Boos Manor, Gusty Gulch: Paper Mario
Banshee Boardwalk: Mario Kart 64
Land's End: Super Mario RPG
Doughnut Plains: Super Mario World
Dimentio was in the Guest Room of Boos Manor, where he had been staying, when Lady Bow burst in fuming. Dimentio looked up with concern. Lady Bow began letting off her steam, and Dimentio put himself in an attentive listening position.
"Oh, Lord Mime," said Lady Bow, "I can't delay it any longer. I have to go to Gusty Gulch and meet the duke's son from Banshee Boardwalk."
Dimentio cocked his head.
"I have to get married," Lady Bow explained disdainfully. Dimentio twitched. "Oh, I know," she continued. "I hate the idea, of course, marrying a stranger for political reasons. I don't want to get married at all. But if I did, it would be to someone kind and interesting, someone... well, like you."
Dimentio smiled, and Lady Bow could have sworn that a malicious grin crossed his face before it transformed into a warm and caring smile.
"Oh, would you come with me?" Lady Bow asked. "To Gusty Gulch? Please? I don't want to go with just Bootler nagging at me and clucking like an old mother hen. I'd like a friend. Please, Lord Mime?"
Dimentio nodded. He knew the direct sunlight of the gulch would burn him something awful, but he had to go with her. Of course he wanted to be with her no matter where she went, because he treasured their moments together. He also had to keep her and the duke's son apart, although that part might not actually be so hard. If lady Bow didn't want someone, well, too bad for him.
Lady Bow put on her best bows, as well as Dimentio's brooch, before leaving. Bootler led the way, with Bow lagging behind. She was whispering to Dimentio, which annoyed Bootler greatly- he did not approve of her friendship with "Lord Mime." Now and again he glanced back disapprovingly, under the guise of checking to see they were keeping up, as if he could not hear exactly where they were.
Dimentio braced himself when they left the forest and they arrived at the edge of Gusty Gulch. The sun was bright and harsh on any merit, but Dimentio felt like he had just been set on fire and was covered tip to tail with white blisters. He grimaced, but was determined to endure.
"Are you all right?" asked Lady Bow.
Dimentio nodded, still grimacing.
"It is uncomfortably hot out here, isn't it?" Lady Bow pulled out a fan and began fanning herself. "I don't know how these Boos stand it."
When they arrived, there was a small gathering of Boos outside near the entrance. Covered by the mob was Lady Bow's future husband, unless she could help it, and his aid, Booman.
Dimentio reeled. Standing off to the side was Count Bleck, with Nastasia by his side. Mimi was standing off by herself, trying to show off her new sundress and matching parasol. Dimentio caught the Count's eye, but there was no glimmer of recognition.
Lady Bow greeted them. "Ah, Count, you came!" She pecked him on the cheek. "I'm so glad."
"I'm here to oversee," said Count Bleck. "I don't believe there's much for me to do."
"All the same" She turned to the crowd. "Now, I suppose I'm ready. Where's my Boo?"
The crowd parted, and in the midst of the gritty, brown Boos was a snow white one. This one looked very ordinary, but when Lady Bow saw him, her eyes widened. "Fredrick?" she breathed.
"Bowbie?" he returned. "They said I was meeting the Lady of Boo's Mansion—I had no idea--"
They rushed to each other for a big Boo hug. "It's been years," she said happily.
Bow turned to Dimentio, holding Fredrick's hand. "Lord Mime, this is Fredrick! We used to play together as children in the Haunted House of Doughnut Planes! I never knew you were the Duke's son!"
"I always wondered what happened to you!" Fredrick said happily. "I tried to look you up, but I only knew you as Bowbie."
"Oh, how wonderful!" She turned to Count Bleck. "I won't be needing you at all! Lord Mime, can you believe my luck?"
She didn't wait for an answer. She and Fredrick began talking rapidly to each other, catching up on old times and filling each other in on all the lost years.
Dimentio fell back, as devastated as he'd been at the party. He wished he could cry, but he didn't. Instead he floated over to Count Bleck and looked up at him.
"Hello, said Count Bleck."
Dimentio didn't respond.
"How may I help you?"
Dimentio looked up with his sad eyes. Then he pantomimed laughing and made a snapping gesture.
Count Bleck's eyes widened. "Dimentio?"
"Oh, Dimentio..." Count Bleck shook his head. "what happened to you?"
Nastasia looked up. "Oh," she said. "You went to the Shaman of Land's End, didn't you?"
Dimentio allowed himself to be hugged, and he was amazed at the fact that merely allowing another being to lay hands on him could actually feel good. But the hug was very nice, comforting even. How strange.
"Come with me," said Count Bleck. "Let's see if we can fix this at all. Mimi," he called, "we need to go."
"Okay. What's going on?"
"We need to fix Dimentio," explained Count Bleck.
"Oh, is that going to cure him of his lovesick attitude?"
Dimentio glared at her.
