Chapter 1: Destinies and Plots

Two weeks ago, the Love Tennis Club were invited over to the Mushroom Kingdom to compete in a series of tournaments. From there followed a series of issues that some of the members were facing as well as the matches themselves.

The movie actor-turned-tennis star, named Colin, was facing a problem. He felt that nobody from the Mushroom Kingdom recognized him at all, despite being famous on Earth. Luckily, a female Toad, named Toadette, asked for his autograph. He gave it to her and felt happy that he has at least one fan that adores him.

Despite the one-sided defeat to Princess Peach, his fanbase grew exponentially. Of course, this was much to the annoyance of Fong, Sam and later on, Rolf. Rolf, out of everyone in the Love Tennis Club, spoke out about Colin's obssession about his fanbase. Colin would shut him up about it. Rolf eventually accepted Colin's love for his fans, because it was something that Colin liked.

Toshi, the Famed Sensei of Lawn Tennis, was practicing his racket swings like a samurai before his match with Yoshi. But, when he inadvertently sliced a falling cherry blossom from a cherry tree, his mind started to become clouded with doubt. He was not sure if he will do good against Yoshi the next day.

He would lose to Yoshi, but everything he felt from his mind before then would be erased. He spoke to both Hugo and Troy about his distractions during the match. He then opened up on how much strong he grew since the days he still resided at Shiranui Castle.

Lately, though... Toshi was seen interacting with the Elegant Countess of Tennis, Amorette. One day, she was being rude to a waiter Toad at the resort's buffet restaurant. So much so that he grew angry at her. He told a Toad, who is an elite tennis player of his kind. The Toad grew angry at Amorette as well.

Amorette defeated Toad in her quarterfinal match, but she felt unsatisfied and unhappy. She felt that way after Toad had said that he will never forgive her for what she had done to his waiter friend. She eventually apologized to the Toad waiter and gave him a Victor Mushroom as a gift. The waiter Toad forgave Amorette and he became friends with her.

Amorette played her semifinal match against Princess Peach and was subsequently defeated. She felt sad for a bit, but after a trip to the hilltop filled with cherry trees, she was happy as a clam. The Toad that played Amorette apologized to her for his angry behaviour. She forgave him and they both talked. Toad believed that Amorette and Toshi were meant to be. At first, Amorette brushed it off, but eventually, especially in the Mushroom Cup final, she grew to be much more fond of Toshi.

Lani, the Bright-eyed Tropical Princess, headed into the Mushroom Cup as the youngest competitor to enter the tournament. She was also undergoing her tribe's traditional tennis trials to ascend the throne. She went through four of them, with only one failure, heading in to what is to be her final trial: Winning the Mushroom Cup.

She went through a hard-fought first match against Paratroopa and defeated him. She became friendly to him after the match finished. He was happy that he made a new friend.

Lani met JJ and caught up on things. He believes that Lani will win the Mushroom Cup. At the same time, Lani grew fond of JJ's cheerfulness. Lani never had friends outside her tribe and the Love Tennis Club, so it was good to see that the friendship is bonding between them.

Lani, in her semi-final match, defeated Yoshi. He was sad at first, but because of Lani's infectious cheerfulness, the green dinosaur became happy and let her ride on him.

Just like Toshi, Lani started to have doubts. She was worried that she may not like her new place as Queen of Laguna Island. Likewise, she may have endure another trial. She opened up to Emily, Bridget and Princess Peach. The girls reassured Lani that everything will be fine and she will make a good queen.

That became reality when Lani defeated Peach in the final and won the Mushroom Cup, becoming the youngest champion to win the title. The trophy she had won is proof enough that she is worthy of the throne upon her return home.

Suzuki and Gloria were a mismatch to begin with. Gloria did not like Suzuki's silly antics on the court. Despite their 'strange' relationship, they soundly defeated the team of Yoshi and Baby Mario and the team of Daisy and Birdo in their first two matches.

Gloria felt unhappy when she saw Daisy cry after their match. Suzuki knew he was mistreated by Gloria, but never openly admitted it... Until he saw Gloria at the balcony of her hotel room. Gloria eventually apologized for the way she acted and vowed to work well with Suzuki in their finals match.

Their opponent is the team of Boo and Wario. Their potshots at Gloria's face made her irate that she almost lost her temper. Despite that near outburst, Suzuki and Gloria won the match and the Mushroom Cup.

