Author: I think that Mr. L would be harder to get rid of than the game implies. Therefore, this! How will this "man in green" affect the worlds' destiny?

Disclaimer: lol not mine

Chapter 6-3

Ow, my head.

Mr. L woke slowly, a quiet groan pulled from him due to a pounding headache.

The only other time he had experienced such terrible pain, Count Bleck had personally seen to his well-being, which had been both flattering and humbling (then again, Mr. L was his best minion, so perhaps it made sense).

Still, Mr. L had hoped that he'd never have to deal with such excruciating agony ever again. But, luck hadn't been with him lately, so perhaps it was just the universe's way of kicking him when he was down. It was certainly a move that one of the junior minions would have pulled.

Mr. L winced as he sat up, slowly taking inventory of his surroundings and his body. Wherever he was was gloomy and damp, with a wavering light source. The soft susurrus of water emitted from somewhere, and he got the distinct impression of being watched. He didn't see any animals and almost no plants, however, only rocks, so he was grateful to be sitting on a thick pile of moss. Being anywhere else would have probably resulted in broken things, which Mr. L was not fond of.

He was still pretty beaten up. He knew he was bruised, his clothes had small tears, and he felt a burn on his cheek.

So…where is this place and how did I get here? Mr. L wondered and pushed himself to his feet. As he paced the rocky shelf, he stroked his mustache absently, sifting through his notoriously terrible memory for the answer.

When it finally hit him, Mr. L's hands clenched and unclenched at his sides, and he glowered at the floor. When I find that clown next, I'm going to wring his neck! How dare he try to kill me! The Green Thunder will not forget this treachery!

Mr. L immediately reached out and pressed his hand against the fabric of reality, hoping to just be able to go home and mete out appropriate justice to the jester, but reality proved as inflexible as the stone that he stood on. Such was odd, but not entirely unexpected. Not with how much the universe had been hating him recently.

Maybe it has something to do with wherever this is, he thought, annoyed. Well, then. How do I get out?

He jumped off the ledge he had been resting on, landing with a surprisingly soft thud. He remembered seeing a door in the gloom, faint though the outline had been. Doors tended to lead to places, and anywhere would be better then where he was. He leapt up onto the higher-than-it-really-needed-to-be outcropping, and as he brushed himself off, the door opened.

Mr. L found himself face-to-face with Jumpsallthetime, and they stared at each other in shocked silence.

"You!" Mr. L cried, his voice drowning out Jumpsallthetime's similar ejaculation.

Jumpsallthetime turned quickly on his heel, but Mr. L grabbed his forearm with his free hand, digging in his heels to keep the guy from going anywhere. "Oh, no you don't!"

A brief scuffle ensued, and Jumpsallthetime slipping on a slick patch of shale-y ground let Mr. L win.

"You know where this is," Mr. L semi-accused, pinning Jumpsallthetime to a dank, moldy wall.

Jumpsallthetime glared at him, although there was an odd uncertainty in his eyes. "So what if I do?" Jumpsallthetime replied sharply.

"You're taking me with you," Mr. L stated.

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you are, because I said so."

"I don't have to do anything for you. Your buddy Dimentio is the reason I'm here in the first place."

Mr. L startled. "Dimentio sent you here, too, did he?" Mr. L said, meeting Jumpsallthetime's stare with his own.

"Your own co-worker tried to kill you?" Jumpsallthetime said, obviously scandalized.

"Dimentio is an asshole," Mr. L said flatly. "He's just really good at pretending he isn't." Mr. L paused in thought. "Now, listen to me. I'm guessing you like being here as much as me—which means, not at all. So, I'll lend you the expertise and strength of the Green Thunder for as long as it takes to escape. Then we part ways, got it?"

And maybe I can figure out why I keep on losing to this guy.

Jumpsallthetime seemed to consider Mr. L's offer of temporary teamwork.

"You're not going to betray me?" Jumpsallthetime asked.

Mr. L snorted. "That's a Dimentio move, not mine. I'll help you out until we get out of this place. Then we're enemies again. Deal?"

Jumpsallthetime seemed to be searching for something in him, and Mr. L waited with all the patience he could muster. He normally wasn't a patient man, but he would be if that was what it took to get this "hero of the prophecy" to help him out of a sticky situation.

Jumpsallthetime eventually sighed and said: "We're in The Underwhere, the place where those whose games are over end up."

