"So...this is it huh?" Luigi, Parch and Todd stared up at the large ruins in front of them, the tallest of the group slightly shaking. "And there are lots of bandits in there..." Luigi shivered before taking a deep breath. He had already left most of his valuables back at the hotel, stashing it in a special place. The only things he had that could possibly have value were the Keyblade, Crystal Shard and the Adventure Pouch Rosalina gave him, which contained the map. He just had to make sure that he had all of his stuff on him when the fight was over. Taking another deep breath, Luigi nodded. "All right guys, let's go."
Entering the ruins, Luigi noted the torches glowing on the walls, as well as the strange engravings around them reaching deep down into the darkening temple. Most of the torches were inside the mouths of these strange sculptures, their eyes overshadowed and giving Luigi a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. Urging his trembling legs into the temple, Luigi silently mused to himself as the group quietly walked down the long passageway. He didn't know how Mario did it, but he would always go through these temples like it was no big deal. Never stopping to calm himself, he would always leap into a dark, scary building as if it were lined with candy.
Luigi stopped as the group entered a large room, and looking down, they noticing a clearing with a torch in the center. Strange...
"Hey Luigi! Look!" The plumber looked a little to the left of the torch to see Todd already next to the torch, staring at it in curiosity. "I wonder what this is for?" The Toad said walking around the torch. Luigi and Parch walked over to the torch as well, Luigi staring at the flame for a moment. Torches that were oddly placed usually had something to do with secret passageways or were keys to finding treasure. There was something else that he was forgetting...what was it? Todd picked up the torch, gasping as a loud rumbling started to shake the room and its inhabitants. Luigi looked up, his eyes widening.
Oh yeah, they were used for traps too.
A large tremor knocked the three to the ground, Luigi looking up to see orbs of black and purple appear before being replaced by Heartless. "Heads up guys!" Slowly making it to his feet, Luigi noticed Todd still had the torch in his hand. "TODD! PUT THE TORCH BACK!" Luigi shouted, falling back to the ground just in time to miss a bandit's sword swing. When the torch was back in place, the tremors stopped. Luigi and the others quickly made it back to their feet again before turning to face their enemies, quickly finding themselves to be surrounded. Luigi began to back away, his face turning paler and paler before he bumped into Parch and Todd. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Luigi brandished the Keyblade, holding it unsteadily in front of him. "Well, looks like we don't have much of a choice at this point, do we guys?" Todd took a deep breath before sliding into a martial arts stance, his legs slightly apart and his right hand in front of his body, his left hand next to his face. Parch growled as he pulled back out his hammers, smashing them together before charging into the mob of black, smashing Shadows and Bandit's left and right.
Luigi took a deep breath before slowly letting it out and running forward as well, jumping and slamming the keyblade right onto a Bandit's sword, the resounding CLANG resonating in Luigi's ears. The taller and stronger plumber easily pushed the small Bandit back, swinging the two connected weapons to the side. Luigi quickly spun around and knocked the Heartless' feet out from under it before punting the Bandit like a Koopa shell into a group of enemies. Todd was faring much better than he thought he would, easily dodging swipes and lunges from the Heartless before smashing them in the face or the back with swift, powerful strikes, shouting out his Kinai with each attack.
"Hey! This is actually pretty easy!" Todd laughed as he turned towards Luigi and Parch, who suddenly turned to Todd with horrified looks on their faces. "What? You guys look like you've seen a ghost!" Todd pouted to the two before noticing a large shadow had covered him. Slowly turning around, Todd found a large Heartless with a strange hat on his head wearing a purple outfit. The Large Body smacked its stomach before a glow suddenly appeared around his body. Rearing its legs back, the Large Body suddenly jumped forward, Todd's eyes shrinking.
"WATCH OUT!" Luigi shouted, shoving Todd out of the way before looking up at the large, glowing Heartless. The plumber was flung backwards through a wall, Todd and Parch shouting after him before getting mobbed by more Heartless. The Large Body looked around, confused as to where his enemy had disappeared to while Luigi groaned in pain. "That...urgh...really hurt..." The plumber groaned as he tried to sit up. A glow caught his attention however, and turning, Luigi found a strange device on a pedestal. Looking around the strange hidden room, Luigi slowly walked over to the pedestal, picking up the strange device. It was a very light shade of blue with a few buttons on it and a small screen. Looking at the screen, Luigi saw words materialize.
