"All this?" Huey asked. Kotsu, Goku, and Goten carried armloads of Potions and Hi-Potions. Goku gingerly placed his armload on the counter, while Kotsu dumped his goods almost unceremoniously onto the polished surface. Kotsu rubbed the back of his head and lowered it, grinning sheepishly in traditional Kotsu fashion.
"Yup!" Kotsu cried. Huey rung them up and Goten doled over the munny.
"Have a nice day!" Huey said as they left the shop. They packed their new provisions in a bag, along with the food they had just purchased to fill the Gummi ship fridge. Laden with goods, they found themselves in the Gummi ship, setting sail once again. Kotsu took his seat, the joystick-like controls ready to obey his command.
Kotsu stared out the window, eager. The first ride over to a world was always exciting, because anything could happen. He blasted Heartless ships with greater passion and fervor, gleefully enjoying being an infantryman for the time being. He grinned and pointed when the new world came into view. They packed just enough Potions and other provisions to get them by, and they disembarked.
"Wow look!" Kotsu cried.
Two giant gold statues of gladiators crossed blades before a huge oak door with lighting bolts emblazoned on the upper half of it. Kotsu admired the crossed golden blades with a bright blue sky above, and was thrilled by this new world. It looked like fun.
"Where are we?" Kotsu asked.
"Olympus Coliseum, according to the coordinates." Goten said, checking his handheld navigation system.
Kotsu dashed up the stairs and into a small lobby. A fire burned bright in the room. A square opening of a door leading somewhere else in the room had a sign that read "Closed" strung across the entrance. On one side of the room was a square rock pedestal. A small creature of some kind was doing something to a sign. Kotsu approached, tentative.
"Hey, uhh..." Kotsu said, trying to capture the small being's attention.
"Good timing. Give me a hand, will ya?" the creature barked at him. It had the torso and head of a man, but also had horns and the body of a goat. It was a satyr.
"Sure." Kotsu said, shrugging at Goten and Goku.
"Move that pedestal over there for me. I gotta spruce this place up for the games." the satyr added.
Kotsu ran over to help and tried pushing the pedestal, but it weighed too much and he doubled up, panting. He shoved himself against it, trying to use the weight of his body - which, strictly speaking, wasn't much - to move the large stone cube, but it wouldn't budge. He sighed.
"Weighs too much." he said to Goten and Goku. They headed back over to the satyr.
"It's way too heavy, dude!" Kotsu cried.
"What? Too heavy? Dude?! Since when have you been such a little..." the satyr cried, then turned and looked at Kotsu. His face changed instantly.
"Oh. Wrong guy. What're you doing here? This here's the world-famous Coliseum, heroes only!" the satyr said, approaching Goten.
"Whoa!" Goku said, raising his hands and backing up, to show he meant no harm.
"And I got my hands full preparin' for the games, so run along pipsqueaks!" the satyr growled. Kotsu glared at the satyr.
"Who are you calling a-" Kotsu snarled back, but Goku covered Kotsu's mouth with his hands and held the irate boy back.
"Look, it's like this." the satyr said. "Heroes are coming from all over to fight ferocious monsters right here in the Coliseum."
"You've got heroes standing right in front of you!" Goten said, with a smile.
"This here's a real hero," Goku said, clasping Kotsu on the shoulders, "chosen by the Keyblade."
"And we're heroes too!" Goten added.
"Hero? That runt?" the satyr laughed.
"What's so funny to you? I've fought a bunch of monsters now." Kotsu growled.
"If you can't even move this." the satyr said, trying to push the pedestal. He panted and wheezed as he attempted to move it.
"You can't call yourself...a hero!" he gasped, then stopped attempting to move it. "Okay, so it takes more than brawn. Well, well, let's see what you can do. This trial is tough, but do you got what it takes?"
"I'm ready!" Kotsu yelled.
"All right then, shorty. Break these barrels within the time limit." the satyr said, heading into the coliseum. Kotsu followed, awed at the wonder of the place. He readied himself.
"Three...two...one...GO!" the satyr yelled.
Goten and Goku were content to watch as Kotsu ran around frantically, smashing as many barrels as possible. They cheered loudly when he succeeded.
"You ain't bad, kid." Phil the satyr said after Kotsu passed his tests.
"So I get to go to the games?" Kotsu asked, grinning.
"Afraid not." Phil said.
"Why not?" Kotsu cried, dismayed.
"Two words." Phil cried "You guys ain't heroes. You can start by mastering this spell." He gave Kotsu a Thunder charm, which allowed Kotsu to use thunder-based magic spells.
As they left the lobby, disappointed, a voice spoke to them.
"Rather a stubborn old goat, wouldn't you say?" someone behind them remarked. It was a strange looking blue man with flames for a head. He was wearing black robes.
