Long time, no see, everyone! It has been far, far too long since I last updated this story, and I just want to say thank you all so much for being so incredibly patient and for continuing to support this story. I still get the occasional review and PM asking me to update, and I must say it feels very good to finally do so. I was largely encouraged to pick this story back up by all of you and by a real life friend of mine egging me on. Over the years since my last update, my attitude about writing has shifted a fair bit, and my style has changed I think, for better or for worse. The bulk of this chapter was written in just the past couple days, and I tried my best to make sure the quality was on par with the rest of the story. And despite me being in a time of transition in my life right now, I will try my best to press on in a timely manner. Anyway, I've already said a ton, so I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 26: "Prince"
"He's a new recruit; this is his first day. I was instructed to show him the castle grounds and take him to his station."
The guard looked at Luigi, who appeared a little nervous. He was struggling a little with the weight of his armor and wasn't even holding his spear properly. The guy had to be wet behind the ears.
"All right. Kind of surprised we'd have a fresh one today of all days, but I'm not about to question it," the guard said, accepting Jeff's explanation for needing to access the second floor of the east wing. The castle was in lockdown that day, with half its forces handling the situation outside. The other half was assigned to patrolling specific areas, which typically amounted to one sentry per hallway, and one to guard every door leading to a high security area, like the throne or treasure room. Seeing two guards walking together was decent cause for suspicion that day. "As soon as you're done with his initiation, report back to your station immediately. We have so many of us outside that security's pretty light in here today. If someone managed to sneak in, we'd catch all kinds of hell from the king."
"We'll go as fast as possible," Jeff assured as the guard stepped aside and let the pair proceed upstairs. They passed and headed for the second story. Jeff smiled as he led Luigi around the edge of the stairs and down the hallway the case led into.
Luigi and Jeff rounded a corner. By now, they were walking along a hallway whose southern wall contained a series of very large windows. Luigi walked on Jeff's left in order to better see out one of the windows as they crossed.
In front of the castle was a very large courtyard, in the center of which stood a fountain with a statue of a king in the middle of it. All around the fountain were small hedges, benches, and a few street lamps. A paved path circled around the fountain and stretched out to all reaches of the courtyard, as well as the main gate and the castle entrance. Despite the rainy day and the commotion going on just beyond the gate, Luigi found the courtyard to be rather beautiful. Something about it just made him want to go down and explore it for whatever reason.
"Hey, Newbie, chop chop," Jeff said sternly, but with a smile. Luigi snapped out of the moment. The boy hadn't realized that he'd stopped and begun to stare out of one of the windows. There was also a guard patrolling the area who had been keeping an eye on him since he stopped. Luigi glanced at the guard briefly, then looked over at Jeff.
"Sorry," Luigi said. He hurried over to Jeff and the two began to walk once again.
"We have to be careful moving around this place," Jeff said in a whisper once Luigi caught up to him. "The entire castle is in high alert. You never know when something might happen."
As the two continued to walk along, Luigi couldn't help but steal more glances at the courtyard.
"It's pretty nice, isn't it?" Jeff asked, noticing the boy's interest in the courtyard.
Jeff looked around for a moment to make sure nobody was in earshot. Seeing the coast was clear, he said, in a somewhat hushed voice, "The statue out there is commemorated to The Great King Sarasa, my great grandfather. Ask any historian and they'll tell you he's the man responsible for making Sarasaland the kingdom it is today. He was widely considered to be a saint, and is always praised for being one of the greatest heroes in history."
He noticed another guard coming around the corner of a nearby hallway. "But I'll bore you with stories about that later, Newbie."
Just hearing the word "newbie" seemed to give an immediate indication to all the guards they passed that the two were going on an introductory tour, which stopped the guards from asking what the two were doing traveling in a pair. It almost felt too easy to be walking across the castle like that in plain daylight. The only thing impeding their path to Daisy was the sheer size of the castle itself.
"How close are we to her room?" Luigi asked quietly, obviously growing more anxious with every step he took.
"Not close enough to start getting too excited yet."
Waluigi could only hope that he was heading in the general direction of the treasure room. He'd made his way clear across the castle from the dungeon as he pressed up against walls and peered around corners before slinking onto new paths. He wished Jeff had given him another gift that would have probably been even more useful than the treasure room key: the location of the actual room. Remembering what exactly Jeff had said to him as the key was passed on, though, Waluigi knew Jeff wanted him to work to find his reward.
