This is a little idea that I had a long time ago when I had played through Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. It was originally going to be a bit on the short side, but it ended up being a bit longer than I thought. It's mainly about what happened a thousand years ago with the Shadow Queen and stuff, with some of my ideas added in, too!
There are OCs in this story, so if you aren't fond of them, it's best for you to not read this. ...Or you can read it anyway. Your choice. :P
I don't own the ideas of the four heroes nor do I own some of the other characters you might recognize. The only characters I DO own are the ones you have no clue about. So… Here we go!
Chapter 1: Welcome Back, Princess Lilia!
Nebule was just like every young boy. Once you become the age of ten, you would go out to become an apprentice. His parents sent him down to the town of Tagel, which was considered to be one of the nicest places in this world. The castle even had a king that respected his people. However, Nebule's reasons for coming here were to be trained under a strong warrior, so he too could become one. Only one warrior was capable of training him, and that person was Lighten. It was him that had been training Nebule for three years.
Nebule was a lime, spherical-shaped creature with small arms with brown leather gloves and short, green legs with leather boots. His eyes were a bright yellow and had blonde hair. Many people liked to call him Blondie due to being the only blonde person in the town.
His mentor, Lighten was a spherical shape just like Nebule, but he wore a silver mask to hide his face for reasons not even Nebule knew. His shoulder pads and boots were a golden color, and his cape was even gold as well. On his left shoulder pads was an insignia with the letter B on it.
At the moment, Lighten was practicing with his apprentice on how to use a sword. They were using wooden ones to prevent injury.
"Yes, that's good, Nebule! Keep your eyes steady!" Lighten was blocking Nebule's attacks in a training room. There was nothing around except for a door and a couple of weapons used for training.
When Lighten made his strike, Nebule had done a back flip, but as he landed, he started to lose his balance. Because of this, he was unaware of Lighten approaching him and knocking him to the ground.
"Pay attention, my apprentice!" Lighten demanded. "Even when you're losing your balance, you must pay attention to what's around you, especially in battle. Your opponent could easily take advantage of the situation if you're not paying attention."
"Sorry, sir… I'll try to keep in mind of that."
"Good. Perhaps now I can show you a special sword ability." the masked warrior decided. "Now, you don't have any issues using the Sword Beam... But there is a way you can increase its power. However, there is a risk..."
"A risk? Like what?"
"To use this ability, you must transfer some of your own energy into the sword, like this," Lighten demonstrated by raising his wooden sword. While a normal Sword Beam had a glow around a blade, this one was much bigger in size. "And when you believe you have enough, swing, and then it'll fire."
He swung his wooden blade, creating a crescent-shaped projectile that was glowing white. It went for the dummy, and in an instant, it sliced it in half. Not only that, but it had exploded.
"Wait... But that looks like a regular Sword Beam." Nebule noticed.
"While it may have a similar appearance, its power is much greater," Lighten explained, lowering his blade while panting. "However, the downside to this is that it leaves you tired. It's only recommended that you use this attack as a last resort."
"Oh... I see."
Before Lighten could speak again, there was a knock on the door.
"Hold on a second. Let me get the door." Lighten walked out of the room and to the front door. He saw a Toad in silver armor holding a sword. He took out an invitation and gave it to him.
"King Braze has invited you to his castle," the Toad Guard informed. "It seems like he has something special to tell some people such as you. Your apprentice is invited to the castle too!"
"Hmmm…" Lighten read the letter and slowly nodded to the knight. "So you want us to be there right now? Though we are busy with some training at the moment, we can make it."
"Great! I'll go tell King Braze at this moment!" the Toad Guard walked off to the big castle in the background. Lighten closed the door and walked back into the training room with his gold cape wrapped around.
"Nebule! Today's training is over." Lighten declared. "We've been invited to the castle by King Braze. He never said why he wants us to come, but it's the king's orders, and we're going."
"We need to go to the king's castle?!" Nebule gawked. "Oh, geez..."
"I doubt it'll be anything big," Lighten walked over to the front door and pulled a green hat from the hangar. It looked like a conical hat with a little gold diamond-shaped pompom on the tip. "You should probably wear this."
"My hat? Why would I need that?" Nebule asked.
"Because the last time we walked in town, a lot of people were calling you Blondie, and you complained about it."
"This'll probably save you," Lighten said, tossing the hat to Nebule for him to put on.
