Mickey was in the throne room along with all his friends, except for Master Yen Sid.
All were now in their normal clothing, the feast having been ruined by Pete’s actions, and all trying to figure what to do next. Mickey and Minnie sat at their thrones, with Pluto resting next to Mickey, while the others all stood.
“So what can we do, your majesty?” Donald asked.
“There’s nothing we CAN do, Donald.” He explained. “Pete took the key with him, which means there’s no way we could follow him. And we don’t know what world he ran off to.”
“Isn’t there any way of figuring that out?” Goofy asked.
Minnie chimed in and said “Master Yen Sid said he would look through the Viewing Basin. But he’s been at it for some time.”
“I wonder if he found anything yet.” Daisy said out loud.
“I am sorry to say this, Daisy,” someone entering the throne room said. “but not only have I failed to find Pete, but it appears we have another problem on our hands.”
They all looked as Yen Sid made his way from the door all the way down towards them.
“What’s the matter, Master?” Donald asked.
“It would appear that wherever Pete has gone, he has done something to upset the balance of the worlds.” He explained while crossing his arms. “The Viewing Basin...has become clouded. I cannot use it.”
They all looked surprised at this startling news. They looked amongst each other, all giving worried looks. Even Pluto had perked from his sleep to hear this and gave an disgruntled noise.
“But...how could Pete do that?” Minnie asked.
“I cannot be sure.” Yen Sid began. “Whatever he has changed it is something very drastic. The events of a world have been altered form his tampering, causing set world to lose its balance. And if one loses then all may soon be effected. All are connected in one sense or another. Even ours.”
“I don’t understand.” Daisy said. “How does whatever Pete did make the Basin unworkable?”
“I based the magic of the Basin with the same way I had helped to create the Doorway.” Yen Sid explained. “All magics based around the outer worlds requires they all remain in balance. Whatever Pete has done has caused that balance to tip. Whether it is for better or worse is moot. The world itself is still effected by an outside interference and is now out of its own balance.”
“I get it.” Goofy declared. “Kind of like when you toss a rock in a raver. Then it makes cripples.”
“Ripples.” Donald corrected him.
“Oh yeah. Ripples.” He finished with a hyuck.
“Quite so, Goofy.” Yen Sid added.
“So what can we do to fix all this?” Mickey asked.
“The only thing we can.” Yen Sid declared. “We find where Pete has escaped to, discover what he has changed and do whatever is within our power to do to mend this change. I just pray it is not something far too drastic.”
In the Doorway chamber, two guards stood on each side of the doorway.
Both were armed with swords and shields, and wore shining armor. While one on the right stood at attention, the other on the left seemed to slouch against the side of the doorway.
“I still think this guard duty is a waste of time.” The slouching one said.
“Hush now, boy.” The other said. “The king has given us a duty and we must see it done.”
“To guard a door and wait for Pete to just come crawling back from wherever he went to. And that’s to say if he’s smart enough to come back.”
“That’s beside the point. We have our orders and we’ll BOTH see them done.”
The younger guard sighed and said “If only he WAS smart enough to just give up and come crawling...”
Just then there was a clicking sound. It came from the doorknob of the Doorway.
Both guards looked down as the knob began to turn before back to each other and nodding. They stood in front of the doorway and drew their weapons.
As the door slowly opened they could both see the shadow of something on the other side. It grew larger, meaning it was coming closer to the Doorway for an exit.
Just as it opened more, the older guard called out “Alright, Pete. Now that you’ve grown a brain and came back, put your hands up and...”
Just as it fully opened, both looked in shock at what they were seeing. It was not Pete, but a horrifying man, if it could be called that, wearing a large red robe and horns on its head. It looked at both of them with its eyes flashing red.
The Horned King saw as the older guard came forward, with the intent to strike. He raised his hand and fired a bolt of magic that sent him flying. The guard fell to the ground, dead. The other watched this before looking back and shaking at the King’s power.
The King only gave him a threatening look before saying “Run.” making the younger guard drop his weapons and flee.
As the Horned King stepped fully out of the Doorway, Pete followed, looking at the dead guard. The King however was looking around the room, as if looking at something for the first time like a child.
“Amazing.” He said, still looking about. “You were actually telling the truth, my friend.”
Pete walked over to the guard and said “This ain’t good, your majesty. Why’d you let the other guy go?”
The King was now examining the Doorway while saying “It doesn’t matter. They can send whoever they want. None will stop me.” After finishing his look he turned back to Pete and said “Now take me to the Mirror.”