"You can take whatever you want if you manage to find it."
It couldn't be that difficult of a place to find. Maybe a little hidden, sure, but it wasn't like it was so hard to check everywhere he could.
The real issue was the dangerous game of hide and seek he'd gotten himself into, where he was in charge of doing both required actions. If it were so simple, he would gladly dispatch every guard that stumbled into his way, but it was doubtful he could hide all the unconscious bodies both in a secure location and in a timely manner.
Waluigi sidled up against a corner, behind a potted plant resting on a pedestal that jutted slightly out into the hallway. It was little protection, but granted him as much as he needed. He quickly glanced up the hallway he'd just managed to traverse the length of to see the guard patrolling it still walking to the other end. He had a little time, but not much.
He peered around the pedestal to the left and noticed an archway with two lamps resting on the wall on either side of the opening. It was a staircase leading downward. Waluigi then glanced to his right and saw two guards off in the distance who appeared to be talking at a corner. Without hesitation, Waluigi hurried around the pedestal and quickly began descending the nearby stairs.
The staircase spiraled down a fair way. It was dimly lit by lamps hanging from the high ceiling. Waluigi could feel the atmosphere growing colder around him, seeping into his still quite damp clothes. He could feel himself getting goosebumps the further down he went, his entire body feeling chilled despite his heart threatening to race as fast as he was.
After roughly half a minute of descending the steps, Waluigi finally reached the underground hallway they led to. He stopped himself several steps above the archway, though, and knelt down as far as he could to peek at what he was about to step into.
The first thing he noticed were three guards. They were all gathered, talking, joking with one another. They had the pleasure of being able to do such a thing, for they manned quite possibly the most isolated location in the entire castle, with only one known entrance and exit: the very stairs Waluigi was standing on. If anyone was to attempt coming down to them, it would be impossible for them not to notice.
Waluigi then tried his best to get a look at the area they were patrolling. Unfortunately, from his vantage point, there was no way to see everything. The best he could do was see the floor, the guards, and a part of a wall. That was it.
Waluigi took a moment to stand back up and consider what he should do. He looked around himself and didn't take all too long to figure out a somewhat decent plan. It would require a little practice first, though, but the staircase was narrow enough to give it a try.
He pressed both his hands against each wall as firmly as he could, then forced his arms to carry his weight for a second as he hopped up and pressed both his feet against the walls. Now he was suspended an inch or two above the stairs. That would hardly be good enough to hide, though.
Waluigi took a deep breath, then removed his hands, pushed himself up as far as he could, then slammed his hands back into the walls. He did the same procedure for his feet, and even though he was able to make a little progress, he quickly ran out of breath and his limbs gave out. He fell back to the stairs and nearly tripped. He quickly regained his composure and stood stiff for a second, trying his best not to make a sound.
"Did you hear that?" one of the guards said. Waluigi quickly rushed back up a few steps as the guard who heard him poked his head into the staircase and looked around for a bit. Thankfully, he decided against climbing up. He'd be damned if he was going to make a trek up the stairs because of a little sound.
Waluigi soon realized just how isolated that particular area was. Remembering it took him a fair amount of time to travel all the way down the staircase, even at a quick pace, it wasn't too farfetched to believe that nobody would bother coming down unless they absolutely had to. It would also be okay to make noise, because who would hear it?
Hoping there were only the three guards to take care of, Waluigi took off one of his shoes and slowly stepped down the staircase, stopping at the same place he stopped before. It would be better to lure the guards into the cramped, darker space.
He threw his shoe out into the hallway, the sound of it hitting the ground alarming all three guards at once. The one who thought he heard a noise earlier was the first to respond. He went and picked up the shoe, looking at it quizzically.
"Who's up there?" he asked, edging toward the staircase. He looked up into it, but could see nobody. He signaled for one of the other guards to come with him and they both began up the steps slowly. Several seconds of climbing later, they were both taken by surprise.
Waluigi had retreated back up a ways and pressed himself up against a wall in the darkest spot he could find. The moment the first guard got in range, Waluigi grabbed him and forced him into a choke hold. Before the second guard had time to react, Waluigi delivered a swift kick to his torso, sending him tumbling down the length of the hard, rigid stairs. The first guard struggled to break free, hitting Waluigi with the shoe he carried multiple times, but the fight soon died down as the guard passed out and slumped to the floor. Waluigi grabbed his shoe and the guard's spear and rushed back down to the hallway.
