A floating box with a question mark, you never know what will come out of it. A collection of Mario one-shots.
Question Box: Stage I
Box 01: Babysitting the Koopalings
Kamek's Point of View
"I am the most powerful magikoopa there is. I am the leader of the magikoopas and one of the most important members of the Koopa Troop. I was here from the beginning back when Bowser was only a baby. I've been here for many years and earned the respect and trust of all the other koopas. I am Kamek and I am not a babysitter!" I watch as the seven koopalings run around me not listening to a word I say... Why does Bowser always make me babysit? He's off somewhere training his troops for the next battle with the Mario brothers. I don't know when he'll be back but it won't be soon enough.
Ludwig hardly ever gives me trouble. He's the oldest. He spends all his time in his lab making inventions and composing symphonies. The only times he gets himself into trouble is when he tests them inside the castle no matter how many times I've told him to go outside. But he never listens, none of them do.
Lemmy keeps balancing himself on that ball. He doesn't fall but he knocks over countless objects. Iggy and Roy are complaining now. They say they can't see right. Well of course they can't, Iggy has Roy's sunglasses on and Roy has Iggy's glasses. I explain what's going on and they exchange the glasses and sunglasses, then blame me for it.
Morton sees his brothers pointing fingers at me and does the same thing even if he doesn't know what's going on. Then he starts talking about random things, he's such a chatterbox.
As I look around I notice Wendy isn't here so I decide to go find her before the most spoiled of the koopalings gets herself into trouble. I go to Wendy's room and to my surprise she is there. She is just sitting there staring at something. I take a close look at the thing she's staring at and gasp. Where did she get that? This is something I haven't see in years.
"Kamek! Kamek! Larry's poking the piranha plant again!" Morton came running and almost ran into me. As soon as my brain processes his words I run as fast as I can and leave him standing there rambling on and on about the fact that Larry was again poking the piranha plant.
I get there just in time to save the youngest koopaling from getting eaten by the ferocious piranha plant that, for some reason that's beyond me, Bowser insists on keeping in his throne room. I sigh in relief and tell little Larry how dangerous it is to go near his father's piranha plant but of course he's not listening to me.
"Morton! Give that back!" I suddenly hear Wendy scream. Morton had run off with the object I saw before. He didn't watch where he was going and bumped into Ludwig who by some miracle was not in his lab or music room today.
"Watch where you're go-" Ludwig didn't finish the sentence before his eyes went wide and his jaw dropped. "Where did you get this?" He picked up the item from before. "I'm the oldest so I should keep it!"
"Daddy gave that to me!" Wendy demanded taking the item from Ludwig.
"But now it's mine!" Lemmy rolled by on his ball and took it from Wendy.
"Hey! I want it!" Iggy ran after Lemmy and soon the other koopalings joined the chase.
Thanks to Morton's big mouth everyone in the castle found out what was going on. The seven koopalings fought for the thing and wanted it for themselves. The fight got worse when they ran into Bowser's arsenal in the dungeon and started throwing bombs at each other. They're going to bring down the castle if I don't do something!
They have taken they're fight and the bombs to the throne room and so I hold my wand close and prepare to do something, anything and everything, to stop this fight before the castle is no more.
As I walk into the throne room I hear an explosion and the screams of the seven koopalings. "No!" I watch as they form a circle around the thing they have been fighting for. Now it's ruined because of the explosion. The youngest koopalings start crying and soon the others also cry, even Ludwig. I look at the thing they wanted so much and make it float to me with my wand.
The koopalings surround me. Even now they don't want anyone touching they're prized possession. I wave my wand around and the object is restored to what it used to be before the explosion. Before the fight starts again, I wave my wand once more and make copies of the item. The koopalings look very happy now as each hugs their item. Maybe they're not so bad after all.
The koopa troops that stayed in the castle are now fixing the mess the koopalings made with the bombs and hopefully everything will be restored by the time Bowser comes back. I go give them a hand with my wand so that the castle is restored faster. And to think all of this happened for a picture of the Queen of Koopas...
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Box 02: Underappreciated
Today was not Toad's day, but then again it never was. He was always happy go lucky little Toad, but no one knew of the hardships he had to endure. Like for example climbing out of his bed in the morning, it might be a small step for anyone else, but a giant leap for a midget like Toad.
Speaking of steps, after going through the ordeals of personal hygiene and dressing for the day, wearing of course a vest in his upper body and remembering how jealous he sometimes felt when others sported souvenir t-shirts that would have been too long for him and wouldn't fit over his head anyway; it was time to go down some stairs, oh joy.
One by one, with a swift pace, Toad conquered the stairs, he stepped all over them alright, but it gave him quite a workout, not that the exercise would make him any taller. It was the dilemma of mushrooms living in a human sized castle. "Good morning Toad."
Toad looked up at Princess Peach who was towering over him. "Good morning Princess!" Toad greeted her with his usual cheerful tone, but he regretted not being able to properly look at her face without twisting his neck backwards.
After a short conversation with the princess, Toad continued on his way to perform his daily duties. Not once did the little mushroom complain, not even when Mario accidentally stepped on his head when carelessly jumping around, though the plumber did apologize. "I'm so sorry! I didn't see you."
"It's okay Mario, don't worry about it." Toad smiled on the outside, but on the inside he grumbled with frustration. Mario wasn't exactly the tallest man in the land, being shorter than both Luigi and Peach, but even so, he managed to unintentionally fail to notice Toad and step on him.
But even if he felt frustration, Toad felt no malice or anger towards the people who overlooked him, quite literally looking over him, nor for those who stepped on him, literally or metaphorically. Because he was happy go lucky Toad, even if he was underappreciated.
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Box 03: The Dilemma of Prince Charming
Bowser Koopa sat in his throne feeling rather bored. Maybe he would kidnap Princess Peach later that day. At least that would give him something to do and she was always peasant company. Or he could send Kamek off to spy on Wendy and see if she had found a new boyfriend. Then he would throw him in a pool of boiling lava and watch him melt hoping it would serve as an example for any other unworthy boys who tried to get near his little princess.
As Bowser thought of his possible recreational activities for the afternoon, the door to the thrown room was slightly opened. It was as if the one opening it had a hard time doing so. The door was rather heavy but not too heavy for an average koopa. He was surprised to find that it was none other than his oldest son Ludwig Von Koopa who came in.
The boy was a mess. His spiky blue hair was spiked messily in every direction instead of just left and right as it usually was. Bowser was tempted to ask if he had received an electric shock from a faulty invention lately. However he held the question as he noticed other things that were off besides the hair.
Ludwig had a few scratches here and there, nothing too serious but unusual none the less. One thing that caught Bowser's attention was that he held his hand over his shell as if he was afraid it would break. Of course that was impossible, or was it? Bowser watched in horror as his son approached revealing a large crack on his shell branched into smaller ones.
Snapping out of the initial surprise, Bowser quickly rushed to help his son sit in the throne. The poor boy looked as if he had consumed his last bit of energy just to get there and he would collapse soon. "Ludwig what happened to you?" If this was the work of the Mario brothers by tomorrow there would be two less plumbers in the world. "Was it Mario?" Ludwig only had to say the word and Bowser would have his entire army surrounding Mario in no time. That plumber would wish he was never born. Bowser would personally make sure of that.
Ludwig, who was too exhausted to speak, weakly shook his head.
"Was it Luigi?" Bowser then asked.
Again Ludwig shook his head.
"Yoshi? Toad? Somehow that seems very unlikely," Browser continued reviewing the possibilities.
Ludwig shook his head once more.
"Peach? No, it couldn't have been Peach."
Ludwig shook his head and having rested enough to finally catch his breath he spoke, hardly above a whisper. "Do we have glue?"
It took Bowser a moment to understand why Ludwig would ask for glue at a time like this. He wanted to glue his broken shell back together. The poor boy! Who ever did this to his son would pay. "I'll have Kamek fix your shell for you," Bowser spoke in an uncharacteristically gentle voice. Then as if he had forgotten his fragile son was right next to him, he roared at the top of his lungs. "Kamek!" His voice echoed all over the castle. Ludwig closed his eyes tightly as he felt his headache grow worse.
The magikoopa rushed in following the roar of the king's voice to the throne room. He arrived precisely three point five seconds after being summoned. "Yes your high-"
"Cure him!" Bowser did not let Kamek finish before he roared an order as he pointed at his son. Yet he sounded more worried than harsh and Kamek took note of that.
The old magikoopa approached the young koopa prince and adjusted his glasses. "Oh dear..." Kamek was surprised that a strong koopa like Ludwig would end up in a state like that. The boy was not only strong but also smart. He should have been able to avoid a dangerous situation as easily as it was for him to compose one symphony after another. The young prince was quite talented. Neither his father nor his used to be babysitter ever thought that it were exactly those positive traits which got him into trouble.
"Can you heal him?" Bowser asked with slight desperation in his voice. This was his son, his oldest son, the heir to the throne of the Koopa Kingdom. He couldn't go around with a broken shell.
"I believe I can." Kamek focused his magic in the jewel at the end of his wand. He took a step back and nodded in Bowser's direction indicating for him to do the same. Then three shapes surrounded by light emerged from the wand. There was a yellow circle, a blue square and a red triangle. The magical energy floated towards Ludwig as the three figures danced around each other.
When the magic reached him, Ludwig's shell began to glow. He sat perfectly still letting the healing magic do its job. The cracks on his shell started to heal becoming smaller until they were mere scratches and then even those scratches began to fade away. His shell was left polished and in perfect conditions. Ludwig reached behind him and touched the shell's smooth surface between the spikes. "It's much better now."
Kamek looked a bit tired, that healing magic certainly took it out of him. To fix a broken shell was not an easy spell. "I'm glad you approve young prince." The old magikoopa had been the family's caretaker his entire life. He took care of Bowser ever since he was little more than an egg and then he took care of his children, so in a sense Kamek was like a grandfather to them. Satisfied that his work was done, Kamek left the throne room. He glanced at Bowser as he left. He certainly looked relieved that his son was alright.
Feeling a lot better Ludwig stood up. "Ludwig you still need to tell me who did this to you," Bowser asked again. He needed to know. He needed to teach the one who did it a very hard lesson.
Ludwig looked down and stared at his feet as if it was the first time he saw them.
"Ludwig just tell me what happened I won't be mad," Bowser insisted. He would have to use psychology if he was to get any information out of Ludwig. "Whatever it is you know I can help."
Of course Ludwig knew that by help Bowser meant he would literally destroy the problem but this particular problem could not be destroyed. Ludwig's problem was one that was better off being avoided. They were too powerful, no one could stand up to them, not even his father's armies and the Mario brothers put together.
"Ludwig," Bowser persisted, hiding his impatience quite well.
Ludwig looked up at his father. Was that a hint of red on the prince's face? "Fan girls," he grinned.
Bowser stood there for a moment, letting his son's words sink in. Fan girls... they were so dangerous and so deadly that no even the mighty Koopa King would dare to anger them. Those terrible obsessed rabid creatures were after his little boy. Unconsciously, Bowser hugged his son as if to protect him, as if one of the terrible monsters known as 'fan girls' could pop out thin air at any given moment.
"It's okay King Dad, I'll be alright," Ludwig smiled. As painful as it was, nothing could boost a young man's ego like a fan girl attack.
Bowser slowly nodded and let him go. Ludwig wasn't a little boy anymore if he was old enough for the fan girls to leave him in such a state. For his shell to be cracked like that, he must have endured severe glomping.
"I'm going to go write a song I thought of this afternoon while I was running for my life," Ludwig announced and headed to his room.
Bowser watched him go and made a metal note to increase the defenses around the castle ten fold. If Ludwig had fan girls and boys were chasing Wendy, then it wouldn't be long before the other koopalings started to attract unwanted guests. It was only a matter of time and he had no time to waste. He wouldn't let those stalkers go near his kids. Tomorrow the training of his army would be intensified in preparation for any possible fan attacks. To try to win the war he knew would be impossible, but if he could only win a few battles against them, then he would feel like he accomplished his duty as a father to protect his children.
Meanwhile, Ludwig sat in his room in, humming the melody he had created as he looked out the window. Suddenly a female sounding scream was heard followed by a loud growl and the sound of something being chewed and swallowed. Then a chain chop passed by looking quite satisfied. Ludwig watched from his window high above in one of the castle's towers. The chain chop appeared to have a blue ribbon in his mouth. Shaking his head Ludwig sighed. "Such is the dilemma of prince charming."
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Box 04: Spin Clean
Many colors, spinning water,
It is I, the fairy's daughter,
In this chaos a secret I stutter,
"Mushrooms: creatures like no others."
For I do not understand,
Why such spinning they'd be needing,
For the sake of clothing cleaning.
My small world beyond control,
Until a Toad opens the door.
I fly away, wet, fluffy, scared,
Mushrooms: creatures beyond compare.
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Box 05: Bowser's Advice for Parents
It is important to encourage children to participate in music. But if it turns out that their koopa symphonies are not the best, then wear earplugs or prepare for a large headache, but never discourage your child. Look on the bright side, you can record the song and use it to give your enemies headaches, giving them a disadvantage in battle.
It is important to teach children how to balance their diet, but you must specify that a balanced diet doesn't mean rolling around in a ball with an ice-cream bowl on their head or trying to juggles lollipops. Make sure they know the value of juggling fruits and vegetables as well. That way they'll have all the vitamins they need to help you destroy your enemies.
It is important to encourage children to participate in science, just make sure you have insurance for when their experiments blow up. Or you could send those experiments to your enemies and get them blown up. Children can learn a lot from constructing weapons.
It is important to teach children to defend themselves, as long as you specify that throwing your underlings in the lava pools is not allowed. You wouldn't want the numbers of your army to decrease, the more outnumbered your enemies are, the best chance you have to win. Also make sure to specify who the enemies are, so that your children can concentrate their strength and energy against them and not your allies.
It is important to provide children with everything they may need, but if they spend too much on things that will only clutter their closed, hide your credit cards and pretend you lost them. Make sure to call the plumbers that day, even if you don't have any broken pipes, so they may suffer the temper tantrum that will inevitably follow. It will give them a big headache and maybe even nightmares.
It is important to listen to your children. If they talk too much, wear earplugs while you continue to smile and nod as if you're listening. You should also encourage your child to tell those same stories to the plumbers when they come bother you or fix a pipe.
It is important to teach your child how to properly take care of a pet. That means no feeding bob-ombs to the chain chops. It is vital that your child understands that chain chops eat plumbers not bob-ombs.
It is very important to give your children educative activities to do while spending quality time with the family. Some of those activities could be destroying annoying plumbers and kidnapping princesses.
