BoomShroom : Thank you for your review ! You're right, it's true that things that are insignificant now could become relevant in the future, a little like some of the slip ups of last season's Mole. I also like your opinions on the players, because it helps me to see if I really managed to give them the characterization I wanted or not. ^^ It's always fun to try to guess the psychology behind the choice of the Mole too, especially when the cast is really diverse. And for some reason, I believe this cast is slightly better in that regard, compared to last season's.

LightSpeed508 : Haha, I usually try not to recycle clues that were used in previous seasons, but sometimes I also like to say that I don't when I actually do. :p I absolutely love your remark about Waitress, it made me laugh. XD Thank your for the review !

Kaiimi : One of the reviewers actually found the answer to her puzzle, but I can't tell you yet since it would maybe spoil you for this chapter. Thank you for your suspicions and your review !

Moley : Oh, I thought you'd actually like Bullet Bill since he isn't a major Mario character at all. Yes, this challenge seems fairly easy but you never know when the Mole could strike. :p In my Mole game, the Mole actually managed to screw up the players in the most simple tasks. XD So everything's possible, I'd say. Thanks for your review !

Spike Brigadier : Oh, I didn't know about Murphy's Law, thanks for telling me. Boo could be eliminated, but then again, maybe he won't. :p And there's a twist coming up for the first execution, so anything could happen. ^^ I take note of your dislike of Goombario, and I think I'd actually do like you and help my own team. ^^ Thanks for the review !

Fredthemontymole : Yes, I thought it would be relatively funny if something like this happened. The man would be like : "WTF? Well, 'k, I'll let you help me if you want." Love your pun about our favorite swordfish. XD I think Melody's almost everyone's favorite Luigi's Mansion ghost. She's just awesome ! I guess I really like Madame Clairvoya too, but I don't think she would be allowed on the show with her powers. Thank you for your review !

PSULucky : I usually try to put at least one clue per chapter, but sometimes it's too hard or things just don't go my way and there'll be none (but in another chapter there will be 2-3 to make up for this lack of clues, like in the first story). I'm glad you weren't sure about the winner, I wanted to hint at Waitress being the liar because she didn't give as much detail as Boo, but I didn't want it to be super obvious either. It's really hard to pinpoint the Mole during the first episodes... Though I also fail when it's the finale. I'm really liking your impressions on the characters as it tells me who I should improve on writing. I kinda intend to give Shokora a specific personality but I'm not sure it's working so far. Also, I'm glad you wrote your point of view on this season's Mole, it's really interesting to read and to compare with my own thoughts. Thanks for the review !

111HungerGames111 : Thank you for your review ! I didn't know you'd be interested in this kind of story.

KingBloo : Thanks for the support ! And yeah, you nailed it ! It's exactly what you say. Or you could switch 2-3 things around but it works anyway.

Previously on The Mole, after an epic showdown between Goombario and White Mage, a winner was revealed!

"Who would have thought?" asked a pink-haired woman, as the other girls clapped for her victory. "It was really close, but good game, Goombario," White Mage extended her arm.

Goombario smiled to her as he shook her hand. "Well, you were clearly better since you beat me to the ball!"

And because the females won the first challenge, it meant that the first exemption of the game was awarded to their leader who was none other than Waitress.

Monty Mole nodded in appreciation to the politician who smiled back at him. "Thank you very much, Shokora. Now, I would like to give this little jewel," the host held up the exemption card for them to see, "to the leader of the winning team. Waitress, come get your reward!"

"Yay, I'm so glad!" Waitress laughed enthusiastically as she ran to claim her due. Her eyes sparkled with glee once she obtained the exemption card.

But one final question needed an answer : would the team earn any money for this challenge?

The white ghost glared at Goombario. "And Waitress lied to you because she actually lost the coin toss," Boo declared matter-of-factly, his eyes closed. "So, as I've been saying all this time, if our team had won two matches out of three, the twenty thousand coins would have been ours. But that didn't happen because of an unfortunate series of events..."

A little downhearted after the loss of their first challenge, the players began to suspect one another, realizing that the game had already begun.

