The Very Beginning

"Hee, hee, hee, if I must be taken from this world then you're all coming with me!" Dimentio painfully chuckled as he grasped his bleeding side, weakly stumbling forward. A chilling smile remained smirking to his victims in horrifying glee. Disturbing drips echoed in the silence, the drips of his flowing blood—menacing. "Your dreams shall be shattered, your hearts shall be torn, your final breaths will be delightfully wonderful music to my ears as your final curtain falls. All shall perish under my power...including you."

Dimentio growled and his narrowed eyes abruptly shot up to meet the many shocked watchers that were staring in disbelief. There was a mischievous glint that none could miss in his villainous eyes that wrapped a tendril of dread in their hearts. His blood stained fangs monstrously flashed when he cackled; one gloved finger gently swiped the blood trickling over his lower lip. Everyone shivered, that stomach churning cackle was just so frightful, so cold and hollow, so undeniably dangerous. The mere sound of that tormenting laugh froze their racing hearts. Breaths held. Tension choked.

Peach, Bowser, Luigi, Mario, and Tippi all had their gazes nervously locked on the fiend who had been manipulating them all from the very beginning. Mimi and O' Chunks both sneered where they stood beside their Count in upmost loyalty— furiously glaring daggers at their traitorous companion.

The Jester swayed and hissed in pain, yet those slightly glazed over eyes never left the rest standing in the room. Everyone grimaced in disgust at the pure sight of him.

A single hand soaked in blood shakily raised to point at the bewildered Count. "...Oh, how I will enjoy dragging you down the most, my dear Count...Farewell."

Count Bleck's eye widened. How could such pure determination exist in a dying traitor's eyes? He was unguardedly taken aback by it, secretly unnerved as he gripped his jewelled cane. There was a poisonous promise lingering on those words that made him frown, contaminating his being, his mind, his soul. Consuming him physically, mentally, emotionally...entirely.

It was the unbreakable oath of complete doom.

Tipping the rim of his hat lower over his eyes, Bleck swallowed in disguised unease: that eerie tension clutching like a tightening vice on his heart, that unbreakable oath a physical weight crushing down on his stomach—harder and harder.

For the world was no longer safe.

No one was safe.

But it was his fault...

And she would suffer.

Splash! Bleck instantly whipped his gaze back to Dimentio, silently cursing himself for being easily distracted by his thoughts of Timpani. The traitor with power to rival Jaydes had suddenly fallen to his knees in a crimson pool of his own blood. His distorted reflection in that pool fragmented his smirk, one tearing into many, one mirrored into a bloody dozen. Yet despite the distortion one thing was hauntingly clear...all evil smirks solely gleamed at the Count.

Dimentio's hand remained up, despite his body having fallen lower, his pointing finger drenched in blood unmoving from the white cloaked man.

All of a sudden Dimentio smiled as he hoarsely breathed, "L-Let's finish this with a great finale, shall we? A one way ticket to oblivion! C-Ciao..."

Bleck defensively raised a white sleeved arm; eyes' narrowing as black energy twisted and turned around Dimentio's palm. In surprise, Blumiere yelped when a magical gale abruptly whipped up. Undeniably powerful it was, making him glare and firmly plant his feet against it as it sucked him closer to the Jester. Growling in frustration, he gritted his teeth, desperately trying to pull away from the gripping wind. Against his will he slid ever closer to his enemy, unsure for his life, unwilling to surrender, uncontrollable despite it all.

O' Chunks unexpectedly charged towards the foe in red rage. His rage was so blinding it consumed him whole. 'Ow dare 'im! 'Ow dare tis guy threaten teh Count—tis monster!Roaring like a feral beast he mightily pulled his fist back. Eyes sworn to loyalty blazed in fury as he bellowed, "Aye, not if I 'ave anythin' teh say 'bout it mate!"

The agonised Dimentio's eyes sharpened.

At noticing the change, the Count's heart dropped.

"I'm gonna show ye a finale ye awful traitor!"

To the alarmed Count, Dimentio's aura of bloodshed wavered like a veil of dark smoke. It was as dark and true as the blood oozing with betrayal from his wound. Fading eyes seemed to, out of the blue, explode in destructive desire as his aura, invisible to all except Bleck, flared.