"Thank you?" Luigi read the words aloud. "I don't get it..." Luigi scratched his head before hearing the screams of pain coming from the previous room. "Oh no, TODD! PARCH!" Luigi shouted as he ran back out into the room. He skid to an abrupt halt, his eyes widening as more Large Bodies had appeared, Todd and Parch lying on the ground, still trying to put up a fight. Luigi glared at the Heartless, his legs not listening to his commands. "Dammit, I gotta help them!" The frightened Plumber bit his bottom lip, drawing blood and forcing himself to move. A loud beeping sound caught not only the Keyblade-wielder's attention, but everyone else in the room. Looking back down into his hand, Luigi found he was still holding the strange device. The Keyblade-wielder saw that the screen had changed, showing another message.
'Let me help you!'
The screen suddenly flashed a blindingly bright green, the beeping sound screaming louder and louder before a loud rumbling voice suddenly erupted from in front of Luigi.
"LUIGI! Your courage has given me the strength to help you!"
Luigi looked in front of himself only to stare wide-eyed as a large, orange Dinosaur with blue stripes and a brown skull helmet stood between him and the Heartless. "What? Wha-who...who are you!?" Luigi shouted in confusion. The Dinosaur turned around, grinning at the plumber, revealing rows of razor sharp teeth.
"I'm Greymon! Your Courage has granted you the power to summon me from my world! I'll fight by your side until the summoning time is up!" The giant Dinosaur turned around, glaring at the Heartless surrounding Luigi's friends. "NOVA BLAST!" The large Digital Monster roared, blasting a large red and orange fireball at the Heartless, wiping out a large number of the creatures. Todd and Parch quickly ran over to Luigi, who was currently grinding his teeth.
"Luigi! I don't know how you summoned that dinosaur, but it's awesome!" Todd cheered, Parch noticing Luigi was twitching badly.
"Luigi, are you all right?" Parch questioned the plumber, Luigi glaring harder and harder at the Heartless.
"I've...gotta...hurry up and, take care of the Large Bodies!" Luigi grunted, his arms and legs tensing more and more. "HURRY GREYMON!"
"NOVA BLAST!" The Large Digimon roared, blasting another fireball at another Large Body, obliterating the Heartless before turning to the last Large Body. Lifting up a large foot, Greymon suddenly began flashing a light large dinosaur roared, slamming the last Large Body with his tail before disappearing in a beam of light, shooting back to the Digivice in Luigi's hand. Luigi suddenly gasped as he fell to the floor.
"Luigi? What happened!?" Parch asked in shock, the plumber rasping in pain. Luigi slowly looked up, noticing that Greymon was able to finish off the last of the Heartless in the room.
"When I...summoned Greymon...I...couldn't...move...an inch..." Luigi wheezed, slowly being helped back to his feet and over to a wall where the plumber plopped down, taking deep breaths. "I could barely talk, and my arms and legs felt like hundred pound weights each!" Luigi sighed, finally regaining his breath. He turned to Parch, pointing to the Dry Bones and then to his pouch. "The Honey Syrup you have, can I...?"
"Huh? Oh! Yeah! Sure!" Parch spun around, pulling out a small bottle of Honey Syrup before handing it to the plumber, Luigi chugging the bottle before wiping his mouth and sighing in relief.
"Phew, I can feel my arms and legs again..." the plumber stood up before turning to Todd and Parch. Lifting up his Keyblade, Luigi's eyes furrowed, concentrating on the evil energy surrounding the group. "CURE!" He shouted, a light green glow surrounding the group, small cuts and scrapes disappearing within seconds. Todd's eyes widened as he felt his fatigue fade away. Parch, whose bones had begun to crack, grinned as they were healed, looking just as they had before.
"COOL!" Todd stared at Luigi with shiny eyes. "You're amazing Luigi! How did you do that?" Luigi scratched the back of his head nervously.
"Uh, trade secret!" The plumber smiled sympathetically to the face-planted Toad on the ground, shivering slightly as another cold chill raced down his spine. "C-Come on, we better get moving again, you never know w-when-
Luigi, Todd and Parch all turned around, only to pale as more Heartless began appearing in the room. "More will show up..." He groaned. "RUN!" Luigi shouted as he snatched the two and began bolting out of the room, a swarm of heartless right on their tails. Ducking into another hallway, the trio gasped as the mob of heartless ran down the hall, passing the three by. Breathing sighs of relief, the group continued on into the temple.
"Aaaahhh...nothing makes me feel better than staring at a priceless jewel..." A giant blue Pokey cooed to itself as it stared at a strange crystal in a glass case. "Just the sight of this beauty makes me shiver...BWAHAHAHAHAAA!"