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Box 06: Meant to Be (LuigixDaisy, MarioxPeach)
Luigi's Point of View
When I look back into the not so distant past, I realize how much things have changed in a relatively short time. When my brother Mario and I got stranded in this unknown world we came to know first as the Mushroom Kingdom and later as home, all we wanted to do was find our way back to Brooklyn. It was quite strange how we came here after being sucked down a pipe that we shouldn't have fit into in the first place. One minute we were trying to repair a plugged up tub and the next we were here.
We rolled out of the pipe knocking several human sized turtles out of the way. That's when we saw her for the first time, a woman in a pink dress with blue eyes and long blonde hair. She was princess Peach Toadstool. Her loyal friend Toad, a mushroom boy was there also. Meeting those two people was definitely interesting. The princess was quite beautiful and Toad was, well let's just say that you don't see a kid with a mushroom on his head everyday in Brooklyn or anywhere else on Earth.
In the Mushroom Kingdom we found that there were more of those people with mushrooms on their heads. It appeared that the princess was one of the few who looked human. Then while we were still assimilating that this world was more than just a dream, Bowser came. He kidnapped princess Toadstool and it was up to Mario and me to rescue her and a few mushroom people that were also captured. This brought us to our first real adventure in this world. Then again, just being there was an adventure in itself.
We ventured into strange lands with snow storms, endless deserts, giants and many things that were so new to us. We visited one castle after another, finding a new mushroom people each time. They sadly told us that their dear princess was not with them and had been taken to another castle. Finally, we reached the Dark Lands were the Koopa King held the princess hostage. After a long hard battle we were able to rescue her.
By the time the celebrations of the Peach's return were over, I realized two things. First of all I noticed the special connection between Peach and my brother. They felt something for each other from the very start. It would take a while for them to be certain and later admit it, but eventually they did. Another thing I realized was that the people of this world needed us. No matter how much we missed Brooklyn, we had to stay here for them. So we made our home in this world and soon stopped missing Brooklyn, though we will always remember it.
For some time, I wondered if one day I would find that special someone like my brother did. But there was no time to search at the moment. Mario and I lived one adventure after another, keeping the Mushroom Kingdom safe. It was then that we met many new friends, like Yoshi. That dinosaur can sure eat!
Many things happened and we traveled to distant lands. One of those lands was Sarasaland. That's were I met her, princess Daisy. I too had found someone special. I knew it from the second I saw her. Suddenly what my brother had told me about Peach made complete sense, because I was feeling it for Daisy.
So there you have it, that's my story, or at least the beginning of it. Many more adventures await. To think it all started when we came here by accident. But maybe it wasn't an accident, maybe it was meant to happen, just like Mario and Peach are meant to be and I know it's the same for Daisy and me.
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Box 07: Give me a Reason (BoosterxValentina)
Booster paced around his tower balcony, wishing and hoping that another miracle would happen. The snifits formed a circle, planning and plotting ways to cheer up their leader. "Let's play with your dolls!" The first snifit cheered.
"I'm busy," Booster replied in a hopeless tone. His dream was shattering before his eyes.
"Maybe we could play a board game instead?" The second snifit suggested, though he only received a bored look as an answer.
"How about hide and seek?" Snifit number three asked.
"I don't feel like it. I just wish it would happen again." Booster was about to snap if he didn't get his wish. "Why can't a girl fall from the sky again and be my bride?"
"Dodo! Dodo! Be careful, I'm going to fall!" A female voice was heard.
"What was that?" Booster and the snifits started to run around in circles on the balcony.
"Dodo! Ah!" It was none other than Valentina who had fallen from the skies on top of Booster. "Dodo, you idiot!" She got up and dusted herself off, while Dodo landed near by and looked apologetic.
"It's a miracle!" Booster cheered and the three snifits joined in to cheer with him. Valentina was confused, but a welcoming reception in a luxurious tower was always nice to have.
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As Valentina later learned, Booster wanted to marry her, though she couldn't think of a reason why she should accept. Sure she was planning to marry Dodo when he was pretending to be Mallow, but that was different, she would gain the crown by going through with the wedding, not that they would act any differently to each other. As for Booster, he did have a nice tower, but he was no king or prince.
When Valentina asked why she should marry Booster, he whispered something in her ear. It was something that the three nosy snifits couldn't hear, and they forever wonder about it. "So we can eat wedding cake," Booster had said.
Valentina gasped, her breath caught in her throat, her heartbeats speeding up, and she immediately accepted the proposal. With her slender figure, no one would have guessed Valentina had such a cake obsession.
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Box 08: Peach Clone
Peach walked quietly, keeping an eye on every looming shadow in the dimly lit underground yellow castle. She heard some footsteps near by and hid behind a large column, until she could see if the one approaching was a friend or foe.
"I know you're there," the owner of the footsteps spoke; her voice was the same as Peach's. "I can feel you, sister."
Peach peeked out from behind the column and came face to face with a mirror image of herself. Belome could create clones of who ever he tasted, and the giant mutant dog made a clone of Peach during their last battle after licking her; but that clone was defeated and seemingly dissolved into thin air. Peach stepped out from her hiding place. "Why are you still here?"
"Belome's cloning abilities improved. The perfect Peach clone will take your place; you're nothing but another copy now." The clone giggled, as if she found the entire situation oddly amusing, and ran away.
"I'm the real Peach, my friends will know the truth!" The real Peach chased after the clone, but lost sight of her. Peach stopped and looked around for the clone. She was in a large room full of golden Belome statues.
The clone threw a bomb from behind one of the statues, but Peach quickly dodged it. How could that clone copy her strongest attack? Peach had seen her clones using basic healing spells during her battle with Belome alongside Mario, Bowser, Mallow and Geno, but they had never used bombs. The bomb collided with one of the many golden Belome statues and blew it apart, pieces flying everywhere. "All I have to do is win and I'll take your place."
The clone was really asking for it and Peach was certainly not a pushover. She was the original and she could continue being the only real Peach. "It's your last chance, give up peacefully and I'll let you go. I'll even welcome you into the Mushroom Kingdom; you can find a new identity, your own identity."
"I already have an identity, I'm Princess Peach Toadstool!" The clone got another bomb ready to attack.
"No, I am," the real Peach readied her bomb attack as well; the original was far more powerful. Instead of just one bomb, a rain of bombs came, destroying the room along with the clone. Peach ran out of the room as it caved in. "I can't go back that way now," she sighed, perhaps she overdid it. She would just have to take another route back to the Mushroom Kingdom until the shortcut to Monstro Town through Belome's Temple was fixed. But for now she would look forward to her visit.
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Box 09: Musical Genius
"No, no, no! That is not the melody I'm searching for!" Toadofsky shook his head, holding the mushroom, eyes tightly closed. "Try it again; I need to find some inspiration!"
The frog that was assisting Toadofsky got back into position. When someone dived into the musical pool, the sound that came was not just the splash of the water, a clear musical note rung out depending on where the dive occurred. Toadofsky had a very peculiar way of composing songs using the musical pool of Tadpole Pond, with the help of a few tadpoles and a good jumper. Mario himself had helped with one of Toadofsky's most famous melodies.
The tadpoles dove into the musical pool and once the frog gave the signal by standing at a circular rock at one end of the pool, with Toadofsky watching from the other, the tadpole that would create the first note emerged from the water and started to swim up and down the pool. The frog observed the tadpole, listening to the soft sounds of the water as it moved. Then the frog jumped and was caught by the tadpole.
The operation was repeated with all the tadpoles, jumping from one to another until the frog reached the last one. The frog jumped to the edge of the musical pool next to Toadofsky. "Let's try again," the mushroom composer waved his conductor's baton, and one by one the tadpoles dove into the musical pond. At first Toadofsky's expression was pleased, his smile increasing with each note, until the last tadpole dove and Toadofsky cringed.
"I almost have it! Almost!" Toadofsky sung his head from side to side as if trying to shake the melody out of the deepest corners of his mind. "One more time!"
Once again the frog got into position and the tadpoles started swimming, stopping where the frog jumped on them. It was pretty obvious that only the last note was unsatisfactory for Toadofsky, but the process had to be started from the beginning, even if only the final note would change, the composer would have it no other way.
The frog stopped at the second to last tadpole. The poor tadpole endured the weight without complains as frog took some time to think. He didn't want to hop around anymore; he was tired and wanted to visit the Frog Coin Emporium.
While the frog was still lost in thought about that last note, Ludwig emerged from a pipe, forgotten under the musical pool; such was the consequence of taking the wrong warp pipe. With some difficulty, he made it to the surface and grabbed the first thing he saw to stay afloat, the last tadpole. The frog jumped to the side of the pool in surprise and Ludwig let the tadpole go to get out of the pool.
One by one, the tag poles dived creating a pleasant melody, the last one diving where Ludwig had pulled it down when he emerged. "That's it!" Toadofsky cheered. "You are a musical genius!"
Ludwig was still a little out of breath from coming out of the warp pipe under water. He nearly drowned and was still feeling a little light headed from it. "Music?"
"Yes, you found the final note I've been searching for!" Toadofsky was literally jumping with joy. "What is your name? I must know!"
"Ludwig Von Koopa."
After hearing Ludwig's name, Toadofsky became even more excited. "I knew you looked familiar, I knew it! I love your symphonies!"
Ludwig then realized that he was standing in front of the one and only Toadofsky. "I greatly enjoy your symphonies as well, they are most inspirational!"
Toadofsky and Ludwig continued talking about music, while the frog and tadpoles slipped away unnoticed for a well deserved rest.
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Box 10: Defeated
"I'm going to be snifit number five! You just wait, I'll be snifit five for sure!" A snifit dressed in blue hopped from one rock to another along Booster Cliff. He stopped at the end of the thin cliff and observed a pipe he was sure wasn't there before. Wendy came out of the pipe and the snifit stared of her. "A koopa!" He pointed at the koopa princess.
"Way to state the obvious! Like where am I?" Wendy was pretty sure she was not supposed to have come out in that place. The ground and scenery were similar to that of Moleville, but she was pretty sure this was some place else, possibly close to Moleville.
"This is Booster Cliff, it's a place were snfits come to train and earn their numbers. I will become snifit number five after I defeat you!" The snifit proudly declared.
"Out of my way!" Wendy pushed the annoying snifit away. The snifit lost his balance and went tumbling down the cliff, while Wendy returned to the pipe.
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Box 11: The End of an Era
Bowser followed Kamek to the main conference room of the Koopa Castle, dragging his feet in an obvious sign that he didn't want to be there. "It's not so bad," Kamek tried to cheer him up from his gloomy mood. "The conference will be over soon and you can have a quiet afternoon." The six little koopalings were with their grandfather Morton and wouldn't be back until later that day. Finally, there would be some peace and quiet around the Koopa Castle, even if it was just for a little while.
"I hate these meetings," Bowser complained. "Why can't Clawdia go? She never refused to go in my place before" The queen had been acting a little strangely lately. She was participating less and less when it came to ruling the Koopa Kingdom, as if she wanted Bowser to get used to doing it alone and doing it properly, unlike the recklessness he called ruling before she became queen.
"Maybe she was tired today," Kamek had a bad feeling about it, but he wouldn't mention it until he was certain.
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In the royal chambers, a koopa lady brushed her multicolor hair. It was dark blue, light blue, blond and green. Once the rainbow was brushed to her liking, she walked out of her room, heading for the room of her youngest son.
Clawdia's first six children were spending the day with their grandpa Morton, Bowser's father, and wouldn't be back until later. The Koopa Castle was certainly quiet without them. She entered her son's room and walked towards the crib. In it, there was an egg. She gently touched the egg's smooth surface to make sure it was still warm. That wasn't really a problem in the Koopa Castle with all the lava around it.
"Are you napping Larry?" She whispered. "Alright, mommy is going for a little walk. I'll be back soon." She covered the egg with a blanket and quietly left the room, gently closing the door on her way out.
xoxox xox xoxox
While Bowser was at the conference room listening to the monotonous speech of a goomba about goomba rights, Kamek snuck away. The magikoopa could see that Bowser was about to fall asleep from boredom, but someone else could wake him up when the goomba's tedious speech was over. Kamek yawned as he left the conference room and retreated to his room to rest. He couldn't get rid of the feeling that something bad would happen to the queen soon. But it was ridiculous, such a prediction would make no sense.
Those babies that he predicted would cause disaster to the Koopa Kingdom in the future had been vanished to a realm called Earth. Surely they would never find a way to return. The Mushroom Kingdom had been quiet and peaceful, ripe for the conquering, if not for the fact that queen Clawdia opposed the war and she always found a way to get what she wanted. But it didn't matter, even without conquering the Mushroom Kingdom; the Koopa Kingdom was still the most powerful of all. If things stayed as they currently were, everything would work out great. Then why did Kamek have such a strong feeling that things would take a turn for the worse?
xoxox xox xoxox
Clawdia had left the castle grounds, taking a little walk on the near by area of Dark Land. She didn't walk too far from the Koopa Castle, but just far enough for all the sounds coming from it to become distant noises. The skies were dark but clear, without a single cloud in them. As she stood there, she thought she should be happy, but she wasn't. 'What is this feeling?' She thought, it made no sense, but she felt as if her time was growing short.
Clawdia sat down on the ground, staring up at the skies. A young paratroopa flew by, creating shapes as she danced in the skies. She spun around cheerfully in the air as she headed to the Koopa Castle. It was an era of peace. The war against the Mushroom Kingdom had been stopped, or at least postponed, and everyone could continue enjoying their lives in peace. If only it could last forever, but Clawdia had a feeling that it wouldn't.
She sighed and looked into the distance. Dark Land's territories stretched as far as the eye could see. She felt nostalgic, as if she knew that soon she would leave her home, never to return. She stood up, 'if I am to leave this world then I will make the best of what little time I have left.' Even if it made no sense, she knew her time was short. The end was near for her and with it would come the end of an era.
She didn't question her fate, she felt it was inevitable. Destiny was not giving her a warning to avoid her sealed fate, it was telling her to prepare herself for what was to come. She didn't know why, where or how, but she knew her life would inevitably end.
Clawdia decided not to give it any more thought and headed back to the Koopa Castle. She would spend as much time as possible with Bowser, Ludwig, Roy, Lemmy, Iggy, Wendy and Morton Jr. She hoped she would still be around to see her little Larry when he hatched. Until then, she would not be afraid and she would not be sad. She would be remembered as being happy until her end came.
When she returned to the Koopa Castle, Clawdia found that Kamek was waiting for her. Surely Bowser was still trapped in the boring royal meeting, but he would just have to get used to it. It was his duty as king. "Queen Clawdia, are you alright?" Kamek concerned.
