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Other DIamonds

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Feb 1st, 2018
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  1. “Riku!”
  2.  
  3. Feeling how Sora came running up to him, kicking up tons of sand like he always did, Riku raised his body from the ground and got up.
  4.  
  5. “Do you have to make so much noise, Sora?”
  6.  
  7. “Oh, c’mon! We didn’t come all the way over to the island just so you can nap all day, Riku!”
  8.  
  9. “Adult people can’t bounce around like you all day, Sora. I’m tired, kid. Go play.”
  10.  
  11. Sora and Riku were one year apart in terms of age. Just one year. One single, measly year. But whenever Sora got just the slightest bit too hyper and Riku wanted to shut him up, it was enough to just bring their ages up and use them against him. Disgruntled, Sora started to pout at Riku.
  12.  
  13. “So… what’s it? Did anything come up?”
  14.  
  15. “No, nothing’s up at all. That’s just it,” Sora stated and sat down cross-legged in front of Riku. “Lately you’re doing nothing anymore but starring out to the ocean all time, Riku.”
  16.  
  17. “Well, it’s not like there was anything interesting I could stare at on this island,” Riku replied, looking at Sora. He wondered if maybe they should spar. Wakka and Selphie already seemed to be at it, he could hear their voices in the distance.
  18.  
  19. This bay where they always came to play was somewhat secluded from everything else and only few people ever came here. Aside from the sound of the breaking waves, it was a rather quiet place.
  20.  
  21. “But what’s it that you’re trying to see out there all day?”
  22.  
  23. “No idea.”
  24.  
  25. “Oh…” Sora tilted his head.
  26.  
  27. “Hey, you two, what’cha doing?”
  28.  
  29. As soon as Sora heard the voice behind him, he turned towards it and a smile spread on his face. It was Kairi.
  30.  
  31. “Nothing, really,” Riku said and turned his head. He too began to smile a bit.
  32.  
  33. “Nothing at all?” Kairi sat down next to Sora.
  34.  
  35. “Yeah. Pretty boring, huh?” Sora nodded, obviously hoping that Kairi would agree with him.
  36.  
  37. “No, actually, sometimes I think it’s pretty nice to just sit there and watch the ocean a bit,” Kairi replied. Sora started pouting again.
  38.  
  39. “Oh, c’mon, Riku! Let’s do something together. Anything!”
  40.  
  41. “You guys could have a Beach Race.”
  42.  
  43. The boys sometimes raced against other, down the bay. There was a Paopu Tree on top of a cliff on the other end of the bay. The objective of the race was simply to reach it, touch the tree and return to the start line.
  44.  
  45. “Again?” Riku didn’t sound especially interested and shrugged.
  46.  
  47. “What do you mean ‘again’? We haven’t done that in ages! The last time was… uhm…”
  48.  
  49. “Three days ago,” said Riku and the disinterest in his voice hadn’t yet faded. It’s true, they had just had a race three days ago. One where Riku utterly and crushingly defeated Sora. However, no matter how many times he lost, Sora refused to give up until he would win. Maybe Riku would be just as persistent about trying to win as Sora if it was him who had to register one loss after another? Riku thought about it for a bit, but in the end he didn’t know.
  50.  
  51. “Three days already!”
  52.  
  53. Kairi laughed when Sora got up with insistence on his face. Riku finally complied reluctantly,
  54.  
  55. “Oh well, I guess it can’t be helped. Once more then.”
  56.  
  57. “Awesome!” Sora jumped a bit when he heard his friend.
  58.  
  59. “Alright, then I’ll be the judge again,” Kairi said and got on her way to the somewhat elevated point where she’d have a better view of the start and finish line.
  60.  
  61. “Same rules as always. We can take any route we want. First one to tag that tree and make it back here wins.”
  62.  
  63. “OK,” Sora nodded at Riku’s explanation, then thought of something. “That reminds me, we still haven’t named that raft yet, right? So… If I win, I’m captain!”