“B-but the guards!” he exclaimed. “They’ll be swarming towards us!”
The King only huffed before walking over to the dead guard. He keeled down and touched the corpse’s forehead. A surge of magical energy went from his hand, down his finger, and into the body.
The King stood back while Pete watched in shock as the dead body began to twitch. Soon enough it picked itself up, wobbling a bit with this new life inside it. Then the body opened its eyes, they were pale and dead. The closest thing to “life” in its eyes were small green glows coming from the center. There was no real life in this body, only a magical imitation of life that was a puppet to the Horned King.
The King looked back to Pete and said “Now they’ll be fighting for us.”
“So how can we figure out how to get to wherever Pete went?” Goofy asked.
“Maybe if we tried making another key.” Donald suggested.
“That would take too long.” Yen Sid stated. “And even if we could, there’s no guarantee it would work on the Doorway. You may as well make an entire new doorway. But even then it would likely not work because of the worlds still being unbalanced.
Both Goofy and Donald hug their heads and groaned at how difficult that sounded.
“Is there way other way to fix the Basin?” Minnie asked.
“None. I’m afraid.” Yen Sid answered.
Mickey gave a curious hum before saying “Well....what about using the port...”
Yen Sid cut him off and said “That would be ill advised, your majesty. As much as it may be our only option, I still think it out of the question.”
“What are you both talking about?” Daisy asked.
Mickey started answer with “Well, you see...” but was stopped when someone entered the room.
The younger guard from the Doorway chamber came hurrying up to the group. He was out of breath before he collapsed to his knees in front of them. Mickey jumped from his throne and hurried over to him just as the others did.
“What is it?” he asked hastily. “What happened, solider?”
“It...*huff* was...it was *huff* *huff* Pete, sire.” He said, catching his breath. “He *huff* came back. But he wasn’t *huff* *huff* alone.”
“Elaborate.” Yen Sid demanded.
“There was someone....something with him. It...it attacked us in the chamber. It had these horrible eyes. And...there large horns!”
Mickey and Yen Sid both widened their eyes at the mention of Horns. Both knew this was something from the prophecy the Magic Mirror had given to them before.
“Where are they now?” Mickey asked.
Before the guard could speak, Chip and Dale came running into the room, scurrying along together before reaching all of them and jumping up and down.
“King Mickey!” Dale began. “We’re under attack!”
“Some kind of wizard or something!” Chip added.
“All the guards are being killed and turned into some kind of zombies!”
“They’re heading towards the Master’s study!”
Everyone especially, Yen Sid and Mickey, perked up with fear at this news.
“Boys,” Mickey began, looking at them. “you stay here with the girls.” He turned to the guard and said “You as well.” He then stood and looked to Yen Sid, Donald and Goofy. “Let’s go help out and find out what this thing is.”
They all nodded before drawing their weapons, Yen Sid only rolling up his sleeves, before running for the door.
As they ran off, Minnie called out “Be careful. All of you!”
Mickey stopped to look back before giving a wink and a smile, reassuring her a little. After that he turned back and ran to catch up with the others, leaving Minnie and the others with her worrying about what would happen next.
As they ran down the hallways of the castle, Mickey and his friends could see the damage already done from whatever had been attacking.
There were signs of battle all over, from smolders of magic blasts to crumbling pieces of debris, to lifeless broom servants lying broken and scattered in some places, to even a few discarded weapons. But what all of them noticed was a problem was that there were no guards. No signs of their bodies or if any were even alive.
As they came closer to the hallway leading to the study, they final found themselves face-to-face with what Chip and Dale warned them of before.
Between the group and the next hallway that lead to Yen Sid’s study was a small force of over a dozen undead guards. They all seemed to move far more slowly than any normal human would, almost limping at times. They all looked at them with their dead green glowing eyes but had expressionless looks on their faces.
Goofy, cowering behind his shield, asked “Wh-what happened to them?”
“They’ve been infected.” Yen Sid declared. “Some type of black magic. These men are already dead!”
“Isn’t there any way of saving them?” Mickey asked as they came closer.
“I’m afraid not. Which means...”
“We give it our all!” Donald said before running in front and pointing his wand.
He let out a yell, causing a bolt of ice to hit one of them, freezing it and them making it crumble to pieces. The others nodded before going into action.
Yen Sid helped Donald with his magic by firing flames at them. Some caught fire but still kept coming, only to be plowed down when Goofy changed through all of them like bowling pins. Mickey used this as an opportunity to attack with his sword, managing to only take one down after realizing their heads had to be removed from the body. Once he told this to the others they nodded and knew to change their plan of attack.