"Thanks, sir! I'm so not looking forward to this…" Nebule sighed as he followed his mentor outside. From where they lived in Tagel, it was highly populated with markets. Many Toads, Koopas, and Goombas were abundant here, and they sold lots of goods to each other, ranging from Mushrooms to clothes. Plus, from where the two stood, they had a nice view of the ocean in the distance. Nebule once thought of going to the harbor and taking a boat, but Lighten had told him he wasn't ready to go out there yet.
Eventually their walk had led them to a gray castle with several flags with bronze crowns. When they reached the entrance, two armored Koopas named Koopatrols moved their spears out of the way. The interior of the castle was absolutely gorgeous, having a shiny gray floor that was polished and a clean, red rug. It looked like the people here did a good job at cleaning the place up.
"This way, Nebule!" Lighten escorted him to the big room straight ahead with a golden throne. There weren't any seats, so many peasants were standing around the back. At the front, however, were several knights. Only those at a high rank such as Lighten could go over there. They made their way through the crowd and went to the other upper-class knights.
There was one big guy that took notice of Lighten as the two approached. This big guy in particular was difficult to determine what species he was. He was nothing like a Goomba, Toad, or Koopa. Heck, his entire body was large and muscular compared to them. He also wore purple armor with two small openings that revealed his green eyes. This guy's helmet also had curved horns pointing downward, along with a red plume sticking out from the back.
"Lighten! Oh, man... Thank goodness you finally came!" the knight spoke in a relieved tone. "I thought I'd wouldn't have anyone to talk to!"
"Well, you don't have to worry, Joe," Lighten assured, looking up at the knight that practically towered over him. "So, how have things been with you?"
"Pretty good!" Joe took notice of Nebule. "Hey, it's Blondie! How're ya doing?"
"All right, I guess..." Nebule trailed.
"Heh heh! Well it's nice that ya came!" the large guy chuckled, patting Nebule on his arm. To him, it felt like he was getting pounded. "King Braze mentioned something about introducing his daughter to us!"
"Yeah. It's actually her first time coming here in nearly ten years. Pretty neat, huh?"
"Interesting..." Lighten mused.
"Wait, why are you telling me this, though?" Nebule questioned.
"Well..." Joe paused when he noticed a door near the throne open. He immediately closed his mouth as a royal figure stepped out of the door.
The king was wearing royal red robe, had bronze skin, brown eyes, and a long, orange beard. His crown was about half a foot long in width, and he was holding a golden staff. Considering this was Nebule's first time meeting the king, seeing his full appearance left him with raised eyebrows.
"I am pleased to see you people make it!" King Braze smiled. "I bring you here for a special announcement. My daughter, Princess Lilia, has finally arrived in Tagel, and she is pleased to meet you all! So, allow me to introduce you to her!"
As all the knights began to kneel down in respect, while Nebule blinked and looked at them with bewildered looks.
"Kneel down," Lighten whispered, making Nebule quietly gasp and kneel down.
"Ugh... I don't like this one bit..." Nebule thought. "Why do I need to meet this Lilia anyway?"
As he kept his head lowered, the sound of footsteps approached him. The other knights appeared to be looking at the new figure, so he decided to look up.
At this point, his cheeks turned red at the girl looking at him.
Standing before him was a girl around his age with peach skin, pink eyes, and long, blonde hair. She was wearing a sleeveless dress with the upper part being pink and below the waist being a hot pink. This girl also had white gloves, and her light yellow tiara had magenta diamond-shaped jewels, with pink ones embedded in them. Her necklace was also made up of magenta diamond-shaped jewels.
"THAT'S Lilia?! She's...pretty."
When Lilia looked down at the knights kneeling down, she noticed Nebule gazing at her. All she could do was smile at the blonde.
"Ah ha ha ha ha! Well, now! Looks like someone has grown infatuated with the princess."
Nebule stopped blushing and turned to see a strange jester float up. His mask was part black and part lavender, having a yellow eye on the black side and a black one on the lavender side. His hat was purple, with a little blue added to it. He had hands, but no arms. Only his hands, legs and feet were black and were glowing white.
"Excuse me? Who are you?" Lilia asked as the jester grabbed her hand and bowed to her.
"Why, I'm a jester, as you can see! …Or rather, I am the master of dimensions, pleaser of crowds! You may call me…Dimentio!" Dimentio introduced. "I am your father's faithful servant!"
"Is he, Father?"
"Of course! Dimentio's new here. He recently came here a week ago, and he's a great entertainer! To my surprised, he was excited when he heard of your arrival!"