"Who are you?" Goten asked, instantly suspicious.
"Whoa, hold on there, little fella. Wait, let me guess." the man said. "You want to enter the games, right?" The man, who was much taller than Kotsu, put his hand on Kotsu's shoulder. Kotsu looked up at him, then nodded slowly.
"Well, then, hey, get a load of this." the man said. In his hand appeared a slip of paper with the emblem of the arena emblazoned on the back. Kotsu read the paper quickly, and his eyes grew wide.
"A pass?" Kotsu asked.
"It's all yours. Good luck kid." the man said. "I'm pulling for you, little shorty."
He disappeared before the irritated Kotsu could lay waste to him.
"That was weird." Kotsu said, anger draining away slowly.
"Hey, we got our ticket into the games though." Goku said, beaming.
"Hey, how'd you get this?" Phil cried when Kotsu flashed his pass inside.
"Can we enter the games now?" Kotsu asked.
"Well...I guess so. We start with the preliminaries!" Phil yelled. Kotsu grinned.
"Be warned, some real weirdos signed up for the games. Better watch yourself." Phil warned. Kotsu nodded.
The first match was against Shadow Scout, a team made up of soldiers and Blue Rhapsodies. Just as they talked to Phil after their first arena victory, a young man with strange clothes and a cape walked by them. He had spiky blond hair and piercing blue eyes. He stood somewhat taller than Kotsu, and was more muscular. He had a huge sword. He and Kotsu stared at each other, the older boy trying to unnerve the young hero.
"Something tells me he'll be a tough one to beat." Phil said. "Who knows, maybe you'll end up facing him."
Round two was against a group called Sinisters, which was made up of Shadows and Blue Rhapsodies. They easily won. The match after pitted them up against five Red Nocturnes and five Blue Rhapsodies, calling themselves Heat and Freeze. Another victory for them.
"Say, you're better than I thought, kid! Wish he was here to see this." Phil said.
"Who?" Kotsu asked.
"Hercules. He's a hero if there ever was one. Too bad he's visiting his father." Phil explained.
Their fourth match was against two Soldiers, two Shadows, three Red Nocturnes, and three Blue Rhapsodies that were called Shadow Platoon. They then fought Blue Revenge, a team made up of nine Blue Rhapsodies. They were next pitted up against the young man from before with the cape, who was apparently named Barrygar.
"Good luck against him, kid. I don't envy you." Phil remarked.
Kotsu stepped up onto the arena, opposite Barrygar. Barrygar's blue eyes pierced him, and Kotsu felt a bit unnerved.
"You and me. One-on-one." the mysterious boy suggested.
Goku and Goten looked at Kotsu questioningly, but Kotsu nodded and allowed the suggestion. He wanted this fight to be good.
"Ready?" Phil roared and the two boys took stance and nodded.
"Three, two, one. FIGHT!" Phil yelled.
Kotsu charged at Barrygar, Keyblade out. Barrygar, with surprising speed, dodged Kotsu, who slammed into the barrier that prevented either from falling out-of-bounds, and he winced. Barrygar whacked Kotsu with his sword, and Kotsu gasped with pain, falling over. He barely dodged Barrygar's second swing, and found his own attempt blocked.
"He's too fast!" Kotsu thought, barely dodging the hits. Kotsu swung the Keyblade and missed, and was rewarded with a crack on the back from Barrygar's sword. He lay on the ground, barely able to move. Barrygar rose over him, sword ready to finish him off. Kotsu stared up at Barrygar with wide eyes and an incredulous look on his face. But Barrygar didn't swing.
Kaygen watched as Kotsu and friends took down the teams of Heartless that he had put together. His loyal pet and companion Heartless, Shadowbane, was at his side. Shadowbane ordinarily looked like some mix between a dog and a crocodile. Presently, he was at Kaygen's feet, eyes watching the fight intently. Kaygen sensed Hades' presence approaching. Hades did not like Kaygen. Kaygen had taunted Hades, and the man could never forget that. But he sensed another great presence along with it. Kaygen then knew what to do.
He used the Corridor of Darkness to get to where Hercules was. He was determined to ruin Hades' plan. The man and other Olympian Gods and Goddesses prepared to fight Kaygen, but Kaygen spoke quickly.
"Cerberus is about to attack some youths participating in the games at the coliseum. You must help them, Hercules." Kaygen said. He extended a hand to Hercules, and after much hesitation...Hercules took the boy's hand. The boy protected Hercules from the darkness around them as they traveled.
At that moment, a monstrous black three headed dog appeared. Kotsu gaped. Suddenly, a strong man, none other than Hercules, came and held the beast down.
"Phil, get them out of here!" he demanded. Phil herded them to the lobby.