Pete opened the door for the Horned King to enter Yen Sid’s study.
The King entered and looked about while Pete hustled over to the Magic Mirror on the wall.
“Here it is, your majesty.” Pete said, indicating it.
But the Horned King was too preoccupied with looking about at everything else in the study. He walked over to the bookshelves, examining the different titles. He then walked over to the blackened Viewing Basin, only to see there was nothing special about it. He then looked over all the papers strung about on the desk.
There were papers and scrolls on spells. Ones on animating non-living objects, only for the spell to mainly work on brooms as some side notes indicated. There were notes and brief reports on things such as the goings on of the outer worlds and things to be added in the Book of Legends. But then the King caught glimpse of another spell, one that, after reading more into it, had now found a new way of traveling without the need for the Doorway.
“Uh....your Horned Kingness?” Pete said, trying to get his attention.
The King finally looked away and towards the Magic Mirror. He walked over only to see that it was dark and not reflecting anything.
“So this is the so-called Magic Mirror?” he asked, looking to Pete. He turned back to it while saying “I fail to see the extravagance.”
Pete stammered while saying “Well-Well it uh, hehe, just needs be turned on is all.” He cleared his throat and said “Wakey, wakey, Mr. Mirror man. The King here wants a word.” There was no response. “Rise and shine now. You got a customer here.” Still nothing. “Work you over sized glass head!”
“Enough!” The King said. “It is obvious that this mirror needs a proper owner to use whatever password is required to awaken it.”
“Should we wait for Master Yen Sid then?” Pete suggested.
The King retorted with “Do not be foolish! Even if he would give the password, he will not be so willing to provide his services.” He then held up the Book of Legends in his hand and said “But I know of someone who just might.” He gave a chuckle under his breath before looking back to the Mirror. “Take it off the wall. We’re taking it with us.”
“But...but how we going to get out of here?” Pete asked. “Them runts are probably on their way here, right now. We’ll never make it back to the Doorway.”
The King merely put the key to the Doorway onto the desk and said “We no longer need the Doorway.”
The last handful of undead guards had fallen before the group of heroes.
Yen Sid sent there of them flying up and out through one of the windows of the hallway with a spell of wind. Mickey managed to chop off the legs of two before taking the heads as well. Goofy threw his shield like a Frisbee, knocking the heads off three in a row. And Donald managed to fry two with bolts of lightning from his wand.
Mickey and his friends, minus Yen Sid, all looked to each other and smirked at their victory. They soon brought their hands together in-between themselves.
“All for one and one for all!” they declared before throwing them up.
Yen Sid then looked back and said “Your majesty! Quickly now!”
He nodded before all of them followed Yen Sid up the stairwell leading to his study.
The Horned King stood in front of Pete, looking to the open wall where the Magic Mirror used to hang.
Pete was holding it over his back while holding the Book under his free arm. The Horned King looked down at a piece of paper that he’d taken from Yen Sid’s desk before finally looking back to the wall and dropping it. He held out his hands and recited a spell.
“Vi lignum sanguine soluta iubeo. Aperi Dwarves Woodland!”
Suddenly a large portal opened in front of them. It hung in the middle of the room with dark outlines of magical energy surging around it. It was more like a tear in reality than a portal. Inside it showed the scenery of a forest.
Pete peeked his head out from behind the King and looked with shock while the King himself only looked with a content smile.
Both of them heard as someone tried to break down the door to the study, making the King step aside.
“Go.” He said to Pete, pointing to the portal.
Pete hurried into the portal, poking his foot through first to see if it was safe. Once he knew it was fine he hustled the rest of himself through. The King looked back as the door began to break before finally walking through the portal.
Goofy smashed through the door and fell on his shield while the others came rushing in. All of them looked as the Horned King had stepped through the portal and looked back to all of them.
“No...” Yen Sid whispered, seeing him.
The Horned King began to laugh while the portal began to close.
“Stop him!” Yen Sid declared. “He must not get away!”
Donald gave a heroic yell before running towards the portal. Unfortunately it closed before he could reach it, making him run straight into the wall. He landed backwards and grumbled, this being the second time this had happened.
Mickey jumped in surprise and said “Oh no! They took the Mirror!”
“And they have discovered the spell to use the portals!” Yen Sid said, looking down at the paper with the words to the spell on it.
