Without the fairly large amount of heartless, Twilight Town was transformed back into the quiet town that it used to be. The people smiled ignorantly at how their town seemed to be safer and they could enjoy themselves again. The sky became a deep orange color as the near perpetual sunset was beginning to set. Hours had passed since Riley had left the world. Despite the fact that Riley's presence was currently nonexistent, Twilight Town was still under the influence of otherworldly powers.
A corridor of darkness appeared in the entrance to the station plaza and a hooded figure walked out of it. After looking around to make sure no one was watching them, the figure removed their hood to reveal that they were none other than Zexion. Zexion looked at the station plaza to see Hayner, Pence, and Olette standing near the wall. They were holding sea salt ice cream in their hands and they were staring aimlessly at the sunset. Even though they were where they usually were, Riley was nowhere to be seen. Zexion glanced at the clock tower to see what the time was. It was past six.
"How odd. Riley's acquaintances are here, but she's nowhere to be seen..." Zexion murmured. Zexion looked at the ground to find that there were several small pebbles on the ground. He picked one up and turned it around in his hand a few times. "I suppose it's time that I talked to Riley's friends a second time."
“How do you think Riley’s doing?” Olette said. “She’s probably fine. I mean, she does carry a sword around with her,” Hayner remarked. “That’s true.” “Excuse me?” an unfamiliar voice said. The three teenagers turned their heads towards the sound to see a small old lady hobbling towards them. “Is there something we can help you with, ma’am?” Olette said. When the old lady got close enough, she pulled out a bracelet from her pocket. “I couldn’t help but overhear, but were you talking about a girl by the name of Riley?” Her voice wavered, just like her shaking hands. “That’s right.” “I was walking when I found this on the ground. This has her name on it. Do you perhaps know where she is so I can return it to her?”
“She left town earlier today. Sorry,” Pence said. A surprised expression appeared on the old woman’s face, but it was quickly replaced by a smile. “Oh, that’s a shame,” she said. “I can hold onto it if you want. Riley’s my friend. I can give it to her when she comes back,” Olette said, holding out her hand. “Alright. Don’t lose it, my dear. Your friend will not be happy.” The old woman handed the bracelet to Olette. “Thank you for your help.” The old lady turned and began to walk away. “Have a nice day!” she called over her shoulder. “You too!” Olette replied.
“I didn’t see Riley wear a bracelet at all while she was here,” Hayner said. “Yeah, me neither,” Pence replied. “Maybe she’s got the wrong-” “H-Huh?!” Olette suddenly exclaimed in astonishment. Hayner and Pence looked over at Olette with surprised expressions. “What’s up?” Hayner said. Olette opened her hand to show that there was no longer a bracelet in her palm, but a pebble. “A pebble? Where’d the bracelet go?” Pence said. “I-I don’t know!”
When the old woman was at the entrance to the station plaza, she looked over her shoulder to make sure the three teens weren’t looking in her direction before she let out a sound of disgust. “‘When she comes back.’ More like if she comes back,” she spat. Darkness surrounded the old woman and when it dissipated, it was revealed that she was actually Zexion. "She left this world. Of course she left this world," Zexion mumbled. He let out a sigh and leaned against a nearby building. "That deceitful girl, never even gave a hint that she was leaving."
Zexion brought his hand to his mouth. This mannerism had been a way to identify scents more clearly, but it had become a habit when he wanted to think. "What to do...I have no idea as to where she might be. Riley never hinted at, never gave a single intimation that she was leaving. I suppose that's to be expected. A Nobody's body does not show signs of stress when expressing a lie."
Even though Zexion had no idea where Riley could have gone, he was aware of several facts. Riley appeared to be lacking the ability to make dark corridors. Not only did she seem slightly disturbed at the sight of a dark corridor, but she hadn't shown any aptitude in controlling the darkness. Even if Riley knew how to manifest a dark corridor, she wouldn't be able to use it. Without a black cloak that the members of Organization XIII possessed, her body would be destroyed, swallowed whole by the very same darkness that Nobodies could control.
Since Riley had no use of a dark corridor, she would have to have other means of traversing the worlds. Zexion had once read about something referred to as a "keyblade glider," but that foggy memory was unnecessary. Riley didn't possess a keyblade. Whatever method of traversing worlds Riley used, one thing was certain; the method could most likely only transport her to a nearby world.
This hypothesis narrowed down the amount of worlds Zexion would have explore to find Riley. Zexion stood up straight. "I should get started. The more time I'm away from the castle, the more suspicions Saix might have." He held his hand out and a dark corridor appeared. Zexion walked through it and disappeared. Even though there was to be a lot of work to locate Riley again, Zexion wasn't going to let her leave. He wasn't going to have her find sanctuary away from him. She was too interesting, far too interesting. Zexion wasn't one to let a good opportunity slip through his grasp and Riley was going to be no exception.
