Warning: This chapter lacks anything related to Christmas, unless you want to pretend Pit is a Christmas angel.
From BobTheCat2405010: Talking about characters, in my last review I thought that Lucario is Gary Sue to Chris. What I really meant is that I feel like that Chris really only cares about Lucario and Riolu and that he would prioritise those two by a wide margin than everyone else. Like sometimes when a charcter was in despair he would sort of let it happen and say and think about trivial things. I'm hoping I'm not bashing Chris that much cause I really like him as a character and that his that the stereotypical head strong hero. Also, IReallyDon'tLikeLucarioAsACharacterAndThatIWishedHeWasBeatenBySomeoneAndGetTakenDownAPegPleaseDon'tHateMe...
Also I hope you put Mr G&W in the spotlight as he really needs it.
From me: The reason why you think that is because Chris was still recovering from his traumas by being with the people he really likes the most. However, he is soon going to start growing out of it starting in this arc, where he'll start "distancing" himself from Lucario and start to get to know others. Just be a little patient, though.
As for Lucario getting beaten down... Well, he will soon, but I surmise some other unlucky members of the group will too. This Lucario is a screwed one who can't really balance his inner desire for battle over his trainer. And still, it probably wouldn't do much, though he stills wishes to become much stronger...
From Towerdepths: Hi again! Awesome chapter like usual! Like before, I have a few things that I felt like would be good feedback:
First off, the newcomers. Here are my predictions:
1. Something tells me that the prankster Froakie will eventually become Greninja. And then he will join the team.
3. How in the world do you plan on adding Pac-Man to this whole thing?
4. When Pit comes back I'm pretty sure he'll bring his counterpart too. It'll be... interesting, to say the least, on how Dark Pit will get along with the others.
6. Master Hand's new neighbor is almost certainly going to be the Villager. I'll be very surprised if it isn't.
9. I suppose Robin will replace Morgan eventually?
Next up is miscellaneous thoughts. These are just some thoughts I had while I was reading.
1. Korrina's Lucarios are a pair of big jerks, aren't they? Something tells me that the Mega Stone plays into this somehow...
3. WHY HELLO MAGOLOR I WILL BE LEAVING NOW BYE. He's gonna try and kill them all! Don't trust his cheerful demeanor, Chris! Don't do it!
4. Will you be using the Master Core in the fanfic? Like, as Master's and Crazy's absolute last-resort?
5. I'm not so sure about what Froakie intends to do to Chris after that incident. Considering that he's a ninja-in-training, something tells me that it has to do with either screwing with him or outright attempting an assassination.
Speaking of Chris...
I feel like you're putting just a little too much emphasis on him. I understand that he's a pretty important character in this story, but at the same time I feel like you're missing out on a lot of potential to expand on the other characters.
Just thought that it would be a good idea to say how I feel. I don't think that Chris is bad, necessarily. Quite on the contrary, in fact: He helped get the whole thing going and has been a good way to make the other characters a little more... real. But at the same time I'm starting to feel like he's starting to take a spotlight that should be shared.
Anyway, that's my take on this chapter. I had a great time reading it (stayed up way too late... XD) and I hope the next one is released soon!
From me: I shall only address the points that I saw interesting:
Did I leave that a little too obvious?
Oh, Pac-Man already has a very nice establishing moment to join the group.
Pfft, as if it was the Villager.
Not that Morgan was doing much, but...oh yes.
And now the next batch:
Hoooo boy. Korrina's pair of murderous dogs have a much bigger story than just some stone I don't know about, I'm afraid.
Why would you think Magolor wants to kill them all, anyway? He's such a quirky nice alien.
Possibly, but not in the way you think.
Froakie's interest on Chris is largely on the fact that he's a trainer, and they've been told how he looks down on them (and the battle he saw just picked his curiosity with Lucario to boot). I'd say that the frog's interest will eventually extend to Red himself, since he's more in line to normal trainers than the more down-to-earth Chris is.
No use answering the same thing about Chris. Thanks for reviewing. :)
From GenericPsuedonym: Another guest star party member? I think it could be a Zelda character. Maybe... Agitha? Hyrule Warriors has shown she can fight!
From me: Sorry, I'll have to say no. It's not Agitha. I don't see any guest party member potential in her.
From Crescent Blue: (Though I thought Galacta Knight had white angel wings? In his intro you said "light ebony wings".) Did he undergo some redesign?
From me: I get confused. Sometimes, it's white wings, but then other times those wings glow purple with light.
From FF and STH: Will work like Zelda-sheik and Samus-zero suit Samus. (will he even fight and be seen outside the mansion)
What will you do about red with Charizard going solo.
Some character got new Final Smash, will that be in or no. ( If yes what about character who old Final smash you hasn't been show yet.)
Before Chris die and the world end with you arc their was an poll for the next arc, is that one still happen.
From me: Zelda and Samus will only get to choose what they want to be before accepting missions. Dividing their secondary persons into different characters is pointless for the story as it would take too much from other characters.
will stay as a main character of the fic along with Red. I am not letting Chris be the only trainer left behind.
Yes, new Final Smashes will be in soon.
I'm afraid the poll formula has been terminated. I want to have all the freedom on chosen arcs since some characters barely had any input in the previous saga...like Donkey Kong.
From SSBFan: I do have a question: Do you have any plans to add a storyline that will involve the Elite Beat Agents game? That game is crazy good!
From me: The EBA already have their own sub-arc of sorts during the Smash Mansion chapters. They will reappear in the next one, but I speculate the Ouendan group is going to have more spotlight than they will.
From Aurawarrior13: I have two questions...will the events of Omega/Alpha Ruby/Sapphire ever happen? And/or will the events of Kirby Triple Deluxe ever happen?
From me: I have huge plans for OR/AS...but those are pretty far away. Kirby Triple Deluxe is kind of a mystery to me for now...
Once more, we open up the way to new worlds and more development for everyone involved in the story.
It's a given the next world will be focused on a certain angel...but I want to give a fair warning first: stop watching this arc if you haven't finished its ninth chapter. We're entering the territory the commercials and the trailers didn't want to show in order to surprise you. Also, someone drops two big words near the end. You've been warned!
One last thing I want to mention is that, due to how that one world is shaped, conversations happen when it's important. I'm not going to have the group beat on normal enemies that don't even have personalities. I want to have them talk with villains that do have personalities. You can expect a lot of skipping around the levels... What? This is a written piece of work, not an action movie. (Oh god, I wish this was a movie so bad.)
I've replied and written my intro paragraphs in this section, so now you may continue scrolling down the page. I encourage everyone to stop looking at your Christmas loot for a moment, read on with you eggnog-induced eyes, and review with your cold hands.
Disclaimer: OR/AS just had to make people beg for a Pokémon Historia book now.
Holy crap, we hit over 4 million words! I love you all!
Chapter 220: Goddess of Nature & Goddess of Trolls
~ Smash Mansion ~
August 4 – Tuesday - Morning
The Smashers dreaded what was going to happen today. Their vacation of two days was going to expire soon at noon, allowing the army to strike the next unlucky world they had in mind to invade in order to take over, and Master Hand had a very bad hunch that told him they were going to resume operations the first chance they would get. It weighed a lot in their minds just being reminded indirectly about that possible scenario through their personal clocks as the last minutes were being milked one second a drop until nothing else would be left for them to have to be at peace... However, some found some solace in distracting their minds through a very unlikely sight outside the tall walls...
There was an eye-catching house built within the brick wall of the Smash Mansion where that occupied square used to be.
The few who noticed the house first – Yoshi, Olimar, Luigi, Chris, Dedede, Roy, and Falco – came out of the mansion and went to examine it. The house itself was quite roomy and big enough to house a few people under its red roof, though oddly it was only big enough to have a single room where cramped boxes were spotted through the windows. They all had been told by Master Hand that Tom Nook had gotten the better of his land rules that he was unable to shoo the construction site away. Thus, they all had a new neighbor, instead of someone else living inside with them. It was a new experience for them all to have another building close by; the only other close one owned by the strange Insect Princess Agitha.
The current event of the day after that was the group watching Falco put his hands to the sides of his face as he looked inside from the left window of the front side. "Falco, for god's sake, don't peek inside!" Roy scolded the avian.
Falco grumbled and turned to the group. "Relax, would you? There's no one in there yet," he said with a peeved look. "They're gonna be living with us, aren't they?"
"That's not enough of an excuse to peek inside their house," Chris said, staring at the red door in the front. The absence of Lucario and Riolu by his side meant they were taking a shower together, and Chris thought it would be safe to just stay within the mansion's wall once he spotted the odd house standing inside.
They were all amazed that the house was built so fast overnight...and none of the night owls even noticed construction workers coming in through the gates. It was creepy as it was shocking, though yet again the World Traveler simply used the same excuse he always used when something didn't make sense and there was no ultimate reasonable explanation: this was a video game given life and he would never dare get a headache over it. "What if they are grumpy?"
"But the house looks so sweet and simple. The owner must be someone normal," Yoshi said. "...I'm jealous. I wish I had my own house next to the mansion. Owning a room is not the same to me."
"You ain't dreamin' big enough here!" Dedede scolded with a scoff. "What you wanna really have is a big palace with statues of you all over the place!"
"You're crazy enough to think that far," Falco said dully.
"You're all crazy for not thinkin' that far!" Dedede retorted, trying to sound wise.
"Well, I'm excited myself for our new neighbor!" Olimar piped up. "Yoshi is right. It's really not the same to have a guest next to your room. It feels more...more right to have someone else living next door in a house... I could exchange gardening tips with them and go on normal strolls! Oh please, let them be normal people. I feel so bad hanging out with Captain Falcon and his brash attitude..." He gasped. "Please don't tell him I said that."
"We all pity each other when he gets too buddy-buddy," Roy said. "Anyway, this house's finished being built overnight. Do you think our new neighbor will show up today?"
"I heard from Master Hand they'll come today to start unpacking and living in their house," Yoshi said. "They're gonna come here right about now, actually..." They looked to the gates of the mansion to see if there was someone coming beyond the hill blocking the sight of the village...and there was a shadow coming from the other side of the hill, intended to reach the mansion through the only beaten path leading to it. That figure was coming quite fast, actually, because it seemed to be hovering above the ground when seen from far away. As the figure got closer, it turned out to have long flowing blond hair running behind its...her... "Oh, hey. I see someone coming closer! It looks like...a girl!"
"..." Chris turned white with horror and quickly took cover behind the house. They looked at him trying to cover his blushing cheeks. Those scandalous thoughts that were brewing in his mind came too soon, much to his chagrin. He wasn't prepared to see that person again immediately in the morning...and the possibility that the house belonged to her was just not a good sign. "W-whatever you guys do, please say I'm not here and I went to take a walk at the village! Please, don't say I'm here!"
A few exchanged odd glances until they gained a better visual on the girl coming from the south. It was Korrina, the same young teen with a knack for rolling skates that suffered great pain when she confronted Chris's Lucario to a battle she would never forget. "That girl again?" Falco said. "I thought she was never gonna come back here after what happened yesterday with her murderous creatures."
"She and I resolved things in the end, b-but I found out through Lucario that she...she..." Chris groaned, "...she has a crush on me," he breathed out in complete and utter embarrassment. He saw the sly grin on Falco's lips. "Don't you DARE make fun of me! To make this clear, I'm not here, and I DEFINITELY do NOT have feelings for her!"
"Oh boy," Olimar muttered, rubbing his helmeted chin. "One-sided crushes. They're the worst..."
Yoshi kept staring out into the distance as she came closer to the mansion. Eventually, she came to a stop in front of the gates and spotted the rather strange group of people in costumes staring back at her. Making a strange face and wondering if some of them were going to a Halloween party ahead of time, she forced a smile and decided not to ask about their backgrounds, focusing on the little guy with the bloated nose she saw yesterday. They utterly failed to notice the strange sphere she was sporting over her chest, hanging from a meager necklace she had made for herself. "H-hey, good morning!" she called out. Chris pressed himself against the wall to cover himself. "I saw you yesterday! Remember me?"
"O-oh, what? Oh, yes," Olimar said nodding. "I remember you...and what happened yesterday to that unlucky Lucario... Uhh..." He shrugged, and so did she. "What brings you here?"
Korrina blushed slightly when she was asked that question, but she pressed on. She needed to make it look not so obvious. She wondered why she had showed up so soon after what had happened yesterday. It was as if she wasn't in control of herself anymore when she had found her first friend in a long while...whom she also had developed very special feelings for. "Oh, w-why?" she fidgeted a bit. She cursed she was letting that bottled emotion leak out in her facial expression. "Um, is Chris in that mansion?"
"No. He went to take a walk at the village."
There were two sides inside of her that took the lie with different interpretations. Her shy side was relieved she didn't have to see him so soon after all, but her...rather love-struck side heavily lamented the lost chance. "Wait, he did? I-I see... Maybe I should go back there and see if I can find him... Okay!" She nodded and turned away. "Thanks for telling me! Bye!" With that simple visit, she rolled her way away from the mansion and beyond the distance behind the hill.
Once she was gone, Chris came out from his hiding spot and sighed. "Thank you for not ratting me out," he thanked Olimar. "Thank goodness she didn't stay here for too long."
"I thought your monster of mass destruction made it clear to her not to cross him in those violent battles and not approach this place full of crazy people?" Falco said.
"This is what I get for being overly nice when I deeply apologize to people," Chris said, looking defeated. "Sometimes I do think I'm too nice..."
"That can really be a fault," Yoshi said. "...Oh, hey! Someone else is coming from the same direction!" They all once again looked back to the hill and saw a rather shorter figure walking towards the mansion, and thankfully the same figure wasn't Korrina. It was someone else entirely different.
As the figure got closer and closer, they were able to spot their physical appearance. It was a short brown-haired, young-looking boy wearing a red T-shirt with a blue one number on the front, wearing black shorts, green stocks and blue sneakers... Those were about the only normal looks the boy had, because otherwise his other features were a little more cartoony-looking, like his small nose which was shaped like a red triangle, his finger-less hands, and the cheerful and bright look in his face. He was seen waving a stick with a leaf, happily strolling into view until he made it to the gates of the mansion and spotted the people staring back at him. "Good morning!" he called out before looking at the house inside the wall. "Hey, that's my house over there! Tom Nook told me it was inside the wall next to the big mansion. He handed me the keys so I'm gonna come in now!" Without a care in the world, he took out a pair of keys and used one of them to open the big gates. Pushing the entrance open for him to squeeze in, he chuckled cheerfully and closed the gate behind his back. With that done, he strolled to his new, interesting-looking neighbors before he could get inside his house.
Only Chris was able to tell that the peculiar boy was part of another world: the world of Animal Crossing. He of course couldn't say it so casually.
Olimar bowed. "Greetings!" he said. "It's nice to meet our new neighbor! We've never had a neighbor...or a house nearby until you came."
The boy liked to move, as evidenced by him swaying his short arms to the sides. "I'm happy to hear that! To be honest, I didn't know just where to build my new house away from this sweet village where I live among other people and friends," he said. "I asked my good friend Tom Nook for a good location. He said I could've lived in that bustling village back there, but it looked a little too noisy and crowded to me. He then said there was this big mansion with no other houses nearby between the forest area and that won me over. I wanted a quiet place close to nature and all that..." He looked up at the big building dwarfing his humble new house. "...You guys live in there, don't you? You really got it made!" I myself don't like to live in super big houses, though... But big houses are another thing. I like to own my own big thing."
"Cool," Falco said. "So what's your name?"
"My name? Oh, yeah," the boy said nodding. "I'm just your average little villager guy... My real name is kinda odd to say... Ah! It's not like I don't wanna tell you or anything! It's just too weird to pronounce."
"What? You can't pronounce your name?"
"Uh... I can say it just fine, but it sounds weird," the villager boy said. "...Why don't you call me a villager or something? It's better if you use the little nickname I've made to avoid using my real name."
"And that is..."
"Vill the Villager!" the boy said enthusiastically, staring at their blank looks. "...I know, it sounds very plain. I can't think of anything else other than that nickname. It sounds like Bill but with less focus on the syllable."
"How 'bout triangle nose?" Falco suggested. Yoshi slapped the back of the avian's head.
"Ignore him," Yoshi said. "Vill the Villager it is."
"Yay! Thank you for understanding," Vill said, until he took a closer look at Yoshi. "Saaaaaaaay... Your face is sort of familiar to me... It's like I've seen you somewhere before..." He rubbed his head as the others exchanged glances. "Hmmmmmmmm... Where did I see your face before? It's like it's at the tip of my tongue..." His eyes looked shocked for a second as he started back at the green dino. "Y-you wouldn't be Yoshi, would you?"
"Yeah... I'm Yoshi," Yoshi said. "No made up names."
"...Now, I've seen a lot of you around that village, but never a green Yoshi," he said. "The only remarkable Yoshi that comes to my mind is this Yoshi who's in this tourney where he fights other people in really awesome matches where each opponent tries to blast the other off from a stage..."
"Oh, you mean Smash Bros.?" Yoshi said.
"Yeah!" Vill said with a smile. "Smash Bros.! That's where I saw that Yoshi and the other guys he's fought! Ever since the owner of the tourneys started broadcasting those exhilarating matches over my region, I never missed a single one of 'em! Pow! Pum! Boom!" He waved his arms around. "I'm a firm believer of Final Destination without items and Fox only! Dang, he was good there..." Chris stared at the audience dumbfounded. Vill, meanwhile, started to realize that the avian in the group looked very much familiar as well. "...Hey, hold on a minute! You also look like Fox's subordinate Falco. But you look...a little more HD than he was."
Falco looked peeved. "I am Falco. The one and only Falco Lombardi," he said.
"Huh, really? The other one had this weird voice in him," Vill wondered, rubbing his chin and looking up at the sky while ignoring Falco's puzzled and angry look about weird voices. "I haven't watched any more matches since the Melee season. The Brawl season was supposed to start a few years ago but...they never started... Now Saturday mornings are unbearable to go through and I can't bring myself to watch something good during Fridays."
Yoshi sighed. "Vill, this guy over here is the same Falco," he said. "And I'm the same Yoshi you've seen on TV."
Vill blinked thrice as he stared at the two. "I have my doubts about this because... HOLY!" He noticed Luigi and Roy. "I-I must be hallucinating things now! Those two over there look like the real deals more than you two!"
Dedede smacked his belly. "What about me?! I'm practically recognizable!" he boasted.
Vill looked flatly at him. "...No clue who you are," he said, earning a glare from the penguin. Vill turned back to Luigi and Roy. "B-but those two are harder to forget! It's the Lean Mean Green Machine Luigi, and the fourth swordsman Roy!"
Luigi sniffed happily, albeit Roy was disappointed he didn't have a good fan-made title. "S-someone remembers who I am besides the dozens of Toads bothering to remember!" he said with much relief.
"Oh. My. GOSH," Vill said, covering his cheeks. "That's something the real Luigi would say! T-then this Roy must be..."
"Yup. Real," Roy said, forcing a smile.
"..." Vill then looked at the mansion behind them. "T-that mansion behind you must be...the SMASH MANSION WHERE EVERYONE ELSE LIVES?!" His body started to shake to the sides. It became obvious the villager was a die-hard fanatic of the group of people he was neighbors with. When he remembered he had made a house next to theirs without even knowing about it beforehand, Vill breathed in and out in pure excitement. "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH!" he squealed, much to their surprise.
"Oh boy. A fan lives next door," Falco said. "Pichu better stay safe he won't get kidnapped again."
"OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!" Vill squealed in pure delight until he tossed his hands above his head. "I won the lottery here! I struck gold and diamonds just looking for a random place to live! I wouldn't have thought I'd get to make a house legally next to the Smash Mansion; the site where my dreams come true in the form of crazy matches!" He lunged forward and hugged Yoshi tightly. The green dino gasped for breath. "Thank you, god! I will never move away from here!" In Vill's crazy reactions, Chris saw his younger self behaving the same way before maturity hit him. It brought a small tear in his eye.
"P-please...let go...!" Yoshi gagged.
Vill stepped back and composed himself, or at least tried. He couldn't contain his excitement. "I-I dunno what to say! You're practically my heroes!" he said. "And I get to live next door to your place?! It's like my wildest dreams come true and I can't believe it's real!"
They thought he was going to continue squealing, but he quickly calmed down and bowed his head to them.
"Alas...preparing my house is top priority," he said calmly, surprising them. "Not even my heroes will become a distraction from decorating my new house. My lifestyle is my hobby before Smash Bros. stuff. I ignore my needs and I will never forgive myself once I see weeds cropping up all over the place. Forgive me, but I gotta get busy with my home first. A much needed autograph session shall follow right after..." Without waiting for them to say another word, the villager opened the red door and entered his house, closing the door behind his back... Once inside, he screamed "I LIVE NEXT TO THE SMASH MANSION! IN YOUR FACE, APOLLO!"
Olimar chuckled contently. "Our neighbor is a fan of us! It feels nice to have fans!" he said. "Besides your own kids..."
"Here's hoping Vill doesn't turn out to be a crazy fan. Crazy fans are the worst there are," Yoshi said.
"Was the Melee season unbearable with your fanatics?" Chris asked.
"There's a big reason why this mansion is so big," Roy said. "It's better that you spend a lot of the days in there before even thinking about going out to the city...uh, village where everyone knows who you are. Go into the village and you'll never stop signing autographs."
"If I had a dollar for every fan asking me for my autograph, I would quit being with Star Fox," Falco said. "Then I'd spend everything on gambling and go back to being piss broke."
Dedede was angry that he didn't have any fans yet. "Awright! I'm gonna go bust a head or two in that new tourney so everyone starts worshiping me like it's supposed to! Not lettin' this green hat guy over here take the glory from me!" he said. Luigi gulped, because he couldn't handle the pressure of facing off against someone who had more weight than he did.
"Oh... I'm just a newcomer too," Olimar lamented. "Oh well. I'll have to show them my..." he thought of Captain Falcon grinning, "...my performance in the matches. Hey, Chris is going to start getting his own fans too."
Chris blushed. "W-what? My own fans?" he muttered.
"You get in this tourney, you're bound to make a hundred fans at least," Roy said. "I don't pay too much attention on how many I have, but you do get some... That reminds me, you are planning to participate in the tourneys, aren't you?"
Falco chuckled. "He will. We're all under contract to participate in all tourneys you like it or not. He's one of us and he'll step into the ring," he pointed out. The World Traveler was worried about how well he would do in those fights against people he liked to hang out with. Everything would have been much easier if it was just video game matches, not real matches. "But if he doesn't wanna throw a punch, the audience isn't gonna like seeing him appear in every other battle." The teen felt a little worse.
"Falco!" Yoshi scolded with an angry look. "Careful what you say! Chris could end up having more fans than you do!" Though touching, the second part of that defensive retort could have been said better, or so Chris thought.
The avian gasped. "What? No way! I'm a well-known veteran in front of the cameras while he's just a newcomer nobody knows too much about!" he shot back.