Enguarde : Hmm... I've been trying to recall what exactly happen during the games and I realized that we lost because of Bullet's stupid strategy. Why did we agree to go with this plan actually? It's truly baffling how easy it was for him to sabotage. 'Let's take out the weakest first, guys!' I hate myself for falling to such a trap!

Shokora : To me, Boo is a suspect of choice. I believe it was not a coincidence he was chosen as the male Mole, prior to the challenge. To me, it appeared that he tried to make himself look suspicious in our eyes so that he would have a better chance to sabotage the first challenge. His performance was also lacking on the dodge ball field, and he apparently is the game's expert. What a great profile for the Mole...

Later on, after a delicious meal, Monty Mole brought the players to Shroom Airport where their second challenge would take place and explained to them the rules of the mission.

"Well, if you'd let me explain the rules in details... Everything will become clear," Monty Mole announced, effectively shutting the players up. "This challenge is called 'Airport Mayhem' and it's worth twenty thousand coins. The goal of the challenge is rather simple, each of you need to bring a bag that isn't your own back to this flag before three o'clock, so you only have a little more than forty minutes for this challenge."

Each player scrambled to grab a bag as fast as they could, but some had more trouble than others...

"What do you mean? You can't have no idea what The Mole is! It's a famous game show and you're supposed to give me a clue since I've helped with your task! Monty Mole said so!" Boo tried to keep his calm, but the man in front of him was not cooperative at all.

The last picture was showing a stick figure celebrating, there were tons of balloons and streamers raining down on them and a pile of wads of notes at their feet. Shokora was stumped.

Would all the belongings be retrieved before the plane was scheduled to take off?

First name : Waitress

Surname : Serva

Birthday : July 4

Job : Waitress

First name : Melody

Surname : Pianissimo

Birthday : March 13

Job : Musician

First name : Blanche

Surname : Magus

Birthday : April 22

Job : White Mage

First name : Boo

Surname : Fanto

Birthday : October 31

Job : Spy

First name : Shokora

Surname : Enekora

Birthday : May 19

Job : Politician

First name : Dixie

Surname : Kong

Birthday : June 7

Job : Circus Performer

First name : Enguarde

Surname : Espadon

Birthday : December 8

Job : Oceanographer

First name : Bullet

Surname : Bill

Birthday : February 25

Job : Demolition Specialist

First name : Goombario

Surname : Goomarroon

Birthday : September 16

Job : Dojo Owner/Master

First name : Kolorado

Surname : Raiver

Birthday : January 19

Job : Archaeologist/Explorer

4 : Hectic Day

Time Remaining : 25 minutes

Kolorado was chuckling merrily as a family of four engaged in friendly conversation with him. They had been talking for at least five minutes and had dragged him over to a cybercafe, offering him a drink. The old archaeologist accepted the invitation and followed the group, completely forgetting about the mission he had to complete.

"So, young lad! Your mom told me you wanted to become an explorer when you grow up, eh?" Kolorado smiled as the young Shy Guy blushed a deep shade of red. "Aw, no need to get so embarrassed around me!"

"Maskass is a big fan of yours, mister Kolorado!" blurted out the pink Shy Gal, teasing her little brother.

"Loki, this isn't fun!" complained Maskass, rolling his eyes. "But she's right though, you're a real hero for me and some of my friends! We all call you 'Daring Do' and we've heard everything about your adventures!"

Kolorado beamed. "Eh? Really? Why, you're going to make me blush, I'm not used to such praise, young boy!" Kolorado patted the little Maskass on his head as his parents looked at him, amused.

"I must say," the mother started, "I would have never guessed that you were this friendly toward total strangers. You're really someone, I tell you."

"Yeah, we asked Zip Toad for an autograph the other day and he didn't even acknowledged us," the father confirmed, indignant. "You would think a star of his caliber would welcome fans with open arms!"

"Oh well, some people prefer to distance themselves from their fans. I mean, I can't exactly compare with Zip Toad, he's known worldwide and I'll never reach his popularity so it's quite easy for me to take some time for people like you," Kolorado explained thoroughly before turning his attention back to Maskass. "And besides, it's not like I'm busy or anything!"