"Right," Mr. L said, but nothing more. He knew that he was alive, just as he knew Jumpsallthetime was alive. They were simply both too strong to die to something as stupid as Dimentio's magic. "And we're going to escape back to the world of the living."

"If we can."

"We will," Mr. L asserted.

"Well, first we have to find someone named Luvbi as a favor to Queen Jaydes, who rules over this place."

"Fine. We get this Luvbi, return them to the Queen, and get sent back, yeah? What are we waiting for? Lead on, brave hero of prophecy."

That earned him a semi-glare. "We're going to do some swimming," Jumpsallthetime warned as Mr. L let him free from the corner he had trapped Jumpsallthetime in.

"I suppose getting wet is a small price to pay for freedom," Mr. L sighed.

It felt oddly familiar following Jumpsallthetime, but someone else taking point was intolerable to Mr. L. The great and powerful Green Thunder would only cede point to Count Bleck—no-one else. So, he picked up his pace so he was walking beside Jumpsallthetime, who startled slightly.

"If you keep walking so slowly, I'm going to leave you behind to find Luvbi on my own," Mr. L said archly.

"Can you move in another dimension?" Jumpsallthetime countered.

Mr. L waved dismissively. "What if your pudgy little legs can't get you over an obstacle, even in this other dimension?"

"Remind me how many times you've won against me when we fight?"

Mr. L's eyes narrowed. "You're just lucky."

"No, I'm stronger than you."

"Are not!"

"Are too."

"Can you build giant robots?"

"I don't need to compensate for anything."

"Compensate?!" Mr. L sputtered, and Jumpsallthetime gave him a small, smug smile.

The expression turned into one of surprise when a door opened onto a wall of water, which Mr. L shoved Jumpsallthetime into. From floating a few meters away, Jumpsallthetime gave him a rude gesture that made Mr. L grin before joining him.

The water was cold and murky, but that seemed to be the general theme for the area. He could see faint shapes floating in the water around them, and he found himself sticking close to Jumpsallthetime.

He justified it by strength-in-numbers instead of admitting that his surroundings were unnerving.

Jumpsallthetime abruptly vanished on him, and Mr. L bit down a snarl. Fancy-shamnsy other dimension bullshit, he groused as he swam towards where he hoped the surface would be. He had good lung capacity, but even he had his limits.

A surprised cry met his ears and he turned about, looking in the gloom for where it might be coming from. Abruptly, Jumpsallthetime appeared, and three different white, skeletal hands were clamped on his body.

Oh no you don't, Mr. L thought. Jumpsallthetime can only be taken down by me.

A few well-placed kicks had Jumpsallthetime free, and it was obvious that his surprised exclamation had cost him a lot of air. Mr. L grabbed onto one of Jumpsallthetime's flailing arms and he swam as fast as he could with baggage. He had almost given up on breaking the surface when air hit his face, and he pulled Jumpsallthetime up, who took in deep, grateful gulps of air.

Mr. L hooked one arm under Jumpsallthetime's armpit and doggy-paddled to the nearest shore, which Jumpsallthetime grabbed onto with something close to desperation. Both men were panting hard, and Mr. L wasn't sure if he should feel proud or disappointed. Yes, he had saved someone's life, and that was commendable, but the life he saved belonged to an enemy of the Count's. His enemy.

I promised to help until we escaped, Mr. L reminded himself, which eased his concerns slightly.

"Some hero you are," Mr. L panted, and Jumpsallthetime gave him a dirty glare.

The two eventually crawled out of the river, and Mr. L picked at the clothes that were stuck to his body. I just know this is going to chafe. Wonderful.

Jumpsallthetime was wringing out his hat, a move that Mr. L mimicked, if only because he didn't want his hair to stay damp. He readjusted his cap, inwardly bemoaned the state of his mustache, then turned to Jumpsallthetime, who was looking at him intently.

"What?" Mr. L snapped.

"Nothing," Jumpsallthetime said. "I know your name, but do you know mine?"

"I never needed to know," Mr. L said dismissively.

"Well, it's Mario. I'm Mario."

Mr. L looked at the hand that was extended to him, trying to figure out how he should react. If any of the junior minions had done so, he would have taken a couple dozen steps back. This was the hero though. Heroes didn't do things like play spiteful pranks, right?

So, Mr. L took Mario's hand and shook it once. "Mario. C'mon, let's get looking."