  64.  
  65. Riku took a quick glance over to the bay’s beach, where the gathered materials for the raft which he, Sora and Kairi were building together were, when Sora said this. With this raft, they wanted to go somewhere, anywhere but here. Anywhere but here… somewhere over the ocean.
  66.  
  67. “And, if you win…”
  68.  
  69. Riku opened his mouth and interrupted Sora before he could end the sentence.
  70.  
  71. “I get to share the paopu with Kairi.”
  72.  
  73. Sora froze at the spot when he heard this declaration.
  74.  
  75. “Huh?!”
  76.  
  77. “Deal? The winner gets to share a paopu with Kairi.”
  78.  
  79. “Wha—W-Wait a minute…!” Sora stuttered in confusion.
  80.  
  81. The paopu fruit. There was a special legend about the fruit of the Paopu Tree. According to it, if two people eat one of them together, it binds them to each other for eternity. Riku knew exactly who Sora would want to share one of those fruit with, if he could. The question was just who Kairi would want to share with.
  82.  
  83. “OK! On my count!” Kairi shouted across the beach, unaware of the boys’ conversation.
  84.  
  85. “Three, two, one…GO!”
  86.  
  87. And that was the start shot. Riku immediately dashed off, to the wooden bridge, which would cut off some of the time he’d need running simply down the beach. Sora, meanwhile, took the route though the sand instead. And he was frantic and desperate doing so. Riku’s change of bet had turned this thing pretty much into a “life or death” situation for him. Riku began to feel sorry for what he had done to him, but now the race had started and he couldn’t exactly take the bet back again. It was then that a single image from his memory, a scribble in the Secret Cave, crossed Riku’s mind. A scribble of which Sora probably knew just as well.
  88.  
  89. Riku crossed the bridge, leapt onto the ladder by the overview platform and quickly climbed it up. From up here, he could overview the entire beach. Sora seemed to still be a bit behind him. Taking one deep breath, Riku jumped onto the slider before him, grabbed onto it and rode it to the other side of the beach. This had the pleasant side-effect that Sora would now be unable to take the same road.
  90.  
  91. Yes, there was only one year of age difference between them, but still, no matter what it was, it seemed like Riku could beat Sora at just about anything. Sometimes he let him win on purpose though, for example when he simply wasn’t in the mood to seriously try to win. Riku was sure that Sora didn’t know about that, though he sometimes wondered if Kairi noticed.
  92.  
  93. And also, Riku wondered if the day where Sora would beat him might come after all one day.
  94.  
  95. There was one thing, though regarding which Riku was sure Sora was ahead of him right now by far, and that was who of them was more important to Kairi.
  96.  
  97. Barely had the slider arrived at the beach, Riku jumped down, kicking up dust. Then, he rushed up to the cliff. Sora was still behind him. He jumped from cliff to cliff, tagged the Paopu Tree, then, as Sora was gaining on him, Riku leapt onto the coco palms. Before leaving the last one, he turned around to make sure Sora had actually touched the tree, instead of shortcutting. Confirming that he did, Riku then jumped back onto the wooden bridge.
  98.  
  99. Kairi was just a short distance from him now. And she was looking in Sora’s direction. It looked like today he had , once more, defeated Sora. But Sora was growing stronger. The day would come Sora would defeat him, Riku knew it. And if that happened…
  100.  
  101. Sora was running like in trance.
  102.  
  103. ‘That’s why…’ Riku thought to himself ‘Sora will never beat me. He can’t…’
  104.  
  105. “GOAL!”
  106.  
  107. And then, only by a second, a single measly second…
  108.  
  109. Riku had lost.
  110.  
  111. “Oh YES!!” Sora yelled out, letting himself drop into the sand, face up. And then, Riku stepped over to him and looked down.
  112.  
  113. “So, you get to name the raft. Big deal.”
  114.  
  115. Realizing in shock what Riku was saying, a glare appeared in Sora’s eyes.
  116.  
