Disclaimer: I do not own Super Smash Brothers or any related game series that may appear in this story. I may own the ideas of the mmo, but meh, not like they'll be put into action!
A/N: Hello all five of you who are still reading this! I figure since its been almost a half a year since I last updated I'd have to atleast explain myself. See the thing is, I have the entire SSBO plot line written out (I mean everything). Whenever I look at it, I sigh and make myself put off writing more to the chapter because it feels like so much to do in such a short period of time. Either way, I had an on again-off again relationship with the story, writing here and there and not really committing. I wasn't inspired, per say and didn't want chapters to be crap. When I finally started writing again, I wanted to finish the next two chapters for a double update, but unfortunately my laptop crashed and I lost the fic I had written. I'd considered giving up, but this story is too much fun to just drop... plus, I had luckly sent to my e-mail address the plot a few months prior, so I was able to pick up writing again. So I'd like to apologize to everyone who has been waiting nearly half a year for this update. School, work and personal relationships burdened me and I couldn't find the time to write. And now, in my free time, I make no claims to say "I'm back", but I'm proud to present you with the latest chapter in this series.
Thank you to everyone who still reads this or is just finishing their first time through and got up to this point. I also want to say that I didn't really reply to any reviewers of the last chapter since I wasn't sure who I answered and who I didn't. But if you send in a review with a PMable account or something for a question or comment, I will write you back with my thanks and answer. Thanks again buddies!
Super Smash Brothers: ONLINE
LOGIN #23: Team
-Labyrinth of Koridai-
The second leg of the legendary quest, Attack on the Castle had been going on for little under 45 minutes, and yet still the sounds of swords clashing, magic casting and players shouting echoed across the otherwise eerily silent level. All through out the winding and twisting corridors, teams stood against one another, some battling their third match, and others still only just starting on their first foe. Of the original sixteen teams to advance to the second round, five of them have already been completely eliminated while seven others have lost all but one of their Faces of Evil. And yet still they fight on, all hoping for the elusive chance of being the first team to claim the four tokens needed to advance to the final round, and an opportunity to be known server wide as the Legendary Heros. Once such team who hopes to gain access to the final area is that of Link, Marth and Ness, who finally stood in their first, and possibility their last battle of the second round.
Link, Marth and Ness watched powerlessly as the silver light danced about their enemies avatars. The buff, which had been cast from an unseen Bard continued to swirl about the players for another moment before it finally faded and Zippo and Nabooru appeared once again. The only visible difference that a buff had even taken place was that now around both of their characters a small silver lining glistened in the dark light of the cave. "Woah, woah, woah! Check it out!" Zippo proclaimed as the small pokemon glanced at its hands. "My attack stat is off the charts! My speed is epic!"
"Yes, mine too." Nabooru chimed in, balling her fists. "I guess in PvP, the Bard's buffs are multiplied."
With a low chuckle, the two turned their deadly gazes upon the three players infront of them. Zippo couldn't help but grin at the situation. "We'll have no trouble crushing them now."
Although they couldn't hear what the two other players were talking about it, it was obvious that it wasn't in their best interest to let them complete it. Link's normally cheerful face was replaced with one of deep concern as he plotted their next move against the team. "Alright guys... we're in trouble."
Marth looked over to his Hylian friend with a frown. "How so?"
"Bard buffs raise a players stats nearly tenfold in PvP... however, it's offset by the fact that the buff only buffs certain stats and lowers others. Bard's also have a high recharge time on their songs, so it's unlikely that this Bard will be able to cast another song soon."
"What do you suggest we do about the two who are buffed right now?" Asked Ness as he took a step back, making sure that Link and Marth were well in front of him.
Link's ever-watchful eyes never left the two opposing players, watching for any signs of an offense. "I... I'm not sure. I don't know what buff was cast, so until they-" Link's sentence was cut short as both Nabooru and Zippo jumped in the air and vanished within a quick blur of silver. "Oh! It's a speed and strength buff!" Without a moments hesitation, Link spun around on his heal and turned to face his psychic companion. "Ness!"
The hylian turned just in time to see Nabooru appeared in the air shortly above Ness, her right fist pulled in a prepared punch. The gerudo had traveled behind the group at such a speed that Ness didn't even have time to react to the assault, merely noticing the incoming attack moments after Link did. Without the high speed necessary to dodge the assault, the only thing Ness could do is watch helplessly as Nabooru closed in for her kill. But then, at the last second a body moved in between the two colliding forces. Link, with his higher then normal speed managed to step in between the attacker and raise his shield to block just in time, barely making it to Ness's defense with only a moment to spare. But it was not without consequence, Nabooru hit Link's shield with such force from her Bard buff that both Link and Ness's avatars let out small yelps of pain as the shock-wave from the punch rippled across their avatars and reduced their HP bars by 20.
Once the shock-waves ended, Nabooru's once confident attacking composure was changed to an angry grimace as the two fought for dominance. "You again... constantly getting in my way." She hissed at Link, who simply smiled confidently at her displeasure.
Marth, who had been the last to notice Nabooru's attack turned to see if his friends had survived the attack. "Link! Ness! Are you two-"
"Ha, you're wide open!" Wide-eyed, Marth turned back around just as a recently appeared Zippo swung it's vertically down Marth's avatar. The resulting attack had Marth shout out in pain and sent his avatar careening into the labyrinth wall. With one single swipe of it's blade, Zippo had managed to reduce Marth's health bar by about half.
Link took quick notice of his teammates plight. "Ness!"
"Life Up Beta!" Ness shouted, healing their wounded swordsman. He followed up with a PSI Shield to protect Marth, although their efforts came off as laughable to Zippo.
"Haha, do whatever the heck you guys want. As long as our Bard remains alive, these buffs will stay on. So the choice is yours, give up now, or let us pound you into rubble." It taunted, one small hand on its lizard hip.
Despite having Nabooru's powerful fist pressing against his weakening defense, Link smiled calmly. "I think I'll let Marth answer that."
Zippo raised an eyebrow at Link but had it's attention quickly drawn back to the crator where the pokemon had just sent their blue haired swordsman. "Yaa!" Came the shout of a loud battle cry, shocking the unprepared pokemon. From the rubble emerged Marth, holding his sword at his side horizontally. While glowing in a light blue aura, Marth delivered one powerful thrust forward into the dead center of Zippo's small chest, causing the Pokemon to scream out in anguish, fly backwards nearly half away down the hall and all the while dealing critical damage and reducing Zippo's life bar by nearly half. Once the glowing stopped, Marth looked rather shocked at what he had just done. "Uh... woah, um, was that attack really that strong?" He asked as he watched Zippo's rolling body finally come to a stop.
Link just couldn't help but chuckle a bit at Marth's random question. Then, returning his attention to the threat at hand, he mustered all of his strength into one quick push with his shield, pushing Nabooru's fist away and leaving her wide open for a frontal attack. "Well, sorry to burst your bubble Marth but no, it wasn't. You see the downside of the buff they have..." Link positioned his sword for the strike. "It gives them nearly no defense." With a lightening quick thrust, Link rammed his blade into the chest of Nabooru, the gerudo crying out in agony as she collided into the near by labyrinth wall. Giving no moment for her to recover, Link charged towards her in an attempt to finish off her remaining heal, but as he approached the seemingly stunned player, she raised her leg and kicked Link straight in the chin. The resulting shock pushed Link backwards and onto the ground, his sword and shield slipping away from his hands. Taking advantage of the opportunity to escape, Nabooru pushed herself off the wall and into the air, vanishing in a blur a moment later.