"No! I want to fight!" Kotsu said, running back in.
"Kotsu!" Goku cried, following him.
"Wait for me!" Goten yelled, running in behind the other two.
The man had the unconscious Barrygar slung over his shoulder. The three headed dog - Cerberus - approached. The dog then turned when it saw Kotsu's party come in behind it, giving the strong man a chance to run with Barrygar to safety.
"Kid, I got two words of advice for you: Attack!" Phil yelled.
"Kotsu!" Goku yelled, signalling him to run to the back of the dog while he and Goten ran to the sides. Goku and Goten nodded, preparing to unleash a brilliant magic-based attack on the giant dog, but then...
"GAH!" Kotsu yelled as he tripped over the tail, his other foot smashing down on the tail as he tried to regain his balance. His arms flew up in the air and he landed flat on his face.
"KOTSU!" Goku and Goten yelled, and Kotsu's hand shot up to the back of his head, to rub it and smile sheepisly.
"Whoops!" Kotsu said. "Guess I'll just have to do this freestyle."
Kotsu climbed up Cerberus' tail, crawling across the back before he wrapped his legs around the neck of one head and yanked the monstrous dog's ears. The dog yipped and began running about the stadium as Kotsu held on for dear life, screaming his head off. Goten had to literally throw himself out of the way of the frantic Cerberus, for fear of being smashed, while Goku whooped, impressed. The dog finally smashed into the wall and fell unconscious at their feet.
"KOTSU!" the other two yelled, thinking he was crushed. But when the smoke cleared, Kotsu slid off the dog's back, gave a look at his handiwork and grinned at them before doing the Gangnam style dance. Goku and Goten laughed.
"Thus, I do hereby dub thee Junior Heroes, and confer upon thee full rights and priveleges to participate in the games." Phil read to them from a document. "Further-"
"What do you mean, 'junior heroes'?" Goten asked, dismayed.
"You rookies still don't understand what it takes to be a true hero." Phil snapped.
"So...what does it take, then?" Goku asked.
"Well, that's just something you'll have to find out for yourselves." Hercules said. "Just the way that I did."
"No problem." Kotsu said, confident grin on his face. "We'll start by proving ourselves in the games."
Phil glanced at the entry to the coliseum.
"There ain't gonna be any games for a while." Phil said. "Gotta clean up that mess from the last battle first."
"Okay, we'll be back." Kotsu said as Goten and Goku began walking towards the door out. He joined his two friends.
"I still can't believe that squirt actually beat Cerberus." Phil said, casting a glance at the departing Kotsu.
"Just between us," Hercules said "I'd already worn Cerberus down by the time the little guy jumped in."
"My lips are sealed." Phil replied.
As Kotsu, Goten, and Goku walked up to the foot of the stairs marking the exit, they caught Barrygar sitting there.
"Hey, are you all right?" Kotsu asked. Barrygar looked up.
"Yeah." Barrygar replied.
"So, why did you go along with him anyway?" Kotsu asked, hooking his hands in his pockets. Barrygar folded his hands and rested his chin on them, closing his eyes.
"I'm looking for someone," Barrygar said, "and Hades promised to help. I tried to exploit the power of darkness, but it backfired."
Barrygar stood up, and looked up at the golden gladiators with the swords crossed, which lay behind Kotsu's party.
"I fell into darkness, and I couldn't find the light." the older boy added.
"You'll find it. I know you will." Kotsu said, smiling at Barrygar. "I'm searching too."
"For your light?" Barrygar asked. Kotsu nodded. Barrygar walked up to Kotsu.
"Whatever you do, Kotsu...don't lose sight of it." he said, handing something to Kotsu. He walked by Kotsu, back towards the lobby.
"How 'bout you and I have a one-on-one sometime? A clean game, no dark powers!" Kotsu shouted towards Barrygar. Barrygar turned to look at Kotsu.
"I think I'll pass for now." he said. Kotsu checked his hand. It was a charm which allowed him to learn Sonic Blade.
Kotsu gave Barrygar one last smile before he left the coliseum. The giant oak doors shut behind him.
"He's strong, he's kind. He's always there for you, and he's handsome to boot. He's perfect. Perfectly infuriating." Hades snarled. "He makes me crazy."
Hades turned red, and an inferno blazed up for a moment around him.
"Wait, why are you upset? All the pieces are in place. Relax. Here's what you do." Hades said to himself. "Let Hercules train the kid. In the next games, I'll take care of them both."
He sensed someone behind him. It was Maleficent.
"Who invited you to the party? Stay out of this. This is my show."
"As you wish." Maleficent said. "Fight to your heart's content. But let it be known that Kaygen was the one who brought Hercules back in time."
Hades was enraged.