“But look. They left the key.” Goofy said, pointing at it on the desk.
“They will not need it now that they can travel via portal.” Yen Sid said.
“But who was that?” Donald asked, straitening his bill out. “The big scary looking guy?”
Mickey suddenly remembered the words from the prophecy and said “From the branch of the tree and evil shall spread. A terrible force....with horns on its head.”
Yen Sid nodded and said “I believe we have just met out ‘terrible force’. And we now know what Pete has caused to send the worlds out of balance: he has caused the resurrection of the Horned King.”
“But how could he be back?” Donald asked.
“Yeah.” Goofy added. “Wasn’t he destroyed when he was swallowed up by the Black Cauldron?”
“I think that is the answer to two questions, instead of one.” Yen Sid declared. “Somehow the Horned King has been reborn from the Cauldron, and doing so has fused the Cauldron’s powers with that of his own. That is how he was able to resurrect those slain guards.”
“And now he knows about the outer worlds!” Mickey said, groaning afterwards. “Pete...what have you done?”
“We must find a way to stop him, and fast.” Yen Sid declared. “There is no way of knowing what sort of plan the Horned King is formulating. And no telling just how much power he truly wields.”
The Horned King and Pete were walking about on the outskirts of the forest area they were in.
They were heading towards the mountain area, now that they were in this new world. Pete was busy carrying the Magic Mirror while the King carried only the Book of Legends.
“So why did we come all the way out to this world?” Pete asked, trying to keep up with the King.
“Because, the only way to see this mirror work is with the use of its master.” He explained.
“But we left Yen Sid back with the rest of them runts.” Pete whined a bit. “Why didn’t we just try and snatch him up of something?”
“Yen Sid may have been the new master, but he is not the original.” The King explained.
Before Pete could ask anymore, they arrived at the base of a large mountain where a cliff was above them. Where they stood was a large boulder, one that looked as if it had fallen off somewhere above. Pete looked to see what looked like a boney dead hand sticking out from underneath, along with the remains of a black robe.
Pete gave a disgusted grunt while saying “THIS is the mirror’s old master? What good is he if he’s....” He stopped and remembered what the Horned King was capable of and nodded while saying “Oh I get you. You’re going to do the same trick you did with them guards. Make him into a zombie, right?”
“Not quite.” He said, kneeling down and examining the remains. “I intend to bring HER fully back from the dead. Alive, breathing and with her mind intact.”
“Wait? You can do that, boss?”
In response the King stood and shoved the Book to Pete. He stood back and then held his hand out with his fingers pointed at the dead remains.
The King began to focus his energy before sparks began to fling out from him and towards the corpse. He focused more before the magic blasted the boulder aside, reveal the rest of the skeletal remains. Pete watched with awe as the energy from the King began to slowly repair and regrow the dead remains. Bone reattached, muscle and tissue regrew, skin re-formed.
Finally the body of a woman was formed in front of them, with only the black robe covering her. She was beautiful in a more cold way. Her long dark hair was strung out and laying all over the ground. As she began to awaken her green eyes fluttered open.
“It would appear I can.” The King said as she began to sit up.
Seeing that she was naked with only the robe to cover her, Pete let out a sailor’s whistle making her see them both. She gasped and pulled the robe over her more while looking in confusion and shock at what she was seeing and the condition she was in.
“Where...where am I?” Grimhilde, the evil queen, asked “What’s going on? Who...what are you?”
The Horned King kneeled down and said “Forgive me, your majesty.” He began, surprising Pete with how he was acting. “You have been....dead for some time. I have resurrected you. And, if I may say, you truly are the fairest of them all.”
She recoiled a bit with confusion before saying “Who are you?”
“I am a friend. I am the Horned King.”
“I have never heard of any ‘Horned King’. Why should I trust you?”
“Aside from giving you your life back,” he said, standing. “I’ve also brought you a gift.”
He indicated Pete who held the Mirror in front of him. She stood and looked with a gasp at seeing her old Mirror again. She then looked as the Horned King held out his hand.
“Do you still not trust me?”
The three had made their way back to Grimhilde’s castle and were all in the throne room.
It was dark by then and torches were lit within the room. The castle itself was already very run down, with cobwebs and spider webs about. Broken or breaking pieces of wood from the roofing and floors. Leaks from past times of rain and even small crumbling areas of stone.
The Queen, who was now fully dressed as she usually was when formerly alive, was sitting on her throne after having listened to the Horned King and Pete explain how they’d come to this world to bring her back to life. The Mirror was now hanging were it originally did in the room.