"Are you okay Link?" Marth asked as Ness healed their friend to about eighty percent health. The last strike by Nabooru, however small it seemed, nearly depleted the Hylian's HP bar. "That was a close one."
"You're telling me." Link muttered as he reclaimed his sword and shield. Once armed he peered out in front of them and saw Nabooru and Zippo standing a good distance away, both looking relatively weak from the last two attacks. Despite their weakened status, Link frowned. "To finish them off we need to get close to them... which is extremely dangerous as it is."
"I'll cast some PSI Shields to protect you." Ness commented as his avatar entered the casting animation.
Marth grinned as his body was encased within the protective PSI Shield. "Great! With this defense bonus we shouldn't have to worry about being one hit killed, right Link?" Even hearing Marth's somewhat naive optimism wasn't enough to shake the concerned look on the warriors face. "What's wrong?"
Not entirely too sure why himself, Link continued to watch the panting foes in front of them for any clues to their next attack. Unsure of why he couldn't put his finger on it, Link cautiously positioned himself for their next assault. "I'm not sure. It's too dangerous to move in to attack them, we should wait for them to make the first move... but for people buffed to the extreme they aren't really...!" Just as before, three white rings zipped along the floor of the labyrinth, passing the trio by and zooming right up to the weakened enemies in front of them. As the rings hit their target the two were once again engulfed in a bright light, this time a blinding white light that was accompanied by a chorus of heavenly chanting. Once the light dimmed, Link felt his heart drop as he noticed their HP bars refilled to perfect health. "They have a pretty experienced Bard if he's able to cast healing spells. Be on your toes, we need to finish these two off in their next attack!"
Taking heed to Link's warning, Marth positioned his sword for defense and waited. As watchful and observant as a strange newbie hawk, he not once broke eye contact with the duo... until suddenly they were replaced by an array of streaming multicolor, floating every which way across his screen. "Oh, great! This again!" Marth shouted aloud just as the smiling sun took it's place in the rainbow colored sky and the cheerful latin music played. Fortunately for Marth, this visit to the strange Bard-induced world ended rather abruptly as his monitor quickly reverted back to the normal PvP arena. Surprised, he made a quick check of the chat log.
NESS uses RECOVER on LINK!
NESS uses RECOVER on MARTH!
Marth turned around and smiled at Ness, giving the psychic a thumbs up. "Thanks, Ness."
Ness, who was now wearing a stylish pair of pink ear-muffs, didn't seem to take all that well to Marth's compliment. Instead he pointed towards Marth and screamed at the swordsman, "Behind you, stupid!"
Quickly turning on his heals Marth made it just in time to come face to face with Zippo, who's sword was bearing down upon him with ferocious force. He raised his own blade just in time to meet the pokemons, engaging a duel for dominace between the swordsmen. But within a moment of their swords clashing it became apparent which held the upper hand, Zippo's buffed blade was rapidly pushing Marth's out of the way. "Why don't you just lay down and die, huh?! It'll be easier for the both of our teams! Or better yet, just type /resign!" Taunted the powerful pokemon as Marth's avatar struggled to hold its power. "You'll be doing us both a favor!"
Between fighting to keep his sword and HP bar from falling and wondering just where Nabooru vanished off too, Marth's last thought on his mind was taunt. Growling, he said to his opponent. "Why... Why don't you just... shut up."
Zippo let out a low chuckle as it pushed Marth's sword closer out his hands. "Haven't played PvP much, have you newb?"
Helplessly, Marth watched his avatar's grip on his Falchion slip quicker and quicker until finally it was struck from his hands and sent falling to the ground with a metallic clank. The unarmed Marth stood awaiting Zippo's next blow, the pokemon all too happy to deliver it. "Gah! I could use some help here!"
"PK THUNDER BETA!"
No sooner did those words echo out across the field did the orb of dark blue PSI energy hover above Zippos head, posed and ready to smash down on the pokemon with all it's force. Taking notice of the sudden attack, Zippo bounced backwards and out of the line of the attack, the thunder orb smashing harmlessly into the floor. This time instead of thanking the psychic, Marth bent down and reequqppied his weapon and charged forward, slashing the rebounding Zippo twice before the Pokemon was able to retaliate. "Can't beat me by yourself, huh?" Zippo hissed through its teeth, it's now nearly empty HP bar flashing brightly above its head.
"In a team PvP fight, I don't have too when I have a team to back me up!" Marth retorted, preparing to strike again. Ness just rolled his eyes.
Not too far away from the two, Link was busy swiping his blade wildly at Nabooru, who with the grace of the Bard's buff, was easliy managing to dodge even the speedy Hylian's strikes. "Miss me." She mocked, dodging his latest swipe by moving to the left. And by repeating the process to the right she dodged his next attack. "And again. You're not that tough if I can anticipate your moves."
Link didn't bother responding to the players taunts. Instead he lunged forward once again, sword brandished in full attack mode, only to receive a quick kick to the chest by the gerudo. The resulting blow reduced his HP bar by about half and sent him tumbling backwards across the floor. Once the rolling stopped, Link found himself belly up on the cold cavern floor staring in thought up at the labyrinths large rocky ceiling. Even after Ness's healing spell returned much of his depleted HP bar, Link found himself hesitant to get back up. "We can't beat them like this." He muttered finally pulling himself to his feet. Awaiting him was Nabooru's fist, which was promptly blocked by his shield, although the force still broke through the shield and damaged the Hylian.
Marth too was having trouble keeping up with Zippo vicious sword swings. With each one of the Pokemon's slashes more violent and erratic then the last, Marth's counters were becoming more and more sloppy until finally Zippo landed on major hit across his chest. The slash didn't send Marth tumbling, but his character let out a scream of agony as he took a step back. Seizing the opening Zippo prepared to deviler the final strike, only to barely miss as Marth jumped backwards in the air and towards Ness, ending with an ungraceful landing. Marth collapsed to one knee and held the gash across his chest where Zippo had just struck him, noticing that his HP bar was now slowly decreasing. He glanced over to Ness and the two players locked eyes for a moment, Ness immediacy knowing what the swordsman needed. But unfortunately, maintaing their PSI Shields and healing them were taking a toll on the psychic - he had nearly depleted all his MP.
A loud yell quickly caught the two players attentions and they soon noticed that Link had been knocked back once again, but this time towards where the two of them were standing. "Link, are you okay?" Marth asked, bending down to help up his party member.
"Well, heh, I've seen better days..." He replied, barely managing to standing. His normally green armor was torn and bloodied, and his body was covered in bruises from Nabooru's punches. With Marth's help he was able to stand back up, and Ness managed to cure away some of his wounds with a weak Life Up Alpha. "Do you have any MP restoring items left Ness?" Asked the Hylian as he tried to regain his full balance.
Ness nodded. "Yes, a few. But the timer hasn't cooled down since I used the last one."
Link grimaced at Ness's reply. "Then I think we've lost this one guys... unless we hit them by surprise."
"We can't lose here!" Marth cried, taking his sword in both hands once again. "We've got to be able to do something! They're super weak to offensive attacks. We can still hit em!"
"Yes, I know that, but unless we can take out that Bard then we're not going to be able to finish them off." No sooner had Link spoke did a group rings shoot across the floor and hit Zippo and Nabooru, healing the two in a similar fashion to before. Link turned to see just where the rings had come from, but saw that behind them was nothing but a wall and the dead end passage that they had first wandered into. "And I have no idea where that player is."
Marth turned to look as well, sighing upon seeing the same sight. "So what, is he behind the wall or something? Can you cast spells through walls?" Link shook his head. "Then is he somehow hiding in plain sight?"
