Nope. This isn't a joke. A brand new chapter is here to break that cycle of emptiness.
Though before we begin…unless you had already moved down below…let me say THANK YOU to all you wonderful people who kept coming back to the story even though it stopped updating for a long time now. The favs just keep coming like a stream every day, which only shows me how much you all care about this GOD ******* LONG *** STORY OUT OF THE ******* ABYSS of my head. Yes, those asterisks aren't censors. So I figured the only way to keep the stream going is to complete the next chapter at last.
…Well, actually, it had to be split a bit at the end because it was getting a tad too long. Regardless, this should satiate your thirst for a bit more.
(I'm not answering reviews since there's way too many new and old ones. I want to have fresh meat.)
Because I doubt people remember what happened last time, my chapters shall now include helpful summaries of previous chapters to get you back up on speed.
My catchphrase lives on again. I encourage everyone into floor ice cream to read on, enjoy, and review.
Disclaimer: What do pants feel like?
With their new long arc mission defined, the group is once more put into universe watch mode and learn a little too late that their new objective involves Pit's universe after the angel himself had departed not too long ago. Record time much? Expecting religion and many Greek/Roman references, the group did NOT expect how nobody in Pit's world takes things too seriously. As a result, they are constantly mocked by Pit's newfound…lack of intelligence and his goddess Palutena's "screw your rules, I make them' mentality.
Clenching their collective fists to tolerate them both, they are forced to fight against Hades, Lord of the Underworld, until that mantle is quickly replaced by Viridi, the Goddess of Nature, who reveals to be quite anti-human as they come by releasing gigantic nuking seeds of oblivion (it make more sense in context, I think) onto them when she deems humanity stagnant to nature. Opposing her skewed views of racism (and her similar approach on mocking them like Palutena and Hades), the group infiltrates her Reset Bomb Forest to rescue any survivors and, most importantly, gather Energy Spheres for Magolor. No, we aren't trying to downplay human life against material things.
Reaching the bottom to collect one more trinket, they are divided in numbers, with one divided group forced into a death match against one of Viridi's subordinates: Cragalanche…
Chapter 221: One Bunch of Black Feathers
Kid Icarus: Uprising – Boss Battle 1
Within the dome of vines, the six fighters faced off against the rocky Cragalanche. Pit took the frontal line first just as Meta Knight joined his side. "We've got the number advantage, you guys! He may be big and thick, but we can chip off his body little by little!" Pit encouraged the team.
"But Cragalanche can break each one of you down in one smack. He's been practicing his fighting routine very hard lately," Viridi boasted. "Cragalanche, smash down the humans first, especially the annoying teen with the funny mage getup!"
"Of course she's going to pick on me first on account for being human…" Chris trailed off, until he saw Cragalanche smacking his fists on the ground as if to prepare himself to move forward. He did move forward without wobbling his small feet around. Strangely, he moved by sliding above the ground at medium speed.
"I thought he liked to roll to move around?" Popo wondered.
"Sliding motion that challenges the physics brought to you by yours truly. It takes months for Cragalanche to move without rolling into a ball," Viridi said.
As if taking an idea from her, the rock monster did curl into a ball to raise his speed and tear toward the enemy line quickly. The six fighters managed to move out of the way as Cragalanche crashed into the root wall hard. "I won't let that thing lay a hand on you, Chris. You must keep yourself away from its range!" Lucario warned.
"W-well, being the only spell caster of the group, I have to keep a long range, so… Lucario, you stay close to me while I cast my spells!" Chris ordered. Lucario obeyed as both of them moved away from the monster. "…Oh, right. I forgot. I have to give out a job to get experience for it. For you, Lucario, I will give you…the Monk job. It should complement your style!" The World Traveler created an orb of light that contained the Monk job; said orb now showing a gloved fist within. As Lucario stared at it, the teen tossed the item into the Pokémon's body.
In a quick flash, Lucario was now wearing a black karate gi, with his chest spike peeking out from the cleavage window in the middle. He was also now wearing a black headband with two long ends reaching halfway through his back, along with blue straps wrapped around his ankles. The Aura Pokémon could sense his strength and vitality having been increased by half as much power as he originally had, at the expense of reducing his magical defense by just as much. He couldn't complain much.
"(Oh dear god. He looks so cool in it… Finally some clothing fit him right,)" Chris relished. "H-how do you feel?"
"Stronger than ever, and surely ready to crush the world in your name," Lucario noted with a smile.
"Good! But…no crushing the world in my name. I don't want people to hate me for that ever happening," Chris said. "You know the current plan. Let's stay away from that monster!"
"And he likes to play chasing games as well! Cragalanche, don't you let that human do his work!" Viridi ordered.
Cragalanche turned around and faced his current target getting way, until Pit and Meta Knight barred his way. "It's rude to ignore me of all times!" Pit said, his Guardian Orbitars in position. He pointed at the monster. "We will not fall to the likes of you!"
"Must your adrenaline make you say such lines now?" Meta Knight asked.
"…" Cragalanche said, staring down at his two foes.
"…Not much of a talker, is he?" Pit asked. Cragalanche lunged forward with a charged barrier covering his head, quickly ramming into the two and causing a blast once his forehead struck the ground. Only Meta Knight dodged the blow perfectly, while Pit was pushed away.
"He's a rock. He is the strong silent type," Viridi said. "He's not much of a fan of roars, either. I'll do the talking for him so you're not bored. Ahem… CRAGALANCHE PUSH PIT AWAY!" she said with a hoarse voice. "CRAGALANCHE SMASH PUNY HUMANS DOWN!"
Meta Knight took advantage of Cragalanche's immobility from getting struck on the ground and quickly slashed the body parts he thought were less resilient, or more accurately, the tight spaces between the rocks in hopes of severing them. When the monster pushed himself back to his feet, Meta Knight backed off and pushed his cape aside after using it to cover his eyes from the dust in the air. "I doubt we will deal a lot of damage to him. His body may resist our frontal blows without problems," Meta Knight said.
The Ice Climbers were carefully standing away to see where they could strike. They both thought about the same place: the face. Maybe striking the eyes would do something, they thought. "I just know a monster like him must have a weakness somewhere!" Popo said.
"The book Chris read said he's not so good at resisting magic," Nana said. "What a nice time to lose our sticker magic…"
"Holy Lance!" suddenly was shouted from the other side of the field, courtesy of Chris using the time Cragalanche took to fight the others. A holy glyph formed under the rocky creature and created four shining lights that surrounded him on all sides, rising high and then piercing his body in the shapes of gleaming lances of light. The only pained reaction Cragalanche showed was slowly opening his mouth.
"Not cool, puny human!" Viridi complained as she saw the lances vanishing. She was a bit thankful the spell didn't truly pierce her general through fatally. "Magical spears that literally don't pierce through. You sure are going soft on him!"
"If only it was that simple, but all my enemies happen to have some fantastic resistances. It's really hard to really burn someone alive in any other universe…" Chris commented. "Maybe I've become used to this that I can resist being shot by a gun now."
"Then if a gun won't do the trick, let heavy weights do that! Cragalanche, enact your revenge on him and just rush!" Viridi ordered, clearly infuriated. Cragalanche simply obeyed and started moving to the World Traveler, not minding the others getting in the way. The Ice Climbers quickly scrambled up and lunged at him with hammers ready, which the rock blocked and the swatted away with ease. Pit, with a loud battle cry that in hindsight alerted Cragalanche, charged at him from the side with his Guardian Orbitars firing a barrage of shots. The angel completely forgot that the shots were extremely weak against Cragalanche's rock-hard body, only barely making him twitch.
The rock kept advancing to a wary Chris keeping his distance while Lucario fired off a charged Aura Sphere that collided hard on the monster's face and made him stop to shrug off the pain. "Lucario used Aura Sphere! It's super effectively working on this universe's laws!" Palutena giddily commented.
"Gaaah! If only that blue mutt hadn't reacted and entered the thorn barrier!" Viridi complained. "We have to deal with the stupid disadvantage… We can do that, too! Cragalanche, use Dig!"
"Wow. I didn't know he was a Pokémon!" Pit commented, taking a small break to recover from shooting mindlessly at the monster, who then spun in place and burrowed down into the ground, leaving a big hole behind. "Dang! It's surely gonna attack someone from down below!"
Being the Aura Pokémon, Lucario's eyes glowed yellow as he sensed and tracked down Cragalanche's presence under the ground. Quickly locating him, Lucario gasped in shock when the monster's original path – a direct crash course to him – suddenly changed directions and immediately went underneath an unsuspecting Chris looking around. "CHRIS!" Lucario yelled.
But his warning yell came too late. The World Traveler felt heavy shaking under his feet, and from there, Cragalanche sprouted out and gave a nasty uppercut so strong that it send the human crashing on the thorn ceiling above. Letting out a quiet yelp of horror, Chris's back bounced off from the ceiling, falling back down and above a staring Cragalanche… "Critical hit!" Viridi giddily announced.
"You crazy little bitch!" came Fox's furious call from outside the thorn barrier. He gasped in horror as he saw his companion falling back down…
The monster didn't get to attack once more, due to the Ice Climbers using their Belay move to get Popo high into the air and pulled Chris safely with her using the rope with Nana pulling the rope from the ground, pulling both back down. As Cragalanche wordlessly stared at the move and getting pushed back by a furious Lucario ramming a Force Palm on his side, the climbers safely grabbed Chris from above their heads and put him down to check on him. "C-Chris, are you okay?!" Nana asked.
The World Traveler fought back the tears of horror as he tried to resist the coursing pain in his body. "I-I will be now. T-thanks…" the teen gasped out as he was helped to stand back up. He took out his scholar book for a quick healing spell, while the children stood to the front to keep an eye on Cragalanche, who was lying down on its side after receiving the Force Palm blow. Not to mention, an Aura Sphere came from the side and flipped him back to stand on his flat head, before falling forward on his big face.
As Cragalanche tried to recover from the furious blows, Meta Knight noticed a rather disturbing but very important spot on the rock's body that was too hard to miss… There was a big gap that was glowing bright red right on the spot that would be the place where Cragalanche's butt should be. "….You've got to be kidding me," muttered Meta Knight. "Everyone! Strike the glowing spot on his rear! That must be a weak point!"
Everyone in the vine dome overheard the command and then stared oddly at the place where Cragalanche's butt would be, wincing at the red rock within the gap flashing. "Eww," Nana muttered.
"And it's rather big to miss… How did we miss that from the start?" Popo wondered.
"But this shot won't miss it!" Pit said excitedly as he ran and lunged forward, launching an offensive attack with his orbitars. Having triggered a move that would only happen while running, the orbitars produced two large transparent shields that slowly made their way through the air, though Pit had gotten so close to the rock goliath to crash the shields into the rock gap, rather severely inflicting damage on Cragalanche. "This is for messing with Chris!"
"That should be my line!" Lucario complained – right before the Ice Climbers exchanged dull looks at the cheesy line from both - just as an Aura Sphere squarely blew up on the rock gap, pushing Cragalanche back and to the vine wall. The sphere had flipped Cragalanche on his feet, his face crashed on the wall.
"Argh!" Viridi grunted loudly. "I told him to get that fixed weeks ago! Cragalanche, you had to procrastinate!"
Cragalanche, as always, did not give a coherent reply and just pushed his face off the wall and twirled around to face them. With the wall covering his embarrassing glowing butt, the monster raised his arms and called forth a floating arc of rock in midair. The others readied themselves for what the monster was going to do, which was blasting the floating rock wall and breaking it into big rock shards that flew across a ninety degree angle. Only Meta Knight was close to the attack's range, though he easily dodged the blow with Dimension Cape, warping to the front and facing Cragalanche. "Now that I know your weak spot, this battle won't last for long," he warned the monster.
Viridi gulped. She knew how threatening Meta Knight was and she didn't want him anywhere near Cragalanche now that the weak point was discovered. The others were about an average threat, but Meta Knight? "Cragalanche, you better stay away from that guy! We can't afford to lose this fight while Pit is in our reach!" she ordered. "…And the human!" she added.
"(For crying out loud!)" Chris complained mentally as he finished his Cura spell and applied the full effect on him, restoring his health almost fully. With the pain gone from his system by a lot, he returned to his spell casting job.
Cragalanche heed her orders and dug into the dirt once more. The group feared where the monster would crawl back out from the ground, especially an anxious Chris…so Lucario stepped and carried him on his arms.
"He won't get to you ever again," Lucario said, and without giving Chris a chance for a reply, the Aura Pokémon ran to the vine wall and effortlessly climbed it without using one occupied arm. By the time he got up the wall, both Pokémon and trainer were hoisted on the edge of the wall and the roof. As Chris tried to regain his composure, Lucario warily stared down at the ground and used his aura senses to locate Cragalanche digging around the spot where they were hovering above. It turned out Chris was Cragalanche's target after all.
"Stupid scaredy dog! Come back down and fight like a manly plant!" Viridi complained.
"If you insist…"
"W-wait!" Chris interrupted. "H-how are you supposed to attack? Both of your arms are busy!"
As the others carefully looked around for any trembling motions, Lucario narrowed his eyes and looked sideways at the vine he was holding on to. "…Time to put that to good use," he muttered, covering his left hand with aura. Chris looked back at what Lucario was doing, gasping when he saw the aura in his hand going into the vine wall and then leaving a thin but visible trail that went all the way down into the ground… "Grrr…" Lucario grunted. "My power has weakened tremendously in these missions, but I can pull this off…!"
And from out of the ground, Cragalanche was given a rocky uppercut in the form of a stalactite covered in vines – the vines enveloped in Lucario's aura – that rose up hard and dug out the rock monster abruptly as he had been busy waiting for his prey to come down. Falling on his face again, Cragalanche wailed around in confusion. "W-what the heck was that just now?!" Viridi bellowed.
"I-I have no idea!" Palutena quipped. No one would ever know she had been quiet for taking a bathroom break. "This isn't in my official Pokémon Move Guide: Special Edition!"
The Goddess of Nature took a hard look at the stalactite. It wasn't the rock itself that had been manipulated. The glowing vines were clutching into the rock formation rather hard, with visible gaps filled under them all. The rock had been forced out using the vines. She then saw the stalactite pulling back down and disappearing from sight by Lucario's command. She grinded her teeth hard and yelled, "T-that blue mutt manipulated the vines to make that rock strike Cragalanche! How dare he brainwash the flora of my domain?!"
The other fighters in the dome were taken aback from what they just saw, it took Lucario's yell to get them back into the fight to focus on the weak spot again. The Ice Climbers and Meta Knight rushed forward, the first jumping high and smashing their mallets hard on the glowing spot, followed by the latter drilling into it with Drill Rush (which Viridi winced at). Popo and Nana didn't waste time and used their icy breath to add up to Meta Knight's attack lasting a little longer. With Cragalanche busy to get back up and resist the damage accumulating quickly, Lucario let go of the vine wall and landed back on the ground, taking his trainer further away from the enemy.
Then Pit came running by and asked loudly "How did you do that?!" to Lucario, who twitched at the loud question.
"This is hardly the time to explain what I did. Just focus on the battle!" Lucario complained as he set Chris down.
"The Overlimit Gauge is full!" their digital instructor rang out.
Meta Knight stopped drilling into the weak spot and didn't miss a beat triggering the special rainbow aura. Swiping his cape aside as his body became engulfed in the glowing light, he swung his cape at the weak spot, gently brushing the fabric on it as the scenery darkened and time itself stopped…
A harsh slash that just seemed to cut through the darkness itself divided it in two, striking the weak spot in the way. Cragalanche groaned loudly and quickly spun on the ground to push his attackers aside. Getting back up, the monster furiously beat on his rocky face as a sign of desperation. "CRAGALANCHE ANGRY! CRAGALANCHE MAKE MINCE MEAT OUTTA PUNY PEOPLE!" Viridi seemingly translated, channeling her minion's hatred until he stopped.
"Someone is getting into voice acting!" Palutena said.
"RAAAWR! STUPID SHINY GODDESS IS GONNA LOSE!" Viridi said.
"Wait. Cragalanche didn't do anything when you said that," Pit pointed out.
While the holy(?) beings kept squabbling on, the World Traveler took the opportunity to begin casting magic. Cragalanche saw the glow under the teen, remembering he could attack from afar. The monster grumbled a bit and smashed the ground several times, creating quick moving shockwaves that went along the floor all the way where Chris was focusing. As Chris gasped at the sight of the shockwaves, Lucario once more took him on his arms and leapt away from the homing blows, which crashed behind on the vine wall. Angered by their move, the monster groaned loudly and smashed the ground hard with both fists, creating a rather large shockwave barrier that covered the entire floor. Though Lucario and Meta Knight managed to leap above it, it took Pit and the Ice Climbers by surprise, sending them tumbling on the ground.
"S-shockwaves!" Chris said. "That thing can send shockwaves!"
There was an ominous shadow right above him and Lucario. The two looked up and saw that Cragalanche had somehow enlarged and stretched his right arm to smash its larger weight on them both. Just barely noticing it going down, Lucario growled and picked the fastest choice to keep Chris unharmed: tossing him aside to give Lucario enough time to use his now available arms to stop the crushing blow. Though Lucario barely held out his palms in time, the blow struck him down hard onto the ground, trapping his feet as he resisted the weight pressing down on him. "Grr!"
"About time there was some damage on that mutt!" Viridi said.
"N-no!" Chris said as he saw Lucario gritting his fangs and slowly getting buried to the ground. Cragalanche was surely trying to trap the Aura Pokémon to strike hard later, Chris thought, so he desperately used whatever move he could think of to stop the monster from continuing, seeing as the others had backed off by the earlier attack. Raising his staff to the air, the World Traveler called out his move… "Pow Hammer!"
A red squeaky hammer materialized on Cragalanche's head, bonking him with the serenity of a plastic toy that could barely hurt a rock. It bumped on his head and lifelessly fell on the ground, vanishing in a quick blink of light with a squeaky sound following.
Viridi started to laugh at the display. "Oh, rich! You seriously attacked with a toy hammer? What are humans getting for threatening attacks these days? It's no wonder my Reset Bomb wrecked them hard!" she boasted as much as she could to let out the steam from her head.
"H-hey! I'm desperate here! I can't think straight in these situations!" Chris complained to her.
"Desperation! The negative threat that makes humans so detestable!" Viridi stated. "Well! Now that you're so desperate to get Cragalanche's attention, I will note him to strike you down where you stand! Cragalanche, swing that arm aside!"
Cragalanche did nothing for the next five seconds. Lucario oddly felt that the pressure on his palms was entirely gone.
"…Cragalanche, I said swing it!" Viridi yelled, her patience being tested. She didn't like to see how Chris was taking the strange moment to move back and start a better attack with magic. "Oh, Cragy! Will you get a move on and fight? We were starting to get the upper hand! …CRAGALANCHE, WHY AREN'T YOU DOING ANYTHING?!" she complained until she saw the strange look on Cragalanche's eyes. "W-what th-?!"
The rocky monster was dazzled. His eyes were bright orange swirls that comically spun clockwise at uneven speeds. His body had gone unresponsive, with his stretched arm just resting on Lucario's thick palms. "Hey, check that out! He's dizzied!" Pit said. "That squeaky hammer must have hit a nerve!"
"Are, you, KIDDING ME?!" the Goddess of Nature screeched. "That utterly pathetic attack did that?! How?! It shouldn't have done anything!"
"It did, luckily for us…" Chris sighed. "…STRIKE!"
The rest of the group went for an all-out attack to take advantage and exploit the moment. While Meta Knight, the Ice Climbers, and Pit rushed behind Cragalanche to hit the weak spot, Lucario growled and pushed the enlarged rock arm to the side, quickly burrowing from the ground with Extreme Speed to fly all the way to the back of the monster. From where Chris was standing, he heard a large multitude of strikes piling up on top of each other, gradually depleting Cragalanche's health in quite a fast pace. "S-stop it!" Viridi demanded in a hurry, feeling Cragalanche's life starting to dwindle faster by the second. "I SAID STOP IT! How dare you pick on a downed opponent?! Stop playing dirty!"
"Says the girl who dropped a seed nuke on unsuspecting humans," Palutena scoffed.
"That was a justified move!"
"Yes! You're utterly exploiting the weakness now!" Dr. Kawashima noted. "Cragalanche isn't going to live for long. His health is just about to hit rock bottom!"
"S-seriously?" Chris asked.
"I'm positive. The numbers in my recorded memory for his HP don't lie. Finish this off with a bang! The Overlimit gauge has filled up again!"
"R-right!" Chris prepared to use the Overlimit, until he couldn't block off an extreme roar and the familiar rainbow aura gathering right behind Cragalanche. "What the…?"
Lucario had beaten Chris to the punch, taking the Overlimit for himself. Powered up with the gift, the others saw his form and wisely backed away in a hurry, with only Pit screaming and getting shut up by Nana. Seeing the others running away only warned Chris to do the same and take cover somewhere safe from whatever small scale-yet-still-big-enough explosion was going to appear at any moment now. With no good covers in the barren dome, his only option was simply increasing the distance between the start point and the furthest wall. Even the people outside the dome ran away, with Fox pulling Ms. Fit and Mr. G&W away. "Oh dear god, he's using the Monk's Moonbeam move!" Dr. Kawashima said.
"B-beam! That's enough for me to know!" Popo shrieked with Nana, just as the move was being pulled off…
Lucario gathered a large amount of energy – stylized with his aura energy – in his left foot as he pulled it back. With a loud roar, he squarely kicked Cragalanche's weak point with the strength of three trucks crashing hard and continued with a kick somersault in midair, increasing the potency of the devastating blow on Cragalanche's rear… Contrary to their initial reaction to the name Moonbeam, it hadn't been a laser move but rather a simple powered up kick that was three times as strong as a normal attack, though with Lucario's power having been increased with the Monk job, the blow was too much for the monster to resist.
Cragalanche regained his consciousness – his rather lost consciousness – at the worst possible time of all. He felt queasy inside his body, feeling the extreme pain of the kick sending multiple explosions within his rocky form. There was also that strange feeling of flying in the air against his will, realizing he had been kicked to the air and to a crash course to the center of the dome itself. Screaming with a loud groan as the cracks in his body released streams of orange, volatile light, Cragalanche went soaring to the center of the ceiling and burst through it, causing the dome's roots to die out quickly as his life blew up a little higher in the air. Startled by the explosion coming from outside the dome, the other watchers turned around on their retreat and saw the big smoke cloud above the crumbling dome…
The battle was won.
"Defeated by a hard kick in his rocky butt!" Pit's echoing voice resounded. "Literally!"
"Dammit, Pit! I won't forget that in a while!" Chris's cringed voice resounded back.
The roots that made the dome were dying out quickly, with the debris of the center falling down and withering quickly on its own. The way to the outside world opened up and in time the fighters were able to reunite with their other allies rushing inside the area to check on them. "Nice job, you guys!" Magolor thanked them, before looking dull and shaking his head. "You could have tried to make sure to get the Energy Sphere instead of kicking it away," he emphasized, sounding slightly annoyed.
"U-uh…" Lucario felt their gazes burning his crimson eyes, forcing him to look up at the black cloud left behind by Cragalanche. "I-I'm…sorry…"
A small twinkle in the cloud shimmered for a brief moment, piercing through the darkness of its color. A small hole through the cloud formed behind a trailing round object falling down right on top of Magolor, who blinked and held out his hands in time to catch the spoil of the battle. "Oh! Never mind that!" he brightened up with glee. "Energy Sphere get! This makes two out of one-hundred and twenty! We're getting there!"