The red door next to them opened up and Vill peeked his head out. "By the way, I couldn't help overhearing your loud complaints while I was setting up my LCD TV," he said. "If you want statistics, Yoshi has over 100,000 fans while Falco has only 5,000." Falco's beak hung open in shock, though the others reacted similarly. "It helps that the first iterations take the world by the storm. Mario's the guy who's got over a billion fans, though. Wonder how many fans you'll all get once the tourneys start up again!" He chuckled and closed the door calmly.
"...Well, I wasn't expecting that to be said," Yoshi muttered, looking at Falco's horrified look.
"Seriously?! You have more than twice my number?!" Falco said, his anger rising as shown by his curled fists to his sides.
"Saying that he's got more than twice your number is an utter understatement when you know his number has six digits over your four," Roy said, earning a glare.
Yoshi rolled his eyes. "Oh, grow up, you. I don't even care how many fans I have," he said
Vill once more stuck his head out from the slightly opened door. "Not caring about how many fans you have makes you even cooler!" he added until he went back inside and closed the door again.
"Wow. Fans have some good ears on their heads," Olimar remarked.
"Indeed!" came a voice from behind Vill's house. The six turned towards the general direction and spotted a happy Magolor coming into view. "Fans are the best. I'd consider myself a Kirby fan if we were to be really specific. That being said, you guys must be stars for having that many fans!"
"Were you spying on us?" Dedede asked, narrowing his eyes. He had some right to be suspicious about the friendly alien.
"Whoops. Sorry. I was taking a morning stroll around this sweet mansion when I fell asleep behind this sweet house," the alien said. "Your talk woke me up and I kinda wanted to hear what you had to say. I'm the very curious type to a fault." He giggled and joined his gloved hands. "First, good morning and all that. Second, you guys fight each other in violent matches for the sake of accomplishing who's the best of the whole lot?"
"Uh... Yeah, something like that," Roy said.
"Awesome," Magolor said while nodding. "I wouldn't have thought you were all fighters. I really thought you were some crazy people who were into crazy costumes. I say crazy because many of you lack this cute little charm the likes of Kirby have...but, eh, I think Mister Dedede has that charm as well."
After hearing the alien found him charming, it was better than nothing, since the alien came from an alternate dimension and knew who the king was. "There we go! Someone recognizes my charm. Feels good to be alive today," Dedede boasted proudly.
"Your lardy charm-ness is truly a sight for the eyes, indeed!" Magolor remarked, causing some of them to cover their chuckling mouths from the pissed king. "But none of that compares to Kirby. Ah, but enough talking about complementing my new friends here. I heard from Mr. Master Hand that today is when your vacations will end, right? You'll start helping me out in finding my ship parts and the 120 Energy Spheres scattered all over the universe, right?"
"That's sadly what's gonna haunt me forever whenever I look at the job resume I'll never write," Falco muttered loud enough for them to hear.
"It would've been nice to hear a simple yes but I take what I can get, so yay!" Magolor said cheerfully before calming down. "Okay, really. This means so much to me. I can't just express how grateful I am for all of you pitching in to help little poor me. I feel really helpless doing all the job for something as huge as this... I shall put my weight on it to help you as well. Using my intellect and powers to detect every single piece there is to find, I will not become spatial dead weight for you all."
"I think that's more reassuring to hear," Chris said with a small smile.
"See? We haven't started and I'm already sounding helpful," he said. "Normally, I'd stick and give orders from a safe place, but in the fix I'm in, I have to do this face-to-face for better results... So then, why don't we go ready ourselves for the ordeals ahead of us? Breakfast time is upon us." The alien giggled to himself. Agreeing with his good thoughts, the group of people left Vill's house behind and entered the mansion, with Magolor lagging behind and looking around the area. "(Now this is very strange... I could've sworn I sensed an Energy Sphere nearby while I was waking up from my sleep. It's what woke me up... Was I sensing things or what? Eh, I'll see it again once I get back into my funk)," he thought to himself as he entered the building.
The door to Vill's house opened up with its owner peeking to the manor with a curious look in his eyes. He had eavesdropped in their conversations easily without even meaning to because they were awfully loud people who stood too close to his humble abode. "What were those guys talking about just now? I could hardly think that was about the next Smash tourney..." He shrugged and went back inside his house, happily celebrating in his head how close he was to his heroes.
The Smashers and by extension Vill all failed to notice an extra soul wandering about the front gates of the mansion. It was a young man with white hair, wearing clothes that looked near identical to a certain amnesiac tactician-in-training they knew. The young man looked around and then at the large mansion he found in the open, amazed at how big its walls were. "Whoa! A king must be living in there! Maybe it's their home for vacations?" he wondered to himself with a small laugh. "I bet my cousin would be so thrilled to live in a big house like that... But still, I wish I could ask her that to the face." He sighed as his eyebrows lowered on his eyes. "It's been days since I set out to find her with the other Shepherds. Where could she be? It's all the harder when you suddenly were told you have a family that you didn't know about before like...like how you didn't know your father's face over your mother's face... Oh well!" He piped up quickly and started to walk to the west side into the woods. "Mother wants to find her brother's kid soon. I'm not gonna let my cousin stay lost forever, or my name isn't Morgan!" he mused to himself as he went back to look around the trees in the woods close to the mansion.
It was nearly twelve o clock. Once the hands of the clock hit that mark, the protection on the worlds Master Hand put would vanish and allow the army to strike at the next unlucky world in their list. After having prepared themselves for the worst, the Smashers felt anxious. They were back to saving worlds like they used to do, but this time they had recovered most of the lost ones and gained a new ally in the form of a particular fitness trainer with spooky white skin. She was the last thing they would worry about (aside from all the females sitting all around her). They were more worried about the appointed time as they all sat on their spots.
"In about three minutes, we're all going back to work as always," Master Hand announced. "I hope everyone is ready for the worst."
"It's practically become second nature to feel prepared each day I wake up in this place," Link said. "I wish I could be prepared for a random explosion engulfing my room and not about a real life and death situation."
Ms. Fit winced a bit. "Random explosions...?"
"An unfortunate secondary effect caused from having so many unrelated people used to dangerous situations," Zelda told her. "Truthfully, that only ever happens when people start to disagree for an hour or so until it comes to blows."
Those kinds of events were truly mentally scarring to some. The likes of Lucas would watch as a simple discussion about bananas and strawberries would escalate to food-tossing and flying punches, prompting them to shyly turn the other way and leave the scene as quickly as they could. It didn't help that some even picked sides and just fought each other for the hell of it just to clear their minds. "Can we not talk about those times? I dislike knowing the people here are so prone to violence..." Chris muttered. "(It betrays whatever I thought about them as well-behaved people too.)"
Sitting next to Kirby and a wary Meta Knight, Magolor raised his hand. "I propose you channel all pent up frustration you have on each other on your enemies instead. It should be a good stress reliever," he proposed.
"You don't even know you're doing it wrong when it's not the target you want to strike down," Wolf said.
The alien tossed his hands. "Well, I tried. That's what counts," he chuckled as he looked at Master Hand. "Isn't it nearly about the time the clock will hit twelve? Are you sure your enemy party will strike once the barriers go down?"
"Right now, Tabuu is like the annoying giggling child from next door who can't wait for recess to start and show off his new toy, like me for another good example. Weird comparison, but true," Crazy Hand said.
"Uh, yeah, something like he just said," Master Hand said. "The army will not hesitate to act. I want to respond to anything they toss at the next unlucky world as soon as possible to hinder their progress."
"Oh! That's nice basic thinking. It's nice to see this is going to start quickly," Magolor said. "Speaking of which, ten seconds till twelve o clock! Everyone, get your bodies ready!" His last message of encouragement having such a wide open space for interpretation, many of the Smashers in there started to count down in their heads as they looked at the big clock hoisted on the wall above the stage. The larger hand of the clock would soon join the short and slow one that was barely lagging behind. With a slight touch of its larger cousin on the number twelve, it would mark the end of the tense wait...
The larger hand got stuck, causing many to exchange blank looks. "Ain't that such an anti-climatic moment to happen now," Sonic said in a bored tone.
Master Hand was a bit angry at the clock suddenly getting stuck. Nevertheless, just as his fears predicted, an alarm blared out. "Told you so," the boss told them all as he saw most hang their heads down before looking up with serious looks. Above the stage, the holographic image came to life and showed the world that was being put under jeopardy...though it only showed some kind of ancient era where technology wasn't a thing. It was some sort of medieval century-like era that had nothing of importance to show. Despite some of them trying to figure out what place that was, they came to dead ends. "Unfortunately, we've taken a hit in trying to discern the affected worlds. However, I can tell for sure that the world being targeted this time around is...Pit's world."
Some of them gasped at the mention of the angel's world. "Are you kidding? He left two days ago and his world is already being targeted?" Yoshi asked.
"You say it like we've never been against Lady Luck before," Master Hand said unimpressed. "But yeah, his world is in peril starting right now. You'll be happy to know anyone is allowed to go, as long as you do not go above bringing more than eight people for the main party."
"Oh, bullocks," Magolor muttered. "Am I gonna take a slot of those eight? I do have to go to that unknown world to work my magic..."
"Magolor, you'll be an exception to that rule," the hand said. "I can't afford to lose manpower with you tagging along with everyone else. As such, I'll use my power to squeeze you into the group... Just be sure you won't get in their way while they do battle against anything or anyone who shows up in there, okay?"
"That's much better, then!" the alien said with a happy look. "OK! I won't let the team down!"
"I hope so... Anything can happen to us now that Tabuu is stronger," the hand said before looking at the rest of the team. "Because I do not want people to argue about who wants to go to this world...I'll leave that burden to Chris as always."
At that, the teen looked shocked. "Why do you keep giving me that role every time something like this happens?" he asked.
Master Hand giggled. "Because making you choose people is an excellent way for me to avoid complaints of not getting chosen by my hand," he said, to which half of them started tossing projectiles his way. After a few small explosions on his body, Master Hand remained floating there completely unfazed. "Oww. You're all so mean. Anyway, get moving with the choices! Our dear Palutena will be glad we're gonna be helping her and Pit."
The chatter died down immediately when he reminded them all of the goddess and the angel.
"Oh, what now? Why are you all suddenly looking like you're not looking forward to this mission even more than before?"
"With all due respect..." Peach trailed off as she tried to explain their mood in a good way, "...oh, I don't know how to say this!"
"How is it hard to say that goddess and her little angel slave are massive weirdos?" Snake said with a small scoff. "That's what putting off nearly everyone inside this room. They are utterly carefree and prone to making fun of us all, especially the assumed fair lady of light. The angel boy just recently started to act far weirder for whatever crazy reason the universe decided to do on him."
"Oh... That," muttered Master Hand. Since Palutena's last visit, nearly everyone in the group was thoroughly put off by her less-than-goddess-like behavior and her actual gossiping freak behavior. They weren't certainly going to look forward to seeing her and the new Pit again...and much less so once Master Hand would drop the news to them about the goddess and the team. "There's really nothing we can do to change what's already been altered by the laws of the universe. We must put up with it and continue on. No need to discuss this even further, okay? But maybe if we give them both a chance, they could be good people to hang out with."
"I formally disagree," Zelda said.
"It's gonna be hard," Diddy said.
"You're crazy, man," Pikachu said.
"Good luck hates us all," Roy said.
"It truly will be hell," Mewtwo said.
"Not looking forward to this..." Chris said.
"Can I say I have too many friends as is?" Luigi wondered.
"You're all no fun," said C. Falcon with a grin. The grin went away once everyone shot him with looks.
"...Boo hoo," Master Hand said. "Okay, enough about your one-line opinions. Chris, I want to see a party of eight plus Magolor ready to be deployed ASAP. Ms. Fit, as an honorary member, you get to come with the party team. Please see this as your initiation."
Albeit confused as to how react about two people she never met before, the fitness trainer nodded. "I shall do my best out there," she said, making everyone think if she was going to be fine.
Once everyone started to talk among each other, Chris was ready to stand up until one firm hand on each shoulder of his stopped him from rising up. He heard two simultaneous "I'm coming with you" from both Fox and Lucario, before both stared at each other for a small while.
"Awkward..." Chris muttered until the two backed off their hands and looked at him. Somehow, the fact that Fox had developed quite a close relationship with him over the past days went over his head until right now, when his head realized he had two people looking out after him the most out of Smashers. He couldn't bring himself to deny either one of them since both knew full well how stressful and traumatizing his last experiences had been...and he needed ample protection. He feared his traumas would show up all over again in the next big fight and leave him completely defenseless. "Okay... I'll bring both of you to this mission." Lucario smiled and Fox grinned, though then both stared at each other once more. Feeling a little freaked out standing between both tense Smashers, Chris nervously chuckled and stood up. "I-I'm going to go get the others... Wait till we're all ready to go... Excuse me." He left the table at a rather quick pace, wondering what was going on in their heads.
The World Traveler walked all the way to Ms. Fit's girl-ridden table. The other girls knew what his intentions were and thus they were quick to give him stern looks that made him stop in his tracks, though thankfully Peach's look was a blank one.
"Why are you giving me those looks for?" Chris asked, trying to look tough.
"You're just about to ask our new asset in our group to put her life in danger for every world out there," Nana said. "We're all concerned she might not make it out in one or two pieces."
"That's...still no reason to indirectly pit the blame on me for that using your faces. Besides, I thought she agreed to do this?"
Ms. Fit nodded. "I have agreed to do it, yes. But my new friends," she was a master at keeping a blank look when she said the stinging F word when referring to the girls who kept dragging her around the mansion's every corner all day yesterday, "are very concerned about me as you can plainly see."
Chris couldn't blame them for worrying about her. For once, ever since the Melee season, the girls could celebrate in having a new girl Smasher in their ranks. The teen thought if things would have been very different if any of the new male Pokémon could have changed that by being part of the severely underrated feminine gender of the mansion. Samus not being around further made them feel like the smallest minority. "You're the solution to the lack of female gender of this place...one of many I hope to see around here."
"Oh, Chris! You understand how needed we feel about that topic!" Peach said sweetly.
"(I understand it a lot more now that I've seen you react so happily like that... OH MY GOD, NEVER CHANGE, PEACH,)" Chris thought. "I do take every single thing into account, no matter how small it might be."
Zelda glared, and so did Nana and Jigglypuff...and Morgan. "Was that an offensive comment to our problem being small and forgettable?" she asked.
"N-no, no. I didn't mean it that way," the teen said hastily. "(Holy hell, they're very sensitive about it! I need to be careful with my choice of words...) I fully support the cause and...I'll keep our new recruit safe if I can do it."
Ms. Fit was very appreciative with his conditional help. "Thank you. I can't hardly wait to see how you fight," she said.
She brought a good point about the fighting style. "Say, how are you even going to fight enemies?" Chris asked. "Has anybody seen you fight yet?"
"No...but Master Hand was kind to give me a move set to do battle against our enemies," Ms. Fit said. "I can use my poses as lethal moves, like deep breathing and saluting the sun." Everyone else in there exchanged blank looks, feeling confused as to how those moves would actually help her in battle. "...I can't explain what those do right here. Master Hand instructed me not to show them off until a real battle happens."
"Why must he try to drive us nuts with this unnecessary suspense?" Zelda questioned.
"Because that's how suspense works, princess! Live with it!" Master Hand called out from his position, earning a stern look from the princess.
The teen looked back at the fitness trainer. "Well, I'm kind of excited to see the way you'll be fighting with us, so best of luck to you... You'll need it just as much as I'll need it, I think," he told her before walking away from the table.
"Now, we must establish the relationships you must watch out for," Peach said with a smile, somehow ignoring the sigh from the new deal. "While many people here think too lowly of Captain Falcon, what you mustn't do around him is..."
Away from the girl talk and the WFT's indirect pleas for help, Chris was starting to walk down the few steps to the first level just as the Ancient Minister approached him next. "I must prove myself to the group here if they want to start trusting me all over again," he told the concerned human. "So, please, let me come with you for this mission."
Chris thought back on the Subspace Army's severed connection with their former general. "Is it going to be okay for you to fight the army while you're on our side?" he asked him.
"Surely you're not thinking I will defect from this group again or stop myself from hurting my former idiotic comrades," the minister said. "Neither of those scenarios will happen here. I have had enough about Tabuu and his chaotic plan to conquer the worlds. If I could do it alone, I would blast him apart into smithereens until he was gone forever from my sight." He sounded very blunt. Otherwise, it would be hard to tell what his emotion was like even without the shady cloak over his head.
"You're very sure about doing this, then."
"Yes. I'm completely sure," the minister said.
"Alright... You're coming with us."
"Thank you... By the way, this is not related to the mission at hand, but what happened to that baby Pokémon you're usually seen with all the time?"
"Riolu? I left him with Rosalina and the Lumas to take care of him while we're out doing missions."
"That explains the bloodshot eyes you have..."
Chris sniffed, rubbing his red-veined eyes. "It took me an hour to convince him to remain behind, but then I learned through Lucario that he strongly objected to being left alone again and how it turned out last time. I started whimpering and crying with him for that good hour until I got through him... I can't stop thinking about how he's feeling right now... He's probably not even having a good time trying to forget about being left alone without me and Lucario by his side... What kind of person am I for making a baby like him take this hard decision?"
Truth be told, the baby Riolu was seen barking happily and chasing the ball he had gotten yesterday with the entourage of Lumas following close by. Rosalina was having a great time watching all of the young ones playing without a care in the world, putting her at ease. It was as if the tear-cringing moment they had earlier never happened at all.
Back in the command room, Chris sniffed. "O-oh god, it's coming up again!" He covered his face on his hands and let out another sniff.
The Ancient Minister was a little put off by the teen's reaction in leaving the toddler behind once more. Though, thinking again, it was that quirky attitude of his that made Chris charismatic to many. Although very emotional, he had the best intentions and truly cared for the people he now lived with... Back in the present, the minister did not know how to ease the adoptive parent's mind. "Uh, he will be alright with Rosalina. She has...uh...a big heart like yours," he tried to encourage the crying human.
Chris uncovered his face and wiped his tears. "T-thank you... It's so nice to see you try to cheer me up..." he muttered.
"Oh... Good. This should be a nice step in my path of redemption." Hearing Chris still sniffing to himself somewhat forced the minister to go behind him and pat his back lightly with one of his cloaked mechanical claws. After a while, Chris calmed down. "Emotions sure can run wild in you... That's a nice trait."
"Thanks again... So, see you later for the next round of this long war," the teen told the minister.
After wiping the last tears away from his face, Chris overheard Popo grunting loudly. He thought his grunting was just a random occurrence he happened to hear at the right time, until he tried walking away and hear his grunting louder, more so when Popo looked his way. Sighing at the weird calling, the teen approached him. "I know you're doing this on purpose to get my attention. What's wrong?" Chris asked.
Popo grunted again, much to Chris's chagrin. "It's Nana, that's who's wrong," he said. "Ever since the new girl joined us, she hasn't been with me since yesterday."
"And that's a bad thing? She's celebrating having a new girl with us."
"Yeah, but I feel left out anyway," he said. "They even had an all-girl sleepover, leaving me alone to rot in our room!"
"...Popo, you're really blowing this out of proportion," Chris admitted.
"Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. The point is it doesn't feel like I'm myself without her by my side." Chris thought that was touching to hear. "We're nearly 90% of the time together each day, not counting the times we have to go to the bathroom or we're down with a contagious illness. She just broke that number and brought it down to 40% in a day. I can't adapt to abrupt changes that fast! And today, we started at 0%! ZERO FREAKING PERCENT! I won't survive without her!" Chris thought that was a little too much to hear. "But I figured if I had you take me with you, she'll be forced to come along too. Because technically we're two characters in one and it would be stupid to just bring just me alone...or pray tell none of us at all. You agree with me, right?"
"I... Yes, it would be a great shame," Chris said.
"Good, good. You're gonna take me and thus her too, right?"
"If I don't, I'll never hear the end of it from you."
"Good, you understand how to avoid irking people," Popo said with a smile. "You're awesome! Ah, but first, you need to help me do something about Ms. Fit. She's coming with us too and I can't have her hogging Nana away from me. It'll be disastrous if we were at least ten feet away from each other."
"Why don't you just follow her?" Chris suggested. "She'll be away from her girl circle. You can take advantage of that."
"Oh, true. I can stick myself to her back basically, without the super glue," Popo admitted. "OK! That should do. Thanks." Chris nodded. "Now, off you go. I must brace myself to tolerate all the girl talk I'll hear for the hours ahead." Leaving the troubled twin behind, Chris walked away and thought a bit about how unique it was to have a sibling...
As he left Popo, Meta Knight and Magolor approached him next. "You should know why I'm talking to you right now," the knight said.
"Spoiler alert! He wants to be my escort for this first mission!" Magolor said. "Honestly speaking, I'm ashamed Kirby isn't going to come with us for this after Meta Knight so heavily insisted to be my guard instead. Then I remembered, Kirby's a celebrity. I have to start somewhere among his circle of friends to get the benefit of having him by my side." Unlike the super oblivious Kirby, Meta Knight's whole reason to go was to see what the alien was going to do with them. He wasn't going to afford letting a stranger from space do what he wanted to do now that he had seen so much about his overly cheerful demeanor, which he thought was a facade hiding something big. "But, eh, what can you do? This is how things will be, won't they?"
"Well, Kirby is kind of oblivious when it's not about fighting someone," Chris said. "Meta Knight does fit into the guard role more than he does. You'll be extremely safe just being with him over Kirby."
"Are you dissing Kirby for not being as useful as Meta Knight?" Magolor asked with a shocked expression, his hands shaking a bit. "W-whoa. Tough love there..."
"N-no! I didn't mean that!" the teen argued. "I'm just saying you'll have better chances at staying safe with Meta Knight! B-but I don't doubt Kirby can pull it off."
"Oh, I see, I see... That's good to hear," the alien said. "Anyhow, you're the guy who chooses who gets to go? I saw how you complained about it to the hand. Must be a big task doing that."
"I somehow got used to it. It helps a lot that I'm a little too average for anyone to strike a conversation with me."
"That red fellow with the stylish stache and the hat looks very enticing and right in the middle of average," Magolor said, overlooking Mario sitting with Luigi and Yoshi. "Why doesn't he do it for you?"
"Because Mario is way too nice and average for our own good...or something Master Hand said to me."
"Okay! Enough about those others. I'll happily accept the invitation to come along, and so does Meta Knight under that glaring mask of his."
Meta Knight sighed very silently and looked up at Chris. "Prepare yourself for more quirky moments. I am ready to face this new side of Pit and his easygoing goddess," he said. "I dread our dignity will not survive after we are done with them."
While it was hard for some of the Smashers to grasp Pit's new personality, Chris knew full well Pit and Palutena liked to break the fourth wall to smithereens. However, it was outright impossible in his view for them to do that since he was living reality. They weren't being watched by other people safe from the calamities the Smashers faced each day so their actions looked strange and unneeded, and it wasn't a show for those same people to enjoy watching each day. "I dread the same thing... I'll see you in a bit." He walked off and left the two behind.
Magolor chuckled. "I see myself having a good time with that guy!" he told Meta Knight. "He may have rougher looks than you, Kirby, and Dedede, but I can see his heart through his brown eyes."
"Magolor... I can't begin to fathom how cheerful you are about all this," the knight told the alien.