Even through his agony Dimentio's tone was spiteful, "You have been a thorn in my side that refuses to relent for far too long, Chunkies. A small and insignificant thorn planted so deep into my side the annoyance truly disgusts me. Perhaps these particular tweezers will finally pry you from me. Or better yet, from the world entirely."

As fast a lightning, Dimentio's eyes glinted. A sinister smirk curled his lips. Suddenly, he switched his aim from Bleck to the rapidly approaching O' Chunks in a blink of an eye.

"CHUNKS NO!" Both Mimi and Bleck yelled, in unison realising what was happening. The Count hastily reached to grab a hold of his arm to yank him back. Mimi growled and unravelled a morphing spider leg to trip him...but it was too late. Both pairs of eyes widened. Both missed.

Shadows grew in dark fingers, spiralling dangerously in the palm of Dimentio's hand. Crackling energy snapped as the unnatural gale grew stronger—trying to suck them all towards Dimentio. Tension consumed the room. Hearts pounded. Breaths caught—

Dimentio evilly laughed and suddenly clicked his fingers.

O' Chunks unexplainably froze mid-step: fist raised, sneer locked in place, muscles frozen. No one dared to breathe. Peach and Mimi slowly put their hands to their mouths in shock, the deadly silence like a choking vice on their throats. Mario bit his lip at realising, with a sinking heart, that the brawny Chunks was ensnared...and there was no escape.

Not even batting an eyelid, the Jester merely yawned at it being too easy, crimson sickeningly trickling down his chin from where blood could build in his mouth no more. Dangerous eyes narrowed as his pointing hand harshly clenched.

An agonised scream echoed throughout castle walls. All of sudden a black hole appeared, tearing away at O' Chunks. All gaped in horror as it formed in his stomach, a murderous orb of black that made him squirm, that made him fight to flee, to struggle free. But he was trapped, and his eyes tightly screwed shut in understanding his own fate, his own end. His echoing screams through the dark castle were enough to make them all shriek and cover their ears.

Chunks, with his last remnants of strength, forced his failing gaze to his Count. Blumiere would never admit that the glaze of accepted death in those eyes yanked at his heart strings.

Mimi's pupils unexpectedly flashed. She suddenly started to run for her dying companion, yet fortunately the Count's keen sight detected it in time. His keen eyes flashed for this was nothing if not trouble. Before the lady could pass him he swiftly swept her into his arms, ignoring her protesting. His grasp on her was firm and Mimi, try as hard as she might, could not break free.

"Let me go, Count! I can't just stand here!"

Bleck lowly growled in his throat, "There is nothing you can do, my dear. Not even Count Bleck can do anything now."

Pity filled eyes sent the female in his arms a silent apology that all could clearly read. The message poured from those orbs like softly trickling water, warm and apologetic: 'I am sorry...but I can not lose yet another.'

How had it come to this?

Right before them, O' Chunks gave one final smile to his Count—a sign of eternal loyalty even through death. Bleck was forced to look away in remorse as his cloak fluttered around him in the dangerous winds. At the same time, he forcibly blocked Mimi's vision with a hand at knowing all too well what was about to occur. The girl whimpered as the sight of O' Chunks vanished behind the Count's palm and she tried to desperately pry his hand away, but the Count was too strong.

All of a sudden O' Chunks gasped as a ripple of shadowy energy shot from his core. Windows shattered into pieces from the force, millions exploding and showering the scene with gasps of fright. The castle walls trembled at beginning to give way when black pillars crumbled loose.

It was then that the black hole that had formed within the Count's minion silently consumed its host: tore him apart, left no traces. And as soon as nothing of him remained, the intense power seemed to flicker for a brief moment before the ball of blackness began to suck the rest of them in.

But it was not that which made Bleck's eyes widen...the black hole was growing larger!

Dimentio, he mentally accused.