"Hearing you say the maximum number tires me out already," Fox muttered, until he smiled at the others. "Great work out there, you guys. Defeating that rock beast from a crazy goddess proves we can fight back."
Lucario's Monk clothes blinked away from existence, forming a white orb that flew over his head and went back to rejoin Chris's own self. The feeling of getting that increase of power just taken away made Lucario a bit sad. "Well done in sharing the job with Lucario. The Monk job got some nice experience for the battle's results. It definitely helped to finish the battle sooner when he went all out on the weak point!" Dr. Kawashima said. "Keep going at it and you will have every job mastered someday soon!"
"R-really…" Chris said, looking at Lucario. "…I have to make a habit out of sharing jobs with others. It's the only way I can make our battles easier."
"Yes," Lucario said. "I felt much stronger with that job increasing my strength…" He got in deep thought. "…Outside of missions, can yo-?"
"I'm not boosting your already-nuclear power!" Chris scolded, making Lucario hang down his head. "Geez! You guys get a little too addicted to the Job System once you get a little taste of it. No wonder Master Hand gave it to me…"
"(Would be a lot easier for me to keep a job if his power changed his mind…)" Fox thought in shame.
Suddenly, Viridi's gigantic projection of herself appeared far away in the distance, surprising them. The small twitching vein on her forehead only made her temper more obvious. "Enjoy this meaningless victory, you peasants. This won't stop me from correcting this world from its corrupted natural state!" she boasted. "Defeating Cragalanche in such dirty way gave me enough of an impression. I won't go easy on you all, especially the pesky human!"
"Ms. Fit is a human too, you know!" Chris yelled.
"Doesn't matter! You're going down first!" she declared while pointing her wooden staff down at him, just for Lucario to step in the way and growl at her. "…And your stupid blue dog too!"
"You'll see how futile it is to fight the power of the Super Smash Brothers!" Pit declared with triumph, not noticing the cringing looks on their faces and Meta Knight pulling Fox away from punching Pit's head. "Your war against the human world will end in defeat!"
"Big words from an angel that can't fly!" Viridi retorted. "We shall see how this goes. Good luck facing off the Forces of Nature, puny mortals!" she laughed out loud, her projection fading away in the pink sky of the Reset Bomb Forest…
Confirming that she was gone from sight, the group exchanged looks and sighed, happy to know the infuriating goddess had left them alone for a while. "She's gone. Thank goodness," Nana said.
"She's even more annoying to deal with than the Subspace Army," Popo said. "How can that be possible?"
"They don't yell in our ears 24/7," Pit said. "Can't imagine how that feels like."
"Yup. I can't imagine either," Palutena called out. "Great job in repelling her forces…even if we sort out of lost big time with what happened there."
The group looked around the landscape. Large vines sprouting out from the ground to form chaotic formations of flora all the way to the sky, covering the area in a huge sphere of glowing pink plants. Any signs that used to tell there was a settlement near the battlefield were wrecked completely under the sheer weight of the thick wood bursting through the hard concrete. Now that they had reached the ground, they noticed the swords, ripped flags, shields, crushed catapults, and most important of all…the sickening smell of dry blood spread around the soil…
"…I…I want out of this place…" Chris muttered.
"Yeah… Nothing much can be done," Palutena said, calling forth the ethereal lights of transportation for the group to take. Looking up at the light, they saw their feet being separated from the ground, until in a second they were all whisked back to Palutena's Sanctuary. The vivid memory of the battlefield being destroyed by the Reset Bomb would remind them how dangerous Viridi was under her stressed face…
The victory against Cragalanche signaled a small but yet eventful time where Palutena's forces (AKA the small bunch of unfortunate idiots who had no other choice but to carry her banner and Pit) fought against Viridi's forces, at during which time Hades decided to show up to stir the fighting a little more. Despite some attempts to convince Viridi to join them in their cause, not only did they get a long talk about how she absolutely despised them all for siding with the humans (with an even longer rant about siding with humanoid foxes), but it looked like she commanded her forces to ignore Hades and focus on Pit even more, which in turn allowed Hades to spread more mischief and chaos. It was not crazy to say the Smashers were against all odds.
Still, they somehow pushed through the fighting and managed to destroy the Reset Bomb factory that Viridi used to create the deadly Reset Bombs. With the factory gone, the group was content to know they had saved many humans from the wrath of the anti-human psychopath Goddess of Nature (it wasn't a surprise everyone came up with their own personal derogatory nicknames for her in their heads). After fighting for quite a long time now, there was just silence, and the day was drawing to a close before they knew it.
Palutena rewarded their efforts by granting them a moment of rest in the form of bringing a living room set to the central area of her temple. It was better than nothing, most of them thought. There wasn't much else to do seeing as the outside world was a little too hostile to wander about with the Forces of Nature and the Underworld Army on the move. The relaxation time was much welcomed in the end...
It would've been more relaxing to Chris – who was starting to feel better from putting his life on the line and was also becoming used to surviving - if it hadn't been for the unusual interruption of a cushion being flung at his face at full force. That same cushion was then grabbed by Lucario and tossed back at its owner with more force. "Oww!" Pit grumbled as the cushion fell aside. He rubbed his face. "H-hey, you make cushions feel like soft bricks!"
The World Traveler briefly glared at Pit, until he noticed the angel was sitting by himself apart from the circle of sofas and couches. His own sofa was next to another one that wasn't being occupied by anyone...which Chris then noticed was meant for him, because the angel was looking his way and patting the empty sofa. The angel seemed to be trying to have a private conversation with him while the others were busy talking to each other (the topic they were discussing being if if was possible to punch Viridi or not). The World Traveler already knew that talking to Pit was like talking to a ticking bomb with no countdown on it; he would never know when Pit would say something outlandish and make fun of serious stuff. But then again, if he didn't get it over with, Pit would surely keep his game of trying to get his attention with cushions.
Chris then stood up from his sofa and walked all the way to the other one, though not alone seeing as Lucario kept his word about staying close to his troubled trainer. He took on the role of the silent out-looker while his trainer became the target of the talk. Once sitting down on the empty sofa, Chris turned to Pit, and he was surprised when he saw the rather indifferent look on the angel's face. "Okay, I'm here. There's no way you tossed that cushion on my face to start a cushion war other than getting my attention," Chris said.
"Phew. I'm glad you didn't think about it that way, but it would've been cool," Pit said. After Chris shook his head in disapproval, the angel chuckled awkwardly. "A-alright, I'll just tell you why I called you here...and your creepy shadow creature," he added when he looked back at Lucario standing behind the sofa, his glare turning a little more menacing. "Here goes, then..." He stared back at Chris. "...Have you ever felt like your own group hates you behind your back?"
"No... And the last time it felt like that, it was when not many of you couldn't believe the truth about your origins," Chris said, remembering that event long ago when he had revealed the impossible truth to the group. He quickly stopped thinking about it when Pit leaned forward. "Why are you asking me that?"
"Because it's starting to feel like that to me!" Pit said. "I mean, haven't you seen how everyone else has talked to me ever since you all came to help Lady Palutena in the fight against our sworn enemies and Viridi? It's like they don't take me seriously! Why is that?"
The angel's earlier fact that he had obtained the "invaluable" skill of being oblivious was perhaps in play, because otherwise it was pretty easy for Chris to tell. The talk they were having was perhaps the only chance the teen got to set Pit straight, though he knew he was going to be prepared for the worst anyway. With a somewhat stern look, Chris said, "Pit, I'm really amazed you can't even tell why everyone feels like not wanting to give you a pat in the back."
"Uh... Is it because not everyone likes floor food like I do?" Pit asked with a sheepish smile.
"...No, that's not it," Chris said. "It's because of your...your new attitude, that's why."
"New attitude?" Pit's look truly looked like he was at a loss. "What do you mean new attitude? I've been like this as long as I can remember! I remember how I was good friends with some of the others back at the mansion, even you! Don't you remember our times together at Colette's world where I mistakenly had the guts to fall in love with her and made Lloyd punch me in the eye when he was conflicted in saying she loved her first?"
If Pit could remember that event so well, there was no way he didn't forget the way he used to act before. "You can remember that far, which is good," Chris said. "But if you can't really compare how you used to act back then, then we have a problem."
"Huh... I'm seriously not seeing any differences," Pit admitted.
Chris forewent using his subtle talk and went for the blunt talk. "Before, you were like a younger version of Marth with a little silly on the side, which a lot of people were fine with. Now, you're a heck lot sillier than ever...like Sonic silly but somehow much more than him," he compared.
"I thought people didn't like him much because he's a Sega character in a Nintendo setting?"
The World Traveler winced at that and was wise enough not to say something incriminating to the hedgehog in case he was watching them from the mansion. "T-that's not the point...(even though it kind of looks like that). Focus on your behavior, Pit. Try to see what's so incredibly different about you than now."
Pit pinched his chin and looked down at the floor in thought. "...Well, I've heard a few whispers where practically everyone in the mansion said my voice sounded different," he said. "It's not my fault I went through angel puberty weeks ago and that affected my voice."
"(I'm certainly sure there's no such thing as angel puberty...I think,)" Chris thought, but he chose to follow Pit's shaky flow for a little longer. "S-sure, I'm glad to hear you at least are aware of that change of voice in you, but that's not it either. Do you ever remember being as peppy and cheerful as you are right now?"
"..." Pit's long sigh seemingly gave Chris an answer. "...No."
"(Bull's eye! He can tell!)"
"But wait, I think I was just as peppy and cheerful," Pit added.
"(NO, YOU WERE NOT! Great, I'm being as hurtful as the others deep down!) You were not, Pit. You certainly never behaved so strangely like...a younger me when I was five," Chris said bluntly, making the angel stare at him. "And please, I implore you not to focus on my childhood to avoid admitting the problem you have now."
"Your problem right now is that you're just not serious enough to give a good second impression on everyone here," Chris continued. "You're more prone to saying something witty and funny that not all of us think is that witty and funny. The likes of Fox are quickly growing frustrated with you, for example."
"No kidding there. He's tried to do more harm to me than Viridi's forces. He has some strange fixation in kicking my sacred buns more often," Pit said and fought the temptation to rub that area. Chris cringed at that. "Then the Ice Climbers nearly smacked my face deep into the dirt with their hammers, and Meta Knight likes to pretend I'm some sort of uncontrolled child in a sugar rush."
"(Oh, believe me when I'm saying that description isn't all that far off,)" Chris thought.
Pit continued his list. "The Ancient Minister doesn't want to believe I even exist, Mr. G&W keeps getting these sarcastic sentences when I say something, and Ms. Fit... I get the feeling she makes these angry faces when I finish eating stuff from the floor."
"I'm not sure about that, but...it's kind of hard to see the looks on her face. Her white skin blends a little too well with her gray eyes..."
"And last but not least, I fear your overpowered Lucario may snap my angel bones when he grabs me from somewhere, but I'm so glad his power isn't all that great when doing missions! I'm scared what he'll do to me once I go back to the mansion..."
"(How did you even know his power was...? Oh, never mind.)" Chris turned to look at the silent Lucario. "Whatever you do, please don't be so rough on Pit, okay?"
Lucario said, "I can't make any promises if he goes too far... Yes, I admit I can get out of hand at the worst of times."
"T-that's okay, as long as you can keep it under control," Chris said before looking back to the concerned angel. "If you just can reduce all the...silliness – forgive me for saying it this way – I bet it'd be easier for you to look decent to the others. Just try to be the same guy you used to be before we had that Subspace Bomb drop on our heads that one time. (Wait, is it possible that bomb was what caused all this? But...Palutena surely wasn't there and yet she's so...out there. Oh no, the reason is still random...)"
"I can be seriouser!" Pit said with brightened hopes, but Chris already predicted it was bound to go seriously wrong with that made-up word. "I just gotta imitate Meta Knight's personality and the world will be alright!" To get his point across, Pit somehow produced a similar mask from behind and wore it. "My name is Meta Knight. The less I talk, the cooler I am."
Lucario winced in the background. "...I can't be the only one who thinks you'll end up having a sliced throat instead before long," the World Traveler said, "and it's really something when you're capable of getting on Meta Knight's nerves so much that he will use violence to keep you away."
Pit realized that his plan would surely go that way since he sighed miserably and sunk back into his seat. However, he forgot about discarding the mask. "Yeah, you're right. I can tell it won't end well for me... Guess I should learn how to be like Pittoo: super serious and really antagonistic. People like anti-heroes... Oh wait, he's sort of evil."
It was the first time Chris ever heard of someone called Pittoo. "Uh, Pittoo? Who's this Pittoo?" he asked.
Under the mask, Pit rolled his eyes just recalling that person. "Well, this is some neutral but still somewhat evil copy of me who was born from this trinket called the Mirror of Truth? He was supposed to be in league with the Underworld Army, but I interrupted the copying process and that's how he ended up never choosing a side of either army. That didn't stop him from trying to pluck my wings from the sky because he feels that I'm the copy and he's the original or something... Oh, and he has it against my fair Lady Palutena!" He sat upright and still didn't try to remove the mask. "Last time when we fought each other, he started saying a bunch of stupid lies that I was Lady Palutena's lap dog! He even mocked my utter loyalty to her that he was the proof that I'm wasn't so loyal to her cause!"
Chris was a little slow in trying to understand the whole situation, and somehow he thought that the name Pittoo was poorly conceived. "Okay, so all I understand is that this Pittoo person is your evil copy?" he asked.
"Yeah, that's pretty much it...but he kind of helped me defeat this mini-boss with a super kick to the head that I'll never get to do with other bosses as told by Lady Palutena herself," Pit said. "But you can sense the hostility from that guy when you're standing next to him! He really hates my guts as long as I exist! It's nice to have a rival to make more battles epic in hindsight."
"...Anyway, that Pittoo person's attitude doesn't sound that likable for a lot of us. You're better off not trying to copy his act," Chris said.
"Sweet. You understand I'm not a copy! He's the copy of me who wants to see me dead!" Pit suddenly stopped to think. "Hey, maybe you and the guys can help me take him down for good next time I see him?"
"Are you suggesting we k-kill him?" Chris asked.
"Errrrr..." Pit truly considered that option until he saw Chris shiver. "M-maybe just horribly maul him within an inch of his life?"
"Okay! Okay! Just beat him down and get him to stop insulting my blessed relationship with Lady Palutena!" the angel hastily said. "Let me tell you he won't stop anyway. And since you're with Lady Palutena's guard," the teen then noted that Pit would never stop calling Palutena as Lady Palutena, "and he really hates the gods no matter what side they are, he'll probably try to tear you apart. No kidding."
Chris closed his eyes in a disheartened way. "Thank you for telling me my chances of survival mean squat to your evil copy," he said, until he opened his threatening-looking eyes. "Say thank you and I will reconsider telling Lucario to go soft on you."
"Thaaaaaaaaaaaat's not gonna happen!" Pit said, barely avoiding a big aura bullet. "Well, anyway, thank you for cheering me up, Chris. I really thought Magolor was the only one who only cared about me..."
"Yeah, him! He's been the only one who's accepted me much better than everyone...and you!"
"That's just because you've been delivering the Energy Spheres to him and he's very sickly worried about losing his possessions. It's not crazy to say you're his special delivery boy."
"I'll take that as a dare, then. Someone else will deliver a sphere to him next time," Pit said. "We'll see if he likes me because of who I am or because I'm some special delivery boy to him. Oh! And...thank you for trying to cheer me up, Chris." The World Traveler, for once, smiled at Pit in a very long while. "Who knows what could've happened if I had told Fox to come over here."
"We'd probably be missing another party member then."
"Chris, that's insane! I'll never put Fox down!"
Then again, that kind of comment made Chris wonder if the talk they had was any good in the end. "I never said anything about that! At least not in that perspective..." Chris muttered, his face buried on a cushion.
The sudden arrival of Palutena into the hall made all talk die down as she stepped down the floating translucent steps of the central door. "Pit, ready yourself. We have yet another bout against Viridi to fight," she said as she noticed her slave(?) angel was sitting close to Chris. "(Oh, dang it. I was too busy that I didn't see this scene,)" she thought until she looked back at the rest of the group. "You know the drill, guys. You'll be going out into the cruel outdoors in less than six minutes. Prepare yourselves for the worst."
"Alright!" Pit kicked himself off from his sofa to stand up and rush all the way to the central door, feeling much better after having a serious(?) talk with Chris. Instead of the Guardian Orbitars he used before, he instead brandished the Beam Claws; a weapon set of two-pronged claws with exactly that same description which glowed faintly with blue light. "I'm so happy, I'm gonna start to sing!"
"What," everyone else said in unison right before they saw the angel entering through the central door and leaving the sanctuary behind. Palutena meanwhile brought up the hologram again to display Pit's flight path for the others to see.
Then the singing started just as Pit was seen rushing down the dark hallway...
Kid Icarus: Uprising – Ch. 13: The Lunar Sanctum
"~ Again today I will go soaring through the skyyy! My enemies, I'll dish 'em up in a stir fryyy! Gracious goddess of light watches from up above! At dinnertime I always show the cook some looove! ~" Pit sang cheerfully at the top of his lungs even while he was quick to fire laser beams from his clawed weapons into some random enemies from the Forces of Nature that showed up very soon upon his deployment.
The Smashers were shown cringing at his sudden urge to sing. The World Traveler pinched the bridge between his eyes and frowned, cursing to himself that he was a direct cause for the angel to be back to his usual antics. To Chris's dismay, it seemed that the talk they had was a little meaningless. "Is it bad that I forget about the super dire situation we're in because of him which in turn makes me drop my guard down?" Popo asked.
Palutena didn't mind, because deep down she liked to see Pit make a fool out of himself for her amusement (though she still liked him a lot under that teasing smile). "What are you singing? Why so cheerful?" she asked him.
"Just this little victory song I made up," Pit boasted. "One, we stopped Viridi's evil factory of nuking seeds, and two, I feel like my character development got some needed development a moment ago!"
"(Aw, hell,)" Chris thought as some eyes stared his way.
"(He better not be teasing me about that scene I didn't get to watch,)" Palutena thought sternly. "I see! Those reasons do call for a victory song made up on the spot." The group saw her crossing her fingers behind her back for that one moment alone. "The order of the day calls for another not-so epic battle of the ages against Viridi's forces, though."
The Smashers made faces. "What? I thought we were done with that obnoxious little goddess girl?" Nana said. "We destroyed that screwed up factory of Reset Bombs. What else is there?"
"There's Arlon the Serene," the goddess pointed out. "The Reset Bombs look like firecrackers compared to the weapon he has. His weapon is so lethal, it may leave a scratch on Master Hand himself."
"That is some comparison right there... I'm confused," Magolor said.
"His weapon is so lethal, it may turn Mr. G&W into 2D dust."
"Oh! Now that's a much better comparison!" the alien said, much to Mr. G&W's horror. "Eek! That sounds pretty hardcore...and bad! And if may be even worse if my materials are caught in the crossfire again!"
"True, true. This is why we must head out and attack Arlon's base ASAP," Palutena said as Pit took a higher ascent into the night sky. "His base is pretty close by. But first, can I direct your attention to the moon?" The watchers unanimously directed their gazes to the moon far away in the sky, shining brightly and calmly. It almost seemed to soothe their worries away since the landscape was peaceful and silent…
"Aww, it's so pretty and shiny..." Pit trailed off as he stopped briefly on his flight path to look up at the shining moon. "It makes me wanna turn into a werehog..."
"I'll pretend I didn't hear that," the Ancient Minister said.
Palutena chuckled as she fondly remembered she had dozens of videos about that term stashed safely in her room. "Okay, what about that other thing next to the moon?" she asked as the display then showed...a second, similar moon that caused many eyebrows and gaping mouths to open.
"Makes me wanna turn into a SUPER werehog!" Pit said, hearing a lot of groans from his side.
"What did I say about the over-usage of periods?" Palutena asked duly to the audience, her comment going largely ignored by everyone else who was more concerned about the second moon in the sky.
"Holy heck! This world has TWO moons?" Popo asked. "How come we haven't seen the land being swallowed by tsunamis?"
"And why is Fox the only one who doesn't look shocked at all?" came Ms. Fit's comment, causing everyone to turn to the vulpine sporting a straight, blank look on his face.
"What?" Fox said. "Big deal, it's two moons. From where I come from, some planets have seven moons. It kind of takes the surprise factor away by a whole bunch when there's less than that number in this universe in particular..." And he was right. Though, he'd be more shocked to see a second moon somewhere else he knew very well like the Smash Mansion's world or even Chris's world. The craziness he had seen in Pit's world lessened the surprise factor in the astrological sense.
"Aside from Mr. Moon Looker here, I just want to say that that is...no moon at all," Palutena said...to which the second moon to the right reacted soon after by splitting itself in a flashy vertical light into two vertical sides.
Fox's mouth gaped, though not as much as the rest of his team. "Okay, now that's completely different from what I'm used to," he said.
The moon was no moon at all, as it turned out to be an artificial object that looked like the real moon. That being said, Pit started to fly straight into it. "So what's the deal here?" Nana asked. "What's our next mission again? I forgot after the shock of seeing that happen."
"Our mission is to destroy the Lunar Sanctum," Palutena said. "The owner of the Lunar Sanctum is one of Viridi's loyal commanders: Arlon the Serene."
"So cool! It's like an artificial moon in space!" Pit complimented. The moon base was flattered to hear that, because it showed its appreciation by shooting a massive laser right at Pit. He was lucky to have jerked himself a second before the actual beam had scratched part of his body. As for the laser, it wasn't close enough to the earth to cause a lot of damage upon the human settlements it was set on destroying apart. "Never mind! I dislike artificial moons now!" he yelled as soon as a squad of Nutskis appeared in his way. He then started to work by shooting and dodging their attacks, his approach to the base picking up in speed.
Pit's approach eventually made something clear to the group. There were about dozens of lasers shooting wildly at his direction, until he finally got closer to the base to get a better look at it. The surface of the base did look like a copy of the moon, but the point where it had split showed off a golden network of steel where hi-tech weaponry was at the ready to strike the only threat trying to infiltrate the sanctum. In the middle of the giant planetoid, there was an energy reactor that powered up the entire base, though it was going to be hard to strike it down with the shields covering it, the laser cannons providing ground defense, and the Forces of Nature swarming the air. The setting in itself became just odd to see it happen because, quite frankly, the Smashers didn't think this was really something fitting of Pit's world where the human race did not even have phones or any other piece of technology.
Palutena frantically moved Pit's flight path around to avoid getting him fried alive. "...I'm confused. Are we in Pit's world or are we in Fox's world?" Mr. G&W asked.
"Pit's world with Fox's world's elements tossed in," Popo said. "Never mind that. This is another whole level of crazy I just can't believe."
Fox had an inner desire to rush up to his Arwing and join Pit in the fray. It had been a really long time since he had flown his vessel expertly to replace it with ground work. However, his desire convinced him to ask the golden question to the goddess. "Say... Would it be possible for you to teleport my Arwing in here?" he asked as he watched the angel fly around haphazardly. "I'm sure I'll be a great help to Pit out there in this mission."
"Nayh," Palutena said.
"Because, quite frankly, you're not even going to last a second out there," the goddess said bluntly, moving her staff using unlikely motions.
Fox looked peeved at that comment. "Hello? I'm an expert air fighter. Logic says you deploy your best units to do the best jobs so that they perform better out there. This is right up my alley, you know," he said.
"Please. I know very well I could've done that with Falco because he's more a god in the air than you are," Palutena said. Fox was quite insulted to hear that comparison now of all times. "But he's not here, right? Still, that's not my main problem with you going out there..."
Fox crossed his arms. The Smashers could just feel the tension building up in his face. "And that is?"
