Chapter 16: History Being Made

An hour after the doubles match concluded, the P.A. Announcer cried, "Ladies and gentlemen... This is the main event! This tournament has been sponsored by Mario Star and the Dubno Company. Now... It is time... For the singles championship match... For the Mushroom Cup!"

"We are now ready to introduce our players. First to enter the court, this tennis player has won the hearts and minds of the Mushroom Kingdom's citizens with her excellent shot placements. Now, she's back for another title in her fifth finals appearance! Making her way to the court is our lovely Princess Peach!"

Princess Peach entered the court, waving to everyone in the crowd. The crowd cheered for their princess. She waited on one side of the court.

"Now, making her way to the court is the tomboyish princess of Laguna Island. Her raw tennis abilities and stupendous reflexes have proved to be great assets in the world of tennis, where her name is quickly gaining attention. She's made history as the youngest competitor in the Mushroom Cup. Now, she hopes to make history as the youngest Mushroom Cup champion in her first finals appearance! Please put your hands together for the Bright-eyed Tropical Princess herself... Lani!"

Lani walked towards the court and everyone in the audience cheered for her. "Thanks, everyone!" She cried, "I'll do my best!" She went to the other side of the court.

The P.A. Announcer cried, "Now for the umpire of this match, he has called more championship matches than any referee combined, assuming that he's not playing, of course... He's everything from a tennis player to a kart racer, but he began as a plumber. Please give a round of applause for the legendary Mario!"

Mario stepped out and got another standing ovation from the crowd. Everyone cheered for Mario as he walked over and climbed up to the umpire's chair.

The P.A. Announcer said, "Just a reminder that the championship match is a 3-set and 2-game match. Whoever wins 2 out of the 3 sets first wins the match and the Mushroom Cup! Now, let the match begin!"

Mario looked at both Lani and Princess Peach. He looked at Peach first. She replied, "Ready, Mario!"

Mario looked at Lani next. She cried as she did a peace sign with her left index and middle fingers, "Well... Here goes!"

Mario took out a coin. He pointed at the heads side, and then pointed to Princess Peach. He then rotated the coin, pointed at the tails side, and then pointed at Lani. He then flipped the coin. Once it hit the ground, Mario took a look. He saw that it was tails. Mario tossed a pair of tennis balls to Lani.

"Here we go!" Lani cried,

Lani tossed a ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball flew down the middle of the court and bounced just outside the left service zone. "Fault." Mario called as the middle bomb with legs that was behind Peach exploded.

Lani tossed the second ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stroke that made it go out of Peach's reach. "Feeling good!" Lani cried,

"15-Love." Mario called as he tossed two more tennis balls to Lani.

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stroke. This time, Peach got the ball through a hard slice stroke. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stoke. Peach dived for the ball, but she missed. Lani hummed happily.

"30-Love." Mario called,

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit the ball with a hard slice stroke. Peach swung her racket to hit it, but she missed. "40-Love." Mario called as he gave two more tennis balls to Lani.

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stroke. This time, Peach got the ball through a hard slice stroke. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stoke. Peach dived for the ball, but she missed. "I did it!" Lani cried as she spun around,

"Game, Lani." Mario called,


"Change court." Mario called as both competitors switched sides. He then gave Peach two tennis balls.

"Thank you, Mario." Peach said as she walked to her side's baseline.

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Lani returned it with a hard volley. Peach hit the ball back with a hard topspin shot. Lani could not get the ball back. "Nice!" Peach cried happily as she jumped up,

"15-Love." Mario called,

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Lani returned it with a hard slice shot. Peach dived for the ball, but she missed. Lani laughed gleefully. "15-All." Mario called as he gave Peach two more tennis balls.

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Lani returned it with another hard slice shot. Peach dived for the ball, but she missed yet again. Lani cried, "Are you OK, princess?"

"I'll be all right." Peach replied, "Thank you for asking."

"15-30." Mario called,

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Lani returned it with a hard slice shot. Peach managed to return the ball with a quick volley. Lani then hit a hard topspin shot that made the ball go out of Peach's reach. Lani hummed happily.

"15-40." Mario called as he gave Peach two more tennis balls.

"You can do it, Lani!" Bridget cried from the stands, "This set is all you!"

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Lani returned it with a hard topspin shot. Peach dived for the ball, but she missed once again. The Love Tennis Club cheered for their teammate as the rest of the crowd simply clapped.