"I TOLD YOU NEVER CALL ME THAT!" The blue pokey glared at the bandit that was now part of the wall. The snake-like cactus slithered over to the pale bandit, poison dripping from his spikes. "I AM KING POKEY! THE GREATEST, MOST POISONOUS BANDIT LEADER OF ALL TIME! DO NOT REFER TO ME AS IF I WERE A VIDEO GAME CHARACTER!" The spiky creature boomed.
"But boss'mon! I can't talk any other way'mon! It's a speech problem, mon!"
"JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON'T EVER CALL ME THAT AGAIN!"
"My bad boss'mon." The bandit bowed to the leader.
"Now what is it?" The pokey grumbled as he returned to his treasure.
"Some strange people'mon! They took out your shadow guys'mon!"
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY TOOK OUT MY HEARTLESS MINIONS?" King Pokey roared as he slammed the bandit into the wall once more. "HEARTLESS!" Numerous creatures began to appear before the King, appearing from the ground or the air as they headed their leader's call. "FIND THE ONES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS! DESTROY THEM!" He bellowed, the creatures disappearing.
"It would be wise not to overuse the power of darkness...King Pokey." The giant blue cactus turned around to see a small, robed figure standing at the entrance to the Treasure Room.
"Bah! I am not foolish enough to be consumed by the power of Darkness!" The tall cactus hissed at the small figure. The bandit that was still stuck in the wall hit the ground before shaking his head and looking up at the small robed man. He was smaller than the bandit and wore a long black coat that hung from his small frame, two beady yellow eyes glowing from inside the hood. He didn't seem very scary...but he kind of looked like a Shadow. The robed figure suddenly turned to the Bandit, his yellow eyes glowing brighter.
The Bandit hit the wall, frantically trying to backpedal away from the monster that hid underneath the coat. "ENOUGH!" King Pokey boomed, the coated figure turning away from the quivering Bandit. "I won't have you terrifying my minions! What business did you have with me, other than to warn me?" A wicked laughter broke out from the cloaked figure's hood.
"Warriors gather to the hall of gold, wielding great strength. Should you lose yourself to the Darkness, your fate shall forever be sealed, and your greatest desire laid waste..." The cloaked figure suddenly began melding into the ground, his laughter echoing throughout the Treasure Room. "Beware the Keyblade King Pokey...Beware..."
The two remaining in the room stared at the spot the cloaked figure disappeared at, nothing remaining. Nine torches suddenly whisped away, leaving only a single torch to keep the room lit. A shiver crossed King Pokey's spine, the large cactus glaring at the entrance.
"I will not be defeated!" He bellowed, the last torch flickering out.
"HOW THE HELL D-D-DID THEY F-F-FIND US AGAIN!?" A distraught plumber shouted as he ran down another hallway, carrying his two companions. A rather large group of Heartless were chasing them down the hall.
"Umm...I think it was when Todd started playing with that gem on the pedestal..." Parch mumbled, scratching his head in embarrassment.
"I'M SORRY! IT JUST LOOKED REALLY PRETTY!" Todd cried out in disdain, tears streaming down his eyes.
"DAMMIT T-TODD! YOU'RE W-WORSE THAN I AM WHEN IT COMES TO SETTING OFF T-T-T-TRAPS!" Luigi stammered, tears flying off his face as a bandit's sword shot past him. "EYYAA!"
Turning down another hallway, Luigi skid to a halt, his face paling as he came face to face with a dead end. "Oh nononononono...n-n-not n-n-now!" He dropped his two friends and began searching around the wall for a secret door or something that would get them out of the mess they would be in shortly.
"Luigi! Why not try and call Greymon out again!?" Todd asked, hope in his eyes. Luigi shook his head rapidly.
"I c-can't! I don't know how in the world I summoned him in the f-first place! Not to mention I couldn't move! And b-b-besides, the hallways are t-too small for him to fit in here!" Luigi turned his head before suddenly sneezing. "DAMMIT! WHY THE HELL IS IT SO COLD IN HERE!?" He shouted as he began rubbing his arms, shivering. Parch and Todd looked to each other before back to Luigi.
"What are you talking about? It's warm in here! Outside it's a baking desert!" Todd said confused.
"You can't seriously be cold, can you?" Parch stared at him in shock.
"F-f-f-f-f-f-f-freezing..." Luigi shivered, his face becoming paler. Looking behind them, Parch and Todd's eyes widened as the group of heartless turned the corner, now slowly closing in on their prey.
"LUIGI!" The two shouted in fear, Luigi shivering more and more.