"Lady Palutena is a dangerous opponent, I must say. She knows very well that Mistress Viridi holds a deep grudge against your kind, young master Fox," came a serene voice out of nowhere to everyone in the temple. "To break it down to you, she knows very well that I will not hesitate to shoot you down from the air using the best of my weaponry at my disposal. It is a shame that I cannot do that to young master Pit himself. It really says something when the same measures are different for either one of you."
Fox's ears perked up as he looked up. "Who are you?" he asked.
"My name is Arlon, the Serene," the voice called out, belonging to a tall, slender man who loosely wore a butler's outfit stylized in a way of a space ship commander. His skin was light pink, with a wide white moustache complementing his short white hair. He wore a small monocle on his left eye, leaving his right one bare. "I am one of the most loyal commanders of Mistress Viridi. Pleasure to make your acquaintance, my sworn enemies. It is not a surprise to meet you in person, since Mistress Viridi has told me of your...fantastic heroic tales that tell about you spreading chaos wherever you go."
"It is so nice of her to define us as a bunch of mindless barbarians," the minister said sarcastically. "Your instructions are to put a stop to us, then?"
"Unfortunately so," Arlon said. "Though her rather charming attitude leaves something to be desired, she has the best intentions for all of us involved. I am baffled that you chose to attack my humble abode of all places, however. Why on Earth must you interfere with Mistress Viridi's actions?"
"Because nuking humanity with organic seeds of destruction is really not the most ethical way to stop the wars they cause, which makes your alternate method look all the worse in paper?" Pit said.
"Excuse me for saying this, but we are the 'well-intentioned extremist' kind. Our ends justify the means," Arlon explained. "Wouldn't you all agree on that notion?"
"N-no!" Chris argued back. "How could you consider killing human life as an ultimate solution? Just think of the many young, innocent people who had nothing to do about those wars!"
"I believe Mistress Viridi already explained why it is no concern for her to terminate some...few extra lives for the protection of the world, young human master Chris. There is no need to waste my words on something that has been said to you all before I was consulted to lend my undivided aid to the cause," he said serenely. Unforgivable, Lucario muttered.
"You sound like a nice person despite the subtle threats," Ms. Fit noted. "Wouldn't it be possible for you to join our cause against the Underworld Army and the Subspace Army?"
"According to Mistress Viridi's will, it is impossible. It's beyond my purview, my dear. Please understand." Although no one saw him in person, he bowed down, eastern style.
"I understand the courtesy, but I don't understand what purview even means," Pit voiced. "Can't you be more like 'I'M GONNA KEEEEEELL UUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!' so I can understand better?" It was as if the Smashers were being told repeatedly that Pit's brain had suffered severe brain damage the more he talked off-topic. It didn't paint a good picture about his newly acquired oblivious behavior.
"Pit, this isn't the time to make us all think even less about you," Meta Knight said bluntly.
"Young master Pit's impersonations are a delight to watch, but I will have to agree with master Meta Knight on that note. This is the time where I'm allowed to exert massive amounts of damage to one of Lady Palutena's servants," Arlon said.
"LOYAL soldiers!" Pit barked back angrily. Palutena chuckled for whatever reason that implied to the Smashers that she liked to use an iron fist...which they did not doubt that much.
"Okay, I'll be the one to ask something more important to our new telepathic guest," Magolor said. "Say, Mr. Arlon the Serene! I want to ask you if you've noticed these sparkling orbs with golden cogs in them… I'm in a kind of a personal mission to collect them all for the sake of my own survival not affiliated to the scuffle between gods in this world."
"I cannot say I have seen any such items lately," Arlon responded. "However, you are free to find them in my Lunar Sanctum."
Magolor looked appreciative while the Smashers exchanged grimaces. "Wow, no threats to vaporize me on the spot? You really live up to your name!" he said.
Arlon chuckled. "Oh, but that is to say if young master Pit can breach into my domain in the first place. Any unwanted guests get to be treated with the most violent methods possible as they traverse the sanctum. But go ahead and find any of those items in here if you are able to avoid the heavy security. I have no personal need nor Mistress Viridi for your items so feel free to dispose of them just as the weaponry will dispose of you as you go on about your business," he said.
"You know, I can't put my finger on it but I can't tell if you're being confident about vaporizing me anyway..."
"He is," Nana sighed.
Unsurprisingly enough, despite all the shouting and close calls, Pit managed to infiltrate the fortified base before the gates could shut him out. As he flew into the base's innards and landed with a sliding halt on the golden floor, Pit quickly looked up and his mouth gaped almost as quickly. His arrival was the right signal for Palutena to warp the entirety of the group over to his side (without asking for their consent if they were ready). They similarly started to gawk a bit when they looked around in the new setting they were in: it was a vast world matted in golden luster with futuristic buildings under a strange yellow and green sky high above. On top of the buildings were sharp spikes that pointed upward, with some energy spheres inserted in some of the constructions. Though the exterior of the base was filled with nothing but heavy security and fake moon fields, the inside was entirely different. "This is inside a lunar base?" Mr. G&W asked as he admired the sights.
"Here I thought it would be filled to the top with cannons and a creepier architecture theme. It's like a forgotten modern city of gold in space," Popo remarked.
"Your remarks are nice to hear, fellow intruders. Do enjoy the sights, and don't mind the heavy security trying to kill you all," Arlon said. "I'm being serious here. I wish you all could stay here, but the Lunar Sanctum has no room for any...MORE guests, shall we say. Your deaths shall be very dignified if you do not toss tantrums." The previous sentence before the ghastly one went completely unnoticed as it didn't hold any importance to them.
"His comments about our deaths are so dignified that it's really hard for me to tell if he's mocking us, but he sounds so…so…serene about it!" Magolor noted.
"Don't you encourage him! He's our enemy of the day and we have to trek through his domain to find any stray Energy Spheres," Fox said, until he took a closer look at the rather immense area inside the prison they were in. "That said… Oh god, this place is so huge…"
"Fret not, fur lots! My sixth sense will alert me of any Energy Spheres I suddenly pick up by walking up ahead. That should save us looking around for nothing as long as you keep me safe from enemy fire." Magolor then looked happy and said, "I believe it is…game over if you let me fall prematurely. Please make sure such event never happens soon… I don't want to think I'll have to scream loudly if it happens." He started sweating bullets they all saw clearly running down his face.
"It's impossible. I'm known to be very loud when it comes to getting finished," Pit said.
"Very reassuring, Pit," Nana said. "Anyhow, let's start exploring this huge golden station for those spheres and to defeat Arlon."
"Do take your first steps into my realm. I shall invite you in now that Master Pit infiltrated the sanctum," Arlon called over. "And the first step is…done."
The group couldn't tell for sure why he was placing so much importance to the first step thing until one of them happened to step on a loose tile on the floor that opened up and revealed a big hole. The victim ended up yelping and then screaming when they fell down into the darkness of the hole. The tile then moved back and covered the hole once more, causing commotion among the others who saw Chris being easily separated.
"CHRIS!" Lucario yelled at the top of his lungs. He went over to the tile and started punching it hard to open up the trap door, but his fists were hardly making a dent on the surface. It didn't stop him from punching the tile, however, but he could still sense Chris's aura getting further away from his range…and then, abruptly, his senses lost their target, but not because Chris left his range, but because the loss of signal came out of nowhere. "I-I can't detect his aura!" he said in shock, alarming the group. "It was just close in my range but it disappeared!"
Fox looked very ill. "W-wait, the aura thing is tied to our lives, right? T-then… N-no… NO, THI-"
"To all uninvited guests," Arlon began, his voice echoing in the sanctum, "while you are intruding in this important place, I would like to remind you that you cannot use any supernatural sixth senses or any other physical device to locate any living soul or location. This is done this way in order to keep private places from being found by reckless people such as yourselves. This informative and friendly reminder is brought to you by yours truly, with the technology empowered by Mistress Viridi's goddess magic… So there is that, Master Lucario," the commander said. "I cannot have you disrupting the flow of your advances with that extremely useful aura sense of yours. So that is why Mistress Viridi planned up ahead and provided me with blessed materials that negate your aura senses completely as you move through the sanctum."
Lucario was enraged at this point as he glared skywards. "WHERE DID YOU TAKE CHRIS, YOU DAMNED IMBECILE?!" he barked.
"Young master Chris was taken into custody in a cozy prison cell and will remain there until you either reach my location and defeat me or you peacefully surrender and swear your alliance to Mistress Viridi," Arlon said, angering them all with the ultimatum. "As much as my fair goddess would like to do this, I cannot inflict pain on Young Master Chris due to my accommodations for the sanctum…"
"…What? I mean, you have him in your grasp," Magolor said. "Why can't yo-?"
"MAGOLOR! We don't want to give him ideas!" Mr. G&W interrupted.
"Those ideas would be awful, but I cannot explain why there should be machines or other servants near the human's location. It would be…very, absolutely disastrous," Arlon said, pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts.
"Wait, why did you even take Chris away and no one else?" Ms. Fit asked.
"One, Mistress Viridi informed me that young master Chris is a rather lethal opponent despite his lack of confidence in himself with that nefarious Job System of his that helps him to respond and fight accordingly to any situation," the serene man explained. "Two, taking someone else would be a waste… and three, he needs isolation from other would-be hostages to avoid having two people breach in from the inside."
"Come on! Now's the time the enemy takes an interest on him unlike the first arc with the EarthBound crew?" Pit asked.
"Good thing Palutena-powered telepathy can hack into just about anything here!" Palutena happily boasted from her realm, and some of the Smashers groaned that she was a potential safe link between them and their separated comrade. "Hey, stop it with the groans. Be happy to know that Chris is somewhat safe and relief to me a useful message just now."
Ms. Fit looked a bit relieved. "What did he say?" she asked.
"Well, his very long scream as he fell told me that you guys shouldn't worry and must continue through the sanctum. He will reunite with you further up ahead as soon as he survives the horrible hemorrhage he'll get once his butt touches the bottom of his fall."
"THAT IS NOT WHAT HE SAID AT ALL!" a very pissed Lucario yelled back at her.
Palutena cringed at the volume of the yell. "Okay, fine. He screamed and is still screami-oh wait. He just hit a destination with his butt, as yours truly predicted correctly," she giggled. "No need to look ill. Chris survived the fall in his cozy cell… Tell you what, I'll switch back and forth between you guys and him to stay in touch, okay? That should keep our blue bipedal hound dog from going Aura Rage on everything he sees."
"That's actually really reassuring," said Nana as she side-glanced at Lucario growling under his breath, several limbs of his body randomly catching on blue fire through aura.
"Ugh, at least he's fine in that cell…" Fox muttered. "C'mon, we got to move and rescue him from this golden, giant bird cage."
"Best of luck in your endeavors, Smashers and young master Pit. I am sure I will be victorious in this struggle," Arlon said serenely, watching the group rushing up ahead to the inner bowels of the sanctum…
Having fallen on his rear wasn't as painful as Chris thought it would be all because the hole he fell into turned into a long slide at the end, where he popped out from the golden wall and fell on the golden tiled floor. Sliding on his rear and groaning aside, he took a quick look at his surroundings… A well-lighted golden hall with multiple roomy cells behind bars that were divided into huge blocks on the walls, reaching high into the golden ceiling. His cell happened to be on the ground floor, though it didn't help it lacked some sort of door. "A-are you kidding me? Separated again? …And put in a cell again?" Chris told himself, his voice echoing in the big hall.
"Good, that saves me the trouble to explain your role in this new safe setting, which is sitting there and being quiet for very long periods of time," Arlon's voice suddenly rang in Chris's head. "Do enjoy your new home, young master Chris."
Chris grunted as he stood up. "Y-you're sick in the head if you think I'm going to rot in this cell! I want to get out and…and…" Quickly shaking the depressing thoughts about how he was not going to make it, the teen found something weird about his current predicament. "Wait a minute, why did you even put me of all people in a cell?"
"In a few words, Mistress Viridi sees your Job system as a hindrance during your bout against fellow comrade Cragalanche that she wishes to keep you away from your group. Also, she sees how useful it can be for an army…and thus, she also wishes me to tinker with your body to extract those useful abilities and add them to the army." Chris's eyes widened in horror. "…Or we could always resort to the overused brainwashing method if its predecessor does not work."
Chris pictured Viridi's echoing laugh in his head while she used strings to move him about. "E-eww, no! I don't want to be some puppet to some…human-hating goddess of nature!" he complained.
"If it is any consolation to you, your ill thoughts towards my fair mistress are completely discarded when the brainwashing is successful."
"T-that is in NO way any better!" With a groan, Chris looked forward to the golden bars barring his way out from the empty cell. Then he looked at his black mage staff and mage hat on the floor. Putting his hat back on his head that cast the dark shade on his face and gripping his magic weapon, he glared. "Oh… S-screw this, I'm just going to break out from here…" he muttered.
"Do that and my security system will open massive fire on you, and it would be a big loss for both factions to have you reduced to ashes," Arlon warned, making Chris reconsider his decision to break through.
"And this is where I shine," Palutena's voice giggled in their heads as suddenly, the bars keeping Chris trapped lowered down. The teen stared dumbfounded at the empty space of air the bars used to occupy, while half-ignoring Arlon grunting very slightly. "Come forth, o Job System source, to freedom and beyond! So says your saint goddess of light."
"…W-what?" was Chris's only response to what happened.
"My… Lady Palutena, must you intervene in my secondary affairs?" Arlon asked, still sounding unfazed by the event.
"Hey, I gotta live up to my name of goodness and love and all that stuff humans make up about me," Palutena said. Chris grimaced at no one in particular. "Yeah, don't think too much about it, Chris. Just get a move on and step out from that boring empty cell into the wild golden outdoors. Hurry it up because my special Anti-Viridi Long Range Weapon Security System won't last for long… Yeah, it sucks that goddess powers can't hold out from very absurdly long distances, but what can you do?"
Cringing that the goddess was not taking it so seriously – mostly because she was not the victim – Chris carefully stepped out from the cell, did a quick hop over the holes of the bars to avoid being possibly neutered, and then started to run to the right, where he noticed a long hallway out from the cell room. Trusting that Palutena was (at least) trying to keep him safe, Chris could only run faster and away from there…anything to stay alive and survive to keep that nasty depression from kicking in…
"This has the unfortunate potential to cause massive chaos if I do not intervene myself," Arlon said as he watched Chris moving through the thin hallway. "Young master Chris, I believe you are a firm believer of peace, correct?"
"T-that's such a weird question to ask right now, b-but yes!" Chris responded.
"Thank you. For all purposes intended, please do not even think about setting free some of the specimens kept under tight lock in this facility. Because…" Arlon suddenly went quiet, "…well, you cannot have those unruly Forces of Nature's minions fighting you during your escape, do we?"
"U-uh, sure! Why would I even think about setting monsters free if they can't tell who's an ally or foe?!" he asked, just as he crossed a heavily-guarded door with multiple locks on the frame and several inactive laser cannons pointing at it from the ceiling, with a big sign on top of the door that read CHAOS KIN CELL ROOM – DO NOT MAKE PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH IT. Arlon then sighed, knowing that the human passed and ignored that particular room.
15 minutes later…
Chris didn't know how much longer he had to keep running like mad through the hallway, and he did not if he was taking the right way out as he had taken many different paths that broke into yet more paths inside the convoluted sanctum design. To make matters worse for him, he had to tolerate the goddess and the guardian's endless talks. On Palutena's side, it was the subtle teasing she did not make so subtle. On Arlon's side, it was the polite remarks that actually narrated his eventual demise. He was going crazy and getting bored simultaneously.
On both sides, it would be pure teasing incarnate.
"Young master Chris has an everlasting amount of stamina, I see," Arlon spoke.
"He sure does. That surprises me a lot," Palutena said in thought. "Pit gets really tired after running for 15 seconds, but Chris? I so need to reevaluate my training from heaven on Pit to make him more durable. Can't make him less durable than a human! Think of my reputation."
"Lady Palutena, the least you could show this human is some courtesy. I can only try to show him my security system on the other side of the gun barrel."
"Having a Swiss Chris Cheese could sound appetizing, but I rather you don't while I'm around. See? I can be a good guy to my humble people! Even if…he's kind of out there from my realm. He just got a lucky break for being human."
"So, does that imply you show hostility to any other race that is not human?"
"If said race raises a pitchfork and bugs me for a month, I can retaliate…with Pit, of course. When it's a god, I have to take out the big guns, which is Pit, again. And when things get really bad, I can always count on my otherworldly assistance. Isn't that right, Chris?"
"Y-you better be completely honest about that…" Chris muttered.
"Sure, results may vary, but I do enjoy a good progress from humans now and then. Make me proud and slay the evil Arlon for good, and step on his corpse and impale his heart with that wooden stick of yours when you can! Let us spread a clear message to the Forces of Nature that we AIN'T kiddin' 'round!"
"Your theatrics could be more…dignified and less mentally scarring," Arlon muttered.
The human's whole reason for not taking breaks was the impending doom of his death if he let his guard down. He already experienced that horrible feeling in the previous world, and he was not ready to go through it again. As he continued running through the endless hallways, he had the urge to ask Palutena a golden question. "Palutena! C-can you tell me when I'm going to reunite with the others?!"
"It seems you are getting close to them from where you are, but I'm afraid you'll have to get your hands dirty as there are evil minions up ahead," Palutena said. "All I can sense is a big, wide room, but my goddess radar is too clunky in this sanctum to properly get a good visual."
"Oh… So young master Chris is reaching that area?" Arlon spoke up.
"Whoops. I forgot he was still on the line. Sorry about that, Chris."
"Y-you COULD keep him out from our talks?!" Chris asked alarmed.
"It is quite feasible and quick to just hijack Lady Palutena's conversations while her servants are prowling in the sanctum. Do not be so shocked for hearing that line of common knowledge," Arlon said. Right after that, the teen yelped when the path behind his back was closed by a wall falling from the ceiling. "And now everything is working properly. No more saint blessings from Lady Palutena will let you have silent strolls in my realm. Show me the potential a human can do against the Forces of Nature."
That last sentence made Chris stop and reconsider what he was going to do. When he noticed, there was an automatic door up ahead. Perhaps it was the door that led to the big room Palutena mentioned…and if memory served, big rooms were always good places to expect big fights. Dreading the thought of fighting multiple monsters that clearly took baths in atomic waste, the teen contemplated lingering in the small halfway he was to wait for his team to arrive to his rescue…
"I hate people standing idly by, so I will give young master Chris an incentive to continue to the Control Center room," Arlon said.
And suddenly, the temperature of the hallway increased at the drop of a hat that the floor, walls, and ceiling were turning a bright shade of red. Even one second called beads of sweat on Chris's forehead, but he panicked immediately and started running up ahead to the automatic door to get the hell out of the hell in the hallway. Before his skin could feel like it was melting, the teen managed to reach the door, opening at his scrambled feet's command and letting him out to take a deep breath in the big room with lower but average temperature. "O-o-oh…my… H-holy…crap… Whew…" Chris huffed, feeling very safe to be alive instead of burning up.
Seeing the red color of the room made him swallow his breath for a moment, until he reconfirmed that the temperature was right. He swung his head around to see if anything was odd… The room was big and red in color, with pillars on the walls. To the right, there was a rather large red door. To the left was a door protected by some sort of force field that discouraged progress. To the center was…a large blue sphere of some kind, sporting some golden squares that didn't shield it by even a half and were almost erratically placed around its shape.
"I have a nasty feeling that sphere in the middle is…dangerous…" Chris muttered.
"Your forewarning skills are spot on, young human," Arlon said. "But did they tell you about another being lurking around the room?"
"…L-lurking?!" Chris panicked once more and started looking around the room for whatever that being was. He looked up at the ceiling, at the floor with glowing trails of light running around, at the walls to find some sort of spider, but there wasn't anything. Halting his heavy breathing, he couldn't afford to lower his guard, so he took a tight grip on his staff and darted his yellow eyes around once more…until his ears picked up the sound of footsteps coming from behind the blue sphere in the middle. He braced himself for the monster stepping out…a monster shaped like Pit… "…Huh?"
Utter confusion filled Chris when he saw the being Arlon hinted at. It was an exact replica of Pit, except wearing black colors and a more serious look on its face...HIS face. Anything that had been white and brown on Pit was black on that other replica. Besides the silver bow weapon that the being held on his right hand, the smirk on his face was threatening.
"But…" Chris blinked in confusion. "How is this…?"
"Hey, Arlon," the Pit replica suddenly spoke in a slightly gruffer tone than Pit's, his smirk fading. "You told me it was Pit coming through here, not this other guy."
"Did I? I am so sorry for the confusion," Arlon said audibly to Chris, Palutena, and the Pit replica. "Circumstances have brought young master Chris to the Control Center room. If you really wish to do battle against young master Pit, do show young master Chris your fighting prowess…and cease his existence at once. Are we clear?"
The Pit replica rolled his eyes but then grinned at a wary Chris. "Whatever. I was getting bored standing around doing nothing but guard this big ball. Let the games begin!"
Dark Pit's Theme
Without warning, the Pit replica quickly aimed at Chris and sent a rather large green arrow of light from the silver bow. The teen screamed and quickly dove to the right to avoid the blow, barely avoiding it. He scrambled up on his feet and turned back to the dark angel. "W-who the hell are you?!" Chris asked.
"It's Pit's dark nemesis! The evil renegade Pittoo!" Palutena informed the startled human, who really vaguely recalled hearing that degrading-sounding name before from Pit.
Hearing that name, Pittoo growled. "Seriously now? You're calling me that?!" he bellowed to Palutena.
"Gotta have some cheering up to my favorite human of the bunch," the goddess said with a smile, which Chris did not see. He was too busy trying to understand what was happening while also dodging the long arrow blows from the evil Pittoo person. "You could use some cheering up, Pittoo. Some cheering up that does not involve satisfying your thirst for combat."
"How about cheering me up with my real name, then?" Pittoo asked, while still busy aiming at a running Chris.
"T-then what is your real name?!" Chris yelled, ducking his head from another arrow blow.
The Pit replica grinned and said, "Dark Pit."
"…T-that's it?" Chris asked, slowing down his running.
The Pit replica, or Dark Pit, looked a tad peeved and lowered his weapon for a few seconds. "Yeah, so what? You expected something more imposing?" Angrier, he raised his bow and resumed shooting, only grinning when he struck Chris's chest and made him stop to catch his breath.
"Urk!" Chris winced, quickly grasping the spot where the arrow hit him. "N-no… I can't… I-I can't die in here…" The pain reminded him about his horrors once more. He froze there trying to stubbornly resist the pain of the blow until Kawashima spoke up from out of the blue.
"Chris, don't stay put! Your magic comes out much faster when you're alone against the enemy! This was done by Master Hand in case you'd be stuck in a fight without being able to change jobs! …Well, he could have given you the ability to change jobs, but…" the professor trailed off until he shook himself. "Fight back! You can do this!"
Hearing those encouraging words, the World Traveler sidestepped from another arrow blow and turned back to the chuckling Dark Pit. Out of desperation, Chris started chanting under his breath, unlike how he needed concentration and some more time to reach the chant part. "Bolts of lightning, shock my enemy and awe! Thundara!" He raised the tip of his staff, now brimming with yellow lights.
From above Dark Pit, dark clouds appeared quickly and made him look up, until the clouds shone bright and sent several lightning bolts that electrocuted his body in a blink of an eye. The dark angel screamed and tried to shrug off the bolts, though they only did so when the attack stopped. Standing on one knee, the dark angel glared daggers at the teen. "F-feeling tough now? That should make this fight much MORE interesting… (Mages aren't good at close combat, right?)" Dark Pit suddenly broke the silver bow in two sharp daggers and charged right towards the black mage, making him yelp.