A loud crash reverberated through the walls of Yen Sid's tower followed by a soft curse. The three fairies, who had been asleep, appeared at the door to the room where the crash originated. They threw open the door to see Riley standing at her window. Her practice dummy, now headless, was on the ground. The three fairies were more furious now than ever. They had just fixed that dummy a week ago. "Riley!" Flora barked. Riley jumped and she whipped her head back to look at Flora. "What?!" When Riley moved her head, the fairies were able to see her window. They let out a surprised gasp when they saw its condition.
There was a large, jagged hole in the glass. "Riley, what happened?" Fauna said. With an artificial, sheepish smile on her face, Riley replied, "I was training and the head flew off." The fairies flew over to the window to inspect the damage; Flora gently nudged Riley to the side. Since the impact had been from the inside, almost all of the glass shards were on the outside of the tower. "At least the shards of glass are on the outside..." Merryweather murmured. Flora went over to Riley.
"Why were you even training at this hour? I would've thought you were reading those comic books you made us buy you or playing those video games of yours," she said. Riley's possessions for her entertainment no longer felt as enjoyable or exhilarating as they once did. The only pastime she had the desire to do anymore was fight with her sword. "I didn't really feel like doing those things," Riley replied. Normally, the fairies would have regarded this statement as odd, but they were tired and slightly cranky from having been woken up from their slumber.
"Just please don't do anything else that's loud and boisterous. Try reading or maybe you can even go to bed." The fairies turned to leave. "B-But what about-?" "We will fix your practice dummy in the morning, Riley. And don't go near your window without shoes. There might be glass there," Flora scolded, cutting Riley off. "I'm far too tired to mend it, anyway..." she murmured. The fairies left Riley's bedroom and shut the door firmly behind them. When they were gone, Riley let out an irritated huff. "Ten o'clock isn't that late..." she grumbled. Riley put on her green slip-on shoes and walked over to her window.
She looked through the hole in the glass down at the ground below. Since it was nighttime, Riley strained her eyes to see clearly. She was trying to see where her practice dummy's head had landed on the ground when it went through the window. Riley was unable to retrieve the head now, for Yen Sid had sealed the doorways leading to the different flights of stairs.
He had done it every night since Riley had an incident that involved her being outside of the tower when it was late at night several years ago. She had been attacked by a heartless. A small smile appeared on Riley's face as she remembered the memory. Yen Sid had been protective of her when she was younger, but had slowly ceased to do so as she aged. The three fairies were an excellent replacement. Riley often thought that Yen Sid had done this because he thought that she was old enough to take care of herself, but the fairies had reassured her that nothing had changed.
Riley's eyes scanned the ground below, using the light of the moon to see. The dummy's head wasn't next to the bushes, nor was it near the edge of the tower's boundary. Just when Riley was about to give up looking for the head for tonight, a dim flash of light caught her eye. She turned her attention to where the light originated from to see a sight she thought she would never see again. Standing near a group of bushes was a figure in a black cloak. It was a member Organization XIII; they had found her.
A soft gasp escaped Riley's lips. She watched, frozen in shock, as the figure's head turned to the left then the right. It seemed that they were examining their surroundings. The corners of Riley's mouth gave a small twitch in the involuntary movements of a smile. The figure hadn't seen her, so she could probably duck beneath her window to hide. Before she could do so, however, the figure's head stopped moving. Its hood was facing her direction. Riley froze again. After a long, pregnant pause, the figure turned and walked over to the bushes.
Riley let out the breath that she had been holding. The figure may have seen her, but there was no way to know for sure. Plus, the fact that the figure didn't try to attack her was a good sign. "I should probably try to hide now," Riley thought to herself. As she was going to duck down under her window, the figure suddenly whipped its body around and hurled a fairly large, round object at Riley. Riley let out a yell of surprise and cast a reflect spell to protect herself. The object ricocheted off of her shield, off of the wall, and landed at her feet. Riley looked down to see that the object that the figure had thrown was the head to her dummy.
The reflect spell wore off, leaving Riley staring dumbfounded at the head of her training dummy. After the longest time, she looked back at the figure to see that it appeared to be staring at her. Riley gulped. The figure's hands slowly moved up to its hood. It pushed back its hood with a simple flick of the wrist. Riley's eyes widened in horror when she saw the figure's face. "No..." she whispered.
The member of Organization XIII that had been staring at Riley was someone that she knew and the only one that she knew the name of. It was Zexion. Riley took a step back from her window. "H-How did he find me? I thought I that he believed my lie!" Zexion stared at Riley silently. He didn't move, nor did he show any indication that he was going to attack her. After what seemed like an eternity, a smile appeared on Zexion's face and he disappeared.