Mr. L was surprised when Mario's grip on his hand strengthened, and a sickening lurch changed Mr. L's entire perspective.

He wasn't bullshitting about the other dimension thing? Mr. L thought as they easily moved through a barrier that had seemed impenetrable normally. True, Mario had said that he could shift dimensions, but Mr. L had ignored what that actually implied. When everything shifted back to normal, it was almost as unnerving.

He sneered, just to show that he wasn't impressed. So what? He knew he could jump higher and move faster than Mario, and had a technological know-how that was unrivaled.

They made their way slowly through the uncertain light, occasionally running into skeletal monsters that were easily disposed of, especially since Mr. L recognized them as the same breed of some of those who patrolled Castle Bleck. Sure, he might have gotten a spear to the butt once, but repaid the indignity with a fist to the face.

"So…Dimentio sent you here too? But, why? You guys both work for Count Bleck, don't you?" Mario said, breaking the silence. They had taken a moment to pause, since Mario had accidentally misjudged a jump and suffered a spike to the foot and Mr. L hadn't been quite fast enough to avoid a fireball.

Mr. L snorted. "I work for Count Bleck. Dimentio has a habit of doing whatever he wants for any reason he deems right."
Mario took a sip of a Shroom Shake as he regarded Mr. L. "So, he tried to kill you just because he felt like it?"

"Basically."

It wasn't like he was going to tell Mario the truth, that Dimentio had justified his attempt at murder by agreeing that Mr. L couldn't show his face to the Count after disobeying an order. It would be embarrassing, and likely would make the hero feel smug.

Mr. L was surprised when Mario offered him the last of the Shroom Shake.

"It isn't much, but it might help you a little."

Mr. L stared at Mario.

"What?" Mario asked, almost defensively.

"You're helping me," Mr. L said slowly.

"Well, yeah. We're working together, aren't we?" Mario replied.

Mr. L carefully took the shake from Mario and drank the remnants of it. He immediately felt a little better, the bruises from his scrape with Dimentio healing over.

Mr. L rolled his shoulders and said, "C'mon, let's get moving again."

Mario frowned. "What, no 'thank you'?"

"Did you really expect one?" Mr. L drawled. "Time's 'a wastin, hero. You want to save the worlds, right?"

Mario glowered at him, then brushed by Mr. L, who smirked faintly.

As he stomped onward, Mario stubbed his toe on a skeleton that was lying about, and Mr. L would have laughed at him if the skeleton hadn't abruptly come alive and started throwing bones at them.

I'm learning to really hate this place, Mr. L thought sourly as they left a scorched truly-dead skeleton behind.

They two were brought up short when a large, pipe-like structure blocked their way. Mr. L knew that Mario would never be able to make it if they had to go over it, and was sort-of hoping that there wasn't a way around it in the other dimension. It would certainly make him feel better that a special power wouldn't help Mario clear all obstacles.

Mario faded out of sight before reappearing, frustration clear on his features, which made Mr. L smirk.

"Can't get around?" Mr. L asked smugly.

Mario gave him a dirty look. "I'll find a way."

Mr. L looked up at the pipe-like structure that was blocking their way, hummed, crouched, and then sprang up just in time to knock a piranha plant out of the way.

Mr. L looked down from his perch on top of the pipe and felt a strange kind of spiteful happiness at being able to lord his position and skill over the supposed hero of the Light Prognosticus. Still, he wanted to get out and he wanted to go home, and that necessitated working with Mario. Unfortunately.

Mr. L leaned over, found a solid grasp on the structure with his left hand, then extended his right down to the hero. "Come on, I don't have all day."

Mario gave him a wary look, but jumped up as high as he could. Mr. L caught his forearm as Mario braced himself on the pipe. Through their combined efforts, Mario was soon sitting on top of the pipe, both he and Mr. L breathing hard.

This is a worthy challenge indeed! Mr. L thought, a grin tugging at his lips.

"What are you so happy about?"

Mr. L looked at Mario and the grin that had threatened bloomed. "This isn't going to be easy."

Mario gave him a look that clearly communicated that he didn't entirely see how that made Mr. L happy, but Mr. L slid off the pipe and onto the ground. "Come on. I hear terrible, off-key singing ahead, if you can call it singing. Maybe that's what we're looking for."