"He is switching to close combat? Black mages aren't good in a fight like that!" Palutena informed the horrified Chris. "You must device some sort of defensive strategy!"
"H-how?! I can only fling spells… Wait, I should do that!" Chris resumed casting another spell while Dark Pit approached with weapons ready. "Bolts of lightning, shock my enemy and awe! Thundara!"
"Not agai-UUUUUURGH!" Dark Pit stopped in his tracks the moment the lightning bolts came crashing down on his body again. Noticing the free time he got while the dark angel was being electrocuted, the World Traveler turned tails and tried to get some more distance from the enemy. He surmised that he could keep the onslaught of spells going if he kept using the same spell-and-run strategy. Maybe the fight to the death was possible to win…
"Come now, young master Dark Pit," Arlon spoke from the silence. "You cannot be struggling against this human. I was afraid something like this may happen, so I prepared some accommodations in advance to assist you properly."
The sphere at the center of the room suddenly shot an explosive blast from the top that easily homed in on Chris and blew up into a bigger explosion of fire, pushing the teen aside and getting injured even more than the arrow blows Dark Pit shot. Sliding a bit on the floor, the World Traveler cringed in pain and started to think the worst was going to happen… Noticing Dark Pit rushing to him with his blades, the teen scrambled to his fight and turned tails again, though the sphere had fired another shot that reached out for his back and made him lose his footing, giving Dark Pit more time to get closer to him. "A-argh!" Chris grunted as he tried getting up, but then, he heard the rushing footsteps way too close to his back, and he turned around. His eyes shrunk in fear as the blades were pulled back to deliver a heavy slashing blow, and seeing Dark Pit's serious look made it much worse to him, so Chris screamed and yelled, "HEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!"
"No ellipses! I said this before! It interrupts the flow!" Palutena scolded harshly to no one in particular.
"Ignoring what that even meant, can I ask why the battle came to a stop?" Arlon asked.
When Chris heard the sanctum's owner pointing that out, he opened his eyes and could not believe what he saw. Instead of thinking his team had rushed in and stopped the dark angel at the nick of time, he was at a loss of words when he saw Dark Pit frozen on his spot, with his blades behind his back, trembling as if something was holding him back from dealing the heavy blow. Looking up at Dark Pit's face, Chris was even more confused to see him clenching his teeth hard, beads of sweat running down his face from his hair. The serious look on his eyes was a little more puzzling, along with the restrained grunting sounds escaping through his teeth. By all means, Dark Pit seemed to fight back whatever was holding him still… "D-darn it…!" he said through clenched teeth as he stared down at Chris's shocked look. "W-why can't I…?!"
"I'm helping you out because…I don't want to feel entirely useless to the group during this big journey. I have more experience at trying to make someone feel much better emotionally when I hang out with them, and you've seen how close I am to Lucario. I-I'm not saying we'll be doing the same stuff as he and I do. I just want to make friends… I can't just turn away when someone needs help trying to get through hard times…"
Those familiar words inside Dark Pit's head echoed as he kept staring at Chris's face. There was no mistaking it, he thought. Those words were spoken by Chris, but not through telepathy. Whatever he tried to do to force his arms to attack, he couldn't do it, much to his chagrin. He wanted to attack just to get it over with, but the restraint put by those words…those strange words holding him back… As he tried to wrestle himself from the bind, he could only watch the World Traveler slowly backing off while keeping a close eye on the dark angel's trembling body. Once the teen put some distance between them, Dark Pit's body was set free from the restraints. "What was that…?" he muttered under his breath, and then he glared at Chris. "What did you do to me back there?! How did you stop me from attacking you?! Did you learn some expression technique that stops enemies from attacking?!"
"W-what? No!" Chris said.
"Then how do you explain those strange words ringing in my head?!" Dark Pit demanded.
"W-what words?" the teen asked back. "Palutena, are you messing with his head now?"
"I can honestly say it's not my fault," Palutena said. "I can speculate it was his own thoughts messing with his head… I wouldn't be surprised if he had some. Dark Pit wasn't completely created to be an evil Pit knockoff." She smiled and said, "Can we say that he is…glitching mentally and he's on the road to total existence failure?"
"Oh, aren't you the best scientist now," Dark Pit grumbled. He combined his two weapons and reformed the bow, aiming at Chris with an arrow. Seeing Chris gulping and backing off, Dark Pit growled when his arms started shaking again. The shaking prevented him to aim properly at his shivering target. "C-c'mon! I don't need this shaking screwing me up!"
Arlon sighed loudly. "Young master Dark Pit, I regret to say that you are proving to be an unwanted ally in this operation. Now I am starting to lament how the battle unfolded with your inability to fight intruders," he said.
"Z-zip it! I only agreed to come here just to fight that moron Pit!" Dark Pit growled.
"Very well. Stopping that colorful angel is more important to you. I will keep you around until he comes. But as for the human in the room, I will dispose of him myself." The sphere in the middle shone and immediately sent another explosive blast to a screaming Chris…but Dark Pit's hands stopped shaking and instinctively moved his bow to the direction of the blast and shot an arrow at it, causing it to go off in midair before it could harm the World Traveler. Palutena, Chris, and Arlon were all surprised by the sudden move that made the sanctum owner fix his monocle and ask in a tense tone, "May I ask what is it that you are doing now?"
"G-grr…" Dark Pit cringed. He just couldn't explain why he just interrupted the blast from hurting the human. He was doing well just a moment ago until those strange words made him stop his attacks. Since then, just the thought of hurting the human again was…wrong…and even thinking back on the strikes that did connect with his target made him feel oddly guilty. He was beating himself up in his head a lot about what was wrong with him all of a sudden. What pulled him out of his trance was another explosive blast from the sphere being shot at Chris again, but the blast only reached halfway through before Dark Pit shot it down again. He was now grimacing hard.
"You did it again," Arlon said blankly. "Must I reevaluate your free pass in the sanctum? Changes could be made to turn you into a hostile intruder."
"W-will you shut up already!" Dark Pit growled at him, while Chris replaced his fear for confusion all over again. Giving Chris one more look, the dark angel cringed. "Why can't I even think about hurting you without getting cold feet? That is not my style! You're messing with my rhythm!"
"H-how could I be messing with you?" Chris asked, his hands tightly grasping his mage rod. "None of my spells have any secondary effects like that!"
"You're hiding something from me! And I'm gonna make you squeal it out!" Dark Pit complained as he aimed his bow at the human, only for his hands to shiver even harder. He grunted in annoyance and lowered down his weapon, at which point his hands stopped trembling. "Darn it!"
"A friendly reminder to everyone watching and listening to this controversial fight," Arlon began. "I do enjoy watching some improvised acts of entertainment. Even I have my limits when watching too much of the same thing, however. So, I will ask young master Dark Pit one more time… Will you please get rid of the human or do we have to watch your capable hands freezing all the time you want to prepare an attack?"
Gritting his teeth and staring with disdain at Chris, the dark angel had a whirlwind of troubling thoughts in his head that held him back from fighting. No matter how hard he tried to fight the thoughts and the human, he would be forced to reevaluate any moves that involved violence. With Arlon talking so formally with a hint of dissatisfaction that was slowly giving away, Dark Pit grabbed his head with both hands. "S-shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!" Dark Pit yelled louder and louder with every demanding word.
"…Very well. You have chosen your meddlesome alliance," Arlon said blankly.
Just as things were going to reach a breaking point, the strange brawl at the Control Center room was interrupted by screams coming from the door that wasn't barred by a force field. The two people in the room turned their attention to the door, as if it helped them to forget about the stress of dealing with Dark Pit's confusing reactions. "W-what the…" Dark Pit trailed off.
"H-how are we supposed to cross this chasm?! There's no floor!" complained a whiny voice.
"Hey, hold on. There has to be some crazy mechanic to cross this place. Not even double jumping will help us here…"
"I-I'm back… Okay, gotta rush i-!"
"NO! You're going to get yourself killed if you keep running blindly!"
"Maybe letting him get killed that way we'll avoid getting killed ourselves?"
"…That's dark, man."
There was no doubt that the screams belonged to the rest of the team, Chris thought. He was relieved, but confused as to why they were screaming. "Oh, look. My plethora of boys and two girls are headed this way," Palutena quipped. "Say your prayers, Arlon. Your days are numbered."
"How dramatic of you," Arlon said with dull interest.
"Wait. That reflection on the other side… It shows a floor."
"As they say, ahh, heck."
Less than a minute later, the door finally opened up, and the whole group came rushing into the room as they have done ever since Chris had been separated. Immediately, the teen and the dark angel saw them, and they saw them both as well. "Oh, thank goodness!" Chris said.
But then Dark Pit grinned when he saw the stunned Pit staring back at him. "You're right. Thank goodness he is here. RUAH!" he yelled a battle cry without his body falling numb. He was now in total control, probably due to his inner hatred of Pit standing in front of him.
And just like many times before, Pit did nothing else but charge forward, ignoring the exasperated complaints of his group. The two angels clashed their Guardian Orbitars and silver box respectively, suddenly getting into a heated battle to see who would push the other foe away…though Pit, showing as if he was trying to toss his trembling balled fists, was only seen standing there with his floating weapons doing the pushing. "Pittoo!" he said in a very serious tone. In the background of their clash, a stealthy, sweating Chris was sliding his feet sideways to his group while the attention was focused on the angels in case the dark angel would switch his attention back to him again. After a few dozen sliding motions, he safely managed to embrace his concerned Lucario and hear his group's collective relieved comments upon rejoining them.
"Stop calling me that!" Dark Pit growled through his gritted teeth.
The two angels were at it for a long while, giving the others some time to collect info about their missing partner. "Did he rough you up? I'm in for some justified hammer swings," Popo said, while swinging his hammer.
"A-a little, but he kind of doesn't want to hit me…" Chris said. "At the start, we fought, but then he started getting cold feet."
"He got cold feet from fighting you?" Magolor wondered. "Truly, you have given him terror underneath that mage hat of yours."
"I-I'm sure it wasn't because of my face under my mage hat," Chris said. "I still don't know why he'd stop from attacking me…and then when that core at the center started to shoot explosive blasts at my face, he immediately started to block those blows wit-" He recalled what that core does too late, when one explosive blast was sent to them and blew up right in the middle, causing everyone to be pushed back to the floor. "O-oww!"
"Sorry. I could not just resist the temptation to do it," Arlon said.
The group groaned in pain after being blown away to different directions, though the first blast from the core had alerted them all from how dangerous it was. With a second blast coming out from it, they were more prepared to stand up and run, despite their bodies smoking. "Sorry for being the goddess of obvious goals, but you must destroy the core to advance further in," Palutena informed the group. "Surely the combined might of the Smashing Force will defeat such a fearsome foe!"
Arlon was heard sighing. "I am afraid my poor choice in security personnel do not favor my odds…for this one battle," he said while looking over to the two Pits clashing their weapons in a heated, if personal, scuffle that seemed to have no end as they never managed to score a solid hit on each other for playing a defensive game. They did move a lot around the room, even to the point that they kept running into the others by crashing into them and pushing them away to ignore their complaints. Pit kept apologizing, but Dark Pit kept tossing insults. Their bickering at each other became known quickly to the group…though Arlon was a bit satisfied that both angels were interrupting the flow of the attacks to the core with them constantly ignoring running into the others, he couldn't believe their overall ignorance of their surroundings was actually giving the core a better fighting chance. "Or…perhaps I arrived to a quick conclusion? I do not know anymore."
"Ugh. This is so degrading to watch, even I'm ashamed," Palutena said. "Hey, you guys! Care to smash that core down now?"
Popo was kicked away by Dark Pit, who then jumped aside from a shield blast from Pit, who pushed Ms. Fit back with his right shoulder by accident. "Pit and his evil dark twin brother are making this a little too difficult!" Popo complained.
"You little shrewd! Don't you dare call me his evil dark twin brother!" Dark Pit barked back.
"Yeah, his name is Pittoo!" Pit corrected.
"IT'S NOT THAT EITHER!"
Magolor, being the only pacifist running around in a panic, groaned. "Ooh, I don't know what to focus on anymore! Should we fight the core, the Dark…guy, or wonder if his name is Pittoo? So many commotions!" he screamed, until Meta Knight grabbed his hand to keep him from bolting away and screaming his head off.
"Fight the core, defeat that other Pit, and then continue further into the sanctum," Meta Knight said, taking a small flight to avoid a blast from striking them.
"Q-question, if we can ask!" Mr. G&W said, waving his right hand. "Why is there a dark version of Pit around? That's what I can't wrap my head around!"
"Fight now, exposition later!" Fox ordered.
Arlon saw how anti-climatic the battle would play from the first moment the group reunited, except without expecting the part of the Pits prolonging the struggle. His plan to keep the World Traveler away from his comrades was ruined through DIVINE INTERVENTION, though he questioned if that plan was even worth it seeing as Chris wasn't exactly focusing too much in fighting the core and was more concerned about the two Pits duking it out and wondering aloud if he should really attack Dark Pit after he protected him against his will (the fact Lucario kept him from getting blasted helped Chris a lot in distracting himself). Eventually, with a mechanical cry induced by Ms. Fit smacking the thing with a soccer ball, the core stopped functioning and blew up in place, causing the nearby barrier shielding the door to vanish…but despite all this and Palutena claiming victory over the "core of explosiveness", the Pits were not even done with their fight, as they kept running around and only suffering from huffing and sweating…
The Smashers stood aside together and looked back and forth between both angels, until they stared at one another with dull looks…and split up in equal numbers to subdue both Pits by overwhelming numbers overpowering their arms and legs, successfully sneaking up on them. "Gotcha! Dark Pit was caught," Palutena said. "What should I name him now?"
"Whatever the lady pleases," Arlon said. "You can subtly torture him all you want. I do not care for what happens to him. Let us return to our usual escapades…"
The two Pits were both struggling to get off from their captors. Even when the group released Pit, Dark Pit was being held back by Meta Knight, Fox, and Lucario. "What do you freaks want from me?! Let go!" he barked.
"I clearly said there would be exposition later, didn't I?" Fox said with a sly grin.
"Who the heck cares? You're not getting anything from me! Now let me go so I can give Pit a new one!"
Ms. Fit, Chris, and the Ancient Minister had to now hold Pit back when the angel took a sprint to the dark angel. "H-hey! I thought we were gonna defeat Pittoo for good by ganging up on him!" Pit said when he stepped back.
"We're not a bunch of violent people…" Ms. Fit said. "…I'm correct in saying this, right? I haven't been around for too long." Chris nodded just to reassure her.
"Oh no. I agree that we should keep a close eye on Dark Pit to monitor his activities," the Ancient Minister said, earning a wide-eyed stare from the dark angel. "I am very intrigued that he even exists. Defeating him in combat would have been a little…uncalled for."
Dark Pit was not liking how everything was falling into place against his will. First his body through unwilling will, and now physically restrained. "W-what?! Since when did you freaks agree to turn me into your stupid guinea pig?!"
"Did you call yourself stupid?" Magolor wondered.
"…Shut up!" The dark angel resumed tossing around, making his captors grunt as they restrained him into place. When they saw his dark wings suddenly glowing in a purple light and fluttering madly, they were a little surprised that the dark angel was slowly taking off from the floor.
As they struggled to keep him from flying away, Popo and Nana looked at each other. "Rope?" Popo asked.
Nana took out a lengthy rope from behind. "Rope," she said. The two actual twins walked behind Dark Pit and, much to the dark angel's agony, started to wrap the rope tightly around his twitching wings until they were bounded completely from right behind the angel's back.
"ARGH!" Dark Pit growled. "What are you, bullies?! What the heck did I ever do to all of you to get bounded?!"
"Hey, no offense, but you pissed me off the moment you attacked one of us," Fox said. Almost all of them nodded, somewhat making Chris grimace.
"So sorry I hurt your boyfriend!" Dark Pit barked, and he earned a well-placed punch on the left cheek from the vulpine...and a flustered Chris smacked his head with his mage rod. "Oww!"
"Ahem, guys?" Palutena faked a cough. "Stop drawing things out for a bit and tell me what you're planning to do to Dark Pit. I don't really mind having him as a prisoner because…well, he is a tad unsettling and a small hindrance to Pit."
"He is a copy of Pit, isn't he?" the Ancient Minister asked. "While it could be possible that the Subspace Army may scout him, we should consider scouting him first instead of letting him roam unsupervised to let them have the chance."
Dark Pit seemed to ease his tossing around when he listened to their conversation. "I am in league with no one but myself. I prefer to go solo in my missions," he stated.
"Please. Your missions all involve giving Pit some sort of major pain in the butt to prove who the original is or some such," Palutena said.
The dark angel chuckled confidently. "Best life mission ever, if I do say so myself," he boasted, making Pit growl really loudly.
"…" Palutena then got a splendid idea to get Dark Pit to comply with their demands. He was outnumbered and bounded to the earth, keeping him from escaping after all. "Dark Pit, we need your help." The group exchanged confused glances when they heard that. "If you don't come with us, we aren't certain if Pit will live long enough for the two of you to have the destined epic battle of the ages."
"What?" everyone else asked in unison.
"Think about it for a sec," Palutena said in deep thought. "Dark Pit has secretly been confident in Pit's skills to fight the Underworld Army alone up till this point…"
"When the heck have I eve-?!" the flustered Dark Pit yelled but was interrupted by the goddess.
"But this fight against the Subspace Army may be too much for one Pit alone. Not even fighting together with the rest of the team will be enough… And in the event that Pit falls, there goes the chance for Dark Pit to defeat him personally…"
"…" Dark Pit looked a tad surprised to hear the revolting explanation playing with his feelings like a fiddle. Now that the thought about Pit falling prey to the Subspace army was in his head, it was hard for the dark angel to forget about the possibility of his infernal copy being defeated and potentially killed by someone else other than him… He knew it was a cliché. Dark Pit knew himself that his rivalry to Pit was just like the rivalry between the space furries from the other universe, yet he couldn't deny the thrill and adrenaline he got from clashing against the lively angel…but Dark Pit was having an inner crisis about ignoring what could happen to Pit or keep a close eye on the enemy from delivering the finishing blow… Curse that cynical goddess, Dark Pit thought.
"What do you want to do, Dark Pit?" Palutena asked in a teasing tone. She was confident she had him where she wanted him to be. "Do you want to take the chances, or make sure you fight for our cause to keep your vendetta alive?"
"…Curse this stupid…" Dark Pit muttered.
"…Ugh, fine!" Dark Pit growled, glaring at the ceiling. "You got yourself a deal… It's better than doing nothing. I have a good reason to kick someone else's butt to get stronger and get back at this stupid angel."
"Hey!" Pit yelled.
Unsure if it was right to do so, the trio holding Dark Pit let go of him, though the Ice Climbers didn't untie his wings yet. When the dark angel looked at each one of them giving him a wide range of stares, he scoffed and looked away while shaking his head. "Some bind I got myself into because of some idiotic gambit…" he muttered under his breath.
A very loud fanfare made everyone cover their ears. The fanfare was coming from Palutena loudly announcing, "DARK PIT WAS FORCED TO JOIN OUR TEAM BY YOURS TRULY!" The fanfare died out quickly when she heard them all groaning and complaining about the loud music forced into their minds and ears. "Sorry. I get all hyped up when new members join our growing crew."
"D-dang it, woman!" Dark Pit complained, his ears still ringing from the fanfare. "T-this is one of many reasons why I don't pledge alliances to your kind!"
"You didn't pledge to me. You pledged your life to the Smasher group…who therefore pledged their alliance to me." Dark Pit groaned at that loophole abuse. "No way out of this one for you, Dark Pit. Welcome to the team. My Centurions serve some good cookies."
"I'm not sharing my stash with him!" Pit defiantly said. Dark Pit briefly contemplated making Pit's life in the sanctuary hell, but maybe, he thought, dealing with the cookies was a tad too depressing and low…
A stone-faced Ancient Minister then asked, "Can we not get into another mindless squabble involving meaningless stuff and proceed to Arlon's lair while looking for more Energy Spheres?"
"Ahh, someone here wants to focus on the most important…personal mission I have!" the Halcandran said giddily. "Let us go to uncharted space territory!" He noticed everyone started to walk rather than run… Only then he noticed they were still feeling very unsure about tagging along with the black Pit that was forced to join them. "Um… You guys could show some optimism and hurry now and then…"
"How?" Nana asked him, looking at Dark Pit keeping distance from them and Pit stealing serious glances from time to time. "I can't say we should just ignore the other Pit…"
"Then why don't you let me go?" Dark Pit questioned, looking forward and still listening to the team. "It'll be easier for all of us to go our separate ways."
"You forgot what I said a moment ago already?" Palutena asked.
Dark Pit cringed and looked away in a sharp turn. "Y-you're all lucky I don't want some random mook to take Pitstain down for me. Ugh! This wasn't in the script…" he muttered the last part.
So far, Dark Pit hadn't opened up warmly to anyone other than Chris himself, so the World Traveler tried to be the mediator between both parties and, with his dutiful Lucario in tow and getting a lot of gossiping looks from the others from behind, slowly approached the dark angel. Dark Pit heard the teen coming over and he nearly cringed when he stole one look at him. The teen saw the cringing look, signaling that something was up. When he came closer to the newcomer, Dark Pit didn't seem to try shooing him away until Chris talked. "U-um… so…it's nice to have you in the group, I guess…"
"…" Dark Pit didn't say anything. His body became numb when he even thought about shutting Chris up or telling him to go away. The dark angel recalled he had insulted him earlier, but that was because his attitude was reaching a breaking point from dealing with his captive situation.
"(…Maybe he's still angry about what he's going through?)" Chris thought. "L-look… W-what happened earlier between the two of us…"
"Don't bring it up." Chris was shocked to get a response. "I was out of it for some reason I don't know. I don't wanna know why it's…so hard to inflict pain on you unlike stupid Pit."
Lucario's gaze turned stern, but Chris only got more curious. "So… For some reason, you can't bring yourself to hurt me?"
Dark Pit cursed himself. The shot was fired, and he couldn't order Chris to stop it. He figured that if he wanted this to be over, he had to endure the human for a while longer. "…That's what it is. I have no idea why that is," Dark Pit said blankly. "Sure as heck I'd like to know myself just to stop freezing up whenever you are involved somehow."
"I-I'd like to know myself too… We really haven't met before, that's for sure…"
"…That makes things even weirder and stressful to me," the dark angel said. He looked over his right shoulder at Chris, though his serious expression unnerved the World Traveler. "…I know you enjoy helping people out of their issues to feel better with yourself helping the team out. Wanna work on mine?"
"…" Chris just blinked.
Dark Pit felt the stare burning his skin that he glanced sideways. "What?"
"…How do you even know I like doing that?" Chris questioned. "If you really haven't met me, how do you know that much?"
"…What did I…?" Dark Pit's eyes trembled and he turned away from the human. He was surprised he went and said that out of nowhere. He was sure he had only met Chris just today, and another part of him thought he knew Chris very well without having met him in person anyway. The piles of confusion kept pilling on, only being delayed when Dark Pit didn't say more from the surprise he got. As Chris related the conversation to the others and Pit fully disclosed how Dark Pit came to be, a wary, gossiping Palutena personally started brainstorming why Dark Pit behaved so "funny" around the World Traveler. His upbringing was like a huge hint she took happily to help her theories come to fruition…
Some time passed as the group worked together to cross the sanctum, with Dark Pit almost not doing anything to help the cause but always raising his bow whenever Chris would scream when an attack was headed his way, further raising confusion among the teammates who questioned that habit. The whole way to Arlon's location was filled with awkwardness with the other Pit tagging along. The group almost didn't want to talk to him, except for the few occasions when he made small talk during the few times they were attacked by enemies.
