• Published 18th Apr 2013
  • 6,203 Views, 213 Comments

Kingdom Hearts: Friendship is Magic - Mudkipman98



The final battle between Sora and Xehanort was a failure. Sora is on his last legs and his friends have all been captured. When he refuses to help Xehanort, he is sent into darkness. What he finds on the other side surprises him above all else.

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Olympus Colosseum (part 1)

After flying through space for only 30 minutes (as opposed to the expected hour), the group approached a glowing world with a large, golden building on top and a black, dark tower coming from below. After a few taps of the console from Sora, the ship made its descent towards the glowing side of the world.

As the ship came close to the atmosphere, the image of the glowing building disappeared and was replaced with the true topographical layout of the world, revealing a massive stadium in the clouds and a large city below. As the ship came closer to the world, it quickly slowed and remained hovering three miles above the large city below.

"What gives?" asked Rainbow in confusion. "Why didn't we land?"

"We are landed," said Donald. "Because we're not supposed to be meddling with other worlds, we leave the ship in the sky. That way, no one else knows where we're from."

"It's important that we maintain the balance of the worlds as they are," said Sora. "It's been a pretty big risk using our keyblade gliders because they might give us away. Luckily, we've landed in unpopulated areas or places that already know about the existence of other worlds, like Traverse Town."

"It's the same with Radiant Garden," said Riku.

"So you're saying we shouldn't use our gliders unless it's absolutely necessary?" asked Twilight.

"Pretty much," said Riku.

"So now we're short on transport," said Applejack. "We'll have to keep out of other folks view from now on?"

"No, it's not like that," said Sora. "If anyone asks where you're from, just tell them you're from out of town. That usually worked for us," he finished as he gestured to Donald and Goofy. "Just try to be inconspicuous."

"Ugh, fine," came a groan from Pinkie Pie as she put away a large cannon. "And I was going to throw a 'Welcome-to-a-brand-new-world-full-of-amazing-Greek-stuff' party." Everyone shared a small chuckle before Donald gathered their attention.

"Listen up," he began. "Since we can't land, we have to teleport down. Don't make a move once we start."

"Also," interrupted Sora, "the first time can be a little bit rough on the landing. You might be dizzy at first, but it'll wear off."

Goofy got up and made his way to the console before pressing a small purple button to the far right side. He then rejoined the group in a circle. "Here we go," he said. All of a sudden, he disappeared in a flash of green light which quickly dispersed. Before the others could release a slight gasp in shock, they too were teleported out of the ship, leaving behind a faint, green light that shimmered and died out to leave the ship completely empty.

/)*#*(\

Olympus Colosseum

It was a fraction of a second before Twilight felt something rough press against her face. As she struggled to open her eyes, she found that she'd fallen over and was lying in a heap on the ground. As she regained focus, she saw her friends standing up from similar situations. Twilight followed suite, and in moments the gang stood at the ready, eager to get to the colosseum.

"Why don't we do some exploring here first," said Sora. "I've never been to the city below before, so maybe we can gather some information here."

"Just remember," began Riku with a cautioning tone, "keep a low profile. We don't want too much attention drawn to ourselves."

"Right," responded the ponies in unison.

"Let's meet up at the colosseum in an hour," said Sora. "That'll give everyone some time to explore."

"We'll see you there," said Rainbow Dash.

"Oh yeah!" said Twilight. She turned to Rainbow Dash before materializing a brown package tied with a string. "This is from the three good fairies and Master Yen Sid. They're imbued with some kind of strange magic that even I can't decipher." She hovered the package over to Rainbow who took it under her wing to hold it. "They just told us that we'd discover they're power during our journey."

The cyan pegasus set the package and the ground and tore it open, revealing clothes of the same design as her friends. "These are for me?" she asked, puzzled.

"Yep," said Pinkie Pie from the back.

Rainbow took a second to slip them on before standing back up straight. Much like the others, the clothes had several bound pockets of varying size to match Sora's outfit, and it was light blue with white trim in color. "Thanks, guys," she said in gratitude.