Out of the dim light, a figure appeared. Mr. L initially thought it a mutant butterfly, and as they approached, he wasn't entirely disabused on the notion. Its body was a pale pink-and-tan, and a strange swirl-like hairdo/antennae stuck out of the left side of a perfectly spherical head. It seemed to be using its "wings" as hands, and had absolutely no sense of pitch.

"Oh, hurry…Hasten to meee, sweeet prince," it screeched, and Mr. L rubbed his ears. If this thing is what we have to find, perhaps it's better off lost.

Mario approached the creature and coughed emphatically before saying, "Hello."

The creature looked down, and a look of distaste formed on its face. "Foulness! An aging man of mustache grim returneth! Talk not to me as though we have met! Speak, now! What dost thou want of me?"

Mr. L said, "What do you have against mustaches?" as Mario replied: "I was asked to find you."

The thing glared at Mr. L, who gave it a jaunty smirk, before the creature turned its attention back to Mario. "Thou came hither to find me? Pah! As if I would consort with a face so behaired! I await a handsome prince. Understand? PRINCES ONLY."

"What if all Princes have mustaches?" Mr. L asked drolly.

The creature looked irritated. "No Prince of mine shall ever be so hairy!"

Mr. L crossed his arms and sneered. "I bet you want one, don't you?"

"What?"

"You can't help but want a mustache yourself, can you? I will admit that I have a particularly impressive one, so it's understandable that you'd have mustache envy."

The creature gaped at him, flushing scarlet in anger.

"A rather princely mustache, if I must say so myself," Mr. L continued slyly.

"Thou art no prince!" the creature yelled.

"How do you know I'm not?"

"Nay! Nay! Such foulness!" the creature cried. "The very thought cannot be abided! I cannot date a man so old and unpleasant to the eye."

Mr. L bristled and rolled up his sleeves. "Are you calling me ugly? Come down here so the Green Thunder can teach you some respect!"

"Thou shall have no respect from me!"

"So, not only are you tone-deaf you're also a coward?"

"L…"

Mr. L whirled on Mario and poked him in the chest. "Stay out of this. And the name is Mr. L!"

His attention snapped back to the creature who still floated beyond his reach atop a pipe. He made a rude, taunting gesture and said, "You are the ugly one!"

The creature was vibrating with fury.

"You—you—hairy, disgusting, uncouth old man!" the creature cried, and Mr. L would have sworn he saw tears in the corners of its beady eyes.

"Luvbi…" Mario said, finally getting a word in during the tight, angry silence.

Luvbi shifted her attention to Mario, her mouth dropping open slightly. "WHAT? H-H-How hast thou come by the knowledge of my name? No…Doth this mean…thou art my Prince…?"

"See? Told you that princes had mustaches," Mr. L said with malicious good cheer.

"No! It cannot be! I must return to mother!"

The two watched Luvbi fly away and Mr. L gave Mario a cheeky grin. "Well, that went well."

"You probably ruined any chance I had of getting back to Flipside and finding my friends," Mario grumbled.

Mr. L waved the concern aside. "It'll be fine. And if it isn't, we'll find a way back some other way."

The two traveled in silence, Mario obviously worried. Mr. L had no doubt that they would be returned, however—if not because they had found Luvbi, then to get rid of them. It was a win-win situation, and it was only because Mario had the blinders of being a "good guy" that he didn't recognize it.

Neither of them were particularly enthusiastic about returning to the river, and even less about swimming in it, so hired the ferryman to take them to the other side.

"How did Dimentio win against you? You've defeated him before, and you beat me, so you obviously could have stomped him," Mr. L asked Mario.

Mario crossed his arms and glared across the expanse of purple water. "He surprised us. He found us in Flipside, inside the home of a friend of ours, and caught us in his magic before we could react."

Mr. L grunted. Sounds like something he'd do.

After they disembarked, they approached a large, columned structure, and Mr. L observed both it and its inhabitants with distant curiosity. He wasn't planning on ever coming back, but that didn't stop it from being interesting. He had a feeling he'd need all the knowledge he could get, anyway.

One day, I will succeed at tossing Dimentio into this place, he thought as they approached a female swathed in purple and black.

"HA! At last thou appearest, foul, hairy creatures! Thou art no princes! Thou art LIARS! Thou approachest me at my mother's behest!" Luvbi cried, and Mr. L noted that she made no mention of their spat.

"Luvbi!" the woman (whom Mr. L assumed was Queen Jaydes) admonished. "Mind your manners. You know this all happened because you wandered off without permission! Now! Apologize to these nice men at once!"