At that moment, the Koopa Queen knew that Kamek must know of what was to come. "You felt it too... It's inevitable, isn't it?"
Kamek nodded sadly. "The prophecy was unclear. It came with no visions or dreams, only a feeling that the end was to come. I do not know what to do, but I assure you, your highness, I will do anything in my power to stop it."
"It cannot be helped," Clawdia knew it was true. "Kamek, please don't tell Bowser or anyone else about this. It would be useless to make them worry over something that cannot be stopped. I don't want to be remembered in sadness, please, promise me that you won't tell anyone."
Kamek knew that this was very important to her and he respected her wishes. "You have my word, queen Clawdia."
"Thank you Kamek," she smiled peacefully.
xoxox xox xoxox
Clawdia went to check up on Larry again. The egg would hatch soon, very soon, perhaps soon enough for her to see her youngest child, if only for a short time. Clawdia wished with all her heart that she could stay in that world, but she knew deep down that there was nothing that could be done. Not all the magic of the magikoopas could stop her inevitable fate, but she would not live thinking of what was to come. She would live every day in the present, as if it was her last.
xoxox xox xoxox
In the royal gardens of the Mushroom Kingdom princess Peach Toadstool was with her father. "Father, I feel an unfamiliar sadness. It's strange, but I feel like something bad is to happen and it will only get worse. It makes no sense, we are at peace, why do I feel this?"
The king looked thoughtful. "Prophecies don't always make sense right away." He remembered the brothers from long ago. They were only babies then and so was Peach. Kamek and the Koopa Troop had managed to throw them into another world, the realm of Earth. The prophecies told that when a war broke out and heroes were needed, they would find a way to return, maybe the time was near.
End of Stage I
Disclaimer, I don't own Super Mario. Box 02 is for Wayoshi. It was based on the fact that you can have Mario stand on Toad in the games and Toad doesn't even complain. Box 02 has a little reference to the first Shrek movie, a quote from Donkey. Box 04 is about a fairy trapped in a washing machine and it was written for Snow's "Spinning Poetry" challenge. Box 06 was requested by Tanuki826. Box 08 is based on Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
Question Box: Stage II
Box 12: Only Her Name
It all started on an ordinary day, Lemmy was playing with Iggy near a small pond. The water was crystalline and calm, a soft breeze blew and the sun was shining. Lemmy never thought he would see someone like her that day. One second he was playing tag with Iggy and the next he was hypnotized by her beauty. For the first time as long as he could remember, Lemmy lost his sense of balance completely and fell off the ball he usually rolled around on.
Iggy stopped and gave his brother a surprised look before rushing to help him stand up. "What happened? You never fall like that? By the way, you're still 'it' this doesn't count."
For Lemmy, Iggy's voice was a distant echo as he stared at the young girl swimming in the pond. She was like a shelled angel.
Iggy waved a hand in front of Lemmy. He was staring into the pond with the most absurd expression. He looked strange, yet happy. "Did you hit your head too hard? That silly smile is starting to worry me."
Suddenly, the girl's gaze shifted in their direction and Lemmy was quick to turn around in embarrassment. "Is she looking?"
Iggy raised an eyebrow in confusion, but looking at the pond over his brother's shoulder, he soon realized what he meant. "No, she's swimming around oblivious to the world."
Lemmy let out a sigh of both relief and disappointment.
Iggy had no clue what was going on in his brother's head. "Relax, she's too far to give us cooties."
"It's not that," Lemmy was clearly uncomfortable talking about her. "It's just that..." He didn't finish, he didn't want his brother to feel betrayed. They had agreed that all girls, with the exception of their sister and Peach, had cooties. Though even Wendy sometimes exhibited symptoms of having the fictional decease that was all too real for the boys.
"What is it? You can tell me," Iggy encouraged.
Lemmy felt his cheeks turn red. He stared at his feet, examining the ground with great attention. "It' just..."
'Spit it out already!' Iggy wanted to say. He was caught off guard by his brother's uncharacteristic doubtful behavior.
"I kind of like her," Lemmy confessed, his face continued to turn a deeper shade of red by the second.
Iggy stared at his brother as if he grew a second head. "But she has cooties!"
"Shh! Not so loud, she'll hear us!" Lemmy shyly looked towards the pond. The girl continued to swim around peacefully, floating on her shell. He felt like he could stare at her forever.
"Lemmy!" Iggy's voice snapped him out of his day dream. Iggy pouted and exhibited his best pouty face. "Let's go home." He didn't like what that girl was doing to his brother. She was brainwashing him and turning him into a mindless zombie with her cooties.
"I want to go talk to her. Do you think she'll like me?" Lemmy asked.
Iggy looked upset. "I want to go home, now!"
Lemmy looked towards the girl, then at his brother, back and forth a few times and finally stopped. "Aright, let's go home." Of course he planned to return. He would be back with a plan to talk to the beauty from the pond.
xoxox xox xoxox
Once at the Koopa Castle, Iggy tried to keep Lemmy busy. "Let's play some video games." Surely that would cheer Lemmy up.
Lemmy forced himself to smile. "You go, I think I'm going to... take a nap, I'm tired."
"No you're not," Iggy looked suspicious. Lemmy particularly disliked naps, always being hyper all day long. He never took naps when they were younger, no matter how much Kamek begged him to sleep, and he certainly wasn't going to take a nap now.
"I'm going to talk to King Dad about something... alone," Lemmy added before Iggy could comment on it.
Iggy crossed his arms. "Fine, I'll go play video games with Larry!" He walked away, stomping his feet visibly upset.
"Sorry," Lemmy whispered, but Iggy did not hear him. He went in search of his father who was most likely busy with the kingdom's royal duties at the time, but this was an emergency.
xoxox xox xoxox
"And that is why it is vital for me to kidnap princess Peach Toadstool," Bowser finished his speech. How dare the council question his reasons? Kamek, head of the council should have warned them not to do such a thing. The room was filled with the soft murmurs of koopas, paratroopas, magikoopas and even goombas, commenting on the king's explanation.
Quiet knocking was heard on the door. Bowser looked towards Kamek, who took a quick look around the room. Everyone who was supposed to be there was already there. He glanced at the door then shook his head in reply to Bowser's silent question, indicating that he didn't know who was at the door.
The room was once again filled with quiet murmurs, as the king walked towards the door with a none too happy expression. Who ever had dared to interrupt his meeting better have something very important to say. He opened the door to find his son Lemmy standing there. "This better be important!"
Lemmy looked at his feet and for the second time that day, he appeared to be fascinated by the surface he stood on. "I needed to talk to you," he kept his gaze on the gray stone floor.
Bowser grew more impatient with each passing second. "I'm in a very important meeting. I'm warning you, it better be very important."
Lemmy shyly looked towards the conference room behind his father. The entire royal council was there, as well as representatives from different parts of the Darklands. He couldn't possibly say what he needed to say with all of them listening. He made a movement with his hand that indicated he wanted his father to come closer.
Irritated but curious, Bowser did what his son requested so the young koopaling could whisper whatever he was going to say without anyone else hearing it. Bowser's irritation disappeared as Lemmy spoke in a hushed whisper that only the king was close enough to hear. His face showed a mix of happiness and worry, with a hint of pride.
When he finished narrating the earlier events to his father and communicating his imperative need for advice, Lemmy went back to his previous activity of staring at his feet. A hint of red was starting to appear in his cheeks as he thought about her.
Bowser turned around to face his subjects, who were waiting in the conference room. With a blissful expression he announced that they were done. "Ladies and gentlemen, this meeting is cancelled!"
Once again the conference room was filled with murmurs, as Kamek and Kammy exchanged confused looks. The whispers of the crowd were a little louder this time. It was obvious that they were curious to know what the young prince had told his father that was so important.
xoxox xox xoxox
Bowser had led Lemmy to the royal throne room and closed the doors. It was a process he had done with Ludwig when he came to him with girl related questions. He had noticed girls staring at him and following him around. Ludwig had fan girls before he even knew what a fan girl was. That's when Bowser had a long talk with him in the throne room. Now it was Lemmy's turn. "Sit down," Bowser spointing to the throne.
Lemmy looked at his father a bit surprised that he was being asked to sit in his throne. After a moment of doubt, he quietly sat down. He wondered if he was in for lecture, but his father didn't sound angry. He sounded happy and sad at the same time. It was a combination beyond what Lemmy thought was possible.
The next few minutes passed slowly as Bower went into a long speech that mostly revolved around Peach. Lemmy failed to notice how all of that was related to his situation. "In conclusion, if you like this girl, you need to let her know and she will come to you. If she doesn't, then invite her over to make it obvious that you want to spend time with her. If she says no, simply kidnap her. Do you understand?"
Lemmy nodded slowly, "I think so."
"Good, you can go now. Don't forget to beware of fan girls, they are very dangerous, but if this girl is normal, then it's safe to attempt a kidnapping," Bowser warned.
Lemmy gave his father another nod, acknowledging his last statement, and hopped off the throne. He started walking towards the door.
Lemmy was half way across the large throne room, when he felt his father pick him up and hug him. "My little Lemmy is growing up!"
Lemmy blinked, then stared, then blinked again. "King Dad... Are you feeling alright?"
Bowser put Lemmy down. "Of course, I'm perfectly fine."
"If you say so," Lemmy left the throne room and wondered if he should follow his father's advice. He wasn't sure if that girl from the pond would be too happy to get kidnapped. He wondered if she was even still there. The water pond in question was a long way from the Koopa Castle since the only ponds near it were made of lava instead of water.
Maybe the entire kidnapping deal was something his father would do in an attempt to impress princess Peach but maybe it didn't work that way anymore. Maybe it was a something that belonged to their generation only. Lemmy nodded to himself and decided that even if his father was trying to help, his technique may be a little old to work for someone so young. But if his father couldn't guide him, then who could?
xoxox xox xoxox
As he walked along the corridors of the Koopa Castle, music reached him. Lemmy smiled and quickened his pace, following the sounds. Surely his older brother could have more up to date advice to offer. "Ludwig! Ludwig!"
Ludwig instantly stopped playing and let out an exasperated fiery breath. He had received countless interruptions from his siblings that day. If it kept going like that, he would never finish his symphony. "What apprehension may I facilitate you to flee?"
Lemmy's shyness returned full force and once again he stared at his feet. "I wanted to ask you something."
Ludwig looked at his brother with curiosity. "Your conduct is reasonably abnormal. Yet astonishingly, I do not deduce that you ruptured any article."
Lemmy was silent for a moment as his cheeks turned that familiar red color. "It's about a girl."
Ludwig took a moment to process his brother's words; then smiled. "I perceive you are experiencing infatuation, I should have acknowledged it by your expression!"
"I was hoping you could give me some advice. King Dad said I should kidnap her, but I don't think she would like that," Lemmy mused.
Ludwig shook his head. "I have the necessity to vigorously offer my recommendations in opposition to such proceedings. I counsel you to compose a symphony and serenade her."
The idea of writing her a song appeared to make more sense than kidnapping her. However, Ludwig was the only composer in the family. Then again, he did find many secret hand-written poetry books in his father's room when he was sneaking around once. Bowser had firmly denied writing them, but it was his hand writing, Lemmy was sure. "Can you write a song I can use?"
"Preposterous, the melody is obliged to originate from your own inspiration!" Ludwig urged.
"Okay..." Lemmy was disappointed.
"Conceivably, flowers may be adequate," Ludwig suggested.
"Yeah flowers, why didn't I think of that?" Lemmy's dilemma had been solved. How could he miss the most obvious option? "Thanks Ludwig!" He ran off as fast as his legs could carry him to search for flowers.
xoxox xox xoxox
At some point in time during his flower quest, he realized that finding them in the Darklands was impossible. After searching high and low and finding nothing but dry, hot land where no vegetation would grow, Lemmy was about to give up. Then he remembered that girl swimming around with more skill than he thought was possible for any koopa. He smiled at the image in his mind and with renewed energy he continued his quest to find flowers.
Lemmy's journey led him all the way to the Mushroom Kingdom. Surely, there he would find plenty of pretty flowers. The question was what kind of flower was most appropriate. Since he was already in the Mushroom Kingdom, why not ask Peach?
"Princess! Princess!" Toad's panicked voice was heard. He ran towards the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, who was sitting in her garden surrounded by beautiful flowers. He fell because he was forcing his short legs to move faster than it was possible for them and Peach helped him get up.
"Are you alright, Toad? What's wrong? You sound very alarmed," Peach asked.
"It's terrible! Just terrible! There's a koopaling here to kidnap you!" Toad cried.
"I'm not here to kidnap Peach," Lemmy had made it past the guards and now stood a few feet away from Peach and Toad. "I'm here for advice." For what felt like the millionth time that day, he once again stared at his feet and realized his claws could use a little clipping.
Peach took note of the embarrassed look in Lemmy's face, the red color of his cheeks and how he shifted uncomfortably from one foot to another, while staring at his feet and the ground below them. No doubt about it, the boy had a crush. "Toad, please allow me to speak with Lemmy in private. Thank you for letting me know he was here."
"Princess?" Toad looked shocked, but Peach's smile convinced him that everything would be okay. He reluctantly left, heading back inside the castle after looking over his shoulder several times during the walk.
"Please follow me," Peach voiced. They walked a short distance to a bench in front of a fountain. "Sit down, let's talk." Lemmy nodded and sat next to her. "Tell me Lemmy, what is her name?"
At first, Lemmy was going to ask what she meant, but suddenly it hit him like a ten ton Chain Chop. Was he being that obvious? "I don't know. I haven't talked to her yet. How did you know it was about a girl?"
Peach continued to smile. "It's pretty obvious really. I can see it written all over your face."
Lemmy was tempted to run to the fountain to look at his reflection in the water and see for himself if his face had changed, but instead he remained seated. If there was really something written on his face, he would have noticed before. "King Dad said I should kidnap her to show I care. Ludwig said a serenade was a better idea, but he couldn't help me with the music because I had to do it myself. So Ludwig said I should give her flowers if I couldn't write a song. It kind of made sense, so I thought it was a good idea. The problem is I couldn't find any flowers. I don't think there are any in the Darklands. I thought that maybe I could find flowers in the Mushroom Kingdom and since you're here, I could ask you to help me pick which flowers to give her."
"I would be very happy to help. In fact, we can use the flowers from my garden. I'll make them into a really nice arrangement." Peach sighed with an unexplained happiness and satisfaction. "Your first crush, how cute!" Skipping along a flowery path, the princess led the way further into the garden.