The Halcandran turned to him. "I'm being cheerful because I'm getting professional help from the best of the best, or so I think," the alien said blankly. "Would you rather see me mop every single second, voicing out how miserable I am to the others? I know my psychology lessons! I must smile and continue forward with my life. The adversities I went through taught me to not lose hope. You understand this, right?"
Meta Knight wasn't entirely convinced by that. "I suppose you could say I do," the knight said.
"Good! Supposing is good. You can't be friends with me if you can't doubt me." Magolor had a point in saying that, but it would take a very long time for the knight to fully trust the alien completely. He needed more insight into the dubious character to arrive at a good conclusion.
For the eight member of the party, Mr. G&W went to Chris himself. "I said before I was going to go to the next mission to make up for my absence, didn't I?" he told Chris. "Pick me for this one, please. I saw ROB is also going. I can be his guard."
"You're concerned about him as much as I do," Chris said.
The flat character nodded twice. "I do. He was the only one in the army who talked to me while I was suspended in stasis. I couldn't talk back but I heard his every word. But, back then, he sounded awfully dark and sinister." He looked down. "That was before he grew a heart in his steel body. When he didn't have that heart, his talks with me were short and uneventful."
The teen could only shudder how bad the experience was for the Flat Zone resident. Being captive for months could certainly make anyone claustrophobic and scared. "How were his talks with you?"
"Mostly about how he promised to set me free with some side comments about how much he hated Tabuu and the rest of the bad guys. He would also use the F word under his breath..." he said.
Chris's eyes widened. "He...really said the F word?"
"Oh yes. He said he hated Tabuu's freaking guts."
Chris nearly smacked his forehead and decided not to press the fact further. "T-that's understandable to hear from him," he said. "Back on topic, I'll be happy to take you along for this mission."
"Thanks," Mr. G&W said. "But... I want to ask something personal. Maybe someone already asked you this, but, are you...really okay in fighting enemies?" Chris lightly gasped and looked away. "The last time I saw you fight, you weren't completely yourself. It was like watching Lucas suddenly roar to the sky and start smacking people silly to death using that thick stick of his... W-weird comparison, I know."
Fleeting memories of that horrible fight days ago played out in Chris's head. Although he did good in the end, he was a mess for most of that fight where he couldn't function unless someone was kind enough to watch after his back. The next mission would involve fighting and he luckily had his dedicated guardian in the team, but he couldn't help thinking the worst case scenario: him being pitted alone against a dangerous foe. If that ever happened...he wasn't sure he was going to make it alive. He then noticed his body was shaking, which he failed to stop doing for Mr. G&W to notice too late.
"I can't begin to imagine all the ordeals you've gone through to get this far..." Mr. G&W said. "If... If it's any consolation...I think you're pretty good."
"W-what?" Chris's somewhat shaky voice said.
"Just thinking about it, you've done very good to get this far without becoming a hassle to the others. I haven't heard complaints from any of them since I got to see you, except for Dedede's snarky comments about stuff that isn't true," he said. "...I heard him call you a shaking body...right when Lucario was nearby. You figure out why he's sporting that big lump on the side of his face." Chris looked over at Dedede pressing a bag with ice on a swollen lump on the right side of his face. The penguin was avoiding Lucario's sight by never looking to the exit since the Aura Pokémon was nearby the only escape route. "I may not be the right person to seek consolation, but...don't undermine yourself so much. You can pull through this."
"...You're just as concerned for me as ROB, aren't you?" Chris said. "Why?"
"Because you have a heart for that guy who thought he had lost everything," Mr. G&W pointed out. "Quite a few here keep giving him some uneasy looks, but you keep lending him a hand so he never breaks down from peer pressure. You're one of those people others just don't want to see suffer because...well...forgive me if I sound cheesy, but it's because I think you're a golden friend to have." The teen felt touched by the comment, as he put his hand over his chest in surprise. "So yeah... I'll be right there for you when you're in danger."
"W-wow. Thank you... I think I'll be alright in the next fights if I have the others with me with you included. But as for solo fights... I need more experience to do those in case they ever happen."
Mr. G&W raised a flag. "I will rally you on!" he cheered. Chris chuckled at the usage of the black flag and thanked the Smasher for the small talk. With the eight members ready, he made it a habit to go visit Crazy Hand.
"I smell money. I smell lots of it in you," Crazy Hand said as he made sniffing sounds, reminding Chris that the mansion had some insane people to watch out for. "I have stuff. I have items to make you give me money."
"How come I missed hearing you say those weird things?"
"I'm the most lovable character of this mansion. The other guys are just side extras who need physical eyes to see how much people like 'em. BUT I DO NOT!" the insane hand proclaimed. "Now that you're here, let me tell you that my brother giving you all those jobs for free was a real waste. Now I lack the skill to give you the incentive to buy stuff from me."
Chris looked bored at him. "You mean you lack the inventory," he corrected.
"I like thinking my items are my skills. Don't judge me...too much." The hand gave Chris the usual list. "Onto more important topics to talk about! First, there's kind of some very bad news about the stickers and the trophy stands..."
"Wait, what? What are you saying?"
"I'm getting to that!" Crazy Hand said. "Turns out my bro thought sticker usage became a little...old...dated...inefficient...some other random synonym..."
"..." Chris thought hard on what the hand was trying to say. "...Did he get rid of the sticker system?"
"..." Those news felt like something that shouldn't have happened in the first place if it was caused by someone among them, especially their head boss. He turned sharply around at Master Hand. "MASTER HAND!" he yelled out, startling the hand and making him go to his side. "What is that about you getting rid of the sticker system and the trophy stands?"
"Those old sticky things? Oh yeah, I got rid of it all this morning," the hand said without a slight hint of shame. Chris's loud call alerted everyone in there about what was going on. "News flash, guys! The trophy stands and stickers are no more!" Several gasps were had as everyone started to look for their trophy stands in their persons. To their great dismay, the stands were gone for good, and so were any leftover stickers that haven't been used by someone.
"I feel naked without that!" complained Diddy. "And you did this to us and not Tabuu? Why would you do this?!"
As several more complaints came out all at once, Master Hand raised his voice. "It's a simple matter of the system starting to age in my eyes that it was necessary to put it down," he said. Now he was getting some glares. "After hearing too many complaints about a bunch of mature people looking silly putting stickers under trophy stands, I decided to close the sticker system down."
"But the only person who's ever complained that much is Snake," pointed out Roy.
Everyone looked at Snake smoking a cigarette on the top-right corner of the room. He scoffed at them all. "...You seriously are kidding me if you're blaming me for making the glove get rid of that childish system," he muttered.
They looked back at Master Hand. "But lots of us had some good sticker sets already!" Pichu whined. "Some of those were even free!"
"It also makes my infuriating quest to learn magic pointless if I can't snap my fingers to set stuff on fire!" complained Fox.
"Fox, as one of the savant magic users of this group...I can tell you that you do not need to snap your fingers to use magic. (Not to mention saying that out loud can get you sued...)" Chris told the vulpine, looking at him facepalming with a frown. The teen felt a little weak without the system in play. "Master Hand, did you weaken us again to make us work a lot more?"
"Yes, and no," the hand said, further confusing the group. "What I mean to say is, I replaced the tedious sticker system for something more appropriate for all of us."
Marth smiled a bit at the implication. "You mean to tell us you're going to start giving us normal equipment as in chain mails for armor and rapiers for weapons?" he wondered aloud, causing a few murmurs between groups of Smashers.
"I'll never make you go for a big cliché like that. I like making things showy and sparkly," the hand said, killing the chatter. "Ultimately, the sticker system has been utterly replaced for a much better system called...Equipment!" He opened his hand at them and expected a few cheers. To his chagrin, none of them even tried changing their blank looks directed at him. "...Get hype?" he added meekly.
"...Wait, wait, wait. You mean you're gonna give us powers like laser eyes? It was a crazy dream of mine when I was kid, but if it's possible..." trailed off Falco with a grin, making many get excited to have very unusual powers like size shifting or skin color change at will.
"What? No! I don't mean something THAT cliché either!" the hand complained, once more killing the excited chatter. "Let me continue for once, you people! The Equipment I'm talking about is just normal, near-intangible equipment that's going to be part of the special customization system I'm setting up starting today." He heard many repeat the bold word. "Look, for now, let me talk about Equipment. These items come in many different forms, and these are special in that, unlike how stickers used to increased very specific aspects for each one of you, these are more rounded in general and prefer to build three types everyone is subjected to: Strength, Defense, and Speed."
"...Still in the dark here, but go on," Toon Link said.
"Simply put, you all start with three slots to use these pieces of equipment," the hand explained. "For those who want higher strength, you can equip pieces that raise only Strength. But doing so means you'll be giving up the other type that's next after Strength, which is Defense. Get more Strength, you lose some Defense as well. Get more Defense, you lose Speed."
"Laaame," Sonic called out.
"To give you an example, a guy like Sonic who has insane speed can do with losing some of it in favor of more defense to become a reasonably fast but a hard to wreck opponent."
"Screw you!" the hedgehog yelled, feeling even more irked at the prospect of losing any of his speed.
"Ignoring his childish insults, this is just a rough explanation of what these pieces can do," the hand said. "Some pieces can even have a secondary effect that gives more benefits to the wielder, like increased jump or a regen effect. Some have penalties to complement their rather high boosts. There is really no definite amount of equipment, though. They all are different and can be utterly impossible to collect them all. Just go ahead and collect as many pieces of equipment as you can from doing normal runs in Classic Mode and the other modes we house here in the mansion! My bro here will also sell some of them, but his inventory will never be the same each time a mission starts. If there are people who ever wished to have DK's brawn, they can do so now with these and walk all over him."
"B-but...I'm the number one arm-wrestling champ..." DK muttered. "I can't let these bozos usurp my spot!" Diddy nodded in agreement.
"Uh, yeah. Just to keep some of you under control, your equipment won't affect your daily activities, but only the responsible people will have the benefit to walk around with their changes as long as they behave and use them for good," the glove explained, making some roll their eyes. "I do remember some of you equipping stickers. Don't worry for those. I have personally gone on ahead and turned them all into special equipment with no penalties. Outside of the mansion, anything that can be equipped will turn into equipment for you to equip without losing it, unlike how the stickers were a one-deal package... Lastly, since I bet you'll want to equip more at once, I recommend either paying my bro here to increase the slots...or go up and face off against the bonus bosses you guys have neglected to fight since you last had a bonus battle at the Battle Floor."
"I'm sure I speak for everyone here that we do not want to remember that particular fight there," Wolf said, making many shrug.
"That's all I have to say for how we shall do things around here," the hand said. "After you finish this first mission, there's another new customization venue I shall integrate soon. For now, do use the equipment and become the kind of fighter you want to be... I sense that some competitive people are scoffing at the idea of customization already. Don't hide it. I can see your grimaces! Just see customization as items for special matches. You can still fight each other using your innate and somewhat overused skills like always." He extended himself to Chris. "Okay, off you go."
Chris was still a little confused about the overall system as he looked at Crazy Hand. "Say good bye to the childish stickers and say hello to Equipment!" he said cheerfully. "My shop will only carry 20 random pieces with each mission. I'm not gonna bore the audience and display that many things on-screen. It's for your eyes only, Chris!"
"What audience are you even talkin-oh, who cares," Chris commented.
"Yeah, who cares!" the insane hand said as he pushed the clipboard to his loyal and only customer. "Let's bring up the list for posterity's sake!"
Jobs (Sold Out!) - Equipment (New!) - Smashing Abilities – Items – Sets
Smash Coins: 190,451
Assist Trophy – 500 Smash Coins
Bunny Hood – 300 Smash Coins
Beam Sword – 400 Smash Coins
Bob-omb – 300 Smash Coins
Bumper – 500 Smash Coins
Bunny Hood – 300 Smash Coins
Cracker Launcher – 500 Smash Coins
Deku Nut – 200 Smash Coins
Fan – 100 Smash Coins
Fire Flower – 200 Smash Coins
Food (contains 10 dishes) – 400 Smash Coins
Franklin Badge – 400 Smash Coins
Freezie – 300 Smash Coins
Golden Hammer – 1000 Smash Coins
Gooey Bomb – 200 Smash Coins
Green Shell – 200 Smash Coins
Hammer – 700 Smash Coins
Heart Container – 500 Smash Coins
Home-Run Bat – 400 Smash Coins
Hothead – 200 Smash Coins
Lightning – 600 Smash Coins
Lip's Stick – 200 Smash Coins
Maxim Tomato – 300 Smash Coins
Metal Box – 300 Smash Coins
Motion-Sensor Bomb – 100 Smash Coins
Mr. Saturn – 100 Smash Coins
Pitfall – 200 Smash Coins
Poison Mushroom – 400 Smash Coins
Poke Ball – 800 Smash Coins
Ray Gun – 300 Smash Coins
Screw Attack – 200 Smash Coins
Smart Bomb – 400 Smash Coins
Smash Ball – 1000 Smash Coins
Smoke Ball – 100 Smash Coins
Soccer Ball – 500 Smash Coins
Spring – 200 Smash Coins
Starman – 800 Smash Coins
Star Rod – 400 Smash Coins
Super Mushroom – 400 Smash Coins
Super Scope – 400 Smash Coins
Superspicy Curry – 300 Smash Coins
Team Healer – 200 Smash Coins
Timer – 500 Smash Coins
Unira – 200 Smash Coins
Warp Star – 600 Smash Coins
Miracle Gels x3
Now that their inventory could be expanded greatly, Chris knew items would save them from a lot of situations. "We can only have one of each item, can't we?" he asked.
"Righto," the shop owner said. "Buy as many different items as you want, but you can't never have more than one of the same type while the difficulty is on Hard or higher. Oh, but you can buy more of one type to store it away... You can only take items from the storage when you're not busy in a battle, however! I added a special delivery service to send requested stored items to your team while you're away, as long as there's not a copy of the same item in your possession!"
At least that benefit was better than nothing, Chris thought. "I'll gladly use that when necessary... I want to buy this, please. And toss in a Miracle Gel."
"A Smash Ball, a Heart Container, a Maxim Tomato, a Super Mushroom, a Super Scope, and a Starman coming right up for a total of 4,400 coins with a free Miracle Gel!" the hand announced happily, snapping his fingers and filling the inventory. "With the item list outta the way, check out the Equipment section," the hand instructed.
A quick browsing through the current list bought the teen's attention to a few pieces... The pieces did say what attributed they raised and decreased, and more importantly they were fairly cheap to buy. Since their current money amount was so high, he went ahead and spent everything on all the twenty pieces of equipment. "I'm buying all of it."
"Sold for 1,000 coins!" the hand announced happily, snapping his fingers. After he did that, Chris expected something to happen like an item materializing in midair or something else. "...Oh, oh, yeah. Forgot to say these pieces were added to your DS menu where you can manipulate everyone's equipment from the screen... Wait, DS? Ha! That's so outdated. Here, lemme give you something more up-to-date because I can't simply keep watching you carrying that weak console around."
"What?" Once again taken off-guard, Chris saw Crazy Hand pulling a black squared object from behind the counter and showed it to him. One glance at the object was enough to reveal that it was some sort of control-screen hybrid with its button layout around the edges of the rather big screen in the center. "What's that?"
"This is the Gamepad!" Crazy Hand said. "It's something my bro created just recently. It has a high definition setting built into it to help you better organize cosmetic stuff around. It also has a camera and a mic speaker for long distance conversations with the base here, which is far better than your DS."
"That looks awfully bulkier to carry around unlike my DS..." Chris muttered as he grabbed the dubious machine and examined it all over. "Then again, we have that hammerspace ability."
"Don't feel all mighty and stuff, kiddo. You can only ever change equipment for others when they give you their consent or when they wanna do it themselves," the hand said. "You're not in charge of their lives behind the TV screen! You all can only choose the paths behind this small and clean screen..."
The assumed successor of the DS portable system with much stronger horsepower. Holding this in your hands lets you envision and see the future of revolutionary gaming through its screen for some reason...
Dr. Kawashima came on the screen of the device and laughed jovially. "I feel powered up by the wonders of high definition!" he said, despite he sported cubic polygons on his face. After examining the strange device for a little more to get familiar with it, Chris put it away, perturbed that he made it vanish behind his back into the inventory.
"Need anything else?" Crazy Hand asked. "Perhaps you may want to invest on Smashing Abilities? Judging your performance, I guess it's time to be a little selfish and buy upgrades for yourself!"
Survival was going to be far more important in the next missions to come, and the teen couldn't afford to waste the chance to ignore the opportunity to increase the odds for his own survival. "Please let me see my list again..." he trailed off as he tried to clear his mind from visualizing and feeling pain.
Job Throw Lvl. 2 – 3,000 Smash Coins
Upgrades the ability to hand over jobs to others during battle, handing out two jobs at once. The user cannot use the given jobs until after recalling them at the end of a battle.
Resist lvl. 1: Light – 1,000 Smash Coins
Resist lvl. 2: Darkness/Shadow – 2,000 Smash Coins
Chris will reduce any received dark-based attacks by a half (½).
"Okay. Since this is Pit's world we're talking about, I think it'll be a good idea to raise my defenses... I want to buy every single current upgrade on the list," the teen said.
"WOOT! 6,000 coins for all there is on the screen!" Crazy Hand rejoiced, snapping his fingers once more and granting the World Traveler everything that he wanted to buy. "You're awesome! Awesome people buy more stuff from me, you know, so buy more!"
"I-I get that you're really giddy about all this, but this is it..." Chris muttered, killing the hand's excitement in one fell blow. "Sorry..."
"Oh. Oh well," Crazy Hand spoke in a dull tone. "Your current money count is at 179,051 coins... You're so rich. Don't you want to buy more stuff from me?"
"N-no. It's okay," the teen said. "I have this weird feeling that I shouldn't dwell too much into the shop for some reason. Maybe I'm trying to avoid being greedy buying so much stuff..."
"I swear Wario would be a lot easier to snap than you," the hand said duly. "Off you go now. You can resume taunting me with your big wallet full of coins from afar."
"(What does he even use the money for? ...Why am I thinking he wants to make a coin bath? Can't that hurt people?)" Chris thought puzzled as he walked away from him and went on to reunite with his party members: Lucario, Fox, Ms. Fit, Mr. G&W, the Ancient Minister, Popo, Nana, Meta Knight, and Magolor standing between everyone else and the stage. "Well, this is it...again. We're back to world hopping," he told the group.
"Half of you may feel tired of doing the usual, but it's the first time for me!" Mr. G&W said excitedly.
"It will be my first time, too," Ms. Fit said. "I'm quite anxious. What could the possibilities for a person like me have in fighting an army?"
"...I am so curious about that myself," the minister muttered. "No doubt this mansion houses a lot of unique people with surprising fighting styles. To prove my worth to those who still doubt me...I will lend a hand in the next battles."
"Yeah, and I'll try to be as helpful as I can as the team's living radar for Energy Spheres!" Magolor said cheerfully, earning their undivided attention. "Ooh, I'm so way excited to repair my ship piece by piece! Like a jigsaw puzzle of one hundred and twenty-six pieces!"
"Okay, you're doing that on purpose now again about how many pieces we have to gather," Fox said with a bored look at the alien. "Would it be okay if we don't have to hear that amount so often?"
"The chances for that happening are so slim with him," Popo said with a frown. "I bet he'll remind us how many pieces are left every time we find one of 'em."
Nana saw the happy look and chuckling sounds coming from Magolor. "Great going, Popo. You already gave him ideas!" she scolded him by bopping his head. "Ugh. Someone just open up the portal already..."
Meta Knight frowned and turned to Chris. "Either you or Master Hand should do the honors. Open the portal and let us start the mission to help Pit and his goddess," he suggested.
With that being said, the World Traveler took out his controller and opened the portal to the next destination, creating a vortex of swirling lights above the stage that made everyone look at it, recalling how many times they have crossed that same path in the past. As Chris unwillingly clutched his controller with both hands over his chest as some sort of meager shield and started to think and fear what was up ahead, he felt a sturdy hand gently resting on his right shoulder, which made him look up at Lucario, whom had sensed his troubling sensation very quickly. "I am by your side this time. I won't let anyone lay a hand on you to hurt you even more," he told his trainer.
"Sometimes I wonder if it's physically possible to avoid getting hurt at all..." Chris trailed off as he tried very hard to steel himself from those tormenting thoughts. "...It feels like I regressed back to when I first started, and I dislike that so much."
How to encourage him now? Lucario thought. Every time something so bad happened to his trainer, it felt like it was even harder to cheer him up to bring him out of his depressive state. The only way Lucario could truly make progress is by slowly pushing Chris into battle and make sure he didn't get brutally hurt...and that was the only solution he had for now. "I-I'm...I'm always going to be there for you... T-this is the best I can say to cheer you up. I'm sorry if it isn't much..."
Chris forced a small smile and chuckled. "Just you being there for me keeps me sane. That will always be my top support to keep standing up..." Seeing Lucario stare and then smile a bit, Chris nodded and turned back to the vortex, somewhat unaware that some of the Smashers had overheard his worries and stared at him for a bit until the team all started to cross the world boundary to the next place they had to go. After Meta Knight escorted Magolor through the portal, it started to shrink in midair until it turned into a small, fleeting blink of light.
Above the stage, the image of their current location was displayed, and some of the leftover Smashers started to leave or decided to stick around to see their progress from the commodity of their base. Master Hand had other plans in mind, though, as he floated over to Mario and told him to meet him in private at his office for a very important task no one else should know for the next weeks. Mario was just the right person to partake in the very confidential task who wouldn't spill the secrets to the other gossiping Smashers...
The red plumber was seen walking out from the mansion with an important purpose: to deliver a letter with a red stamp to their newly-moved neighbor inside the mansion's wall. He spotted the fancy and nice-looking house standing in the middle of the gates and the front doors, easily finding the personal red mailbox next to the house's entrance. Calmly walking to the mailbox, Mario opened it and slipped the letter inside, closing the lid and walking back to the mansion.
A few minutes later, Vill came out of the house and curiously peeked inside his mailbox, having sworn he heard someone having put something inside it. When he opened the lid and found the letter, Vill blinked and took it out. "Wow. Mail this early?" he muttered as he stared at the letter. Wanting some privacy, he closed the lid and went back inside his house where he closed the door behind him and started to open the letter to read its contents. "Must be some kind of Summer deal... You have been cordially invited to become one of..." he continued to mutter to himself, his breathing somehow accelerating and dropping in speed at random intervals as he continued reading from top to bottom...
A minute of silence later, Vill utterly forgot he was a living person.
The next minute after that, he wasn't going to stop twitching madly for an hour at best.
KID ICARUS: UPRISING
The portal opened up in a very strange, unknown location, which didn't stop its travelers from jumping out one by one into the wild world they were about to start scouring to finish the important mission they were tasked to complete: repel the Subspace Army's attack and find the ship pieces Magolor was looking for. They expected to find Pit right away, walk into an old-century village, and then watch that same village get burned down to the ground by an army of evil forces. Some of them dreaded to meet up with Pit and his goddess – especially her – after they had seen how much they had changed out of nowhere... Unfortunately, fate liked to laugh at them for being the heroes of the story.
For now, after looking around confused and feeling like they were nowhere at all, the only major problem they were so unlucky to get roped into was...
