapitate Jason, who executed another dodge roll. The redhead took a chance to throw his knives while Marluxia's defenses were down, which embedded themselves into his chest. His eyes bulged out in pain as Jason worsened the wound with a follow up पंच to the knives, embedding them deeper. Marluxia grinned savagely. "Touché…Larxy taught me that word, it means," "Well played." Jason finished, "Larx taught me French too. But she never told me where she learned it, या even what French is." The look in Marluxia's eyes कहा that the case was the same with him. Nevertheless, the pink-haired man back away. Bursting out of the judge's podium was a machine, which clamped around him. "This machine will launch my most powerful technique, Doom. If आप don't want to die, finish me off." Jason started to feel panicked. The machine looked indestructible, and it was starting to gather energy. He gathered all his magic power into his fists, which he pointed at Marluxia. Jason put all his wishes into the spell: His desire to save his family, his friends, and to settle down. "Blaze beam," he whispered, and a Firagun launched from his fists, laced with lighting energy. It collided straight with Marluxia, and exploded.
Jason unshielded his eyes. Laying in a smoldering heap was Marluxia. He ran straight to him. "Hey…" Marluxia coughed fiercely, "Thank you. When Larxy and I joined Organization XIII, we never wanted our hearts back. Hearts are painful. But in defeating me, आप have showed me two things: That आप will protect Larxene with everything आप have, and that I will never get my heart, because I never wanted my दिल back, ever. If I were to ever fade away…at least it's at your hands." A swirl of Sakura petals engulfed Marluxia, and everything started to shake. When the storm was over and the vibrations stopped, Marluxia was gone. All that was left was a single card with his face. Jason gave a brief salute, then picked up the card and put it in his कोट pocket.
Marluxia's monitor erupted in a storm of static, then turned off. A single tear slid down Larxene's face. "Mar Mar doesn't want a heart…so I wouldn't bother reviving him." she stated. Xenmas nodded in agreement, though he never intended to do so anyway.
Fifth Basement exit hall: The reunited group ran up the stairs. Jason swore when he saw the clock: 53hrs00mins. The और floors he climbed the harder they were to beat. "You seem down," Itzal noted as he observed Xion. She looked away, unable to meet anyone's eyes. Finally, she said, "Axel's floor is next…I really don't want to face him."
Outside of गढ़, महल Oblivion: A Dark Corrider opened up near the back of the castle. Two cloaked figures approached it. They stopped, and one faced the other. At once, the removed their hoods, revealing them to be Marluxia and Selene. He looked up at the castle. He had been truly killed here once, द्वारा Sora. He had been revived द्वारा Larxene, and things had gone back to normal until she brought Jason to the गढ़, महल That Never Was. This made Marluxia realized: The goal of Organization XIII was to get their hearts back, which he didn't want. But at the same time, he wanted to live. So to solve this, he created a plant clone and bestowed upon it almost all of his powers. Which meant if the real Marluxia had been fighting, he would have actually died. Marluxia took a deep breath of air. Everyone thought he was dead, which meant he was free, free to be as heartless as he wished. He ruffled Selene's head fondly. "Don't worry, I will visit you. I'm your uncle, after all. I should have a have a hand in raising you." With that, he walked through the Dark Corridor to whereabouts unknown. Selene had but one thought: «I have no idea what I just unleashed on the worlds, nor do I care. I have to get back to Itzal.»
Axel is the अगला match. He also happens to be the last semi-finalist. Jason's adventure speeds up! Will he win against his nemisis, या will Axel's backhanded tactics get the best of him?