One week ago, the Flower Cup commenced and five members of the Love Tennis Club were engaged and ready.

Samantha Miller, the Queen of Perfection who is the former president of the Dubno Company and current Central Phoenix champion, was easily ousted by Luigi. She did not take the loss personally unlike the time that she was defeated at the Central Phoenix tournament by Rolf. She enjoyed her time at the resort, and to start, she ate at an "a la carte" restaurant along with Amorette and Zeta.

When Luigi gave Sam his green cap, she knew that her father, the chairman of the Dubno Company, has his birthday coming up. She wanted to buy him clothing, but the resort's clothing store only carry Mario and Luigi's trademark overalls in his size. After a conversation with Ashley, a fashion design pedigree, Sam reconsidered and bought a pair of overalls and a matching green shirt. She hopes her father will like what she gave him.

Speaking of Amorette, she successfully confessed her love to Toshi. However, she was turned down because Toshi is seeing Momoko, but he did not mention Momoko's name to Amorette. She remained sad and distressed, but she controlled her emotions since Toshi said that the two shall remain friends.

Fong, the Devoted Tennis Disciple of the Tianlongshan Dojo in China, defeated Baby Mario. The two became fast friends. But, after Fong's defeat at the hands of Luigi, he lashed out at Baby Mario. He realized, with a bit of help from Toshi and Momoko, that he never took care of a child before. He apologized to Baby Mario for mistreating him and vowed to work with children in his dojo.

Bridget, captain of the Jocksford University's cheerleading squad, was easily dispatched by Princess Daisy of Sarasaland. She was sad at first, but she did not let the loss bother her. She remained happy as a clam, despite her Jocksford team captains, Kobe and Jason, arriving late and missing her tennis match.

Troy, the tennis prodigy from the Nakagawa Tennis Club, was taunted by Waluigi. The two would engage in a rivalry that was thought to end as Troy easily defeated Waluigi. Knowing Waluigi, according to the Toads, he is not prone to giving up so easily.

Troy boasted on about winning that he even mentioned about getting a potential girlfriend upon winning the Flower Cup. He made it to the final after defeating Princess Daisy.

The rivalry between Troy and Waluigi got ugly when Waluigi used both Kobe and Jason to demoralize Troy. Waluigi took it a step further and attacked Bridget. Troy was ordered to drop out of the Flower Cup tournament by Waluigi, or risk having Bridget killed. Kobe and Jason discovered that they were double-crossed and fought Waluigi so that both Troy and Bridget could escape.

Troy confessed his love for Bridget before his match against Luigi. He easily won the first set. During the break, Troy was informed by the injured Kobe and Jason that Waluigi could strike at any time. Troy became aware, but brushed it off. He would go on and defeat Luigi.

Just before Troy could claim his trophy, Waluigi stepped in and challenged him to a rematch. However, someone attacked Waluigi. Troy was surprised to see Bridget, alive and well. She confessed her love for Troy and they both embraced. Troy would lift up his trophy with high confidence.

The Helghast soldier was partnered with a Shy Guy. It may seem like they were a mismatch, since they are both from different worlds. However, those rumors were put to rest after they dominated in beating the team of Luigi and Princess Daisy and the team of Baby Mario and Donkey Kong.

The Shy Guy witnessed the incident between Troy and Waluigi and went to his Helghast teammate. At first, the Helghast soldier brushed it off, but he would reconsider as their finals opponent would be the team of Waluigi and Paratroopa.

The Helghast soldier and the Shy Guy were dominant over the Vile Tall Man and the Koopa Troopa with wings. They won the Flower Cup as a result.

Now, it is time for the Star Cup, and four more entrants are itching to step up. Who will take home the title on the grass court?

The Love Tennis Club crowded around the tournament board in the Tennis Village courtyard. Soon, the tournament board turned on like a TV. There were gasps, cheers and groans.

Hugo, Emily, Rolf and Zeta stepped forward to find their names as contenders in Singles play for the Star Cup.

Hugo and Emily looked on in awe as they saw who their first opponents are. Hugo said, "I get to take on that crazy soldier's buddy, Shy Guy..."

"Who is Bowser?" Emily asked of her opponent,

A scared Toad answered, "You don't know who Bowser is?"

Emily shook her head. "Bowser is the terrible King of Koopas!" The Toad cried, "He's even more vile than Wario and Waluigi could ever be! He's also really powerful! You better watch out for his vicious serve! He'll destroy you before the match is over!"