"Uh, where are we?" Popo asked, the view panning out to reveal they were standing in a black void of darkness where, aside from them, there was no one else in the vicinity.
They were all literally standing in a place where the background was completely black. The floor they were standing on was perfectly flat and invisible, blending with the darkness of the color and screwing up their feeling of perception, unless they were standing close to each other. Weirder still was the fact that lighting was good on them, as they noticed they could clearly see their bodies standing above the black floor with darkness having no effect on them.
"...What happened here?" the Ancient Minister asked as he tried to use the many vision modes he had built into his eyes to find anything in the darkness, be it heat or anything that was truly under a shade of darkness and hiding away from them. "It wasn't like this when we first saw the world through the command room's display."
"Hmm. This threw me off right off the bat..." Ms. Fit commented as she surveyed the black surroundings. "Has this happened before?"
"No. Never before have my feet stood over a black void with no sense of perception," Fox said, grimacing hard right after. "Are we just too late for this world or did we go somewhere else by accident? ...Oh no, don't tell me the Subspace Army already beat us to the punch!" Some of them gasped.
"Sorry, but there is no indication there is Subspace matter in the air," the minister clarified as he continued to look around. "But don't quote me on that as I couldn't tell right away that Subspace had engulfed the mansion days ago..."
Nana walked around with her open palms in front of her to see if she could feel a hidden wall somewhere. "Then I guess we ended up in the wrong world after all...but what kind of world is a world where there's nothing but black space?" she asked.
Lucario used his own way to detect anything wrong in the world they were in using his aura senses... There was no life he could detect other than theirs. He eased himself and turned to Chris, whom he just noticed sported the Aura Apprentice job's look with the black stripes on his face and the red eyes replacing his brown eyes, surely because of the restrictions that Tabuu forced on them. "I can't detect anybody in this...world," he said, unsure if it was right to call the place they were a world. "Are you sure this is the right place?"
"I don't even know much about Pit's world. It's one of those worlds that we never got to fully see, like Popo and Nana's world," Chris said as he contemplated not fighting at all for the next hours.
"Meh. It's just a mountain village next to an impossibly tall mountain that looks like an iceberg," Popo said. "Beyond those two it's a fairly normal world where polar bears and Topis rule most of humanity."
"He's pulling your leg about the rest of the world... Although, good one," Nana said with a small chuckle.
"No time for jokes here. What if this is really Pit's world and something really bad happened?" Mr. G&W asked. Some of them were thankful his outline kept him from blending with the black background. "Pit could be gone forever! And his goddess! Especially her! What if her goddess falling down caused the whole world to go kaput?"
"How likely is that?" Meta Knight asked as he too continued to scan their surroundings with the others. "Would it be possible that the death of a goddess could mean the whole destruction of the world itself? I hardly doubt they both fell in battle against the army."
"I wouldn't doubt that if the army got much stronger..." wondered the minister in thought as he gave up looking around for any signs of life. "Standing here isn't accomplishing anything. We must find some other place within this void to find out what happened to Pit's world."
Magolor floated about as he frantically tried to find any readings for his Energy Spheres. "U-uh, uh... I'm at a loss here. I can't sense anything in this strange world," he said, looking a little panicked. "I wouldn't put it past us having ended up in a black hole of sorts."
"Nobody knows what's in a black hole, Magolor," Nana said.
"Oh, I do," the alien said as he turned to her. "Some of those black holes can turn out to be wormholes that can take you to other weirder dimensions. In my experience, this particular world is much less weirder than the other ones I ended up to. Why, in this other dimension I got into, everything was pink and yellow."
"Yeah... Nice tale... Hey, wait, maybe you know a way out of this place?"
Magolor sighed. "I'm not that much of a dimensional explorer. Every world has its own physics or so I know," he lamented. "We're all in a fix either way... Now, I'm contemplating suicide as the last final option."
"Avoid thinking about ending your life prematurely. I'm sure a way will open up soon to us," Meta Knight said.
Kid Icarus: Uprising – False Ending
They were just about to ask where they could go in the void until their ears picked up...8-bit music playing from somewhere in the dark place. They weren't hallucinating things because they all could hear the music loud and clear, and it put them off and made them wary about what was happening now. "Where is that weird music coming from?" Ms. Fit asked as she looked around for any music device nearby which she couldn't find.
Then they were immediately greeted by something else that came up floating from below after Popo pointed forward. Bizarrely enough, it was...a staff roll.
Their eyes glued at the one-liners floating high above into the void and their jaws slightly dropped in surprise, they all said aloud, "Whaaa...?"
"A staff roll?" Nana said in complete and utter confusion.
"Remember what I said about the other weirder dimensions?" Magolor said. "Forget about it. This is just as weird as them all."
"Who's this Director Sakurai? He sounds like a rather likable guy..." Popo muttered as he rubbed his open jaw, as the staff roll kept going up, showing more Japanese names that weren't so memorable to them.
"Okay. I lost it for real this time," Fox said, tossing his hands up and turning his back at the staff roll. "Y-you know what? I can't tolerate this much weirdness. Chris, hack that controller of yours and just take us away from this place."
The World Traveler stopped looking at the staff roll while the others kept looking at it rose its staff's names high up and above the black void. "I don't even know how to hack a Wii controller!" Chris complained to the vulpine. "I much less know how to hack a heavily modified controller by a floating giant glove god!"
"Let's not forget we cannot leave this place until we are sure the Subspace Army is not around anymore," the minister said, looking away from the staff roll. "I have a much better question, though... Why are we looking at a staff roll of all things?"
"Because it's the story of our lives somehow?" Mr. G&W wondered.
"Have I succumbed to insanity, perhaps...?" Ms. Fit muttered loud enough for some to hear her. "It couldn't be. I did my strength training early in the morning like I always do. So, did I drink something weird in my daily water bottle?"
"Uh, Ms. Fit, I'm surprised you're already considering being insane, but... Trust me, you're not insane," Chris reassured her troubled thoughts. "This is just another strange episode where insanity tries to make us go insane."
"...That doesn't sound so reassuring to me," she noted with a blank look.
Chris covered his face in defeat. "I'm so sorry. I'm already going insane trying to understand what's happening to us now..." he muttered, making Lucario pat his back sympathetically.
Out of nowhere, someone came dashing into the scene with a very surprised look over his wide smile. "You guys! Here! Hey, look over here, it's me!" they heard Pit's (new) voice coming from a cardinal direction they weren't so sure yet, but nonetheless he appeared to greet them, looking fine and unharmed. He stopped running and greeted them with a short waving hand. A puzzled Lucario didn't try to bother why he was unable to pick up on Pit's aura before he personally showed up and made his soul present. At least he was sure it was the same angel they came to known. "Heyah! Good to see you again! What are you doing here?"
"Oh, thank goodness he's okay (other than his new brain)," Nana said as she stepped forward. "Pit, before we get into business here, tell us something... What the heck is this place?" she asked with a stern look as she pointed at the staff roll still going in the background, though none of them looked at it while staring at the peppy angel.
M. SAKURAI (AKA SAKURAI'S WIFE)
Pit turned to the staff roll and his smile went away. "Don't you know that comes up after you finish off the final boss?" he told them. "That's like the most basic stuff there is about our you-know-what. But hey, I took things seriously throughout my adventure here."
Perturbed that Pit mentioned a video game fact so casually, Chris shook his head. "N-never mind that! I wanted to know what this place was, but now all I care for is an exit to get out from here!" he said, with the angel seeing everyone else nod.
"Wait, hold on... Final boss?" Mr. G&W said. "Pit, you defeated the final boss...uh...enemy you were sent to defeat when we last saw you?"
"Medusa?" Pit said, rubbing his chin. "Oh yeah. I took care of her in the most epic final battle of the ages minutes ago using the Three Sacred Treasures. You guys just missed it!" He pumped up a fist. "Man, was it some battle! There was so much flying around, so many blasting explosions, so much vertigo with no vomiting at all, some vertigo with light vomiting because I'm not very used to sudden jerking motions, a victory pose, a staff roll which you're seeing here right no-"
"PIT!" Fox yelled to interrupt the angel's cheerful account of the events they never got to see. Moreover, he was getting more and more frustrated with the staff roll in the background. "We get it. You defeated that Medusa person in the span of two days. Stop prolonging that!"
"Two days? That much went by over your side?" Pit said with slight surprise. "It's been weeks over my side..."
"Sure, we know time doesn't run at the same speed in two different worlds. But regardless of that, just please tell us a way out of here," the minister told him. "That staff roll is starting to unnerve me."
Pit chuckled, scratching his head. "You just have to wait for it to finish along with the credits music," he said. "At the end, we'll be back with Lady Palutena in Skyworld... Oh wait, let's make this official first."
"Make what official?" Nana asked.
~ PIT ~
RAISES HIS WINGS!
Pit rejoined the team!
"There!" Pit said.
"What is there?"
"My rejoining the team! The obligatory message saying it was official!"
There was a long twenty-second pause after that as they tried to process why they had to see a staff roll at all. They ignored Pit's early outburst about making it official or whatever he had meant by that.
"...That reminds me," Lucario began, "have you spotted anyone from the Subspace Army yet? That's the reason why we came here."
"Yeah, I had a feeling you came over here for that," Pit said. "You'll be glad to know that I managed to find some of those intruders as I kept cleaning the mess Medusa's army left in her wake. All of those baddies I beat up were just small enemies, though. I didn't get to burn Bowser or uppercut Ganondorf."
"Are you sure you cleared them all out from this world?" the minister asked.
"Er... Since Lady Palutena can't detect Subspace matter all that well, we're not so sure. I just found them by chance whenever I looked away." He saw them sigh, which told him to talk about something else to pass the time. Luckily, he had a topic in mind once he saw the new deals of the group. "Oh, hey! Who's that white lady?"
Ms. Fit was ready to introduce herself, though she wondered why Pit referred to her as a white lady. "Hi. I'm a newest member of the group. I'm a Wii Fit Trainer, but you may call me Ms. Fit," she said.
Pit oddly glared at the others. "Guys, did you coax her into ridiculing herself into calling her a misfit? Are you gonna make the new deals point out they don't fit with us? Tsk, tsk. For shame. You never tried to ridicule me when I joined the group after I was done with my plastic surgery," he said, crossing his arms and pouting a bit. Plastic surgery, they all thought confused.
"What kind of people do you take us for?" Mr. G&W asked.
"It's...Miss Fit," Ms. Fit said with a puzzled look. "As in Miss and then Fit."
"I dunno why separating the syllables makes it better to understand, but if you like being called misfit..." Pit trailed off.
Chris got annoyed quickly and wanted to keep Pit from indirectly insulting her. "Oh my god, Pit. It's like calling Peach Ms. Peach," he explained. "Her name is surely Fit but she's called Ms. Fit by others including us. We're not making fun of her."
"Ooooooh, that's much better to understand," Pit said with a sheepish smile. "Nice! It's a girl Smasher! We were lacking in girls since the Melee days were over! But..." He turned to Magolor, sporting a happy look. "I know for sure that's a guy. That off-sets the gender equality in the team..."
"No, no, my angel friend. I'm afraid I'm not one of the Smashers," Magolor said. "I'm just a humble guest in deep trouble whom they decided to help so kindly in recovering his scattered belongings across the universe."
Pit blinked and then smiled. "Oh, he's our new Geno slash Twink slash Chip! How come we always end up recruiting one of them into the group? Don't say it's because the universe says so," he said.
"If the universe said I was destined to be helped by Kirby and Meta Knight's friends, so be it! Working together to achieve our goals is our ultimate destiny!" Magolor said determined, not seeing Meta Knight frown in the background.
"You go, man!" Pit cheered back. "Welcome to the team! With me – the evil goddess vanquisher - tagging along for the ride, you shall never taste defeat in the name of my fair goddess Lady Palutena!" Magolor cheered loudly, perhaps a little too loudly which caused some of them to flinch.
Having enough of Pit's ramblings about the story of their lives, Fox looked back at the staff roll. "...Is the staff roll about to end?" he asked.
"I only know that when it gets to the SPECIAL THANKS part...and that's near the end," Pit pointed out. "Let's sit here while I connect you to Lady Palutena's telepathy so she can talk to you to provide her helpful guidance. She's telling me she can't wait to have infinite 24-hour telepathy connection with you all!"
Maybe they were distracted by the staff roll that they were too late for their loud complaints to stop Pit from doing something stupid to them, or maybe Pit didn't think Fox's surprised outburst was enough to stop doing what he was about to do. But it was all too late. Pit held out a glowing palm and shot their heads with thin, ethereal lights that made way for her chuckling voice to echo in their minds. They certainly didn't like the idea of that particular goddess have that much freedom in them. "How've you been, y'all?" Palutena's voice asked from her safe haven. "So nice to see you all again! With my divine telepathy effect added to your heads, I shall never part ways with you no matter where you are!"
"Pit, you stupid idiot!" Fox finally snapped, moving forward and ready to kick Pit aside until Meta Knight and Mr. G&W held him back by the shoulders. Pit had the benefit of yelping and backing off. At that moment, they recalled the most important point they had to tolerate: Pit and Palutena. "I never asked for this!"
"But I did, and I get what I want most of the time," Palutena said, still chuckling and openly mocking the vulpine. "Advantages of being a goddess of good. Pretty rad, huh?"
As Fox tried to calm himself down from ripping Pit a new one, Chris did the most intelligent move to keep her from making fun of them. "U-um, Palutena? I was kind of wondering if you're very sure the Subspace Army is gone. We received an alert coming from here..."
She thankfully didn't elaborate more on her fun time. "Pit told you that already. I can't detect Subspace matter from up here or even if I was close to some," she said. "It wasn't all that bad when Pit spotted those intruders. It was easy for him to get rid of those mooks."
"Could it be that it was a false alarm?" Popo wondered.
"That's not likely, since the alerts sent to the mansion only trigger when there is a high concentration of Subspace movement, be it from hundreds of Primid-like enemies or one single Subspace general on the move," the Ancient Minister explained. "They are in here somewhere, unless Pit did away with them and he doesn't remember."
Pit scratched his head as he tried to recall beating someone important. "No, I'm sure I didn't beat a general, commander, or captain from their group. Only minor enemies with no names and backgrounds," he said honestly."I could've spotted one of 'em doing their usual routine, but alas, I didn't."
"Obviously, he didn't look hard enough while he was off fighting that Medusa person," Magolor noted. "Let me ask a personal question! Have you spotted some weird ship parts or these glowing orbs with gears in them?"
"Add that to the list of things Pit Didn't See," Pit said, feeling a little useless. "What else did you guys wanted me to look for that I didn't?"
The team sighed in unison, right after they let go of Fox. "That's pretty much it. I guess we have no other choice but to start looking in this wide world for everything we've been sent to look for," Popo said, looking back at the staff roll continue. "Oh god, can that thing go any faster? I'm not much of a fan of 8-bit music!"
"Is that my cue for my establishing character moment, then? Good, then I'll go ahead," came out a booming, echoing voice from somewhere within the black void that made them blink and look around for it.
"W-what in the... W-who was that just now?" Chris wondered as he joined his hands over his chest. It wasn't long for Lucario to suddenly let out a fearsome growl as he bared his fangs fully and glared fiercely at the staff roll. "L-Lucario! W-what's wrong with you?!"
The Aura Pokémon had been surprised to spot such a gigantic amount of malevolent energy suddenly appear right behind the staff roll, while before he couldn't spot any other aura unlike when Pit showed up by himself. However, that new source of aura was clearly stagnant, its presence completely intoxicating the life energy that surrounded them... The aura's owner was also not a common person, because Lucario could sense that overwhelming sense of dread and darkness ruled over their own aura, and thus their life. "Show yourself!" Lucario roared, very ticked off to sense that negative aura nearby.
"My, someone's a little feisty today! I'm surprised little Pit wasn't the only person I was going to come to blows, but so is fate, and who can go against fate's schemes?" the voice chuckled, enjoying the attention it got from the surprised group.
"Hey, who's that?" Pit asked. "I don' remember hearing your voice from anywhere..."
"Let me just give you a formal introduction... Away with these old credits!" Before their very eyes, a giant hand that sported many dark shades of purple, violet, red, and blue running above its skin suddenly came bursting from the right side of the staff roll and slammed down on it, its claws digging deep into the black wall and ripping it apart into pieces like a huge wall of cloth, pulling it away to reveal what was hiding behind... Thus, the setting changed abruptly into a very mind-scarring location that had been in hiding all along...
Kid Icarus: Uprising – Hades's Infernal Theme
Their feet felt like they were rooted to the shattered piece of black floor that was left behind in the wake of the demonic hand breaking the space they were in, replacing the setting to a fiery hellhole where flames rose up high and above the red sky. And within the flames...or more specifically, in front of the floating platform they were standing on, was the reason why they felt like moving around was not encouraged but greatly discouraged...
A gigantic man stood proudly within the flames as it looked down gleefully at their frightened expressions. That same man was no doubt a normal human, since the same shades of colors that belonged to the hand earlier belonged to him as well. He was massive, probably about fifty-feet tall. He had long, flowing hair which was mostly green at the ends and then mostly shades of red near his purple, smirking face. Although he seemed to be wearing clothes, said clothes looked very outlandish, with a thick orange belt wrapped around his waist to hold on to his purple robe with burst bubble patterns on the outside and a window that showed burning darkness from the inside with four long strands floating wildly by the base of his clawed feet. Over his seemingly exposed chest where his heart was underneath, a portion of his robe covered that area with a fancy spiked pattern where his skin had red tattoos all over a very dark skin which ran down and up his body... His small yet glowing red eyes kept a watchful look on them all as he noted some of them willing to forget being scared just to gauge and compare his size with theirs.
His very presence was terrifying, to say the least, with a few but loud screams filling the air.
"The symphony of screams from mortal beings make me feel butterflies in my stomach. You flatter me too much," the colossus spoke in a gleeful tone. He waited for them to stop screaming so he could focus on Pit, who was the only one unfazed and ready to fight given his glare. "Hello there, Pitty Pat. Hi up there, pretty Palutena. It's so nice to have you all in MY Underworld!"
"Hades?!" Palutena said, truly sounding very shocked to see him in the flesh.
"H-Hades?!" most of the Smashers who knew their Greek mythology said.
"Hades?" Pit repeated in confusion.
"He's the true master of the Underworld," Palutena said. "Suffice to say, he is a rank and a whole different league than Medusa herself, who was merely just a goddess of darkness. He is a thousand times more evil than she was."
Pit pinched his chin, utterly oblivious that everyone else felt like they were about to die. "Heeey, if that's true, how come I never got to see him in our first game?" he asked.
Hades crossed his arms – his massive arms – over his chest. "That was when I was a young and naive god who liked to have other lesser people do things for himself...until I got out of the couch and stopped being an idle potato," he said.
"We're not all exactly that young," Palutena quipped.
"Lord of the Underworld humor. You know full well what I'm talking about here," Hades said in a casual tone. "The past is a thing of the past, though. The future is now and it's me. I had to drop by here and congratulate this little angel for beating up big bad Medusa all by himself. Good for you, Pitty Pat!" he said, totally mocking the angel. "How did you like beating that Medusa I created?"
"What?!" Pit called out. "You created Medusa?!"
"Eh, more like bringing her back from the dead because her thirst for revenge was way too juicy to let go to waste," Hades said chuckling. "I'm a bad guy here. How could I not try to ignore the potential she had for round two? She made quite the show and stirred the crowd to prepare them all for my big debut. You took her out, and that made me take myself out from my home to point out...that this adventure isn't over." He opened his arms to them, the flames rising higher with more intensity. "I am the bigger bad here, and it is time to prepare a much bigger show! Hope you liked the first nine chapters, Pitty Pat. They were all just glorified tutorial material."
"Aww, man!" Pit groaned, hunching forward. "I knew there was something fishy when this chapter was built up as the final dungeon!"
"Oh yeah. You're so game savvy to tell what was fishy. Kudos to that," Hades said applauding, until he rubbed his chin – his massive chin - and focused on the Smashers staring up at him with frozen looks. The curious floating alien in the back tilted to the side and fell flat on the floor. "Hmm, are these the Smashers? The same people I've heard so much about from Palutena's loud cheers coming from her realm?"
"Did you just call me loud?" Palutena asked with an irritated tone.
"Hold your angels, lady. I'm having a formal conversation with these guys," the lord of the Underworld said. "Nice meeting a fraction of the Smashers. Did you come here knowing that the main course of this world wasn't all that important? Oh my, even outsiders think less about me; a god."
Meta Knight was the only one of the group who managed to shake off all fear the god planted on his other comrades, besides Pit still not feeling it. He stepped forward, snapping some of them out of their trances. "Enough of your mocking. The matters that Pit must attend are truly a side distraction for us. Our mission here is to ward off the Subspace Army from this world and leave everything as it is to avoid interfering too much into your affairs," he said with a straight voice. "Unfortunately, our bad record tells us that you will simply not stand by and let us go like that, and you will try to annihilate us right here on the spot if our bad luck is really that bad."
"Good point. I could squash you all with a hand right here and now." The Ice Climbers screamed, and so did Chris and Mr. G&W. "But I hate easy. I like dirtying my hands with people worth squashing down, or when villains purposely delay an easy beating in hopes of making the final showdown all the more flashier...and who can't say no to that? I like flashy!" he laughed. "I'll abide by the rules and let you go for now. Ending your lives now would make everything after this much less boring, and boring stuff bores me."
Some of them sighed, though it still didn't make them feel that much better with a god of darkness making fun of them. "G-good..." Fox breathed out with a loud gulp. "I'm so not used to fighting gods yet...and I probably never will."
"Neither do fitness trainers like myself... Was I asked to fight a god this early in this job? This isn't fair at all..." Ms. Fit muttered, keeping her distance from the massive god.
"Once you do start bearing them, you can start bragging," Pit said casually. "Like me, for example."
"H-how the hell are you not quaking in your feet?" Chris asked the angel as the first pointed at the god. "We're practically defenseless against someone that big!"
"You could say Pit's obliviousness is a boon when fighting the evil forces of evil. He is one in five trillions," Palutena said.
"Being oblivious is awesome. It keeps giving me the boost to keep moving forward and fight my enemies with a brave face on and sharp swords ready," Pit said, going so far as to pump up a fist.
"You're not supposed to be proud of that, you moron!" Fox scolded loudly.
"H-hey, maybe we should start changing the topic here about other stuff we have to do?" Nana said in a shivering voice. "T-this giant god of darkness just said he doesn't want to do anything utterly gruesome to us, didn't he? W-why keep wasting his time?"
"Pardon me, little lady in the pink parka. You are right on that," Hades said nodding, until he looked down at Lucario still glaring, growling, and baring his fangs at him. "But before I go, why is it that this bipedal...blue...dog person hasn't stopped looking at me with that murderous look in his eyes?"
"I loathe darkness and negative aura all above else..." growled Lucario, keeping the shaking Chris behind him. "You have the most sickening negative aura I have ever sensed yet..."