The above was just the tip of the iceberg. While Dark Pit didn't say much to the Smashers, he and Pit volleyed insults at each other like there was no end to them. Said insults were really pathetic whenever they were said, as they could have easily been confused for two children at a park berating one another over a toy. Pit's insults involved complementing himself and making fun of Dark Pit's overall dark nature, while Dark Pit's insults involved counterattacking those insults with really poorly thought comebacks that nonetheless were taken very seriously by Pit anyway (one shining example being "he who makes hot springs colder with his feet"). The stone-faced looks on the Smashers were most likely going to freeze the more they had to tolerate the two angel boys. Listening to Arlon was oddly therapeutic whenever he had something to say, as trusting Palutena to distract them from the angels was useless due to her adding fuel to their fire in subtle ways.
Their bickering only made things worse for Pit. If the Smashers had thought he had some redeeming qualities, they were all being erased every time they got to insulting each other. Dark Pit had no one but a torn Chris to support him. Although Dark Pit was not giving it justice to the stereotype of being a dark evil twin, his childish attitude to Pit was not leaving a good impression either. For Pit, the Smashers admitted that their old Pit was forever gone. For Dark Pit, the Smashers lamented there was a second Pit running around that was slowly driving them nuts. For Palutena, it was all good, as she believed something good would come out of this…sometime soon, preferably.
After seemingly adventuring for minutes that felt like hours, they were crossing a small golden bridge in front of a big golden door that screamed boss room when they had a chance to talk in the quiet area. One fellow member wanted to diverge the negative impressions by bringing up a point about Dark Pit's only redeeming quality. "Man, I know Chris is a true friend, but this is taking things a little too far when you just met him through a fight," Fox noted. "No offense to you, Chris."
"W-what, you dislike the way I can react quickly to enemy attacks?" Dark Pit asked with a twitching grin. "Pit makes a swell job tiring himself when he tried protecting the guy, tripping and complaining about how slow he was to react."
"Ha ha, stop making yourself so much better than me," Pit said, having behaved like a pouting child since Dark Pit had tagged along and stealing his thunder in keeping Chris safe. Pit took it very seriously all due to their personal talk at the sanctuary that (supposedly) helped him to be seen as a normal person to the Smashers…who hadn't changed their views on Pit one bit. "I-I was slow, but it's the thought that counts! Right, Chris?"
"Yes… Yes, it is," Chris said, feeling tired of fueling the feud between the angels.
"Ha! In your face!" Pit boasted.
"Come on, now, Pit. Don't take it too personally," Mr. G&W suggested. "Look, we know now Dark Pit can be an ally if he goes out of his way to protect one of us…"
Pit looked appalled. "How can you trust him? He's an evil knock-off of me! He's got black colors and I have white, pristine colors!" he talked back.
"Uh, well, I haven't seen him doing bad stuff other than you two being at each other's throats, so I can't really judge what I haven't seen…"
"Then I will show you evidence: me!"
"Overruled," the Ancient Minister said blankly, making Pit pout. "Your chatter has become intolerable to all of us present. Do us all a favor and never think about talking back to Dark Pit, or vice versa." Dark Pit's snickering sounds grabbed Pit's attention, and now both of them were locked into making grimaces at each other. "Oh, whatever. I shall cherish the silence."
"Arlon is just up ahead, team," Palutena informed them all, seeing them staring forward at the big entrance. "Be prepared for the most serene battle of all times."
"Such a battle would displease the Pits, wouldn't it?" Arlon chimed in. "Oh, they surely will turn it into a messy, rowdy rumble. Smashers, I will enjoy the bout with you in the mix."
Ms. Fit tilted her head. "He sounds a bit confident in fighting a whole bunch of us at once…" she muttered.
Nana looked bored. "I think he knows the Pits will just bicker endlessly and make us lose our cool during the battle, or we get separated like what happened with the rock monster, or both," she said. Prepared for whatever the lord of the sanctum would toss at them, the group stepped forward to the big entrance. Sensing their footsteps, the door started to open up, until the path was wide open for them. Careful of anything beyond, they proceeded forward into what appeared to be a dark space with no visibility…
"Oh. The classic dark area," Magolor spoke up from the darkness, his eyes eerily shining alongside Meta Knight's. "I can't wait for the lights to turn back on and reveal what we're facing."
"Darkness! Go away!" Pit suddenly demanded. "We all know darkness is evil and light is good! Arlon, why do you have to rely on darkness to try to make us fall into a trap?! I swear on Lady Palutena's name that I will dispel this evil darkness, in the name of Skyworld!"
"That was a rather loud outburst…" Chris commented.
"It was justified! You trust me on this one, right, Chris? Do you agree darkness will always be evil and light will always be good?"
"Uh, well, if we really want to get on that topic now, I believe that's not always the truth sometimes…"
"WHAT!" Pit's yell startled them all. Even Arlon, who was hiding in the darkness, was heard subtly cringing. "H-how can you believe light can be bad and darkness be good, Chris?! Where did you even see something like that from your world?!" Somehow, without even telling he was there, Pit grabbed Chris's shoulders and started shaking him. "Answer me! I can't live with that!"
"H-hey, Pit! D-don't take this too personally! I can tell clearly when that belief of light and darkness can't be the absolute truth!"
"T-then you believe my light flag is bad?!"
"Of course not! Now stop shaking my shoulders!"
"Enough chatter, boys," Arlon called out, stopping Pit instead of the angel actually listening to Chris. "If this darkness is ruffling Master Pit's feathers the wrong way so much, I better just cast it away…" With a snapping sound, the darkness cleared away…
…and Pit, Dark Pit, Chris, Fox, and Ms. Fit were quick to notice the barrier separating the rest of the group from the inner circle they first five found themselves standing on. "C-crap!" Fox muttered.
"I knew IT!" Nana yelled indignantly, smacking the barrier with her hammer. Her anger did not even match Lucario's, who was more hell-bent on breaking down the damn thing with his fists to be next to his distraught trainer's side. "I just HAD to be right about this stupid trap!"
"Your perceptiveness to predict my battle plans were for naught, Young Master Nana," called Arlon from the center of the circular field. The group of five in the circle turned around and saw the guardian floating there in midair in a sitting position, calmly gazing at their frustrated looks. He really was a towering, slender man, reaching 8 feet tall at best. "Let us all enjoy this battle on fair grounds…"
Magolor leaned his hands on the barrier when his senses started acting up erratically. On Arlon's neck, there was an Energy Sphere resting as the main piece of a necklace. "There! Over there!" Magolor piped up quickly. "There's an Energy Sphere on his neck! You have to get it from him!"
Arlon raised an eyebrow and then picked the sphere with two fingers, staring intently at the gear inside. "This is the acclaimed Energy Sphere I've been hearing about?" he asked rhetorically. "It fell one day in my room. I decided to keep it as a good luck charm since then."
"T-that's mine, Sir Arlon!" Magolor said. "P-please, give it to me, or else you'll be attacked b-"
"Attacked by Lady Palutena's forces, yes. It would have to come to this sooner or later," Arlon interrupted, serenely bowing down to his adversaries for him to gaze at them with a flashing red eye. "But will her forces win this one? Let us find out."
Kid Icarus: Uprising - Boss Battle 1
With astounding reflexes, Chris used the Scholar's Study skill to read up on Arlon's stats. "S-Study!" he called out, the pages flipping through until they came to a stop on Arlon's entry.
Arlon – Lvl. 165
Magic Defense: 1,000
Resistant to: N/A
Weak Against: Really Bossy Masters
Abilities: Anti-Death, Anti-Poison, Anti-Sleep, Anti-Confusion
Immune to: Death, Poison, Sleep, Confusion
D: A suave commander of the Forces of Nature, Arlon resides within the Lunar Sanctum. Compared to Viridi, he is very tall. You could say he has the ear of Viridi, but he has to lean down pretty far to reach it. Despite his refined appearance, Arlon is capable of holding his own in combat. He won the award for "Best Intergalactic Butler of the Millennium" five times straight and still goes strong.
Pit brightened up. "Lady Palutena! He's younger than yo-!"
"I'd really hate UNNEEDED interruptions in this one battle, Pit," Palutena ironically interrupted.
"Young Master Pit needs to learn how to properly talk to a goddess," Arlon noted. "…Lady Palutena, teach him for me. I am not his butler."
"'Kay," the goddess said. "Attack! He's just floating there!"
The Pits and Ms. Fit dutifully rushed forward, leaving Chris behind for long-range magic with his Black Mage job. Noticing Fox just remaining next to him made him ask, "Why aren't you attacking?"
"Someone has to protect the mage with some good physical defense," Fox said with a grin. "It's what Lucario would've done too."
"…Thanks," Chris said, his red blushing visible through the darkness of his mage hat. Behind them, Lucario felt both relieved and jealous. He wanted that affection for himself so badly now…
Arlon made notes of how their formation played out. The Pits and Ms. Fit were the offensive, the World Traveler was the magical offense from afar, and the space mercenary was the defense. "This is how I shall approach this battle… Off with the lights," Arlon said, snapping his fingers and serenely floating back into an ever growing shade of darkness that made everyone in the ring gasp once their vision was shut off. Making matters worse was that they couldn't see each other anymore. The watchers outside the ring had light, though they couldn't see through the darkness much less. Lucario tried to get his aura senses to work but the lock was in place, while the Ancient Minister used his night vision sight only for the sanctum to cancel out the feature. Fox couldn't use his scouter for anything either.
"A-aah! It's so dark!" Pit called out. "Darkness is bad! Light is good!"
"Still trying to push that biased point?" Dark Pit asked.
"S-settle down, please," Ms. Fit called out, confused with her surroundings. "We have to find Arlon in this darkness! If he's in here…"
"Madam Fit, I wouldn't play such trickery and leave you all in the darkness during this fight," Arlon's voice resounded from all over the ring to keep them from tracking him down. "I am a gentleman."
"W-what kind of gentleman tosses darkness in a fight?" Chris said, suddenly feeling a tight grip on his left wrist. He panicked and quickly used his free hand with the staff to bonk whoever tried to hurt him. Only the grip became tighter. "G-get away! I have a life ahead of me!"
"Ouch! Chris, it's me!" Fox yelped, causing the mage to stop bonking his head. "I figured I'd keep track of you if I just clutched to you somehow to stay close!"
Chris then yelped next and quickly apologized. "F-Fox, I'm so sorry! It was out of self-defen-!"
"Yes, I understand. You had a reason to bonk…me…on the head," Fox trailed off. "Damn, it's too dark. Don't lose my grip on you, okay? We'll get through this together."
"Y-yes… My life depends on you now…" Chris's felt another hand taking a grip of his right wrist, but he didn't panic and decided to give his other defender the benefit of the doubt. "Okay, the other hand feels firm and delicate… Ms. Fit, is that you?"
A small portion of the darkness gave away to a glowing blue light right next to Arlon's calm expression. He was carrying some sort of blue energy on his right palm, freezing Chris with horror and making Fox turn around and gasp at the sight. "Why, I feel insulted for being compared to a lady's hand," Arlon said…
The others not close to Arlon briefly saw a flash of blue going off south, followed by screams of pain and two bodies hitting the floor. "Those were Chris and Fox! I have to go help them!" Pit said to himself. He turned around on his feet and started running to the direction he heard the voices, ending up crashing onto a wary Dark Pit and pushing both of them down to the floor. "Argh!"
"What are you doing, you carbon copy?!" Dark Pit called out, scrambling off the floor and backing off from Pit.
"Hey, you were in my way! It's not my fault I can't see where I'm going!" Pit argued.
"It's sort of is 'cuz you crashed into me!"
"Now we're making excuses here." Pit ignored him and got up, dashing to the same direction (or not) he remembered the others were. He bumped right into Ms. Fit. The least said where his face exactly crashed onto her the better. "Oof!" Then he got slapped. "Oww!"
"O-oh, Pit, it's you!" Ms. Fit said, very much flustered. "Sorry. It was out of instinct…"
"It's good! It's good!" Pit said. "It was sort of my fault."
"Hypocrisy! I knew it!" Dark Pit called out from the darkness.
Outside the veil of darkness, the Ancient Minister lamented the situation the fighters were in. "This is not good. Arlon is fully relying on the darkness to attack and disorient their moves in the battlefield. Not just his attacks will hurt them, but they can get in the way of the others attacking blindly," he informed. "His strategy is working against our larger numbers."
"And he's watching everything unfold while he can play in the darkness all he wants!" Mr. G&W said.
"I can't do a thing to see through the darkness," Palutena said. "Accept this bit of guidance from me, Pit. Watch closely in the darkness for Arlon's movements. Try to see if there is a hole in his strategy."
"Yeah, sure. Let's try finding that hole while it's so dark out. Top advice there," Dark Pit said.
"Hush you, Pittoo," she said, earning a growl. "My divine guidance is so good it beat you up last time."
"Getting on his bad side right now is not a good idea!" commented Popo.
"My, my! The fighters get too restless wandering in the dark," Arlon announced, his voice resounding from all directions. "I can't believe this strategy is doing wonders for me."
"Turns the lights on!" Pit called out. "So I can beat you and get this over with!"
"I will do so once everyone invading this space can't get up from the floor," Arlon spoke darkly. "That will come to be in a matter of minutes. I have a teapot boiling in the kitchen that needs my attention. Do pick up the pace!"
"Y-you damned trickster!" called out Fox, shaking off the smoke from his body caused by the earlier attack. Getting back up, he felt the tip of a familiar rod bumping on his chest.
"Who's there?! I-If you're Arlon, I will smack you silly!" Chris warned, bumping his chest several times.
"It's me, Chris," Fox said.
The teen lowered his weapon and quickly leaned to the vulpine's side. "O-oh good. You're alright," he said.
"Likewise. Now, we gotta do something to turn this battle around before we make his wish of victory come true." The vulpine took his Blaster and aimed at random directions. "What if I just blindly shoot? Hate to admit it, but this weak thing should be good enough… Hey, wait a minute." He turned his head to Chris. "You haven't given a job to anyone yet. Mind if I grab one?"
"Huh? Oh, right…"
Fox grinned. "And we can both agree my physical strength could use a buff so why don't you give me that Monk job alrea-"
"…What do you mean nope?!" Fox demanded so suddenly.
"I'm not letting the job corrupt you with its power," Chris said. "Sorry to say this, but I want you to be my little guinea pig for this new job I got."
Fox grumbled. "That job better have increased physical strength," he muttered.
"You'll use…" Chris formed an orb of light between his hands, "…the Tinker job."
"I seriously doubt being Slippy for a fight is gonna do wonders for me. He is into gadgets and I'm like into blasting and blowing stuff up with those gadgets."
"Amen to that," Palutena commented.
"It's not a Slippy job!" Chris scolded. "J-just try it!"
Fox sighed loudly. "Fiiiiiiine. Gimme that thing to me," and the orb with the job flew into his body, briefly making a strong flash of light in the darkness but not entirely illuminating the area. Curiously, the others away from them did notice the flash piercing through anyway, albeit it didn't give them a clear sign of where they were standing on.
A moment of silence followed, and Chris heard the fluttering of wings next to him. Then a high-pitched scream went down to the floor followed by a grunting noise. "Uh… Oh no…" Chris muttered under his breath, now recalling that the Tinker job belonged to a single kind of race that wasn't human. "…F-Fox?"
"What the freaking hell did you do to me, kupo?!" Fox's high-pitched voice yelled up at Chris. "You freaking shrunk me down! This wasn't what I had in mind, kupo!" Everyone within earshot heard Palutena trying so hard to cover her chuckles, which were ignored by the fuming foxy Moogle.
To Fox's renewed anger, he had been shrunk to a 3 feet fuzzy wonder wearing a blue baggy jumpsuit and carrying an orange backpack on his smaller back under the orange bat wings he couldn't quite get used to, with a blue hat with a thick white brim on his head, comically juggling the pom-pom attached with a long thin string to his head and piercing the hat. Unlike a human turning into a perfect replica of a Moogle, Fox's characteristics had carried over. He was a weird Moogle with a small white muzzle and a light brown tail with a white tip on his rear. Scarier were the thick eyebrows that gave him such a fierce – albeit adorable – look on his face.
"You could've at least tried to make me bigger, kupo!" Fox the Moogle complained.
Chris tightened his lips to keep himself from laughing out loud at Fox's misery, despite the harsh situation. "I-I don't have a job that makes you taller!" he said.
Fox wobbled to the sides as he got up, noticing his red greaves were still worn in a smaller foot size. A bit of relief was the two bronze knuckles with sharp tips equipped to his hands, which did in fact increase his physical strength now compressed. "This sucks so much!" he said. "What can I even do in this stupid ass small body, kupo?! And why can't I drop the freaking verbal tic down, kupo?!"
"C-calm down, please!" Chris begged the creature. "I-I gave that to you for a reason! I want to see what it can do for us!"
Fox huffed a few times and calmed himself down, without dropping the frustration that he knew was taller than he was. "…Okay… I'm calm… Letting all my hot air out... Kupo… So this is how it feels like being Pichu. UGH!"
"I'm fine!" Fox squeaked. "Gotta focus here. There's a fight to the death and nobody can afford listening to my well-justified complaints, kupo… Alright, let's see here…" He thought hard to see what skills he had available. As if the job itself had a mind of its own, it did not withhold info from Fox's request. In a snap, Fox's mind was filled with two interesting terms with their descriptions. "Red Spring: It can cast Haste on one party. Blue Screw: It can cast Dispel on one party… What the hell, kupo?!" Fox fumed when he ran through the descriptions in his head. "Both of them are double-edged swords?!"
"You mean the skill can affect either our whole group or the enemy with the toss of a coin…" Chris recalled.
"Like we want to risk it and make that bastard faster in the darkness, kupo!" Fox said. "And making us faster does nothing if we can't see him! Great thinking giving me this job, Chris!"
"F-fine! I admit it! It was a terrible idea!" Chris gave up.
"…" Fox grimaced and took out a light brown chest from the backpack. "…What about using Blue Screw? Says here Dispel just dispels buffs or debuffs. Is this darkness a buff for Arlon, kupo?"
"Probably… We don't have any benefits or hindrances inflicted," Chris said. "So maybe…?"
"Worth a shot, then. I gotta do with what I have, kupo," Fox said. He raised the chest over his head. "Blue Screw!" he called out.
The treasure chest opened up, shooting a large coin that everyone saw pierce through the darkness. The coin sailed high above the battlefield, spinning its two sides madly. On one side, a red sun showed. On the other side, a yellow crescent moon was displayed. If the coin landed on the red sun, the group would be targeted all at once by Dispel. If it landed on the yellow crescent moon, it would affect Arlon instead. "So many spectacular objects making a mockery of my strategies," Arlon spoke, calmly looking up from a hidden location at the coin.
The coin's spinning speed came slowly to a halt…and it stopped on the yellow crescent moon.
What followed after was a rain of soft but adult-sized blue screws raining down the floor. The screws did not bump on the Smashers despite them all covering themselves, but they all bumped on Arlon's self. The commander gave out some grunting noises as the items did nothing else rather than just testing his solid patience… "Ugh. Knew it, kupo," Fox said. "The stupid attack is just a silly display of bad fireworks."
Arlon's whole body flashed green, illuminating the spot where he was: standing right behind the Pits. The owner of the sanctum blinked with an extremely subtle hint of hopelessness once the angels fixed their gazes on him, as did the rest of the group. Although Blue Screw's didn't necessarily cancel out any buffs on Arlon, the added visual effect of being afflicted by it turned out to be very effective.
"There you are!" both Pits said.
"Oh, crud," Arlon serenely said, right as he entered a world of hurt.
The Pits turned quickly and launched an offensive. Pit's Beam Claws tore through Arlon's body, stunning him into place with the slashing blows delivering such intensity to his stick-like body. Dark Pit, surprisingly, did not get in the way of Pit's blows and instead went to the other side of Arlon's position to hack and slash with the blades of his Silver Bow. The sanctum's owner couldn't stop flinching and gasping for pain as the Pits let it all out on him. Their bad blood to each other didn't get in the way of their suspiciously synchronized attacks on Arlon. They were unwillingly complementing each other in their blows. When one Pit struck on one side, the other one would strike the opposite spot at the right angle and speed. And even while he was being attack, Arlon took those hits to memory and was baffled to find out how well they were working together to defeat a common foe…
Perhaps because the darkness of the floor was tied to Arlon's state of mind, it dissipated quickly and illuminated the floor. Now everyone could plainly see the enemy in plain sight being mauled alive by the Pits. "Now is your chance!" yelled the Ancient Minister from his position.
Arlon's stunned state went away as soon as he gathered enough strength to slip through the attacks and float away. During the attack, his monocle had been broken. He replaced it with a new one as he coughed. "How could this be?" he pondered aloud, pinching his chin as he looked at the Pits dashing to his way. "Your attacks didn't conflict with one another. You were almost sharing the same mindset without turning on each other…" The Pits then started tossing insults at each other and stopped their plan to attack Arlon. The least said about their bickering the better. "…I spoke too soon," Arlon muttered, feeling mocked by the sudden ignorance from the angels.
A soccer ball smashed to the side of his face, startling him as he recoiled. Turning left, he saw Ms. Fit rushing in an orderly fashion for any fitness trainer like her. "It is time to attack," Ms. Fit said.
"How could a lady like you brutally smack a man with a round object? Ladies these days are getting more abrasive…counting Lady Viridi," he muttered the last part as he produced three sharp rings above his left hand. Swiping the air, he sent the rings to strike the lady head-on.
She gracefully jumped with grace and firmness, her form behaving like a stick that dodged the rings by making unconventional yoga poses in midair. Arlon blinked, charmed by her display of fitness to dodge his blows, when she landed on the floor and ran to his side, sliding forward as she performed the Gate pose and pushed him back. In this little string of unorthodox attacks, the lady got up close to the staggering commander and struck his chest hard with a Warrior pose, the tip of her firm right hand pushing him back even harder that he desperately flipped in midair to regain his stance and back off from her. "I-I'd say!" Arlon grunted, trying to recover from the blows.
"Salute the sun!"
Then she performed the Sun Salutation pose and fired a large energy sphere that struck him in the air and pushed him to the invisible wall of the ring (as she had charged it during the moment of confusion at the start). Arlon bounced off from the wall and snapped his fingers to call forth the darkness, disorienting them all again to give him time to rest. "Each one of you is full of surprises, it seems…" Arlon commented.
"I should enroll in her classes if those moves are that effective," Palutena commented.
"Back to running blindly into this darkness," Dark Pit said from somewhere, which was closer to Pit than he would actually like instead. "Why don't ya just fight without the gimmicks? Nobody likes a gimmick in a fight."
"A person of my stature must employ every trick in their sleeve to attain victory however they can," Arlon said. "Not to mention, fighting such a large number is not fair, as I've heard about your accomplishments from Mistress Viridi."
"Well, then it's only fair for us to use our own tricks, kupo! Blue Screw!" Fox said, cringing at the verbal tick he couldn't get rid of. Holding up his treasure chest, he shot the next coin through the darkness and watch the magic item spin in midair to choose who to target…
It landed on the moon.
Then it flipped and landed on the sun.
The effect of Dispel did not target Arlon. Instead, after the coin vanished, the comically large screws rained down and bumped on everyone else as the magic's effect took hold without really dispelling anything they had. They did not get hurt by the attack, only slightly being annoyed. "Lady Luck has switched to my favor," Arlon said. "As it should be."