The third guard, alarmed, was attempting to help his injured friend up after the long tumble when Waluigi appeared on the scene. The fallen guard, despite his armor, was stunned from the fall, so he was of no use as Waluigi batted away at the final guard with the stick end of his spear.
"What the hell are you doing?!" the guard exclaimed after being hit by the first swing, but dodging a second as he was forced to back away. Waluigi didn't answer and simply kept swatting at the guard. "Stop! Stop! I don't know what you want, but-"
The guard suddenly found himself pinned against a wall. Waluigi quickly spun around his spear and pointed the business end of it at the guard.
"Look, wait, just hold on for a second!" the guard said, completely flustered by the situation. He shortly glanced over at his downed comrade near the staircase, but his attention was brought back to Waluigi once he felt the tip of the spear press slightly against his exposed neck. "Just, just calm down! Wh-What do you want?"
Waluigi took a moment to move his eyes from left to right, observing the hallway as best he could without removing the guard from sight. As far as he could see, no other threats existed on the premises.
"Drop your spear," Waluigi said calmly. The guard was more than eager to oblige, releasing his weapon hardly a moment after Waluigi could finish his demand.
"I don't want any trouble," the guard said, attempting to calm himself down. How in the world that skinny guy managed to get all the way to them was a mystery. He must have known exactly what he was doing. "Tell me what you're here for and I'll try to help, I promise. I'll keep my mouth shut about the whole thing."
Waluigi wished he would keep his mouth shut right now.
"Where's the treasure room?" he asked. The guard's eyes widened slightly, realizing what was going on.
"It's not far from here. I can take you there," the guard said quickly. Waluigi relaxed his spear a bit, indicating to the guard to guide him. The guard flashed a nervous smile and began walking down the hall, Waluigi's spear at his back the entire time.
After about a minute or so of walking, which only took a minute because the guard kept slowing down and needed to be prodded forward by Waluigi, the guard told Waluigi that the door was behind a wall nearby. The guard pulled on four torches amongst the many lining the hall, two resting on each of the opposite walls, in a specific pattern. Sure enough, part of the wall separated from the ceiling and slid down, similar to the wall hiding the secret entrance at the back of the dungeon.
The guard led Waluigi into the new path, and before long, they found the ornate purple and gold door emblazoned with the insignia of the family crest. Waluigi looked over the door for a moment, then produced the key the prince gave to him. He stepped forward, still making sure to keep his spear pressed against the guard, and inserted the key into its appropriate slot. He twisted until he heard a distinct click, then stepped back and commanded the guard to open the door. The guard did as instructed, and Waluigi was pleased with what he saw as the door swung open.
The room was large, cavernous in size, and filled from ceiling to floor, wall to wall, with organized and well-maintained trinkets and rarities. Golden goblets, ancient flags, rings belonging to royalty of generations past, all resting on pedestals or hanging from walls or locked in glass cases. He'd found what he was looking for. If only Wario was there to see what he could see. The fatass would be like a kid in a candy store, plucking all his favorite treasures.
Waluigi was quickly torn out of the moment, though, as he heard voices from far in the hallway, soon followed by hurried footsteps. As his eyes widened and his mind shifted into panic mode, his captive guard instantly reacted to the situation that was turning in his favor. Noticing Waluigi's momentary lapse in awareness, the guard swiftly kicked backwards, making contact with Waluigi's shin and forcing him to drop and grunt in pain as his leg was propelled back.
Once on the ground, Waluigi found himself struggling with the guard over the spear, but before either of them could gain full possession of it, five guards filled the area and cornered Waluigi. He looked around at all of them, with their weapons trained on him, and slowly released his grip on the stolen spear and slowly raised his hands into the air. Dammit. There was nothing else he could do. He was right there, right in front of the treasure room, and all the crap he went through to get there was for nothing.
"Alright, we're almost to the west wing," Jeff said as he and Luigi pressed onward through the hallway they'd been traversing for the past several minutes. It was a straight shot all the way over from the stairs they climbed earlier, but a very long straight shot that was almost feeling endless. Thank goodness the end of the hall seemed within only a hundred yards.