Not too long after, Lemmy had a bouquet of rare pink roses, which Peach was certain any girl would love, or at least any girl who liked pink as much as she did.
xoxox xox xoxox
By the time Lemmy arrived back at the pond, it looked like the girl was about to leave. She was about to climb into a nearby pipe when he called her. "Wait, don't go. I wanted to talk to you. Do you have to leave?"
She nodded in response.
"Will you come back soon?" Lemmy asked.
The girl paused then shook her head.
"Oh... You don't really like me... I brought you some flowers. Take them, I wouldn't know what to do with them anyway," Lemmy sounded heartbroken.
She accepted the flowers and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
His face turned bright red. "So you do like me?"
She nodded and smiled then looked sadly at the pipe.
"I understand, you were just visiting, right? You live far away and have to go home..."
"I guess there's no choice. I'm still happy I met you. I'm Lemmy Koopa, before you go, please tell me your name."
"Squirtle," the girl replied.
Though she had to return to her home, he would never forget her. Lemmy returned to the Koopa Castle and kept telling himself that he might see her again someday. Deep down he knew that their paths would most likely never cross again, but he would always remember her, the beautiful Squirtle.
xoxox xox xoxox xox xoxox xox xoxox xox xoxox
Box 13: Lady Rainbow
Everything appeared to be peaceful in the small koopa village. The sun was shining, the air was warm and the lava was boiling. Everything was set for the start of a good day. Clawdia watched the children play in her backyard. It appeared that she had somehow become the official village babysitter, not that she minded, she liked kids. Everything was calm and happy until a little boy came running to her. The little koopaling looked scared. He stopped out of breath as he tried to call her name. "Claw... Clawdia..."
"Take a beep breath Koopito," Clawdia said to the frightened boy. The koopaling did what he was told, recovering some of the natural color of his face. "That's it, now slow down and tell me what happened."
"My sister, the dragon got her!" No sooner had the boy mentioned the terrible dragon when they were surrounded by curious koopas and scared koopalings. "Go inside the house kids," Clawdia urged. "You too," she told Koopito. She stood at the door and smiled at the koopalings to reassure them they would be alright. "I know I never usually leave you alone, but this is a bit of an emergency. Don't leave the house until I get back. There are cookies and milk in the kitchen in case you want a snack. I'll be back soon." The koopalings nodded, commented about the situation among themselves and told her to hurry back as Clawdia closed the door of her house and went on her way.
"Clawdia, where are you going?" A young koopa asked. He looked like he knew the answer but needed to be sure.
"I'm going to find Koopita. That dragon's been eating koopalings for a long time. It's going to end now. He'll regret coming to this village," Clawdia was determined. The twins Koopito and Koopita lived just outside the village. For the last few months their parents let them walk to her house alone as long as they went straight there and stayed together. They never thought the terrible dragon would come to their village.
Curious koopas surrounded her. "That's insane!" "You'll be killed too!" "He'll eat you just like the he ate the kids!" All that could be heard from the crowd.
"Enough! I can't believe no one is doing anything. Just because the other villages got burned to nothing, doesn't mean it's going to happen to us if we fight the dragon! Besides, I'm can't let him get away with eating all those kids." Ignoring their warnings and protests, Clawdia left the village.
Once outside her village, she ran to the little house where the koopalings' parents lived. They were injured by the dragon's fire but they would recover. She sent a paratroopa that had curiously wandered by to see what the commotion was about to find a magikoopa to heal them and told them Koopito was alright. With no time to waste, she was off to find Koopita.
xoxox xox xoxox
Clawdia saw a fire burning far away in an area she knew was a clearing so it couldn't possibly be from a volcano. The dragon must have gone that way. To gain speed, Clawdia went inside her pink shell and spun around rapidly. She hovered above the ground moving at an amazing speed. She stopped at the entrance to a cave. Just outside the cave a few dry tress were set on fire.
The dragon that was inside the cave heard something and came out. There stood a koopa girl with a pink shell. She had a wild rainbow for hair, held into a ponytail by a pink bow. She also had a matching bow on her tail. "Where are the koopalings?"
"So you're here to save them?" The green dragon was only a little bigger than a koopa, but his tail was far longer and his wings larger than the wings of any paratroopa, plus they had no feathers. "Is this all the village can send? One girl? One person doesn't even make for a small angry mob!" The dragon laughed evilly.
"Enough! Tell me where they are. If it's true you ate them, you'll regret it!" How could that terrible creature eat innocent little koopalings? She just didn't understand.
"What are you going to do, scare me to death with your bad fashion sense? Is that mess of a rainbow natural or did you have a really bad accident with hair dye?" The dragon mocked.
Clawdia fell silent. She took a long pause then let out the loudest koopa roar the dragon had ever heard. With a killer glared she went inside her shell and spun, hitting the dragon, wounding him badly. The dragon gasped for air crushed between the cave wall and the spikes on Clawdia's pink shell. The shell released him, spinning in front of him.
Clawdia stopped and her head arms, legs and tail came out of her shell. "Never make fun of my hair." Hearing a child-like voice coming from deeper into the cave, she hurried to find Koopita and hopefully the koopalings from the other villages.
Defeated, weakened, wounded and with a broken ego, the dragon crawled away and clumsily took flight.
Clawdia was glad to find that the kids were taken prisoner but not eaten. She was heading back to her village with the group of koopalings when she saw an angry mob of koopas heading towards the cave. "You're a bit late," Clawdia and koopas celebrated the koopalings' safe return.
xoxox xox xoxox
Later that night at the village, while the koopas from the neighboring villages spoke of their plans to rebuild and make sure their children were always safe, it was revealed what the dragon planed to do. The koopalings had heard of his plans to try to steal the throne from King Bowser as soon as the kids were trained to fight for him. "I'm taking this matter to the king," Clawdia had decided there and then.
The next day her journey around the Darklands began. Thankfully, she wasn't too far away from the Koopa Castle. What she didn't expect was that the dragon would be healed so quickly. "I've been looking all over for you Lady Rainbow," the dragon landed in front of her.
"Are you making fun of my hair again?" Clawdia was ready to teach him another hard lesson if he was.
"No, of course not, I was simply admiring it. No koopa has ever stood up to me like that. Your skill and beauty amazes me. I want you to marry me!" The dragon requested.
Clawdia simply blinked in surprised confusion. "I don't even know your name."
"How rude of me to forget the introductions, my name is Drageno. What might Lady Rainbow be called?"
"My name is Clawdia and my parents had a good reason to give me that name." She showed her long, sharp and perfectly manicured pink claws. Let's just say Drageno got a really good look at them with the cut on his face that went from his forehead all the way down to his neck. She just couldn't forgive someone who hurt children.
"What are you doing?" He roared angrily breathing fire.
She jumped out of the way. "I'm sure you'll want to get healed before your wound bleeds too much. Retreat or else!" Clawdia warned him. Carefully thinking about his decision, Drageno flew away.
A magikoopa that happened to be flying back to the Koopa Castle on his broom witnessed the event. "Good job taking care of that dragon."
"Thanks but I'm not done yet. That was a trap to get him to reveal the location of the captive magikoopa." Clawdia suspected he must have a magikoopa prisoner that healed him so quickly. No magikoopa would heal that tyrant willingly and he should have still been beaten from their last fight. She went inside her shell, spinning after Drageno, staying a little behind as to not be noticed. The magikoopa wasn't sure what was going on but he followed Clawdia.
xoxox xox xoxox
They came to an area with many dry trees. Drageno went inside a large tree trunk and after a bright light he emerged completely healed. "That was a magikoopa healing spell!" The magikoopa following Clawdia recognized the magic.
Drageno noticed he had been followed. He breathed fire, but the magikoopa, who was really Kamek, easily blocked it. That fire was nothing compared to Bowser's flaming temper tantrums when he was little. Knowing he was overpowered and outnumbered Drageno made his escape, flying away at a great speed.
"Is someone out there? Can you let me out of here?" A female voice came from the tree trunk. Kamek and Clawdia curiously but carefully approached and just as they suspected, there was a magikoopa there.
Kamek looked at the markings on the ground. It was a spell to trap magikoopas but he knew how to break it. He chanted ancient words as his wand began to glow. The symbols forming a circle around the female magikoopa began to glow as well, until they vanished. "You're free now."
"Thanks! That dragon chased me in here and kept making me heal him. I'll have to learn that counter spell to escape from things like this. That mean dragon, he burnt my broom too. By the way I'm Kammy who might you be?"
"Well, now that we all know each other, Clawdia I was wondering if you were heading to the Koopa Castle?" Kamek asked.
"Yes, I needed to speak to the king about that dragon. I'll track him down and bring him back if he agrees to have a dungeon cell ready. Furthermore, why hasn't the official kingdom army taken action? Drageno was kidnapping koopalings to train them to fight against King Bowser eventually," Clawdia explained.
"I'm certain that dragon isn't a threat. There is another threat however, but my perditions tell me that it will be a little longer before they are able to find their way back into our world." Kamek quickly stopped, he had revealed too much. "Clawdia, Kammy, I invite you both to the castle. Kammy, I'll teach you that spell in case you need it and Clawdia you can meet King Bowser." Although Kamek didn't say it, he was thinking that Clawdia would make a good queen. She appeared to be quite skilled and brave.
"Sounds good to me," Clawdia agreed. Whether that dragon, according to Kamek, represented a real threat to the kingdom or not wasn't the matter in question. The point was that he kidnapped koopalings and that made Clawdia very upset. She wasn't going to keep quiet about it.
"That would be great, except I don't have a broom," Kammy revealed.
"I'll give you a ride, then you can get a broom at the castle," Kamek offered.
"Do you think we'll all fit?" Kammy inquired.
"Don't worry about me. I'm pretty sure I can keep up from the ground," Clawdia assured.
xoxox xox xoxox
The three journeyed to the Koopa Castle, which wasn't too far away. That spinning shell move of Clawdia's was really something. She had no trouble keeping up with the magikoopas riding on the broom. Upon their arrival, Kamek was informed that Bowser had run off. Clawdia and Kammy were given guest rooms and Kammy soon noticed something was going on.
"Kamek," Kammy found the other magikoopa as he was about to head out.
"Is the broom to your liking?" Kamek asked.
Kammy was carrying the new broom he gave her. "Yes, I like it very much. I was just thinking about my theory."
"What theory would that be?" Kamek asked.
"That you want to play matchmaker for King Bowser and Clawdia," Kammy answered.
"I wouldn't call it match maker. I'll just introduce them and hope for the best. I'm not planning to interfere any more than that," Kamek promised.
"Really? That's too bad. Playing matchmaker would be fun. I have an idea. Why don't we have a ball tonight?" Kammy suggested.
"Bowser doesn't like balls."
"I like balls and so does Clawdia."
"Did you ask her if she likes balls or are you just saying that because you want to have a party?"
"Fine, be that way," Kammy pouted and started walking away.
Kamek sighed in defeat. "Fine, we'll have a ball." He wasn't sure why, but he didn't want Kammy to be upset.
"Great, I'll go tell Clawdia," Kammy cheered. Kamek shook his head, more at himself for agreeing than at Kammy, and flew off to find Bowser.
xoxox xox xoxox
There was a knock on the door to Clawdia's guest room. "Come in."
Kammy entered the room and set her broom aside beside the door. "I've come to tell you about tonight's ball!"
"There's a ball? Am I expected to attend?" Clawdia wasn't sure she wanted to be at a ball while Drageno was still out there, but dragons were hard to keep locked up. She would need help from the king or his magikoopa assistant, who could only take action if the king sent him.
"Of course, I'll help you get ready if you want," Kammy offered.
"Sure, I'll need all the help I can get. Maybe you can do something about my hair."
"I think I can take care of it," Kammy then picked up a hairbrush and indicated for Clawdia to sit down. The magikoopa brushed the koopa's rainbow hair until it wasn't wild and spiky anymore. "There you go. You should wear your hair down for the ball."
"It's still a rainbow. I thought you were going to use some kind of magic on it." Clawdia's hair was dark blue, light blue, pink, yellow and green.
"Nah, it looks fine like that. Now you just need a dress." With a wave of her wand, Kammy made a beautiful pink dress appear, laid out on Clawdia's bed. She also made matching heals and diamond jewelry. "I need to get ready too, see you later."
"See ya and thanks."
"You're welcome, enjoy the ball. I know I'm planning to have fun," Kammy then returned to her room to get ready.
Clawdia looked at the dress. It was very nice, although there was no way it would fit with her shell on. It was just for the ball so she would leave her shell in her room and change back into it later. With that decision made, she changed into the dress and put on the shoes and jewelry.
xoxox xox xoxox
Kamek had found Bowser at the edge of the Darkland territories, looking curiously into the distance. The magikoopa had warned him countless times before never to go into the Mushroom Kingdom territory or it may trigger a chain reaction that would bring back those who were to bring disaster to the Koopa Kingdom. They would come when the Koopa Kingdom army went to carry out their plans to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, but until then, until they were ready, it was best to keep a certain distance. "I really don't know what the big deal is about going beyond the Darkland border."
"You must understand that we might not be ready yet," Kamek warned.
"We're the most powerful kingdom of all, of course we're ready," Bowser argued.
"Not yet, we must become more powerful so that we still stand a chance, even if the Mushroom Kingdom's heroes find their way back to our world. Don't forget they destroyed your very first castle," Kamek reminded him.
"I thought I destroyed it when you turned me into a giant with your magic," Bowser recalled.
Kamek thought it was time to change the subject. "There is going to be a ball tonight and you are expected to attend."
"Who gave you permission to throw a ball? I hate balls!" Bowser complained. Could there be anything more boring?
"I know you think they're boring, but there is a visitor you might want to meet. I'm sure you two will be good friends or maybe even more."
"Are you implying that you have plans of playing matchmaker for me?" Bowser sounded displeased.
"I said no such thing. I just thought you might want to meet her, that's all."
Before Bowser could reply, a dragon flew above them carrying a rainbow haired girl in a pink dress and being followed by a magikoopa in a light purple dress. "Let go of me Drageno! Let me go right now!" Clawdia, she couldn't do her spinning shell attack in that dress and he kept dodging when she tried to scratch him.
"Hold on Clawdia I'm coming," Kammy shoot magic in the shape of yellow circles, red triangles and blue squares at Drageno. "Stay still!" She was frustrated to miss every time. Drageno breathed fire towards her, which she avoided, but fell further behind in the chase. She spotted Kamek down below and she assumed the koopa that was with him was Bowser. Kammy saw him long ago when he was little from afar, though Clawdia, who grew up in a small koopa village, had never seen the king. "You're King Bowser, right? You have to go save Clawdia!"
Bowser looked confused. "What exactly is going on here?"