Darting furious eyes to Dimentio, the Count growled and made sure his grip was fixed on Mimi as the monstrous fiend eyed her with bloodthirsty lust. Blumiere quickly flicked a wrist to send a magic beam the other's way in threat. Dimentio easily smacked away the warning energy as if it was powerless before continuing to motionlessly eye his prey. No, the Counts' eyes shone in fury, he was not letting Mimi go too, not in a million years. The glare he burned Dimentio with was fiery enough to burn his very soul inside out.

"Mario, what do we do?" Peach cried out over the gale, gloved arms shielding her face against the raging wind—the wind of unstoppable destruction. "We have to do something!"

"Yeah, stop standing about like idiots and get saving! I'm not your damn saviour," Bowser snorted, and defiantly crossed his arms with nostrils flaring. He then turned his head rudely to the side. "That's not my job."

Tippi turned to Blumiere protecting his minion from both Dimentio and the black hole that would suck in Mimi's weightless body in a heartbeat. And there it was again, her heart swelling in her chest at that emotion, at the need to finally be beside the one she loved after so very long, after everything that they had been through. Her heart fluttered at the unbreakable need in his eyes to protect the ones he cared about...he had never truly been evil.

He would never be evil, never to her.

Tippi called to Bleck above the howling winds, "Blumiere, we must hurry. Time is short!"

"No!" Mimi cried out as Blumiere nodded in agreement to Tippi and suddenly spun on his heel to bolt away with his minion in hand. She struggled furiously in his grasp and reached out over Bleck's shoulder for the black hole that was becoming a giant ball of destruction—of unworldly destruction. Tears streamed down her cheeks. "N-No, please Count. Ch-Chunks! NO!"

Blumiere sadly glanced down at her distressed face and whispered, "Please stop. Count Bleck is sorry, Mimi."

Everyone: Tippi, Mario, Peach, Luigi and Bowser, all nodded to each other in agreement at the Count's action. They all followed the white cloaked figure in hot pursuit of escape.

But it seemed it would not be so easy. On his way to the exit Bleck spluttered, his heart having suddenly froze from an abnormal sensation. He gasped out in pain and clutched his head as he slowed to a halt, not unnoticed by Tippi who flew back to him in an instant.

Everyone, all except Mario, passed the Count as they fled.

"Blumiere? " She murmured in alarm. But the man did not answer.

Hee, hee, aren't you forgetting something, dear Count?

The Count's glazed eyes twitched in anger, that monster's voice taunted the corners of his mind.

Another unknown force was tugging at his conscious—faintly brushing his own—frantically wanting him to turn around. And it was only when he did, that he realised why and choked on air. In whipping his gaze to the black hole in the centre of the room, to the floor just below the murderous sphere of darkness, he spotted something lying motionless on the floor. A shaky exhale left him as his blood ran cold.

The Count nearly dropped the still struggling Mimi. His voice cracked, a sickening ice block lodging into his throat, "Nastasia..."

He could feel it in his mind, feel that undeniable flicker of a mental link he thought had shattered. It was so faint, so terribly faint. She must still be alive, just barely.

Nastasia's eyes flickered open for the briefest of moments. Her last remaining strength was used to shed a single tear. C-Count...I am sorry...

Her words trickled weakly through their mind link. Amber eyes flashed, his response instant.

"Blumiere no!" Tippi screamed when he threw Mimi aside and held her in a barrier of blue magic to keep the maiden there, before thoughtlessly flying for his fallen comrade. "That's what he wants—that's what Dimentio wants!"

Count Bleck thoughtless? No. Outstandingly courageous? Without any doubt.

He knew, just knew, that Dimentio was leading him into a trap that would be his last. But it was him or Nastasia, tainted or the innocent, and his heart burned with hate for Dimentio. He drew nearer, carried like an arrow on the gale that drew him in. Another blackened mirror exploded—his cloak gracefully flew open to deflect the shards. A pillar mightily gave way to his right—he effortlessly dodged. Nothing. Nothing was going to get in his way.

Even though Bleck was speeding towards her, Nastasia was, ever so terrifyingly slowly, being pulled across the floor towards the swirling abyss. Out of her motionless hand...her glasses were sucked up and vanished into nothingness.