"Game & Set, Lani." Mario called,


Lani sat on her bench. She looked at the sky and thought, "Grandpa... If you are watching me, I want to let you know that I am making you proud... Not only as princess, not only as your granddaughter, but as the new queen of Laguna Island. Please watch over me as I finish this match, win the Mushroom Cup and complete the final trial to become queen."

"Hey..." Someone said, "Are you OK?"

Lani gasped as she looked at the speaker. It was Princess Peach. "Oh... Princess Peach," Lani cried, "You startled me!"

"I'm sorry..." Peach apologized

"It's OK." Lani chuckled,

"I just noticed you looked up at the sky sadly." Peach said, "What's on your mind?"

Lani answered her question by asking another, saying, "Are you happy ruling the Mushroom Kingdom?"

"Why, yes." Peach answered, "At times, I do feel it is in turmoil when Bowser kidnaps me. But... I'm happy to have Mario around to come and save me."

She then asked Lani, "Why do you ask?"

"I'm not really supposed to tell you, but..." Lani said, somewhat worried, "Our little tribe in Laguna Island hold tennis match trials in order to ascend the throne. This is only restricted for those who are related to the king by blood."

"I see... And this King Jaran is related to you by blood?" Peach asked,

"Yes." Lani answered, "He's my grandpa. He consults the spirits of Laguna Island to determine the exact goals of the trials. The Love Tennis Club came in when I finished the first trial. I'm happy that they helped me out in the second trial, when I had to go through a doubles match. My friend, Odin, couldn't play because of an injury he took from a wild boar."

"That's awful!" Peach cried,

"I failed on the third trial which was to face a Love Tennis Club member in a singles match. I ended up losing." Lani continued, "But King Jaran told me of the fourth trial, which is to join that group and learn new things from each of my newfound friends. I have completed that and now this final match serves as the fifth trial."

"Win the Mushroom Cup..." Peach started to piece together, "And you become Queen of Laguna Island!"

"That's right!" Lani cried, but her expression began to change, "But... What if I have to deal with another trial?"

"Huh?" Peach began to feel concerned.

"I've gone through a lot to get to where I am today." Lani said, "I've always thought that anything good can happen. But, what if I have to go through one more trial to become queen? And even then... What if I do not like the crown that I wear?"

"You're not sure if you're going to like the outcome?" Peach asked,

Lani nodded and then thought, "Didn't Emily ask this question to me?"

Peach said, "I had to deal with a lot of difficulties, too. Before I became a princess and even now. But, I am still a happy person because I have Mario and his friends to watch over me... To keep me safe from Bowser."

"I'm glad that I heard your story, Lani." Peach continued, "I know it's been a struggle for you and I fully support you in this quest. I'll put a good word to this King Jaran to let you become queen... Regardless of today's outcome."

"You will?" Lani cried,

Peach nodded and then said, "But I would like to see more from you..."

Lani nodded and then said, "I promise!"


After the ten minute break, both players stepped back on the court. Mario climbed back up on the umpire's chair. When he sat down, Mario tossed to Lani a pair of tennis balls.

Lani tossed a ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball hit the net. "Fault." Mario called,

Lani tossed the second ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit it back to Peach with a topspin shot. Peach then hit the ball with a hard slice stroke. Both players engaged in a baseline rally.

"Both princesses are really into it." Emily commented from the stands

"Their baseline strokes on ball look like they're passing to each other from basket to basket!" Bridget commented, "They just don't miss!"

Finally, Lani did a hard topspin shot that was wide enough for Peach to miss it. "15-Love." Mario called as he gave Lani two tennis balls.

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit it back to Peach with a topspin shot. The ball whizzed past a diving Peach. "30-Love." Mario called,

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Peach returned the ball back with another short volley. Lani hit it back to Peach with another topspin shot. The ball whizzed past a diving Peach and she missed again. "40-Love." Mario called as he gave Lani two more tennis balls.

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a hard topspin shot that Lani could not reach, even when she jumped. "OK!" Peach happily cried as she jumped

"40-15." Mario called,

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit it back to Peach with a topspin shot. Peach then hit the ball with a hard slice stroke. Both players engaged in a baseline rally. Finally, Lani mistimed a shot and the ball flew into the crowd. "Out." Mario called,

Lani grumbled as she got two more tennis balls from Mario. "40-30." Mario called,

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a hard topspin shot. Lani hit the ball with a hard stroke of her own, but she applied too much which sent the ball... "Out." Mario called, seeing where the ball go out of bounds.

"Happens." Lani cheerfully said with her tongue sticking out

"Deuce." Mario called as he tossed two more tennis balls to Lani.