"That was Clawdia being kidnapped by Drageno. She was the girl I wanted you to meet. Why in the world was she in a dress? I don't think the spinning shell attack she did before works like that," Kamek explained.
"I was helping her get ready for the ball so I gave her that dress," Kammy admitted.
"Who are you? Is that Kammy's broom?" Kamek inquired.
"How could you recognize the broom and not me?" Kammy pouted.
"Kammy?" Kamek was surprised.
"A pretty dress and contact lenses is all it takes to stop being Kammy? I'm sill the same Kammy, you know," Kammy continued to pout cutely.
"Oh, I see, you look... um... nice," Kamek blushed.
"While you two flirt, I'll go rescue Clawdia," Bowser ran off, leaving the two magikoopas to suffer with an awkward silence.
xoxox xox xoxox
Bowser continued running in the direction Drageno had flown away, until he was well past the Darkland border and in Mushroom Kingdom territory. At a clearing filled with flowers, he spotted Drageno and Clawdia. She had apparently forced him to land and now he was pitifully being attacked by mushroom people.
"Let the pretty rainbow lady go!" A young man yelled as he attacked Drageno, who easily threw him aside.
"Evil dragon you'll pay for kidnapping the lady of the rainbow," another mushroom man yelled. He was defeated as easily as the first. Three others followed, being easily cast aside, while Clawdia snuck away.
Bowser watched the scene. This wasn't what he had expected. Sure the inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom lived up to their kingdom's name with those mushrooms on their heads, but they weren't as dangerous as Kamek made them sound. Maybe it was just those two legendary heroes he had to worry about, but if they were anything like those toads, taking over the Mushroom Kingdom would be a piece of cake when the time came.
Although, maybe Kamek was right about waiting, why rush it when there were more pleasant things to do than plan a take over a kingdom? It could be so tedious at times. "Hello."
"Hi," Clawdia didn't know who this koopa was or that he happened to be the king.
Drageno noticed Clawdia had sneaked away and was enraged. "King Bowser Koopa? I don't know what you're doing here, but Clawdia, the lady of the rainbow is mine!"
Drageno breathed fire at him but Bowser sent back a counter attack. "You call that a fire breath? I'll show you fire!"
Soon Drageno was roasted. "This can't be! How can a koopa breathe more fire than a dragon?" He coughed up smoke in a pitiful attempt to attack again.
As if on cue, Kamek and Kammy arrived. "Looks like he's weakened, now let's try that spell I told you about," Kamek suggested.
"Ready when you are!" Kammy announced.
"Now!" Kamek signaled. They both send magic at the dragon in the shape of yellow circles, red triangles and blue squares, a classic for magikoopas. The dragon began to shrink until he turned into a lizard, a little bit smaller than a toad. Clawdia smiled satisfied. In that size, a koopaling could easily overpower him if he tried anything again.
While the two magikoopas flew overhead after the dragon was defeated and hurried to run away, the toads that were attempting to fight Drageno before got ready for round two against Bowser. "Let the lady of the rainbow go you terrible koopa!" One of them yelled.
"Yeah! Don't worry Lady Rainbow, we'll save you!" Another called. The other three agreed and got ready to attack Bowser, but they stopped when Clawdia stood in the way.
"I'm a koopa too you know," Clawdia revealed.
The young toads stopped with frozen expressions of surprise and disbelief. "You're a koopa?"
"That can't be! You don't have a shell!" One of them pointed in denial.
"It's in my room. I'm just wearing a dress for a little while," Clawdia explained.
"I can't believe I liked a koopa," one of the mushroom men grimaced.
"Yeah me either," another agreed.
"Yuck koopas!" Another exclaimed. After they each made their complaints, the five young men hastily left. There was no need to risk their lives fighting koopas if there was no Lady Rainbow to save and even more so if the lady of the rainbow turned out to be on of them.
"What's wrong with being a koopa?" Clawdia looking annoyed.
"Nothing, nothing at all," Bowser assured. "I should know, I'm their king."
"So you're really King Bowser..."
"That's right, I'm Bowser, king of the koopas."
"You're also late for the ball," Kamek pointed out.
Kammy floated on her broom near by and poked him with her wand. "Be quiet, don't interrupt their moment!"
xoxox xox xoxox
While Bowser and Clawdia walked back to the koopa castle, Kamek and Kammy watched them from the air on their brooms. "What do you think they're talking about?" Kammy whispered.
"I think they want to run off and leave us behind," Kamek theorized.
"If they do, we should let them. A good matchmaker knows when the job is done," Kammy reminded.
"But we didn't really do much," Kamek pointed out.
"We did what needed to be done, we did enough. The secret to good matchmaking is to interfere just enough, not too little and definitely not too much."
End of Stage II
Disclaimer, I don't own Super Mario or Pokemon.
Question Box: Stage III
Box 14: What You Can't Hear Can't Hurt You
As he made his escape in his clown-copter, Bowser took a moment to note just how loud Princess Peach Toadstool could be. Her constant screaming chant of 'help me Mario, help me Mario, help me Mario help me' being said as if it was one long word rather then three words, repeated over and over, was getting on his nerves. The screaming of the kidnapped princess didn't stop when they got to his castle and it was only after she was locked up in a sound proof room that he could rest from the noise, or at least from that specific noise. It wasn't the end of the unpleasant noises, for he was the father of seven very hyper and noisy children.
Ludwig thought he was a composer. Bowser didn't want to discourage the heir to the koopa throne so he pretended that he loved his oldest son's melodies. Then there was Lemmy rolling around the castle balanced on a ball. His balance was excellent, but just because he didn't fall off that ball didn't mean he didn't often knock things over. Random fragile objects shattered as they hit the floor. He could hear potted piranha plants being knocked over and crawling all over the castle looking for something to chew on, which hopefully would not turn out to be his slippers.
Iggy soon followed with some strange invention that was more likely to blow up than to work. Sometimes Ludwig teamed up with Iggy to invent things that blew up. It was important to exercise creativity, but he wondered if they would ever invent something that actually did what it was supposed to. All of their invasions blew up, except for that bomb they built once, that did everything except blowing up, which was what it was supposed to do. If not inventing with Ludwig, Iggy was found following Lemmy around on foot, while his brother rolled around on the ball. He made no effort to catch the items Lemmy knocked over.
Roy was known for being a bully and picking on his siblings. Ludwig sometimes tried to make his younger siblings get along, although most of the time he let them destroy the castle with their sibling fights as long as they didn't bother him. It was amazing how the koopalings could be fighting like they were mortal enemies one second and getting along like loving siblings the next. That was one of the mysteries of the koopa kids.
Morton was a special case, that boy never shut up. He could go on and on about just about anything and everything. The boy's constant ranting could drive anyone to insanity. Everyday he found something new to rant and speech about for hours. Wendy was a spoiled brat, as spoiled as they came. She was known for her long and loud temper tantrums and always getting her way. She was daddy's little girl and possibly daddy's biggest torturer. Finally, there was Larry, the youngest of the koopalings, the one who always got into trouble, well even more trouble than his siblings. That boy insisted on poking things that weren't meant to be poked, such as piranha plans and chain chops.
Bowser sighed and tried to prepare himself. He knew the silence after locking Peach in that sound proof room would not last. As if on cue, within ten seconds of such thoughts, the koopalings, all seven of them, ran to greet their father and complain about something or share a story of something that happened while he was away, or ask for something, or show him something, or just talk. As you may imagine, by the time the Mario brothers came and went after successfully completing their royal rescue mission, Bowser was left wit a huge headache. All that noise was just too much for him.
It was at the end of a busy day like that when Bowser made a desperate decision. "I want to stop hearing."
Kamek the magikoopa stood there for a moment, wondering of he had heard correctly. "You want me to make you deaf?"
"Temporarily yes, I need a rest from all this noise," Bowser clarified.
"What about my vacation?" Kamek had been bothering Bowser about giving him a vacation for months and when the time finally came, he didn't want to have to cancel it.
"You can still go on your vacation, just make me hear again when you come back. I don't think I'll miss all this noise," Bowser replied.
"Well alright, here goes." With a wave of his wand, Kamek made it so Bowser could no longer hear. "Can you hear me?"
"What?" Bowser asked.
"Can you hear me?" Kamek yelled.
"I can't hear you... I can't hear you, it worked! Finally, some peace and quiet!" Bowser cheered.
"I'm happy for you king Bowser, now if you'll excuse me, I'll be going on my vacation," Kamek left.
xoxox xox xoxox
The next day came and everything was the same, except for the lack of sound. Bowser got up late; he slept in because he didn't hear his alarm clock. He slept in so late that the koopaling were already up, causing chaos and disaster by the time he woke up. If not because Larry decided to use his bed as a trampoline and actually got his siblings to join him, he wouldn't have woken up at all. It was needless to say it was a bit annoying waking up to seven little koopas jumping on his bed, and on him, but at least everything was quiet so it wasn't too bad.
After a very quiet breakfast, filled with sibling arguments and food fights, there came the time to kidnap Princess Peach once again. The silence made it a lot easier to concentrate during the kidnapping and the trip back to the castle in the clown-copter was much more pleasant due to the sweet silence.
"Help me, Mario! Help me, Mario! Help me, Mario! Help me, Mario!" The princess of the Mushroom Kingdom screamed. She paused as she looked at Bowser who appeared unaffected by her screams for help. Taking a deep breath she decided to try again. "Help me, Mario!" She screamed loud enough to wake the dead, but Bowser continued on his way in a visibly good mood and didn't even look annoyed. Peach blinked in total confusing. Didn't all that screaming bother him at all? Maybe he was used to her loud chant for help and it didn't affect him anymore. She tried something different, a simple scream as loud as her lungs and throat allowed. She took in as much oxygen as she could and scream right next to him. "AH!" Still there was no effect. With elaborate heavy breathing due to all that screaming Peach tapped Bowser on the shoulder. "How come you're not annoyed by my screams today? Are you ignoring me?"
Bowser couldn't hear a word she said. He only smiled, it wasn't an evil smile, it was an 'I think you're funny' smile. That scared Peach more than an evil smile would. "Marry you? Of course, I'll marry you."
"No, that's not what I asked. I wanted to know why you're not annoyed by my screaming," Peach clarified.
"Tomorrow? Sure, tomorrow it will be," Bowser nooded.
"Are you deaf or are you just trying to annoy me? Because if you wanted to annoy, even more than being kidnapped annoys me, then you got it." Then Peach realized what she said. "Oh, no you really did go deaf, didn't you? That's why you don't understand anything that I'm saying."
Bowser landed the clown-copter in the Koopa Castle. "Yes, yes I like you too, now come this way to your room and wait until I beat the Mario brothers. I'll come back and give you the news update as soon as I win." With Peach locked up, Bowser quietly waited for the Mario brothers to show up. Since he couldn't hear, Bowser couldn't tell what his kids were destroying by sound, so he went to find out. To his surprise, they were sitting quietly watching TV, getting along just fine, unlike during breakfast when they were trying to kill each other. Kids, who understands them?
The day progressed normally, save for the lack of sound. Lunch was a war zone and during the early afternoon, the Mario brothers were able to rescue Princess Peach once again, as they always did. This time however, Bowser didn't have a headache afterwards.
After the Mario brothers and Peach were gone, the Koopa King sat on his throne, enjoying the silence. Princess Peach might have been rescued, but at least he didn't have a headache and the silence was calming, so he was still in a pretty good mood. "King dad, king dad!" Larry came running into the throne room. "I know you told me not to poke that piranha plant Lemmy and Iggy gave you for father's day, but I really want to poke it. Can I poke it?"
Normally, Bowser wouldn't allow Larry to poke that piranha plant and get eaten. Sure he was the bad guy of the story, but he wasn't evil enough to let his own son go and get eaten. Of course Bowser was very deaf at the moment and couldn't hear a word Larry said. "That's nice Larry, have fun."
"Yay!" Larry ran off to poke the ferocious piranha plant. Bowser didn't think too much of it. What could Larry possibly do that could cause more trouble than the koopalings normally caused on a daily basis?
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, Wendy looked at a pool of boiling lava while in deep thought. She had an idea, but she wasn't sure if it would work out. "Oh, it's worth a try."
"This will be so much fun!" Larry ran by. Wendy wondered what he was so excited about but decided not to ask about it. She had her own fun to plan. Larry quickly ran towards a certain piranha plant bigger than the others and happily started poking the sleeping beast. "Fun! Fun! Fun!" The piranha plant certainly wasn't having fun. It was quick to anger and even faster to swallow the little koopaling whole. Luckily koopa shells are very strong and Larry was saved by going into his shell, however he was still trapped in the mouth of the piranha plant that, despite the spikes in his shell and being unable to chew the hard shell, refused to let him go.
xoxox xox xoxox
Wendy had gone to see her father. "King dad, I have the greatest idea! Since it's summer and all and the temperature is pretty hot I thought we could get a pool to swim in. I thought it would be a good idea to turn that big pool of lava we have into a swimming pool of water for the summer. You know which one I mean, right? The really big one, we'll need to drain the lava out of it and prepare to fill it up with water, so we'll need a plumber. The Mario brothers are our enemies and all, but they're still the best plumbers in the land, so I thought we could hire them for the job. Are you okay with all of that, king dad?"
Bowser had no idea what his daughter just said, but he assumed she was asking to borrow his credit card to buy a new pair of shoes, or a ribbon, or jewelry, or something. Saying no was out of the question, because if he did, she would throw the temper tantrum of the century. Sure he couldn't hear her, but he could still see her throwing random items in a fury and closing his eyes wouldn't' solve that, because the items would still get thrown around and said items would still hit him, since he would be her target if she didn't get whatever she wanted. Ah, yes, daddy's little girl, spoiled and evil, just like her father. He was so proud of his koopalings. "Alright Wendy, just try not to spend too much."
"Really, daddy?" Wendy cheered. Convincing him to let the Mario brothers turn their biggest lava pool into a water swimming pool was a lot easier than she imagined. "This is going to be totally great!" She jumped on him to give him hug before running off to call the Mario brothers.
After Wendy left, Morton came by to give Bowser a speech about anything and everything. "King dad, can I talk to you?"
The king of Koopas couldn't hear what Morton said, but he knew he wanted to talk, he always wanted to talk. "Do you want to talk, Morton? I have some time so go ahead and tell me whatever you want. I'll just sit here and listen."