"I'm not certain, I don't think there is a spell that could hide you like that. Invisibility cloakers don't last this long PvP areas. So I'm really-"
"Here they come!" All attention quickly turned to the oncoming attacks, Zippo and Nabooru, both their sword and fists glowing a bright yellow. They intended to finish it with this attack. Growing, Ness reached into his pocket and pulled out a Star Rod, quickly having it explode and reloading his MP bar. Just as the two attackers were within striking range Ness stepped in between them and the two weakened swordsmen and outstretched his right hand. "PSI Shield Sigma!" From his palm a translucent yellow aura surrounded himself and his two party members, protecting the three from the latest attack. Ness barely managed to keep the shield up long enough to outlast their attacks and once their glowing finally stopped the yellow aura shattered and Ness collapsed to the floor. In a panic, Nabooru and Zippo jumped back a few feet and guarded, waiting for the trio to make their next move.
Both the swordsmen stared at the weakened psychic with a bit surprise. "Thanks for that Ness, I never knew you could use Sigma level shields." Said Link as he stepped over to help the boy off the floor. Marth quietly nodded in agreement.
But Ness didn't seem to thrilled about the compliment. Instead, he cursed under his breath and muttered a weak apology. "I'm sorry Link. It's a spell I can't normally use since my real level is too low... I didn't realize how much MP it cost." It was then they noticed that, even though Ness had used an MP restoring item, his magic bar had fallen way below critical range.
"Oh dear. That's not good." He studied the boy for a moment, going over his stats, then checked his own and Marth. "I... I don't think we can win this."
Not so far away Zippo and Nabooru were starting to lower their guard. "Hey, I don't think they're attacking." Said Nabooru, switching her defensive stance for a more offensive one. "And by the looks of it, their healer is almost out of it."
Zippo grinned and too came out of its defensive position. "Yeah, you're right. Poor kid must be completely out of MP by now. Dumb humans, don't they know only Pokemon have a big enough mana pool to be curing like he was?" It twirled its sword around flamboyantly, finally pointing it directly towards where the weak Ness was laying. "No doubt we'd dragged this on long enough, eh? Let's put them out of their misery now." The pokemon began to cackle. "Stupid newbs thinking they could come in here and ruin the event! Haha!"
"They were pretty bad, weren't they?" Nabooru mockingly asked through giggles of her own. "I mean, how many chances did we have to kill them so far?"
"Yeah, I mean, c'mon. These three are really the ones everyone is all worried about? A washed up PvPer who can't even lead a balanced team, a useless psychic who spams cures like water, and an even more so useless newbie who can't tank for anything!"
Just then something inside me switched on. I'm not sure what... but just listening to the two of them be so... so condescending to us... to my friends. It just...! Before I knew it, I had moved Marth in front of the wounded Ness and raised his sword to an attack position.
"I don't know how and I don't really care right about now," I said, not fully knowing where I was going with it, "But if I have too, I'll personally defeat both of you. I don't care how powerful you are, or how good your characters stats are, I'm not going to let you... I'm not going to let you belittle or hurt my friends!"
Yeah, that sounded so cheesy.
Behind him, Link and Ness were staring up in surprise at the determination and focus that had found its way into Marth's body. But then, suddenly, they felt something else. Something they had felt before, and something that made the two jump to attention. "Uh, hey, hey! Now's not the time to be goin' on some righteousness trip, newbie!" Said Ness, his tone unusually shaky.
"Yes, Marth. You see, in PvP there are some people who just find joy out of belittling their opponents. It's pretty common, really, so don't worry about it too much." Link stood up and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Even if we lose here it's not the end of the world. So calm down, okay?"
But neither of their warning seemed to get through to Marth. Instead he growled again and turned to look at Link with a fierceness in his eyes that made even the Hylian take a step back in surprise. "But how could I? I don't like this, when people mock my friends. I'm not going to let them win. I won't let them win!"
For once, Link wasn't sure how to respond. This attitude in Marth was... new. Atleast at this intensity. But giving it only a few moments thought, the Hylian closed his eyes and smiled, surprising the intense Marth. "Alright then, but remember we're a team here." He marched up along side Marth and lifted his shield and sword. "And the point of a party is that we stand together, we fight together and win together." He smiled again and the two turned to look at their other member. "Right Ness?"
Ness stared back at the two swordsmen for a moment before finally glancing away and stumbling back up. "Whatever makes you happy..." He muttered, taking a few steps away.
As Ness made his way to the back to heal Zippo couldn't help but give out a laugh. "Oh come on, what is this? Some sorta inspirational chat going on? This is just a game, you losers, no need to take it so seriously!"
Marth gritted his teeth and fought for a moment to hold back his anger. But just as he was about to go off on the Pokemon, Link spoke up. "Yes, but the friendships between the players transcends it, making it more then a game, doesn't it?" He mused with another one of his grins. Marth's angry quickly disappeared upon hearing that.
Nabooru and Zippo both exchanged glances but then turned their attention back to their targets. "Well, whatever. You're still about to lose. Ready Nabooru?"
"You know it."
No sooner did they announce it did both Zippo and Nabooru begin barreling down the corridor towards the weakened swordsmen, both of them preparing to strike the two with their strongest attacks. "So, uhh... any ideas?" Marth asked, his sudden intensity gone as the two fierce players barreled down towards them.
Link couldn't help but laugh. "I thought you'd know, it was your idea to keep on fighting right?"
"Well, yeah but uhhh..."
"Haha, well... I hate to say it Marth, but unless a miracle happens..." Link closed his eyes and prepared for the incoming blow. "We've lost this fight." Marth's eyes fell. It was obviously what he hadn't hoped to hear. "But hey, if we do lose, atleast its as a team, hm?"
"Yeah... but hey," Marth lifted his blade and looked over at Link with a grin. "Let's make sure we don't go down without a fight!"
"My thoughts exactly."
The two swordsmen charged forward meeting the oncoming players half way and collided in combat once again. Ness, who sat off healing just sighed at the sight. "Parties... such a pain."
A small monkey-like beast chuckled as he stared forward into one of the solid labyrinths walls. In either hand it clutched two maracas and on top of is head a large sombrero. "This is great." Spoke the player, Amigo, grinning a toothy smile. "They have no idea I'm behind here... and there is no way they could reach me!" Lifting his maracas, Amigo shook his hands fiercely letting out a loud cry of 'Samba!' as he did. As he shook light blue rings shot out from the weapons and floated across the floor and through the wall; a feat which left the beast giggling even more. Unlike normally spells which can not penetrate solid barriers, a Bard's song is based on the games hearing range. So long as players in their party could hear the songs being cast, Amigo could sing from just about anywhere. In this case, the beast chose behind the wall blocking off Link, Ness and Marth into the dead end, completely making himself untouchable by the trio. "We've got this won."
While he couldn't see the fight itself, he was well aware of the current situation. Judging the grunts and moans over on the other side, he could wager that his team was on the offensive. "Soon they'll be out of recovery items, and then its over!"
But suddenly, something else caught the beasts attention. The sound of footsteps. But these were not by the battle on the other side of the wall... they were over by him. And they were getting closer. Turning, Amigo raised his maracas in the direction of steps and shook his maracas. "Samba!" He cried, shooting out light blue rings across the dark floor. Due to the dimly lit nature of the path, Amigo's rings disappeared into the darkness and from the players view. He waited a moment, expecting to hear the grunt of a player being trapped inside the psychedelic song spell. But after no sound came the beast slowly began to edge closer to where the footsteps had come from. "Is someone there?"