"Don't thank us," said Rarity. "Thank those fairies the next time we see them."

"Okay, I think that'll do it," said Sora. "Now go on. Explore a bit."

With that, the group split up and went their separate ways. The streets of the city were filled with people, all buying and selling things at stands or talking away in the corners of buildings as the hundreds of hurrying people passed them by.

"Ah'm gonna go and check out what kinda food they got here," said Applejack to the rest of the ponies. "It's not every day ya get to see a whole 'nother place like this one." As Applejack departed, Rarity spoke up.

"I myself am quite interested in the kinds of material they use here for clothing. I can't seem to recognize it from anywhere in Equestria." As Rarity turned to go, it was Fluttershy's turn.

"Maybe there are some brand new animals here," she said optimistically.

"I don't think they'd be in the city," said Twilight. "Based on what I can gather about the culture here, I'd say you'd have to find some kind of outlying village if you wanted to find anything unique." Fluttershy frowned slighty before Rainbow Dash approached her.

"Don't worry about it," she said. "Why don't you come flying with me? I want to check out the weather here and see if it works the same as Equestria's weather."

"I guess we can do that," responded the yellow pegasus, perking up a bit. Together, the two winged ponies flew high into the sky, Rainbow Dash taking the lead.

Back on the ground, Pinkie Pie spoke up. "You should come and help me find a decent party, Twilight. I have the feeling they'll be a bit harder to find here than in Ponyville."

"You go ahead, Pinkie," responded the alicorn. "I'm more interested in the history of this place. Especially all of this architecture. It's similar to that of the ancient Equestrians, so maybe I can learn more about ours from the history of this world."

"Okay," said Pinkie Pie looking slightly disappointed.

Twilight put a hoof on her shoulder before saying, "Cheer up. I'm sure you'll find some kind of party here."

"Okee dokee. I'll see you later, Twilight."

"See you soon," finshed Twilight. While Pinkie went bouncing off down one of the roads, Twilight activated some of her magic and cast a location spell, looking for anywhere that might have a large collection of books, but to no avail. In fact, there didn't seem to be anything like a library in the city at all. "Maybe they aren't very strong readers," she thought to herself. "That, or this just isn't as important of a city, so there isn't going to be a grand library. Then again, with the colosseum above, this should be a real tourist attraction. So where's all the banners advertising the games? And what about that library?"

While Twilight thought on about how strange the city was compared to what every sign told her to expect, Sora and Riku were only a few blocks off talking as they explored the area.

"So what happened at Radiant Garden?" asked Sora. "Did you run into anyone?"

"Radiant Garden?" asked Riku, puzzled.

"Oh, right! The last time we were at Hallow Bastion, we found out it was originally called 'Radiant Garden', so we changed the name."

"I guess that makes sense," said Riku, still a bit confused. "Anyway, there was a wizard there by the name of Merlin, and he mentioned that he knew you."

"So that's where he is. We didn't see him when we visited Traverse Town. Did he say why he was still there?"

"No, but I can guess it was to make sure that the town stayed safe. He said that it's been pretty peaceful lately."

"It was peaceful?" asked Sora in shock. "But that place has always had plenty of heartless, especially when Donald, Goofy and I went there. What happened?"

"I think the destruction of the new Kingdom Hearts might've caused a heartless shortage," said Riku. "Also, you never said. Why'd you go back there?"

"To be honest, it was the first world that our gummi ship picked up on," said Sora, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "Since we were there before, we thought we might check it out and see how it was doing. What about you?"

"What?"

"Why would you go back there? I mean, I thought it would be a bit hard to go back to after everything that happened."

"Honestly, I was worried about the place."

"Why's that?" asked Sora.

"I'm not sure," said Riku back as he stared off into space. "It was the first world I found after we left the island. Maybe it was just me being sentimental. I don't know, but something felt like it was drawing me there."