"Mimi," said Nastasia, "now is not the time."
Count Bleck held his arms out, and transported them all on their way to Land's End.
L.E. Shaman was relaxing on a yellow platform, one hand behind his back for support, legs kicking out carelessly over the edge. With his free hand, he was making tiny explosions of sparks, a personal fireworks show. Several Chows and Spiksters had gathered below to watch, an L.E. Shaman was enjoying the attention.
Count Bleck appeared in midair- those watching below were terribly startled and scattered. Nastasia, Mimi, and Dimentio appeared on the ground.
"L.E. Shaman," said Count Bleck coldly. "So I found you."
"You only found me because--"
"You wanted to be found, yes, I know," said Count Bleck dismissively with a wave of his glove. "You aren't much at hiding, out here in the open shooting sparks all over. You must always want to be found desperately."
L.E. Shaman narrowed his eyes. "What do you want, Bleck?"
"I would like you to set my minion right, if you please."
L.E. Shaman leaned over and looked past Count Bleck at the trio below. "Huh," he said. "she looks fine to me. A little homely, but that's attractive in a girl."
Mimi and Nastasia looked at each other uncertainly.
"No, no, I mean Dimentio," said Count Bleck. "You know, the minion of mine you, ahem, 'helped' earlier?"
"Helped?" L.E. Shaman sneered. "Of course I helped. He asked for a favor and I granted it. I told him all the terms and he agreed. I can't refund just because he has buyer's remorse."
"What payment would it take for you to reverse this, then?" Count Bleck asked firmly.
Dimentio looked up, taken by suprise. Was the Count actually offering-- but really?
L.E. Shaman looked thoughtful, pondering that question for a moment. "Hm... now, let me see... it would be steep... veery steep indeed..."
Count Bleck's face betrayed no emotion. Dimentio looked on, wide eyed, mouth open in amazement.
"Ah. I know." L.E. Shaman stood up, straightened his robes, and clapped his hands together. "You had a dinner party recently, if I'm not very much mistaken?"
"Yes, I did," said Count Bleck. "I'm sorry you didn't receive an invitation." The insincerity in his voice was smothering.
L.E. Shaman waved his hand. "I don't care for parties. I just wondered, do you have any leftovers?"
"Wonderful. If you bring them to me, I'll undo what happened to Dimentio."
"...Are you serious?"
"Ah... okay." Count Bleck turned to his minions. "Nastasia... could you bring the leftovers here for Mr. Shaman, please?"
"Of course." Nastasia disappeared.
L.E. Shaman tossed a bottle from his sleeve down to the ground. Dimentio tried to catch it but it bounced off his chest and slipped through his arms. Mimi picked it up, uncorked it, and handed it to Dimentio.
Dimentio took a drink and right away the burning of the sun ceased. He felt two feet hitting the ground, and his voice returned. "Ah, I am Dimentio once more!"
"Yay!" Mimi clapped.
Nastasia returned with a bundle of food the size of a Muth in her arms and O'Chunks clinging to her leg. "Yeh can't do it!" he was wailing. "Yeh can't take me leftovers from meh! Ah need 'em!"
"You're making a spectaacle of yourself," scolded Nastasia.
"The fooood," O'Chunks moaned.
L.E. Shaman jumped onto the ground and rubbed his hands together. "Oh, I am going to en-joy this." He looked up at the others. "Leave me be now," he said. "I would like to be alone with the food."
"Happy to oblige, grumbled Count Bleck, and he left L.E. Shaman to his doings."
Later, in the castle, Mimi went to visit Dimentio. She knocked gently on his door and said, "Um, Dimmy? Can I talk to you?"
"If you must."
They opened the door and saw that Dimentio was out on his balcony, hand folded on the railway, resting his chin. The French doors were open, letting the outside air blow into his room.
"Hey," she said. "How ya doin'?"
"Can you not guess?"
"Oh." Mimi joined him out on the balcony. She hopped up and sat on the rail next to him. "Is there anything we can do?"
"You can leave me to my solitude and misery."
"Nassy says that if you need advice she's always open," Mimi offered.
"Duly noted. Now, if you would please leave."
"You know, if you wanted to go on, like, just one date with Lady Bow... I guess I could sort of turn into her. Just for one date."
"That's both sweet and very creepy," said Dimentio. "Thank you."
"Count Bleck is going to have a meeting before dinner," said Mimi. "So, um, he says you don't have to show up if you don't want to."
"I'll consider it."
Mimi hopped off the rail and left. Dimentio followed her out with his eyes, and he couldn't help thinking that, although there was no one in the world quite like Lady Bow, there was something about the way her hair bounced when she walked, her energetic way of talking, and the way she wore that new sundress that was, at the very least, intriguing.
Next time on The Count's World: Count Bleck comes into possession of train tickets for the Excess Express. But that train and mystery go hand in hand, and when the finger is pointed at the Count, it's up to his minions to clear his name