"Couldn't you possibly use something better than that?" Dark Pit asked.
"Hey! You try fighting the odds, kupo!" Fox squeaked.
"Try fighting this," spoke Arlon as he gracefully jumped over where Fox was at, laying down a blinking point under his feet. The glow was seen through the darkness, getting the attention of everyone and especially Fox, who looked down just in time to see the blinking point going off with a big explosion that sent him soaring across in the darkness, unfortunately right into the wall, where he bumped off and fell back down on the floor, smelling smoke coming out from his body. "Score."
"Y-you…bastard…kupo…" Fox muttered.
"That is good. Vent out your frustration just like the smoke coming off from you-" Arlon was suddenly struck very harshly on the side of his face, causing him to yelp and, for whatever reason, strike out a pose of agony.
The blow on the side of his face had come from a frustrated World Traveler's weapon rod, who had taken advantage of the blinking mine that let him take a good look where Arlon most likely headed as he had seen his feet going off a certain direction. Though he had to admit that was too desperate with the chance that Arlon could have gone off elsewhere, Chris was lucky all the same that his swing connected on Arlon's face. Briefly stunned that his blow had worked, Chris gripped his weapon hard and started smacking the stunned Arlon as much as he could out of desperation. "This…is…for…teasing…me…so…much!" Chris paused between every blow he delivered. Ironically, he was venting out his own frustration.
"Wow. Look at him go!" Palutena commented. "I'm glad he has no reason to smack me like that."
Arlon had lost focus on the darkness as Chris repeatedly smacked him silly, the veil lifting off from the field and letting everyone see what was going on close to the entrance of the ring. When the darkness was lifted off, Chris thought that his little onslaught of blows would be stopped if he continued, so he yelped and ran back from the stunned commander, deciding to go over where Fox was to heal him. "H-he's all yours again!" Chris yelled. Lucario visibly sighed in relief.
"Alright! Good ol' rod smack frenzy!" Pit cheered, excitedly rushing over to where Arlon was with Dark Pit following suit.
The three fighters were slow in reaching Arlon, who had stopped doing that dramatic pose of agony, getting back to midair and pulling back. "Is anybody going to say anything about why he was posing like that," muttered Popo.
"Dramatic effect?" Magolor quipped.
"Lady Luck will not be so kind you all for long," Arlon muttered, gathering four rings of energy on his hands and shooting them gracefully towards his enemies. Pit and Dark Pit couldn't react fast enough and got pushed back by getting sliced by two rings each, but Ms. Fit kept running – rather normally for a fitness trainer – without stopping. "Come for more, Ms. Fit?"
"Did you just insult me?" Ms. Fit asked, narrowing her eyes.
Arlon raised an eyebrow. "What? I did not…"
"Oh, NOW she thinks she got insulted," Popo said, looking annoyed.
"It's rather hard to tell when someone is making fun of her," commented the Ancient Minister.
Regardless of any of that, Arlon was quick on producing more of his homing rings to strike Ms. Fit down harder than the Pits, who were still cringing at the cuts they got from the previous attack. Shooting them at her, she stopped running for one moment and side-stepped – or rather leaned her body to the side in an arch – to dodge the incoming blows at the last possible second to throw them off from their not-so precise homing attribute. She then went back to running towards him. "I never tire of seeing such grace in your moves while fighting. Our kind is a dying breed," Arlon said.
"I'm pretty graceful myself. Just watch me till I have to take off my goddess kiddy gloves," Palutena chimed in.
"When will that be?" Arlon asked, dodging a large Sun Salutation blast the fitness trainer had saved prior the darkness lifting off.
"'K. I'll get you back on that after Hades and Viridi stop making such a big ruckus all over." The team outside of the ring rolled their eyes, and so did Dark Pit.
Arlon danced away to dodge a volleyball from hitting his face. Upon having some time to strike, his hands glowed blue and his eye flashed a red light. "Here, just for you," he said as he brought his hands together, firing a massive blue laser that tore through the air quite quickly.
Ms. Fit gasped and couldn't run off to avoid the blow, taking it in full. To make matters worse, Pit had been struck by the laser by standing close to its attack radius, getting pushed back ways away close to the opposite corner Arlon was facing. As the laser shrunk back down in front of the commander, the two fighters were scrambled on the floor, trying to stand back up from the blow. "T-that was…such a critical hit…" Pit muttered.
"Naaah, that wasn't a critical hit but still a lethal hit all the same," Palutena said. "Grin and bear it, Pit."
"Why tell that when can't bear the grin?" snarked Dark Pit as he ran towards Arlon.
"All that potential in taking Pit down, wasted," Arlon told Dark Pit as the former started floating back to delay Dark Pit's incoming slashing blows. "You disappoint me for being a copy trying to take down the original."
"While both of us exist, there are two copies running around. I'm just trying to balance everything out," Dark Pit chuckled. The two engaged in close combat, with Dark Pit slashing wildly and Arlon skillfully dodging every blow that came his way (while also pinching one side of his wide mustache, only to infuriate Dark Pit whenever he noticed).
It was no exaggeration to believe Arlon was purposely getting Dark Pit mad… "Losing your temper make a fighter do some rash, uncalculated attacks in battle. Did you know about that?"
"What about it?!" Dark Pit, enraged, asked.
"I know everything about you and young master Pit," Arlon darkly said, slipping a single ring of energy as he spun back to avoid one harsh blow and slice Dark Pit on the side. "Unlike him, you tend to let your emotions falsely empower you fighting style. You let your bottled up rage release in unneeded bursts of anger. You usually act calm and collected, but you tend to lose everything when a battle happens." While Dark Pit stubbornly kept attacking despite how the cut he got on the side of his ripped clothing made him stagger and cringe with jerking motions, Arlon kept the banter coming just to keep making the dark angel lose his focus. "I had high expectations your stubbornness and his lack of intellect – which Lady Palutena kindly tries to correct every time – would cause both of you to just…die in battle."
Dark Pit sweated beads, the pain on his side forcing him to take a small break. The pain on his side had turned out to be worse than it looked like, as his constant movement had made the bruise harder to ignore. "I-I'm not that easy to…croak!" he shot back.
"Words that mean almost nothing. This is so unlike me to do, helping the enemy out, but you must let young master Pit claim his spot as the original…" His hands were glowing blue, ready to fire another laser straight to Dark Pit, who gasped and knew well enough what the glow meant. "…If only for a few minutes before he too falls down!" Arlon brought his hands together and calmly opened them at Dark Pit to release the incoming blast. The dark angel, grunting, crossed his arms in front of his face as a meager way to reduce the force of the attack.
Arlon was slashed on his side by a small enemy coming from the left, digging his clawed-clad hands into his thin body and violently pulling the claws back, tearing part of his regal outfit and causing him to grunt loudly and back off, calling off his focus on his attack on Dark Pit. The second Pit blinked in surprise and saw that it had been Fox – now restored back to health and looking quite smug for a little guy – who had interrupted Arlon in his next deadly blow. "W-what the…?"
"And one more!" Fox squeaked as he pulled back quickly and struck Arlon on his damaged side with his small yet sturdy boots, kicking him swiftly to cause even more pain to the commander. Sadly for Fox, his flawless technique in flying as another creature was short lived, as the last blow he used to push himself back reminded him that, yes, he was not used to being a Moogle that much, so he fell on his rear, back on the floor. "Grrrr, kupo! Talk about ruining my comeback!"
"It's less about a flashy comeback and more about saving Dark Pit! Focus!" yelled Chris from afar, having healed Fox in the background while making sure Arlon wasn't targeting them. "Dark Pit, are you okay?"
"Yeah! Thanks for the help!" Dark Pit said, waving a hand rather excitedly. Right after, he froze and shook his head, feeling so weird to having replied too nicely to the human. Getting some weird looks from the people behind the barrier only worsened how embarrassed he felt. "Ugh, I-I-I mean, whatever!"
"Uh, okay! I-I'll just pretend you kind of thanked me!" Chris said, unsure as to what to believe anymore.
As Fox stood back up, he saw Arlon staring him down from a few feet away. "Mistress Viridi was right about that human boy being an eyesore… Letting him run free will only make this fight go on forever. Very well." He dusted himself off and tried to shrug off the pain on his side. "Change of plans. The human goes down first."
Fox growled a cute sound and started running at Arlon. "I won't let you!" he squeaked. To his ever growing anger, Arlon snapped his fingers and called forth the darkness once again. Fox just kept on running as he remembered where he last saw Arlon to later strike that same spot where he was…or had been. The vulpine-turned-Moogle only managed to slash dark empty air with the pointy ends of his clawed knuckles. "Ah, dammit, kupo! Chris, watch out! He's after you!"
"H-he is? I shouldn't have vented out my frustration this early!" Chris complained.
"Calm down and concentrate!" the Ancient Minister shouted outside the ring. "You can spot Arlon's movements whenever he is about to attack. Even though it is very dark in there, his attacks can be seen right through his visual trick. We all saw how he laid that mine on the floor moments ago."
"I should have put up a sound barrier while I was it preparing the battlefield," Arlon commented, his voice echoing.
"It wouldn't have made a difference because of yours truly relaying messages," Palutena boasted.
"Oh, that, too."
"On that note, I'm supposed to be giving my divine guidance to you all. No giving out your own non-divine guidance," she told the Ancient Minister.
"Whatever," the Ancient Minister simply retorted.
With guidance from a trustable person, Chris focused on his surroundings for any cues on Arlon's whereabouts. "F-focus…" he muttered under his breath, placing a hard grip on his magic rod and stealing glances all over. "Arlon is after you… Y-you have to be ready for anything…"
"How entertaining. Fear is getting up to him," Arlon commented, mocking the human. "This is but a mere preview of what's to come to show you how humans should never interfere with the divine order of Mistress Viridi." Then there was a blue flash behind an unsuspecting Chris. "Your sins shall be repaid handsomely with your life."
Although it looked like Chris would have to deal with Arlon trying to take him down first, someone else had listened on the Ancient Minister's advice and put it to use, really focusing on the darkness by squinting their eyes. They had noticed the blue flash pretty quickly and readied their attack immediately, which was shot across the darkness straight to its intended target. Said hit not only did interrupt Arlon's blow, but it had struck him in his free, unprotected eye.
"AAAAAARRGGGGH!" Arlon surprisingly screamed in horror at the coursing pain running through his head, the veil of darkness lifting off as he covered his damaged eye and stumbled back to the invisible wall.
A horrified Chris looked behind and gasped at the sight of the commander, then he whirled around and saw Pit's silhouette holding his bow out. "P-Pit, you saved me!" Chris said.
"I…" Pit was seen crawling on the floor ways ahead from the silhouette, still weakened from that laser blast. "I saved you by doing nothing! Wow! I surprise myself! ...Wait, I didn't do anything!"
Blinking, Chris saw the darkness dissipating a bit more, revealing Dark Pit to be the source of the shadow. Though the dark angel was seen cringing, he mustered up his strength to strike back at Arlon without truthfully admitting he was doing it to keep the World Traveler safe from harm. "…W-why don't you look around some more?" Dark Pit said in an effort to hide his strange feelings. His cheeks were blushing. "T-thanks for the experience!" he tried to be smug.
"Stop being awkward and strike!" yelled and encouraged Magolor.
While it took a bit for Chris to stop being awkward, Ms. Fit and Fox rushed over to where Arlon was cringing really badly. The fitness trainer was lagging behind due to the previous attack having taken a lot out of her, but Fox was still in top shape thanks for being healed. As such, the vulpine Moogle reached the commander first and used his clawed knuckles to dig into Arlon's thin body in a way that looked like he was digging through him like a crazed mole. Arlon stopped holding his face to swat the little creature away, at which point he left his face unguarded for Ms. Fit to jump, spin around, and perform the Cobra pose to slam her feet straight into him, causing him to bounce off from the wall and indirectly save him from Fox's savage attack.
"B-bunch of…barbarians…!" Arlon coughed as he warped away to safe location to get some time to compose himself, lamenting how his clothes were being torn apart and leaving behind deep cuts thanks to the pesky Moogle among them. "If you want to play rough, then…!" With distance favoring him, he decided to resume his laser blast, aiming it straight at the World Traveler.
Arlon just noticed Chris was back on the game, with a magic glyph under his feet and his long scarf floating eerily behind him. "T-this is for trying to kill me earlier…and for constantly humiliating me!" Chris warned the commander, the latter unaware that a spell was going off first before he could strike himself. After finally using Black Magic in the whole fight, something within the World Traveler got unlocked as his Fira spell got stronger all of a sudden… "I got it now!" Chris called out, his feet slightly floating above the floor as he swung his staff and aimed it at Arlon. "FIRAGA!"
The commander of the sanctum, in a call back to what Chris would have succumbed to at a greater scale, felt the air all around him increasing in temperature, until from the very center of it ignited in a small flame that suddenly erupted into a very large explosion, consuming a good portion of where he was standing. The force of the explosion pushed the commander out before the smoke could settle in, and he collapsed on the floor after bumping into it a few times. Slightly charred black, the commander coughed and stifled a grunting noise, adjusting his broken monocle. "How did this fight…come to this?" he coughed, standing up and realizing the other three fighters were after him from across the battlefield.
There was no way Arlon could win with the odds stacked against him. He was a good commander and had put faith into his strategy, but somewhere along the line, his strategies to wear them out didn't work out very well, and he disliked to admit he had toyed with them too much. Placing too much faith on the Pits destroying each other had turned into the biggest mistake he could have done, only made worse with how strangely protective Dark Pit got for Chris's welfare…
Knowing for certain he was going to fail his mission to please Viridi, Arlon opted for one final move to cripple them all. He saw Pit sprawled on the floor, apparently still damaged by the laser blast from earlier surely because it had hit him much harder than it did to Ms. Fit. "My…defeat is assured…but my time isn't over yet… Young master Pit…you will stop annoying Mistress Viridi if it's the last thing I do…!"
"W-what? Oh, crackers!" Pit gasped as he forced himself to stand up but only managed to cringe at his body giving up.
In the next seconds, Arlon created a floating ring on each palm. Said rings split a fourth of the way to give them sharp ends to attack by stabbing them into a target. Seeing the rings, Pit yelled and pushed himself up, only managing to give Arlon a clear path to strike the angel's eyes and his chest. With all his strength, Arlon swung his arms in a faux-hugging motion and shot the rings on their targets. In those short seconds, Pit tried hard to ignore the pain and stand up, but he was not going to make it, even if shutting his eyes made him believe they would be fine under his eyelids.
Pit, very surprised, couldn't tell what that loud grunting noise was and couldn't see all because he still had his eyes shut. When he opened them, wary that they would get struck by the sharp rings, all he saw was Arlon getting struck on the side of his head by a blunt object that had broken what remained of his monocle's glass. Said blunt object bounced off from his head as he fell aside, falling unconscious and defeated. Even when falling, Arlon had somehow made it so that he fell with grace and serenity; holding out his hands forward as if wanting to talk...
The others stood there slightly dumbfounded as they saw the blunt object – a soccer ball – rolling aside and disappearing with a soundless poof sound next to Pit's downed self. Knowing the source, they all turned to Ms. Fit, who blushed at their stares digging into her. Not even the barrier going down made everyone else rush into the battlefield as they tried to swallow why that had been the last attack to take down the commander. "…I did what I had to do…" she muttered, embarrassed of her winning act.
The others shrugged and got into the battlefield to check on the others as Magolor floated over to where Pit was. As a concerned Chris ran to the angel's side, Magolor stared at Arlon's unconscious self and made sure it was safe to get near him. "Uh, equally important as that…" He muttered as he went to his side to pry off the Energy Sphere on his neck, sighing in relief all blows directed at the commander left the mystic item safe from harm. A few pulls later, the Halcandran reclaimed the object and held it up high in victory. "Energy Sphere Get! This makes three out of one-hundred and seventeen spheres!" he said cheerfully.
"Good job, team," Palutena called out to them as the fighting side took some time to recover from the battle. "You have slain Arlon the Serene and stopped the Lunar Sanctum from raining unfair judgment on the (somewhat) innocent humans."
"Alright! One more commander down!" Nana cheered. "That girl better take us more seriously."
"Isn't that gonna make things worse for us?" Popo wondered.
As a very thankful Pit thanked Chris for healing him back to top shape, the human felt his cape being tugged down, seeing a bored Moogle Fox looking up at him. "Ahem," Fox squeaked.
"Wait, I thought the job would already leave you since we finished the battle," Chris said.
"Well, it didn't, kupo. So I came to the conclusion a little while ago you had some sort of say in th-" A very brief flash of light enveloped Fox as soon as an orb containing the Tinker job went back into Chris's self, and the little vulpine Moogle discarded being from another race in favor of returning back to normal. Now back to being his normal self, Fox looked down at himself, quickly rubbed his arms and thighs through his uniform, and as an added extra step measured himself with Chris to see that, yes, he was two or three inches taller than him. "Phew!" Fox sighed with a lot of relief. "Glad that was over with! That weird accent is gone from my system and I feel bigger than ever. The universe is right now."
"…Remind me not to give you another job that shrinks you down," Chris muttered, shaking his head. He saw Dark Pit standing away from the group and went over to see how he was doing, but more importantly, tell him something. "Uh, Dark Pit…"
Dark Pit gave him a side glance, his eyes looking but not feeling tired. "Yeah?"
"Thank you for saving me back there when I needed it," Chris thanked him, smiling sincerely. "I-I wouldn't have wanted Arlon to hurt me after all that mocking he said to me during the whole time we got here."
"…" Dark Pit's eyes wandered away. "…It was pretty easy and simple to do it. Save you, I mean."
"…For you, I suppose," Chris said, chuckling a bit. "I can't thank you enough for it."
The dark angel blushed. "O-once was enough. That's it. Please, kept it that way." He looked completely away from the human, in time to avoid seeing Lucario behind his trainer.
Awkward at his overall attitude, Chris didn't pursue the matter further and turned away himself from the dark angel. "You lament how he wants to put distance between the two of you, don't you?" Lucario asked. "I can tell even without my senses."
"Yes. I'm starting to grow fond of him for being nice to me when he doesn't seem to mean it," Chris said. "Why do you think he acts that way?"
Lucario wouldn't know what to believe was the right answer. "Were you nice to him when you met him?" he asked.
"I-I wasn't nice or nasty to him. He was excited to slice me down until he started having hiccups," Chris said. "Then those hiccups evolved into acts of kindness that we both don't know why they happen. I don't feel like scolding to him at all after he did those acts."
"…I see… Well, I'm thankful he gives you a hand when it counts," Lucario said. "My opinion on him is strange. I do like his protective nature of you, but his distancing himself doesn't let me agree if he is a good person. He better not insult you."
"If he does that, don't beat him," Chris said. "I can talk him down if it happens. I'll rely on his true feelings to get to bottom of this." Lucario nodded in obedience but held the opinion of defending Chris only when things would get rough for him to handle. He shot one look at Dark Pit before Arlon's body flashed and disappeared from existence. None of the three had noticed Pit had been listening and seeing their conversation a few feet away, looking quite pensive after listening to Chris possibly having a high opinion on Dark Pit of all people…
"Hey, he vanished!" Mr. G&W said, returning back to the Arlon disappearing act. "Did he escape or did he die?"
"Just like Cragalanche, Arlon simply went back to being in stasis under Viridi's care," Palutena explained. "To any god giving their blessing to their commanders or important figures swearing their loyalty, they get the benefit of having divine protection. Even when gruesomely defeated, these protected beings live forever, but the drawback that comes from being defeated means they will have to recover for a very long time. This may sound like an advantage but not so much when a war is going and one side has lost important resources, because then the god or goddess is at risk of being eliminated…and there's not an even higher being giving them protections! So if say someone were to get to me and slice my throat without Pit around… Brrr," she shivered. "A whole faction would just die."
"Interesting," Meta Knight said. "Divine beings in this universe can't afford to lose their most important people or they will lose a war and become defenseless."
"True. Now that you guys took the master of this star of death down, this calls for an automatic self-destruct sequence scene."
"What?" the group said in unison. Right after, the floor underneath them trembled, caused by the source of a loud explosion triggering somewhere in the flying moon-like ship. Rocking movements and more explosions only made everyone start to panic and looking frantically for a way out.
"W-why does this place have to explode just like that after taking down its owner?! It doesn't make sense!" Mr. G&W panicked.
"Looks can be deceiving, but you could say the sanctum operates just as long as Arlon is alive and breathing…and right now, he's barely any of those aspects. So now you know," Palutena said calmly. "Stop panicking. I'll bring everyone back to our base immediately… Unfortunately, Pit has to fly out by himself."
"What?! Why?!" Pit asked.
"There are waaaay too many people taking the Palutena Express Service, and we don't want Dark Pit to suddenly turn tails and leave, do we?"
"Screw you!" Dark Pit barked. He was ignored.
"Sorry, Pit. You'll take the long way out with your wings. It'll be okay, though. The path I have ready for you is safe and not dangerous at all."
"Oh, okay!" Pit said without any objections, watching the others being covered in pillars of light that whisked their feet from the floor and warped them away from the sanctum's location. The angel barely saw Dark Pit shooting him with a very scornful look as he left within the ethereal light. Shrugging, Pit felt his wings revitalized with the Power of Flight, allowing him to take off from the crumbling stage and seeing Arlon's downed body disappear in flashing purple lights. The angel saw a big hole in the darkness of the room and flew through it to the outside.
As he made his way out from the collapsing lunar base, Pit made note of a strange object flying out from another hole somewhere on the sanctum's outer shell. He wondered what that flying object was, but Palutena simply told him to forget about it. It probably was nothing of importance to them…
One by one, the group reappeared in the sanctuary, with their disgruntled dark angel appearing with crossed arms and a look of utter boredom at his current predicament. While Dark Pit took very slow glances around his new base, the double doors opened with a slamming sound, and Pit came rushing down from the stairs to reunite with everyone. A smiling Palutena greeted him first. "Good job, Pit. With the Lunar Sanctum gone, Viridi's forces may as well hang the towel and walk away," she said.
"Wait. We're done with her?" Popo asked. "Phew! About time."
"No, that doesn't mean this is over," the goddess said. "Viridi is a very feisty goddess, if you couldn't tell already. She will keep at it until she's extremely tired. We gods are a stubborn bunch when it comes to not accepting defeat."
"Wow. You're admitting that with a straight face?"
Palutena chuckled. "That's because I've never lost a single bout since that time I got turned into stone. Victory is always a thing to me," she said.
"But the odds are somewhat against us, what with hell breaking loose down there…" Mr. G&W said. "…Wait, that reminds me. How is everything going so far on the surface? Is everyone still fighting over the fake Wish Seed thing?"
The goddess looked a little grim. "The fights have eased somewhat, but it hasn't slowed down much. Humans continue killing each other while the Underworld Army watches from the shadows to continue the cycle of death. Like Meta Knight said, we can't hope to stop these wars by ourselves. We can only try to stop the large scale attacks from the gods causing havoc," she said.
"How can we make them understand us, Lady Palutena? Isn't there a faster way?" Pit asked.
"No. Perhaps they will come to their senses when they realize they're all being used by Hades…but such time is so far away now." She saw them putting up disheartened looks. "Cheer up, you guys. The death toll may be really off-putting, but as long as we can minimize the damage from the gods, everything should be fine eventually."
"That is the best we can do for this world," Meta Knight said. "Besides, our main objective is to push the Subspace Army away, wherever they are."
"So what are you all gonna do now?"
