The New Key @ninjawriter23
Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Agrabah

He arrived quickly in the deserts near Agrabah and hurried across the sands. Along his way, he saw Aladdin and Abu, who were drowning in quicksand. Acting quickly, he form-changes Starlight to make the blade like a whip. He lashes it towards them, "Al! Abu! Grab hold!" He yells. Aladdin and Abu grip the blade tightly as James tries his best to pull them out, but not making much progress. It took all his strength just to keep them above the surface. He soon found himself surrounded by Bandit Heartless. James grit his teeth, trying to figure a way out when he saw a familiar Shield fly through the Heartless.

A series of thunderbolts struck more of them and Sora slashed his way through, "James? What are you doing here?" He asks. Suddenly, more Heartless appear and surround the group.

James deepens his stance, "Just cover me while I try to get Aladdin out of this!" He yells. Sora nods as he, Donald and Goofy work together to fend off the Heartless.

They were able to fend off the Heartless long enough for Aladdin to finally be pulled from the sand with Abu on his shoulder.

Goofy looks at the coming wave in concern, "Gwarsh, not again!"

James grunts, "These things don't know when to quit."

Aladdin rises to his feet and pulls out a lamp, he looks reluctant at first, but quickly slaps his hand on it and calls out, "Genie, get rid of these guys!" He then holds the lamp aloft and out from it, a strange mist pours out revealing the Genie of the Lamp.

"Wish Number One, coming right up!" He says dramatically. Then, with the snap of his fingers, the Heartless vanish.

After that, Sora explains Jafar working together with someone that James recognized the description of as Maleficent. As well as the fact that he had prevented Jafar from taking Jasmine.

Aladdin smiled in relief, "I see… thanks, Sora."

James nodded, "Yeah. If Jafar really has taken over Agrabah, then Jasmine's safety is even more important than it was before."

Sora tilts his head, "What do you mean? Does Jasmine have something important or something?"

James hums, "You could say that, yeah…" He then looks over to Aladdin, "Why don't you go ahead of us? You'll have better luck finding Jasmine in the maze of Agrabah than any of us." Aladdin nods and hurries off with Abu, Genie and Carpet.

James looked back at Sora with more seriousness in his expression than a moment ago, "Listen closely, Sora, as this is the most important information you may ever receive as a Keyblade Wielder." He says, shocking Sora for a moment. "The Light of the Multiverse is preserved and protected by the hearts of seven young maidens. Maidens whose hearts are as pure as they come, void of any Darkness whatsoever. They are the Princesses of Heart. Jasmine is one such Princess. As is Alice."

Sora's eyes widen, "But-! She was lost to the Darkness, right? Isn't that bad?"

James nods, "Very bad. The Princesses are disappearing one after the next. In fact, only two remain out of Maleficent's clutches."

Donald tilted his head, "Maleficent?" He asks.

"The woman that you said Jasmine mentioned speaking to Jafar. She's a dangerously powerful sorceress. I've faced her before, and I have reason to believe she's the one responsible."

Sora crossed his arms, "Well, there's two left… Jasmine's one of them… who's the last one?" He asks.

James chuckles, "You've already met her, Sora." He pokes the boy's chest, right where his Heart is, "And she's closer than you realize."

Sora shook his head in confusion, "Well either way, I'm heading back to help Aladdin find Jasmine. You coming, James?"

The man smirks and Form-changes Starlight into his glider, "Just try and keep up." And so, they hurried to catch up to Aladdin.

The four of them caught up to Aladdin just on the outskirts of Agrabah. Genie was flying about cheerfully, "Ah, fresh air! The great outdoors!"

Sora looked at the Genie, "I guess you don't get out much, huh?" He asks.

"Comes with the job." Genie answers, "Phenomenal cosmic powers. Itty-bitty living space. It's always three wishes, then back to my portable prison." He says with a bit more sadness in his voice, "I'm lucky to see the light of day every century or two…"

That's when Aladdin cracks a smile, "Say, Genie, what if I use my last wish to free you from the lamp? What do you think?"

