Chapter Nine


Persistently, this impression had stayed with Roxas no matter how far he travelled into the new world. It wasn’t that the colour bothered him per se, but such a natural shade like this green reminded him forcefully of life. The grass in Wonderland hadn’t been half as realistic as this, and so he’d felt safer there.

Next to this particular hue, Roxas felt like a sham. He’d walked through a corridor not his own, and then here he was – a Nobody controlled by someone else’s puppet strings, yet again. This time Roxas really could not shake the feeling that this was just another one of Saix’s missions. He’d purposefully avoided looking around too much - so he could not be said to be performing reconnaissance – but meanwhile he hadn’t figured out what he did want to do.

What did he want to do?

“I want to eat sea salt ice cream-“ with my best friends, were the words unspoken, “-just like I used to.” The longer he’d walked, the more a steady trickle of memories had come back to him. This had been one of the strongest. “Actually, I guess I could eat anything.” Eating was a mindless pleasure. Even the husk of a real body nonetheless knew to automatically chew and swallow; to savour the flavour of some morsel of food didn’t even require movement at all. Eating might be a simple pastime, but in comparison to some of the other Organization members, Roxas had always been relatively simple in his desires.

“Did I hear that you wanted to eat?”

Rather than spin around to meet the intruder, Roxas merely tensed his muscles to be ready for reaction. Silently, the stranger walked around to appear in his line of sight, and suddenly Roxas couldn’t help laughing. The man before him was one of the funniest looking human beings he’d ever seen. His face was quite decidedly square in shape, and most prominent of all of his features was a large red nose. Perhaps the fellow had a cold. Six splotches of black marked his face in a pattern: two dark eyebrows, two stubby moustaches, and two beady eyeballs.

“Forgive me for disturbing you. I am a humble travelling monk, and...I heard you say you were in search of food. There is a small town not too far from here, and I know they will be kind enough to provide some rice for two weary travellers. I don’t mean to presume, but you also look like one who’s walked much, and usually denizens of the road won’t dismiss the chance at good food and a hot bath.”

Roxas appraised the man in consideration. Could he trust him?

“Oh, my name is Jigo. Terribly rude of me not to introduce myself. Two people who share the road should not be afraid to get to know each other.”

And where was the harm in that? Roxas thought. In any case, he would find more purpose to be in a village or city of this world, rather than remain lost in the forest.

Decisively, he stuck out a hand in front of him, showing he was not armed. Oathkeeper and Oblivion had been since banished. “Nice to meet you, Jigo. My name is Roxas."

The End

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