The pair just passed the last window, disallowing Luigi from staring outside any longer. He looked forward and was instantly greeted with the sight of a guard a fair distance away eyeing him and Jeff. He felt a twinge of fear shoot up his spine, but Jeff, keeping his eyes forward, simply said, "And this is the west wing. This is where you'll most likely be spending the majority of your guard duty, Newbie."
Like every other guard along the way had done before, the one eyeing the pair instantly stopped looking after Jeff spoke. Luigi gave an internal sigh of relief as they passed him by.
"We're almost there," Jeff said in his hushed voice. "There are some stairs at the end of this hallway, and Daisy's room is just at the top of them."
Luigi didn't know what to say in response. He simply gave a hard swallow. His mind was racing, thinking of all the things he should say to Daisy. Though, it wasn't like he would remember any of his planning once he actually saw her anyway. Really, he had no idea what was going to happen when he saw her...
He suddenly remembered the strange mumbling Daisy was doing shortly after they'd begun to be transported to Sarasaland. Those words. What did they mean? Why did she call out to him, then say it wasn't real? What wasn't real? What was going on in her head?
"I'm going to send the guard at the stairs away and tell him he's needed outside," Jeff said, pulling Luigi back to reality. "After I do that, you go up and tell the guard in front of Daisy's room that you're a new recruit and your superior sent you up to take over guard duty. Tell him I said he's relieved for the day. Knowing the staff around here, he'll be more than happy to head back to the barracks."
"Okay," Luigi said, feeling oddly nervous about having to speak a few simple lines. Feeling the poor kid's energy, Jeff made an effort to comfort him.
"It'll be fine, Luigi. It's okay if you stammer a little since you're a 'new recruit,' but just tell him what I told you, don't mince any words, and you'll be up there alone before you know it. And I'm sure you know what to do once that happens."
Jeff gave Luigi his warm smile that never failed to alleviate its target's worries. Luigi smiled back and gave a little nod.
The pair reached the guard at the stairs and Jeff played his part just as he said he would. The guard walked off, in no big hurry, down the adjacent staircase from the one he was guarding. Jeff took up his post and Luigi continued upward. He took a deep breath as he ascending. All he had to do was say his lines and he would be home free. Well, for the time being anyway. Like Jeff said, it was unpredictable when something might happen considering the emotional climate that day.
There was no time to worry about that, though, for he was already at the top of the steps. He was now in a rather short, darkly decorated hallway. Unlike the brightness of the ground and second floors, this region of the castle felt more comfortable. More relaxing. The carpet was purple and gold, the walls were dark, and there rested a lone pedestal opposite of Daisy's room with a potted plant on top. It also felt particularly warm.
"Excuse me, sir," Luigi said, approaching the guard. The guard didn't seem to pay him any mind, but Luigi didn't notice the lack of attention and continued on. "I'm, um, I'm a new recruit, and my superior-"
The guard suddenly jolted a bit, causing Luigi to take a step back in surprise. The guard looked over at Luigi, then suddenly stiffened up, standing at attention.
"G-Good morning, sir!" the guard said, his voice a bit shaky. "I was just r-resting my eyes for a moment! Everything is clear up here, sir!"
Luigi was taken aback at the formality of the guard. He took a moment before clearing his throat, then started over.
"Actually, I'm a new recruit, and my superior sent me up here to relieve you of your station."
The guard looked over at Luigi in surprise, then let out a sigh of relief.
"You're new too? Oh, thank goodness," the guard said. "I just started here a few days ago myself. Talk about bad luck, starting off being caught up in all this mess, huh?"
"Yeah, no kidding," Luigi said, forcing out a chuckle.
"But I guess it's more exciting than how it's gonna be around here normally," the guard said. "This has to be the most boring place to be a guard, though. Nobody to talk to and nothing to look at up here. Though, I wouldn't mind getting a look at the princess every now and then, haha," he added in a bit of a hushed voice. Luigi couldn't help but feel a sudden surge of anger at the comment, but tried his best to maintain himself. "But, uh, don't tell anyone I said that. Anyway, I'm Reggie." He extended a hand to Luigi, who was quickly racking his brain to think up a decent pseudonym.
"L-Lucas," Luigi said, accepting the handshake. He squeezed a little harder than he thought he would, releasing the negativity he felt for Reggie into the shake.