"Oh yah? Really now?" A black missile was standing behind Kolorado, visibly not amused. Arms crossed, he frowned at Kolorado's attitude.

Bullet Bill : So I enter this cybercafe, looking for a bag belonging to one of our friends and I see Kolorado dilly-dallying, completely oblivious to the fact that we've got a mission on our hands. The guy even had the nerves to say that he has free time while the rest of us is running around the airport, desperately looking for bags. I didn't want to cause a scene but I just wanted to shake him badly.

"Sorry to intrude this charming reunion, but we're playing a game," Bullet Bill explained to the little family. "And this guy here's supposed to be working with us to look for belongings that were scattered all around the airport. It should be some kind of black bag with a green thumbprint on it," the missile suddenly paused, looking at something laying near the father's chair. "C'mon Kolorado, there was a bag here the whole time and you didn't pick it up?!"

"Well, in my defense I haven't been here for such a long time, we've only had a drink, I think," the explorer justified.

"Well your loss then, you'd better get a move on 'cause I'm pretty sure the team won't wait for you if you're late or be happy if you don't come back with our stuff. Peace out guys!" Bullet Bill saluted, going back to the entrance of the airport.

Kolorado and the foursome stayed silent until finally, the father opened his mouth. "Well, that was certainly interesting. It seems the rumors are true, your head's in the clouds most of the time!"

"Haha, well, I certainly can't deny it when you're saying it with such confidence!" Kolorado laughed in self-derisory humor. "Your heard the guy though, I'm sorry I couldn't stay more with you all! You can always visit me at Koopa Village once the game is over if you want!"

Kolorado : I guess that I'm not the most down-to-earth person of the world, and it's true that I tend to forget things a lot, but what can I say? It's part of the package! You can't have everything for yourself, right? Haha!

Kolorado waved once last time to his fans and jogged at a rather fast pace for his age, trying to make up for lost time.

Time Remaining : 27 minutes

The two most athletic contestants, Dixie and Goombario, were running toward the stands that Dixie had located when suddenly they stopped dead in their tracks.

"Crap," Dixie muttered, putting her hand over her mouth in surprise.

Goombario : Once we arrived, we clearly realized the issue. There were never two stands with flags from the Mole but only one, which meant that one of us still had a problem : they needed to find yet another stand but time was slowly running out... Thankfully, Dixie decided to look for another one, but still... It was her fault in the first place if we had lost some time.

Dixie : From above I couldn't clearly see the difference between the two flags but up close it became obvious that I'd made a mistake. Well, no biggie, I still had time left. But I think Goombario was suspicious of me...

Dixie looked at Goombario and nodded to herself. "I'll go get another one, you can get this one!"

Goombario grinned. "Thanks and good luck!"

"No problem!" Dixie winked before running at fast speeds in another direction, vanishing in a sea of people. The master of the Goomnut technique immediately looked for the owner of the stand. He found a blue Piranha Plant with a white bow on her head as well has dark blue lipstick on her lips, which indicated that she was most certainly a female.

"Hello," greeted the Goomba as he reached her. He tipped his cap lightly out of politeness.

"Hi ya cutie!" purred the Piranha Plant, "The name's Myosotis, I guess you're from this Mole show or something, huh?"

"Yup, that's it!" Goombario nodded his head enthusiastically. "So you've got a task for me, I presume?"

"Exactly!" Myosotis confirmed his suspicions. "Don't worry, this challenge shouldn't take you more than a few minutes, at most!" The Piranha Plant led the blue-cap wearing Goomba to the back of her stand and pointed her leaves at pieces of wood strewn on the floor.

Puzzled, Goombario raised an eyebrow before turning to her, apparently waiting for further instructions. "So what do I need to do? You never told me."

"Oh yeah right, 'scuse me!" apologized the flower. "Well, these pieces of wood here," she knelt down next to said pieces, "actually form a piece of furniture. Your task is simple : just put them back together and show me when you're done, I'll give you a map with the place one of the bags is at." With that, she quickly departed and left Goombario alone.

"Well, I'd better get a move one. I guess."