As Riku finished speaking, he accidentally bumped into someone and staggered a bit. "Whoa. Sorry about that," he said as he turned to look at who he'd collided with. But instead of one of the citizens, he found he was staring at a horse-like figure in a black robe. In fact it only took him half a second to realize that it was the same one he'd followed through the portal on Pulse and that he'd followed in Agrabah.

"You," he said in surprise as he tried to make out the face of whatever was under the hood. Before he could get a good look, the pony broke off into a run in the opposite direction.

"Wait!" Riku called after the pony as it ran, its cloak blowing behind it. He immediately gave chase, eliciting a slight gasp of annoyance from Sora before he realized who Riku was chasing and followed him.

As they kept chasing the pony, it kept making turns down every street, seemingly trying to lose them before getting cornered in an alley. As the pony ran to the back wall and put its front hooves on it, scraping as if to try to escape, Riku called, "You're not going anywhere." The pony stopped and touched back down on all fours.

Slowly, it turned around and faced the two keyblade warriors. In one smooth move, it held up a navy blue hoof and summoned its own keyblade. Sora and Riku both recoiled a little bit as darkness flowed from the crescent moon on the end of the keyblade and surrounded the two friends, eliminating their vision of the stoned alley. Sora was about to ask what was going on when his and Riku's keyblades appeared in their masters' hands, as if knowing about the imminent danger.

As Sora and Riku continued to stare at their opponent's keyblade, they soon found themselves in a dark realm. In fact, it reminded Sora of his dream from on the island and with Twilight's and Fluttershy's dives. The three stood on a stained glass platform, depicting Princess Celestia and Luna with a yin-yang pattern in the background. Luna resided in the black, while Celestia resided in the light. The pattern, instead of just solid black and white, featured night and day with a golden light shining behind the day and a light blue behind the night.

As Sora and Riku looked up from examining the amazing design, they were met with the pony rushing at them, keyblade swinging in a wide arc. Both Sora and Riku jumped to avoid the swing and touched down on Celestia's side of the platform, falling into their combat stances. Their enemy did the same, jumping back to land on Luna's side and allowing tip of the keyblade to rest on the ground. Riku quickly tossed Sora a couple of elixirs as they prepared for a fight.

Meanwhile...

Twilight had taken to the skies, flying up toward the Colosseum to get some answers. When she got up to the massive cloud platform that led to the entrance, she landed and made her way to the doors. To the left side of the massive stone doors, there was a black, twisting mass that looked like some kind of gateway. Twilight could make out some kind of stairs leading into darkness, but she couldn't see down to their bottom. Resisting the urge to take a closer look, she instead opened the doors with her magic before stepping through them into the colosseum's massive courtyard.

The first thing she noticed was the incredible amount of rubble and the two giant, destroyed statues. "What happened to this place?" she asked aloud, though to no one in particular.

"A hydra happened," came a thick Jersey accent from behind Twilight, though she didn't know that. Twilight turned around to see a strange creature with the legs of a goat and the body of a human; a satyr, and a particularly short one at that.

"A hydra did all this?" asked Twilight.

"'Bout a year ago. What can I do for ya?"

"I'm here to compete in the games," said Twilight. The satyr started laughing at her uncontrollably. "What's so funny?" she asked in annoyance.

"You think anybody's gonna compete in a dump like this?" he managed through his loud laughter. When he finally calmed down, he said, "No, the games aren't gonna be held here for a long time. But, if you really want to compete, then I guess we could use the Underdrome."

"What's that?" asked Twilight.

"Where have you been livin', under a rock?" asked the satyr. "The underworld's version of our colosseum. It's a lot more dangerous, but if you really want to compete, I'm not gonna stop you. They're holdin' a tournament soon anyway."

"The Underdrome, huh?" asked Twilight, more to herself. "I'll be right back," she said. "I've got some friends of mine who were also going to compete."

"What're their names?"

"Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy, and I'm Twilight Sparkle. There's also Riku, Sora, Donald, and Goofy."