Morton's eyes lit up with happiness. His father was actually offering to listen to him. Oh, joy! It was the happiest day of his life. Morton hopped on his father's lap and sat there talking. "I'm so happy you agreed to listen to me, king dad. This will be so much fun! I'll tell you about my entire day from the second I woke up this morning up until now. I won't leave out any details! It all started this morning when I woke up and the first thing I did was open my eyes. That's the first thing I do every morning, I open my eyes." After an overly long description about how he brushed his teeth it had been fifteen minutes and Morton, talking at an amazing speed, wasn't even done narrating the events of the morning before breakfast. "Then Larry invited us to jump on your bed. That was fun! We jumped and bounced and jumped. It was so much fun!" Morton continued talking for a very, very, very long time.
xoxox xox xoxox
Elsewhere, Mario and Luigi received a call from Wendy. "Allo, Mario brothers-a plumbing service!" Mario answered the phone.
"Hello, I have a very important plumbing job for you, but it's a little unusual. Do you think you can handle it?" Wendy asked.
Mario wondered why the girl's voice sounded so familiar. "Of course madam, we can fix-a any leak."
"Well it's not exactly a leak. It's something related to a pool," Wendy explained.
"Mama mia! We've had-a plenty of-a pool related jobs this-a summer. You have a-nothing to worry about. Your-a pool is in good hands!" Mario assured.
"Great! When can you come by to take a look at the soon to be pool?" Wendy asked.
"We could-a come a-right away. What is-a your-a name and where-a do you live-a, madam?" This summer was going to make them rich. A hot summer and a sale on pool related materials was a plumber's dream.
"In the Koopa Castle, you already know who I am. When you get here, just tell the guards Wendy called you. Don't take too long!" Wendy cheered.
"Wendy Koopa!" Mario nearly yelled. The name got Luigi's attention. He had been gathering their tools in preparation to tackle another pool job when he heard Mario talking on the phone.
"Yes, Wendy Koopa, actually it's Wendy O. Koopa. You know how to spell that right? That's Koopa with two o's," Wendy explained.
Mario thought about the situation. It could be a trap, but somehow the unlikely possibility of it not being a trap was still, although unlikely, a possibility. "We'll-a be a-right there," sfter he hung up the phone, he looked at his brother.
Luigi's expression was both surprised and confused. "Did you just-a take-a job from-a Wendy Koopa?" The green hat plumber asked what he deep down knew and feared was true.
"It's-a Wendy O. Koopa and-a yes. Let's-a go before we're-a late," Mario grabed his tool belt, making sure his lucky wrench was in it.
Luigi shook his head. "Mama mia! I can't-a believe this!"
"Better investigate while we are-a given the chance-a. Besides, it could-a be a-true that we are-a only going for-a the plumbing service," Mario pointed out.
"We're-a walking into a trap-a, Mario. We're-a walking into a trap-a," Luigi worried.
xoxox xox xoxox
When the Mario brothers arrived at the Koopa Caste, they were surprised to find that the guards had already been informed of their arrival. "We're-a here-a to see-a Wendy," Mario told the koopa troopa at the entrance.
"Yes, she's expecting you about a pool job, right? Come this way." He nodded to his partner for him to continue standing guard while he escorted the two plumber brothers inside. Once inside the castle he spoke to a paratroopa. "Tell Princess Wendy that the plumbers she sent for have arrived."
"Right away!" The paratroopa flew off, soon returning with Wendy.
"Good, you're here already. The pool is this way, follow me." Shrugging, the two plumbers followed the Koopa Princess deeper into the familiar castle. They kept their guard up and stayed alert, but it didn't look like anyone had any intentions of attacking them at that time. "Here it is," Wendy announced as they arrived in a room with a large pool of boiling lava that the Mario brothers knew all too well. They had to cross that deadly hot inferno several times in the past when they were on their way to rescue Princess Peach.
"What-a do-a you-a want-a us to do?" Mario asked.
"I want to turn this lava pool into a swimming pool of refreshing water. The temperatures have been simply killer this summer and having a pool of boiling lava in the castle doesn't help. You'll have to find a way to install a plumbing system to drain the lava out of there and fill the pool with fresh, pure and crystalline water. Also although, you're officially plumbers, our paragoomba spies have informed us that you've had some experience in construction. I'm hiring you for the full job here. I already sent some of daddy's minions to fetch the necessary materials and pipes, so all you have to do is install them," Wendy instructed. "I expect this pool to be finished today."
"This-a is-a big-a job. We need-a more-a time," Mario voiced.
"I already took care of that little detail, Skyri!" Wendy called.
A female paratroopa with a light blue shell came flying, carrying a chest. "Right here, Princess Wendy, I got everything you asked for!"
"This will get the job done in no time," Wendy took the chest. She opened it and showed the Mario brothers its contents. The chest was filled with all kinds of power ups such as fire flowers, magic feathers, frog suits and a lot of stars. She gave them the chest down and one final order before leaving. "Get to work!"
"Yes-a madam!" The Mario brothers stood straight, saluting military style.
After Wendy, left Luigi asked. "Should-a we take-a the chest-a and run?"
"No, we're-a going to stay and-a finish the job-a," Mario answered. "It's-a best-a to cross a swimming pool filled with-a water, than to cross-a pool of boiling lava." His brother nodded in agreement, this would certainly make things easier next time they had to rescue Princess Peach.
xoxox xox xoxox
In the throne room, Morton continued to talk and Bowser was unaffected. In fact, the koopaling looked kind of funny moving his mouth without sound. Bowser just continued to smile and nod, as Morton happily ranted his life away.
While Morton continued talking to his temporarily deaf father and the Mario brothers were working at an inhuman speed to build Wendy's pool, Roy was chasing Lemmy and Iggy around the basement weapon arsenal. At some point, Lemmy hopped off his ball and ended up balancing himself on a bob-omb, rolling it all around the basement. He didn't notice until Iggy pointed it out to him. Lemmy immediately hopped off the bob-omb and it rolled away towards a giant bob-omb. It bumped into the large bob-omb and exploded.
The wind up piece of the larger bob-omb had been stuck but the explosion of the smaller one activated it and sent it spinning. The large bob-omb's fuse was lit and the count down began. "Oh no! That thing is big enough to blow a huge hole in the castle, if not blow up the entire castle!" Iggy panicked.
"What do we do? What do we do?" Lemmy ran around in circles. He saw his ball and hopped on it. "Hey look, I found my ball."
"Focus Lemmy, the bob-omb of doom is upon us!" Iggy urged.
"Oh yeah! What do we? What do we do?" Lemmy started to panic again, going around in circles, this time while rolling on the ball.
"I'm going to pound the two of you to the ground and then I'll think about what to do about the bob-omb!" Roy growled.
"Wait! This is a wind up bob-omb. If we can keep it wind up then it won't explode!" Iggy pointed out. He and Lemmy tried to stop the wind up piece from spinning but ended up spinning with it. "We could use your help, Roy. Don't forget you're in this too!"
"Fine, you weaklings get off that thing," Roy pushed his brothers aside as he tried to wind up the bomb again to buy more time. "I can't do this forever you know."
"Lemmy and I will try to think of a why to stop this," Iggy pondered. "Maybe Ludwig will have an idea."
"Then let's go ask Ludwig, hang in there Roy!" Lemmy called, as he and Iggy left. As much as they wanted to leave Roy to deal with the bob-omb, they had once again gone from mortal enemies to siblings in the span of a few seconds. After all, Roy not only picked on them, but also defended them.
"Ludwig! Ludwig!" Iggy ran into his older brother's room.
The oldest of the koopalings was in the middle of composing a symphony. "I cannot indulge in recreational activities at the moment. I am compelled to pour all my energy towards the competition of my melodious composition."
"The bob-omb is going to blow up!" Lemmy urged.
That caught Ludwig's attention. "Pray tell what disastrous actions have you endeavored upon this time?"
"It was Roy's fault!" Iggy and Lemmy accused in unison.
"Regardless of who is to be found guilty of this calamity, I must implore that you swiftly inform me of the location of the imminent catastrophe," Ludwig requested. "I am to presuppose that the bob-omb in question is not of habitual magnitude."
xoxox xox xoxox
His brothers immediately took Ludwig to the source of their worries. "It took you long enough to get back here!" Roy hissed. "I thought you were going to leave me with this thing."
"The circumstances are indeed perilous!" Ludwig examined the giant bob-omb. "I shall endeavor to disengage the volatile menace, you must notify father!"
"What?" Iggy asked confused.
"But he'll be mad," Lemmy complained.
"Yeah!" Iggy agreed.
"I persevere on my request," Ludwig insisted. "the impending adversity is superior to the hazard of instating father's wrath!"
Being grounded certainly sounded better than getting blow up, so Iggy and Lemmy left Ludwig and Roy to deal with the giant bob-omb, while they went to get their father to inform him of the consequences of their mischief, before it was too late.
xoxox xox xoxox
Morton had just about finished his speech after several hours of talking and by then the Mario brothers were nearly done with the pool. The day had gone by very quietly for Bowser. "And that's my entire day up until the point where I asked you if I could talk to you and you said I could!" Morton finished his story. His throat felt dry and he needed a glass of water. He wanted to ask his dad if his throat felt dry like that when he breathed fire, but first he needed that glass of water. "I need to drink some water so I'll go get some and come talk to you some more in a few minutes. This is so much fun, I'm so happy you're listening to me, king dad!" Morton jumped off his father's lap and run off to get a glass of water.
Bowser yawned, all that peaceful silence was making him sleepy. He never thought there would be silence with Morton around. The boy had been a chatterbox since before he learned to talk. Even then he insisted in constantly making baby noises that hardly resembled words. Feeling in the mood for a nap, Bowser went to his room and fell asleep.
xoxox xox xoxox
On his way back from the kitchen after having a big refreshing glass of water, Morton heard something. "Get me out of here!" He turned to look towards the direction the sound was coming from, but found nothing except that piranha plant Iggy and Lemmy gave Bowser for father's day.
"Are you talking to me?" Morton looked at the piranha plant.
"Yes, get me out of here!" Larry called from inside the plant. He was safely hidden in his shell, but he was still trapped.
"Wow you must get bored sitting in that corner all day, huh?" Morton thought it was the plant talking. The piranha plant wanted to eat Morton too, but it knew that if it opened its mouth the koopaling it had already captured would escape. "Don't you worry, I'll get you out of there! It must be boring living in a pot all the time. It's more fun to have legs and move around. But don't worry, I'll help you. I'll take you outside were the sun is shining. Plants like the sun, right? Okay, I'll take you outside!" Morton started to push the potted piranha plant outside, moving the pot little by little and talking non-stop all the way.
xoxox xox xoxox
Iggy and Lemmy had found their father napping in his room. "Okay, you can tell him now," Iggy encouraged.
"Why do I have to tell him? You tell him!" Lemmy insisted.
"You tell him!" Iggy argued.
"No, you tell him!" Lemmy countered.
"We're not getting anywhere like this," Iggy realized.
"Why don't we both tell him?" Lemmy suggested.
Iggy nodded, "Yes, let's do that." However, neither of them moved after they came to an agreement.
"Maybe we should do something nice for him and then tell him," Lemmy mused, it was a classic trick.
"What can we do?" Iggy asked.
"Let' make him dinner," Lemmy suggested.
"Okay, let's do that," Iggy agreed. So the two koopalings ran off to the kitchen to cook dinner for their dear father.
Their kitchen adventure turned into a huge disaster that left the kitchen looking like a war zone after they somehow blew up the oven.
"Now what?" Iggy pouted.
"We could ask Wendy to help us," Lemmy suggested.
"Do you think she will?" Iggy wondered.
"Maybe if we tell her it's an emergency," Lemmy nodded. The two koopalings ran off to find their sister.
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, the Mario brothers had finished installing the pool in record breaking time. They used a pipeline that led to Barrel Volcano, where they dumped all the lava that was in the pool space before. Another pipeline would bring water straight from the rain clouds of Nimbus Land.
"Good-a work-a brother," Mario admired the result.
"Same-a to you-a brother," Luigi agreed.
Wendy came to check on the pool's progress. "My pool is finished! This is great, now I'm glad we didn't destroy you two earlier. Well, here's your payment." She handed Mario a coin, only one coin. "King dad told me not to spend too much, so you can split that between you two and keep the change." Without giving the brothers a chance to protest, Wendy skipped off to get her water toys and try out her new pool.
"This-a is-a not-a fair!" Luigi complained, though Wendy was already gone.
"At-a least-a we-a don't-a have to worry about-a the lava," Mario consoled. Luigi nodded in agreement, he did have a point. Exhausted, the Mario brothers decided to leave the castle before Wendy came back and decided that since their job was done, they could be destroyed.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Wendy! Wendy!" Iggy and Lemmy called.
"What do you want?" Wendy was carrying a multitude of water toys as she made her way down the hall.
"What's with all the water toys?" Lemmy was easily distracted by his curiosity.
"I'm going to go play in the pool," Wendy replied.
Iggy and Lemmy looked at each other, then at Wendy. "We have a pool?" They asked at the same time.
"It's new, daddy gave me permission to have it built by the Mario brothers," Wendy chirped.
"Wow, she really can get anything she wants," Iggy concluded.
"Yeah," Lemmy concurred.
"What is it that you wanted to tell me?" Wendy inquired.
"Oh yeah, we need your help cooking dinner for king dad," Iggy revealed.
"Will you help us?" Lemmy requested.
Wendy thought about it for a moment. "Well, he did let me get that pool without complaint. I suppose I should do something nice for him. Alright, I'll help you make a really delicious dinner for king dad!"
xoxox xox xoxox
Since Iggy and Lemmy had destroyed the kitchen in their previous failed attempt to cook dinner, the three koopalings decided to borrow another kitchen. "Don't mind us; we're just here to use the kitchen!" Lemmy rolled on his ball around the Mushroom Castle scaring all the Toads in his way.
"Stop! You already kidnapped the princess today. We were getting ready for a nice quiet dinner. Please don't ruin it!" Toad called.
"Oh stop panicking. We're not on the attack, we're here to borrow the kitchen," Iggy informed.
Princess Peach heard the commotion and ran see what it was all about. "The koopalings, three of them! What do they want?"
"They said they wanted to use the kitchen," Toad answered. "Should I call the Mario brothers?"
"I tried calling them earlier and I got their answering machine saying they were out working on a plumbing job. They might be back by now, but if it's just the kitchen the koopalings want to borrow, I don't think there should be a problem with that," Peach decided. They were standing at the door to the kitchen, watching as Iggy and Lemmy followed Wendy's instructions on how to make dinner. "I have an idea, leave this to me Toad." Peach entered the kitchen. "That dinner you're making smells delicious. I see you're really good at cooking."
"I am," Wendy was proud. "I'm not sure about Iggy and Lemmy though. They totally destroy the kitchen back home trying to cook dinner. So they like asked for my help and we needed to use another kitchen until someone fixes ours."