"So...c-c-c-cold...Ah, Aaah," Luigi turned, facing the Heartless. "AAAAACHOOOO!" The heartless were buffeted by the gust of wind caused by the plumber's sneeze, two large bodies holding up an arm to shield themselves from the force of the wind. Luigi sniffled, wiping his nose as Parch and Todd stared in front of them with wide eyes.
"Remind me not to stay in front of you when you have a cold Luigi..." Parch said, Luigi looking at him confused before turning to face the group in front of them. His eyes widened as he stared at a mob of Heartless that stood frozen solid, coated in a thick block of ice. Luigi walked over to the group of Heartless before poking at a frozen Shadow, amazed as his hand slid on the solid layer of ice that surrounded the black creature. Another shiver raced along his spine, Luigi pulling away and shivering again.
"But I'm still freaking c-cold..." Luigi sniffled, rubbing his arms again, walking away from the frozen group. Parch and Todd began following after him, Luigi shivering as he let his feet guide him to wherever they were taking him. He didn't even really have an idea where in the world he was going, but his feet seemed to be leading him somewhere. It gave him a chance to idly wonder why in the world he was so cold. The first time he shivered at the entrance to the ruins he figured it was because of the idea of bandits stealing from him. But the further into the ruins that the trio went, the colder he had gotten. As Luigi rounded the seventh corner, he realized he was walking quite fast, Parch and Todd running trying to keep up with him. A strange sense of urgency was moving his legs faster and faster, Luigi suddenly feeling a familiar pull on his body. "No way...it couldn't be..." Luigi mumbled in disbelief.
"Wh-what Luigi?" Parch wheezed. He may have been a skeleton, but he still got tired. His answer was to be picked up by Luigi, the plumber grabbing Todd as well before bolting down the hall. Taking numerous sharp turns, Todd's eyes were wide as he thought they were going to crash numerous times, only for the three to stumble upon a frozen room, icicles hanging from the ceiling and stalagmites of ice protruding from the ground. Half the floor was sheer ice, while the rest of the room had snow on the ground. The group was silent as they looked around the room, Luigi slowly walking towards the back of the room, where a small crystal diamond was floating above a shrine with markings engraved around it. Picking up the Magical Prism, Luigi noticed that snow crystals were floating around the inside of the gemstone. A burst of light caused everyone in the room to shield their eyes, though when Luigi opened his eyes, he was standing on a snowy mountain. A blizzard swirled around the young man, Luigi watching in awe as the wind began to swirl around him before disappearing, leaving Luigi standing back in the icy room, which was beginning to melt now.
"Luigi! What was that!?" Todd asked as he quickly made his way over to Luigi. The plumber looked at his hands, noticing that he wasn't cold anymore. Grinning, Luigi turned around before giving a Victory pose.
"THAT was a new magic spell!" Luigi grinned.
"Does that mean you're over your cold?" Parch smirked as he jabbed Luigi in the side. The Keyblade-Wielder smirked as he bopped the Dry Bones on the head.
"Yeah yeah...that doesn't happen very often anyway. As in, that's the first time. Come on, we still need to find the Crystal Key." Luigi said as the group left the room, Todd glancing back and widening his eyes. Beautiful flowers now covered the shrine the Prism was once on, grass suddenly growing on the once frozen floor. A glowing, ethereal Star Spirit appeared above the shrine, a scarf wrapped around his smiling face. The transparent Star Spirit winked back at Todd before Luigi called back. "Come on Todd! Let's go!" Todd turned towards Luigi's voice, nodding before beginning to trot after his two friends before glancing back to see the Star Spirit was gone. In it's place was an Albino Raven with a scarf wrapped around its neck, smiling joyfully.
"I TOLD YOU NOT TO CALL ME THAT!" The giant Pokey roared.
"S-Sir!" The Bandit saluted the prickly cactus as he fell to the floor, landing on his face. Quickly getting back up, he walked over to the cactus before saluting again. "Reporting'mon! There have been reports'mon that say a guy with a sword shaped like a key is heading right for this room'mon!"
King Pokey stared wide-eyed at the bandit, a small trickle of sweat running down the side of its face. "HEARTLESS!" King Pokey croaked loudly, calling more shadowy minions. When nothing appeared, King Pokey began backing up, fear overtaking the Bandit King's face.
"THIS WAY GUYS!"
King Pokey quickly turned around to see three figures enter the room, a Toad, a Dry Bones, and a Human. A human wearing a Green hat with an 'L' inside of a white circle.
"YOU! YOU'RE A MARIO BROTHER!" The Giant Pokey grumbled uneasily. He had heard of King Bowser Koopa's trouble with the Mario brothers. The red one was the most dangerous, but there wasn't much to be said about the green one. Not enough information. As he was always with the red one, no one could tell what his actual strength was. Was he merely a tag-along? A support? Or was he also a force to be reckoned with? The Pokey's eyes drifted down, widening ever so slightly as he saw the Keyblade in Luigi's hand.