No one answered his question. Shrugging it off, Amigo turned back to the wall just in time to cast another song on his comrades. But no sooner did he turn then did he here another players voice. "Did you do this?" Amigo turned back in the direction of the player with his maracas lifted and ready for a fight. However, he was not prepared to see just who it was who he had cast his spell on. Standing in front of him was a tall player cloaked head to toe in a black robe, the only distinguishable feature upon it the large number six. At first Amigo didn't take much notice of just what the character was wearing. What interested the bard more so was the fact that the player had found and addressed him as the attacker, and yet stood there with the light blue rings pulsating around his body. "Answer... Bah, well of course it was you, you're the only Bard around here!"
"How... How'd you do that?!" Amigo asked. If the player had a high enough charisma status, it wouldn't be unlikely for a bard's spell to fail. But if that was the case, the light blue rings wouldn't appear around a players body, but instead vanish. This player was under the influence of Amigo's samba... but clearly unaffected. The player continued to march forward, ignoring the bards question. Amigo was unsure of how to react, but once he was within striking distant the beast cast another bard song. "Salsa!" Amigo cried as the orange rings floated over to the cloaked player. But once again, the rings floated around his avatar with no visible effects to the character itself. "You... you're a hacker!"
Serpent growled as he continued forward, finally getting nearly on top of Amigo himself. "You're in my way." He smashed his hand onto Amigo's collar, making a sickening cracking sound as it connected with the beast. Amigo shouted in pain and collapsed to the ground, his character paralyzed by the blow. Once the attack was complete, Serpent continued on his way, stepping over Amigo and not once giving the character a second glance.
"Argh... damn it, a one hit paralyze? That guy was a..." Amigo's player stopped mid-sentence as his eyes came across something on the wound inflicted upon him. It was glowing a strange green light, and it looked like a bunch of odd shapes shooting out from the damaged area. On closer examination, the objects could clearly be seen as ones and zeros. "Ah! AH! NO! NO! HE DIDN'T! NO! NO!" Like a rabid beast devouring its prey, the green light quickly spread across the players body, consuming him entirely in a green flash. Soon, Amigo couldn't be seen at all, the only signs of the player were his pathetic cries for help as the green began to fade away. And as the green light faded, so too did the cries, and all traces of Amigo.
As Serpent marched on he over heard the sounds of players battling. Giving only a glance, Serpent wasted no time to register the scrimmage and continued on towards his goal of finding and capturing Zelda.
-Other Side of the Wall-
The broken bodies of Link and Marth once again found their way to the cold cave floor, smashing in with such force that it the force feed back rocked the players computers screen. "Heh, you guys never stood a chance." Zippo cackled, stepping on the chest of the weaken Marth. "How much HP do you have left? One? Two?"
Marth weakly opened an eye and gave as menacing a glare as he could with all his bruises. "Just enough to keep kicking you're stupid computerized butts, thats how much."
Zippo rolled its eyes and stomped down a bit harder on the fallen swordsmans chest. "You know normally when a team is on the brink of death in PvP they either try to forfeit the match or start screaming about how the winning team somehow hacked their victory. Not give stupid little threats."
"Yeah well, if you haven't noticed," Marth said, gripping his blade at his side "-we're not like most people."
With his last bit of energy Marth swung his blade at Zippo, narrowly missing the Pokemon as it dodged backwards. Only the very tip of his blade touched the player, who stumbled back a bit and held the paw that was nicked by the blade. "Ugh, how stupid, they just won't-"
"PK Fire Beta!" A column of fire erupted in between the two opposing players and the weakened Marth and Link. The sudden fiery explosion took both Zippo and Nabooru for surprise, forcing them to step backwards and away from the team. Ness took this opportunity to run up from the back lines and heal up his two party members. "Life Up Beta... Life Up Alpha... Life Up Alpha..." Ness called weakly as the colorful auras surrounded his teammates. "Life Up... Alpha." With his final call he fell to his knees just as Marth and Link managed to stand back up. "I'm out of MP. And my character is exhausted from too much item use."
Link took out a mushroom from his back pocket and used it, and then tossed another one over to Marth which exploded half way. Both of their HP bars were now at about three quarters full health. "That's alright Ness, you did your best." The Hylian spoke with a smile. "I don't think we'll be around here for much longer anyway..."
Slowly, the column of flames died away and once it was gone the trio could see the visible ticked off Zippo and Nabooru. "That healer is so annoying!" Zippo shouted as it balled its fists. "We should have just killed him first! He keeps getting in our way!"
"I'll take care of him." Nabooru replied with a grin. "And this time, no Hylian should be able to get in my way!" As before, Nabooru jumped into the air and vanished in a white blur. Marth, Link and Ness, all of whom were too weaken by the continuous battle to prepare any real defense, could only watch carefully around them, awaiting the Gerudo's assault. Only a moment after her disappearance did the trio here the sound of feet touching the ground behind them. Marth and Link spun around just in time to see Nabooru reaching out her hand towards the exhausted Ness, who was unable to move with the status effect afflicting him. "Come here you stupid healer!"
Link attempted to charge towards their attacker, but stumbled down to the ground as his avatar reached for his leg. "Ah, I've used up too much stamina, I can't make sharp movements! Ness!" Marth too attempted to make a lunge towards Ness to protect him, but similar to Link his avatar collapsed out of stamina from his last attack.
There wasn't much anyone could do. Both Marth and Link needed to recharge their stamina, which occurred naturally over time, and Ness had no MP left to defense or shield himself with. So he was helpless when Nabooru picked him up by his collar and lifted him to her face. "You're dead, kid." She whispered, pulling back her free hand. It began to glow as she began to launch her next attack. With nothing to help him, Ness just glanced away at the ground, muttering curses to himself for being so wasteful with his MP. But even if he had any to use, a direct attack at such a close range would be instantly fatal to a mage.
But then, something unexpected happened. Nabooru's attack never hit... in fact, she never moved her fist. When a few moments past and his screen did not fade as if he was killed, Ness looked back up to see that the once confident look on Nabooru's face was filled with shock and horror. The white aura around her had faded. The bards buff had ended. Filled with a sudden rejuvenation, Ness gripped Nabooru's huge hand and pried it off his collar, limply falling to the ground. But even as Ness left her hand she remained in her position, with one hand outstretched and the other pulled back into an attack. She wasn't frozen, however, but instead her avatars speed was reduced to a mere fraction of what it normally is. Slowly, her outstretched hand began to recoil and her other hand fell back to her side, all the while her panic stricken face looking worse and worse.
"Link... what happened to her?" Marth asked as he and his Hylian friend stood back up. He turned around to look Zippo, who still had its white aura around it, but looking equally as shocked.
Link watched as Nabooru began to take a few steps back, all while moving (in what seemed to the otherwise fast paced action of the game) in slow motion. He grinned and turned to look at Zippo. "Well, you see this is the reason why Bards aren't used too much in PvP. Sure their buffs are insanely powerful, but the downside is once the buffs come off, all of the stats that were effected by the buff are greatly reduced."
"So what you're saying is..."
"Right now, Nabooru is about as slow as a snail and as threatening as a level three player."
Zippo growled angrily as Link revealed the flaw in their strategy. "Damn it... DAMN IT!" The Pokemon lifted its blade and was about to charge at the duo when its own aura faded away, stopping the charging warrior in its tracks. "ARGH! Amigo! AMIGO!" It shouted, looking around the corridor. "Why the hell haven't you recasted our buffs yet!" When no reply or spells came, Zippo was forced to check its party window and was horrified to not only see that Amigo's HP bar had hit 0, but that his name had become strangely deformed, filled in between each letter of his name with strange characters. "W-What?! Amigo was..."