"Ooh, you're some sort of talking, evil-seeking dog, then! I'm very happy you can tell how godly my negative aura is. I like you, but it's a big minus that you're part of the good guys. Oh well! Toodaloo." He waved his right hand as he started to walk back, the flames between them rising to hide him away. "Smashers, make yourselves comfortable in this world I'm about to rule with a godly iron fist! I won't hold myself responsible if you do get squashed... Totally kidding. I'm holding myself responsible for that. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!" his booming laugh echoed in the setting as he slowly disappeared from sight, his glowing eyes being the last part of his body they saw right before he went away for good...for now.
The flames then started to die out just as how their fear did. With the lord of the Underworld gone, the Smashers were able to compose themselves to a reasonable level of mild discomfort. "O-o-oh good... H-he's gone..." breathed out Chris as he saw Lucario easing himself, not feeling the overwhelming aura of darkness anymore. "T-that was too much for my heart to bear for an intro of this mission..."
"That is not good. I shall become your coach and guide you through the necessary poses to stabilize your heart to avoid sudden heart attacks," Ms. Fit said.
The teen stared incredulously at her. "How are you even...? Oh, never mind. I forgot you were a professional fitness instructor..." he trailed off with a slow sigh.
Meta Knight budged the fainted Magolor until he saw the alien opening his eyes and standing back up. "W-what happened?!" Magolor asked in a daze. "A-all I remember was a gigantic and grotesque man monster appearing in front of us who made me re-evaluate my career choices again!"
"It's fine. That grotesque man monster is gone for now," Meta Knight said. "But he will come back to stop us from proceeding through the mission just for the fun of it."
"Awwwwww!" groaned Magolor as he moved his hands down in shame. "And this is okay with you, guys? You should've told me giant monsters were expected to appear!"
"We didn't know that!" Popo complained. "We also didn't know any of this would happen right away!"
"Hey, guys, calm down!" Pit said as soon as he saw them complaining, stopping their talk. "It'll be fine! It's just like any other mission we've gone through in the past! You gotta trust me and Lady Palutena that we will defeat Hades and end this war against the Underworld Army for good!"
Mr. G&W gulped. "A-are we fighting that colossus head on?" he asked meekly.
"Worst case and probable scenario, yeah, but we're the good guys here. We can't lose!" Silence greeted him along some side glares and disheartened looks. None of the Smashers truly through they could stand a chance against a giant god of darkness. "It really is annoying when we do this silent treatment, you know."
"I am not even bothering trying to make you understand how illogical it is to fight a god as we are now," the Ancient Minister said, before looking at the area dimming and going back to how it was when they had arrived. "Talking here any more is strange. Pit, can you take us away from here?"
Pit nodded. "Okay! My vision was starting to get so messed up, anyway," he said as he pointed upward. "Lady Palutena! Take us back to your temple!"
"THY WILL BE DONE," Palutena announced in an uncharacteristic booming voice, right before she produced saintly light shine down on them all. The Smashers felt some sort of godly power engulf their bodies just as their feet started to part ways with the black floor. As they exchanged curious glances with each other, they were all whisked away in a flash of light, leaving the staff roll area behind...
Kid Icarus: Uprising – Solo Menu
The Smashers would feel great relief to be somewhere else where their lives weren't in danger and where their brains were safe from insanity. Right at the same place where the Star Fox leader had once ended up to the last time he came unexpectedly, all of the Smashers and Pit materialized at the center of the lustrous hall of light, their feet touching the firm floor and quickly easing their minds with some needed long sighs. Upon arriving at the hall where three large doors were seen, they started to move around to check the place out. "Oh, thank god we got somewhere decent. I was starting to lose it back there at that...staff roll place," Mr. G&W said, looking down at his flat reflection on the floor.
"Huh. Strange. I thought this sanctuary would be a lot more rundown than I thought it would," Nana said as she looked up at the ceiling.
"Why would you think that? Lady Palutena likes keeping things tidy here," Pit said with a smile, feeling happy that he brought his fellow comrades to his base of operations high above in the heavens.
Nana stared blankly at Pit and thought the obvious: Pit and Palutena were far from normal people. "No reason..." she muttered with a bored look on her face.
After meeting the apparent bad guy of the world they were, the World Traveler needed to calm himself down by admiring the sights of the sanctuary with his dutiful Lucario in tow. "I think I like this place," he told Lucario. "You really can feel safe walking around a sanctuary of light."
"It is all the more refreshing to me after what my aura senses picked up from that abominable god. There is an equally strong positive aura radiating from the walls in here," Lucario told him before looking concerned at his trainer. "I...I hope I didn't frighten you for snapping out like that in front of everyone. I was very shocked and surprised to having sensed that negative aura out of nowhere..."
"That? Oh, that was the least of my fears...or it wasn't frightening to me one bit besides the sudden reaction," Chris admitted as he folded his arms behind his waist and looked away in embarrassment. "In the back of my head I-I thought you looked pretty heroic when you stood in front of me with blazing fists of aura and all... That was also very sweet of you." The Aura Pokémon's mouth gaped a bit in surprise before he growled proudly and pulled Chris next to him, nudging his head with his right cheek and making his trainer chuckle heartily. "It always makes me feel so happy to have you when you do this, you know?"
"Guuoooorrrgggggghhh..." Lucario growled happily.
"Check it out! His tail's wagging!"
That womanly voice made Lucario gasp as he and Chris looked behind them and found Palutena herself watching them share a moment. To his chagrin, she was right. His tail was wagging slowly to the sides and stopped it as his cheeks reddened. "M-must you say that out loud?" Lucario asked, forcing a glare that looked embarrassed as well.
"Pit was right when he said it is something when you watch it from up-close," the goddess said. The Aura Pokémon's ire then was directed at Pit, who knew full well his goddess was using him as a scapegoat to escape Lucario's rage.
"And right on cue, she starts wrecking our dignity the first moment she gets..." muttered a deadpan Fox as he and the others went over to the goddess while Lucario broke off from hugging his trainer. "Can we get to the point here where you explain to us what's going on?"
The goddess turned to the others as the duo she eavesdropped on joined them and wisely stepped back from her undivided attention. "I know why you're all here. The Subspace Army is on the move somewhere in my world. But you don't know what has happened here since we last saw each other... Time sure flies faster here than Master Hand's world, huh?" she said. "Anyway, here's the thing: Pit and I have fought against Medusa's army since the beginning. I made a big deal about that when the mansion was under attack, remember? Weeks later in here, Pit managed to defeat Medusa for good in a very epic final battle of the ages...which somehow looked like it happened too much soon."
"And then Hades showed up from nowhere and explained everything about what REALLY happened," Pit continued. "He instantly made it to the top of my bad guy list!"
"While Pit was busy with Medusa, he did spot the occasional Primid wandering about," Palutena continued. "Though, aside from that, nothing else out of the ordinary by our world standards has happened yet. But if what you say earlier was true, I suspect a captain slash commander is somewhere planning to blow up one of those anti-goddess Subspace Bomb or worse..."
"That 'or worse' part is my ship parts getting stolen from me!" Magolor piped up. "There's no denying that! We must stop them from acquiring the Energy Spheres and the Lor Starcutter's parts!"
Palutena hmm'd in thought. "Are those the new trinkets you guys are looking for this time around? You do lead eventful lives," she commented. "Well, I'm happy that my world is getting the focus in the search for these items of untold power."
"Yes, yes. We know how you like the attention," Popo said. "Say, what do you know about that Hades guy?"
"For starters, he's the true master of the Underworld," the goddess said.
"He never showed up for my first game," Pit added, confusing Ms. Fit and Magolor on that term.
"Because we thought he was an okay guy who didn't like killing humans unlike Medusa," Palutena further explained. "Hades used to be the kind of god who didn't care about his underlings much, until we found out today that he was behind everything that happened recently. Whether he had a hand in Medusa's scheme in the past or not, the harsh truth is that he's our new enemy who will try to rip Pit and you all into billions of pieces."
"Hurray," duly said Nana.
"D-does that Hades god person want anything with my Energy Spheres?" Magolor asked.
"Maybe? He doesn't need any more power than he has, that's for sure... He surely wants to cause more chaos in the realm just like Medusa did," she explained as she turned away from them and walked to the center door. "And with the Subspace Army on the prowl, things just got more...interesting, if I say so myself. It's a race against time to see who gets to rule the world as they see fit. I don't plan in losing that race to any of them or else there would be nothing left for the humans...or no humans at all." She turned back to them with a smile on her face. "But why should I worry too much when I have ten more loyal servants with benefits and minds of their own?"
"You know, we're not always going to win here..." Popo trailed off.
"I like to think you will, at least here," the goddess said. "So put yourselves together and be prepared for battle. We will shortly begin our usual line of duty after I pinpoint where Hades' army is trying to target next. While I'm busy doing that, I want Pit to show you around my sacred realm of light."
"Got it!" Pit saluted. Nodding in approval, Palutena walked off to the translucent staircase leading to the center door and opened it with a single motion of her staff. She walked between the two tall slabs of the door as they closed down behind her back. Feeling like the leader of the bunch, Pit turned to his team. "Alright, it's time to get to know your new base, everyone. I can't wait to show you all the weapons I get to use outside those restricted missions we used to have at the mansion! Not to brag or anything, but I'm very good at all types of weapons. I make Chris's Job System look redundant."
Chris stared blankly. "Can a weapon of yours cast magic from afar?" he asked.
Pit kept smiling for ten seconds until he said, "...Over here! Follow me!" enthusiastically. Hearing a few chuckles making fun of his apparent lack of a magic-casting weapon, the angel started his long explanations as he took them to the door on the right side. "Before I show my angel stash, I gotta warn you something... None of you can't use my weapons for anything. The weapons are sanctioned for Lady Palutena's army. You are technically part of the army, but only holy beings like me can wield the weapons."
"I had a feeling it was too good to be true," Meta Knight said. "What happens if any of us wields a weapon of yours?"
"You blow up." They all stopped walking. Their sudden stop made Pit stop and turn around to them. "Or you start feeling sick in your stomach. Lady Palutena put way too many countermeasures to prevent mere mortals like you guys from making off with the weapons." Some of the "mere mortals" of the group shot Pit with some glares. "I-I'm not saying you're thieves! It's the way she runs the rules here!"
Ms. Fit didn't particularly care about wielding a weapon. She had her own way of battle, though she hoped everyone would receive it with open arms. After Master Hand gave her the move set she was meant to use for the rest of her stay with the Smashers, she was a little too shy in showing them off. "Your goddess is quite the lady to put that many countermeasures," Ms. Fit said.
"Lady Palutena's a goddess. She can do anything she wants to make everyone stay in line, me included!" boasted Pit.
Nana looked bored. "Oh, is that so? It sounds like you're her little slave when you put it that way," she said.
"S-slave?! I'm not her slave! I'm her dutiful leader of her personal guard! How dare you think she treats me like a slave?!" Pit barked back, rather strongly in a way some of them backed off from him. Noticing their mildly surprised looks, the angel shook his head and looked apologetic. "S-sorry for snapping like that. I just hate when people confuse my services for Lady Palutena as nothing more than slavery. Geez, why would you think that badly of her?" The angel saw half of them talking all at once and exchanging their own thoughts about the goddess with each other for a while.
Eventually, Fox said, "Your goddess is the hardest person to read we've ever met." They all nodded their heads.
"And I thought I was the hardest person people couldn't read!" Magolor chimed in. "Which I mean I'm not!"
"I-is that so? Wow..." Pit scratched his head in confusion. He had to give them some credit in that regard as he had gone through some rather questionable choices his goddess told him to do while fighting the Underworld Army. He would never admit something like that while wandering about the sanctuary, however. Pit was entirely biased in believing his goddess was the top person in the purity department no matter what she did...or was planning to do. "Lady Palutena is trustworthy when in the heat of battle, though! You can trust her with your lives when it comes to that! Her guidance is the most helpful guidance there is!"
"We shall see about that when a battle does occur," Meta Knight said. "She has a peculiar attitude that is not to be messed with."
Pit thought the knight praised the goddess. "You heard it from Meta Knight! His vote should be enough to win you over to her side!" he said.
Mr. G&W snickered. "Sure. His vote won me over, that's for sure," he muttered. The knight rolled his eyes while frowning as Pit led them to his vast weaponry they were disallowed to use. Although none of them had planned to wield any of those weapons, some had second thoughts when Pit started cycle to each one of them. Lucario wanted the clawed weapons, and Nana wanted to mess around with the orbitars.
An hour went by as the large group walked out from the right door, finding Palutena standing in the center of the sanctuary. "Oh, there you are. No wait, I knew were you all were," she said. "I have successfully located the Underworld Army going at a specific location...and with that being said, I want Pit to head over there ASAP." She clapped her hands. "Like, now."
Dumbstruck, Pit blinked. "Wait, you're not gonna explain what's happening?" he asked.
"There's no time! You must start flying right over there!" She pointed her staff at the center door, opening and revealing an uncharacteristically dark hallway. "I'll grant you the Power of Flight as always. Better start flapping those wings!"
"O-oh, okay!" Pit said as he looked serious and started rushing upstairs to the door, until he stopped midway and looked back at the goddess barring the way to the Smashers. "Lady Palutena! What are you doing?"
"Yeah, what gives?" Popo asked the goddess. "I thought we were all in this together and all that?"
"I let you go through that dark hallway and you'll be jumping to your deaths in a fiery inferno," the goddess said, earning some surprised looks. "Only Meta Knight can take flight and I doubt he will make it without my godly protection on his wings."
"C-can you please explain this a little slower? I can't understand what's happening..." Chris said.
Palutena shrugged and turned to Pit. "Go forth, now! We can't waste any more time! I'll make you regroup with your guys once you reach the destination!" she ordered.
"O-okay! I trust you all the way!"the angel before sharply turning around and brandishing his Guardian Orbitars, running into the dark hallway as the door closed behind his back. The Smashers looked on worried at the door until the goddess's staff started to glow at the tip.
Kid Icarus: Uprising – Ch. 10: The Wish Seed
"I'm going to connect you with Pit's field of vision so you all can get an idea of the place where you're going at the end of his flight path," Palutena said as she raised her staff and created a hologram in front of the group; a hologram which was highly detailed in showing a clear landscape where Pit was seen flying through with golden glowing wings. They noted that his wings weren't glowing before he had rushed out through the door; the glow caused by Palutena's Power of Flight.
The place where Pit went was a searing land of magma and lava, where spewing lava jumped out from any large openings on the coal-like floor and volcano ash contaminated the air. As the angel flew through the area, he was being attacked by flying enemies at nearly every corner he looked at. "Really? A lava land? Why couldn't it be an ice land?" Nana shivered as Lucario disliked the idea of traversing a hot place where his steel limbs would get too hot from the temperature.
"Blame Hades on choosing that one location," the goddess said as she kept a wary eye on her loyal angel. "Time for another round of explanations for the Smasher group. As you can see in the hologram, you're seeing Pit flying. He can't fly on his own because...he's not that good at flying by himself."
"Hey!" Pit called out embarrassed.
"So I use the Power of Flight to control his flight path," she said. "I'm the one controlling his flight path while he dodges and blasts enemies blocking the way. This is how we do our jobs here. Unfortunately, the Power of Flight is rather limited... Pit can only fly for five minutes. Any more than that and his wings will burn."
"What? Just five minutes?" Chris said. "Why can't it be more than that?"
"The wings Pit has are shielded from attacks as he flies. They will never get damaged no matter what blow they take during that five-minute interval... However, the rest of his body is not sturdy enough for those. It's a small price to pay for having my divine Power of Flight."
"I thought a goddess would give some sort of infinite advantage to her subjects..."
"I'm the Goddess of Light, not the Goddess of Fighting. You mortals do put a lot of expectations on us gods," she said with a shrug. "You really think I could whisk an army away with a single snap of my fingers? I'm not like Master Hand."
"Sorry for thinking we could win for sure having you on our side," Fox said.
"You only win for sure doing it slowly and carefully. Anyway, the plan here is to have Pit cross the level, uh, lava land and reach a safe landing place where I shall use him as a warp pad for you to assist him on foot... Oh...that reminds me... My protection for Pit in a very hot place is only limited to one person. Can anybody here resist over 5000 degrees by themselves?" she asked, watching as nearly everyone in the group put up disheartened looks. "...Pit, good luck going solo for this one."
Pit gasped as he entered a dark cave. "What?! I'm going solo for this one mission?! I'm sure the Ice Climbers would make it through those odds!"
"We'd be the first ones to succumb to the heat, you dork!" Nana argued.
"Ouch. Okay, I get it... Fine, I'll tackle this solo, then. I can show you how I do by myself using my mad angel skills!" As he dove further into the cave, he finally asked why Hades was going forward into the area. "What's Hades' target in this place, Lady Palutena?"
"Hades is after the Wish Seed; the unique seed that's been told to grant the finder any wish they want, no matter how selfish or outlandish it is," she explained.
Pit liked the idea of an item like that existing. "A wish-granting seed? Hey, maybe I can make a wish to fly by myself without the 5-minute limit of the Power of Flight!" he commented, busying himself with blasting enemies with his weapon. Speaking of his weapon, the orbitars were shaped into two small but effective shields that floated on each side, covering Pit's left and right sides.
Palutena turned to the Smashers, sporting a smile. "Pit really dislikes not being able to fly without using my power," she said. "He's kept complaining almost every time when he was mocked for it."
"L-Lady Palutena, don't say that to them! It's my personal, private issue!" Pit yelled.
Now that Pit's issue was out into the open, he was going to get mocked for it by some of the Smashers watching everything from the sanctuary and the mansion. The Smashers in the sanctuary were more concerned about the Wish Seed. "A seed that can grant any wishes," the minister said. "If the enemy obtains such a valuable item, it could spell doom for us in the blink of an eye."
"Truly, our luck is the worst there is..." Mr. G&W said.
"But what if we were to claim that seed for ourselves?" Ms. Fit wondered. "Could we use that to get rid of the Subspace Army?"
"Oh, sorry. I've heard that the seed cannot grant death wishes or the like," Palutena said. "Selfish wishes are up for the taking, or wishes that can help those wish takers defeat their mortal enemies, which is what Hades is trying to do..." She eyed the group with an alluring look. "I wonder if any of you would use the wish for something worthwhile that could benefit the rest of the world instead of yourselves?"
Pit chuckled as he entered an even hotter place: a sea of vast magma and fiery waterfalls as far as the eye could see, with some rock formations that looked weak and ready to crumble down at the slightest of pushing movements over the sea. "C'mon, Lady Palutena. My friends would never wish for selfish stuff like me for example! The ability to fly by myself would be a boon to take down aerial enemies!" he mused.
"(I'd wish for a double of me to go take on hard missions in my place...)" Chris thought.
"I'd wish to know more about my past..." the minister muttered.
"(If this is the fastest, safest way for me to obtain a muscular frame worthy of a Legendary Lucario like me...)" Lucario thought.
"I'd wish to open up an academy of the arts in aerobics and fitness," Ms. Fit mused.
"(Infinite money or...Krystal's love? Or maybe growing a few inches taller to ramp up my looks?)" Fox thought.
"(A giant, ice palace,)" Popo thought.
"I'd definitely use my wish to build a house bigger than my current one," Mr. G&W voiced out.
"(A giant, ice palace,)" Nana thought.
"A super radar to find my belongings, or obtain all my belongings in a snap!" Magolor said happily.
"Nothing comes to mind to me," Meta Knight said. Everyone stared at him. "...Maybe perhaps another Halberd. That is it."
Pit grumbled. "That's five out of ten? How come Chris didn't say something not selfish like I thought he would?" he wondered.
"I can be selfish when I want! Sometimes it's nice to be selfish to reward yourself!" Chris said, which Lucario took that into heart as a yes for his own selfish wish.
"Someone's not entirely white at heart. I like you, guys! This is why I like humans," Palutena commented, making Chris blush. "...Like to protect," she added. "...In groups," she added when the group winced, though they kept wincing. "...With no physical contact." They all said "oh" and sighed.
Lucario then spoke. "If it isn't advised for us to help Pit in this mission, what should we do in the meantime?" he asked.
"We could wait for Pit to reach the Wish Seed and provide side commentary to stall for time," the goddess suggested, "or we could entertain ourselves with our fitness trainer if she's willing to hold a yoga session to relieve all the stress you got from staring up at Hades."
Ms. Fit wanted to be helpful to the team, and that suggestion was the best way she could use to provide support. "I am open to that thought," she said.
"Oh, good. I feel like my godly back is killing me for standing around too much." The goddess raised her staff and made white yoga mats appear on the mirror floor. "Let me finish here with Pit first. We don't want him to get toasted in the lava and turn into fried angel."
"Anything but becoming a nutritious side dish rich in proteins!" Pit yelled as he flew under large streams of lava jumping in arcs high in the air.
An hour flew by as some Smashers reluctantly joined Ms. Fit's yoga session while Pit was left on his own, walking through a landscape of molten rock and lava rivers where Underworld enemies patrolled and blocked his way, only to be mercilessly pushed away by large moving shields his Guardian Orbitars produced as charged shots. After Palutena joined the group in a so much needed yoga session, the Smashers got surprised when they heard a mocking, familiar voice ringing in their heads...
"Greetings, Pitty Pat and Friends!" Hades's booming voice rang out while they were doing the Arm & Leg Lift exercise, causing some to lose their balance and fall flat. Because of their first encounter with the Lord of the Underworld, they all looked around to see if he was in the temple, ready to crush them down as he had said he would do. "I'm sorry I interrupted your...yoga session. I'm a big curious kid."
"Hades!" Pit said with venom in his voice; the hammy kind of venom.
After confirming that Hades was not in the temple or where Pit was running through, Fox looked at Palutena. "W-what in the hell? That guy is in our heads?!" he said.
"Thank Pitty Pat for that! Without that telepathy-granting power he gave you earlier in the day, it would've been impossible to connect to your heads to impart my own kind of guidance," the god said with a godly chuckle. "Turns out telepathy is highly hack-able between us gods. You're better off setting up a WPA2 encryption on a device for better protection against people doing war driving like me."
Chris gulped. "W-well, that's what I do with my internet connection at ho-"
"Pit, you moron!" Fox barked in frustration.
"Hey! Stop blaming that on me! It had to be done!" Pit complained.
"Ah, you DID do that on purpose even if we disagreed, then? Okay! Remind me to give you a thank you gift for granting us this anti-privacy gift in our heads!"
"IT'S NOT A GOOD GIFT!"
"Rich conversations as always! This is why I didn't want to prematurely kill you all," Hades joked. "A shame the party was unable to attend the festivities with the Phoenix's lair down here. The Phoenix, AKA the guarding of the Wish Seed, will feel left out that ten guests were unable to attend."
Still holding her pose, Palutena said, "You can make it up by inviting ten of your underlings in their places."
"Good idea! They'll be happy to see Pit at the fruit punch table to exchange embarrassing stories together," the god said. "Anyhoo! I'd rather focus on important matters here. Will Pitty Pat make it to the Phoenix to defeat it and claim the Wish Seed to make his selfish wish come true?"
"Yup!" Pit called cheerfully. "Infinite flight power, here I come! I'll beat up all the sorry losers trying to get the item, even my own friends just for the sake of good sportsmanship!"
"HEY," was the same response from many of them.