"Did you say Sora?" asked the satyr with more interest in his voice. "You know that kid?"

"Yeah," said Twilight back. "Have you met him?"

"Met him? I trained that runt into a hero!" he bragged. "Tell him to stop by as soon as possible."

"Will do," said Twilight as she turned to leave. Before she left, she asked, "What was your name, again?"

"Phil, the trainer of the greatest hero on Olympus."

/)*#*(\

The first move was made by the cloaked pony as it forced more darkness from its keyblade until it solidified into large, black tentacles. Without moving a hoof, the tentacles stretched toward Riku and Sora at lightning fast speeds, forcing them to quickly guard. Sora countered by activating his rotating fire spell around him and Riku, burning the vine-like protrusions to ash.

"Our turn," said Riku. He and Sora charged towards the pony until they were only a couple of yards away. Sora swung his keyblade horizontally while Riku swung his vertically. Before the keyblades could make contact, their adversary teleported behind them and swung at their backs, impacting both of them hard and throwing them forward.

As Sora picked himself up, the pony rushed him, unleashing a blinding flurry of attacks against him and forcing him toward the edge of the massive pillar. As he got forced to the edge, Riku used his spacial magic to teleport next to them and land a blow against the pony, knocking it away from Sora.

As Sora recovered, Riku was knocked into the air by a jet of darkness originating from under him. In mid air, it pulled him back down and slammed him into the ground.

As he stood back up, Sora used an elixir on him and asked in wonder, "Who is that?"

"I don't know," said Riku. "But who ever it is, they're strong."

Together, Sora and Riku filled their keyblades with light before shouting in unison, "Session!" This audible command triggered the release of their light and the activation of their limit break, Eternal Session. Sora and Riku charged the pony with impossible speed and executed a series of very fast combos against it, each hit landing straight on and knocking the pony under the hood around. After that, they started hovering around the pony, jabbing at it with intense accuracy and force before jumping back for their next move. The two warriors of light swung their keyblades together, creating a massive white sword that swung where they did to cut up and across the pony in nearly one hundred hits. As soon as that was done, the sword split into thirteen and got a mind of its own, attacking the pony simultaneously while Sora and Riku retreated to safety. As soon as it finished, they combined their keyblades once more before executing their final move, All's End. Separating for the last time, their keyblades flew into the 'sky' and pulled the pony in, blasting it from both sides with an intense and unbreakable light before letting its body drop to the floor, lying still and smoking slightly in a heap.

Sora's and Riku's keyblades returned to them as they dropped backwards in exhaustion. They stared at their fallen adversary in wonder. Who ever they had just beaten, they were one tough customer.

After a minute of rest, Sora got up and approached the cloaked pony. Slowly, he bent down and took hold of its hood. In one swift move, he tore it back to reveal...

Nothing. They had just finished beating nothing. As soon as he'd pulled back the hood, the cloak collapsed in on itself as darkness flowed from its seems. The keyblade 'it' wielded disappeared as well, disappearing into darkness and leaving behind a key chain of a crescent moon which Sora snatched up.

Riku approached Sora before asking in shock, "It took our most powerful attack just to bring down a copy?" Sora could only nod, speechless himself.

Suddenly, a feminine voice rang out through the darkness. "I see that Princess Celestia did not exaggerate when she communicated to me your ability."

Sora stood up immediately when he heard the mention of the princess. "How do you know Princess Celestia?" he asked to whoever was speaking.

Darkness began collecting in front of him about a yard away, so Sora took a few steps back. The darkness kept collecting until it created the pony that Sora and Riku had fought. It was still wearing the black cloak and hood while its keyblade was no where in sight. Slowly it reached up to its head and pushed back the hood, revealing the navy blue face of Princess Luna.

"I am her sister, Princess Luna. I control the night of Equestria while my sister reigns over the day." She began walking around Sora and Riku, examining them as she said, "It was reckless to use such a powerful attack so early in the fight. Despite its effectiveness, it has left you both drained. You should have waited until you could do nothing more than stand before executing your limit break. Remember that." She finished as she came back around to Sora's front.