"Nice to meet you, man. Hopefully I'll be seeing you around. It's good to know I'm not the only newbie in here." Reggie proceeded to head for the stairs, but before he went down the first step, he turned back to Luigi. "By the way, do you remember where the barracks are? This place is huge and I still haven't learned my way around yet."
"I can't remember either," Luigi said, forcing another chuckle. Reggie simply shrugged and began walking down the steps.
"Guess I'll just go to the break room," he muttered. "I have a snack there anyway."
Luigi didn't quite hear what he said, but he quickly disregarded it. Once the coast was completely clear, he slowly turned to the door and took a deep breath. He grabbed the door's knob and gently turned it. The door glided open across the carpeting of Daisy's bedroom floor as Luigi stepped in. He closed the entryway behind himself and looked over at Daisy.
She was standing next to the window, staring out into the rainy day. The mere sight of her standing made Luigi's heart leap with joy. He never thought he would be so excited that she was able to be up and moving again so soon. Instantly, he felt much, much better about the situation. However, he noticed something was amiss. She appeared distant and motionless as she stood next to that window. It was as if she'd been standing there for hours, simply staring outside. Staring and thinking, becoming lost in her own mind.
A few seconds after hearing Luigi close the door, Daisy mechanically turned toward her bed and began to walk to it. She climbed in underneath her covers, sat with her back resting against her headboard, and finally looked over at the door. Her eyebrows immediately furrowed.
"What are you doing in here? Guards aren't allowed to come in by themselves."
"...Daisy." Luigi took a step forward, unable to keep himself from smiling. Daisy immediately climbed out of her bed and took a battle-ready stance.
"Come any closer to me and I'll throw you out this window."
"No, no, wait," Luigi said as he hurriedly put aside his spear and removed his helmet, revealing his entire face for Daisy to see. Luigi was beaming at Daisy, but Daisy herself appeared completely dumbfounded.
Why was he suddenly here? Where did he-how did he manage his way to her room? What was he thinking, just waltzing into her room after her father...after her father said...
Make him leave. Get him out of here. He doesn't belong here.
Daisy stepped back and tripped on her nightstand, nearly falling over. Luigi rushed over to help her, but Daisy held up a hand and signaled for him to stop. He obliged, falling still instantly.
"What are you doing here?" she said, her voice noticeably shaky as she stared into the boy's eyes. Luigi, shocked, struggled to find the right words to say.
"I-I'm here to, uh..." Luigi simply looked at Daisy for a moment. Something had changed. There was something going on in her mind that was making her so wildly apprehensive about Luigi being there. What happened to her? "Daisy...how are you feeling?"
Don't give him the chance to bring you more pain.
"Don't look at me like that," Daisy said. "You need to leave."
"Daisy..." Luigi took a step closer to her.
"Stop!" Daisy shrieked, terrifying Luigi and making him stiffen up. "Leave me alone!" she said more quietly. "Get out of here and just go! You don't belong here."
"Daisy," Luigi muttered once again, feeling on the verge of tears as Daisy spoke.
Desert me. Forget me.
"Leave before someone catches you. Go back home. Go and be with your family. Be a normal boy. Be somebody else's prince. I don't need to be saved. I don't need you here. I don't want you..."
As Daisy continued, Luigi could see tears beginning to break their way from her wide, scared eyes. She slowly began to develop a frown, and what little composure she had remaining started to decompose.
"I'm sorry you ever met me."
Her head bowed down as she closed her eyes and began to whimper a bit. She nearly fell down to the floor completely, appearing to battle with her own mind, but Luigi, having come over to her, picked her up and held her against himself.
What's happening to me? I can't understand anything anymore...
Several seconds passed before Daisy slowly wrapped her arms around Luigi in return and continued to cry onto his shoulder. Once he felt her return the embrace, Luigi automatically held her more tightly. He realized that, now, it was his turn to be strong for her.
"Daisy," Luigi began softly, holding her tenderly as she continued to cry, "thank you."
"Every single day since the day I met you, I've felt better and better about myself," he continued, his voice surprisingly strong and sure of itself. "You've helped me in more ways than I can count, just by being a part of my life. I've never felt so good about myself, or about my life in general, than I do now. You helped me realize so many things, and you've always been there to cheer me up when I was feeling down. I know all of this is hard for you. This whole, crazy situation is a lot to deal with. But I know that if anyone has enough strength to get through it all, it's you."