Mr. L wondered what story Luvbi had told her mother, that he would be lumped under 'nice,' and it seemed Mario was having the same thoughts from the incredulous look he shot Mr. L.

Luvbi hovered over to them, looking only slightly contrite.

"Um, yea…" she started. "So, ummm, yea, I am sorry…that thou art so hairy."

"For the love of…just admit it, Luvbi, you want one of these bad boys," Mr. L said, running his fingers over his mustache.

Luvbi stiffened in indignation, while the Queen managed to look amused. "Her father does have a rather impressive beard."

"Mother!" Luvbi sputtered. "Dost thou truly agree with this heathen?"

"I think your apology was lacking politeness," the Queen replied primly. "But, I am truly thankful that you have returned Luvbi to me. She had us all so very worried." The Queen fixed her gaze on Mario. "Mario. Please accept this as a sign of my eternal thanks. Here."

Out of nowhere, a Pure Heart appeared, and Mr. L barely kept himself from lunging at it and stealing it for himself. Afterall, he had no place to putit and was unable to return to Castle Bleck from The Underwhere.

I'll wait until we get back to the land of the living. Then, it will be mine! I'll take it to the Count, and he'll have to forgive me, since I will be keeping the Heart from being used by our enemies.

"I have power over life and death, you see," the Queen elaborated, "And I was able to use that power to restore this Pure Heart. I know not how you found it, but this Pure Heart shows that fate is on your side. Take good care of it."

Mario nodded solemnly and reached out for the Heart, taking it gently out of midair. It glowed agonizingly brightly, and the light seemed to try to reach into the deeper, hidden parts of Mr. L's soul, but all it managed to do was alleviate the pain of the headache that still plagued him.

"And, by the way, it may please you to know that your game is not truly over. Somehow, you were sent to The Underwhere while still very much alive…" the Queen trailed off and looked between them both. "My power can return you to your world, if you so wish. What would you like to do?"

"Leave! I want to leave! Get me out of here," Mr. L replied heatedly. "I don't belong here and you know it."

The Queen looked to Mario, who nodded, the gesture as emphatic as Mr. L's words.

"Then I shall return you," Queen Jaydes replied.

The air felt tight as power gathered around the woman, and Mr. L felt it tugging at his still-damp clothing. It built around him and Mario, and it felt almost like when Dimentio had transported him from one dimension to another.

Reality shifted and snapped, and Mr. L suddenly found himself in a brighter, clearer place. He saw a series of brightly colored doors lining a corridor, and abruptly gravity turned on again, which told him he had been in mid-air. Mr. L landed on his feet, a skill he had learned from one too many run-ins with O'Chunk's volatile temper; however, Mario faceplanted onto the pavement, which made Mr. L snicker.

"I would have expected more skill from the hero who is destined to save all the worlds," Mr. L snarked, which earned him a glare once Mario was sitting up.

So this is the place between worlds, Mr.L thought as he looked around, his eyes resting on the void that grew larger with every breath.

"Mario, you're alive!"

Mr. L looked over to where the voice had come from to see a strange, bearded man rushing over, a pixl butterfly leading the way.

"M-Mario?!" the white-bearded man said. "But, I saw Dimentio end your game...Then Tippi said you were here, so I thought I'd come and take a look, but…" The man shook his head in amazement. "Wow…you're truly alive…"

Mr. L was annoyed that he was being completely ignored, and had the itching feeling that he had experienced such before.

I refuse to be ignored, Mr. L thought. Never again.

"I hate to ruin this touching reunion," Mr. L drawled, pulling the attention to him, "but I guess I should thank you, Mario, for your scintillating company."

"Y-you!" the butterfly cried out, and Mr. L gave her a grin.

"The one and only Green Thunder—Mr. L!" Mr. L laughed at the slightly disbelieving looks on their faces, chalking them up to being unused to basking in such brilliance. "I'm sure you'll be thrilled to know that without me, Mario here would've been stuck in the Underwhere forever, but no need to thank me. I'll leave you to your teary hellos." Mr. L walked over to the edge of the platform, gave the trio a cocky grin, and said: "L-ater, losers."

With that, Mr. L jumped off the edge of the platform, grinning in exhilaration as the ground rushed up towards him. He landed safely, crouching to absorb the impact, with the tiny bit of Cout Bleck's power that had been bestowed to him cutting any damage done by the fall by 90 percent.