Goombario : It wasn't the most exciting task but I knew I had to be focused during my work. If I didn't build the piece of furniture correctly, I would not be able to get the location of one of our bags. And if I somehow messed up the thing, I could potentially waste all of my time because I'd need to restart my work from the very beginning.

Time remaining : 24 minutes

The piano virtuoso hummed one of her favorite tune – the Underwater Theme – as she floated at a rather fast pace toward the information desk, where she thought she would be able to retrieve one of the bags containing the belongings of one of her peers.

Melody : This game will be a piece of cake, I'm sure of it. Sure, we made a mistake last challenge and assumed that we needed to win the dodge ball game to earn the money and it wasn't the case, however I still feel like we played a great match and it goes to show that everyone is motivated to give it their all. During that challenge, nine players out of ten did their best. I have a feeling the Mole won't be very successful throughout the game.

The blonde ghost scared a few customers away when she contorted her face in a way that did not seem natural, and as a result she was able to reduce the amount of people that were standing in line before the desk. She shook her head and emitted a small chuckle as she watched them scamper away in fright. "Bunch of cowards."

Finally, after several minutes, Melody was finally able to speak to the Pianta located behind the desk. "Good afternoon madam, how may I help you?" he greeted politely.

"Hello, I'm from this game show called 'The Mole', and I think you might have something that belongs to me," Melody stated casually, her eyes scanning the area where the Pianta worked, looking for the bag.

"Indeed I have," the Pianta declared as he picked up a bag from the ground. "All yours!"

"Yes!" Melody yelled triumphantly.

Melody : I had an easy time with my own part of the mission, so I expected the others to meet success as well. Anyone losing this mission was either dumb or stupid. Or the Mole, whichever you prefer.

Time Remaining : 22 minutes

Enguarde : Ugh, why does it always happen to me? I didn't know where the conveyor's belts were located so I asked around, and some Bob-omb guy told me it was somewhere but it was actually at the opposite side of the airport, so I lost valuable time... I knew I would need to speed up if I wanted to get the job done.

"Excuse me! I'm playing a game here!" Enguarde pushed lightly the people that were in his way to get to the supposed location of one of the bags more quickly. The blue swordfish tore down the stairs of the airport and managed to find the conveyor belts easily, but they were numerous and Enguarde only needed one bag.

"How am I supposed to know where to look?" the player voiced his incredulity as he floated calmly to one of the many bags that were moving along the first conveyor belt.

Enguarde : Coming here right off the bat was a mistake in the first place. I should've never tried to find a bag without the clue coming with it.

Sighing to himself, the oceanographer wandered aimlessly, looking desperately for a bag which had the insignia from the show on its side, to no avail. "What am I doing wrong? Geez, why am I even asking myself this question? I'm looking for a needle in a haystack, that's what I'm doing wrong!" he groaned.

After he wasted a few more minutes, Enguarde threw the towel. He knew the repercussion for his acts would probably haunt him later on in the game, but he had no choice.

Enguarde : Monty Mole had been very clear and had given us one order : come back to him before the time ran out, otherwise we would face dire consequences. I wasn't about to jeopardize my game just for two thousand coins! But just as I had decided to stop, something happened.

Kicking a bag to the side, Enguarde started backtracking when he suddenly saw a Shadow Siren from the corner of his eyes. What surprised him was not the creature himself, but rather what he was carrying in his right arm.

"It's the bag!" Enguarde shouted loudly, which indisposed an old Toadette who shot him a look of annoyance. Enguarde did not notice as he kept on hollering, his cries reverberated in the unusually calm airport. "Sir! SIR! Dammit, he didn't hear me!" The inhabitant of the sea did not think twice before he pursued the mysterious Shadow Siren.

Time Remaining : 21 minutes

"I hate puzzles!" Waitress whined, throwing her hands in the air. "Why can't you accept any of my answers?"

"I'm sorry missy, but I was given very strict instructions by your host, and I am by no mean permitted to tell you the answer to this enigma. Again, I'm sorry, but those are the rules," the Koopa apologized profusely before returning to his work.

"Aww... Cut me some slack, I can't figure it out myself," Waitress pouted cutely, possibly trying to charm the Koopa. Needless to say, she failed to garner any reaction.