Dark Pit's comment made everyone turn to where he was: leaning on the left wall. They just remembered that they had taken the dark angel to their base without hearing his consent. "We wait, Dark Pit," Palutena said. "The team needs some R&R after going out into space. You could use some too, if you're tired too. My sanctuary is open up to you." Chris, without looking, covered Pit's mouth from hearing a loud "WHAT!" protest.
"Seriously? What are you scheming with giving me that much freedom in this light-blinding place?" Dark Pit questioned, before grinning and saying, "You may want to keep an eye open or else I might just slay you. I dislike gods in general."
"Pfft, I'm sure Pit or the thousands of Centurions will keep me safe from your god-killing ideas. If you're anything like Pit, I know how to persuade you to behave."
Dark Pit glared. "The heck is that supposed to mean?"
"Please, you two. Stop it with the teasing for once," the minister said, standing between both. "I am still puzzled as to why we must keep Dark Pit close to us. He is not trustworthy, albeit he hasn't done anything fishy since we made him join our group."
"He's been badmouthing me ever since!" Pit objected.
"I like to pretend the childish banter was never there." Pit pouted. "Whatever happens because of Dark Pit, we will not be held responsible."
"'Kay," Palutena said simply, and she warped away to goddess-knows-where.
The Ancient Minister was irked about her simple response and not so premature departure. "Why am I thinking she just left us the job of security guards instead of at least trying to feel some shame about her hasty decision?" he wondered aloud.
"And this is why I dislike the gods: they ALWAYS try to have control of everything while toying around with lesser beings," Dark Pit said.
Pit was obviously the first one to object once more to that. "HEY! How dare you make Lady Palutena look like that? My group knows Lady Palutena isn't anything like that! Isn't that right, guys?" he said as he looked at everyone else looking the other way or remaining deadpan silent. Pit then turned back to Dark Pit. "See? They're so quiet they don't even want to object to it!" He ignored the Ice Climbers face-palming.
"Keep telling yourself that. Just leave me alone…" Dark Pit said, scornfully turning his gaze away from the fuming angel.
As Pit spiraled into muttering stuff about Dark Pit by himself without taking his eyes from the unwanted guest, the Smashers formed a circle to talk. "It's like we're always put in more annoying situations one after another the longer we stay here. My sanity can only reach a point, you know," Fox said.
"You'd rather step away from this safe haven and suffer being attacked and potentially slaughtered down there with all those wars going on? Sorry. I prefer my life over my sanity this time," Nana said.
"A wise choice, Nana!" Magolor piped up. "Losing our lives right after starting this epic quest of gathering the Energy Spheres and my ship would be an extremely anti-climactic ending. I admire your devotion in putting your sanity to the test!"
"Magolor, stop trying to make yourself blend with the angels here…" said Mr. G&W. "It's bad enough as it is. I wasn't hoping my first venture to another world to be like this."
"It makes me wonder how it could've been before Pit got that bad personality change," Chris said. "I really miss the old Pit and how he used to be: just a normal guy without a fascination over random food on the floor."
"Not that I want to derail this conversation, but, where is this Subspace Army?" Ms. Fit asked. "I haven't seen that specific army around this world at all."
"She makes a good point there," Popo said. "If the army has been here for a while but hasn't joined forces with the Underworld Army, what is it even doing without making a move yet?"
"Could they be seeking an alliance with the Forces of Nature, then?" Lucario wondered.
"Viridi herself has admitted that she wishes to do this alone without any alliances," the minister said. "The best we can come up with is that the army is lurking in this universe before making a move. Now that I'm not part of their group anymore, it is hard for me to predict their every move without a countermeasure."
"Hey, that's right. You were with them," Popo said. "Do you really have no idea?"
"The only idea I have is Ganondorf being the new capable commander and right-hand man to Tabuu. Everyone else in the army who's not an expendable unit is unfit for giving orders and making tactics. If I were them, I wouldn't risk the chance to strike three different enemy factions…"
"So we keep playing the waiting game again…" Mr. G&W said with a visible sigh shape. "I can't complain. I do want to rest after going through so much already."
Everyone overheard the two angels engaging in a long argument about loyalties to the gods. "I'm afraid resting will be a little harder than before… This could affect our morale and pressure us into a stressing state of mind and bodies," Ms. Fit said. "…If anyone needs some yoga practices, I'm open."
Her offer just gradually became more and more tempting as time went by, as they all tried to block the angels' long and loud arguments within the sanctuary. So as to kill time, everyone dispersed and took long tours around the majestic land of Skyland, which was almost littered to the top with Palutena statues, (there was the very odd event in which they found a Pit statue; barely any bigger than the gigantic Palutena statues and placed in the remotest location like dead ends), Greek-like temples with Centurions patrolling and pretending to be very useful units, and blinding light making it hard to see in some places. The sea of clouds below was a good sight to see and helped as a stress-reliever.
A mass mental call from Palutena put an eventual end to the peaceful break time, making everyone gather at the sanctum to hear the news about a new movement by the Forces of Nature. Rushing into the lustrous hall, the group found Palutena and Pit standing in the middle, with Dark Pit apparently not having moved from his spot since he came with them. "W-we came in as soon as you called!" Popo said. "W-what's the situation?"
"I'll let you guys see for yourselves through Pit," Palutena said, turning to Pit saluting her. "Pit, you know the drill."
"MY DRILL IS THE DRILL THAT WILL PIERCE THE UNDERWORLD!" Pit enthusiastically said while raising a drill-less right hand that glowed rather horrifyingly strange due to a rainbow-like tattoo engraved to the entirety of Pit's bare right arm.
Naturally, the group was freaked out. "H-holy crap!" spoke Chris out of concern. "P-Pit, your whole arm is…is glowing! A-are you sure you're not sick with an angel sickness or something?"
Pit looked blankly at them all. "Huh? Oh! No, no, no. This isn't a sickness. It's a palm weapon: the Violet Palm!" he said with a grin and holding out his arm to make it shine brighter, indirectly making some look ill. "It's a special magical tattoo placed on my arm to use as a mystical weapon!"
"And it's a pretty easy tattoo to take off without skinning the arm," Palutena added.
Still wary of the creepy glowing arm, Nana gulped and said, "O-okay… We don't have to worry about Pit falling ill in the middle of a battle, then."
"Yup. Aside from feeding off from the user's life force every time it is used to fire a bullet, Pit doesn't have to carry anything at all. What a useful perk, huh?" There was a very dead, unsettling silence after everyone noted the horrendous fact the goddess glossed over with the not equally proportional benefit. Even Pit's cheerfulness wasn't enough to keep him from looking sick in the face. To Lucario in particular, he was disgusted about the mere implication of wasting away life to turn it into a weapon. At least using an Aura Sphere was connected to his life without feeding off from himself. "Kidding. Let Pit shoot from his heart's content."
"L-Lady Palutena, don't make me get second thoughts about using palms again…" Pit trailed off. Chuckling with a horrified tone, the angel gulped hard and started rushing out through the double doors in the background.
A snickering Dark Pit suddenly pushed himself from the wall he was leaning on and started walking to the same direction. "Guess I better head out too. I can't stand doing nothing…" he said aloud.
Fox glared. "Wait! How do we know you won't escape during the confrontation?" he asked.
Dark Pit stopped in his tracks and grunted. "Relax, you. I won't try to escape. I wanna see what happens with the Subspace Army and every other army trying to shoot Pit down… Not letting those guys upstage me from taking my target away from me. Like that's ever gonna happen," he retorted before resuming his slow walk to the way outside, with Pit having already rushed further up ahead. When the dark angel crossed the double doors, the doors themselves closed behind his back.
Ms. Fit looked at Palutena. "Can you give Dark Pit the Power of Flight as well?" she asked.
"There is no need," Palutena said. "Dark Pit absorbed Pandora's essence into his wings somehow, enabling him to fly as much as he wants to. Pit of course is very much irked about that fact." She chuckled heartily as she tapped the floor with her staff, turning on the hologram in the center of the hall.
The first thing they all heard when the hologram turned on was a loud, crashing sound created by the sound of lightning clashing hard between the dark clouds somewhere high above. Some of them had to block their ears to stop the ringing sound in their heads as they watched the chaos happening outside. The chaos was comprised of enemies from the Underworld Army and the Forces of Nature locked into heated combat, all the while dodging the enormous tornadoes that connected the wide space between the two dark cloud beds. "W-what's going on now?" Chris asked between the crashing sounds, barely seeing Pit taking off after dodging a beam of electricity and Dark Pit following after.
The two angels briefly locked glares and almost forgot they were in a truce until they almost lost control of their flight path by rushing winds caused by the source of a quick but dangerous lightning bolt zooming by. "WHOA!" Pit yelped as he dodged the lightning bolt from crashing into him, until some sort of glowing green dragon shape came rushing from behind and almost striking his back. "WHOA! AGAIN!" he yelled.
"The Underworld Army and Forces of Nature are fighting each other for dominance in the war, and Pit is just added dessert for that bloodshed of nameless enemies!" Palutena said. "We can't let them treat us like a side dish. Let us punish them all for thinking so lowly of us after all the progress we've done so far!"
"Wouldn't it be a better idea just to retreat, let them kill each other, and then strike down the one that wins?" the minister suggested, with many of them nodding in agreement. "It sounds like the best strategy to take here."
"Nayh. It's something Viridi and Hades would do to us if one of them had any concern for striking Pit down right now. Why would I want to stoop down to their level with such dirty tactics when Pit is extremely reliable for a situation like this?" Palutena asked with a bright smile, ignoring the multiple facepalms.
"…Your extremely blind faith on Pit is sure charming to see," the minister muttered.
"Augh! Enough with the visual puns!" Viridi's ever so irritable voice ringed in their heads. "Move out of the way, little angel! Or rather, don't do that. Get in the middle of it just to pluck your wings off your back by accident!"
"Splendid idea, my cute enemy!" Hades' ever so teasing voice ringed next. "Pretty Palutena doesn't have a single Centurion out for this bloody battle between the gods. Sending one little angel makes no difference in the slightest."
"Do I need to remind you two that Pit has done a lot of damage to either side of your factions due to underestimating my forces?" Palutena wondered.
"Eh, what can I say? My forces are expendable," Hades said with a shrug.
"But you will pay dearly for being a nasty thorn on my side!" Viridi exclaimed.
"That is one out of two. I'd call that progress," Pit voiced while firing the ambiguous life-sucking energy bullets from his palm weapon. To his honest surprise, he saw Dark Pit joining in the fun, using his Silver Bow to slice enemies from up-close and shooting long trailing arrows to approaching enemies.
"Oh my," Hades said, his eyes widening at the other dark angel. "Someone isn't following the script."
"Another angel?!" Viridi cringed loudly. "Of course. It's Pit's neutrally annoying double: Dark Pit!"
"Pleasure to beat your forces," Dark Pit said with a cocky grin. "My hobbies don't just include slicing Pit into bits. I also enjoy pulling pranks on self-absorbed gods who like to think they're doing the right thing around here."
"Hey, Pittoo. What gives? You're with a goddess yourself," Hades inquired. "Isn't that kind of extremely hypocritical to say now? Why are you on their side?"
Dark Pit sliced several Nutskis as the conversation went on. "Because you morons are gonna try to finish Pit off before I do it myself. Think of my temporary alliance as a way to clean the trash from the battlefield for the BIG epic battle of the ages," he said, chuckling. "Don't wanna have trash making me trip."
"Ugh, whatever. Palutena can have all the help she needs but it still won't make a difference to me!" Viridi boasted.
"Says the goddess whose plans keep falling through," Popo spoke. Almost immediately, everyone heard some strange sounds coming from Viridi's direction. The sounds were made from something being muffled repeatedly into something soft. "Uh, did everyone hear that just now?"
"I did. What an otherworldly sound!" Hades said. "Miss Viridi, care to explain why the sounds are coming from your side?"
"It's…nothing…you…have…to…worry…about…!" Viridi kept trailing off in every single word. Between those trailing words, the muffled sounds filled the gaps.
"There they are again," Palutena said. "What's going on over your end, Viridi?"
The muffled sounds came to a stop as soon as they heard Viridi letting out a sigh. They would never know she was using a poorly made Pit doll she used to beat on to vent on her ever-growing frustration. "Like I said, nothing you should concern yourselves about," Viridi said, speaking calmly while calmly kicking the doll in an unmentionable spot. "Now, why don't I let Phospora introduce herself to your Pits?"
"Who?" Pit asked. Right after, as he was busy blasting Monoeyes and Nutskins down, a dazzling thunder appeared from the dark clouds below and crashed right into the Monoeyes at a tremendous speed. The angel blocked his eyes from the flashing thunder, until he yelped when the thunder changed directions and headed towards him…only to stop several feet away to reveal the source hidden in the thunder. It was a young lady with short, curved blond hair with orange tips, wearing clothing that covered her chest and served as a short skirt while baring her midriff, pale dark green hand wraps that covered her arms and legs, and otherwise normal sandals. A long, trailing blue scarf floated behind her, sparking with bolts of lightning every now and then just like the rest of her body. Of note were the green vines that occupied some parts of her body, probably as a visual representation of her alignment to the Forces of Nature.
"Yes, you called? Heh heh heh!" the young lady spoke while chuckling, just for her to turn away and blast off to fend off the green trail of flames from earlier, coming into powerful clashes that just created even more violent winds.
"Meet Lightning Flash Phospora, Pit. She is one of my best commanders for the Forces of Nature," Viridi boasted proudly. "While Arlon likes playing enemies like chess pieces, Phospora would rather wreck the pieces up-and-close."
"Ooh, introduction time!" Hades gleefully said. "Pit, I'd like you to meet Thanatos; the God of Death. He's the green glow dragon trying to shoot down the lightning teenager."
"Huh? Thanatos? I thought I took him down already!" Pit said.
Palutena focused the view on Thanatos within the green blazing shape flying about. The group could barely tell the features of the enemy, thought they all mostly agreed that Thanatos looked like a green genie with a lack of open eyes and huge blue lips. "Oh, a genie person! Perhaps we can make a wish to gather all Energy Spheres in one go!" Magolor said.
"Settle down, little alien. Thanatos only grants death wishes," Hades said amused. "Hey, that's ironic. Palutena has a dog that worships life while I have the GOD of Death. Won't this call for an expected battle between both?"
"Keep my aura dog of life away from your asinine plans, Hades," Palutena said, while Lucario scowled at them both.
"For the record, I own his Poké Ball. None of you don't," Chris blankly stated.
"WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING HERE! CAN THIS CHATTER WAIT?!" spoke Thanatos from his glow dragon form, his erratic moves around the tornados in total chaos with Phospora's electric aura crashing hard against him. Things got even more dangerous as pieces of floating islands were mixed into the brawl, creating more hazards and safe spots to hide allies and enemies alike.
Dark Pit covered his face from a gushing wind created by their blast. "Oh yeah. This kind of chaos is what I like to see, alright," he said.
"There are just too many explosions to see clearly in this battle. How can anyone see clearly in this mess?" Mr. G&W asked.
"I can," Fox said. He received multiple dope slaps.
"Leave this to the pros in air combat! I'm pretty good at this aerial fight myself," Pit said proudly, dodging the floating debris with ease, only to smack into a floating wall and lag behind Dark Pit.
"It's just like you said just now. Can I say it?" Dark Pit teased the angel…only to smack into a floating wall as well due to looking back at Pit over his shoulder.
"Oopsie! The pros at aerial combat were silenced. They lasted a good while," Hades teased. Both angels growled and got off from the walls to continue their flight path, chasing after Phospora and Thanatos.
"Ugh…" Ms. Fit was heard muttering to herself.
"Is something the matter?" Palutena asked.
"I just realized we're fighting two armies at once, and we will probably be facing off their commanders at the end if they don't take each other down first," the fitness trainer said. "Can we win this one this time?"
"Don't be scared, adorable white-painted lady," Hades chuckled. "I have no intention to make a truce with these two feisty goddesses and their black-hearted minions of evil. As the good guy of this story, it's only right to take both forces down."
"My team is the good one here!" Pit argued.
"No, it's mine!" Viridi argued.
"One god is killing humans, while the other…is also killing humans. You tell me which is one isn't the bad one here," Fox said.
"Ditto," Hades said.
"Don't look at me. I want to protect my precious stubborn and senseless humans from chaos and destruction and killing themselves for the amusement of all gods," Palutena said.
"…Please, can we all try to make her into a bad guy for this one time?" Viridi suggested.
"That's another personal hobby of mine," Dark Pit said.
"So hey!" Magolor piped up. "I can't help but be curious about this Thanatos person Pit seems to know. I understand he was already defeated?"
Pit blasted a squad of Syrens down with a powerful charged blast. "More like killed, but yeah, I took him down by a thousand pegs in an epic battle of LIFE and death... How come he was resurrected again so quickly?" he wondered aloud.
"A special perk that comes from being the God of Death, and being a part of my army, unlike how you goddesses of goodness and love take your sweet time to regenerate your best units," Hades said. "It's a health insurance to DIE for, wouldn't you say?"
"I'd certainly like to have such kind of health insurance!" Magolor said cheerfully.
"I like you!"
"I like you too, despite being an evil madman wanting to kill us!"
"I like you even more now!"
"You know, I like you more too!"
"Stop fraternizing with the enemy, Magolor," Meta Knight coldly advised. Popo bonked Magolor's head, earning a small annoyed mumbling sound from the alien.
That loud cry coming from Phospora was accompanied by a strong booming sound. The two angels flew faster up ahead between the big debris just in time to see Thanatos' glowing form going off like a candle. The sparkling electric aura from the lightning warrior kept shining as she moved away into the dark clouds, leaving a helpless Thanatos spinning in the air and falling down back to the earth hundreds of feet away. "AAH, FAREWELL CRYYYYYYY!" the God of Death cried out, descending into the dark clouds like an immobile stone before disappearing from sight.
Viridi laughed contently (albeit a bit maniacally) at her commander's victory. "Bravo! It feels so good to win like this in a while!" she laughed.
"And…he's down," Nana said. "Poor guy. We barely even met him."
"Yeah, tis a shame," Hades said, faking sounding saddened as he ran his monstrous fingers in his translucent dark hair. "…OH WELL. Let's continue the fight, ladies, little angels, smashing barbarians."
"You're just going to continue this fight without a commander leading your forces?" Meta Knight questioned.
"You see, my loyal mooks are brainless. They're so devoted to me they can't tell their actions may cost them their lives. So much loneliness is made down here in the Underworld," Hades lamented. "…Care to join me down here?"
"Aww, he just needs a hug," Palutena cooed. "Viridi, no one can resist hugs from childish-looking goddesses. Do the honors."
"AS IF!" Viridi objected loudly. "I'm not gonna hug that guy! I'd rather give him a thorny hug if that'll shut him up for good!"
"Ouch much, you two?" Hades pouted.
The two angels flew higher up into a clean part of the storm to get out from the dusty winds caused by the floating islands. "Now what?" Pit asked.
"Now that Thanatos has been defeated, Phospora is drained out from the fight. It's our chance to strike her while she…MUST RECOVER," Palutena advised.
"You CAN be dirty when you want to…" Viridi trailed off.
"All's fair in love and godly war, and there is no love whatsoever, is there? There is just war."
Hades chuckled. "It's Pretty Palutena's forces against lovely little Phospora. But my attention lies on the fight outside where she's headed to," he said. "To the victor of this fight will go the spoils!"
Pit and Dark Pit flew underneath two crossed tornados as they spotted Phospora's flashing light going into a rather immense cyclone. "That girl is headed into that cyclone," Dark Pit said. "Why hide in there?"
Palutena said, "A secret area lies inside that cyclone. It's a rather convenient spot for her to rest, but I'll rely more information about it once you cross the violent winds. Let me open a path for you…"
While everyone focused on the incoming battle against Phospora and watched the projection showing the two angels entering a worm tunnel opened by Palutena, something dark caught Magolor's attention. He narrowed his eyes when he saw a few dark spheres materializing somewhere down the cyclone's wall. "Those spheres… Is it just my imagination or…? Then that means… EVERYONE!" Magolor shouted, startling them. "Somewhere in that cyclone is surely at least one Energy Sphere waiting to be found! We must find it quickly!"
"Huh? Why the sudden outburst?" Popo asked. "Did your living radar sense a sphere already?"
The Halcandran looked serious. "I probably saw things just now, but our other enemies are starting to make their move," he said.
"The Subspace Army is here?" the minister asked.
"No, it's MY enemies… You all must get sharp now! There's no telling what could happen to us if we stumble upon them! They're nothing like any of Pit and Palutena's enemies!"
"You may gotten a few victories under your belt, but the Forces of Nature can fight back against these mysterious enemies of yours, whoever they are!" Viridi said.
"You still hate us, don't you," Ms. Fit said.
"Yes to Hades and back!"
The two Pits then emerged from the inside of the turbulent winds, coming into view inside a gigantic clearing between the clouds and inside the tornado. In the middle of the tornado, there was a floating temple sitting there. "Seems we reached the place she was talking about," Dark Pit said.
"That is the Thunder Cloud Temple, long abandoned since ancient times with no souls to take ownership," Palutena said. "Until Phospora conveniently barged in there today."
"What a big convenience for her to just find a temple related to her lightning powers!" Pit said. "Are there any conveniences for me at all?"
"Well, you have the Smashers," Palutena said. Most of them aww'd in response.
Pit yelped when, from the top of the temple, a lightning beam shot out from a large electric sphere and almost friend him alive. Dark Pit took the sudden attack as a sign to be more cautious while they approached the temple as fast as they could. "Could you guys leave a girl alone to take a shower?" Phospora was heard while faking a pouting face.
"Water in a lightning temple. That is so unbelievably false," Dark Pit said with a sly grin.
"We're going in now!" Pit said as he and Dark Pit accelerated in their descent to the temple. With the sphere of electricity shooting beams all over around their flight path, they were forced to land a few ways away from the central area.
Thunder Cloud Temple
The two Pits, uninterested at looking at each other, landed their feet firmly on the rocky floor. As they surveyed the area for a bit, several beams of light appeared all around them, transporting every Smasher member to the area. They joined the angels' surveillance to get acquainted with the dangerous territory. Ahead of them was a slope of stairs leading further in, where towers of electricity could be seen while being surrounded by hazards; electrified walls. "One more area that needs some exploring," Popo said, feeling a little tingly by the electric radiation the temple gave off. "Why didn't we bring Pikachu here? He'd love it here for sure."
"No team rotation allowed once a team is set and ready to go," Palutena quipped. "Your main task is to get to the boss of this level and defeat it. It's been a rather productive strategy, if I do say so myself."
"Already referring to me as an 'it'? You sure can be rude!" Phospora complained with a teasing smile. "Yeah, whatever. Start coming up here, you guys! Try it while touching the tingling walls all around you."
The group heed her half-advice and started heading forward, this time making sure no one else was going to get separated at the start like before. As some of them got busy bursting through the enemy lines, the resting Phospora wasn't going to lose the chance to have many conversations to entertain her. "Hey, you. The cute human boy," she called out to Chris, who closed his eyes and prayed to a more benevolent god that not another blonde girl was taking an interest on him again. "Whatcha doing aiding a goddess and her angel of justice and light?"
Before Chris could answer, Pit butted in. "He is a true warrior fighting for Lady Palutena, light, justice, love, Lady Palutena, and righteousness!" he declared, being completely ignorant about the repeated reason.
"P-Pit!" Chris scolded. "I-I have a much better way of answering that than what you said!"
"Is Lady Palutena and Lady Palutena included in your reasons?" Pit asked curiously. Everyone looked oddly at him.
The teen looked dumbfounded. "Y-you were serious about repeating her name?"
"Shows how much importance I have in this arc, doesn't it?" Palutena said. "So is me and me included in your reasons, Chris?"