Genie's eyes pop from their sockets and race around to stare in front of Aladdin, "You'd do that?" He asks hopefully.

Aladdin nods firmly, "Genie, it's a promise. After we help Jasmine." With added motivation all around, the group enters Agrabah to search for Jasmine.

James, Donald and Genie searched the Palace, while Sora, Goofy, and Aladdin searched the city. After combing through every grain of sand in all of Agrabah, they were unsuccessful in finding any trace of Jasmine or Jafar. They chose to head to Aladdin's home to rest and come up with a new plan.

Aladdin looked out towards the Palace, "So, Jafar is after Jasmine and this 'Keyhole.'" He says, thinking about what James informed him of.

Sora nods, "That's right. If we knew where the Keyhole was, we could just go there and head them off."

James folds his arms over his chest, "Only problem is, the Keyhole could be anywhere in all the World. We don't have time to search for it blindly."

Genie put a finger to his chin, "Keyhole, eh? I could swear I've heard about that somewhere before…"

Donald turns to the large mystical man, "Really? Where?"

Genie opened up his mouth and rolled his tongue out to reveal a massive book titled "Genie's memory" and started rolling through the pages, "Now, where was it? It's only been 200 years…"

Sora clenches his fists, "Well, anyway, we've got to stop Jafar before it's too late."

James' eyes twitch to the overlook, "I see Jasmine! She's at the Palace gates, let's go!"

The group arrive at the gates just as Jafar is approaching the Princess. Jafar turns to face the group, "Setting your sights a little high, aren't you, boy?" He says degradingly at Aladdin, "Back to your hole, street rat. I will not allow you to trouble the Princess anymore."

James summons Starlight and points it at Jafar, "Cut the crud, Jafar. I know you're working with Maleficent. You won't have your way while I'm around."

Aladdin ignores the banter and clenches his fist, "Jasmine!" He calls out.

She looks at him with sad eyes, "I'm so sorry, Aladdin." She attempts to approach him, but Jafar halts her.

Aladdin puts his hands behind his back and rubs the concealed lamp, "Genie, help Jasmine. Please!" He mumbles.

And then, in the blink of an eye, Genie had scooped up Jasmine and got her away from Jafar, "One wish left! You're making this really easy; you know." Genie states.

Despite his apparent situation, Jafar chuckles, "So sorry, boy. I'm afraid your second wish has been denied." Just as swiftly as Genie grabbed Jasmine, the parrot Iago grabbed the lamp from out of Aladdin's hands, and gave it to Jafar.

The moment the lamp landed in Jafar's hands, Genie dropped Jasmine, "I'm sorry, Al." He said as Jasmine fell into jar Heartless that grew legs.

"And now, I bid you all farewell. Attack!" Just as Jafar vanishes, a group of Heartless ambush James and the others from behind.

James enters his battle stance, "No Genie magic to get us out of this one!" He says.

Sora summons the Kingdom Key and enters his own stance, "I'm not worried. Let's take these guys down and catch up to Jafar!" On that note, James, Donald, Goofy and Aladdin fought for their very lives against the horde of Heartless.

The moment they were beaten, Aladdin turns to the street, "Jasmine!" He yells in frustration. His only response is an echo of Jafar's maniacal laughter. Aladdin grit his teeth, "To the desert! Come on, let's move!" No one objecting, they hurried out towards the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin, Sora, Donald and Goofy riding Carpet, while James rides his Keyblade Glider.

When they arrived, the cave's tiger head was covered in Darkness. James stepped forward, "Everyone stay back, this one's mine."

The cave head started firing a bombardment of dark Firaga, but James used a Strike Raid to deflect the shots. When Starlight returned to his hand, he leapt up and slashed one of the head's eyes with a Thunder Buster. Recoiling from the pain shook James off the head as it summoned a number of Bandit Heartless to surround James.