Waitress : Yeah, yeah, you're probably gonna say that I'm an airhead or that I'm really dumb 'cause you've figured it out way before me, but this task was impossible! And I was timed so I couldn't think straight!

Looking at the fruits that were displayed on her shelf, Waitress began to ponder the possibilities. Suddenly, she let out an ecstatic laugh as she quickly took the grape in her hand and began to remove five little pieces of grape from the entire fruit and disposed them in the three baskets. She put three in the big basket, two in the medium-sized one, and she put the one she had previously used in the small one.

"Hey! Koopa-guyyy~!" Waitress called out to him, giggling to herself. The turtle came over and looked at her quizzically. "I finally got it! You said I had to use the fruits you gave me, but you never said I had to use them all, teehee!"

The Koopa rubbed the back of his head, visibly embarrassed. "Well, yeah but... It was kind of obvious to me, you see? This isn't the answer I'm looking for, sorry!"

"Come on, gimme a break!"

Time Remaining : 19 minutes.

Shokora : This last picture had me stumped, I figured I was very close to solving it, but for some reason I could not find the correct word I was looking for. It was quite annoying, but thankfully I solved it with more than fifteen minutes to spare I think, so I was right on time.

"How about 'winner'?" questioned the politician, crossing her fingers and hoping for the best. The pink Boo nodded her head and handed her a map of the airport on which was situated a red cross which would help Shokora find the location of a bag.

"You have around twenty minutes left," the Boo warned her. "You should probably get moving."

"Yes, you're right, and thank you for your time," Shokora curtsied in politesse.

The purple-clad woman immediately unfold her map and began to trace the path she would have to take with her finger, apparently in deep thought. "It would seem that the bag I am looking for is somewhere near a fountain and... Oh! I think I passed it on my way here!" she exclaimed joyfully, running toward the hidden belongings.

As much as she hated to do it, the well-mannered politician had to push some people who did not seem like they wanted to bulge to reach her destination, as the airport was starting to become more and more packed. Nevertheless, she succeeded in finding the bag she was looking for, but she ceased beaming as soon as her eyes fell on the tag attached to the zip.

"Oh my... It's my bag, I can't take it back to Monty Mole," she bit her lip, trying to figure a way out of her predicament.

Shokora : One of the rules stated that we could not bring our own bag back with us, so it meant that I still was not done with the challenge. But at the same time, I did not want to leave my bag here in plain sight, so I opted for a compromise.

"Well," Shokora started, carrying her bag over her shoulder, "the rules say I can't bring it back myself, but I can ask someone else to do it for me!"

Quickly, Shokora started looking for one of her companions, totally missing a certain blonde monkey who passed by her rapidly.

Remaining Time : 18 minutes

Dixie : After my previous blunder, I let Goombario do his job at his stand while I decided to look for another one. As luck would have it, I quickly came across one and immediately asked the Sniffit in charge what I was supposed to do. All I had to do was deliver a pack of milk bottles to a bartender in the same airport. Thankfully I knew where it was because I've already been here before otherwise I would've been toast!

Dixie Kong let out a small gasp as she pushed open the door to a bar called 'Seventh Heaven'. The nimble monkey immediately dropped the bottles she was carrying and took a deep breath to calm herself. Her back was aching after such strenuous activity and the bartender had to pour her a glass of water to make sure she was alright.

"Thank you," the monkey smiled gratefully as she accepted the glass that was given to her. "I guess I overestimated my strength, I shouldn't have tried to push myself so hard."

"Yeah, I mean, you may be strong but you still need to watch what you're doing," advised the Puny bartender. "Just because you're strong doesn't mean you're invincible, if you're carrying weighty stuff carelessly you could end up hurting yourself."

"True," nodded the monkey. "But I was in a fix, I needed to get this task done as soon as possible. Incidentally, I should probably get going! Thanks for the water!" Dixie winked on her way out as the bartender only had time to wave to her.

"Gosh, I hope there's still enough time," Dixie muttered to herself as she was raced to her stand. She made it back in only five minutes, and told the green Paratroopa in charge that she was done with her challenge.

