The sun was already below the horizon by the time Riku arrived at Radiant Garden. As if Radiant Garden wasn't pretty enough during the day, it was quite pretty during the night as well. But Riku wasn't here for the sightseeing. Instead, he was there to meet Ansem the Wise in hopes he has the means to bring Sora back. Riku even warned Sora to NOT bring Kairi back using the power of waking but he did so anyway and had to pay the price. Just as Riku approached the castle gates however, a voice called out to him.
- Well, well, how do you fare tonight, master of Keyblade?
Riku searched for the source of the voice and saw a man he hasn't seen before leaning against a wall. He wore rather stylish looking clothes complete with a fedore resting on his reddish-purple hair.
- Who are you? Riku asked the stranger?
- Me? Let's just say I'm a man of no importance. Actually, I am. The man replied. - I am Ardyn Izunia and I know what you're seeking. You're on a quest to bring certain someone back to the land of the living, am I correct? Someone called Sora?
- Sora? You know where he is?
Riku immidiately picked the scent of darkness on him. He knew that this man wasn't trustworthy at all. Instead of summoning his Keyblade however, he decided to let him speak.
- But of course. You two have quite a history. Now, it's not like I'm stalking you or whatever. Consider me as a person of boundless curiosity.
- Yeah, I guess I get what you mean. If you truly know what happened to Sora, now's the time you where he is.
- Ah, eager to get right into business are we? Sora's dead, that much is certain. However, it doesn't mean he would stay dead. He's a player in a 'game' for a second chance at life. If he fails the 'game', he will be erased forever.
So he is somewhere out there, Riku thought. If only he's able to reach where the 'game' is taking place.
- However, the 'game' so to speak is rigged and the entry fee's already taken, that being his Keyblade. Surely he needs a 'knight in shining armor' to free from his fate, am I right? Ardyn continued.
- Yeah, Sora does have this certain habit to get himself into trouble. Riku said wishfully.
- Indeed. But, I can't take you to Sora immidiately. Before that, you have to prove you're up to the task, Riku. It's time you yourself become a players in a 'game' too. The true king awaits.
- What? Riku exclaimed.
He didn't get a chance say anything else as a dark portal opened under him, swallowing Riku to parts unknown.