"Pardon me, Princess," began Riku, "but why are you using the power of darkness?"

Luna's eyes suddenly glowed a bright white as she got in Riku's face, screaming, "Because the darkness ensnared me! I was once a warrior of light like you, but my neglect at keeping my inner darkness in check made me into a demon!" She backed up slowly as she regained control. Riku just stared at her in shock. In only a moment, the cloak exploded away from Luna and her body became covered in dark magic before dissipating and revealing her 'Nightmare Moon' armor on her body.

Sora and Riku stepped back even more, plagued with unease. "This is what the darkness has made me," said Princess Luna calmly. "I have done my best to control it, but even the Elements of Harmony, with their powerful light magic, could not completely dispel this demon in my heart."

She turned away from them, dismissing her armor as she said, "That's why I pursued the power of the keyblade. Years after my sister returned from the keyblade war, I begged her to teach me her skill. I learned, but only how to summon one. I couldn't manipulate its shape or control any magic, but it was enough for me. Later, when my heart fell into darkness, my keyblade changed and became pure darkness itself. After my banishment to the moon, I honed that power into the deadly weapon I possess now."

Turning back to Sora and Riku who were listening intently, she said, "And now, I work to destroy it. It continues to haunt me and I feel its darkness pulling me back. I've traveled the worlds in search of a way to cleanse myself of this nightmare, but so far, my efforts have been in vain. Warriors of light, I beg you now, help me end this. Save me from the darkness." Princess Luna was now bowing to Sora and Riku, who wore shocked expressions as she finished her story.

"I guess we have to," said Riku. "After all, you're Princess Celestia's sister. How could we not?" Both he and Sora smiled as Princess Luna lifted her head to look at them. She stood up and with the swing of a hoof, she dispelled the darkness and freed Sora and Riku from the dream.

They woke up on the ground in the alley, unaware that they'd been in a dream the whole time. Princess Luna was standing a short ways away. She pulled off her hood and looked at them with gratitude in her eyes.

"I guess we'd better find Twilight and the others," said Sora. "They'll want to know you're here."

"So will Princess Celestia," said Riku.

"Actually, I don't want them to know," said Princess Luna apprehensively. "I left in secret because I didn't want my sister to worry about me."

"I thought you said she told us about you," said Sora in confusion.

"I did," said Luna, "but we're linked psychically. She sent me a message that she had enlisted the help of Twilight, her friends, and two 'humans' named Sora and Riku to protect Equestria."

"That explains how you knew who we were," said Riku. "But you realize that by leaving without saying anything, you probably just made your sister worry more, right?"

"I was worried about that," said Princess Luna sadly. "Knowing that she's worried about me makes me wonder if it was the right decision, but the part of my heart that isn't corrupt is telling me to go out and find a way to become whole again."

"I won't argue with you there," said Sora. "But believe me, it would be a lot easier if you had some friends to help you out." Sora turned away from the Princess toward the street as he said, "Come on Riku. We need to find the others and get to the colosseum."

"Yeah," agreed Riku as he turned to leave as well. Together, the two left Princess Luna in the alley to get back to their friends.

Meanwhile, the ponies had regrouped. All except for Twilight who was still searching for Sora and Riku. Donald and Goofy were with the ponies in search of Sora and Riku as well.

"So, Goofy," began Applejack, "what's yer world like?"

"Well, there's a big ol' castle right smack dab in the middle of it," he replied. "Besides that, there's not much else. There used to be a ferry, but the captain, Pete, turned against the king almost 13 years ago. Then, a witch named Malificient freed him and he joined the heartless."

"And he's been a pain in our butt since we started fighting the Organization," added Donald.

"What's the Organization?" asked Pinkie Pie.

"Yeah," added Fluttershy sheepishly. "They don't sound very nice."