"I did it, can I get my clue, please?"

"Here, take it," smile the owner of the stand. Dixie grabbed it and unfolded it hurriedly, her face becoming pale as she realized where her bag was located.

"Crap, it's on the parking lot," the blonde cursed her luck. "What do I do?"

Dixie : It was kinda hopeless, I figured I wouldn't have time to grab the bag and make the trip back to Monty Mole under the allotted time limit, but at the same time I wasn't sure the others would have liked me to come back with nothing... It's one of these times where you need to make a choice but no matter which option you choose, it won't be good.

Remaining Time : 14 minutes

Boo : I had a huge problem on my hands, you see? I first found a stand which had a green flag, but I unfortunately missed the fact that the thumbprint logo from the show wasn't on it, so it kind of screwed me over. So basically, I asked that guy if he needed my help and he gave me something to do – which I did – but when I was finished with my task he told me he had nothing for me. Which meant that I had wasted my time.

The white Boo was desperately looking for a bag, however he had no method and could not find any. The odds were stacked against the Boo too, for he had come across two stands and proposed his help, but both of the stand's owner had declared that someone had completed their task.

"Nothing ever goes my way, does it?" Boo complained as he slumped on a public bench. He closed his eyes for a second to think about his situation, and when he opened them again, he saw two of his fellow contestants apparently in deep discussion. Curious, the spy moved stealthily and positioned himself behind a plant so as to listen in on their conversation.

Boo : What can I say? Old habits die hard.

Shokora was pacing back and forth in front of a flustered Kolorado. She had her bag with her while the explorer was empty-handed. "...this is not good at all," Shokora let out worriedly, frowning slightly. "I had assumed that by now, mostly everyone would have found at least a bag, but you didn't."

Kolorado nodded his head slowly. "Yes, I admit that I'm at fault here, but I'm trying as hard as I can! And surely, you must be aware of the alternative choice? If you bring back this bag to Monty Mole, it won't count because he said you couldn't take your own luggage. So not only will we lose the coins, but you'll also be penalized because you didn't respect the rules."

"I know that," Shokora retorted coolly. "But it does not feel right to take a penalty for you when I did my own part of the challenge. If I give it to you, you will be rewarded for doing nothing! It is not fair at all."

"Oh golly! What are we supposed to do? Our time's nearly run out and I doubt we'll get another bag by just standing there..."

"Well, we have no other choice. Take it," Shokora extended her arm and gave the Koopa her bag. Kolorado took it eagerly.

"Thanks Shokora, I owe you one!" the archaeologist smiled earnestly. "Well, we'd better get going!" Shokora nodded and the two of them walked away, toward Monty Mole's position.

Once they were far away, Boo came out of his hiding spot and shook his head, disappointed. "Looks like I wasn't the only one who had trouble with this challenge. Might as well follow them."

Remaining Time : 12 minutes

Sitting at the counter of the same stand she had been in for quite some time now, Waitress had laid her head on her crossed arms, visibly giving up on her task. From where she was, she could already see some players returning to the starting point, so she at least knew that she had several minutes left at her disposal to solve her puzzle.

"This is soooooo annoying," Waitress muttered almost inaudibly. "I don't get this enigma."

She stared at the three baskets and the five fruits in front of her in quick succession, however she still could not figure out the problem.

Waitress : I kinda knew I was missing the point of the puzzle, 'cause, you know something's amiss when your simplest ideas don't work. But the problem was that I'd already tried everything I could think of...

Thinking intensely, the waitress of the Excess Express grasped the cherry and put it in the biggest basket, along with the orange and the apple. In the medium-sized basket, she decided to place the banana. And finally, she positioned the littlest basket right next to the medium one and put the grape in such a way that it was halfway in both baskets.

"Kinda hope that's right," Waitress paused slightly, analyzing the disposition of her fruits. Once she was satisfied, she called for the Koopa wearing a white hoody. "Hey sir! I've got it!"

"Oh, do you?" grinned the owner of the stand. "So let's see..." He made a weird face as he looked at her answer and apparently struggled to come up with a conclusion. "I think that's wrong, sorry."