Emily then thought, "I might have to play this match cautiously..."

Rolf looked at his opponent. "Wario, huh?" He said, "I will make quick work of him."

"You shouldn't underestimate Wario, Rolf." Gloria said, "Suzuki and I saw what he brought to the court."

"I'm powerful in my shots as well." Rolf mused, "He will not be a threat to me."

"I'm just warning you." Gloria reminded before looking at the doubles bracket. Once again, she was teamed up with Suzuki. She mused at her first opponents. "What big gorillas they are..." Gloria said,

"They are Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong, Jr." Suzuki said, "It'll be our first time facing them."

"That weak ape cannot do a thing on the court!" The Helghast soldier bragged, "I've beaten him before."

"Well, look who's talking, Mr.-I'm-a-man-in-a-metal-suit!" Gloria taunted,

"I should shoot you right now!" The Helghast soldier bellowed

"Go ahead!" Gloria yelled

They both growled. Suzuki stepped between them and cried, "Enough already!"

He then looked up at the bracket. He gasped when he saw the Helghast soldier and his Shy Guy teammate has a bye period. He growled at the Helghast soldier, "We will meet in the final!"

"Bring it on..." The Helghast soldier seethed

Zeta looked at the singles bracket. She was musing at who is her first opponent. "So, I am to face the legendary Mario... I cannot wait for this match to unfold... I want to see how good he truly is..."

She then turned to the crowd. "Well, then..." She said, "Those who will not take part on the Star Cup, don't fret. I will take the time to say that you all have done marvelously during our stay here in the Mushroom Kingdom. In the meantime, why don't you have fun while you're here in the Tennis Village?"

Everyone cheered.

Rolf took a moment to walk around the resort. He looked around and thought, "This resort is not much to look at. I feel the need to prepare for my match with Wario..."

Rolf went back to his hotel room he is sharing with Colin and Fong to get his tennis bag. After he acquired his gear, he went to use the training courts on the eastern end of the resort.

He thought, "My serve is good, but I noticed that Wario's serve is lethal. I want to see if I can match him in his serving game..."

Rolf grabbed a few tennis balls from his bag. He placed them on the baseline. He then grabbed a racket from his bag. He picked up a tennis ball and bounced it twice on the court.

He tossed one up and smacked it with his racket. The ball zoomed and bounced inside the left service box. "91 miles an hour." A Toad attendant said, after calculating the ball's speed, "That's pretty good, Rolf... If that's your name."

"Hmph." Rolf simply replied,

He tossed another ball up and smacked it with his racket. The ball zoomed and bounced inside the right service box. "94 miles an hour." The Toad attendant said,

Rolf sighed. "You know..." The Toad attendant said, "Wario's flat serve is quite fast, marked at an average of 103 miles an hour. Of course, that doesn't match Bowser's average flat serve speed at 118 miles an hour."

Rolf continued his serving practice. He continually tried his hardest to match or surpass Wario's average serving speed, but so far, none of his serves came anywhere near that total. Rolf got more angry as he kept missing his mark. His frustration made a number of serves go outside the service boxes or hit the net.

Finally, on the last tennis ball, Rolf tossed it up and smashed it with his racket. The ball zoomed and bounced inside the left service box. "105 miles an hour!" The Toad attendant exclaimed, "Wow, Rolf... I think you're going to be a challenge for Wario now."

Rolf said to the Toad, "Well... He will be nothing once I beat him."

"Sounds like you're ready." The Toad attendant said,

Rolf simply nodded. He knows that whenever he is on the tennis court, he commands the match as if he is a general of a country's military forces. He is also sure that come tomorrow, this philosophy will not change.

Meanwhile, outside a tennis stadium that resembled a dome, Hugo and Emily were looking at it in awe. "Well... This is it, huh?" Hugo said,

"It definitely is." Emily replied, "We have gone through so many years of playing tennis and look where we are... We are both playing in the most prestigious tournament in the tennis world. I feel like it is destiny that we are both in the Star Cup."

"Can't agree with you more." Hugo replied,

Emily sighed happily and then giggled. Hugo then spoke, "Hey, Emily."

"Yes, Hugo?" Emily asked as she turned to face him

"Are you going to be OK against this Bowser guy tomorrow?" Hugo asked,

"I'm not so sure..." Emily said, "I have played a match against anyone that big and powerful like him. I know I should be cautious, but I want to play an aggressive match as well."