Hades laughed. "Well said, little angel! Well said! Let's see if you can stop all these guys and me from getting that powerful, almighty, wish-granting seed! No one can resist the temptation to get that, don't you agree?"
"Duh! Most people would easily fall for that!" Pit said. "Think for a moment! A wish-granting seed! It's like the ultimate item in existence."
Palutena put her right arm and left leg down. "And what if that seed were to be a fake intended to be nothing more than a major trap to lure people into believing it's real?" she asked.
"We'd have a problem of major proportions... Hey, why would you say that?"
"Because that's what the seed is: a fake that grants no wishes at all."
It took ten seconds for Pit to let that piece of info sink in. "...W-what?! No! My infinite power of flight!" he bellowed. "The Wish Seed is a non-Wish Seed?! Why?!"
"Curses! Foiled by the light dwellers!" Hades continued to joke. "Kidding here. Thanks to your rather small part in the plan, it'll be all the easier for me to convince the human race that the Wish Seed is actually a thing when in fact it isn't. Can't wait to see the war cries echoing throughout the world as the selfish humans start killing each other to claim an item that doesn't even exist!"
The Smashers were discomforted to hear that the seed couldn't grant any wishes, thus abruptly ending their own selfish wishes. "How do you expect the human race of this world to react like that?" the minister asked, him, Magolor, and Meta Knight being the only ones not doing the yoga exercises and watching Pit's progress attentively. "From what I learned moments ago, the Phoenix is a beast that guards that seed. Would the humans be foolish enough to fight such a beast?"
"They're not that foolish enough, sadly. But! My army already ruffled the Phoenix's feathers too much for it to go on a rampage on the human race and anything else that moves," Hades noted with a smirk. "It helps that the beast can't understand our sophisticated language to think logically on its own!"
"N-no fair! I'll have to kill the Phoenix to make it stop from doing that!" Pit said as he was seen jumping on jump pads that took him to greater heights in an area with small lava waterfalls on top of each other. "But I bet the humans won't start fighting each other once I take the Phoenix down and relay the message to them all."
"Too late, Pitty Pat. I have already spread whispers and rumors about the Phoenix and the 'Wish' Seed all over while you were busy taking Medusa down. They haven't stopped musing aloud about their wishes, and even world leaders are discussing...or rather arguing about who should be sent to claim it."
"So there's that! You have two problems to solve. Can you solve both in time before it's too late?" Hades chuckled confidently. "I always wanted to say those last four words. If Pitty Pat can stop the Phoenix, will he stop the mass genocide that will follow? The bloodshed is about to begin shortly."
The group was very much horrified that the god wanted to cause a massive war of such scale between the humans of the world. "T-this is absolutely nuts! As if the skirmishes in Ike's world weren't enough, this is going to cause a lot more deaths just because of a single item that can't even grant wishes!" Chris said. "Can't Palutena try to convince them?"
"Uh, well..." Palutena trailed off, for the first time showing concern on her face. "I can't really communicate to millions of humans at once. I could probably lessen the death count a few hundreds, but..."
"My plan is foolproof, guys. You can try anything you want to stop it from happening as it slowly falls into place. I've given it a lot of thought, and it's practically impossible to backfire on my godly face," Hades taunted. "Now, Pit. Go fight the Phoenix to spare a few hundred of lives, will you?"
"Grr!" Pit growled as he charged forward through the fiery area, shooting Underworld enemies with his orbitars.
Popo sat up and embraced himself. "I'm not feeling so good knowing that will happen now..." he muttered. "I-I can't bear to know thousands of people will start killing each other over that fake seed."
Ms. Fit stood up from her yoga mat and crossed her arms. "Countless of people dying for that trinket... I cannot believe this is happening during my first mission. I feel useless..." she said.
"This is a very big problem that can't be easily prevented by just a few people. Once rumors start to spread and everyone starts to believe so much in them as the truth, it'll be much harder to convince the populace about the lies that the rumors sowed," the minister said. "Let us brace ourselves for the worst and think about how to deal with it in a safe way."
Chris looked away in thought. "That reminds me... How is this problem going to affect our mission? I just noticed Pit hasn't found a Subspace Army member around that area," he pointed out.
Fox stood up and stretched his arms. "Probably lurking somewhere else where Palutena and Hades can't see," he said.
"Oh? Subspace Army?" Hades piped up. "Is that the name of the bad guys who got in the way during Medusa's conquest? Hmm, well, it doesn't hurt to say I haven't met up with any of their commanders... But if I did, I'd strike a deal with them to oppose you with my aid. It's not fair pretty Palutena has you supporting her army of expendable Centurions who aren't even doing anything right now other than stay guard at that temple of sickening radiant light."
"Leave my expendable Centurions alone, you wretched lord of darkness!" Palutena said...with a smile.
"Your sarcasm is...flattering, somehow."
"Thanks. I make it work a lot of times." The Smashers exchanged disturbed looks and wondered if the two gods were friends.
"(Way to ruin the mood of a possible genocide...)" thought Nana. "Pit, hurry up and defeat that Phoenix to make things a little easier for us! I'm kind of prepared to see the worst happen..."
"Got it!" Pit called back.
Some time passed as Pit trekked through the area to the Phoenix's lair; a suspended circular platform where he spotted a floating seed. Right before the beast itself could show up, however, a very excited cry from Magolor made them turn to him. "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! There it is! I see it! I see it! I see it!" he said.
Pit not only spotted the floating seed in the middle of the arena, but he also found a rather curious sphere lying down below it. It was a sphere with rainbow, intangible colors converging at random spots over its glass-like shape, protecting the spinning golden gear inside its core. "Wow. Check that ball out," Pit commented.
"Oh please, sir Pit! Go pick it up and give it back to me!" Magolor said. "That's one of the one-hundred and twenty Energy Spheres I set out to find! You must take it!"
The other Smashers approached the hologram to see the one piece of many they were meant to find all over the different universes. They watched as Pit quickly dashed to the center and knelt down under the seed to pick the special item with his right hand, examining it closely. "Energy Sphere Get!" the angel called out, eliciting a cheer from Magolor. "No fanfare? Aww..."
"That little thing spread all over, then?" Popo asked as the hologram zoomed into the sphere Pit raised to the air. They noted that the sphere was at least the size of a young adult's hand. "Well, I thought they were a lot smaller than that..."
"It'll be a real pain to spot those from afar," Fox said.
"Maybe, but they glow in the dark!" Magolor pointed out. "I bet it'll be easier to find them at night, shining somewhere in a narrow spot on the floor. That being said, well done, sir Pit! That makes the count go down to one-hundred and nineteen Energy Spheres to go!"
"Glad to help! WHOA!" Pit heard a shrieking sound coming from high above, where he spotted the winged beast descending from the skies to take out the intruder standing in front of the seed. He pocketed the Energy Sphere away and took his stance as he looked up at the thirty-foot tall green bird with the red belly and four-clawed feet.
"That is the ugliest Phoenix I have ever seen, and it doesn't look like a Phoenix at all," Chris said while wincing, earning some stares. "What? The Phoenixes I know are red and spew fire from their feathers. That one doesn't remotely look like a normal one..."
"It can still reincarnate after getting killed. That's just about it to give it some Phoenix sense," Palutena said. "Oh, right. Pit's about to get eaten. Fight back!"
The group watched the angel fight the massive bird, having some close calls here and there where the creature would ram its glowing body on him or crush him with its large claws. Some dodging maneuvers and sneak attacks eventually took the bird down, as it was seen crashing on the ground and blowing up...where on the place where it fell, a giant beacon in the shape of the Phoenix stood tall and high into the sky.
"Why was a beacon erected?" the minister asked.
"The Phoenix likes to go out with a big flashy bang. I like its cycle of life," Hades said.
"Kinda boring when the boss can't talk and it's not alienated to a god," Palutena said, holding a cold drink for Pit upon his return. "Good job, Pit."
"Now the people won't fall for this trick Hades made!" Pit said as he stared at the beacon and then at the seed, which had been broken during the scuffle and lied down on the floor as shattered pieces.
"Oh ho ho, I wouldn't be so sure about that. That beacon you produced can be seen all over the world as a sign that the Phoenix is no more...and the Wish Seed is up for the taking, or someone already took it. I can hear the excited yells already, but it wouldn't be fun to leave things as they are. Let's give them a little nudge," Hades said. "People of the world, the Wish Seed has been liberated! This is your chance to fulfill your wildest dreams! All you have to do is conquer anyone in your way!"
The group gasped at that loud call. "You really think the people will be deceived? Think again!" Pit said.
They saw Palutena looking somber all of a sudden. "The seed of deception has been sowed, and its roots are already taking toll on the people's actions. This is all my fault for not catching up on Hades' plan sooner..." she said as she raised her staff, conjuring a sacred light where Pit was to whisk him from the floor and back to the temple. The same light appeared behind their backs, where the angel dropped down from the blinding orb. As they looked back at Pit joining their side, the goddess gave him his cold drink. The goddess turned back to the hologram and changed the location where she spotted the first sign of a skirmish.
Magolor went over to Pit. "Please, give me the Energy Sphere!" he said as he saw the angel quickly gulping his drink down and giving the alien the sphere. Magolor practically snatched the orb away and held it up above his head for the others to see its radiance. "Behold! The Energy Sphere! One piece of one-hundred and twenty!"
"Pretty..." Nana and Ms. Fit both said, their eyes glued on the golden gear acting as the core.
Lucario sensed the sphere's energy leaking out in short bursts that he picked up quickly...though, he noted that the energy signal didn't make itself known to him until Magolor grabbed it. "It does contain pure energy inside. It feels ethereal..." he noted.
Magolor put the sphere inside his robe and chuckled. "We were lucky we didn't see any of the Doomers around. This was like a nice prize free of danger to stimulate our search for the other one-hundred and nineteen spheres," he said.
"Do you have to keep repeating that big number whenever you mention those orbs?" Pit asked between gulps.
The alien twiddled his hands. "I'm just giving a friendly reminder so people don't forget..."
"Oh! You're a real nice guy. I actually forgot how many there were a second ago," the angel said with a smile, heavily clashing with the many annoyed looks the others had.
Their conversation was cut short when they heard Palutena voicing a quiet "Oh no" as she had found the first place where signs of a skirmish appeared. The Smashers and Pit looked back at the hologram.
"Is it true? People are already starting to fight so soon?" Pit asked.
Under all the teasing and playful jabs at the Smashers, there was a very harsh and cruel world that was so unnerving to see as it crumbled down on itself...
The place where Palutena was focusing on was a random location where there were two – or possibly more than two - waging armies fighting each other under dark clouds. Screams filled the air along with flaming arrows, old steel clashing against cold steel or flesh, and large boulders catapulted to the burning town in the background; a town that surely belonged to the army charging away from it. While the armies tried to claim victory in a gruesome way where bloodshed was imminent, the burning town dealt with innocent people running away or scrambling around in a futile attempt to escape from the rain of fiery arrows that set the nearby homes ablaze. It was an extremely tragic scene to watch more so by the fact not even children were safe from the carnage. Though momentarily safe from the enemy soldiers, the town residents would be soon overrun, as the defense their army put up was waning in strength...
With shrunken irises, Chris stepped back. "T-this... T-this... I-I can't even begin to believe..." He looked away and covered his ears, making both Lucario and Fox worry with the way he was shivering on his feet. "M-make it stop... M-make it stop..."
"(NOW this happens? Seriously?)" Fox thought in frustration. "(Time to bring him back down from his trauma again...)"
The Ancient Minister was baffled at the cruel display, but not as much as the other human members. "How in the world could this happen in the span of a few minutes? Were the humans ready to fight each other at the drop of a hat?" he asked.
"It was possible. Not far away from the burning town, I can see another town beyond the mountain range," Meta Knight said. "...It's also being attacked with no army to defend it, judging the smoke trails."
"Human desire for a single wish does wonders, don't you think?" Hades was heard saying, containing his laugh. "It's something out of a fairy tale with a good climax."
"Y-you...sick god!" Mr. G&W yelled.
"I see you'd rather remind me how good I am at being bad than going down there to lend a hand to a lucky army worthy of pretty Palutena's protection, or maybe you want to aid them all?"
Palutena was a little irritated by that comment. "It will be impossible to stop the fighting in a single move. Pit, you must head down there immediately!" she ordered once she had seen the Underworld Army attacking from the air.
Pit set his drink down on the floor and started to run ahead to the central door again. "Officer Pit, reporting for duty!" he yelled, the slabs opening at his coming and closing back once he went through. He was once again seen diving down to the area in the hologram.
The goddess turned to the group. "This is going to be too much to ask of you, but unlike lava land, I want you all to assist Pit once I find a good landing spot," he said. "The Underworld Army is harvesting the souls of the deceased to grow stronger. This is just the top of Hades' scheme to get the humans to kill each other."
"How do you expect us to stop such a war of a big scale with crazed people hard to convince?" Nana asked. "I wasn't trained in the ways of diplomatic discussions!"
"Right now, we're grasping at straws," Meta Knight said. "We would only be fighting an endless war with major casualties on all sides. Surely you must understand that this task would take years to stop and mend?" Palutena only remained silence, perhaps showing the first sign of weakness to them. "The situation is at its direst point. Coming back down from that point will not be easy."
Her silence extended to the other Smashers. They were all stumped about what to do to solve the outrageously bad issue at hand. As Pit was seen blasting Underworld enemies flying around, it looked like the fight on the ground got progressively worse by the minute, with the boulders set on fire to cause even more damage and crushing unsuspecting soldiers in the battlefield and innocent victims in the burning town. "There's no humanity left in them! There's just...brutality!" Pit said, flying right above the soldiers and rising high into the air.
Ms. Fit looked on at the group still at a loss about what to do as much as she was. A dim flash in the dark clouds caught her attention, where eventually she made an audible gasp under her breath when said flash started to grow in intensity that it illuminated the clouds. "Everyone... S-something huge is coming from the clouds!" They looked back at the hologram and saw what she was talking about. Pit, being at the scene, looked up and opened up his mouth in surprise.
"W-what the heck is that?!" he yelled.
Palutena quickly pulled herself back together. "Oh no. I have to pull you back, NOW!" she said as she pulled her staff to the left, making Pit's wings take a very speedy escape where the Smashers barely saw a flaming meteor of big proportions tearing through the dark clouds and striking the center of the battlefield...
The meteor's explosion was oddly pink, though it didn't lessen the shock value it had on the group as its ravaging dome grew in size and took the entire battlefield and the burning town down in one single blow. The battle cries and flying fiery boulders that once used to cause collateral damage all came to an abrupt stop by the major object of destruction, and so were all the casualties that were unlucky enough to be caught in the massive explosion of pink light that blinded their view of the once chaotic scene...
The scene did have a positive effect on Chris, though, because the surprise snapped him out of his trance from seeing the bloodshed happen. "W-what's going on now?" his shaky, recovering voice said when the light of the explosion hit its peak.
"There was a meteor that came crashing down and blowing up the entire battlefield..." Fox explained. "...But that's the thing: it was a freaking meteor that came out of nowhere and acted like a nuke of all things." While the team didn't have to go through the pain of watching people suffer slow, painful deaths, it wasn't any better to witness an event like that happen. No doubt hundreds of people died inside that dome of explosion.
When the light of the explosion died down, the group once again was met up by a very unsettling sight...
Over the spot where the meteor had blown up, there was a huge sphere that radiated a pink light that illuminated the rest of the landscape miles around it. From afar, it was very hard to see any features, but the sphere seemed to contain a multitude of large vines connected to each other in twisted shapes. "...Apparently, explosions from random meteors can cause that in this dimension," Magolor spoke, staring blankly at the unnatural formation.
"Pit, your world is soooooo messed up," Popo complained. "Between the godly armies, people killing each other, and random meteors, I wouldn't want to come down from this temple."
"Nice of you of judging my world, but I'm afraid that meteor wasn't all that random as you believe it was," Palutena said.
"Whatever do you mean by that implication?" the minister asked. "Did Hades do this?"
"No, it was..."
It wasn't very long that the group heard a childish laugh booming from the spot where the sphere of vines was created. Their gazes fixed back on the hologram, they looked around the large area, until they realized there was someone else entirely different from Hades that had hijacked their unlucky godly telepathy. Moreover, the owner of that childish laugh appeared in the hologram in the form of a gigantic, intangible figure, standing in the way of the sun shining through a single hole in the dark clouds.
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Nice shot, if I do say so myself!" the figure laughed jovially and maniacally to the point the Smashers were perturbed to hear that childish tone laugh at the misery of hundreds. When the figure revealed itself to be holding a giant wooden staff, it...or rather, she pointed it forward to where Pit was seen flying. "Good riddance, human scum! The world is better off without you!" she proclaimed as her figure, uncovered by the sun's light being swallowed in the now dark pink clouds, revealed itself to them.
Although the gigantic hologram that was next to the sphere of vines gave an impression that she was that big, the figure was that of a young 8-year old girl. From her choice in clothing style, she leaned towards a nature style, with a hair brooch sporting thorny vines outside its green petals and purple gem placed on her long, light blond hair tied on a ponytail that reached the backside of her ankles, with a nearly-equally long strand of hair on the front of her exposed forehead wearing a vine headband. She wore a simple dress with the top having a violet pattern that covered her chest (with a violet chest on top) and shoulders, the middle section in a fine red color that resembled that of the color of a red rose, and the bottom section having the color tone of a pink rose acting as a long skirt. The dress also had vines that separated each individual section. Under her skirt, she wore dark green sandals with brown barks acting as sprouts over her ankle area. Her left arm had a small and tight wristband, but her right arm was completely covered with the same pattern as the hand gripped that big wooden staff with the sturdy, arc-like end on top.
While some people would mistake the child for a nice girl, the way she appeared to the group utterly wrecked any sense of a friendly demeanor, what with the obliteration of the humans and all.
"Um, who's that?" asked Nana.
"That is the goddess of nature, Viridi," Palutena said.
"Another god who's seemingly evil?" Mr. G&W said. "And she looks like a wee child!"
"Not all gods look super old. And please don't call me old or anything. We just like to look like this to mortals," the goddess said. "I wanted to show off my curves to appeal at a wider audience, for example."
"Not REALLY the time to talk about that," Fox said as soon as she started to do some poses. Some shielded their eyes.
"You're right." She stood right. "Pit, go check things out over that place. I want to see how much damage it caused."
"On it," Pit said as his wings accelerated to the targeted spot. As soon as he started getting closer, he was met up by enemies, but not the demonic underlings of the Underworld. Disturbingly enough, he was spotted by flying, leaf winged chestnuts with mono eyes chasing off the same demons he was taking care of a few minutes ago.
"Flying chestnuts?" said Ms. Fit. "Not the edible kind, I suppose..."
"Yup, a hundred percent not edible but a hundred percent hostile," Palutena said.
"Greetings, o famous Palutena," they all heard the other goddess call out through telepathy, which Fox sighed to in the background. "How've you been? Busy for sure, right?"
"And you're Viridi, the ruler of the earth and all living things..."
"I'm flattered you know about me. How do you like my true work of art I just did on those horrendous humans?" she asked in a sweet-yet-creepy tone. "So proud to see the vines take back the earth to how it used to be: when the humans weren't around ravaging my precious land!"
Nana shuddered. "Okay, is she on our side or not? I can tell right away her way to deal with this was too much," she said.
Viridi overheard the extra guest. "Excuse me? Are you belittling me for solving this stupid conflict where the humans started to destroy the land over a fake item out of a fantasy tale?" she asked rhetorically. "This had to be done! Humans are driven by selfish desire. They think only of themselves. They were killing each other for what? A WISH? A FAKE wish?! They've strayed too far from their intended path. That's where my Reset Bombs come in. To help return Earth to its natural state!"
"How can you say that when you exterminated humans, who are also living beings?" Meta Knight asked.
"They used to have my protection long ago until their selfish selves started to resurface," Viridi explained. "That's when I indirectly left Palutena with the task of keeping them safe because I grew tired of them all. But it takes a few years out of focus to watch them tear themselves apart over their wishes of grandeur, and this happens before long! The nature I'm entitled to protect, destroyed during their meager scuffles! As the Goddess of Nature, I'm ready to lift my green thumbs to squash them all back into the dirt!"
They were horrified that a goddess with a childish appearance was seeking the destruction of an entire race as an ultimate solution. "You're jumping at conclusions here! It's not fair for a lot of people who aren't culprits to the destruction they caused!" Pit shouted.
"But those same innocent people will continue the cycle of destruction. It's just like taking care of your garden. You don't want those young weeds to grow and ruin your flowers. Pluck them all and the problem is solved," she chuckled. "My weeds are the good kind, though."
"Y-your method is still so wrong!" shouted Chris. "You gave up on them all so simply like that..."
The Goddess of Nature gasped when she had sensed a human presence in the talk. "What th-?! Palutena! Don't tell me you let a weak human side for your cause...and talk back to me while at it!" she yelled.
"Sorry. He came with the Smasher Package," Palutena said.
The teen shook his head. "W-weak human? I've done a lot of good deeds to help others with my own power!" he shot back at her.
"I simply don't have the drive to keep talking to some lowly human with good intentions. The truth is, I'm very biased against humanity as a whole, which I'm not ashamed to say aloud!" she said loudly, making them look bored.
Lucario growled menacingly. "Don't you even dare call Chris a lowly human, you imbecile," he warned.
"Oh, shut up, you weird humanoid blue dog! I get more nauseous when nature mixes animals with human attributes!" Viridi yelled as Pit got closer to the site of the crash landing. Up close the vines actually formed a gigantic sphere protected in thin but very sturdy vines that barred outsiders from entering on land. But in the air, there was a small hole where Pit could enter easily as he shot down Viridi's forces. "...Okay, I kind of like it when I can use that kind of people against humanity to scare them a little."
"You're a real saint," duly noted Fox.
"Stop it with the jabs at each other, please," the minister said as he saw Pit entering the sphere of vines. "What is this Reset Bomb you mentioned a moment earlier?"
"Reset Bombs are meant to blow up at designated locations and return the earth back to its natural state," Viridi gloated. "Side effects include the obliteration of the human race and the overwhelming sense to take care of trees until the host expires...well, if they survive the explosion."
"You turn into a tree hugger for life? How horrible!" Magolor voiced.
The inside of the Reset Bomb had a chaotic structure in and out of itself. The branches radiated with an ominous pink glow – just like the hundreds of pink leaves - as they occupied a large area of space almost everywhere they were seen. The size of the wooden limbs varied in size, and there were some odd places where remnants of buildings were trapped in them with no sign of any other human being other than Viridi's underlings patrolling the place on the vines. With so much pink and bark growing out of control, some of them thought it was Peach's nightmare come true. "This is a pretty twisted version of nature," Pit said.
"Twisted goddess with a twisted sense of gardening and justice towards humans she thinks are twisted? They fit just fine, if you ask me," Palutena said.
"They're the twisted ones!" yelled a frustrated Viridi. "Humans massacre Earth's creatures, decimate the trees, and exploit the land. They're enemies of life itself! Tell me, Palutena, why do they deserve special treatment?"
"They're closer to the gods than other creatures. Intervening in their affairs cannot be done by the gods. You broke the rule when you tossed that bomb on their heads," the Goddess of Light accused.