Goofy threw his shield in such a way that it ricochets against every Heartless, "Don't worry 'bout the little fellas. We'll take care of them." He tells James, "You just focus on that their cave." James nodded and repeated the same process as with the first eye.

With both of them now damaged, he channeled his power into Starlight, "Magic Pulse!" Several massive orbs of varying colors shot out in a spiral from James and flew towards the cave head, banishing the Darkness from it and returning it to its original state.

James sighed as he recalled Starlight, "Well that was an interesting diversion. Now come on! We need to get to Jasmine before Jafar can take her off the World!" They worked their way through the infinite labyrinth that is the Cave of Wonders, until discovering one of its deepest chambers where they could see Jafar and Genie, with Jasmine unconscious at Jafar's feet.

Jafar was also speaking with Maleficent, "Doing so may actually prove useful to our—" He was interrupted by the sound of James and the others approaching him, all of them their weapons were drawn.

James sneers at the witch, "Maleficent!"

Sora looks over to him, "That's her?" She doesn't answer, choosing instead to disappear from sight entirely.

Aladdin glared at the sorcerer, "Jafar, let Jasmine go!" He demands.

Jafar shakes his head, "Not a chance." He replies simply, "You see, she's a princess—one of seven who somehow hold the key to opening the door."

These words struck a chord with Donald and Goofy. "Open…" Goofy echoes questioningly.

"…. the door?" Donald finishes. "But you fools won't live to see what lies beyond it." Jafar tells them before holding the lamp aloft, "Genie! My second wish. Crush them!"

Aladdin looks up, pleadingly, at his friend, "Genie, no!" He shouts.

"Sorry, Al." The Genie responds, "The one with the lamp calls the shots. I don't have a choice." Using his magic, Jafar creates a barrier around the exits.

James summons Starlight, "And now, neither do we… Sora!" He looks to the boy, "You take the others and take Jafar down! I'll keep Genie off you for as long as I can!"

Sora nods and summons the Kingdom Key, "Alright, but be careful!" Genie is about to, reluctantly, swipe them aside when James intercepts with a Sonic Thrust to the face.

James lands on one of the elevated platforms, "I'm sorry, Genie, I really don't want to hurt you." He says.

Genie faces him, "It's alright, man. Just do what ya gotta do!"

The Genie shoots his fists from his wrists as they fly in every which way to try and throw James off. He narrowly avoids one punch, just to get slammed by the second, sent flying into the air. Genie turns into a battering ram and hammers James at the height of his launch, crashing him into the wall. Just as Genie turns to focus on Sora and the others, James breaks free of the wall and uses Magnera to pull Genie back towards him, where he then barrages the mystical man with an Ars Arcanum attack, followed by Thundaga.

Once the lightning fades, Genie immediately gets up and slaps James down to the ground. Genie winces at his own work, "Just stay down!" He says desperately, "Doesn't matter how strong you are! A Genie is one of the most powerful creatures in all of creation!"

James grunts, "Yeah… Yeah you may be right…" He slowly gets back on his feet, "But… I got something stronger than any magic." He pulls out his Wayfinder and puts it around his neck, "My friends." The Wayfinder suddenly started glowing green as James moved with blinding speed, circling Genie, landing blow after blow faster than even the Genie could keep up with.

Genie used a shockwave to reel James back and the Wayfinder changed to a brown color just before James leapt from the floor and struck Genie with so much strength that it sent Genie crashing to the floor below.

Genie recovers quickly and fires Magic Missiles towards him. The Wayfinder starts glowing blue and James uses his own magic to redirect the attack towards Jafar, who had just been knocked off balance by Sora's attack.

With Jafar defeated and Genie unable to act without his master's direct order, Aladdin and the others rushed to Jasmine's side. However, before they could try to wake her, Jafar spoke up, "Genie! My final wish! I want you to make me an all-powerful genie!"

Shielding his eyes with one hand, Genie used his other hand to grant Jafar's wish. Power started to flow through every inch of the room, and all of it originated from Jafar. The floor collapsed, forcing everyone to take shelter on the elevated platforms as the rumbling came to a stop.

