Author's Note: Book 1 is over, and now, it's time to move on to Book 2! Well, I won't keep you waiting any more. Enjoy!

The Legend of the Dream Keeper

Part 1: The Dream Keeper

Book 2: The Sword of Dreams

Chapter 1: Another Dream, Another Adventure

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. Seeing as I cannot put pictures into this story (and the fact I absolutely SUCK at drawing), I'll just have to settle with the thousand words.

My name is Pax. I'm a 14 year old guy who has a knack of weird dreams. Just last week, I had one of these strange dream and managed to save the world, break my ribs (not in real life, though. Just in the dream), fall in love and have my heart shattered.

Anyway, about a week after that dream I had ANOTHER strange dream like that. Only when I closed my eyes and faded into slumber land, I felt like I was flushed down a toilet and shoved into a shell. When I opened my eyes again, I saw I was on a boat heading to a port town in the distance.

"Mario?" a voice asked. "That's Rougeport in the distance. We're almost there."

"Rougeport?" I asked, sitting up and rubbing my eyes…

…with gloved hands.

"Oh dear sweet merciful God in heaven…" I muttered, rushing to the side of the boat. I looked down in the water to see the reflection looking back at me…

…was that of Mario.

"Again!" I cried, throwing my arms into the air. "Oh come on, I thought I was already over and done with all this crap! And now I have to suffer through it AGAIN!"

"Mario, are you feeling alright?" the voice asked. I turned to see a Toad standing on deck, staring up at me.

"…yeah, I am," I sighed, leaning against the rail. "C'mon, let's take this ship to… wait a second, you're driving, right?"

"Yes," nodded the Toad.

"Then why are you standing here instead of driving?" I asked him.

"…uh," he started as the ship started to drift toward hazardous rocks. About twenty minutes later, the boat finally managed to dock at the Rougeport docks.

"So… the Princess asked you to come here?" the Toad asked as I jumped off.

"Uh, yeah I guess," I shrugged.

"And she asked you to come to find some legendary treasure?" the Toad asked.

"…sure?" I shrugged.

"Well… be careful, things are nasty there," the Toad said before boating away. I turned to look back at the grimy dock with several salty merchants walking around.

Well… I thought as I walked along the dock, looking around, I'm in Mario's body… again. And I'm in another dream/adventure… again. Perfect. Just perfect. Well, at least it can't possibly be worse than my last adventure. I mean, what could possibly happen this ti-

"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!" a loud voice said from a ways away.

"Oh, of course!" I said, throwing my arms into the air in exasperation. I turned to see a large man in an X on his shirt, two smaller men looking the same behind him. They had a female Goomba cornered. She looked about my age, with hair tied into a pony-tail under a miner's hat, a red tie, and a face that looked both determined and cuuuuuuuh… *Ahem* Well, anyway…

"I know it's hard for you, but don't play dumb!" snapped the big soldier in the X suit. "We saw you asking around town about the Map! Now give, what do you know!"

"Pft, like I'd tell YOU anything I know!" spat the Goomba.

"Hm… I guess it would be… unsightly if anything happened to you," the big one with the X said. "Boys, grab her! We're taking her back to HQ!"

"Yes, sir Crump!" said the two X soldiers, saluting and marching toward her. She backed up, eyes widened.

"S-stay back!" she said. "I'll scream! Really, I'm not afraid to! I'm a very loud screamer!"

"Hey," I said, walking up to them, "what's going on here?"

The Goomba ran behind me, peeking her head out to glare at the men in X costumes.

"Ha!" she said. "Like I'd go anywhere with you weirdos!"

"Grr… you, mustache!" Crump said, pointing a finger at me. "Are you lookin' for trouble or somethin'?"

"Wha-no!" I said, shaking my head and holding out my arms. "Not at all! I don't even know what's going on here!"

"'Sides, he could take you on without even breaking a sweat!" the Goomba taunted.

"You're NOT helping!" I snapped at her.

"Hey, just trying to boost you up," the Goomba shrugged. "If you'd rather I pelt you with insults-"

"Prepare to face PAIN, plumber!" cried Crump, holding up his fists.

"Can't we just talk and settle this in a logical, non-violent manner?" I asked with a shrug. Crump, in turn, dashed at me, fists held high.

"I'll take that as a 'no'…" I muttered as I rolled out of the way, pulling out my hammer. When Crump ran at me again, I jumped over his head and slammed into him with my hammer. After landing behind him, I swept his legs out from under him, blasted him into the sky, and tossed my hammer at him, causing him to fall flat on his face a ways away.