"Humans are trampling over the rights of every other living thing! Should I just sit back and watch as they continue to exploit the earth?!" she argued, her temper reaching a boiling point. "No. I must exterminate them all before it's too late! That includes the one in your party!"
"Holy crap, is she pissed at judging thousands of people with some innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire!" Fox said, looking angry.
As Chris found it odd she didn't target the other three humans in the party, Ms. Fit spoke up next. "Last I checked, there are four humans in this team, including me," she said.
"He irked me first more than the other girl, but... Huh? You're a human?" Viridi asked.
"Yes... Why would you think I'm not?"
"No reason..." the young goddess trailed off, wincing at the fitness trainer's white skin.
As Pit blasted a giant fish-bone like enemy, he said with determination, "Wiping out humanity is not the answer to solve this problem, Viridi! If you're so sure about that, then we have no choice but to oppose your forces!" Most of the Smashers nodded.
"The Forces of Nature are not what you're used to," she said in a dark tone.
"No kidding. I could've sworn I saw flying chestnuts for the entree," Magolor said.
"Hey, don't you diss my cute little Nutskis!" the young goddess shouted indignantly.
"Those are cute?" most of them said in unison.
"Shut up, all of you! You have a bad taste in telling what's cute and what's not!" Viridi yelled. "Ugh, I hate you so much, I'll just have Pit meet Cragalanche!"
"Who?" Pit asked, just before he flew right up into an open space of air where he found a flaming chunk of rock come out of from the top of the vine sphere. He yelled when he saw the fiery meteor directed at his direction, and he eventually dodged, though the force of the rock's descent threw his movement off that Palutena wasn't able to further control his flight path...and deep down he fell, whereas the fiery meteor passed right through the tight spaces of the area and reached the solid ground further down into the area.
"PIT!" many shouted as the angel's scrambled screams died down the further he went down the twisted forest of pink branches...
Reset Bomb Forest
Kid Icarus: Uprising – Reset Bomb Forest (Ch. 11)
The hologram was quick to find Pit scrambled on a flat ground high above the solid ground down below. The place where he fell was sustained by the thick branches all around him, and there was only one path he could take to move forward. With his location in mind, Palutena turned to the Smashers. "A quick question: how many of you are allergic to roses made by goddesses?" she asked.
"I'm fairly certain no one is allergic to that...but why would you ask?" Ms. Fit asked.
Palutena's staff glowed as she smiled. "Just checking," she said. After that, the Smashers felt their feet parting from the lustrous floor...and then the next thing they knew, they all found themselves standing all around the fallen Pit. They gasped at the shock of being warped to a much different location, though Meta Knight, unfazed by the quick action, went over to help Pit stand up.
"Seriously?! Couldn't you have warned us you were going to drop us off so quickly?" asked Mr. G&W asked.
"I like being fast when it comes to this," Palutena spoke into their minds. "Now don't go complaining and finish the job you were sent to do."
"You didn't tell us what we should do in this mentally-scarring forest of pinkness before you warped us out from your temple," Fox said, eyes narrowed as he inspected the strange pink world they were in.
"Why you! I don't care what the fox says here about my forest! And Palutena! Way to make things fair for Pit's bout against Cragalanche by making all those weirdos join him!" Viridi complained. Mr. G&W voiced out his offense to that description.
"To be honest, it is fair. I haven't deployed a single Centurion since Medusa attacked and I made Pit do all the work by himself. You have deployed hundreds of your forces, which makes it unfair for little Pit. But now I can use their help and still make it look fair between our forces," Palutena boasted.
The Smashers exchanged bewildered gazes and frowned. "Wow... Just wow," Nana said as she kept blinking in utter shock at the goddess' treatment of his only soldier, and in general how she had new pawns.
"What? My Centurions could die with a single sneeze to the face but Pit can endure more than a dozen. It's worked wonders, hasn't it?"
Pit stood up upright and tried to look tough despite taking a big fall. "Yeah! I've been doing great by myself!" he boasted.
"Oh, the massive amounts of pity I feel for Pit now..." muttered a sympathetic Chris.
"Going back on topic, our current mission is to defeat this Cragalanche guy to be done with this nightmarish place? Is it possible to find the Subspace Army or Magolor's possessions?" Popo wondered.
"As a matter of fact, I sense an Energy Sphere somewhere in the area!" Magolor piped up. "I can't tell for sure where it is, but the reading should get stronger the closer I get to it. Since I'm getting a little sick and scared of seeing so much...pink from the branches, may I propose we burn this place down?"
"Ha ha ha! Go ahead and try. The branches the Reset Bomb creates are fire resistant for hundreds of years," Viridi boasted. "You'll never get to outlive the time limit in time to burn it down. When a bomb goes off, it's there to stay... But it'll take a few years for the land to go back to its green state. And who says you'll get to live a complete day in there? You're in for some surprises. Enjoy the ride."
"...How is it possible that a Goddess of Nature can be outright sadistic, cynical, and psychotic?" the Ancient Minister asked, causing Viridi to bottle up her frustration at those three words.
"Can we stop badmouthing her? We should get a move on through this place," Ms. Fit said.
Right before he could move, Chris felt his pocket shaking. He took out his DS and opened its screens to look at Prof. Kawashima's face. "I feel like I need to remind you about your only list of jobs available," he said. "As you may remember, Master Hand said your job list has been handicapped by only letting you choose the jobs that are closely related to the party members in the group."
"Oh... Right..." Chris looked at his hands covered in the same dark skin Lucario's hands were. "What are the jobs available for me?"
"The Tinker job because of Fox's, Mr. G&W's, and ROB's inclusion; the Aura Apprentice because of Lucario, the Chozo Arts because of Ms. Fit, the Fake King because of the Ice Climbers, the Hymn Fonic User because of Pit, and the Moogle Knight because of Meta Knight," Kawashima said. "I think having three people share the same job greatly reduced your choices, but it's also good when all of them are in the same battle for quick combined attacks."
The World Traveler was concerned that only one job out of all of those was a long range one. If Pit hadn't been included in the group, Chris would have had a bad time trying to fight at close range. The other jobs needed attention to grow stronger...but his trauma of fighting wasn't entirely solved yet. Cursing himself, he ultimate chose Pit's compatible job and changed outfits in a quick flash of light.
"You've made your choice!" the AI said. "If you want a refresher about the abilities and skills that one job has, consult the book you got from the hands. I'd recommend you do that now... And be sure to share your jobs with the team. The stat changes they get can mean a lot during a battle!" It was all for his survival in the many battles that were yet to come, so the World Traveler took out the book and browsed to his job's page...
Job: Fonic Hymn User (can transform into ?)
D: A specialized healer that can also strike from up-close using knives for throwing. Light magic rules this job's offensive potential.
Weapon Type: Rod
Command Set: Hymns
Compatible Smasher: Pit
Magic: Best – Above-Average Intelligence – Best Mind
Magic Defense: Average
- Skill List -
Nocturnal Light – Severed Fate – Pow Hammer – First Aid – Healing Circle – Eclair de Larmes – Resurrection – Holy Lance
- Ability List -
Void Attack (occasional anti-stagger) – Heavy Magic (adds a stun effect to offensive magic)
- Final Smash -
"You've yet to learn Healing Circle for this one, but you're really close to learning it," Kawashima pointed out. "After that, it's only a matter of time before you reach the next job. Say, since abilities were added, I can set the ones on the job to couple your Close Bond one. Would you like me to do that?"
"Please," Chris said, and the abilities were set. Maybe, he thought, the chances of surviving had increased knowing his job's in and outs.
"Done! You're all ready to go... No, wait. There's one thing you haven't done with your skill set. Do you vaguely remember Master Hand mentioning how you can use a second skill set from other different jobs?"
"Oh! Um, yes, I think. I don't remember that well because my head was somewhere else..."
"Well, you should choose one of the many skill sets you have to pull some unexpected moves on the enemy," Kawashima said. "For example, since you like to read up enemies to know what they have, why don't you keep the Scholar's skill set – Studies – so you can keep the ever so useful Study ability along with some Black Magic and White Magic? Do remember that you won't gain experience for secondary skill sets unlike the primary one that's tied to the job you're using... Sadly, you cannot have the Scholar's abilities until you have truly mastered the job."
The World Traveler was the curious type of the many of the group he was with. Not knowing what the enemy had would be a big disadvantage, much less so when he recalled the bosses were going to be stronger to deal with. Taking his virtual AI's suggestion to heart, the teen agreed with his options. "Please set it up for me," Chris said.
"Done! And with this, you're all done. The menu is going to get locked out on your way down... Good luck!" the professor said before the teen pocketed the DS.
"Yeah! He chose my job!" Pit suddenly shouted, startling Chris.
"Truly he has the best taste," Palutena commented.
"I-I have no choice but to choose this one for now. I'm afraid of getting too close to an enemy just to get punched in the face..." Chris trailed off, getting Lucario to stand closer to him.
"No worries there! I'll do my best to keep you from getting horribly mangled up. I can't let them get rid of a vital party member of my little squad!" Pit said with a pumped fist over his head.
Pit had been a little too hard to read since they noticed the abrupt change in his composed personality, but Chris sighed that he could still count on his help to stay alive and well. Under that 10-year old facade, Pit was probably still the same guy he had helped when the former saintly goddess Palutena had put that test on him... Little did Chris know that he was putting a lot of expectations on Pit if he wished to see that smart side of his resurface again.
The group proceeded to move forward, until Lucario stopped in his tracks and sensed different traces of life energy across the twisted place. "I'm sensing human auras all over this place," he said. "...There are still surviving humans somehow."
"Some humans survived the catastrophe of this bomb?" asked Mr. G&W in surprise.
"There is one up ahead..." They walked forward to an area where a twisted branch occupied the center around a flat rock surface that was cracked up. Not even the branches looked safe for touching, because a few of them were covered in thick thorns on the walls as they saw to their left. Morbidly enough, they spotted Viridi's underlings in the form of three living plant cannons being carried by tree stumps with eyes. Behind those enemies, there was a human soldier trying to pry himself off from some vines that held him captive. Too weak to yell for help, he was quickly falling unconscious.
"Say hi to my heavy hitters: Pew Pews!" Viridi said. "Stay around to see their third eyes behind the cannon lids, and don't bother knowing where the cannonballs came from."
"I'll just do this..." The Ancient Minister's eyes flashed red as she shot a big laser blast that crossed the distance between the group and the unsuspecting Pew Pews. The shot made one get pushed back and bounce off the wall, bumping into the other two and pushing them all down a hole. With the path clear, the group quickly went over to set the soldier free. "There."
"Ugh. I need to train those to have better hearing," the blond goddess complained.
"Why didn't you just, you know, alert them of my guys' presence?" the light goddess asked.
"Testing! It was all testing! You're a bad boss when you can't test your own servants!"
"Oh, I've been testing Pit for a loooooong while now...and I haven't stopped." The Smashers shuddered at that fact.
"Who's the bad guy in this story again?"
Once the soldier noticed that he wasn't alone, and that seeing an angel like Pit meant good things, he mustered up his energy to yell. "H-help me, please! I-I want to go home!" he pleaded. Pit did so by using his orbitars' shooting prowess on the vines that tried to suffocate the soldier. The vines received the blows from the weapon and easily disintegrated upon contact, setting the soldier free. As he fell on his feet, he stood up and thanked the angel. "T-this must be a sign of the Goddess Palutena casting her divine blessings on me!"
"You bet!" Pit said. "But right now, I want you to leave this place and make it somewhere safe. My team and I will get to the bottom of this whole war. Lady Palutena will take you away."
"Thank you! Oh, and I also have this overwhelming sense of taking care of trees..." the soldier thanked from the bottom of his heart just before Palutena herself took him away by whisking him with a saintly glow of light. In the next second, the soldier disappeared...
….and in his place, the most random of things appeared: a perfectly nice ice cream on a cone. The group was freaked out by the piece of food suddenly appearing before them, but only one of them that wasn't Kirby thought differently.
"FLOOR ICE CREAM!" Pit cheered and immediately swallowed the whole thing in one bite, causing a lot of grimaces from his group and even the goddesses. "...What?"
"I do not need to be a fitness instructor to know it's not really healthy to eat food from the floor," Ms. Fit advised. "The deed has been done. I pray you don't get brain freeze now..."
"Pit eats a lot of questionable things I'm not so supportive of," Palutena said with a smile.
"Floor food gives you health!" Pit argued with a shaking fist. "My friends even do that a lot during our friendly Smash matches!"
"Yeah, but over there you can't get sick. This is the open world where we don't have Master Hand's protection from eating from the floor," Popo pointed out. "You picked that up from a very pinky place. How do you know Viridi didn't make that appear and hid poison ivy as a secret lethal ingredient?"
"To be totally honest, I don't even know where that ice cream came from," Viridi said with a wincing expression. "I should've tossed some poison ivy now that you mention it."
"Pit, we all forbid you from eating anything that appears out of the blue," the minister said.
The angel visibly sulked. "It's your fault if you don't want to eat free food and you lack taste buds. More for me," he said.
"You and Kirby would suddenly make the greatest of pals," noted Nana.
"Let's move on, please! We don't want that Subspace Army claiming my stuff like it's theirs!" Magolor hurried as he moved on ahead, with Meta Knight following close by until everyone else followed them further in.
"Subspace Army? There's another army wrecking havoc on nature?" Viridi asked. "I won't have any of that in this world if that's the case! I had enough of people thinking it's a free action to destroy nature as they please!"
It was worth a shot to try to convince the psychopathic goddess to work with them against a mutual enemy. "Um, Viridi!" Chris spoke. "It's pretty clear to me you like to protect nature. And the Subspace Army won't even care about doing some destruction. Would it be a good idea for you and your forces to aid us?"
There was a dead silence that soon followed as they entered an enclosed area where concrete and branches met.
Then to the teen's chagrin, he heard the nature lover chuckle. "It's against my policy to partner up with a group that supports the selfish humans. I wouldn't be caught dead working with you all! I can take care of any extra army just fine! Anybody who gets in the way will get the thorns!" she said proudly.
"B-but that's not a good idea! You don't even know how dangerous that army can be!" the teen shouted back. "They already took a friend's home when we couldn't do anything to prevent it..."
"Well, that friend had it coming if they couldn't defend themselves in time, which won't happen to me as long as I continue on living."
That insult directed to Rosalina made Chris a little angry. "There's no reasoning with Viridi! She won't ever join our fight against our enemies!" Pit said.
"I see her as the type of person who will eventually eat her words when she starts to feel the heat," Palutena said. "Let us be the ones putting the heat on her."
"I'll put the heat on you all by strangling your mortal bodies and muffling your screaming mouths with my vines," Viridi said with a somewhat psychotic smirk.
"That's swell. She's also a person not above bondage. That adds up very badly to her cute looks," Magolor said as he shuddered at the thought.
By the time the group got to an area where it looked like a cave with holes and two other paths barred by purple vines, Ms Fit audibly grunted. "We've walked for a while now and I haven't done much to help," she said.
"Palutena must be very desperate if she hired a lowly...human(?) fitness trainer to fight," Viridi noted snidely. "Your kind is better off staying in the back lines or at home. The Forces of Nature are pretty flexible enough that they don't need fitness training."
"She killed the pain on my back earlier. They have their uses," Palutena said as she twisted her body a bit.
Ms. Fit felt challenged by the blond goddess. "Oh, is that so? Fine, I shall prove you all how I can be of help," she said just as the group noticed there was a living worm monster – a Hugworm – standing a few feet away from them. To their shock, the fitness trainer jogged her way away from them and towards the enemy. "Let me handle this one, guys."
"No! Somebody stop her!" Nana shrieked as she grabbed her head. "I can't bear to watch a female representative perish!"
The Goddess of Light looked horrified. "Oh no, we can't have that! Pit, protect the pathetic amount of female cast members!" she ordered.
Pit grunted at how slow he was to react. "It's no use! She's already been sighted! The roster will suffer a great loss today!" she said.
"Are you two concerned or are you making fun of us all? I can't tell," Mr. G&W said.
Ms. Fit had already been locked into combat with the agile Hugworm. It was an expert in digging and burrowing from the ground to sneak into its enemies and strangle them viciously. Though the Smashers rushed ahead to help her out and get an easy victory, they stopped running when they saw her...charging an energy ball of light in front of her stretched body to the air. When the ball of light was fully charged, they heard a whistle sound, and the fitness trainer shot the sphere of concentrated energy to the Hugworm going after her. With no brains to understand how to dodge, the Hugworm crashed its strange beak into the ball and got pushed out from the ground, its tangly body falling unconscious. "Salute the sun!" the fitness trainer called out when she had shot the ball.
Then Ms. Fit took a deep breathing, and Lucario was the only one who sensed an increase in power in her body. The fitness trainer jogged to the Hugworm and then used the Arm & Leg Lift pose to push it forward into the wall of the back. With the worm stunned into place, the woman stood up, took out a soccer ball from nowhere, jumped into the air, and dunked it with a hard hit to smack the Hugworm squarely on its head. The force of the attack ended up exterminating the worm as its limp body fell back into a hole, the soccer ball also rolling down into it.
Landing gracefully on the ground, Ms. Fit opened her arms above her and turned back to the astonished group. "How did I do?" she asked.
"Did she just...charge an energy ball in front of her waist?" asked Pit confused.
"And did she just dunk my pretty Hugworm with a soccer ball?" Viridi asked with utter bewilderment.
The fitness trainer joined her hands as she blushed gray spots on her cheeks. "Was it bad? Was it too showy?" she asked shyly.
"Uh, well, um, that was quite an unusual way to fight," Fox admitted, her shyness rubbing off on him.
Nana rolled her eyes. "Pfft, it's no different than Peach smacking her butt against people when she has to," she said.
"I thought she used her hips for that?" Popo wondered.
"That...was...awesome," Palutena said in recognition. "You'll definitely make the female representation proud in Smash Bros."
Magolor tossed his hands up. "I never doubted any of you would be so bad at fighting! I can't expect any less from Kirby's friends," he boasted.
Ms. Fit calmly walked to them as some gave her proud smiles of recognition. "Thank you for not laughing at me. I did think my fighting style was a little too odd compared to yours," she said.
"So her fighting style is using yoga poses? Can't say I didn't expect that before I laid my eyes on her," Palutena said. "Look out, Viridi. You shall taste defeat by way of yoga poses poking your forces to death."
Viridi gruntled very loudly. "The other gods will never let me live it down for the next centuries if that ever happens! FORCES OF NATURE, DROP THE HAMMER ON THESE IMPUDENT ENEMIES AND EXTERMINATE THAT FITNESS TRAINER AND THE HUMANS!" she announced loudly, though her call didn't make a flood of enemies come out from anywhere nearby.
"Never! I won't allow any of your green thumb fanatics shrink the female side of the roster!" Pit called out bravely.
"Are they protecting me just because I'm a girl?" Ms. Fit asked Meta Knight.
"Unfortunately, the lack of females in our group runs deep as a lamentable issue most of us wish to resolve, so...I'd say yes," the knight said.
"I-I do care about the party members no matter who or what they are," Chris tried to reassure her.
The purple vines barring the way to two different paths – the left one to a destroyed piece of a tower that was oddly steamy and the right one leading to a straight pad where a treasure chest was at the end – retreated into the ground. As they did, glitters of light fell next to the right path...and turned into a slice of strawberry cake on the floor. "FLOOR CAKE!" Pit cheered as he dashed over to eat the mysterious piece of food, until a peeved Fox held him by the shoulders for a little while until the angel's eagerness for eating food helped him overpower the disgruntled vulpine.
"Where's all this food coming from?" Nana asked. "Palutena, is this your doing?"
"No, it's not my doing. This is the doing of Chefras, the God of Culinary Food," Palutena said in a serious tone. "I heard he's a god who's completely neutral and aids whoever he deems worthy of eating his health-restoring dishes for the sake of saving mankind from wrongdoers like Medusa, Hades, and Viridi. Truly we must be blessed for having him on our side. Our victory is assured now that he has decided to help our noble cause in the name of justice and some love. I speculate he was the one who made that ice cream appear earlier."
"For goddesses' sake, she's lying!" Viridi yelled. "Seriously? A God of Culinary Food? A god like that would be my sworn enemy, cooking up living beings instead of letting them each other raw! Let the meat be raw, darn it!"
"I hate raw meat..." the meat-lover Lucario muttered to himself.
The group proceeded through the right path. An eager (and full) Pit went to open the chest at the end to find a bow weapon no one else but him could use. Close to the entrance of that path, there was a jump pad that they all took to go up in height to an open area outside guarded by two Nutskis and other enemies. Those other enemies were a flower cannon standing on the center called Lethinium, and a foreign harpy monster with purple hair rolled into two buns and orange feathers called Syren. The enemies there were seemingly trying to take down the Syren until they all noticed the group's presence and agreed on an indirect truce by starting to attack them all.
"That Syren is not part of Viridi's forces," Palutena pointed out. "It's a leftover from Hades' army after the Reset Bomb blew up."
"It's a humanoid bird from the Underworld with a lust for bloodshed. I'd never take care of such an unruly bird specimen," Viridi said with disgust. "You're allowed to pluck its feathers down, but I don't mind it slashing the misfits with its gusty screams either."
"I'll just do this!" Pit said as he charged forward by himself. His orbitars fully charged, he leaped forward and caused his weapon to great a giant moving shield that moved slowly through the air. Despite how slow it was, the Syren flew right into it and was blasted off from the area. That didn't mean the other enemies were taken down, as they quickly focused on Pit. Their focus was short-lived once Pit's cavalry rushed up ahead and took them all down with projectiles, close range slashing blows, and Ms. Fit's strange Sun Salutation move.
"How does it feel to charge an energy ball in front of your waist?" Nana asked curiously.
"It feels good after letting it go because it heals me a little," Ms. Fit noted.
"Yeah, it feels strange then..."
When the Syren had been defeated, a chocolate bar fell on the floor. Nobody was fast enough to stop Pit from picking the dubious piece of food from the floor as he yelled "FLOOR CHOCOLATE!" Strangely, he didn't eat it right after taking it...but he went over to Lucario and showed it to him. "I forgot. You really like chocolate, don't you?" he asked with a sincere smile that was far more demeaning than his owner didn't think it was.
"..." A pissed Lucario stared sideways at a bored Chris. Chris understood the bad joke and nodded, and Lucario punched Pit right in his gut, making him double over in pain and fall on the floor where he started to eat the chocolate for himself to recover from that nasty blow. "Don you ever try to associate me with others. We're not the same," he warned Pit.
"A-at least I get to eat it... Urk..." grumbled Pit. Some Smashers sadistically smiled. "Ms. Fit...would you give me a yoga session...to fix this?" Ms. Fit wondered if it was good idea, because she also was getting a little tired of the angel's antics.
"Hey, I need Pit in good shape. Would you mind not punching his gut?" Palutena asked.
"Oh no, by all means, let them," Viridi said with a laugh. "Friendly fire and chocolate-induced acne are the best methods to take care of yourself."