"...Corrupted?!" Nabooru shouted over their party chat. "How did that happen!" But before they could ponder what happened to their teammate, they had another, more immediate problem to face. Link, Marth and Ness were now all standing back up and facing the slow moving Nabooru, preparing their weapons and grinning. "Ugh! Oh no, they're gonna attack!"
Nabooru attempted to shield herself, but even in her defensive position there was no way to prevent the assault. Ness reached into his back pocket and pulled out his large bat like staff and charged forward, jumping high into the air with his weapon brandish over his head. "This is for trying to kill me three times!" With a surprising amount of force from a psychic, coupled with the fact that her stats were extremely weakened, the blow sent the Gerudo soaring upwards into the air in a spin. "Heh, go ahead guys, finish her!"
While helpless Link took out his bow and arrow, pulled back and launched a glowing golden bolt towards Gerudo. It hit its target dead on, stopping her violent spinning and piercing her chest. With one finally scream, Nabooru cried out helplessly as she smashed into the rocky ground, the impact reducing her HP bar to zero. She was defeated. "You got her!" Marth cheered, pumping his fist in victory. "All right! Awesome job!"
Link grinned and gave Marth a thumbs up. Once Nabooru's body had grayed out and vanished the three turned their attention to the last member of the opposing team. "One down, one to go." Said the Hylian, preparing his shield and sword.
Zippo's scowl grew larger and more toothy with every minute that the reality of the situation set in. "Nabooru is defeated... Amigo is corrupted... I'm weakened..." The pokemon muttered to itself. "No... No we came too far to lose. I can't... I won't..."
"Let's get him!"
Link and Marth charged forward towards Zippo, their weapons raised and ready for battle. "Damn it... wait..." Suddenly, something in Zippo's head clicked and when it did the scowl was replaced by a angry smile. "My attack, defense and speed may be severally weakened... but my magic isn't!" The Pokemon lifted its blade and began to swing it about in an elegant pattern, the typical casting animation for a Dark Knight.
When Link saw the Pokemon's casting he skidded to a stop. "Marth, hold up!" He shouted, causing the blue haired swordsman to do the same. "Zippo is casting something... watch out!"
"I can't win, that much is obvious." Zippo muttered, bringing its sword to rest vertical along its body. "But I can atleast take one of you down with me! Thunder Bolt! Yaa!" Zippo raised its sword to the sky and a yellow bolt shot up from its tip. With a thunderous boom, the air above the group began to darken as clouds covered the top of the labyrinth. But they didn't stay for long, quickly the clouds began to converge, floating over to one specific point where Zippo was now pointing its blade.
Ness stared up in horror as the black clouds of Zippo's spell gathered just slightly above his head. Even though the spell itself took a while before it would cast, he was still weakened from before, so there was no way Ness could dodge. And with his low HP, this spell would seal the psychics fate. "NESS!" Link shouted. "NESS!" Link knew that even if they did defeat Zippo, Ness's defeat in combat would spell the end for their team.
The bolt of thunder shot down from the sky, smashing into its target with such force that the light blinded all of the players around, followed by a large amount of dust and derbies. The bolt was so incredibly powerful that even the air around Link had begun to experience small electric charges, dealing small amounts of damage to him. Truly this was Zippo's most powerful spell and to which the Pokemon had poured off of its last amount of energy into. Cackling, Zippo called out to the Hylian in a condescending tone. "Oh, no! I've lost haven't I! Yeah, well good luck getting any furtherer without your damn healer, huh?!"
Link stared on in horror as dust and glare from the bolt began to fade. Even with its back against the wall, Zippo had managed to deal a fatal blow to the team. No healer would spell the defeat of even the strongest of teams. A sense of despair overtook the Hylian and his gaze fell to the ground. "I can't believe- Uh..." But then, something caught Link's attention. He glanced about him and was struck with confusion. Marth, who had before was standing next to him, had gone missing. Puzzled, he turned his gaze back over to where the thunder bolt and crashed... and gasped at the sight seen.
Ness was not sprawled out across the ground, his body slowly turning gray. Instead, Ness was sitting on the ground a few feet away from the impact zone of the thunder bolt, his eyes wide with shock. In his place was Marth, who had pushed the boy out of the way of the blast in the moments leading up to its blow, taking the full force of the magic spell himself. As the debris faded Marth collapsed to the ground, his body charred and bruised from the blast. But surprisingly enough, Marth had recovered enough HP prior to withstand the attack, leaving him with only fifteen HP points remaining. Once overcoming his shock of narrowly avoiding death, Ness stood up and ran over to Marth. "Hey, are you okay? Do you have any status afflictions?"
Marth didn't answer at first. Finally after a minute of silence he lifted his head and sighed. "That was close, huh."
"Uh, well um..." Ness stammered with his reply, trying to think of the best way to answer but then folded his arms and glanced away from his wounded partner. "I-I could have handled it."
"Impossible..." Zippo muttered, its voice showing that the player completely floored by the events that just transpired. "How... Who'd be stupid enough to jump infront of a Thunder Bolt?!"
"When friends on in trouble, you sometimes forget what things are crazy and stupid in order to protect them." The sudden voice of Link behind Zippo caused the Pokemon to jump and turn around to be face to face with the Hylian. He had slipped behind Zippo once noticing that his friends were safe, using Zippo's utter shock as a distracting to get within striking range. "As I said before, this may be just a game. But the friendships forged within it tend to transcend the game itself." Link said with a grin. "I guess Marth just wanted to protect his friend, hmm?"
Zippo growled once more and reached for its blade. "Why you stupid-"
But it finished its sentence. With one graceful flick of Link's blade, he struck Zippo down the center of its body, dealing enough damage to reduce its HP to zero. One last time the two opponets eyes met and Link sent Zippo off with a wink and a smile. "Good game!"
"Hac-" Zippo fell to the ground with a thud, turning gray and vanishing a moment later. As Zippo vanished, a small mask of an ugly face appeared where its body had fallen, floating up into the air and then over to Link's hand. He took it and smiled, tucking it safely away in his back pocket. Once the item was safety inside his inventory, the swordsman let out a long and loud sigh of relief. Barely, just barely, they had managed to avoid defeat and he was grateful. He withdrew his weapons from his battle position and walked over to his teammates with a relaxed smile on his face. Marth was busy trying to stand back up, (although it looked more as like he was twitching) while Ness sat cross-legged, deep within the healing process.
"Heal me already! You've been resting long enough to atleast cast recover!" Marth shouted, or atleast tried too. Given the damage dealt from the last attack, the game muffled his speech to all but a whimper.
"I want to get to full MP first." Ness retorted. "So quiet down, or I might just forget to heal you at all! Newbie."
"I risk life and limb to save your ass and this is how you repay me! Gah, when I get up, I swear-"
"You better rethink your statement, since without me, you wouldn't be getting up."
Link let out a loud laugh as he sat down next to the wounded Marth. "Oh come on Ness, just recover him already. It'd be best anyway since that way you can be at full MP once you're done resting." Ness opened his eyes and glared at Link, but without any kind of retort or complain the psychic stood up and casted the recover spell on the fallen swordsman, relieving him of his paralysis status effect. "Feeling better Marth?" Link asked as his companion sat up.
"Meh. We took a pretty bad beating, I've got like no HP left." Marth replied as his avatar held his head. "And apparently my head is killing me. Overall, I think I've had better days."