"Piece of cake," I said, catching my hammer on the return trip. Honestly, he really was a breeze compared to Coron…

Oh, you guys don't know about Coron, do you? Well, if you read my last book, you would, but for you first-time readers, I'll explain it real quick: Coron is some kind of pitch black creature with white eyes, clawed hands and feet, and hunches whenever he's beginning to snap. For those of you with little imagination and/or Kingdom Hearts fans, he basically looked like a Neoshadow without the antennae. He was hired by someone to kill me last time I saw him, but after a long battle, I defeated him and watched as he faded into a portal of darkness. For a more detailed explination of Coron (as well as half the story from his POV), check out my first book "The Legend of the Dream Keeper: The First Dream".

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, battle with Crump.

"Don't get cocky, loser," Crump said, getting back up and rubbing his back. "Now I'll just have to show you our true power… X-NAUTS!"

Suddenly, we were surrounded by people in the X costumes.

"PUNISH THEM!" cried Crump. The X-Nauts all jumped at the spot the Goomba and I were standing.

…though fortunately for us, they were so focused on that single spot, we managed to escape quite easily without being detected. We soon walked to what looked like the center of the town. There was an Inn, a shop, and at the very center was a spot for hanging people. In short, a REAL tourist attraction.

"Geeze…" sighed the Goomba. "What was WITH those guys?"

She turned to face me.

"Thanks for saving me!" she said. "I have just GOT to give you a reward for that!"

"Oh, that's not really-" I started.


I blinked hard, recovering from the shock of the Goomba jumping up and kissing me on the cheek.

"My name's Goombella," she said. "I'm a young student studying at the University of Goom. Nice to meet ya!"

"I, eh, uh…" I struggled, trying to form a coherent sentence. After a few moments, I shook my head clear.

"Pa-er, I mean, Mario," I said, remembering the charade I had to put on last time. "Pleasure to meet you, Goombella."

"Same here," Goombella said with a smile, then looked around with a look of disgust. "Can you believe this place? I haven't even been here for fifteen minutes and I was already mugged! I should have expected it what with this place being called Rougeport and all, but sheesh! If it weren't for that legendary treasure, I'd high-tail it out of here!"

"Treasure?" I asked, tilting my head.

"Yeah," Goombella said. "Legend has it there's a treasure directly under Rougeport. That's why I'm here, to study it. If I only had the map, though, finding it would be so much easier…"

"Map?" I asked, reaching into my pockets. "You mean… this thing?"

I pulled out the folded up piece of paper that I found in my pocket. Goombella snatched it out of my hand and spread it on the ground.

"OH MY GOSH!" she gasped. "THIS IS IT! THE REAL DEAL!"

She looked up at me with shock in her eyes.

"How… where did you find this?" she breathed. I opened my mouth to answer when an older voice called out: "Mario!"

I turned to see an old Toad with a grey mustache walk up to me.

"Oh thank the Stars you're here!" he breathed. "It's Princess Peach. I turned my back away from her for two seconds and she went and vanished on me again!"

"You say this as if you're surprised," I said. "She disappears or gets kidnapped EVERY time she goes on vacation."

"Well, that's not necessarily-" started the old Toad.

"There's a sign in the middle of Toad Town square that says 'Kidnapped' or 'Not kidnapped' on it, and it's switched to Kidnapped every single time Peach goes on vacation!" I said.

I'm not exaggerating here, they really do have this.

"Well… er… I can trust you'll find her, won't you?" asked the old Toad.

"What about Luigi?" I asked. "I saved Peach last time, don't you think it's only fair my little bro gets a turn in the spotlight?"

The toad, in turn, laughed.

"Luigi in the… oh, that's a good one!" he laughed as he walked to the Inn. "The day Luigi becomes famous is the day you get turned into a painting inside a haunted mansion Luigi won in a contest he never entered!"

"…yeah, too easy," I said, deciding to not make a joke or comment about that. I turned back to Goombella, who never once looked up from the map. "Er, Goombella…?"

"Hold on," Goombella said, folding up the map with her feet and handing it back to me with her mouth. "I know just the person to show this to."

"Really?" I asked. "Who?"

"My professor, Dr. Frankly," Goombella said, walking forward. "He has a house somewhere near here. If we can find him, with your map and his knowledge, we'll be able to find this treasure by the end of the day! Hey, maybe the Princess is already there, waiting for us!"

"Wait… is this Dr. Frankly an old Goomba?" I asked, fearing the answer.

"No, he's a baby Koopa fresh from the shell," Goombella said, rolling her eyes. "Yes, he's an old Goomba. So?"

"…well, if he begins to break the laws of physics, I don't care how highly you look up to him, I am leaving," I said, walking forward to find his house. Goombella was confused, but she shrugged and followed.

And that is how the two of us started off on what could only be called both an incredibly strange and an incredibly epic adventure.

Author's Note: MUCH better than the First Dream's first chapter, if I say so myself! Until next time, this is Pax the Dreamer, signing out!