  117. “W-What? But you said…!” Sora began to ask in confusion. Riku just shrugged.
  118.  
  119. “What’s that? Oh, the Paopu thing? It was just a joke. You should have seen your face.”
  120.  
  121. Just when Riku said that, Kairi came run over to them.
  122.  
  123. “Sora, congratulations!”
  124.  
  125. Sora was too tired to get up and run towards her, but he replied by holding up his hand and waving.
  126.  
  127. “Hey, what were you two talking about?”
  128.  
  129. “Not telling,” Riku replied to Kairi’s question and then turned towards the bay. He jumped to another cliff and began to leave. Somehow Riku felt that he needed some time alone.
  130.  
  131. “Where’re you going?”
  132.  
  133. “Not telling that either.”
  134.  
  135. Kairi tilted her head a bit at Riku’s blunt response.
  136.  
  137. “And next time, I’ll win too!” Sora yelled over.
  138.  
  139. “Yeah, yeah, I got it.”
  140.  
  141. That said, Riku continued to ascend the cliffs.
  142.  
  143.  
  144.  
  145. -~-
  146.  
  147. Barely anyone ever climbed up that high here. Riku was gazing out to the Horizon.
  148.  
  149. He couldn’t have lost against Sora. No matter how long he thought about it, it wouldn’t make sense.
  150.  
  151. It had to be because he had thought of Kairi. How she was the only thing in which Sora was ahead of him and how Sora couldn’t possibly beat him at anything else. But then, the race happened. He had lost his cool and become careless. That’s why he had lost.
  152.  
  153. And then, Riku envied Sora.
  154.  
  155. Riku would never have been able to put his heart into something as desperately as Sora did down there. And he would never have been able to be as happy about his victory as Sora was. And then Riku wondered, why he was the older one, even if just by one year, just one measly year. Maybe, he thought, things would be different if he wasn’t older. Riku felt a bit of pain in his chest. There was a nice breeze around Riku, yet he felt horrible. Maybe…Maybe if Sora didn’t exist… or if Kairi didn’t exist… If neither of them were there, or, rather, only one of them was there… Maybe, Riku thought, it would be better for him? Maybe he would be happier then?
  156.  
  157. But what Riku could do right now to improve his situation, with things being the way they were, he didn’t know. He could dream of a world where there was no Sora or a world where there was on Kairi as long as he wanted, in the end he lived on one where they both existed, no matter how cruel this seemed to him.
  158.  
  159. The breeze kept blowing.
  160.  
  161. Did that wind come from the ocean? Or did it come from the sky, maybe? The ocean and sky he saw from where he stood were always the same. They would never change, in eternity. Riku closed his eyes. But even through his closed eyelids, he could still sense the blue radiance of the sky and the ocean. He would never be able to break free from this unchanging world.
  162.  
  163.  
  164.  
  165. Soon, the door will open.
  166.  
  167.  
  168.  
  169. Riku’s eyes opened when he suddenly heard the voice from somewhere.
  170.  
  171. “Who is there!?”
  172.  
  173. But there was nobody with him. The only thing he could hear was the singing of sea birds and the sound of the waves.
  174.  
  175.  
  176.  
  177. Soon, the door will open.
  178.  
  179.  
  180.  
  181. Again, this voice. And it seemed familiar. Right… he knew that voice.
  182.  
  183.  
  184.  
  185. Can you hear the Darkness within you?
  186.  
  187.  
  188.  
  189. “What does that mean?” Riku called out. To the voice that came from the Darkness in his own Heart… from Ansem.
  190.  
  191.  
  192.  
  193. So why do you refuse to submit? Wouldn’t it be so much more pleasant to just erase them? Sora… and Kairi?
  194.  
  195.  
  196.  
  197. “Shut the hell up!!”
  198.  
  199. Only now, Riku realized that he was in complete darkness. Not even the blue radiance reached him now.
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