He stood, the villagers ignoring him entirely, which made him twitch. A dramatic entrance surely should garner some notice.

They're probably used to the hero's coming and going, so perhaps someone falling out of the sky isn't as surprising as it should be.

Mr. L wandered until he found a place where people wouldn't interrupt him as he cast a portal to Castle Bleck. He had gotten it wrong once, and that had not been fun. Mimi had mocked him for days before he had gotten his revenge.

She really needs to lock her room, Mr. L thought, smirking at the memory.

Mr. L reached out and pressed his hand against the fabric of the universe—only to find that he couldn't sink even his pinky into it.

I have the coordinates right, I know where Castle Bleck is. I went back and forth until I knew its signature inside out. Maybe this spot isn't a good one for inter-dimensional travel…? But, it should be. This place is in between dimensions! If inter-dimensional travel is capable anywhere, it is here.

Mr. L wandered around the entire town and even managed to find a completely different town that was connected to it, but nowhere worked.

Why? Mr. L thought and struck the fabric in an attempt to relieve his anger, but all it did was make his fist sting. Why can't I get through?

He rubbed the back of his neck before pausing.

Wait. My key…where is it?

Mr. L took off his neckerchief and searched his shirt. I can't have lost it! I told the Count I wouldn't!

He took off his shirt to make sure it wasn't just sticking to his chest, and even patted himself down, hoping it had somehow dropped into a pocket.

"Dead men don't need keys, do they?"

Mr. L froze after putting his clothes backon. "Dimentio," he whispered, rage lacing his voice. "I am going to murder him. He is a dead magician. None of his tricks will save him from my wrath."

Mr. L paced the length of the town (which he had learned was called Flopside), wracking his brain as to how to return to the Castle, when a familiar red shirt pulled him up short.

"Mario," Mr. L said flatly, not in the mood to engage in a witty tête-à-tête with the hero of the universe.

"What's wrong?" the hero asked.

"None of your business," Mr. L snapped. "Shouldn't you be off searching for the next Pure Heart?"

Mario looked askance before saying: "I need your help."

Mr. L frowned. "What?"

"I need your help," Mario repeated. "And I bet you need mine, right?"

Mr. L crossed his arms, sneering. "I don't need anyone's help."

"You can't get home, can you?"

Mr. L glared at the butterfly-pixl. "I don't see how that is your concern."

"Maybe it has something to do with Flopside," Mario said. "Maybe, in the next world that is opened, you'll be able to go back to your home."

The idea gave Mr. L pause. It is a possibility…

"So, I have to help you with something and then you'll help me."

"That's the idea."

Mr. L stroked his mustache thoughtfully. "Fine. But, no telling me what to do. I'm only helping you because you need the mighty Green Thunder on your side. I'm not your ally and I'm definitely not your friend."

Mario seemed strangely hurt by the statement. "Fine. Now, c'mon, I need you to help me with the Heart Pillar."

"Very well, very well, lead on," Mr. L said and fell into step beside Mario. "This had better work."

"It will," Mario asserted and flipped them into the third dimension.

A few more sickening lurches later, Mr. L found himself looking up at an impressively tall pillar.

"Well, I can see why you need my help. Those stubby legs of yours couldn't hope to get over it."

The butterfly was the one who sputtered in indignation as Mr. L coiled and leapt so he was on top of the white wall of stone. "Now, give me the Pure Heart."

Mario tossed the crystalline thing up at him, and Mr. L caught it easily. It glowed softly in his hands and something deep within him rebelled against its very existence.

There is nothing pure in this world, love is an illusion, a darkness within him crooned. Better to spare all life the pain of existence.

Mr. L was sorely tempted to just let it drop into the nothingness, but doing so would mean that the next world would never be opened and he would never get home. So, he jumped down to the other side and placed the Pure Heart in the white pillar.

"A new door has opened!" the butterfly exclaimed.

"Then let's get going. You have no time to lose if you want to save all the worlds," Mr. L said once he had jumped back over.

"And we need to find Peach and Bowser. If you survived, I'm sure they did, too," the butterfly added, and Mario nodded solemnly.

Mr. L was surprised when Mario actually did lead him up to the new door. He had honestly expected to be left high and dry, but instead he was standing beside the purported hero of the Light Prognosticus, the door to the last world and Pure Heart before them.

"Well, come on," Mr. L said, stepped forward, and pushed open the door.