Time passed as the Smashers barreled through the Forces of Nature stationed at every corner of the twisted world of branches as they kept saving the unfortunate but lucky surviving soldiers from the catastrophe. They reached a winding maze where they weren't sure where to go...until Pit rubbed his eyes when he saw steam coming from one direction. "Could it be...?!" He didn't bother telling the others about his sudden sprinting move, which forced them to follow his trail until they saw him stopping at a dead end, where he looked down and jumped off. Shocked that the angel was going to get into trouble, the group carefully leaned forward the edge of where he had jumped to look down...
Pit was seen lying down on his back in a large, steamy hot spring. The Smashers were much too bored to bother sighing with the dull looks on their faces. "A HUGE HOT SPRING!" Pit yelled.
"Random food, and now a random hot spring in this place? Why do we keep finding these strange things?" asked Popo as he and Nana backed off from the hot steam.
"Our world is rich in hot springs. Pit here is a huge fan of hot springs that he doesn't care dipping in with his clothes on," Palutena said. Pit was too busy getting refreshed.
"Huh. I do remember he was never that much into them back home..." Chris muttered.
"After that kick Fox tossed at my sacred buns earlier...I feel much betteeeeeeeer..." said a drowsy Pit, causing many to groan in disgust. Fox was just about to head down there and make the pain on the sacred buns worse until a deadpan Meta Knight blocked his way with one hand.
"Palutena, you better teach your little servant some manners saying those scandalous things so casually!" Viridi said, her cheeks blushing.
"It's no use. Pit is unstoppable! I fear we won't survive his advances for too long..." Palutena lamented.
"I'm not getting my hopes up thinking she really meant half of that," Mr. G&W said.
"Heeeey guuuyssss..." Pit slowly called to them, waving a slow hand above him. "Come down here... It's awesome... You can take your clothes off and stay here for a long while to forget about everything in the world..."
Meta Knight took on the role of being the mature one of the group and dove down where Pit was. Pit was about to protest he was getting out from his favorite spot so quickly until he saw the knight take flight right above him and sliced a Hugworm in half behind Pit's head. The angel and the others had been busy looking at Pit that the enemy was hiding in the steam for a sneak attack.
"Whoa!" Pit sat up and looked at the knight landing behind his back. "Thanks!"
"Yes, now I'll thank you after I drag you out from this place. We have dire business to attend to," Meta Knight said.
Loud protests coming from the angel got closer and closer to the group until Pit was dropped back to their side, with Meta Knight landing calmly next to Magolor. "You guys are mean," Pit sulked with crossed arms until Lucario pulled him back to his feet.
"I can sense that Cragalanche creature's aura nearby. He is waiting on the ground level below us," Lucario told the group. "There are no more soldiers within my range asking for help, but...there are no bodies either. This only means that the hundreds of people that were here before that bomb went off are all..."
"They are all no more," Viridi said. "A small fraction of humanity was obliterated for good. This is one small victory for me, and one grave loss to the selfish humans. Can't wait to return the whole world back to its green, humanless state."
Being a guardian of life by default due to his power, Lucario narrowed his eyes. "I am utterly disgusted by your lack of sympathy for human life, Viridi. I cannot believe a goddess like yourself would choose death as an option to solve the issues you have with an entire race. Have you no shame for your crimes on life?" he asked her. Chris didn't like how the conversation was going to go from there, while Palutena silently waited and watched the argument unfold.
"I rule on all life in this world! You have no right to call me out on my actions, you living life detector! Do you have an idea how annoying and sad it is to watch the world rot because of this one race of people that won't just understand the gravity of their actions so they can think they have the right to shape the land as they see fit?! Nonsense! I have given them their time to reconsider, but just as I predicted, they ALL decide to shape the world into another wasted place like the Underworld!" Viridi complained loudly. "I am more disgusted that a guy like you who can sense life with your aura is in league with the humans! ...Say, what would you say if you helped me out?" The group exchanged shocked looks and stared at Lucario. "Come on, you certainly cannot disagree how stupid the human race was a few moments ago, and you want to find a real answer... Well, I'm doing my job, but Palutena's forces and the Underworld Army are giving me a headache. With them in the way, I can't do this quickly. But with a person like you in my ranks..."
"...I would rather pluck your precious roses and shove them down your throat before I ever considered that asinine idea," Lucario said darkly. His response caused the group to break in a loud cheer, and he felt the need to smile when he saw his trainer sincerely smiling his way and generally feeling proud of him.
Viridi and Palutena were both speechless until the blond goddess' inner grunts leaked out from her gritted teeth and the green-haired goddess stood upright and proud. "W-why you little stinky dog!" Viridi hollered, but she couldn't miss out in trying to convince the Aura Pokémon from joining her. He fitted right in with her Forces of Nature. "Why do you side with them?! Why do you have to be so ironically annoying helping the very problem I'm trying to fix here?! Don't give me a stupid fact that the humans are closer to us gods!"
"One, extinguishing life, unless ultimately necessary against a few exceptions, is looked down upon from where I come from, which you are fine doing it with no shame," Lucario began. "Two, you generalized an entire race as a bad influence, which is no different than being racist. And three..." he looked at Chris and smiled a bit at him (while Popo trailed off his "Buuuuuuuuuuuuuurn!" comment in the background), "...I have learned from my owner and trainer Chris that some or all humans are worth protecting from threats like you..." He glared up at the sky just as Chris rubbed a tear from his right eye. "My first point should tell you I would stop this fighting against you if you could understand the point Pit is trying to get across. After saying my third point, I wonder if your overall thoughts against humanity would change if a human would convince you th-"
"Blah blah blah!" Viridi interrupted. "All I understood from that sappy explanation is that you've been captured like some Pokémon to do the bidding of that one human tagging along with you all!"
"I am a Pokémon."
"...Really? Huh... I guess I shouldn't have stopped learning my typing chart since the third Generation... But anyway, all would be fine with you if I obliterated your precious trainer; the chain tying you to the humans, right? You're just being controlled by him that you're not willing to change sides... But that's okay with me. I just have to make him disappear forever to get me a fine commander for my forces."
The proud feeling Chris felt was all taken down by sheer horror when she said that, and he quickly froze, staring into empty air. It also caused Lucario to growl. The Smashers similarly reacted, but only one of them was irked so much that he snapped and yelled at her. "Over my fucking dead body, you psychopathic bitch of nature!" Fox yelled. If Viridi hadn't been silent before, she was now with her twitching right eye.
"Aaand we're back to the first base in an even worse position," Pit said.
"Shh, Pit. This is getting good," muttered Palutena to Pit personally.
The Goddess of Nature, her jaw dropped, didn't say anything. The group waited for her to unleash hell on them after the vulpine snapped. In the meantime, the frozen Chris snapped out of his trance and recovered his composure. "...Thank you for defending me, you guys," he said with worry in his eyes. "But...maybe we shouldn't have argued so strongly against her like that."
"It's my fault, Chris..." Lucario said with shame as he looked down at his feet. "She made me snap first and I kept running my mouth without thinking..."
"But you were right on everything you said," Ms. Fit said as she pinched her chin. "She is doing this in the most unforgiving way. Somebody had to call her out sooner or later."
"And besides," Fox said as he rested his right hand on Chris's left shoulder, "she just doesn't know when she has crossed the line twice on some people. Feels really good to vent it all off on the enemy."
"That could lead to even more stress on the body if it's not done properly or if it's done on someone you like to spend the time with," the fitness trainer said, causing Fox to roll his eyes.
Meta Knight started to walk down the thick branch path that he thought was going to take them to Cragalanche. "Although we have the best intentions in mind, I do not support how we talked back to her in the most foul way. To remind you all, we are fighting a goddess; a deity possibly stronger than all of us combined," the knight said.
"Ah, about that... Us gods vary differently in strength," Palutena chimed in. "We're just overrated lieutenants with supernatural powers and fountains of youth thrown in for good measure. It wouldn't be crazy if a single lesser being like Ms. Fit could take down a god by themselves. I could toss you Pit, but it wouldn't matter if I got punched in the face. The same is true with Viridi."
"..." Meta Knight waited for her to continue.
"I did say humans tend to think too highly of us gods more than necessary, didn't I?"
"...Awesome," Popo said with a smile, doing a few swings with his hammer. "I'm not afraid of smacking Viridi in the face with my hammer now!"
"But technically..." Palutena continued, "more often than not, taking down a god can mean disastrous results for the realms they have been entitled to protect. Taking Viridi down directly would lead to nature rotting and dying away, for example."
"Aww, hell," Fox said with an angry look.
"Which is why we have to convince her to stop killing humans by fighting back and driving her into a corner!" Pit said.
The Ancient Minister was the next one to move forward. "Our odds to win against her may have been reduced due to our previous argument, but our answer for something so perilous that cannot be solved with a more pacific answer will always be the same: let us move on and confront the next battles ahead of us," he said. The group had no other choice but to listen to his advice. For added security, they looked anywhere nearby to be prepared for an army of evil plant creatures coming out from their hiding spots to attack and horribly maul them all, though Chris cherished how Lucario, Fox, and the Ancient Minister were standing close by his side to keep him safe. He thought that his stress from having to worry about another premature death could be a thing of the past if he were to get more closer to the other Smashers just as he did with Fox and the minister...but he didn't want to look so forced and just have them for protection. He truly wanted to get them to see him as a close friend they could rely on. Lucario was there by default, but outsiders like Fox and the minister were won over. As they proceeded, Chris contemplated spending more time in private with some of the members of the current group.
Once a few minutes passed without the Goddess of Nature talking back with a sarcastic remark, Palutena's chuckling sounds filled their ears. "Viridi? Are you there?" she called out. "You're not still green in the face from the conversation earlier, are you?"
"..." Viridi suddenly broke the silence by stifling a little chuckle. "It's fine. I'm okay. I wasn't expecting someone calling me that in my face," she said. "But I feel a little...stressed... I'll be right back in a moment once I'm finished talking with this wall next to me. I'm not gonna miss the match against Cragalanche for the world."
The Goddess of Light was glad. "Tell your friend the wall how much stressed you feel," she said.
And then the knocking feet from the very much pissed goddess rang out in their heads where they also heard her loudly yelling, "WHO THE HECK DOES THAT STUPID HUMANOID, STINKY, ROTTEN, PATHETIC, WEAK, FILTHY, FOUL-MOUTHED, SMELLY, IGNORANT, FOOLISH, IDIOTIC, SLIMY, DOPEY, DORKY, FREAKY, GROSS, DISGUSTING, INSANE, UGLY, DUMB FOX THINK HE IS CALLING ME WITH SUCH A WORD TO MY FACE?! WHY, I WILL MAKE AN EXCEPTION ON HIS KIND AND HAVE THEM GET ROASTED ALIVE IN A SUNNY DESERT TO SCAVENGE HIS CORPSE AND FEED IT TO MY BUMPETY BOMBS FOR DINNER! OR MAYBE I WILL TOSS HIS CORPSE TO MY BUMPETY BOMBS AND HAVE THEM BLOW THE BONES TO SMITHEREENS AND SCATTER HIS DUST TO THE SAME SUNNY DESERT! I WILL THEN TOSS PIT IN THERE AND FORCE HIM TO FIND EVERY SINGLE SPECK OF DUST FROM THAT MORON AS PUNISHMENT FOR TRYING TO DEFY THE GODDESS OF NATURE! I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE HUMANOID FOXES! LET THEM ALL ROT IN THE UNDERWORLD! LET THEM ALL ROT IN SKYWORLD! KEEP THEM AWAY FROM MY WORLD AND FROM MY FACE FOR THE ETERNITY OR I'M SURE I WILL SCREAM TO THE FLOWERS TILL THE AIR IS OUT OF MY CLEAN LUNGS! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-!"
All of the other Smashers looked at Fox, completely unfazed by her loud tantrum but still flinching whenever her voice hit a higher pitch. "It takes the B word to send her on a loud complaint and release Gaia's vengeance," Pit said. "Aren't you afraid what she could do to you from now on?"
"Nope. This is the one time I don't regret insulting a girl with the big words, even if she looks like a noisy brat given goddess powers," said a grinning Fox before blinking in realization. "Whoa. I feel a big rush of adrenaline challenging a goddess like that."
"Please don't turn this into a reckless habit of yours. We cannot afford to have deities against us as how we are right now," Meta Knight advised.
"And I'd rather have you alive instead of missing a limb because of them..." Chris added. Fox simply winked at him. "I mean it. I don't want to be the mature one of the two when you're older than I am. Be a good big brother figure and behave." Fox sighed and nodded.
Pit had been keeping a close eye on the "antics" of his comrades for a while now. He especially liked the bond Chris had with some of them and how they reacted trying to defend him from Viridi's harsh words. "(Ah, Chris. It's so refreshing to see how good of a friend you've become to the others just like you did with me. I wish we had a much closer relationship like true brothers... Hey, that's right! There's Pittoo! He could be my aggro twin brother! I should try to get in contact with that guy. Haven't seen him since the final epic battle of the ages against Medusa...)" he thought fondly.
The rest of their stroll on the branches was annoying at best as Viridi didn't quite stop kicking the wall and spouting how much she hated humanoid vulpine characters. After a few more skirmishes with the Forces of Nature, the team reached one last jump pad that made them hop all the way down safely to the ground level of the dungeon of wild plant life. Ahead of them, a large, circular arena awaited them, where at its entrance something else appeared before their eyes: a large vial of red liquid that made the vial look red. "Nobody complain about that one piece. That was really my doing," Palutena said. "It's a Drink of the Gods. It's main function is to fully restore the drinker's health."
Pit looked at the Smashers. They were all in good health and hadn't suffered too much fighting the enemies on their way there. "Guess I'll gulp it all down to restore that one glaring five percent in my health bar," he said and happily took the drink for himself. Ms. Fit cringed at how the angel said nothing about his questionable food cravings, and there was this little nagging feeling in her that was starting to greatly irk her about him...
On the center of that arena up ahead, there was a large boulder in the middle. "So where's that Cragalanche guy? All I see is a boulder..." Popo said.
"That boulder looks mighty suspicious, though. It doesn't look like anything else that we saw on our way here," Nana said. "...That's Cragalanche, isn't it."
"There is life energy radiating strongly from that very same boulder, so it should be Viridi's fighter," Lucario said with narrowed eyes at the rock.
"Aaaaaaaaaand..." Magolor trailed off, his hands stretched out to the boulder with his eyes closed in deep focus, "...oh my, there's another Energy Sphere somewhere in its person! I can detect a very strong reading coming from that one boulder!" He opened his eyes and pulled his hands back. "We must retrieve it before the Doomers show up!"
Before they could head in to a possible boss fight, Chris consulted Kawashima about the customization pieces he had gotten from Master Hand. "I'm so sorry..." Kawashima said ashamed. "Your only chance to equip those was when you were with Palutena or when you were about to head out into this stage with Pit. I'm afraid the menu's been locked out until you go back to the goddess' side."
"Just my luck..." Chris muttered.
"But...! Don't go forgetting you can share jobs with others! The jobs are just like the pieces of equipment, except with the added benefit of getting extra skills and abilities pasted over the target. You can toss jobs to others during a fight!"
He wasn't going to go forgetting that, and Fox was the first one to make a note of the useful bit. The others, though, they had to be filled in about it, but it was all too late once they started to move forward into the arena to face off against the boss of the area...
...when, during their little stroll, the circular border of the arena decided to call forth a dome of vines that sprouted from the ground and rose up to the air. The sudden jerking motion of the earth made the Smashers tumble to the sides, where some managed to keep their footing on and realized that at least half of them had been allowed into the boulder's line of sight. "N-no!" Pit yelled as he noticed that only him, Popo, Nana, Meta Knight, Chris, and Lucario (him reacting quick enough to step into the ring) were by his side while the other half of the group was barred from entering, their faces barely noticeable through the small gaps between the vines.
"Are you freaking kidding me?!" Fox complained as he started to pound the thick vine wall with his right fist.
They heard Viridi confidently laughing her head off at their misfortune, realizing that the blond goddess was back to her insufferable attitude they all so hated. "Honestly now! Were you really thinking I was gonna let you all fight Cragalanche as a massive group? I didn't forget how Palutena was so peppy about having over ten commanders at her disposition!" she said.
"Hey, they're not my commanders. They are all extra guests who can get free passes to anywhere they go unless they are not MVPs," Palutena said.
"Whatever! I know it would be nasty to let everyone in. Cragalanche can handle this many by himself just fine... This is a matter between us goddesses, and you all have trespassed one of my many future domains!" Viridi said with a grin.
They were distraught that their numbers had been halved. Magolor peeked his face through one gap to look at them. "These vines are way too thick to cut down! This can't be done any other way, but...fight and win against that guy!" he said.
Ms. Fit peeked inside too. "I doubt my moves could work against a rock. I'd be a big disadvantage to you all..." she lamented.
A black void belonging to Mr. G&W's face peeked in. "These vines are also fire-resistant! You guys must be careful in there!" he said.
Pit grunted at their bad luck until they were forced to turn around and look at the big boulder at the center... Two glowing red eyes upside-down appeared on the bottom side of the boulder, until it started to shake on its spot. The hard coat of brown rock all over began to crack into large segments, until one by one, every individual piece fell off to the ground and revealed a gray exterior within the rock coat. It was a thick, sturdy rock body that measured about nine feet tall, with two long stubby arms with brown curled fists that looked just as sturdy as the rest of its body. Though, said arms belonged to a common face body type, since the creature's large face covered the whole front with short legs under its large chin. Sporting a set of two somewhat uninterested glaring eyes, the rock monster found out it was standing on top of his head and rolled aside to adjust himself, eyeing its prey at the south corner of the dome.
Showing off how his obliviousness was not shared among his other worried teammates, Pit grinned cockily. "Cragalanche, huh? What are you, a monster truck?" he taunted with an appropriate hand gesture for the creature to come at him.
Viridi followed by saying, "Pit, huh? What are YOU? A hole in the ground?"
The World Traveler reminded himself that his dutiful Lucario was standing right next to him, with fists flaring up with aura and a glare meant to crack the monster apart. With some renewed courage, Chris was quick to put his second skill set to good use and took out the book he always used to read up the enemy's stats. "Study!" he said as the pages of his book flapped wildly and then stopped dead on Cragalanche's entry. He bothered to read aloud the description to let the others know.
Cragalanche – Lvl. 155
Magic Defense: 0
Resistant to: N/A
Weak Against: N/A
Abilities: Anti-Death, Anti-Poison, Anti-Sleep, Anti-Confusion
Immune to: Death, Poison, Sleep, Confusion
D: A commanding officer in the Forces of Nature. Once a mere boulder with a soul, Cragalanche spent years developing a will of his own. Fiercely loyal to Viridi, he strikes at the front lines of battle like a meteor.Attacking the animated boulder head on does little against him, but it possesses a weak point somewhere. During his free time, Cragalanche is a top rock sculptor and likes to cannonball into big pools of water to annoy nearby swimmers.
"...What was that last sentence about?" Nana asked with a grimace.
"I feel like this book suddenly knows a little too much about our enemies..." Chris said shrugging, putting the book away.
The Goddess of Nature wasn't so knowledgeable about the World Traveler that she felt it was right to ask rhetorically, "What the heck kind of human breed are you to know that much about Cragalanche? Ugh, you're just as despicable as I thought all humans are."
The World Traveler then decided to talk back to her. He wouldn't have thought about talking back to her after her nightmarish ideas, but it helped that Viridi looked like an annoying younger cousin when he first saw her image. "So sorry I can't control how much info this book has about our enemies..." he said.
"No talking back to me!" the goddess shouted. "Hey, Cragalanche! Get this over with and crush them all into the ground! Be sure to reeducate that blue Pokémon into serving me and not the human-loving goddess!"
With the Aura Pokémon growling in protest and standing next to his doubtful trainer, Pit looked back at the Ice Climbers and Meta Knight, the three nodding at him as a sign that they were ready to fight the rocky monster. The angel pointed at Cragalanche and chuckled. "We're so gonna turn you into a fine Lady Palutena rock statue which we will worship for weeks after we're done with you!" he said, his battle cry being frowned upon by his otherwise more level-headed party members. Regardless of that, the team charged forward to the monster...
It would be just the beginning of a very long struggle against gods and many other enemies for the Smashers. A third party had thought that as he watched from the outer core of the Reset Bomb forest on a thick branch poking inside the pink atmosphere. He grinned to himself and took off to the skies outside the dome, his dark wings enveloped in a purple glow that allowed him to fly infinitely as much as he wanted. As he flew away, he only thought about taking Pit's spot as being the original angel...
TO BE CONTINUED...
"On the next episode of this never ending tale: One Bunch of Black Wings!" Palutena announced excitedly. "It appears someone is shedding black wings!"
"Who let the ravens in?!" Pit asked.
"No, Pit. There are no ravens in our world. Only singing birds."
"Oh, right. Maybe I should start singing a good number with the birds right here and now. Ahem... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!"
"Stop," the other Smashers interrupted, making Pit stop and sulk at them.
"Saving your data now!" Stiltzkin said.
Reset Bomb Forest
Chris (Lvl. 120) - Lucario (Lvl. 128) – Pit (Lvl. 140)
Meta Knight (Lvl. 126) – Fox (Lvl. 125) - Ice Climbers (Lvl. 101) - Mr. Game & Watch (Lvl. 113)
Ancient Minister (Lvl. 115) – Wii Fit Trainer (Lvl. 100) – Magolor (Lvl. 100)
Make way for the biggest ***ch in Nintendo history to charm you with really drastic measures to kill us all! Flower lovers are not safe.
If Pit's world hadn't changed to something you would enjoy during Saturdays, the chances of me unleashing all those jokes would've been slim.
Ahem... I hope I don't ever get to release these chapters so late, but life has truly changed my schedule. Well, who knows when the next chapter will be ready? I really am liking how Pit's world doesn't take itself so seriously even at the light of pure and utter annihilation...which is something the Smashers are going to have a hard time trying to get used to.
By the way, for those of you who are getting sick of Chris only talking with Lucario, the next chapter will change that as he will start bonding with the other Smashers of the group; Pit especially...and the easygoing Palutena. Hoo boy, I think I hate the guy for putting him through those two.
The last paragraph of the chapter also hints at the appearance of everyone's favorite aggro angel. Even the next chapter's title isn't that shy of saying it outright.
Did some of you think I was going to show stuff from the first nine chapters of the game? I found Viridi's arc to have more potential character-wise because of how many important characters start to show up. Therefore, you can expect a lot of jabs between all parties...though things will get really serious under all the laughter once the Subspace Army shows up. Don't go expecting a long battle with Cragalanche. It'll be short and sweet.
My profile has been updated with bios for the Ancient Minister, Mr. G&W, King Dedede, Wario, and Ms. Fit.
Well, Merry Christmas to you all...at least for the people who managed to read all the way down here during this joyful day. See you next time, and Happy New Year...or else Pit will go without wings till next year.
Pit: U-um... C-can we not talk about that? Things have gotten a little too dark when you talk about my wings now.
Nana: Oh, phew. I thought everything we knew about the Pit of the past was gone for good! It's nice to see something we all remember is still a memory in you.
Pit: I'm being serious! Don't talk about my wings like that!
Chris: ...I have this fleeting feeling in me that's telling me we shouldn't press him too much on that more than ever... Strange...