"Heh, well, why don't you rest your avatar for a bit. I don't think we'd be going anywhere for a while." Marth nodded and like Ness, crossed his legs and closed his eyes, his avatar slowly regaining health, stamina and other statuses that were spent during their tough battle. "That was a pretty close fight though, huh?"
Link nodded and began to rest as well. "Yeah, you're telling me. But we managed to come through, huh?"
"Yeah, we kicked their asses! Haha!"
Ness snorted. "Uh, you mean me and Link did. If I remember correctly, once the buffs were off, all you did was suck and get zapped by a thunder bolt! Hardly worth mentioning on the MVP boards, eh?"
"Oh you! You, you... argh, shut it Ness."
Ness and Link both began laughing and soon Marth joined in. Although Ness laughed for teasing Marth and Marth laughed at the situation in general, Link was laughing because not just one miracle had happened, but seemingly two. For first time, it seemed as if the three were finally getting along like a real team. And they had won their first real challenge. But greater challenges awaited them, deeper on in the maze... one of which was already watching, peering around the corner of the labyrinths winding walls.
Maiden, who had been peering from behind the corner of the corridor pulled her cloaked head back behind the corner and rested it against the wall. "Friends... team, huh?" She whispered to herself. She stood there in silence, staring down at her hand until a sudden message popping up on her screen caused her to jump out of her trance.
BOWSER: Maiden! How is the mission going? What is Serpent up too?
With a quiet sigh, Maiden entered the whisper menu and began to converse with her 'leader'.
'MAIDEN': I don't know, Lord Bowser, I'm looking for him!
'MAIDEN': It is a labyrinth after all.
BOWSER: You can walk through walls!
'MAIDEN': Yeah and why don't we just shout out to all the players that a hacker is here?
'MAIDEN': Think that'll help our cause, mm?
BOWSER: Are you mocking me?
BOWSER: Don't you even START with the dots.
BOWSER: I swear those things are so annoying, if you don't want to say anything then don't say it!
BOWSER: There is no need to fill the empty space with an eclipse!
'MAIDEN': Ellipse, you mean?
'MAIDEN': Ugh. Nevermind.
'MAIDEN': I'm looking for him, I'll whisper you when I find him.
BOWSER: You had better.
'MAIDEN': Oh, as if 'Grr' is any less of a filler? Anyway, I have to get back to work. Over and out.
BOWSER: I am the one who dismisses you! You may leave when I am ready.
BOWSER: Over and out.
Once the whispered had ended Maiden let out a much more audible sigh. When she realized just how loud it was she jumped, turning to peer down the corridor to see if the resting team had heard it. Fortunately for her, they had not. "Ugh, that man is so infuriating." She muttered, holding her forehead. "I'm lucky he's such a doofus." Turning, she continued down the dead end hallway right up until the wall itself, held out her hand and began to phase through he turquoise rock with a purple haze.
An obviously frustrated Bowser sighed and brought a sharp claw to his forehead. "Ugh, that woman is so infuriating." He muttered, holding his forehead. "I'm lucky she's such a loyal follower." After a few minutes of silent brooding, he began to flip through a few of his files to check and see how things were going in the game outside of the Attack on the Castle event. One notice that crossed the floating screen was one that quickly got his attention. "Oh, thats right. Blade should be returning with Dr. Mario soon."
The rich, green foliage of the Jungle Japes area spanned out as far as the eye could see. Tall banana trees sprung out from the dense undergrowth, filled with brightly colored flowers, fruits and different types of birds fluttering about. The jungle like background music of the area was almost completely drowned out by the sound of raging water of a huge, violent river that ran through the center of the area, splitting it in two. And in the middle of all this commotion stood a character seemingly out of place - a human in a long white jacket and stethoscope.
Dr. Mario tapped his fingers anxiously against his elbow as he continued to glance about the dense foliage of the jungle, seemingly waiting in a small clearing for something to happen. "I hate the Kongo server." He muttered to himself as he survived the visible landscape for what seemed like the countless time. "Who in their right mind would want to meet out here? This client had better have some good intel, or one heck of a good item..." After another three minutes past with no sign of another player, Dr. Mario turned to leave. "Ten minutes, I've waited long enough. He didn't show." But just as he turned to leave the sounds of rustling and footsteps could be heard in the players headset. He glanced in the direction of the sound, reaching back to grip his weapon just in case. However, while he expected to see a player who had contacted him over the forums to emerge from the foliage, the player who did come into view was not what the assassin was expecting.
Bowser's Warlock Blade, dressed in full cloak garb, stumbled out from the mess of bushes, vines and other random assortment of plants, falling flat on his face with a loud thud. After picking himself up he turned back to see that a vine had wrapped itself around his unsheathed sword, holding him back from progressing any farther. "Damn stupid Nintendo making these-" He yanked on the blade. "Vines so damn" He pulled hard. "Annoying!" With a final yank he freed his blade from the accursed vine and fell backwards into the clearing. "Stupid-"
"Heh." Blade looked up to see an upside down Dr. Mario chuckling at the spectacle that had just taken place. "Oh, sorry, that was just very... funny." Blade rolled his eyes, although it was invisible beneath his cloak and stood up. "Hello Blade, to what do I owe this honor?"
Growling, Blade marched forward towards Dr. Mario menacingly, smacking the assassin once he got within range, surprising the otherwise unsurpriseable Dr. Mario. "You stupid low-life hacker! Remember your place and address me like you're suppose to!"
Gripping the spot where Blade had just struck him, Dr. Mario's eyes filled with rage and hatred as he glared upwards at the cloaked Warlock. But what mostly infuriated Dr. Mario was that Blade was right. Bowser had set up strict rules of how a normal hacker enlisted in his services (a 'Nomi' as called by the Warlocks) must greet and act around those deemed 'higher' in Bowser's chain of command. And although they acted closer while at under the guise of a Warlock... without his cloak, Dr. Mario was just a second ranked 'Nomi' hacker. Blade had no idea who he really was, and thats precisely the way Bowser wanted it. Still, the thought of performing the official 'greeting' was too much for the assassin to bear and he was torn between turning and leaving without a second glance, or preferable, striking back and PKing Blade right where he stands. But one thought held his blade as he stood in the shadow of the warlock - If Blade had been the sent for him, then Bowser must want something important.
"I'm sorry, Lord Warlock." Dr. Mario replied, his voiced filled to the brim with sarcastic venom. He outstretched his arms and bowed slightly, keeping the same mocking tone. "Is this better, Lord Warlock? I can't bare but not look upon you, as you're face is too great for my comprehension, Lord Warlock."
With another hiss, Blade took his sword and swipe it across Dr. Mario three times, knocking the PKer onto the ground and lowering his HP bar by about half. Once again, Dr. Mario fought every last urge to charge forward and plant a knife deep into the cloaked hood infront of him. Blade, seemingly proud to invoke Dr. Mario's rage just huffed and crossed his arms. "I'd kill you for that if I didn't know that pathetic excuse for a greeting would be the best I'd get anyway."
Dr. Mario slowly made his way back onto two feet, moving his hands away from his weapons at his side. Once back standing up he held out his right hand and whispered quietly, "Life Up Gamma." Healing the wounds just inflicted on him. All patched up, he turned to Blade and asked coldly, "Why are you here? What happened?"
"Lord Bowser sent me to get you." The Warlock explained, soundly relatively bored at the whole ordeal. "I'm not sure why he wants too meet you or what reason he needed to send me. He just wants to see you right now."