"Yes! Of course! I can do MANY tricks…with magic! Observe!" Dimentio snapped his fingers and made a rose appear. "Here you go, my dear! This is for you!"
"Oh, thank you..."
He gave it to the princess, and when she looked at it, it turned into a flower that squirted water in Nebule's face. He wiped the water off his face and growled at Dimentio. Lighten told him to let it go, so he did just that while sighing.
"Ah, your anger! It's like a beaver chomping on a tree! I can almost feel it inside of you!" Dimentio cackled, which made Nebule angrier, but he knew it was best to let it go. Lilia looked at Nebule again before hearing his father's voice.
"Yes, my lovely daughter, Princess Lilia, has come here after a great tragedy happened with her mother," King Braze explained. "I was willing to take her here, and now she'll be spending her life here until she is a queen! So, treat her with the same respect you treat me."
Everyone understood and nodded. Nebule nodded too, blushing while looking at Lilia. He couldn't keep his eyes off of her.
"Now, then! We shall feast until the night is over! Come, my knights! Let us celebrate my daughter's return with a feast!" the king walked out of the room, and Lilia followed him. All of the knights, which included Lighten and Nebule, followed them first. Dimentio even followed, but the thing was that he wasn't invited. They found a big, long table with some candles and plates. A door was up ahead and that led to a kitchen.
"My loyal chefs! Make some grub for my knights, the princess and myself!" King Braze ordered as he clapped his hands together. A Cheep Cheep chef nodded and waddled into the kitchen with his other Cheep Cheep chefs.
The king and his daughter sat at the end of the table, while Nebule and Lighten sat far from the two. "Now, Lilia… You may have the honor of choosing which knight can sit by you. Who would my suggestion be? Well, Lighten, of course!"
Lilia sat down on her royal chair and looked at Lighten, who had his cape wrapped around himself. Then she looked at Joe, who seemed too busy tapping his fingers on the table. Eventually she looked at Nebule, who did his best to avoid looking at her.
"Father… How about him?" Lilia suggested as she pointed to Nebule, grabbing his attention.
"Huh? Me?" Nebule asked as he slowly pointed to himself.
"Well... Uh... You see... I... I think I might need to use the restroom."
"Then go to the restroom," King Braze suggested. "You have my permission."
"...No, I don't think it's that," Nebule made his way over to the chair next to Lilia and sat next to her. If there was one thing he was bad at, it was talking to girls. He was sure Lilia was much better with boys.
"I should sit with Nebule. I want to make sure he's all right…" Lighten thought as he sat next to Nebule. His buffy friend sat next to him.
"Say, Lighten! Tell that story about the time you kicked that clown out of your house!" Joe suggested. "Man, it was HILARIOUS!"
"Very well," Lighten sighed. "So I was sitting down on my chair, watching the fire with my cup of coffee… That clown suddenly appears in my house and asks if I need entertainment. I said no, but he kept pestering me about it…and then I was forced to kick him out with my own golden boot. He didn't take it too well. So then I..."
"BAH HA HA HA HA!" Joe laughed stupidly as he began to bang on the table, which made everyone gawk at him.
"Joe! Don't do that! You'll break the table, for goodness sake!" Lighten snapped.
"Oh, sorry... My bad."
Everyone heard the kitchen doors open and the Koopa chefs brought out some food. It looked like baked potatoes were put on the table and also a big chicken with legs.
"Ah! Food!" Joe grabbed a leg off the chicken and began to scarf it down while hiding his face from everyone else. Nebule grabbed the potatoes and decided to eat them instead. Lilia even got potatoes too and smiled at Nebule.
"Hey…" Lilia whispered, making Nebule stop. "How have things been around here?"
"Uhhh... Well, they've been fine for the most part." Nebule answered, unsure of what else to say. "Why do you ask?"
"Listen… There's something I need to talk to you about. It's really important. Can you meet me up at my room?"
Lilia was about to ask her father to be excused, but then a Koopatrol charged into the room.
"Your Majesty!" the Koopa cried. "Four travelers! They have come here to see you!"
"What?! Four travelers? What do they want?" King Braze asked.
"They said something about wanting to rest from their long journey. Permission to bring them in?"
"Go right ahead," the king nodded as the Koopa opened the door. A Toad with red polka-dots on his cap, a blue shirt, and white pants was the first to walk in. He was the youngest traveler, though he was not the best with using money and tended to act like he was the coolest.