Waitress let out a huge groan, completely missing out on his hesitation, and, in a way, missing out on the fact that she was arguably almost right.

Remaining Time : 10 minutes

White Mage was looking everywhere for a bag in the women's restroom, but she could not find it. She closed the door with her elbow, careful not to touch any doorknob in case some people had not washed their hands before leaving, and turned around, facing the bathroom.

Blanche : It was becoming incredibly obvious that there was no bag in the bathroom, and I almost left when suddenly, I realized something.

"Wait... There is no bag in the females' restroom, but..." Instinctively, she looked at the blue stick figure representing a man which was on the other door. "Should I...?" White Mage looked repulsed but she decided to give it a try, nonetheless.

She took extra precaution not to touch any door handle and wove through the door once it was ajar. "It's during these times that I'm glad to be a female. Oh my god, this restroom is so gross," she said daintily.

White Mage mustered her courage and looked inside one of the water closet. To her delight, she immediately found what she was looking for. Before leaving, she tore a piece of toilet tissue and used it to open the door and leave the bathroom.

"Yes! Now to return to our starting point..."

It was nearly time to conclude the challenge. Monty Mole was looking at his watch, counting down the remaining seconds before finishing the challenge. Several players had already reached him long ago, so they knew they were safe, but others had not managed to bring back a bag with them. Some of them still had not come back either.

"Only twenty seconds left," Monty Mole declared, his voice booming. Soon after he said this sentence, a player came rushing toward the group, panting slightly but with a smile on their face as they raised a bag in the air.

"Good job!" Goombario cheered happily.

"Three, two, one, and that's it everyone!" Monty Mole stated, his eyes shining with anticipation. "Forty minutes have passed, and only nine players stand before me, which means that already a rule was brok-"

"Sorry I'm late!" screamed a short simian figure, a blonde ponytail twitching behind her as she rushed toward the group. "Did I make it in time?" Dixie wondered aloud, her voice shaking as she took deep breaths.

"Unfortunately you didn't," Monty Mole answered stoically. "As I said before the challenge, people who would not come back here under the allotted time limit would suffer dramatic consequences." Dixie gulped uneasily, her eyes wide open. "However, since you did not delay us that much I will be lenient and not give you a huge penalty. The player whose bag you retrieved will be able to use what's inside, but the bag in itself is worth no money."

"I guess that's fair enough," Dixie managed to smile. "I'm glad I decided to look for the bag instead of returning immediately to the starting point, though." Monty Mole raised an eyebrow but did not add anything.

"Thanks Dixie!" Melody exclaimed happily, claiming her luggage.

"Now, Melody was the first one back here, with nineteen minutes to spare. She was obviously successful in her task and brought back Kolorado's bag, so she inaugurates the team pot and adds two thousand coins to your winnings, congratulations!"

"Alright, way to go Melody!" Bullet Bill patted her on the back, a little too strongly. He earned one of her famous icy glares. "Sorry!"

Melody : Figures I would be the first one to win money for the team. I just knew it, this competition is in the bag.

"How did Bullet Bill fare? Well, he came back with Waitress' bag with seventeen minutes to spare, so he also adds two thousand coins into the team pot." The players all clapped and cheered once again.

"I knew you could do it!" Enguarde gave him a high-five.

"Goombario was the third one who returned in possession of Dixie's bag with twelve minutes to spare. You know the drill, he also earns money for the team," Monty Mole explained, a little bored. Boo scowled while the others rejoiced.

Boo : He probably did it to make up for the first challenge, but let's be realistic a second here. He lost us twenty thousand coins and won us two thousand coins. Something the Mole'd like to do, in my opinion. Sabotaging huge amounts of money in the one hand and earning pitiful amounts of money while looking like a hero on the other.

"Kolorado brought back Shokora's bag with six minutes to spare, so he also adds two thousand coins to your pot. Congratulations to him!" Monty Mole had a hard time dissimulating a knowing smirk on his face.

"Boy, I don't think I deserve such applause," Kolorado looked at his feet, disappointed. Shokora decided not to say anything. Instead, she opted for an almost imperceptible nod.

Waitress: Like, why the long face? Aren't you happy to win money? I swear, some people are totally strange.