"Well, it looks like you're all set up for a delicious dinner. Watching the three of you cook made me want to cook too. Why don't I make some dessert to go with the dinner? I could make some cake," Peach offered.
xoxox xox xoxox
Later, the koopalings were on their way back to the castle. "Let's not tell Ludwig and Roy about this," Iggy suggested.
"Right, let's not tell them," Lemmy agreed. They wouldn't be happy to find that while they were busy trying to stop that big bob-omb from blowing up, their siblings went all the way to the Mushroom Kingdom.
"Ludwig and Roy? Let's not tell Morton and Larry either," Wendy thought it was best to keep the credit to themselves; after all, the others didn't do anything.
"Agreed!" Iggy and Lemmy voiced.
"So what made you want to cook dinner today?" Wendy asked as they approached to the Koopa Castle.
"We wanted to do something nice for king dad so he wouldn't take the news too badly," Lemmy revealed too much information and Wendy looked suspicious.
Knowing it was of no use to hide it, Iggy continued. "Lemmy, Roy and I accidentally activated a really big bob-omb in the basement arsenal and we couldn't stop it, so Roy and Ludwig are trying to deactivate it or at least buy some time. They sent us to find king dad and tell him about it, because he'll know what to do, at least we hope so."
"And you wasted all that time?" Wendy scolded. "If not because I can see the castle from here, I would guess it already blew up!"
"If they kept the bob-omb from blowing up for this long, then maybe it won't blow up," Lemmy theorized.
"Go ask them while Wendy and I give king dad his dinner," Iggy suggested.
"No fair, I want to go give him dinner too!" Lemmy complained.
"You're the one who got that ball mixed up with a little bob-omb that blew up and activated the big one!" Iggy reminded.
"Just go ask them Lemmy," Wendy yelled as they entered the castle.
xoxox xox xoxox
Lemmy arrived at the basement to find that Ludwig had removed the bob-omb's covers to reveal a mess of red wires. He knew he had to cut the red wire, but which one? Roy was trying his best to keep winding up the bob-omb so that it wouldn't reach its end and explode. "Hang in there, king dad will be here soon," Lemmy encouraged.
"Do disclose the foundation for the postponement," Ludwig inquired.
"We had some minor difficulties, but don't worry, this shouldn't take much longer." Before his brothers could reply, Lemmy rolled away. It was amazing how he could go up and down stairs on that ball without falling.
xoxox xox xoxox
Lemmy hurried back to find Wendy and Iggy. He heard them calling their father upstairs and guessed they must be in his room. When he arrived he found his brother and sister screaming their heads off, while their father continued to sleep inside his shell.
"Is he really in there?" Wendy questioned.
Iggy tried to listen to the large green spiked shell. "Yup he's in there, I can hear him snoring. He must have really been tired."
"I guess we'll have to call him louder," Wendy proposed.
xoxox xox xoxox
Elsewhere, Morton had already taken the potted piranha plant outside and he sat in the yard talking to it. Larry had been bored to sleep long ago, while the plant was becoming dizzy. It came to a point where the piranha plant fell unconscious and spat Larry's shell out, with Larry still sleeping inside it. Morton, who found it quite strange, decided to tell his siblings about it.
xoxox xox xoxox
Morton followed the sound of his siblings' voices to their father's room. "Hey everyone, look what I found! A piranha plant had it. It looks just like Larry's shell!"
At that moment, Larry popped out of his shell. "I'm free! I'm free! I'm never going to poke that plant again!"
"I'm not sure what this is about, but Larry can tell us later," Wendy stressed the name; she didn't want Morton to go into an endless speech. "Right now we need help waking up king dad. He's fast asleep, won't wake up when we call him and his dinner is getting cold."
"I have an idea!" Morton declared.
"No!" Wendy, Iggy and Lemmy snapped. They really didn't have time to hear one of Morton's rants right now.
"Why don't we just jump on him?" Larry suggested. The other koopalings agreed. They turned Bowser's shell over so that they wouldn't jump on the spiky side and all together, the five koopalings jumped on him. Bowser's head, arms, legs and tail popped out of his shell like a jack in a box as soon as he felt Wendy's heel painfully stab into his stomach.
Without a moment to waste, the five koopalings dragged their very confused and deaf father down the stairs and made him sit at the dining table. Bowser wasn't sure what this was all about, but there was a dinner served, so maybe they wanted him to eat it. The koopalings appeared happy enough when he started to eat. Dinner looked and smelled good, but tasted odd. This wasn't Chef Torte's cooking, but he ate it anyway. On the other hand, dessert was absolutely delicious and well worth eating that torture of a dinner to have it.
After finishing his cake, Bowser felt very sleepy, Peach had decided she needed a vacation and put a sleeping potion on the cake. "I think I'll take a little nap now," Bowser retreated into his shell again and instantly falling asleep.
"King dad, the bob-omb!" Lemmy called.
"It's too late, he's sleeping again!" Iggy panicked.
"Great, now that we finally get a swimming pool, the castle is totally going to blow up because we can't like wake up king dad!" Wendy pouted.
"We have a pool?" Larry and Morton questioned simultaneously.
"Yes, we can like talk about it later. I mean, I will tell you about it later." Wendy quickly corrected herself, before Morton got the crazy idea that she was willing to listen to his endless chatter. "Right now we totally need to wake king dad."
"The castle will blow up?" Larry was confused.
"Not if king dad wakes up, he'll stop it somehow," Iggy assured.
The five koopalings tried everything from jumping on Bowser to throwing him rolling down the stairs, but nothing worked. Bowser stayed in his shell fast asleep.
xoxox xox xoxox
Later, Ludwig came, he was at the end of his patience. He had to leave his musical masterpiece unfinished to assist his siblings and they wouldn't hurry up to do their part. Finding their father and informing him of what was going on couldn't be that hard, so there was no excuse for taking so long. "I have the imperative necessity to inquire what you are attempting to accomplish."
"We're trying to make king dad wake up," Iggy explained while he, Lemmy, Wendy, Larry and Morton poked Bowser with sticks inside his shell.
Obviously, his siblings couldn't wake Bowser, so Ludwig decided to try. Bowser would probably be angry at him for it, but better angry than blown up. Ludwig used his fire breath, but it didn't work. Then in a moment of enlistment, Ludwig proposed a solution, "Let us transport the adversity to Mario."
"Why didn't you say that before?" Wendy, Lemmy, Iggy, Morton and Larry reproached, though they didn't think about it either. They rushed to the basement where Roy was still dealing with the bob-omb.
xoxox xox xoxox
The seven koopalings took the bob-omb to the Mario brother's house, left it there and escaped. The bob-omb blew up before the plumbers could do anything about it and with their home under heavy repairs, the Mario brothers moved to guest rooms at Peach's castle.
The koopalings returned to the Koopa Castle, took their father to his room and left him there to rest. He must really be very tired if nothing could wake him up. Then they went on their way to enjoy their new pool. However, Barrel Volcano overloaded due to the lava the Mario brothers dumped in it and sent the extra lava back into the pipes from where it came, destroying the water slide as it was dropped back into the pool. The room was left how it was before; the water evaporated in the extreme heat and the pool was filled with lava once again.
"There was a pool like right here, really!" Wendy was in disbelief.
"Are you sure you didn't imagine it?" Roy didn't believe her.
"It was here, those cheap plumbers! Who's up for the destruction of the Mario brothers?" Wendy plotted her revenge, despite the damage the bob-omb had already caused to the Mario brother's house.
"I am!" All her brothers cheered.
The seven koopalings went to bring doom and destruction to the Mushroom Kingdom. Without their dad, they didn't have a plan except for blowing things up. It continued until they realized one of their favorite shows would be on soon and so the koopalings retreated. Mario and Luigi, survived but they would have nightmares about that day for a long time.
xoxox xox xoxox
A week passed relatively uneventfully. Ludwig had put their worries to rest confirming that Bowser was in fact alive, he was just sleeping. They assumed he was simply exhausted and let him continue his super long nap. The Koopa kitchen was rebuilt and the Mushroom Kingdom also recovered over the course of the week.
At the end of the week, Kamek returned from his vacation, refreshed and ready for work. Oh who a I kidding, he returned from his vacation dragging his feet just like everyone else does when their vacation ends because they don't want to go back to work. The point is he returned to the Koopa Castle.
After sleeping for such a long time, Bowser finally woke up, almost completely recovered, but still in pain, yet he didn't know why. Kamek gave him back his hearing and informed him that it had been a week and not a day as Bowser initially thought. The magikoopa immediately regretted telling him, since he could have gotten away with a few more days of vacation.
Bowser decided that it was best to be able to hear; otherwise he would sleep his life away and not know it. The Koopa King was surprised to find that everything was normal in the castle, as the messed had already been cleaned up by his troops. He expected his castle to be in ruins after leaving his kids unsupervised for a week.
The seven koopalings were getting along the day when Bowser woke up and the Mushroom Kingdom was at peace, although a lot of houses, including the Mario brother's house and even Peach's castle, were being remodeled and Bowser didn't understand the sudden urge that have come over the people Mushroom Kingdom to remodel their living space. Over all, Bowser concluded it was best to listen than to miss out.
End of Stage III
Disclaimer, I don't own the Super Mario.
Box 15: Go Fish
The moon shone brightly in the clear midnight skies, serving to add elegance to the peaceful atmosphere of the lake. Its reflection could be clearly seen in the mirror like still waters, as clearly as the ferocious creature hiding under the liquid, but the two brothers dared not look. It had been hours since they became trapped in the middle of the lake. When they arrived the sun was still up and now it had long since gone into slumber, leaving the moon to rule the skies.
"You'd think Kamek would hide dangerous things like this," Lemmy commented while his brother Iggy remained silent.
xoxox xox xoxox
It had all started earlier that day when the two koopalings snuck into Kamek's storage room of magical items. "I don't think we're supposed to be here," Iggy had warned.
If only Lemmy had listened to his brother's premonition that something would go wrong. "It's alright, we won't break anything." Lemmy carefully guided the ball he always balanced himself on between tables and boxes covered with dust. Clearly Kamek hasn't been there for a long time. He probably forbade the goomba maids from cleaning that room in fear of something valuable or dangerous being broken.
Iggy appeared to be occupied gently poking an old crystal ball as if expecting an image to appear in it and show him the future. He shrugged when it didn't happen. Perhaps the crystal ball's magic only worked for magikoopas or maybe just for Kamek.
Lemmy slowly and carefully pulled a purple cloth that was covering something in a corner of the dark dusty room. It was something big. "Hey Iggy, look at this."
Iggy walked towards his brother's location, avoiding random items scattered across the gray stone floor. He adjusted his glasses and squinted at the object to come to a conclusion as to what it could possibly be despite the lack of light in the room. "It's a boat."
"Why would Kamek have a boat? Doesn't he travel everywhere on his broom?" Lemmy felt as if there was something more to that boat than met the eye.
"Maybe it's a flying boat?" Iggy theorized.
Upon closer examination, Lemmy found a rolled up piece of paper trapped between the side of the boat and the gray stone wall sustaining it vertically. "Maybe the answer could be here." He pulled out the paper, careful not to tear it apart. The piece of paper was obviously quite old. It had turned yellow due to its age and the words written on it in elegant black ink calligraphy were barely readable. Lemmy silently scanned the paper with his eyes, occasionally skipping a sentence he didn't think was too important until he found the answers they were looking for. "It's a special boat that can repel cheep-cheeps!" Lemmy announced his great discovery.
"Interesting, do you think it really works?" Iggy immediately regretted asking that question.
Lemmy smiled, "there's only one way to find out."
Iggy shook his head. "I was hoping you didn't say that."
"Where's your sense of fun and adventure?" Lemmy hopped and fell in a sitting position on his ball, still perfectly balance atop it. "Remember how we used to go fishing for cheep-cheeps, but we could never catch the big ones, because we could only fish around the lake and never in the middle?"
"Yes and I also remember the reason why we didn't go deeper into the cheep-cheep lake. The last time we tried that, they ate our boat and were close to eating us," Iggy reminded him.
"Our boat wasn't magical," Lemmy argued.
"There's nothing to guarantee that this one will work. It might not be magical or if it is, the magic may be gone by now. It's so old," Iggy had a feeling that his arguments would be in vain.
"Kamek's spells are better than that. I'm sure this boat still has whatever magic it's supposed to have." Lemmy hopped to his feet, as always standing on top of the ball with perfect balance. "Help me carry it."
Knowing it would be useless to argue, Iggy grabbed the bottom of the boat while Lemmy held the top and they carried it out of the room. Of course the operation couldn't have gone smoothly and they ended up knocking several things down, making a bigger mess than what was already made. Dust took to the air, being pushed by the falling items invading its territory. A domino effect quickly turned the storage room into a disaster area. Coughing from the dust Lemmy and Iggy made it out of the room carrying the boat.
"May I inquire what you wish to accomplish?" A voice suddenly asked. The two koopalings carrying the boat immediately knew the voice belonged to their older brother Ludwig. The boat, which they carried upside down, covered their view, save for the floor, where Iggy who was now in front, could see Ludwig's feet and the end of his tail moving from side to side impatiently and suspiciously.
"We're going fishing for cheep-cheeps," Iggy replied without giving it much thought.
"Kamek will be infuriated by this disorder!" Ludwig tilted his head to the side to get a better view of the door to the storage room behind them. The dust had settled on the floor and items once again, but the mess was a lot bigger than the unorganized clutter that filled the room before.
"He won't mind, he never goes in there anyway," Lemmy quickly made an excuse.
Ludwig shook his head. "If you insist on partaking on the activity of capturing cheep-cheeps, I warn you to stay on the sore."
"Not with this boat!" Lemmy cheered.
"Yeah, it's magical!" Iggy added.
Ludwig wasn't too sure about his brothers' plans, but he decided not to stand in their way. When those two put their minds to something, they didn't stop until they got it. "Be cautious," the oldest prince emphasized one last time.
"We will!" The other two replied as they continued on their way to get all the necessary supplies.
xoxox xox xoxox
Soon the boat was turned right side up and filled with fishing rods, bait and all the necessary equipment to go fishing for cheep-cheeps. Lemmy and Iggy went to the lake in which they eventually became trapped in. Everything was fine in the beginning as they pushed the boat into the water and hopped in. They could see the cheep-cheeps swimming away under the transparent water of the lake. Everything appeared to be going as planned.
The koopalings made their way to the center of the lake where things started to go wrong. A cheerful mood was in the air until a brave cheep-cheep bit Lemmy's paddle. Soon more cheep-cheeps followed, attacking Iggy's paddle as well, until they had completely consumed the two wooden items. "Those didn't have a spell on them," Iggy stated the obvious. They found a boat but no paddles so they had used regular ones.
