Mickey's Star Shard sends Ventus over to the Mysterious Tower, where he meets Mickey's court magician Donald Duck and Captain of the Guard Goofy. They take Ven over to the wizard Yen Sid, who notes that Eraqus had told him that Ven had ran away. Ven, who is looking for Mickey, finds out from Yen Sid that Mickey is at the Badlands, held hostage by Master Xehanort. Though Donald and Goofy offer to save Mickey, Yen Sid forbids it due to Xehanort's danger, and Ven is forced to go alone to repay his debt to Mickey.
Ven goes to the Badlands, where he finds not just Mickey, but also Master Xehanort. At the sight of Xehanort, Ven keels over in pain as Xehanort explains exactly what Ven's purpose is: he is destined to clash with Vanitas to forge the ultimate weapon- the χ-blade. Xehanort tells Ven that this is why Eraqus forbade Ven from leaving the Land of Departure, and has Ven return to the Land of Departure to seek answers before blowing Mickey away.
When Ven returns to the Land of Departure, Eraqus is visibly relieved to see Ven back. But Ven lashes out at him, accusing him of keeping him in a "prison" and mentioning the χ-blade in his haste. The mere mention of the χ-blade has Eraqus realize that Xehanort could never let his obsession of the weapon go.
In a flashback, Xehanort explains to Eraqus that darkness once covered the world once in legend, and that the Keyblade War is still a mystery. He intends to forge the χ-blade in order to create another Keyblade War, but Eraqus, sensing that Xehanort's curiosity will doom the worlds, forbids it. In retaliation, Xehanort fires bursts of darkness that scar Eraqus.
Back in the present, Eraqus decides that enough is enough, and that he will destroy Ven to stop the χ-blade from being forged. But Terra shows up in the nick of time, saving Ven from the attack and refusing to bow down to Eraqus. Eraqus prepares to kill them both, but Terra opens a portal and throws Ven inside.
Ven awakens at the Destiny Islands, where Vanitas awaits. Vanitas explains, and has Ven remember, that Ven was once Xehanort's apprentice, but Xehanort abused him to forge the χ-blade, and when Ven was unable to control his darkness, Xehanort ripped it out and created Vanitas. Vanitas taunts Ven by telling him to go to the Keyblade Graveyard, where he claims he will kill Terra and Aqua.
With this, Ven travels alone to the Keyblade Graveyard with renewed intent...