Mario squeezed his hat firmly to his head and rushed from the doorway after the Count. He bolted straight passed Mimi who was frantically bashing the blue force-field trapping her yet keeping her safe. Mario's eyes softened at the sight of her angered expression. Indeed, Mimi was angry, her expression practically seethed with rage...but, it was so painfully obvious that Bleck had done it with her best interests at heart. He ignored Tippi's futile attempts to call him back. Confidence abound shone in his eyes. Nothing would hold him back.

The black hole had grown so huge that it nearly took up the entire room. It was growing more and more powerful with every passing second, drawing Nastasia in faster and faster. Pink hair wildly fluttered about her closed eyes, the blue skin of her face deathly pale. Her arms were lifting from the force of the gale. Blumiere's heart thundered in his ears. He reached out for her—desperate. Closer and closer. She lifted off the ground. She got sucked in—about to—

"Got you!" Casting all caution to the wind Count Bleck, notorious villain of the Dark Prognosticous, firmly grasped her hand at the final fatal moment. His eyes widened when his momentum nearly plunged them both into oblivion, making him hastily yank his young assistant from where she had been halfway through the portal to Death. Eyes narrowed as he attempted to pull them both away...

But the power had grown too strong.

The walls around them all of sudden tore away. Everything, everything was getting sucked in. The outside world of swirling red and black space filled with flying debris was revealed as Castle Bleck compressed from the power to breaking point. There was the undeniable feeling you get of pressure that builds and builds until it has nothing left to do but snap. There was no other way to describe it apart from they were in the centre of absolute chaos.

Bleck grunted loudly when the gale seemed to become a determined hurricane that viciously wanted to drag them in. He held his top-hat to his head with one hand and kept his other tightly on Nastasia's wrist, eyes burning with the refusal to let her go. Despite pulling with all his might...both Nastasia and himself where slowly being pulled in.

L-Let go, Count. I, um, am not worth the effort.

Count Bleck's cloak billowed around him as his eyes shot to Nastasia in bewilderment. He saw that Nastasia's eyes were still closed, her physical body still unresponsive yet her mind lingering. His expression was a scowl of disbelief as he mentally answered, What are you saying?! You are worth more to me than you know. I promised I would not leave you alone, and if that means even through death, so be it!

Nastasia's mental link filled with so much despair that it made Blumiere's grip on her wrist unconsciously tighten. But, yeah, finally found her. You no longer need my help anymore.

'Help?' Oh, my dear Nastasia, do you truly see me as so shallow? The Count sent a warm smile over the link which tenderly brushed her fading mind. I may no longer need your help, but I will forever need you...just you.

Before Nastasia could reply, they felt the black hole give a heart stopping jolt. Suddenly the black hole expanded further. It was fast, strong, unstoppable. The Count screwed his eyes shut and tried to brace against it, but he was being dragged further into the black hole quicker than ever before. His eyes widened in fear when Nastasia began to get submerged in the blackness orb once again. This was truthfully it, those final moments before being lost.

"Got you!"

The Count full out growled when something familiar, or rather someone, ruthlessly grasped his arm to stop them falling in. God damn it could he just not interfere for five minutes! He whipped his head around and sneered at him, "Déjà vu much, hero. Let me go."

Mario smirked at the disdainful expression as his brown moustache fluttered in the wind. "No way, you really think that after everything I've seen from you in this final hour that I'll just let you go? You're as much of a hero as—

"Do...not...even... go there," Interrupted the Count venomously in a tone so icy it could extinguish the hottest flame. His deadly pauses, hateful glare and low tone unfazed the smaller man. "I am not, and will never be, a hero."

Mario gripped the white clad arm tighter with eyebrows furrowing at hearing the man not using third person for once, he must be deadly serious. He gripped his red hat to his head with his other hand just as the Count's arm he held onto was also holding the top-hat to his own head.

Mario looked perplexed as he whispered to him, "But you are not, and never will be, a villain what are you Count Blumiere Bleck?"

"I am Bleck to you. Never call me Blumiere! You have no right!"

"Oh, how very t-touching. You two still refuse to be put out of your misery like mortally sick animals on their way to the slaughter? You are resilient, I hand that much to you both. But I am tired of playing useless games, th-this ends now."