The healer narrowed his eyes, quickly going over a list of possible events that could have merited for a Warlock to have been sent for him. Did Bowser know he had met with Sheik? Does he think he would betray him? No, then Blade wouldn't have even shown his face, he would have just taken him out. "I can't leave just yet, I have an appointment with another player." He replied after a moments thought. "I'll head there once they arrive."
Blade chuckled and began to glance at his gloved hand. "Yeah, about that... your appointment won't be showing up anytime soon. So you're schedule just opened up!" He gave a light cackle. "How lucky, hmm?"
"Oh, is that so? Well then after I stop by town and deposit my most recent loot, then-"
"Uh, I don't think you heard me, doctor." Blade interrupted, pointing a slender finger at Dr. Mario. "He wants to see you now. As in, you're going with me now."
With a cautious stare at the Warlock infront of him, he reluctantly nodded and folded his arms. He was in no real position to object. "Very well, let's just get this over with. Unlike you, Lord Warlock, I have things to do."
Another flare of rage erupted through the Warlock, reaching for his blade once again. "Why you stupid little..." He charged forward at Dr. Mario his blade ready to cut the assassin in two, but stopped about midway when he saw the doctor had not moved or even flinched with the oncoming attack. Remembering that there would be little point to killing his target, Blade simply withdrew his blade and struck Dr. Mario once again. "You're so insobedient. I don't know why Lord Bowser even puts up with it!" Without waiting for any response, Blade pointed upwards to the sky and a purple ring shot up around the two players. It floated upwards, consuming the two, creating what looked like a giant purple warp pipe. The only major difference was that on the side of this warp pipe was the infamous logo of King Bowser. Once the two players had vanished down the pipe, it withdrew into the ground and vanished without any trace.
After the loading screen had faded, the two players saw that they had warped their way into their own leaders personal vision of hell. Dr. Mario, not one to be all that thrilled about his return to the field, stormed away quickly from Blade, passing through the giant welcome archway and up over to the door of the castle. Blade, who appeared to have lagged slightly upon entering, quickly picked up his pace and caught up with the assassin before he could get very far. "Don't you leave without me." Blade commanded as he followed Dr. Mario through the castle gates.
They entered the main chamber of the castle and began to walk down the main hallway. Dr. Mario didn't seem very thrilled with the fact that Blade was continuously following. "Do you need to follow my every step? I mean it's obvious I can't leave this area without Bowser knowing. And ontop of that, now that I'm here I wouldn't be leaving without seeing him anyway."
"Watch your tone!"
Sneering to himself, Dr. Mario once again had to fight off the urge to turn about and PK his 'friend'. But instead, he decided to play the game Blade was and instigate the Warlock a bit more. "Oh, I'm sorry, Lord Warlock. That better?"
"I'm warning you!"
"Pfft, Oh, please." Blade raised his weapon and prepared to strike, but Dr. Mario took no notice of the threat and continued on walking. "Tell me something, Lord Warlock. Do you treat all Nomis with this much respect? Or am I just lucky?"
"You should know why I detest you."
Dr. Mario shrugged. "Sorry, didn't know most people could read your mind Lord Warlock. Albeit, you are painfully obvious to read, but not that so." Blade charged forward at Dr. Mario, his blade glowing a fiery red. He swung at him ferociously, but the healer, who had seen the attack coming, gracefully dodged the assault causing Blade to fall forward onto the floor. Grinning, Dr. Mario continued forward, stepping right over the fallen Warlock. "Nice shot."
Blade growled and shot up quickly, running ahead of the slow walking Dr. Mario and gripping him by his collar. "Now you look here, Dr. Mario." He hissed, pulling the assassin close to the emptiness of his hood. "I am your superior and I expect to be respected as one. If you act up but one more time, I will forget everything Bowser told me and PK you right here and delete everything in your file. Or better yet, no, I'll remake you into a level one newb! How does that sound to you, hmm?" But the threats fell on deaf ears as Dr. Mario showed not a single sign of being worried. He instead swatted away Blade cloaked hand and continued his leisurely stroll down the hall. While he didn't know the full extent of Blade's hacking talents, he was pretty sure that he could atleast reverse any damage done to his character. Still, not wanting to risk any trouble, he remained quiet until Blade shouted out, "Did you hear me, Dr. Mario?!"
"Yeah, yeah. I heard you, Lord Warlock." He spoke, for the first time with an air of seriousness. As fun as it was to push Blade's buttons, this little game was getting old.
"I expect an apology." Dr. Mario turned and gave the cloaked Warlock a glare that might have sent shivers down the bravest warriors spine. "...Fine."
The two walked a good portion of the rest of the way through the winding castle corridors in silence, neither one seeming to want to upset the other. But at about two halls away from the final chamber, Bowser's center of command, Dr. Mario's curiosity got the best of him. "So, you said you detest me? May I ask why..." He asked, biting his tongue at the upcoming honorific. "Lord Warlock."
Blade huffed and crossed his arms. "It's pretty obvious why most of the Warlocks dislike you." This suddenly caught the assassins attention. "You stole one of our own's name!"
"One of your own?" Dr. Mario asked, thinking back to what he could be referring too. "...Euthanasia, you mean?"
"You've been know to proudly call yourself the Euthanasia Warrior!" Blade shouted. "And, if you didn't know, thats the names of one of our Warlocks. You stole it from him!"
Dr. Mario rolled his eyes and sighed, although Blade didn't seem to notice either. True, he did steal the name you could say, but not without good reason. Prior to joining Bowser's Warlocks, some players on the server had already begun to call him various different names, one of which was Euthanasia. When Dr. Mario joined the Warlocks and Bowser gave him his new name, it was only then that did Dr. Mario himself, not the Warlock, begin proclaiming himself as the Euthanasia Warrior. Since most people thought that the Warlocks were an extremely secretive organization, and that the real Euthanasia wouldn't be so quick to announce himself to the public, Dr. Mario figured that this was the best way to hide his identity. But regardless of the reasons behind calling himself what he does, the assassin found it hard to believe that Blade's behavior towards him was because of a name. He probably is just ticked off about a time he PKed him without knowing.
"Seems a bit harsh to despise for something so small, don't you think?" Ask Dr. Mario as the two approached the door to Bowser's chamber.
"When you screw with one Warlock, you screw with all of us." He explained, much to Dr. Mario's amusement. "But what I don't understand is why Euthanasia hasn't gone up and deleted your sorry excuse of a character yet."
Dr. Mario chuckled. "No, that's not the real question here."
"Oh? And what is that suppose to mean?"
The healer didn't answer Blades question. Instead he walked forward, pushing open the door and entering the dark inner chamber that was Bowser's main place of residence. Inside, Bowser was busy doing what most would consider his normal activity, browsing and searching through files, posts and data of Super Smash Brothers Online with one claw, and with the other, busily typing away at a line of numbers which was destined to become part of a larger code or hack. All the while, in the background, he was busy running tests on recent hacks to find out what worked, what didn't and what was just stupid. Regardless of how he felt of the person himself, there was one thing Dr. Mario had to admit about Bowser. This guy was no everyday computer hacker, and anyone of the Warlocks who thought that are in a desperate need of a wake up call.
Blade followed Dr. Mario into the room, shoving past the assassin and walking up to Bowser's throne. He kneeled in front of the seemingly distracted hacker and spoke, "Lord Bowser, I brought that idiotic Dr. Mario." Dr. Mario rolled his eyes once again at the Warlock's attitude towards him.