"I'm sure we'll figure out a way back," Lemmy encouraged. It looked as if they were precisely in the center of the lake. He felt as if they had walked right into a trap, but if the cheep-cheeps were capable of devouring their boat, they would have started by now. The paddles may be gone, but at least they had their boat, fishing rods and a large can of micro-goombas aka bait. "For now let's just enjoy this." Lemmy opened the can of bait, revealing many scared little micro-goombas inside.
"I suppose there's not much else we can do," Iggy picked up a micro-goomba from the can and began tying the end of the fishing rod's line to it. The line had no hook since the micro-goomba was expected to serve as a the bait and hook when it found itself being eaten and bit the cheep-cheep back in a desperate attempt to survive. "Sometimes I think it's a little cruel to use live micro-goombas as bait." The micro-goomba that was squirming in his hand trying to slip away stopped and stared at the koopaling, as if he were an angel of mercy sent from heaven to fight for micro-goomba rights. To that poor little micro-goomba Iggy looked more angelic than any paratroopa he had ever seen.
Lemmy looked thoughtful as he pondered his brother's statement. The micro-goombas watched in silence, hoping and wishing with all their hearts that they would be set free. They dared not protest as koopas shoved them into cans, squished against one another. They didn't fight back when the koopalings that acquired that can of bait and when they were tied to the end of the lines of their fishing rods they merely squirmed in discomfort. They were too scared to move, too small, too helpless, those poor unfortunate little micro-goombas. Today could be the day when all the suffering came to an end. Their hopes were with the two young princes of the Koopa Kingdom.
With a frowning face and sad eyes, Iggy looked the micro-goomba, poor little guy. "He looks so sad and scared. He looks like he's about to cry. It breaks my heart."
Lemmy nodded in agreement, making a sad face as well and looking at the little micro-goomba he held. "Mine's all sad too. He's definitely going to cry. Using micro-goombas as bait is such a mean thing to do."
The koopaling brothers nodded in agreement. "You know what we must do," Iggy voiced.
"Yes," Lemmy agreed.
Then they simultaneously cast their lines into the lake as the unfortunate micro-goomba baits let out high pitched screams of fright. "We love being mean!" They laughed in unison at those silly little micro-goombas who actually believed they felt sorry for them.
"Seriously, do you think we should stop using micro-goombas as bait? What would king dad say?" Iggy inquired.
Lemmy shrugged. "Nothing I'm sure he must have gone fishing with micro-goombas at some point too." Lemmy was right about his guess. What he didn't know was that Clawdia had caught him.
Bowser Koopa, much younger at the time, was sitting at the shore of the cheep-cheep lake. That was the same lake that his sons would visit in the future. "Kamek, watch the fishing rod for me. I'm taking a break. I've already caught enough cheep-cheeps today." He took one of the cheep-cheeps he had in a bucket holding it by the tail to make sure it couldn't bite him. He put it on a stick and before the cheep-cheep could eat the stick he breathed fire on it, roasting it to perfection.
"Are we going to spend the entire day here fishing and eating roasted cheep-cheeps?" Kamek ignored the pull of the line of the fishing rod he now held.
"You were the one who said I had to do something other than obsess about when the egg is going to hatch to be just like me," Bowser reminded him. At the time, prince Ludwig Von Koopa was only an egg who was yet to hatch.
Kamek muttered something about a bad premonition and an unlucky future that Bowser didn't quite catch. He reeled in the line and threw the cheep-cheep into the air. Aimed at the cheep-cheep, three magical figures emerged from Kamek's wand, a blue square, a yellow circle and a red triangle. The magic reached the cheep-cheep in mid air and as the three figures danced around it, its form began to change until it turned into a goomba.
Bowser looked amused. "Now that's just cruel." He laughed as the used to be cheep-cheep, now goomba, freaked out and ran back into the lake. There the other cheep-cheep didn't recognize it and ate it. It was after the show was already over that Clawdia arrived.
"Bowser, Kamek, I didn't know I would find you here. I'm just going for a walk, isn't it a nice day?" Upon hearing the queen, the last five little micro-goombas left in Bowser's can of bait started to make squeaky calls for help. "What's this?" Clawdia took a peek inside the can. "Oh, how cute!" She picked up the five little micro-goombas. "What little darlings, where did you find them?"
Bowser and Kamek looked at each other, then Bowser quickly replied. "There was a very mean koopa troopa that was using them as fishing bait and I saved them!"
Sure the queen's perfectly manicures pink claws were extremely sharp and when she went inside her virtually indestructible shell and spun around, she could reach great speed and jump quite high, like a lethal cannonball, but despite all that power, she had a very gentle nature and a lot of love for children. It was that gentle nature and aura of innocence around her that Bowser liked best. "That's so sweet of you. I'm going to take these little guys back to the castle and see if I can find homes for them. I'm sure there are goomba families willing to adopt and if not, we'll take them in ourselves." Clawdia left, cradling the little micro-goombas in her arms.
As soon as she was gone Bowser spoke. "If she's carrying those five little pests, she won't travel via spinning shell, so I'll have time to hurry back to the castle first and make sure there are goombas willing to adopt. There's no way my son is going to have goombas for siblings."
"If Clawdia finds out you were the mean koopa using them as bait, she'll be mad," Kamek stated the obvious.
"I know and that's why I need to get there first to make sure I don't get stuck with those micro-goombas." Bowser took Kamek's broom, "it's not working."
"It's my broom, it only works for me," Kamek informed.
"Then get on!" Bowser ordered. Kamek sighed in frustration and hopped on the broom. The poor overloaded broom took off with a lot of effort. "Why is it so slow?"
"We're too heavy for it," Kamek carefully decided to say 'we' and not 'you'.
"Did you put on weight? How could we be too heavy? You used to give me rides when I was little," Bowser reminded.
"You're not little anymore," Kamek once again stated the obvious, because he felt his king was either purposely ignoring it or simply missed it.
"Or maybe your broom is old," Bowser reasoned.
End of Flashback
"I know goombas have been kicked around for centuries, but I keep thinking about the 'what ifs'. What if it's wrong," Iggy insisted.
"Now you're just over analyzing this," Lemmy paused and gave it some thought. "Goombas and micro-goombas are different, micro-goombas are a lot smaller. They're small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Goombas are small but not that small. There's the difference. The micro-goombas are at the very bottom of our society, that's why they, and not the goombas or the paragoombas, are the bait."
Iggy held his fishing rod with one hand while he placed another under his chin in a thoughtful expression. "Excellent reasoning my brother, it makes perfect sense. I feel a lot better about using micro-goombas as bait now."
"Glad to help," Lemmy got the feeling that his reasoning wasn't so great after all, but he quickly shook it off.
A little while passed in silence until Iggy felt a tug on his fishing line. "I got one! I got one!" Why didn't they bite before?"
"It must be the boat's magic scaring them. At least they can't eat the boat even if they take a while to start biting." Lemmy too felt a pull on his fishing line. The two koopalings reeled in the cheep-cheeps and placed them in buckets where they could continue living for just a little while longer so that they would stay fresh. Of course the buckets were covered to avoid having one of the little beasts jump on them and bite them.
Time continued to pass slowly but steadily for the koopalings. It was almost dinner time and they decided that it was time to head home. Only one problem, they didn't have any paddles. "We could use our fishing rods," Iggy suggested. "They'll probably get eaten, but it's better than being stuck here."
"Okay, let's go as fast as we can to get the most out of them," Lemmy agreed. The plan was carried out, but they went in circles in the water not having decided which way they were supposed to paddle. Before an agreement was made, the fishing rods had already been devoured by the ferocious cheep-cheeps, then the arguments began.
The two koopalings who usually got along so well, blamed each other for their current situation and finally settled into an angry silence. Time passed painfully slow for them until the sun sank in the horizon and darkness overcame the already relatively dark land. It was amazing how brightly the stars shone in the Darklands. Even if the days looked gloomy with cloudy skies and faint sunlight, at night the skies showed their true beauty.
"You'd think Kamek would hide dangerous things like this," Lemmy commented while his brother Iggy remained silent. Lemmy remembered when it all started earlier that day, reliving the events in his mind. "I don't like it when it's so quiet."
"Get used to it because I'm never talking to you again," Iggy finally replied.
"You just did," Lemmy pointed out.
"I didn't mean to."
"You did it again."
"I'm hungry," Iggy decided not to argue anymore. He knew as well as Lemmy did that by the time the sun rose again, they would be the best of friends just like before.
"If I could breathe fire like king dad and Ludwig, I would cook some cheep-cheeps," Lemmy certainly wished he could. Ludwig had been the only one who truly mastered the fire breath so far.
"I wish Ludwig was here, I wish king dad was here or even Kamek, even if he gets mad at us for taking his boat," Iggy voiced.
"At least the cheep-cheeps can't eat it." Soon they drifted back into silence, looking up at the starry skies. Suddenly, the shadow of a figure could be seen in the bright moonlight. It had wings. It was a paratroopa. "Iggy look!" Lemmy pointed at the paratroopa.
"A paratroopa, we're saved!" Iggy cheered.
The paratroopa with the light blue shell, spotted the koopalings and flew down landing on the boat. "I was sent by king Bowser to find you two. He's not happy with your little disappearing act."
"We didn't want to be late, but we're trapped here," Lemmy explained.
"Yeah, we need to get back to shore away from this cheep-cheep death trap," Iggy added.
The paratroopa noticed a rope among their fishing equipment. She tied it to the front of the boat on a little wooden Kamek figure sticking out as decoration. "I'll pull the boat to shore." She took flight and pulled as hard as she could.
"Skyri over here!" A koopa troopa called from the lake shore.
"Keres, you came just in time." The paratroopa threw the end of the rope at the yellow shelled koopa troopa and they finished pulling the boat to shore.
xoxox xox xoxox
The group of four went back to the Koopa Castle, where the two koopalings would have to come up with a good excuse for taking Kamek's boat. "Cheep-cheep on a stick!" They both agreed.
"We'll get Ludwig to roast the Cheep-cheeps we caught on a stick," Lemmy started.
"Then we'll give them to king dad and Kamek, then they won't be mad anymore!" Iggy finished. It was just another day for the koopalings, filled with more mischief than the last, but probably not as much as the next.
End of Box 15
xoxox xox xoxox
Box 16: Ludwig's Farm
Ludwig Von Koopa couldn't believe his predicament, there he was in a farm in the middle of nowhere wearing overalls of all things, ready to work instead of compose as he should be doing. Artists were not built for manual labor, save for fighting the Mario brothers of course. Thinking of those plumber pests made his attire feel more ironic, but he had been told that not only plumbers, but also farmers wear overalls as their main attire and he needed all the inspiration he could get if he was going to survive this challenge.
The lands of the Koopa Kingdom were not famous for their crops as a lot of the territory was volcanic and not fit for planting, but the large kingdom had made due with what it had for a long time, and then there came the blockade.
Bowser had kidnapped Princess Peach again, nothing new there, but when the Mario brothers searched castle after castle without locating her, the Mushroom Kingdom was left in a panic. As a result, the allied kingdoms decided to stop all trading with the Koopa Kingdom, though they were not crazy enough to actually jump into a war, regardless of how dear an ally the Mushroom Kingdom was. Even if there was no war, the blockade on trading caused the Koopa Kingdom's food supplies to decrease considerably.
Peach had been moving from one castle to another extending her secret vacation, she felt guilty about the wild goose chase, but not too much since the security videos from the castles showed that Mario was having the time of his life playing hide and seek with her. However, when she became aware of the food problem, she decided it was time to go home, so as to not cause a negative effect to befall the citizens of the Koopa Kingdom. Bowser had his hands tied in the matter, wishing to avoid an all out war between the kingdoms so as to not further strain the relations with the Mushroom Kingdom and more so King Toadstool, whose daughter he wanted to marry.
By a series of loop holes and crazy ideas, Bowser's solution to the problem was to find a portion of fertile land in his territory and somehow build a farm that would supply food to the entire kingdom. Since he was busy entertaining Peach, he appointed his eldest son, Ludwig, to become the farmer that would save his kingdom. The crown prince was not sure if his father was love drunk, just drunk, or both when he made that choice, but either way, the order had been passed.
So there he was, stuck in a farm wearing blue overalls and a blue cap with a yellow brim and the word 'toy' in red letters in the front. His shell was on his back over the clothes, held in place by the same mysterious force that allowed him to use it as a backpack that defied all the laws of physics. The shell contained a hammer, an axe and many other tools along with all the fruits, berries and other such things he managed to collect and needed to stuff in the equality logic defying mail box, for them to disappear at night and somehow be delivered to their final destination. Ludwig suspected Kamek and Kammy were involved in all that, and wondered why they didn't just make food themselves and solved the problem, but alas, Bowser had a way to take the long route on many situations.
Ludwig's farm was not only composed of berry bushes, fruit trees and mushrooms he planted and had to water daily, unless it rained of course. The farm also had live stock, sort of. He raised chain chops in place of cows, obviously milk had no place in the equation, the farm was crazy, but not that insane. The chain chops were there to protect the crops, which would be eaten by wild yoshis, plants, bushes trees and all, overnight if left unguarded, thus giving Ludwig the need to plant, water and nurture the flora from the beginning in order to continue the harvest.
There was one yoshi, a blue one, named Boshi, who looked like he bought his sunglasses in the same place as Roy, that lived in harmony with Ludwig on his farm. Of course Ludwig would need to feed Boshi everyday or he would eat the entire plantation overnight, though ironically he was satisfied with a regular plate of food if given willingly. Boshi was in turn useful to Ludwig by allowing him to ride him in the yoshi races held in a near by no name hick town where people would pay more for a mushroom than they would for a block of gold.
Speaking of gold, there was also a very rich mine near by, which Ludwig was certain his father would love to know about and never would if it was his choice, not after sending him to that forsaken farm and expecting him to turn it into a super farm.
The farm also had a population of birdos, which Ludwig had to feed and care for daily as well, and would lay eggs, or more like spit them out, which Ludwig also had to ship away along with the rest of the produce. There was also a dog named Pochi that didn't do much save for running around looking cute.
Between planting, watering, harvesting, feeding, collecting and racing, Ludwig had his hands full on the farm. He only hoped to survive the ordeal with a shred of the sanity he knew he was losing: he was starting to like farming...
End of Box 16
Disclaimer, I don't own Mario (or Ludwig) or Harvest Moon. Box 16 was based on a dream I think was caused by Razzi's story being updated while I was playing a lot of Harvest Moon.