"I see, to match his strength, yeah?" Hugo said

Emily nods, and then she asked, "That Shy Guy did pretty well with that Helghast nut in the last tournament. Are you going to be OK?"

"Oh, sure." Hugo said, with a hint of cockiness, "The guy that small can't stand up to my net play! He may be lethal at the net, but I'll make him falter through my fast strokes. He will drop faster than a drop shot."

Emily giggled and then complimented, "Oh, Hugo! You're so funny sometimes!"

Hugo chuckled and gasped when Emily pulled him close. "I want to make a promise to you... And you to me. Let's both defeat our opponents and have one of us win the Star Cup. If we're lucky, we could take on Mario in the process."

"A-Are you sure?" Hugo nervously asked

"Why not?" Emily asked,

"What if one of us loses at some point in the tournament?" Hugo asked,

"The person who won will continue to honour the promise." Emily said,

"But what if we both fail?" Hugo asked again,

"Well... We can only hope that Rolf and Zeta can win the Star Cup." Emily said, "But... Are you OK by those terms?"

"Umm..." Hugo began. He knew it was risky and uncertain. They both wanted to have a match with Mario when Zeta reported to them that the Love Tennis Club is heading to the Mushroom Kingdom. But, entering the same tournament with the man everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom adores and his girlfriend, complicates matters.

In the end, he said, "I promise."

"Let's kiss on it." Emily suggested,

"Er... Sure." Hugo replied and then he and Emily slowly leaned towards each other for a kiss.

Just then, they both heard, "Hey, guys."

Hugo and Emily both gasped and faced their speaker. "Am I interrupting something?" A Toad passerby asked,

Hugo chuckled and said, "Nothing... Important."

Emily said, "We just made a promise to each other."

"Ah... OK." The Toad said. As much as he wanted to know what that promise was, he knew that it was not only none of his business, but it was not what he was there for. "I wanted to tell you that our hard court stadium has an attraction now."

"Oh, really?" Emily said, "And what will that be?"

"It is the 'Ring Shot' game." The Toad said, "There will be rings placed on one end of the court. Two players on each end of the court must keep a rally going and at the same time, the ball might go through the rings. The rules vary for each version of Ring Shot. Tennis rules apply, of course. Why don't you both give it try?"

"Sure..." Hugo said, "We can try that."

"In fact, we're just on our way there now!" Emily nervously giggled

"OK." The Toad said, "See you both there." He then left

Hugo then suggested, "Why don't we shake on our promise instead? That way, we don't look too... Um..."

"Conspicuous?" Emily finished and then she said, "OK, that's a good idea." She then shook hands with Hugo.

She thought, "His hand is so warm... I can almost imagine what he must feel like..."

They both released their grip on their hands. Hugo said, "Let's head off into the hard court stadium. I feel like hitting some balls through the rings!"

Emily nodded and they both headed on their way. She smiled knowing that she and Hugo are embarking on another rough journey together, only this time, it's for spreading their own joy to the Mushroom Kingdom.

That night, Zeta, in her neon black and purple outfit, watched over the resort. She said, "This will be a delightful tournament to watch... I will be very interested in seeing how it goes... Isn't that right, King Bowser?"

A giant spiked-shelled turtle with giant spiked bracelets on his arms, red hair and horns on his head replied, "I couldn't agree more, Zeta..."

"When I heard you established this club and enlisted members, just for the sake of dominating the tennis world..." Bowser said, "I couldn't help but laugh! Bwah, hah, hah, hah!"

"Indeed." Zeta agreed, "And I have a new challenger in the midst..."

"Mario, huh?" Bowser said, "I would have been happy to destroy him in a match once and for all! But, you being pitted against him is better! I want nothing less than Mario being crushed by one of us!"

"Well... We'll get our wish, King Bowser." Zeta said, "Right now, I have to focus on my match with Mario. You have your own match to worry about."

"Ah, yes." Bowser said, "Emily... One of the founding members of your club... 'Ms. All Smiles' herself... I'm gonna destroy her and she'll be 'Ms. All Frowns'! Bwah, hah, hah, hah!"

Zeta couldn't help but laugh evilly herself. She knows that she will be the one that defeats Mario. If Bowser is lucky, he will take out both Emily and then Hugo. And if Zeta loses and Mario defeats either Rolf or Wario, Bowser will end his streak of defeat to the legendary plumber in red...