"They weren't," said Goofy. "But Sora took care of their leader, uh..."

"Xehanort," said Donald.

"Right, Xehanort. He was usin' 'em to make this weapon called the X-blade."

"Sora and Riku filled us in there," said Rainbow Dash. "Are any of them still around?"

"Of course not," said Donald. "Otherwise, we would have run into them by now."

As if on cue, a dark portal opened up in the middle of the street, scaring the civilians into running. Donald, Goofy, and the ponies stopped in their tracks as a cloaked figure with red, glowing eyes stepped through it into the street.

Fluttershy jumped behind the others, quaking with fear as she said, "I-is that one of t-them?"

Donald and Goofy readied their weapons as Goofy said, "I'm not sure. It looks like it."

The others summoned their keyblades and prepared for combat. All except for Fluttershy who continued to cower behind them.

In a movement faster than light, the nightmare rushed forward, summoned its blades and knocked Donald and Goofy aside. The five ponies who had stood behind them barely had time to react as it rushed them as well, forcing them to guard quickly to avoid being struck.

After a couple of rapid attacks, the nightmare teleported back a ways while the ponies looked on in wonder.

"What in the world is that?" asked Rarity in confusion as she and the others recovered.

"Ah'm not sure," started Applejack, "but it looks like it's tryin' to pick a fight!" She readied her keyblade, as did the others.

"Are you sure we have to fight it?" came the nearby cry of Fluttershy as she found a hiding place behind a shopping stall.

Rainbow Dash turned to Fluttershy and said reassuringly, "Don't worry. We'll be fine. Especially since I'm on the team!"

Fluttershy cringed and refused to move, eliciting an annoyed huff from Rarity. "Why can't she mare up and help us?"

Before anypony else could utter a sound, the nightmare summoned a pillar of darkness under Rarity, bashing her relentlessly before tossing her down the street. Rainbow Dash charged while the others gawked at Rarity's immediate defeat. She swung in a large arc that was easily dodged by the nightmare before it countered and launched her into a collection of barrels.

As she collided, Pinkie muttered to herself, "So the barrels are in on this...(1)" That earned her a strange look from Applejack before the farmer turned and cast Magnet above her, expecting to draw her enemy in. Instead, it stood unphased at the end of the street, preparing another stash of darkness for more of its powerful attacks.

"What the hay?" she asked out loud. "I thought that was supposed to pull the darn thing toward us! What happened?" As she questioned herself, the nightmare fired a pitch black, swirling ball of darkness at her. Before she could react, Pinkie Pie brought her keyblade down on the projectile to stop it before turning to Applejack.

"We have to focus," she said as she became serious. She quickly turned back to the nightmare and held her keyblade up before shouting at the top of her lungs, "Thunder!" A large bolt of lightning struck the nightmare, leaving behind a few static strands of electricity but otherwise doing nothing. Pinkie lost some of her bravado as it gestured to her, summoning three pillars of darkness that began rotating around the two ponies.

"Ah don't like this," said Applejack nervously as the pillars began closing in on them.

As they were about to make contact, both ponies heard the rasping voice of Donald as he shouted "Blizzaga!" The three pillars froze before being enveloped in a black cloud and shattering to pieces, only to return to the nightmare and collect in its dark pool.

"Donald?" questioned Pinkie Pie.

As the nightmare fired what looked like a knife made of red and black darkness from its hands, it was intercepted by Goofy with his shield, exploding on contact and dissolving into nothingness. "Goofy?" asked Applejack in surprise.

As Sora's old friends stood in the defense of Applejack and Pinkie Pie, the nightmare seemed to glare at them with malice as the darkness behind it was nearly ready. After a few more moments, the nightmare jumped backwards into the pool of darkness and sunk into it, disappearing under the red and black mass that remained in the street.

"What's it doin'?" asked Applejack in confusion. Only a second later, the darkness split into seven pieces and shot straight up into the sky, heading in completely different directions through space.