The next person following up was a Koopa with a scar on his cheek. He was holding a big sword and was in black clothing. He definitely was the scariest-looking of the four travelers.
A purple Boo came following next. She was wearing a witch's hat that was bent down a little and was holding a staff that allowed her to use magic. She was wearing purple eye shadow too. She seemed cold-hearted and would be best not to speak to her.
The last one was an old Goomba with a red hat and gray hair and a gray monocle. In her possession was a green book.
"Hello, king of…whatever you're the king of! We would love it if you were to let us stay here for the night! My name is Toadburt, and this is Koopo, Bonnie, and Goombi." Toadburt introduced. "Of course, I'm the one with the coolest voice, so I'll do the talking!"
"Ugh… We're so screwed." Bonnie thought, smacking her forehead.
"Well, I suppose I can give you a room," King Braze declared. "Then it's settled! You four may join us if you wish! Where have you come from anyway?"
"Why, I came from Petal Meadows, and Goombi here came from the Boggly Woods! As for the other two… I have no idea where the heck they came from!" Toadburt got bonked by the hilt of Koopo's big sword.
"I come from a gloomy place called Twilight Town," Bonnie said.
"My home is wherever," Koopo stated.
"Ummm… Father? May I be excused for a minute?" Lilia asked as she stood up.
"Of course you may, Lilia! Don't take too long!" King Braze told his daughter. She walked past Nebule, giving him a wink as a little reminder. When she finally left, the blonde boy looked over at his master.
"Ummm… Lighten? Could I be excused to go to the restroom?" Nebule asked
"You wish to go to the restroom? You said you didn't have to go a second ago..." Lighten trailed.
"Well... It came back."
"Well, if you gotta go, you gotta go," his mentor shrugged as Nebule got up and trotted out of the room. Toadburt watched him go and looked at Lighten.
"Is that your kid, shorty?" Toadburt asked.
"Shorty?" Lighten gawked. "...Er, I mean, yes. That is my apprentice."
"Oh... He doesn't look all that- Whoa… That's one cool cape! I gotta get me one of those things! How much coins do I have?" Toadburt took out his wallet and saw a puff of smoke come out.
"You spent all of our money riding a Wiggler," Koopa explained. "I'd say it was a complete waste of money…"
"Hold on… You spent ALL of our money?! Toadburt! You don't spend all of our money without mentioning!" Goombi scolded.
"Relax, my fellow travelers! For I have saved some money! Yes! I have a little secret wallet just in case someone tries to rob me!" Toadburt checked his other pocket, but he found nothing.
"Figures," Bonnie groaned.
"Uh oh… I think I left it at home!" Toadburt gulped, the three others giving him a glare before he zipped over to the king. "Say, Your Majesty… How about those rooms we can have?"
"C'mon! Who else can resist giving a room to this stud?" Toadburt struck a dumb pose, much to the annoyance of the others.
"We're not making a good first impression..." Koopo sighed.
"Hmmmm... Well, I'll think about giving you rooms."
"Excuse me, Your Majesty..." Dimentio interrupted, floating over to him. "There's something you might want to know about."
"Hmmmm? Do tell." the king replied, with Dimentio whispering in secret. The look of curiosity turned to that of anger. "What?!"
"Oh, yes! I'll even show you!"
Nebule followed Lilia all the way up the stairs and to a room that was light blue, with the ground being pink and also having portraits of herself. He had never been in a girl's room before. Especially not a princess's.
"This room is really pretty… That's something I'll admit." Nebule smiled, his face flushing red. "So... Why did you bring me here?"
"Listen, please. I have a reason to be talking with you here." Lilia explained. "I had a feeling you would be the only one to believe me."
"Huh? Believe you about what?"
Lilia walked over to her bed and sat on it. She let Nebule take a seat too. "Well, there's a reason why I'm here and not at my mother's castle. You see… My mother's castle was destroyed by a dark queen who showed up out of nowhere…"
"A dark queen? Who is she?"
"Well, I don't know! She called herself the Shadow Queen, and her evil minions helped destroy the castle. My mother wasn't lucky to make it, but I was saved by…a brown hedgehog. I was lucky to get out of there… His speed… It was amazing."
"A hedgehog? Odd… So, if that Shadow Queen destroyed your mother's castle… Is it possible she'll be coming…"
"Yes, she's going to be coming here. I told my father, but he refused to believe me. It's like he treats me as a child! This is why I don't like being a princess!"