"Listen up!" Luigi barked, sweat slightly dripping down the side of his face. He knew all about Pokeys. Poisonous, lying, trouble-making, especially when there was more than one. But if you spoke in a commanding voice, especially when there weren't that many, you could scare them off. This was a king however, so Luigi was making a gamble in trying this approach. "Hand over the Crystal Key! And Return what you stole! Do that, and there won't be any trouble, got it?" He glared levelly at the Pokey, hoping his bluff would work. He was gripping the Keyblade tightly, hoping it would further push the bluff. It seemed to work, as the Pokey stared at him quietly, a set frown on his face. The bandit to his right looked to be trying to watch both him and his master at the same time, his head spinning back and forth rapidly.
"Very Well." He hissed quietly. "Take what you want."
Luigi's eyes widened considerably. Slowly beginning to stand back up, Luigi began putting the Keyblade in its resting place in his belt. Very slowly, Luigi began to speak. "Thank you, I'm glad you were able to reconsider." His eyes never left the Pokey even as Parch began fidgeting.
"That's it!? We're just going to let them go!? After all they've done!? After all the people they've killed!?"
"PARCH!" Luigi glared down at the Dry Bones. "Enough. He's being very reasonable, giving back what he stole."
"NO! HE took lives! I can't forgive him!" Parch slammed his hammers together, charging at the Pokey. Luigi noticed the poison dripping from the blue Pokey's spikes, his eyes widening.
"DAMMIT!" Luigi shouted, jumping towards the two, but he was too late. Parch's hammer knocked away one of King Pokey's bodies, the Giant Pokey being knocked down a peg before the Giant snake-like cactus lashed out at the Dry Bones, Parch trying to parry with his other hammer, only for it to be knocked out of his hand, a spike slashing across the Dry Bones' shell. The two glared at each other, Parch wheezing as he stood clutching his now purple ribcage. Luigi jumped in front of the two before they could begin fighting again.
"ENOUGH! BOTH OF YOU STOP RIGHT NOW!" Luigi glared at first at King Pokey, then at Parch. Turning back to King Pokey, Luigi bowed heavily. "I'm terribly sorry for what he's done, please forgive him."
"Luigi! Don't bow to him! He's nothing but a-
"SHUT THE HELL UP!" Luigi roared fiercely, startling Parch. "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU'VE DONE!?"
"Your subordinate attacked me." King Pokey grumbled loudly, Luigi bowing lower. "But, he did incline me on something useful." He turned to Parch, staring impassively at him. "What he speaks of is true though. To attack a King such as myself means attacking royalty itself. I could easily have your head, labeling you a criminal."
"A Criminal labeling an innocent a criminal!?" Parch spat at the cactus, wincing at his ribcage in pain.
"Ah, but you aren't an innocent anymore." King Pokey cackled. "The moment you jumped at me, after I had agreed to co-operate peacefully, was a sign of aggression, punishable by death."
Parch paled, realizing what had happened. But before he could say anything, King Pokey began cackling madly.
"As I said, you've inclined me to something that had been troubling me for quite some time, little Hammer Bones..." He turned to the bowing Luigi, sneering in mockery. "TO THINK THAT I WAS FEARFUL OF A PACIFISTIC RODENT LIKE YOU!" He leapt forward, swinging his head down towards Luigi, the plumber's eyes widening before leaping backwards out of the way of the attack. Skidding across the floor, Luigi snapped his head up, looking at the Pokey in anger.
"Dammit, it was going really well too..." Luigi grunted as he quickly unsheathed the Keyblade before lashing out at the Spiky Blue Cactus. Parch looked back and forth between Luigi and King Pokey rapidly.
"What in the world is going on!? First you're all, 'Don't attack him!' and now you're all, 'kill im dead!' What the heck Luigi!?" Parch raged, Luigi getting flung backwards towards Parch.
"I'd rather not fight, so I was trying to use a more diplomatic solution. If I could have gotten him to hand over the Crystal Key and the stolen goods, we didn't have to fight. But the moment you attacked him, the whole situation went out the window. If he really wanted to, we could all be labeled criminals, but since he's now freely attacking us, diplomacy isn't an option anymore..." Luigi grit his teeth in irritation. "I'll admit, I'm also not too keen on being poisoned..."