Although Bowser was looking at Blade, it took a few minutes for the otherwise lost look of their leader to return to life as he returned to the keyboard. "Oh, Blade. Welcome back. Thank you for bringing me Dr. Mario. You've done well." Blade snickered with pride and stood back up. "You can leave us now."
"Uh, wait, may I atleast ask why you summoned him?" Blade asked, pointing to the assassin. "I mean, what could you possible need with a level two nomi hacker, my Lord."
Bowser's somewhat distracted look turned to one of full attention on Blade, with an angry glare in his eye. "I said leave."
Take back by the sudden glare, Blade took a step back and bowed. "Yes, of course. I'm sorry." The Warlock turned and left, stopping only to look at Dr. Mario for a moment as he past by. Once outside and the door close, the Warlock threw himself against the wall and let out an angry sigh. "Argh, I hate that Dr. Mario. Why Euthanasia hasn't dealt with him is beyond me!"
Back inside the chamber, Dr. Mario was laughing to himself as he approached the center of the chamber. "You sure do pick the best for the job, huh?"
"Well maybe if you spent more time on your job as a Warlock, you wouldn't need to be putting up with his attitude." Replied the Koopa, returning most of his attention back to the various activities around him. Dr. Mario shrugged off the accusation. "You were out of line today."
Bowser's latest claim caught the assassin by surprise. Raising an eyebrow, Dr. Mario asked, "What do you mean? Out of line? What did I do? I haven't been Euthanasia in sometime, so I don't think I've given away any information."
Bowser's shared attention once again shifted to a single target, focusing in on Dr. Mario with an angry intensity. With one flick of a claw the hacker brought up a translucent screen with various posts from the day and pushed it over in the direction of Dr. Mario. It floated over to the healer with little resistance, Dr. Mario taking it in both hands and examining it. It didn't take long for him to realize just what the posts where and he quickly cursed himself for not being thorough with his discretion. It was his post from earlier calling out on the message board to Young Link. "Tell me, what did you learn about Ganondorf? Anything?"
"What makes you so sure we talked of Ganondorf?" He asked, crossing his arms. "I could have just wanted some information about an item, or another PvP tournament. There are plenty of things-"
"Don't even start that with me, Dr. Mario." Bowser interrupted. "I'm not stupid, I know the relationship the two players had perviously. Young Link is by far the only member of the serious PvP players who would know anything about Ganondorf." He took a pause from his busy codes and file surfing to fold his hands and bring up a file he had created about their newest Warlock member. "And if my theory of Ganondorf's importance is true, then certainly he would have some insight on the issue. So don't bother and trying to hide it, tell me what it is you two talked about."
"Is that all you wanted?"
"Yes. Now tell me."
Dr. Mario sighed and was about to answer when a thought suddenly past his mind. It was of the conversation he and Sheik had only about an hour or so ago. Seeing Bowser there, comsumed on both sides by hacks and work... it reminded him of the hackers true agenda. Was this a similar situation? Whenever he gains information considered important of valuable, he's expected to give it up? And for what? Did either Sheik or Bowser plan on doing the same?
Whatever other thoughts of dissent were settled by a booming, "Speak now, Dr. Mario. Tell me what you learned" from the hacker in front of him. With an angry scowl, Dr. Mario turned from Bowser and began to march out of the room. He knew the information he gained from his conversation with Young Link could very well shatter or confirm any of Bowser's theories about the Gerudo. But he was bent on keeping that information to himself. He'd be the chess player instead of the pawn, using Bowser and Sheik as he saw fit. Yes, that was his plan all along. How easily he got sidetrack with loyalties and alliances. "Where are you going, Euthanasia!"
Without turning to face Bowser, Dr. Mario coldly replied as he left the chamber, "His favorite color is yellow."
Bowser glared at Dr. Mario as he stood in the doorway for a minute, but then quickly went back to the many other tasks that were preceding him from before. "I see. Nothing useful then. You may go."
Dr. Mario left Bowser's chamber and started the long march back down the hall way out of the castle, a wicked smile slowly creeping onto his face. "I had always intended to use both Sheik and Bowser to my own means." He whispered to himself. "I suppose I had forgotten that neither of these two plan on sharing the spoils with me. Heh heh. So then, why on earth would I want to share with them something this juicy? I'm sure they'll find out though... when it's too late."
-Labyrinth of Koridai-
"Yahoo! That was an easy one!"
The body of a defeated player vanished from the floor of the labyrinth as Little Mac pumped his green clad fist into the air in victory. From the spot where the player had once laid, an ugly mask appeared and floated into the air, passing by the cheering Little Mac and over towards Kirby who reached up and grabbed the item. "And thats it!" Said the puffball with a grin. "That's our third face of evil! We have enough to make it to the next round!"
Upon hearing the confirmation of their teams placement in the finals, Little Mac let out another victorious hoot. "Yeah, awesome! All thanks to you and your nuking, Kirby!"
Kirby blushing slightly as a witch-esque hat on his head slowly vanished as his shifter powers ran out. "Heh well, if we didn't have you to lock them down in your combos then we wouldn't have been able to nuke 'em, eh?" Little Mac too joined in the victorious laughter of the group, but when Kirby noticed there was one voice missing, he immediately turned to face their third member. "Oh, and of course we would never have lasted long enough if you weren't such a good healer Jigglypuff! Man for a new healer, you're really great at it."
Jigglypuff jumped to attention upon hearing herself being complimented. "Oh, um, uh... Thanks!" She remarked quickly. Once she was done speaking, she withdrew her gaze from her partners and once again stood timidly in the back, staring off at the cold ground in front of her.
Noticing that there was something wrong, Kirby walked over to his sister and patted her on her shoulders. "Hey, you okay? You should be happy, not only did we manage to get enough faces to qualify for the finals, your skills at this game are developing ten fold!"
Sighing, the healer turned to face her teammate with a weak smile. "Oh, yes. I am happy, believe me. I'm pretty impressed with how well I'm holding out... It's just..." Kirby looked on with concearn at his sister until she finished, "I was just thinking about Marth and the others. The last group we fought... they mentioned how everyone was gunning for them, right? I... I, uh, just hope they're okay is all..."
"Oh, is that?" When she nodded, Kirby grinned and bounced away from the healer with a light step. "I wouldn't worry about them. While I don't know for sure, I've heard rumors of how tough Zelda trains people in her guild. To the bone! And, on top of that, Link is a pretty experienced PvPer for someone of his level. So relax, I'm sure by now they have atleast three faces of evil themselves." Kirby's happy attitude quickly changed, shivering as if he had just come down with a powerful cold. "If anything, we should be afraid of them beating us in the next round. So I wouldn't worry."
Upon hearing Kirby, the healer turned her gaze back up to her brother and smiled once more. "Yeah, you're probably right Kirby. Let's hurry so we can meet-"
"Uh, excuse me? Can I help you?"
Kirby and Jigglypuff's attention were quickly called away from each other and back over towards Little Mac, who was now standing in a battle ready position against some new foe. It didn't take long for the two puffballs to see just who had walked up to the group and challenged them, but upon seeing the target, Kirby's otherwise cheerful expression quickly darkened. "Oh no..." He muttered, barely audible to the other players.
While Jigglypuff didn't hear Kirby's words, she quickly noticed something was wrong as the shifter placed himself in between her and the apporching figure. Suddenly over come by fear, Jigglypuff lifted her staff in panic and took a few steps back. "W-W-What's wrong Kirby? Who is this?"
It was not a team, no. Instead, Kirby, Jigglypuff and Little Mac were now standing across the way from a single player. A single player in a black cloak with a bright number six on top its hood...