As the last of it disappeared, every one dropped their guard to wonder at what they'd just seen. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Rarity rejoined Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Donald, and Goofy in the middle of the road. "Well, that sucked," stated Rainbow Dash bluntly.

"I agree," came Rarity's response as she healed herself with a potion. She turned to Donald and Goofy before asking, "Have either of you seen anything like it before?"

"Nope," said Goofy.

"It looked kinda like a member of Organization XIII," said Donald. "We need to find Sora and Riku now."

"Ah agree," said Applejack. "Maybe they'll know what that thing was."

It was just then that Twilight glided down to the group, landing a short ways away from them. "Have you seen Sora or Riku anywhere?" she asked frantically.

"Not recently," said Fluttershy quietly. "Is something wrong?"

"No, not wrong. It's just unnerving that we haven't seen them. Where do you think they went?"

"Beats me," said Rainbow Dash. "I'm sure they're fine. Just relax little bit."

"Relax?!" said Applejack in shock. "We almost got killed by some thing in a weird cloak and you're tellin' us to relax?!"

"Pretty much, yeah," replied Rainbow Dash, much to Applejack's annoyance. "It looks like it's gone, whatever it was."

"Did I miss something?" asked Twilight.

"We were attacked!" yelled Donald.

"Donald's right," said Goofy. "This feller in a black cloak attacked us and then left right before you showed up."

"Black cloak?" said Twilight to herself. "Just that? I mean, did it have any other distinguishing markings? How will I know if I see it?"

"It had these incredibly tacky sleeves," said Rarity in disgust. "They had some kind of magenta pattern on them. Personally, I could've made much better."

"Magenta... got it," said Twilight. "Whatever attacked you sounds like some kind of heartless."

"Well, that's just it," said Goofy. "It sure didn't fight like any heartless I know."

"It had this amazing control over darkness!" exclaimed Pinkie. "This was WAY to strong to be a just a heartless."

"Let's find Sora and Riku right away," said Twilight. "I'm sure they'll know what it was. Besides, I've got some things to tell them about."

"Right," responded the others.

Together, they set off through the streets, doing their best not to attract too much attention despite their incredibly recent (and a little bit loud) fight. After what felt like a few hours, they finally, found Sora and Riku who had been searching for them as well.

"Where've you all been?" asked Sora calmly. "We have to register for the games soon."

"We've been looking for you for a while now," added Riku. "Is everything ok?"

"We were attacked only -- what, an hour ago? I lost track of time -- by this creature in a black cloak," said Rarity.

"Black cloak?" asked Riku. "Tell me everything about it," he demanded. "How did it look? Was there anything on its sleeves?"

"Actually, yeah," said Rainbow Dash. "It had this funky pinkish color on them."

"And if you want a fightin' style, try way too hard an' way too fast," added Applejack.

"It also used an awful lot of darkness, even for the Organization," said Goofy.

"Then it survived..." said Riku to himself.

"Do you know what it was, Riku?" asked Sora curiously.

"Yeah," he said back. "I think it's time I told you guys what happened while you were at the train station in Equestria."

/)*#*(\

"So that creature trapped Sora in a dream?" asked Fluttershy, about ready to flee back to the gummi ship after just hearing the story of Riku's short encounter.

"And now it's back?" asked Pinkie Pie.

"It must be," said Riku bluntly. "But how is it here, in the real world?"

"Beats me," said Twilight as she rested her head on her hooves. After a few seconds of silence, Twilight added, "That's right! I forgot! The colosseum got destroyed a while back. It won't be ready for another competition for a long time."

"Oh yeah," said Sora in embarrassment as he rubbed the back of his head. "That would be our doing," he finished as he motioned to Donald and Goofy.

"What?!" asked Twilight in confusion. "I heard that a hydra attacked it! Though, how it got up there in the first place beats me, but that's besides the point. What do you all have to do with it?"