Lani tossed a ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball flew down the middle of the court and bounced just outside the left service zone. "Fault." Mario called as the middle bomb with legs that was behind Peach exploded.

Lani grumbled, tossed the second ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stroke that made it go out of Peach's reach. "Feeling good!" Lani cried,

"Advantage, Lani." Mario called as he tossed two more tennis balls to her.

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with another hard topspin shot that Lani could not reach, even when she jumped. "Nice!" Peach happily cried as she jumped

"Deuce again." Mario called,

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stroke that made it go out of Peach's reach. "Advantage, Lani." Mario called as he tossed two more tennis balls to her.

Lani tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Peach returned the ball back with a short volley. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stroke. This time, Peach got the ball through a hard slice stroke. Lani hit the ball with a hard topspin stoke. Peach dived for the ball, but she missed. "I did it!" Lani cried as she spun around,

"Game, Lani." Mario called,


"Change court." Mario called as both competitors switched sides. He then gave Peach two tennis balls.

"Thank you, Mario." Peach said as she walked to her side's baseline.

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Lani hit it with a hard topspin shot that was well out of reach for the diving Peach. "Love-15." Mario called,

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Lani swung her racket to get the ball, but she missed. "Nice!" Peach cried happily and jumped up

"15-All." Mario called as he gave two more tennis balls to Peach

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Lani hit it with a hard topspin shot that was well out of reach for the diving Peach. She missed the ball again as a result. "15-30." Mario called,

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Lani returned the ball back with a short volley. Peach hit it back to Lani with a topspin shot. Lani then hit the ball with a hard slice stroke. Both players engaged in a baseline rally.

"That little girl is really in control!" Amorette admitted, "How come I didn't play as good as her when I faced the princess?"

"She remained in control for the battle, which is something you lack." Toshi answered,

"I lack control?" Amorette cried out, "I was perfectly in control!"

"You lack control in your emotions." Toshi replied, in a calm and collective manner "Lani may have doubts and we heard from her through this tournament, but she knew very well that she is keeping them in line and not distracting her. I don't know what was going through her head, but she is not letting that hurt her."

Amorette then thought, "Toshi's right... I've been focusing so much on me making amends with the Toads that I forgot that I shouldn't let it affect me. He spoke those words like a true samurai. I don't know why, but... I'm in love with him..."

Finally, Lani hit a hard stroke that made the ball elude Peach. "15-40." Mario called as he gave Peach two more tennis balls.

The crowd clapped briefly and in a rhythm. Lani knew it means something. She looked up and said, "Championship Point."

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the left service zone. Lani returned it with a hard volley. Peach hit the ball back with a hard topspin shot. Lani hit the ball over to Peach through a hard topspin shot. Not did it miss Peach, but it also went... "Out." Mario called as he saw the ball bounce out of bounds.

"Aww..." Lani cried, somewhat upset.

"30-40." Mario called,

"Come on, Lani!" Emily cried,

"You can it put it away here!" Hugo hollered,

Peach tossed the ball up and hit it with her racket. The ball bounced inside the right service zone. Lani returned it with a hard slice shot. Peach dived for the ball, but she missed. The crowd erupted like a volcano. "Yay! It worked!" Lani cried,

"Game, Set & Match, Lani." Mario called,

Lani started to drop her body to the floor, stomach-side up. She began to tear up and cry. She screamed, "I did it! I won! I can't believe it! I passed the trial!"

Peach, instead of tripping over, falling and crying, "Oh no. I lost...", was clapping for Lani. She thought, "I'm so proud of her... She won!" She began to tear up herself. She ran right to Lani, picked her up and gave her a big hug.


Shortly afterwards, a trophy was being presented on the court. It was a simple gold trophy with a picture of a mushroom on the outside. Lani lifted up the trophy as everyone in the stadium cheered for her. She then placed it down and called for all of Love Tennis friends over for a photo op.

Hugo, Emily, Troy, Bridget, Colin, Amorette, Toshi, Fong, Sam, Rolf, Zeta, Suzuki and Gloria went in the court to join Lani for a quick photo spread. "OK, guys!" A Toad holding a camera cried, "Say Koopa!"

"Koopa!" Everyone cried before... CLICK!

Lani made her mark in the Mushroom Kingdom. Not only that, she has represented the Love Tennis Club to a major degree. She also fulfilled her destiny to become Queen of Laguna Island. The Bright-eyed Tropical Queen, Lani is the Mushroom Cup champion!


A/N: And that concludes the Mushroom Cup chapter of the Love Tennis Saga! Stay tuned as the Flower Cup opens and more backstories featuring the Love Tennis Club start to unfold.