Parch stared at Luigi for a moment, the plumber quickly healing the Dry Bones before readying for the next wave. Todd slid over to them, having been going at it with the bandit since Parch first lashed out at the wicked King. The Hammer Bones slowly stood up, staring quietly at the ground. "Luigi..."
"Yeah?" The plumber watched the Cactus intently, the spiky cactus lifting its head up from the floor and smiling wickedly.
"Does this mean I can attack him?"
"Oh yeah. BIG time."
"ALLLLLLL RIIIIIIGHT!" Parch roared as he slammed his hammers together. "I HOPE YOU'RE READY, CUZ I'M ABOUT TO OPEN UP A CAN OF WHOOP-YO-ASS!"
"Eldstar, Pray tell, how is Luigi faring?" Skolar spoke, the purple Star Spirit fixing his glasses in anticipation. A crystal orb rested in front of the oldest Star Spirit, Eldstar watching intently.
"As of now, he is confronting the one who holds the first Crystal Key..."
"Are You Serious!? He's already almost gotten the first key!?" Klevar spoke in shock, nearly dropping his cherished book. Eldstar nodded, worry etched into his face.
"However, the one he faces is quickly being consumed by Darkness...it won't be long until he succumbs...I only hope that, Luigi and his friends will be able to survive..."
"What do you mean? It looks like they're beating him to a pulp!" Muscular said with a grin, flexing his muscles as he saw Luigi bash the spiky king upside the head with the Keyblade.
"NO! He's Right!" Kalmar said, staring worriedly at the Crystal Orb, his mustache twitching. "The more backed into a corner one becomes, the closer they come to the transformation! If this keeps up, Luigi's going to end up fighting one massive Heartless!" Muscular flinched in fear of the usually calm Star Spirit's outburst.
Eldstar breathed deeply, trying to calm his nerves. "The Heartless are a terrifying opponent. When one is afraid, their heart creates a small hole, a hole of darkness. The heartless can enter into that hole, and possess the heart."
"But then, why didn't Bowser, his Koopa Troopas, Goombas or any of his baddies do the same when Mario was fighting him?" Klevar asked, gripping his book tightly, sweat dripping down his face.
"Because the Heartless were still sealed then. But now that the seal is broken, EVERYONE is at risk." Scholar said, his furry eyebrows strained in a furrowed position. "Toads, Stars, Koopas, even humans."
"What about Luigi himself?" Mamar said, her motherly tone leaking out notes of her worry.
"It is possible, but it won't happen very easily. He would have to feel a great amount of anguish and despair before he would even have the chance of turning into a heartless. The Keyblade that he holds repels the heartless, it is protecting him and his friends from the heartless' invasion."
"Don't worry, Luigi won't fail." Misstar said flipping her scarf around her neck once more. "He's just like his brother, he's born to be a STAR!" She smiled brilliantly, twinkles appearing all around her.
"Let's hope that this 'Star' will make it to the end of his journey..." Eldstar said quietly as all eyes continued to watch Luigi's battle.
"TAKE-" Luigi pulled his fist back, clenching it tightly as he threw it forward, connecting with King Pokey's face and sending a shockwave across the room as the single blue ball was sent flying into a wall. "-THIS!" Luigi rasped lightly as he lowered his fist, slouching forward slightly. It had been ridiculous, trying not to get poisoned. They had barely gotten out of the way of most of his attacks, only to be slammed by the stupid Pokey's freaking tail, or, bottom ball, or whatever the hell it was called. Todd had been able to take care of the Bandit after a few rounds, and Luigi and Parch had been able to hold back King Pokey, but once Todd joined in, the three were able to destroy the seven balls that had made up King Pokey's body. The final punch had been thrown, and Luigi felt pretty darn good about it too.
"All right, that's that." Luigi smiled as he stood up, putting away the Keyblade and turning to his friends. "Let's get the key and head back to town, sound good?"
"YEAH!" Todd cheered, happy to be done fighting. It was one thing to practice Martial Arts, it was another to use it for almost two hours straight. His body was pretty much ka-put, and Luigi hadn't gotten the chance to use any healing Syrups in the midst of battle, so he couldn't heal anybody. Tossing the two an orange potion made up of Mushrooms and Syrup, Luigi smiled as he chugged his own orange elixir, feeling strength returning back to his limbs. Sighing in content, Luigi made his way over to the glass case that contained the Crystal Key of Sand. It was a golden brown key, with a picture of dunes and a boulder engraved onto it. Luigi smiled as he lifted up the glass, picking up the key and holding it with care. Excitement suddenly surged throughout the plumber's body, Luigi suddenly spinning around twice before holding out the key, his fingers in a peace-sign. "HA-HAA!" He shouted excitedly before bouncing the key on each of his elbows before catching it and placing it in the Adventure Pouch.