"H-honestly now. No!" Chris said. "My only reason is that…it's just the right thing to do. That's all!"
"Tsk. Booooring," Phospora said. "It'd be much more interesting if this hadn't been a battle of values 'cause your values are short and dumb. Who's the villain of this story?"
"Viridi," everyone on Palutena's side said without missing a beat, not even considering Hades as that important for the time being. Viridi took a small moment to grunt out loud. Hades simply laughed in the background.
"Anyone but me. I'm neutral to the end," Dark Pit said, however.
"Heh heh. Your vote doesn't count!" Phospora said. "Right or wrong, my support goes to Mistress Viridi. It is so cliché that we have to come to blows because of this."
"…I'm not going to bother trying to make her understand to aid us," the minister said.
"Yeah. Don't expect anyone else but Dark Pit to join our side willingly for the truly good cause," Palutena said.
"You people are guilt tripping me into aiding you!" Dark Pit complained.
Palutena started to wonder the possibilities. "Or maybe we can guilt trip Phospora? Naaah, she's the boss of this level according to the sacred script."
"Spoilers much?" Magolor said, covering the assumed place where his ears were.
After the group went up ahead into the central building, they reached a long passage where an electric-powered train car slowly hovered above an abyss to the right of their walking path going down. When Pit destroyed a previous train car to uncover some food goodies the group was never going to be ready to eat themselves, he had the urge to ask Phospora, "You are powering up this temple with your power, right?"
"Yeah, so what? Feeling too tingly?" Phospora teased.
"A bit! But your power is also transporting goodies across the temple, right? Do the Forces of Nature need any material needs?"
"Eh, you kinda got me there. My troops don't need any items to work hard. These cars just happen to have goodies in them. Do whatever you want with 'em. It's not like I own this place and I'll be gone from here after I deal with all of you myself."
"Sure. All of us," Fox said with a bored expression. "If the past is any indication, you're just going to separate some of us to pick on the battlefield like that rock monster and Arlon did."
"Those two were playing it safe. I like playing with all the toys I can get," the lightning lady said. "I'll swift-kick you out from the temple before you can react."
"You're awfully confident about your odds. Are you scheming something behind the scenes to even those odds?" Meta Knight wondered.
Phospora looked a tad depressed. "I'm not into scheming things! That's more Mistress Viridi's thing. Don't go easy on me just because I'm a girl."
"Everyone! Abuse is okay when it's male on female. Go all out on her when we see her!" Magolor advised.
"Did you have to put it that way?" muttered Mr. G&W.
Some more time passed as the team continued exploring the temple's central building, until before long, they were forced to ride a long grind rail that led them all outside and to the bottom of the temple itself to a long, curved path around a big spire. As luck had it, they of course started from the very tip of the bottom of said path. While Pit, Meta Knight, the Ice Climbers, and Fox went up ahead to watch out for enemies, the others followed closely from a distance. A few steps later, they noticed Magolor fidgeting and looking around swiftly.
"What is wrong with you? Not like I care or anything. It's just too distracting with the muffled yelps," said the tsundere Dark Pit.
"I-I sense malevolence close by. It wasn't like this when we got deeper into the temple," Magolor explained. He then pointed at a growling Lucario. "S-see here? Our aura hound is also sensing said malevolence!"
"Is that true?" Chris asked Lucario, who then stopped growling to nod at him. "Where is this evil presence?"
"It's very hard to tell where exactly," Lucario said, looking up to the rocky ceiling. "It's somewhere around the higher floors. I can barely sense Phospora's presence due to that childish goddess' powers trying to lock my power out. Her lock isn't as strong as it was in Arlon's base."
"Arlon was like a magic booster to me. Ugh, so annoying to see a mortal upstage me so simply," Viridi complained. They all ignored her.
"Still, what Magolor is also sensing is made out of pure darkness. Its dark aura is too strong to focus on, so I can only detect faint traces left in the air and abnormally large essences that hide the host's body." He clenched his fists and growled. "This is not like Hades' aura. It's a completely different being."
"I can visually confirm it's not just one being," Magolor added. "…Oh! There is also another Energy Sphere above us! Wherever it is, it's drawing the Doomers to it. They want to reclaim it for themselves, so we must move faster! If they get a hold of it, it will almost be impossible to recover it!"
"Why almost impossible?" Dark Pit asked.
"They will take the sphere away to their master, in hindsight. And reaching their master is another problem without the Lor Starcutter. Even having the ship might not be enough to break into their stronghold in Halcandra. In short, the easy mission becomes much harder."
"That's bad to hear," Ms. Fit said.
"The Energy Spheres may be somewhat optional to reclaim. It would be for the best to collect them for ourselves before they can get their hands on it, be my enemies or your enemies," Magolor said. "We don't want any of them to power up even more…"
"They are optional to obtain, though letting others channel their power will be bad for us," the minister said. "…Could we then channel their power for ourselves?"
"Oh no. We can't use them to power ourselves up, if that's what you mean," the alien said. "The spheres can be an unstable source of power for living beings. They are closely attached to the Lor Starcutter as its only secondary source of fuel and will never be engineered to be used for something else…is what I think. As far as I know myself, there could be a process to harness their power, but I never bothered to do that because it's dangerous. I once tried to power up an oven and…the results weren't pretty and I had to live outside in a cave for a week." Given the straight lines on his eyes, he was embarrassed about the memory.
"…An oven?" the minister questioned.
"You can do crazy things when you're hungry and desperate to eat anything quickly, unlike…" from afar, he pointed at Pit trying to destroy a huge floating dead fish-looking enemy called Lurchthorn. Magolor kept pointing at him as he tried to say something... "…What was his name again?"
"Noooooooooo!" Pit cried out, confirming his doubts he had when he and Chris had a "serious" conversation.
After successfully climbing back to the center of the temple and riding a jump pad that conveniently led them all to the door that housed the boss of the area: Lightning Flash Phospora. "She's up ahead behind the door. Be prepared, everyone," Palutena said. "I don't like how overconfident she's being."
"Nearly everyone in this damn universe is overconfident," Fox said bored.
"Now, now, guys. This dang universe isn't nice to…DIFFERENT people," the goddess said. "Seeing you all makes me wanna smack you with my staff."
"Hey, I wanna beat them up first! Get in line, ma'am," Phospora said.
If there was something that ruffled Palutena's angel feathers, it was making fun of her astrological age. That jab at her age had been met with a long argument between her and Phospora earlier during the team's expedition through the temple. She quite clearly didn't learn about ignoring the lady once she said, "Oh, how I just want to use my staff for unrated stuff to you now," Palutena warned in a quiet tone that made Pit shudder.
"I love deities beating each other up over trivial stuff," Dark Pit commented with a grin. "Makes me look much smarter in comparison."
"We have a smarty tight pants over here. Can you step in already? This break time of mine is tiring me out," Phospora complained. Making sure everyone was properly healed, Chris used his meager sub Scholar skillset to heal them, taking a bit of time.
Magolor then shuddered and rubbed his intangible arms. "I-I sense evil from within. It is them…" he muttered.
"They're in there, too?" Popo asked.
"A-and an Energy Sphere! They're being drawn to it as well!" Magolor added up. "It's like the sphere is being held by…by…by that lady!"
"Huh?" Phospora irked an eyebrow. "Sphere? You mean my special treasure?"
"I'm so surprised and shocked the boss of the area is holding an Energy Sphere. I want to cry," Nana sarcastically said.
"Tee-hee! I must say, finding this treasure in the middle of that one-sided lightning battle outside cheered me up a great deal, despite getting a bad fortune from Mistress Viridi. I'm not gonna part ways with it even if Pit asked me on a date for it. He might be a cutie, but…enemy forces and all."
Pit gulped hard as he blushed at the door. "Do you mind keeping your head in the game?" he pleaded. Seeing Dark Pit's grin get wider, Chris grunted his way to make him stop from saying something demeaning…and Dark Pit reluctantly obeyed, only bringing up the mystery behind why he couldn't help listening to the human teen. As the dark angel shook his head to forget about that nagging feeling, Pit went to the door and pushed it wide open to make way to the arena up ahead…
Just like any other area where a strong enemy resided, the team reached a large circular floor surrounded by an abyss, where tall bushy trees – elements that represented the Forces of Nature – occupied half of the space outside the ring. In the middle of said ring, floating a little too high while on a sitting position, a grinning Phospora welcomed them into her room. "Hello, everyone. Aww, the cute ones are even cuter face-to-face!" she teased. Some of them noticed that a small object glittered over her neck: an Energy Sphere attached to a vine-looking necklace. "Will you look as promising after you've been electrocuted to death?"
"Just trigger that trap of yours already to get this done and over with," Dark Pit said, hands griping the two ends of his Silver Bow on his sides. "I'm keeping the track record. You Forces of Ineptitude haven't won a single important victory over this side I'm forced to work with."
"Oh? Then why don't you help us out?" Phospora asked. "Mistress Viridi would like to have her own Pit…and me too."
"Yeah… Keep dreaming while I take you out in your sleep," the dark angel said, earning some looks from the others.
"…Well, that was worth a shot," Phospora giggled. "My scheme didn't work out."
Pit's mouth hung open and spoke his question very quickly that the others barely listened completely. "That was your plan? You wanted to sway Pittoo into your side in hopes of turning him against us in an epic battle that would test our morals against each other and hold us back from hurting him if he ever raised his weapon to our faces just so he could get a big slice of me in a super stressful battle after coming all this way to find you? Man… That's so ingenious!" Fox dope-slapped him.
There was something that the World Traveler wanted to test to further get to know the dark angel. "E-even if he could, he just wouldn't turn his back on us," Chris said. "I…I just know he's not capable of doing it." Dark Pit stared at him for a long while, puzzled about the comment yet knowing the teen wasn't wrong about the nagging assumption.
Phospora grimaced. "What sort of cheesy friendship statement is that? I've been told he prefers to go solo and have a 'big' slice of Pit. Why didn't my offer go through? It's extremely tempting just to mention the chance to put both angels in a single fighting ring." She grunted. "Don't tell me you guys are brainwashing him into doing your bidding?! Ma'am Palutena has a very dark side."
"I wish it was brainwashing…" muttered Dark Pit.
"I wish I could brainwash people," Palutena chimed in, making her team grimace.
"No? I just don't understand you angels," Phospora said.
"Would Viridi even consider having a Pit of her own?" Mr. G&W asked. "I thought you were his Pit."
"I AM NOT HER PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!" Phospora suddenly hollered at the thought of being considered like that that she scared them all and made them jump back when lightning bolts rained down on the ring, which they hadn't thankfully stepped into just yet. Noticing the murderous rage on the lady's face…that she quickly discarded for a giggling look. "Am I right?" she added sweetly.
"Er… What was going on there?" Ms. Fit asked.
"The name 'Pit' somehow has transcended into a derogatory term among the Forces of Nature that is even worse to mention than just saying a person 'is worse than X'…" The Ancient Minister got a little uncomfortable when everyone looked wide-eyed at him. "…It was sort of obvious to me it was bound to happen since everyone likes to make fun of him the most."
"H-how could my name turn into something that low?! What did I do?!" Pit asked innocently.
"Murder a lot of enemy troops with no brains?" wondered Popo.
"And your personality is…eh…uuuuuuuuh…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh….yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaah," Nana added, playing around with the angle of her right hand.
"T-then…" Pit looked down in shame and made Chris briefly consider the small glimmer of hope of making the angel reconsider his new attitude…but anyone with common sense by now would know it was usually around times like this that such hopes would be dashed upon the ground by Pit himself, and they were right. Pit only looked up with determination and pointed a finger at Phospora. "Attention, pet of Viridi! Your time to be brought to justice and light is upon you! So you better sharpen! Your! Claws!" he proclaimed with such force into his last words that made everyone around him fall silent to yet again another classic childish moment of him. To drive things even further, a saintly light shone on Pit as he then started to pose some sick moves to strike fear into Phospora, though he only made himself look even sillier among everyone present in the room confused at the display and the light. "I am the servant of Palutena, goddess of Light an-OWW-OWW-OWW!" he yelped several times once Phospora interrupted by firing electric bolts from her index finger at his feet. He luckily managed to avoid getting hit all times.
Phospora blew the smoke from her index finger and giggled. "Too much talk, and no action bore me," she said, striking her own battle pose in midair. "You won't have no restrictions fighting me, unlike Arlon and Cragalanche. You better be ready for a true smackd-"
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Magolor interrupted her speech with a loud scream, startling everyone but a very serious Lucario growling at his surroundings.
"What now?!" Phospora yelled back.
"T-they're here… THEY'RE HERE!" the Halcandran shrieked, cowering behind Meta Knight. "T-they're after the Energy Sphere!"
A nightmarish screech echoed from all over the room they were in. As some of them covered their ears from the loud sound, they started to look around for the enemies Magolor was sensing. Phospora looked around in confusion until everyone got a clear view of the monsters that Magolor had seen earlier…
In a rather coordinated formation, three blobs of darkness rose up from the abyss to the highest point in the air and stopped there, with one occupying a side of the circle in a large triangle formation. Their shapes were that of purple spherical faces with angry yellow eyes and purple angel wings, with a meager bush of hair on top of the main body and two tail feathers. The main body itself was nearly divided in half by their large gapping mouths echoing their screeches together as they fixed their gazes on their main target: the necklace on Phospora's neck holding the Energy Sphere.
"W-what are these things?" Phospora asked.
"Oh! What seems to be the problem here?" Hades chimed in. "I sensed a peculiar source of darkness making itself known."
"Hey! Don't you know not to ignore a lady?!" Viridi chimed in next, until she took a good look at the creatures. "What the heck are those?"
"SPHERE DOOMERS!" Magolor shrieked. "T-they're after the Energy Sphere she's holding!"
Phospora blinked and then held the sphere connected to her necklace. "They're looking for this? Oh no, I'm not handing it over to anyone! It was fair game to find it outside! Why should I give it to some monsters?" Unless the Sphere Doomers were speech-impaired and did not understand their language, they shrieked in response to her statement.
The group below gasped once all three Sphere Doomers spoke in unison, using a very distorted and dark tone. The monsters fluttered their wings angrily to emphasize their desire to reclaim the Energy Sphere from Phospora. "T-they can talk?" Mr. G&W asked.
"Y-yes, they can," Magolor said. "They really don't talk that much unless they're very riled up. And to be honest, they are always riled up whenever they see other people rather than their master!"
The Lighting Flash warrior giggled in response, quite confident about keeping her treasure for herself. "These critters don't scare me one bit. I'll just zap 'em down and forget they ever came in here. BAM!" She pointed at one Sphere Doomer from behind her back and sent a dazzling electric shot at it.
Which the monster swiftly dodged with a spin. The blast crashed on the wall behind without landing on its foe.
Phospora irked an eyebrow. "Huh? Well, great, you can dodge one blow. Doesn't mean you can dodge all of m-!" The three creatures interrupted her by shrieking loudly. All three were in clear coordination, as they conjured four dark orbs each that circled around their bodies. The warrior lady didn't want to just sit by and watch them execute an attack, so she picked on the target that had avoided her last blow and charged quickly in reference to her namesake. "Like I'm gonna let you attack me!" she yelled as she stretched her blazing thunder leg on a crash course to the Sphere Doomer. Her grin grew wider as she quickly approached the creature at a swift speed.
And yet, so much happened during those two seconds.
It all turned out to be a ruse to get Phospora close to one of the monsters as they had planned from the beginning to reach out for the Energy Sphere. The group witnessed the three Sphere Doomers calling off their blunt weapons, and instead, the one Sphere Doomer that Phospora was going to kick hard enlarged in size and opened its gapping maw wide in an attempt to swallow her whole. For a split second, Phospora flashed a very unlikely expression showing utter horror as her eyes passed the dark fanged-row and were blinded in darkness once the maw closed shut and nullified the swift blow…
Time seemed to come at an abrupt half for everyone present. Staring wide-eyed at the horrendous incident, their unwilling silence made them all wait for a response from the swallowed warrior as they saw the enlarged Sphere Doomer gobbling up its meal inside its maw. A chilling, muffled scream was heard going out for about a second until it was eerily silenced by the sound of a swallowing sound from the satisfied monster, who showed not much of a change in emotion rather than shuddering in victory with its mouth still closed shut. To be on the safe side, they waited a little more for a reaction like when Kirby swallowed enemies to gain their power…until it became clear that nothing else was going to happen.
"H-holy…!" both Pits trailed off in surprise.
"T-t-that thing…!" Chris breathed out right before covering his mouth in shock.
"It… It swallowed her whole…" Ms. Fit muttered.
Fox looked sick. "Y-you can't be serious! Did they really just kill her like that?!" he asked.
Magolor shuddered and turned his back. "This is just one of the atrocities they can do to people holding the Energy Spheres…" he muttered. "They focus on their target and refuse to lose time fighting as long as they can get the items they came for…"
With a tight grip on Galaxia, Meta Knight stared at the alien. "Why didn't you warn us about their methods of attacking?" he asked.
"I-I am sorry… This is the only special method of attacking they have. I didn't think once this would happen since I put a lot of faith in you guys… I was scared… I thought they were just going to retrieve the sphere without fighting, but that girl happened to find it, a-and…it was too late to warn you all…" He looked up at Meta Knight. "The mere sight of them sends chills to my spine…"
"…What… What the…" a quiet Viridi trailed off. She couldn't just bear to believe what she just saw as she unconsciously tried to reach out for Phospora's presence…her long-gone presence that disappeared from existence just right there and then. For as many times as she could during her freaked out state, Viridi couldn't sense Phospora anymore. Unlike how her other commanders were defeated, she had the power to revive them except after a long period of time had passed. Even defeated, she could faintly sense their lives being tended to in her realm. To see one of her most powerful commanders disappearing without leaving a trace was unreal. "What did they…? What happened to…?"
"They have quite the appetite for lightning ladies, don't they? That's some express delivery through the car," Hades quipped, pinching his chin in curiosity.
"Too soon, Hades. Too soon," spoke Palutena dully.
The three Sphere Doomers shrieked in victory at the successful retrieval of the Energy Sphere…until they fixed their gazes on the group down on the floor, especially the cowering Magolor. Recognizing the alien since the last time they attacked and destroyed his ship, they knew that the alien was hostile. Furthermore, although the alien carried a few Energy Spheres with him, they couldn't sense it, as Magolor had put a magic lock on them to keep them from being located. They did surmise that the alien could possibly be carrying more spheres, but most important, he was a threat if left alone. They then started shrieking violently.
"T-they want me!" Magolor yelped, hiding behind a wary Meta Knight. "T-they remember who I am!"
"So they're not completely feral," the minister said. "Their movements so far have told me as much. I expect we won't get out of this easily if they swallow us whole like they did with her."
"A-about that…they won't swallow anyone else but me," the alien clarified. "They only swallowed her because it was the easiest way to get the Energy Sphere from her hands. They prefer to attack when there's people not carrying the items on the offense."
"Then we must keep you safe and attack those fiends," Fox said, loading his Blaster by his side. "We have the number advantage here. This fight may be tricky, but it shouldn't be too hard."
The group readied themselves to fight as they saw the three Sphere Doomers converging at the center of the arena, with the swelled Sphere Doomer who swallowed Phospora taking the central formation. The fiends saw the group clearly trying to oppose them, so as to even the odds, the bigger Sphere Doomer started to twitch in place and change shapes. The group watched grossed out at the monster's body growing limbs in uneven places and its eyes spiking out at random, until very slowly, the form it was trying to take took a more human-looking appearance, albeit said look was a dark version with glowing yellow eyes and the Energy Sphere peeking out from a wicked-looking mouth... The shape it took hovered in the air ominously with dark lightning sparking around it, striking a battle pose they had seen before.
"HEY!" Viridi, whom had fallen silent ever since she saw her last good general take a curb-stomping defeat, snapped out suddenly when she saw the entity. "What's the big idea here?! They're using Phospora as their own puppet!" Indeed, her statement was a fact. The Sphere Doomer that had swallowed Phospora whole had seemingly taken over her body.
In hindsight, many of the Smashers breathed out in relief when they learned she wasn't completely gone from the world. "Phew! Thank goodness they didn't truly end her. They're just evil copies of Kirby that can swallow bosses!" Pit said.
"But is there a chance to save Phospora from their clutches?" wondered Palutena. "Only one way to find out: beat her dark skull senseless to bring sense into her! Because defeating people is the only true method of solving issues! Shall we say…settle it in Smash?!"
"Can you not try to paint us as the bunch of barbarians people want to take us for?" Nana pleaded.
Dark Pit grinned. "This brawl just got more interesting. I'll take it," he said.
Pit opened his cursed palm to the fiends. "It'll be a melee to remember! Let's take 'em down in 64 hits or less!"
Being the only one who understood the underlying message, the World Traveler grimaced. "…Okay. You two are doing this on purpose," Chris deadpanned.
Pit winked at him. "No, U," he said.
"…T-that doesn't eve-!"
"Ugh, I'm not into helping other gods do their jobs, but you guys better snap Phospora out of her brainwashing!" Viridi ordered loudly. "I'll be the laugh of the sacred realm if others learn one of my subordinates got taken away from me like that!"
"Ha ha, her subordinate got taken away like that," both Palutena and Hades teased.
"Quiet, both of you! Leave me alone…"
"Can we just get it over with?" Ms. Fit asked. She was fortunate to know her team charged forward with guns blazing into the arena. Being the least experienced in taking missions like this…or ever, the lady would soon find out that the Smashers' streak of bad luck would get even worse with every victory they managed to get.
The battle up ahead was just the real preview of the real horror that was to come in Palutena's territory…
TO BE CONTINUED…
"Let the Aliens Steal the Floor," Pit said. "Aliens? …Guys, no stealing Palutena's floor!"
"Why would we even want to take tiled floors for?" the Ancient Minister asked.
"Lady Palutena's floor is worth almost a gazillion gold nuggets! Your lives would be set forever by taking just one! Also, the money can be used in any other universe because it is import-friendly!"
"…Oh! I have caught an alien stealing a piece!" Magolor happily chimed in.
"What?! Cocoons live in my wallet and I'm sick on living on instant food! She won't miss a piece of her floor that much!" Fox barked.
"Saving your data now!" Stiltzkin said.
Thunder Cloud Temple
Chris (Lvl. 120) - Lucario (Lvl. 128) – Pit (Lvl. 140) – Dark 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)
It almost feels like a dream for a new chapter to be here. I hope it was for you all.
Since the chapter was divided at the end, that should give me a good head start for what's to come. I'll cross my fingers that you won't have to suffer longer delays from my content in general.
I know it's been some…time since new stuff was provided by the official game, and now we're in for more content to go through. Well, I'll have to adapt that new content as well. The more victims, er, characters I can get my hands on, the better! You'll have your Inkling someday soon. And speaking of which, I'll have to put things into overdrive to give every other new guy the limelight they deserve, so expect this story to focus almost solely on recruiting more unfortunate idiots, uh, heroes for the battle of the ages.
Oh, and one more thing. I have updated my profile with other websites where you can find me. Namely, my Twitter and Youtube accounts. Sit down and let's have some good times outside the tower of words I have for chapters.
That is all for now! Hope I can see you again. Please do review (by putting effort in not saying some short lines since I don't do this **** just to read two or five words). Or else Chris's newest BFF will be Dark Pit.
"A vote for Dark Pit is a vote for EVIL, Chris!" Pit said.
"Frankly speaking, your campaign promises…could use a little work," Chris said.
"I do need a campaign manager, but Lady Palutena doesn't like me running my ow-"
"I didn't mean THAT!" he scolded.