Aladdin quickly forgot about Jafar and hurried to Jasmine's side once again. Sora looked her over, "I think she only passed out. We gotta go after Jafar first."

James nods, "Sora's right. Until Jafar is stopped for good, she'll only be in more danger." He says before dropping to his knees and groaning in pain.

Donald went over to him, "Are you ok?"

James gasps for air, "Yeah, I'm fine! Fighting the Genie just did a number on me."

He tried to get back up when Goofy stopped him, "Stop! You're in no condition to keep going." He tells the Master.

Sora nods, "You stay here with Jasmine. I'll handle Jafar!"

James smirks, "Well alright. Just watch yourself, half-pint."

A few moments pass, and from the sound of the commotion down below, he can tell the battle has begun. Suddenly though, a young boy with silver hair appears with a black Keyblade in hand, "Well, well. He lives." Said the boy.

James looks over to him and quickly staggers to his feet as the young boy walks forward, showing his outfit, causing James' eyes to widen, "Vanitas…." He whispers. He soon notices the difference in the symbol on his chest, narrowing his eyes again, "No… you're someone new. Who are you?"

The boy scoffed, "Considering how easily I knocked you out in Wonderland, I don't think you're in any position to demand answers from me." He tells James, "Just step aside and let me have the Princess."

James summons Starlight immediately, "Not gonna happen!"

The boy smirks, "Fine then. Heads up." Suddenly, James suffers a severe blow to the back of his head and he's rendered unconscious.

He's woken up when he hears Sora's voice, "James? James! Wake up James!"

He groans, rubbing the back of his head, "What happened? Where's Jasmine?" Sora looks away, "We don't know. When we got back here… she was gone." He put James' arm around him and helped the man up, "I already closed the Keyhole, so let's get out of here."

After a daring escape, via magic carpet, they group are sitting in Aladdin's home.

James looks to Aladdin, "I'm really sorry Al." He says, "I tried to protect her, but this kid showed up and caught me by surprise. Whoever or whatever hit me, I never saw it coming."

Aladdin looks downward, "So, Jasmine's no longer in Agrabah." He then looks to his friends, "James, Sora. Let's go find her!"

Sora lowers his head, "Sorry. I can't take you with me." He says sadly.

James rises to his feet, "With Jasmine gone, the Heartless won't be as hesitant to attack anymore. They'll need you to protect them." Feeling defeated, Aladdin says nothing and drops back to his seat.

Genie pats him on the shoulder, "Uh, earth to Al. Hello? You still have one wish left." He reminds the street rat, "Look, just say the word. Ask me to find Jasmine for you."

James' eyes widen, "But Genie! What about—"

Genie waves his hand, "I can't be selfish when my buddy is hurting like this! His bond with Jasmine is more important." He says firmly.

Aladdin looks upward slightly, "I… I wish… for your freedom, Genie." He says strongly.

Genie stops mid-way through whatever motion he was about to do and drops his jaw down to the floor, "Al!" He exclaims before swirling pink magic over takes him and he becomes released from his connection to the lamp.

"A deal's a deal, Genie." Aladdin says, "Now you can go anywhere you want. You're your own master."

James walks over to Genie, "Look, I know you still wanna help Al find Jasmine, but leave it to me and the three half-pints over there." He says, pointing to Sora, Donald and Goofy.

Sora looks at James, "Wait, then does that mean?"

James smiles back over at them, "Yeah. I'm gonna be sticking around. You seem to be pretty connected to what's going on. So, it's in my best interest to make sure you come out of this in one piece."

Sora smiles back, "That's great! Welcome to the team, James!"

Genie smiles and pats James on the back, "And if ya ever need help, my friends, just give me a call!" And in a puff, Genie goes off to wherever it is his Heart leads him to.

Meanwhile, James and Sora offer assuring farewells to Aladdin and set off together towards the next World.

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