Both pairs of eyes, untimely hero's and proposed villain's, snapped to Dimentio who had lain forgotten on the floor. There he lay in a dark puddle of his own blood that reflected the black hole that was becoming as much of a threat to the universe as the previous void of the Dark Prognosticus. Their expressions were disturbed at finding him still alive, just barely, lying their chuckling with gross gargles in his own life fluid. The dark magic user appeared to have very little time left.

"Mario! Blumiere! Watch out!" Tippi shrieked.

Count Bleck barely had time to catch a glimpse of Tippi flying towards them before Dimentio reacted. Dimentio suddenly shot a flaming energy bolt his way. For he, Bleck, was the supporting loop—holding both Mario and Nastasia in this life-or-death chain.

Purple flames skimmed across the Count's left shoulder, making him hiss sharply as it burnt through the material to his flesh. He tried to conceal his grunt of pain, but slithers still shakily escaped his lips. His eyes screwed shut in agony as he let the two go.

In slow motion, Nastasia horrifyingly vanished into the black hole first. Bleck's face grimaced in pain and he gripped his singeing shoulder as he too drifted through the black curtain. Mario shrieked in alarm as without the Count's arm to support him he also followed. All they could hear was Dimentio's dying cackles as they slowly got sucked in, an eternal chortle that would scar their afterlives.

With his concentration severed, Blumiere cracked an eye open and cursed under his breath when he felt his protection over Mimi shatter. Abruptly, the blue barrier encasing Mimi disintegrated in a resounding twinkle of broken glass. No sooner had it shattered did the green girl's eyes widen and she frightfully screamed as she was immediately swept off her feet towards the abyss. It seemed the Count's barrier had truly been the only thing that could have saved her.

Tippi sped towards them in an unnatural aura glowing pearl. It glowed ever so bright, blinding as she soared like a shooting star towards them. She could only watch them being consumed in the black hole's ravenous jaws. No, this could not be it. How could this be the end? Just as her love teasingly reappeared into her life he was being ripped mercilessly from her yet again.

She flashed once. She flew as an opal blur. Flashing twice, thrice—brighter. In a wave of unknown power she flapped her wings, her light so blinding it seemed to devour darkness itself. In a blink of an eye she passed through the black orb like a lightning flash.

While red and black sky filled with chaos, Dimentio's chest fell for his final curtain fall. His lifeless body dragged across the floor, the yellow bells of his jester hat jingling across the black stone like the trumpets of judgment. With eyes dead to the world he followed his victims into his final resort of destruction that had taken the life of O' Chunks, Nastasia, Mario, Mimi, Tippi, and his wanted target: Count Bleck. He had done what he had sought.

Indeed, Dimentio had done it...with the hefty price of being lost in the process.

Just moments after Dimentio passed through the black hole's veil did his creation suddenly waver a peculiar white. A heavenly light seemed to conquer the hellish shadow from deep within. What was this strange light? The black hole that now glowed pure white contracted in overload. There was an unmistakable echo of a living heartbeat as if the orb of light was frantically beating like that of a panicked heart. Only when it could take no more did the most unexpected thing occur.

All of sudden, the white orb solidified with a crackle of ice, unexpectedly freezing over, a patterned layer of crystal enveloping the black hole. It grew colder and colder, an arctic drop as it completely froze over. Everything froze just as still as the coldness of the frozen abyss.

Pure silence settled chillingly over the ruins of Castle Bleck. However, it did not survive long as the enormous frozen ice orb mightily fell. Boom! The thunderous bang could rival thunder as it crashed to the ground. Shockwaves of mist and shards exploded in its wake.

Gradually, the atmosphere eased to deadly stillness, suspense overwhelming as nothing dared to disturb the sensation of brimming sorrow, fear, and despair. Through the almost deafening silence, the destroyed terrain appeared to have a quality of its own...of ghostly prickles in the tips of your hair, like that of a suspenseful held breath.

Whatever happened to the heroes of Peach, Bowser and Luigi, remains a mystery. Whatever happened to the Book of Dark Prophecies remains unknown. Whatever happened here, amidst whatever uncertainties floated like a stifling miasma, there was only one thing that was entirely certain...

The way of which Count Bleck and the others had disappeared through...

Was forever lost.