"Blanche did great as well, although she was relatively slower. She found Enguarde's bag and came back with four minutes to spare!"

White Mage crossed her arms, a sly smile making its way on her face. "Was there ever any doubt?"

"Geez, stop acting so cool girl," Waitress laughed. "I wanna say lines like these too!"

"Well, it'll be hard considering you failed to bring a bag back, not that that's much of a surprise," Melody taunted. Waitress sent her a glare.

"Alright tiger, retract your claws," Enguarde told her, rolling his eyes. Now it was Melody's turn to fume.

Enguarde : I think I found myself a new activity while on this show : annoy Melody. She's just so easy to piss off that it'd be a shame not to take advantage of it.

"And finally, with seconds to spare, Enguarde was able to retrieve Boo's bag, so yes, he also gives you two thousand coins!"

"You guys have no idea how troublesome this was for me..."

"Spelling your name sounds like it would be troublesome for you," Melody jabbed at him.

Shokora sighed slightly. "You two are impossible, you know that?"

"Guys, Monty's not finished yet," Bullet Bill interrupted their bickering.

"Yes, indeed," the host confirmed. "As I seem to recall, I think I told you there was a twist in this challenge, didn't I?"

Goombario tilted his head to the side. "I'm not liking this."

"Trust me, some of you will love this twist while others will simply hate it!" the host commented mysteriously, already playing mind games with the players. "Let's drop the suspense, shall we? The twist of this game, is that whoever didn't bring back a bag under the allotted time limit would suffer a penalty during the first quiz."

Shokora : We were all frightened at the prospect of a twist, but when Monty Mole announced to us that the people who had not brought back a bag in time would obtain a penalty for the first questionnaire... I think my heart stopped beating for a moment. I was extremely disappointed and felt that this punishment was unnecessary and downright unfair in my case.

Kolorado sent an apologetic glance to Shokora, before asking a question to Monty Mole. "Say, lad, what's the penalty?"

"I'm glad you asked, Kolorado. The penalty is actually a minus two for the next quiz, meaning that we will subtract two points from the quizzes of Shokora, Dixie, Boo and Waitress. So basically, the others all have an advantage for the first episode. And considering that Waitress won herself an exemption, this penalty is void for her," Monty Mole added as an afterthought.

Dixie : The feeling's horrible. I know I did the right thing when I decided to look for Melody's bag, but now my chances to get eliminated first are higher than ever, and it isn't reassuring at all. I wish I could go back in time and not waste time at certain moments of the challenge.

"Well, still," Monty pursued after a pause, "Melody, Enguarde, Bullet Bill, Kolorado, Goombario and White Mage all managed to find a bag, so you won twelve thousand coins out of twenty thousand. Nice job!"

Challenge's Results :

Money Won : 2 000 x 6 = 12 000

Team Pot : 12 000 coins.

The host cleared his throat. "Well, now that that's out of the way, I'd like you guys to follow me to our plane. We're leaving the Mushroom Kingdom!"

"Oh really?" Boo wondered. "Where are we going?"

"Well, you know me, Boo. I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise..."

The host chuckled merrily as he waddled his way toward their plane. Some players groaned while others simply smiled in amusement, but they all eventually followed him. One last player had another reaction, though, they were giddy with excitement. That player knew exactly what would be their destination, for they were the Mole.

Well, that's it with this chapter ! Hopefully the wait wasn't too long. ^^"

I tried to upload this chapter as soon as I was on my easter break, because I couldn't find the time before. Sorry if I take too long, but I'm really not a fast writer.

Before leaving, I wanted to say something though :

If you like the Hunger Games and want to read a really funny parody of it, you could check up 111hungergames111's story, look past the form of the story and instead look at what's inside, I tell you, you'll have a good laugh if you don't take it seriously. XD

Also, AdmiralBobbery has started to write a Mole story too, it's really well-written, has a lot of details and I can tell it'll go far. Unfortunately he or she does not really get much reviews, so if you could support them, it would be greatly appreciated. Their story is called The Mole: Hidden Adversary. ^^

Well, that's it for the advertisements ! Until next time !