"One down, six to go!" Parch smiled as he nodded.
"We're on a roll!" Todd grinned excitedly.
"Not yet we're not, wait until we have three more keys, THEN you can say that." Luigi smiled as the three began to leave the ruins, no-one noticing the dark purple flames that began to cover King Pokey's remaining Head. Just as they were getting outside however, the ground began to shake, Luigi, Parch and Todd all falling to the ground.
"Wh-Wh-What's going on!?" Todd shouted, panicked.
"I don't know! Get outside!" Luigi shouted, slowly making his way out of the temple and into the desert sands. The three flopped onto the sand, quickly shaking the sand from their faces before turning back to the shaking temple. After a few moments however, it stopped, and the sandy desert was quiet.
"Maybe the ruins were collapsing or something?" Todd suggested as to the strange phenomenon.
"But we didn't really hit the walls...unless Luigi's final punch did it..." The two turned to Luigi, who shook his head.
"There were too many pillars still up for that to happen. No...it was something else..." Luigi furrowed his eyebrows. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his gut. And that music that had played when Mario was playing his Legend of Zelda game was trumpeting in his ears. For some reason, it was the King Dodongo theme...and it was really starting to spook him. "I don't like this, let's hurry up and get back to town." Luigi said, quickly turning and running towards the town in the distance. The feeling of dread had increased, making Luigi begin to run faster and faster. He didn't know why, but he felt as if he was being chased. Like a giant shadow was right behind him. Parch and Todd, who couldn't run as fast as the human, were quick to fall behind as Luigi took off towards town. However, they noticed something.
The ground was beginning to shake again, and it was way worse than when they were in the temple. Flopping on the ground, the two looked out towards Luigi, noticing plumes of sand being shot up into the air as something moved quickly in the direction of the keyblade-wielding plumber.
"LUIGI!" The two shouted in terror.
The plumber was too far away to hear them, but the rumbling got close enough to grab his attention.
"What the- not again!" Luigi looked around before turning around, finding the plumes of sand coming his way. Eyes wide, Luigi backpedaled, quickly trying to run away from the giant monster that he now knew was beneath the sand. The boss music that was playing in his head was scaring the living shit out of him, and he didn't want to fight something like Bongo Bongo or King Dodongo or even the freaking Ghoma. He had had nightmares about them in the first place. The music always killed it for him.
Leaping out of the way, a large explosion of sand covered the plumber as the monster beneath the sand surfaced. Looking up, Luigi's eyes went tiny. An enormous Heartless stood up in front of him, looking down at the Keyblade wielder with beady yellow eyes, several sections of its body moving like a series of gears. The head had giant pincers sticking out of its mouth, to which it began smashing together before roaring loudly.
"AN ANTLION! OF ALL THE THINGS-LUIGI IS IN GRAVE DANGER!" Eldstar shouted in horror. The Star Spirits began heatedly murmuring to each other, trying to figure out what they could do for the plumber against such a powerful enemy. "To think that an Antlion would appear in place of King Pokey...if such a monstrous heartless has appeared when Luigi has only gotten his first key...this does not bode well for them. We must help him! Luigi will NOT make it out of this alive! We shall use the Star Rod to-"
A hand suddenly touched the Crystal Ball, cuasing numerous gasps to erupt around the Star Council.
"You...you're..." Klevar said quietly, staring at the caped figure. The hand let go of the Crystal Ball, bringing a finger up to his mouth.
"Let's have faith in him...shall we?" He turned to watch the Orb, the other Star Spirits doing the same, seeing Luigi running for his life before getting flung away by the enormous heartless.
"WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW!?" Luigi screamed as he dove away from the large monster's charge, getting flung away by the shockwave. "Star spirits! Help! Something! Anything! How am I supposed to beat this thing!?" Luigi shouted before the Antlion's head appeared out of the sandy ocean. Only it's head was visible, and it seemed to be looking around for Luigi. The plumber blinked rapidly before slowly creeping over to the head. It suddenly spun around, wide-eyed as Luigi leapt at the Heartless, smashing the Keyblade into the side of it's head. The giant monster's body came crashing out of the sand, the monster dizzy, trying to stop its head from spinning.
Running back at the monster, Luigi leapt once more at the monster, only for it to suddenly start spinning its body, sending the green-clad plumber flying through the air and back into the sand. Pulling his head out of the sand, Luigi quickly shook his head before turning around to see the Antlion spinning its body rapidly, a large sand twister forming.