"Well, you see..." began Sora. He proceeded to tell them all about his last visit and how it had cost the world's biggest attraction. "But it wasn't our fault it got destroyed. This guy named Hades sent a hydra to fight Hercules. But when he came to help us save his friend, the hydra regrew its head and went on a rampage. Now, the only other place to compete is..."

/)*#*(\

"Welcome to the Underdrome!" said the blue, short, and skinny Panic as he stood next to his red partner, Pain. The group had returned to the gummi ship and piloted to the colosseum itself, disembarking outside the doors and proceeding to the Underworld via the portal.

They had barely descended the stairs before Pain and Panic introduced them all to the Underworld and now, the Underdrome. "Here, you can compete in all kinds of tournaments, free of the fear of death and dismemberment," said Pain in his deeper, distorted voice. "Just talk to Panic over by the boat." The slightly taller blue demon dashed over to a strange looking boat that was docked near the crew.

"But, we're holding a special tournament with different rules soon," continued Pain. "You'll have to talk to me to register for that."

"Weren't we supposed to be getting training from Phil?" whispered Twilight to Sora.

"Right after this," he whispered back. "We'll all compete here where it's safe to practice against the heartless. Then, we'll focus on the more skill oriented training from Phil. Besides, it'll be interesting to see how you all handle yourselves."

"Got it," whispered Twilight back.

"The rules are simple," said Pain. "The tournament will operate bracket style, where each team or individual will have to fight through five rounds before a final match. There is no cap on power, so feel free to really destroy your competition."

"That doesn't sound very safe," said Fluttershy nervously.

"That's pretty much it," he finished. "Just talk to me when you're ready to register. But you better make it fast. The tournament starts tomorrow!"

One by one, Sora and his friends registered for the tournament, each wondering part in excitement and fear as to who they'd be up against. Sora, Donald, Goofy and Riku formed a team while the ponies entered separately per Sora's request.

"Why should we enter separately?" asked Twilight. "Shouldn't we make a team like you four?"

"Two reasons," said Sora. "First, it has been a long time since I've fought beside Donald and Goofy. They helped us find the original portal to the dark realm, but we were all alone once we reached the inside. If they're gonna help us again, then I need to re-establish the connection that made us strong. Second, you all need to learn how to fight individually. You've been fighting as a tight team so far, but it's time you all learned to trust your own strength, and this is a perfect opportunity."

"I guess that makes sense," said Twilight as she pondered Sora's request. She found it strange that, for someone who had emphasized the importance of teamwork for most of their journey so far, he would suggest going solo for the tournament. Reluctantly, she and the others accepted and before long, they were all set to compete.

While the ponies conversed about what they thought they might see in the tournament, Riku pulled Sora aside. "Weren't they supposed to enter in teams?" asked Riku.

"They were," began Sora. "But then I thought, 'Hey, Sora. Wouldn't it be cool to see what happens if they fight each other?' So I told them to enter separately. What's the big deal?"

"No, it's not a problem," said Riku. "But I wish you would've told me first. I guess now I've got something else to look forward to tomorrow," he chuckled to himself.

"Yeah," agreed Sora. Part of him felt guilty about tricking the others, but most of him was honestly curious about the outcome of the ponies fighting each other.

Sora and Riku rejoined the others before saying, "Alright, everyone. Let's head back to the gummi ship and get some rest. It's gonna be quite the day tomorrow." In just a few short minutes, the gang left the Underworld, got back to the ship, and bedded down for the night, all wondering the same thing. What would the outcome of the tournament be? Who would win? Who would be left standing when the gloves came off and the brass knuckles came out? These questions plagued the minds of the ponies as they drifted off to sleep.

Author's Note:

(1)*insert pewds here*
Sorry the fights in this chapter are so short. I can't say why, lest I spoil too much, but trust me, I'll explain it in the next chapter.
Hopefully, there aren't too many mistakes. However, with the different ways to use the word colosseum, you might spell it differently, or find another way to spell it. If you notice any, please let me know so I can fix them. :) Thanks for reading!