"I could never imagine how it must feel to be in your shoes. But I promise, I'll try my best to help you walk if you want me to. But you need to know one thing.
"I'm not here to save you."
Luigi separated himself and Daisy, and as Daisy looked into his eyes, she could see that he, too, had been crying. However, his tear-stained face was decorated with a smile.
"I'm here to thank you for saving me," he said. He paused for a moment, then chuckled. "You know, in a way, you could say you were my prince."
Daisy stared into his eyes for a long while, still sniffling and tearing. For the first time in a while, though, she could feel herself falling victim to a smile. It crept onto her face, slowly transforming out of her frown, and, finally, she looked and acted like her old self again. As such, she lightly hit Luigi on the shoulder before sniffling a bit more.
"At least call me your 'white knight' or something," she said, a modicum of strength returning to her voice. "That's more androgynous than 'prince.'"
"I guess saying that was a little weird," Luigi said with a small chuckle, making Daisy give a little laugh as well.
"You could use a little work on your sentimental moments. You were doing pretty well until then."
The two chuckled for a little while longer, then settled into simply looking at each other. They were finally together again after what felt like an eternity, holding each other closely. Everything around seemed to fade as they fell into each other's gazes. Their minds were empty. Luigi's worry had subsided. The mental struggles Daisy had to endure, as persistent as they had been, finally seemed to have evaporated.
Here she was, wrapped in his embrace, held by the only person she cared to be held by. This sweet boy who had gone through so much because of her, and who willingly went through even more to see her again. As she looked at him, she finally realized, despite what she personally believed, regardless of how things might actually turn out...Luigi was her prince. Her prince that could make her laugh and smile on any given day. Her prince that would cook her favorite meal for her because he wanted to. Her prince who would put himself on the line just to see her, and see her be happy.
She knew that Luigi had been the one she was meant to fall in love with at the end of her story. As suddenly and as swiftly as it all seemed to happen, without her even realizing what was going on, her tale was playing out the way it was always meant to.
"Do you want to stay here?" Luigi asked, taking Daisy slightly by surprise. She simply blinked at him for a moment. "I don't know how we'd get you out of here, or if we could even do it at all, but I'm willing to try. But only if you want to."
Daisy looked at him in silence and began to think about what it would mean to leave with him. How would they ever even get out of the castle in the first place? And if they managed to get that far, how would they get past the huge crowd outside without some big fuss happening? What would happen to Luigi if they got caught? What would her father do to him knowing Luigi went against his wishes? The safest choice would be to just stay put and let Luigi leave. Daisy didn't want to even think about what would happen to her down the road if he were to go, but he'd already gone through so much and he honestly deserved better.
Daisy escaped her mind and focused back on Luigi. He was waiting. And the more she thought about it, the more obvious it seemed that the story couldn't simply come to an end yet. If her life was destined to be a fairy tale, then she damn well better see it all the way through.
"...Let's get out of here," Daisy finally said, a smile on her face. Luigi smiled as well and they embraced one another tightly, sharing the excitement with one another before setting off to attempt accomplishing their wild, dangerous feat.
In the middle of their hug, though, a knock was heard at the door. The two loosened their grips slightly as they fell stiff with shock. The door soon swung open, and the couple feared the worst as a guard stepped in. Their fear of being captured was quickly alleviated, though, as the guard removed his helmet and revealed himself to be Jeff.
"Uncle Jeff!" Daisy said as she rushed toward him and gave him a hug, ecstatic to see that he was there as well. Jeff chuckled and returned the embrace happily while Luigi looked on with a smile, overjoyed to see Daisy acting like the girl he knew and loved again.
"Daisy! It's great to see you again!" He suddenly held Daisy a little way from him and eyeballed both her and Luigi. "I hope you kids weren't up to anything inappropriate in here," he said with a deadly serious tone.
"N-No, of course not!" Luigi said, a little flustered.
"Well, we were about to be," Daisy said at the same time. Luigi looked at her in shock as Daisy and Jeff simply chuckled.
"In all seriousness, though, it's probably best if we get a move on out of here," Jeff said. "We've hit a little bit of trouble."
"What happened?" Luigi asked.
"Turns out those two guards we knocked out have been found, and it sounds like our friend who helped us out of the dungeon was found too."