"SHIT! I thought I had it, but I just ended up pissing it off!" Luigi panicked, looking around for something to stop the monster from spinning. "Shoot! If it keeps this up, Dry Dry Outpost won't even be on the map anymore! It'll just be all sand!" Vines, rope, SOMETHING to stop the monster from spinning! "CRAP! THIS IS A DESERT! THERE'S NOTHING OUT HERE!"
A gleam caught his attention, though when he turned to it, Luigi found it to be the 1-Up Mushroom-like Keyblade in the sand next to him. A cold breeze suddenly hit his face, causing Luigi to place a hand on the Keyblade. He quickly withdrew it when he felt a sharp sting on his glove. Looking to his hand, he found ice crystals had formed on the bottom of his palm where he had touched the metal blade. Blinking a few times, Luigi grabbed the Keyblade tightly in his hands, wincing at the stinging pain before he pointed the tip at the Antlion, which was spinning faster and faster. He closed his eyes, concentrating the cold energy to the tip of the Keyblade. An icy wind whipped up around the Keyblade-wielder, Luigi clenching his eyes tighter, trying to focus. Hot and cold crashed against each other as the AntLion's hot sand crashed into the icy wind surrounding Luigi, a large cloud of steam erupting from the collision of the two temperatures as Luigi continued to focus the cold to the tip of his Keyblade. When he felt like he was losing feeling in his hands because of the cold, Luigi snapped his eyes open, releasing the energy outwards from the Bit of the Key.
"FREEZE!" He shouted, a large torrent of ice shooting out from the tip of the Keyblade in a great vortex. The sand twister began to slow more and more before the Antlion's face became visible again, slowly being covered by Ice Crystals before it came to a complete stop, fully encased in ice. Luigi lost feeling in his legs, falling to the sand. Looking up, he smirked, a large crack forming in the center of the Ice Crystal. "Boom." He said snapping his fingers. The large Heartless shattered into hundreds of pieces, a giant heart appearing before floating up into the air, disappearing to who knew where.
Parch and Todd ran over to Luigi, catching him as he lost consciousness. Looking at each other, they nodded before they began to drag him back to the outpost.
"He did it..." Eldstar breathed in quiet shock, staring at the orb in pure amazement. "He really did it...he was able to defeat such a powerful Heartless..." A sinister cackle caught the Star Spirits attention, causing them to turn to the figure whom had grasped the orb earlier. Quickly bringing a hand to his mouth, the man turned his head and coughed in embarrassment.
"Terribly sorry, old habit. But I did tell you, did I not?" A large grin enveloped the cloaked figure's face once more, his monocle gleaming in the dim light of the room. "That this man is far stronger than you all realize."
"This is true, but what are you doing here, Count Bleck?" Klevar stated, watching the caped man cautiously.
"Please, I am simply Blumiere now." He said tipping his hat to the Star Spirits. "And I am here to stop you from destroying yourselves when there is no need."
"WHAT!? What are you talking about!?" Muskular shouted, staring at the man in shock.
"Yes, please explain yourself, Blumiere." Rosalina said, the Star Princess making her appearance in the room. Blumiere turned to face the council of Stars, his face extremely serious.
"A dark shadow is on the move. He has been traversing the Kingdoms of the Mushroom World, placing terrible monsters at key points, so that they may take over in his absence. His main target is you, the Council of Stars."
"Us?" Mamar questioned, unsure of the reason behind the target.
"Yes. More specifically, the Star Rod. He is desperately trying to obtain its power, but as of now...he cannot reach it, nor could he touch it."
"And why can't he obtain the Star Rod?" Rosalina asked, still unsure of the spectacled man. She knew of his crusades in Flipside, and knew that Mario and Luigi had been able to stop him before. She also knew of his change of heart, but she was still hesitant to trust the man. The giggling sound of a Luma caught her attention, and turning to the entrance to the room, she saw a silver-haired woman with a hair-tie in the shape of a rainbow-colored butterfly walk into the room. She wore an elegant dress, ribbons that glimmered all colors of the rainbow placed around her dress, and her eyes radiated a strong-willed heart, overflowing with kindness. She was holding a Luma, lightly rubbing a finger along its belly, sending giggles coursing throughout the small star child. The woman smiled, instantly sending a kind of relief to everyone that no-one could understand.
"Please, Lady Rosalina, allow me." She spoke gently, causing Blumiere to shiver, a smile radiating on his face.
"And you are?" Eldstar spoke gently, though he wasn't sure why. The woman bowed elegantly, carefully holding the baby luma in her arms.
"I am Timpani, Blumiere's Wife." She smiled, a blush dusting her face.