"You don't? But why?"
"Being a princess feels boring, and you're put under a lot of pressure. You never know what's going to happen the next day... One moment, you're learning to be a ruler, the next day you're being bugged about suitors and whatnot. It's not fun."
"I guess I understand what you mean..." Nebule trailed. "Though, I've never been something like that."
"You're definitely lucky. You have no idea how much I'd like to be in your position. Having a normal life just sounds more interesting."
"Well, you at least get respect from the people."
"I'd rather be respected as who I am than due to royalty," Lilia frowned. "And it doesn't help that my father doesn't believe my warning. There are many things that he doesn't believe what I say."
"Well... I believe you." Nebule stated.
"Thanks," Lilia smiled, giving him a hug and making him blush. "I really appreciate it."
As she let him go, Nebule realized something. "Oh! I never told you my name! My name's Nebule."
"It's nice to meet you, Nebule. Maybe... Maybe you can help me out! You see, the Shadow Queen is invincible, but I heard that there may be a way to stop her. I think it's possible that you need-"
Suddenly, the door burst open, and behind the door was King Braze and Dimentio.
"L-Lilia? Wh-What are you doing with him in your room?!" King Braze gaped.
"Father?!" Lilia shrieked, turning to face him. "Why did you barge into my room? You know you can't do that!"
"Uhhh... What she said!" Nebule added.
"Thank you very much for telling me that these two were up in my daughter's room, Dimentio," King Braze thanked.
"Ah ha ha ha ha! It's not a problem, my king!" Dimentio cackled. "I simply HAD to show what your daughter was doing with Lighten's apprentice! See? I was right! Something's going on between the two! And it's certainly not good!"
"Dimentio, would you mind escorting Nebule out of here? He is no longer welcome here…"
"As you wish. Come now, Blondie! Chop chop!" Dimentio said while snapping his fingers at his last sentence.
"Wait… So YOU were stalking us this whole time? You… Were you purposely trying to get me out of this castle?" Nebule gaped as Dimentio raised his hands and summoned a box around Nebule.
"Hmmm… Maybe, maybe not. But, time will tell on that! As for now… Ciao!" Dimentio snapped his fingers and Nebule was teleported out of the room.
"Father! What were you doing?!" Lilia asked. "I was telling him something important!"
"Lilia, you should know that someone like him is not allowed in your room without my permission!" King Braze explained.
"But I gave him permission!"
"But I didn't," King Braze stated.
"Yeah," Toadburt said as he zipped into the room and saw Lilia, giving her a flirty look. "Well, hello there, beautiful! Why am I calling you beautiful? Well, the name 'beautiful' is right on you!"
"From now on, Nebule is forbidden from seeing you again!"
"But..." Lilia stammered.
"There will be no buts!"
Lilia hung her head low as she looked away from her father. After ignoring Toadburt's flirting, he and Braze had finally left the room.
Outside of town, the sky seemed rather peaceful… Well, it was until a red portal appeared and a gray ship that had a red visor came out and hovered down onto the ground. This was rather odd, considering that there were never any futuristic things around this world.
A hole appeared from the top of the ship, and a woman in a gray power suit came out. Her right arm had an arm gun that could fire blasts of energy out, and the shoulder pads were covered in spikes.
"So… This is the place, huh? Well, this is a rather interesting world to find those monsters. It certainly is a lot different than my world..." the woman named Mars trailed. "I should be on guard. Anything could show up at this point…"
Mars had her gun ready and carefully walked around the plains. All she saw was a hedgehog covered in brown fur and straight quills, who was running away from the town.
"Hmmm… I better check who that is…" Mars began to rush on ahead to see who that hedgehog could possibly be. Unfortunately, she didn't notice darkness that was coming toward the town.
As you can see, some of these characters are a little similar to some other characters... Well, that's because they're meant to be ancestors. I won't tell who is an ancestor to who. That's up to you to find out on your own!
As for Nebule... His name kind of means "mysterious alien person" in Japanese, since he looks kind of odd for his species. This may not exactly be GREAT...but I'll admit it has some cool stuff to it! But the REAL action starts next chapter.
As for the four heroes... Admittedly, I didn't know that Toadburt was really what he was in the stories told by that one person in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door... But I might've found a way around it. ...And what is Dimentio doing in this? I'd rather not answer that yet... Not much else I can say at this moment. I hope you enjoyed this first chapter!