“This....this is incredible.” Grimhilde said, looking at the Book of Legends. “The whole story, it’s....it’s all here.” She was looking at the story in the Book titled “The Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” “And...and all these others.” She said, flipping through to see the other stories. “All of them...they’re from events in other worlds.”
“And we are both from two of those different worlds.” The King stated, indicating himself and Pete. “And so you see, what we’ve said is true.”
“Yes.” She said, closing it. “But I just...cannot believe...”
“I will admit, I had trouble believe it myself.” He said, walking up to her. “That was before I saw for myself. And now that I have this new power, I intend to make better use of this knowledge.”
“So what come to me?” she asked. “Why bring me back to life? Just to see if it could be done? Or to return my mirror?”
“More than return it.” He said. “I want you to awaken it. There is information it has that may be vital to my plans. And yours, if you decide to join.”
He took her hand in his, making her shiver a bit at the touch, before she asked “And...what would that be?”
“Allow me to explain, Queeny.” Pete said.
With that he told about the prophecy he’d heard from the Mirror. He was only able to give an abridged version of what he heard, not the entire thing.
“And you wish to hear the entire thing?” she asked the King. When he nodded she said “But...my Mirror is only able to see things far away. It’s never been known to see the future.”
“Or perhaps you’ve just never asked it the right question.” The King suggested. “Grimhilde, your majesty, think of it. Along with having your kingdom back, would you not want some sort of revenge against the ones who had seen you dead before? Do you still not wish to see Snow White dead and be fairest of them all?”
He kissed her hand, making both her and Pete give disgusted looks, before he gave her a look that made her rethink his proposal. In the end she nodded before standing and walking over to the Mirror. She held out her arms and recited the phrase.
“Slave in the magic mirror, Come from the farthest space. Through wind and darkness, I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy face.”
The face in the Magic Mirror suddenly came into view. Both Pete and the Horned King perked with interest as its face became more clear.
“What wouldst thou know, my queen?” it asked, as if un-phased by the fact that it was in her possession again.
Grimhilde looked back to the King who nodded, making her turn back to the Mirror and saying “You have spoken of events to come. A great prophecy. Tell us all what it is.”
The Mirror then gave the same warning it had given to Yen Sid and the others before. The King listened with more intrigue in his face while Pete and Grimhilde listened with awe, even if Pete had heard it before. Once it was done they all looked questioned.
“So a tree’s got something to do with this.” Pete said, scratching his head. He snapped his fingers and said “Hey wait a second. That’s it! The Tree of all Worlds!” Both looked at him confused before he said “That’s what they calls it. All the outer worlds are like branches, see? And the first world, MY world, is like the big trunk where it all starts. That’s what they teach us at least. So the Horned Evil from the branch must’ve been you, boss.” He pointed at the King.
The King only smirked at the idea of being such a great evil that it would cause all this trouble over.
“But what about all that other business?” Grimhilde asked. “This nonsense about ‘those once conquered’ and ‘gather the light’?”
The King suddenly turned when she mentioned ‘those once conquered’. He then looked down at the Book, realizing more and more what it meant. He then began to laugh, confusing Pete and the Queen, before he stopped.
“I understand all of it now.” He said.
“So what does it mean?” Pete asked.
“I will explain later. For now we must relocate. Those fools are bound to follow us here now. We must find somewhere where they shall never look.”
He looked through the Book before finding a section in the very back. The world he read of peeked his interest more and more.
“Excellent.” He said before handing the Book back to Pete.
He held out his hands and spoke the portal spell before making it appear to a new world.
He turned back to them and said “Come, it is time to find some more recruits to our army.”
“Army?” they both asked.
“I will explain later. Now let us be off.” He said, indicating the portal.
Pete, without question, walked through the portal and into the new world. Grimhilde gasped at this before the King offered his hand.
“This is your chance, my dear.” He said. “Not only for revenge, but to claim your kingdom back. But why only settle on one, when you can have many.”
She hesitated on this before asking “You...want to rule with me?”
“A king does need a Queen. And a Queen does need a King, do they not?” He held out his hand further before saying “Think of it: You’ll be the fairest in this world and so many others. All you have to do is trust me.”
She hesitated a bit more before finally taking his hand and giving an insidious grin. He gave the same, meaning they both knew what this meant. She walked through the portal while he used his powers to levitate the Magic Mirror off the wall and through the portal.
When the Horned King finally entered the portal it closed, leaving the entire castle empty again.