"Come on, it's not much farther." A black-skinned male encouraged his friend as they hiked up a steep path, his friend not too far behind him but out of breath. The male looked forward and then looked back at his friend who was steadily catching up to him, "The Cavern is right over here." His friend clawed at the ground with sharp talons, anchoring them into the ground for leverage as he continued to hike the mountain that grew ever steeper. "At least you're working off your weight, Bowser." The Black man said, laughing as a huge yellow-scaled reptilian with a spiked, green, turtle's shell on his back roared,
"Shut it, Ganondorf, I've never had to hike up this far." Bowser growled, his red mane of hair plastered to his forehead with sweat, while the orange-haired friend adjusted a gem that kept his long hair tightly tamed.
"Its good exercise, isn't it? Invigorating, really! After a while its hard to find anything to stretch the muscles well." Ganondorf said as Bowser caught up with him, "This is as far as I'm going. You'll have to do the rest on your own." Ganondorf informed the other villain who hissed,
"I knew it! This was a trap to kill me off, ditching me in someplace I don't know-!" Bowser said angrily and Ganondorf reached up and forcefully shut the lizard's mouth,
"Be quiet!" Ganondorf said in a harsh whisper, "I'm not ditching you, I'll be waiting out here. Only one person at a time can go in." Bowser was quiet when Ganondorf removed his hands, "There's a fountain before the entrance. Wash off there before you go in, and when you do, just follow the signs." The armored man said before sitting down under a tree. Bowser raised an eyebrow suspiciously, "I just- That's what I've heard anyways." Ganondorf grumbled, looking away as he put his chin in his hand. Bowser passed his companion up and took a good look at his surroundings.
They had trekked high into a tropical area and then a jungle, but the part of the jungle the Cavern was in seemed different. Everything was a faint shade of blue. Willow trees extended their branches over everything in sight, long vines of leaves hiding the path. Bowser looked back at Ganondorf who catch his gaze. Ganondorf motioned with his hand for Bowser to continue and the lizard nervously reached forward, gingerly pushing the tips of his claws past the curtain of vines before moving his arm to open them wide enough for his girth. Then he went past the curtain of vines.
There, indeed, was a fountain before a large entrance to a cavern. Bowser slightly dipped his toe into the clear blue water. It was cold and crisp and probably the best thing to rinse off the heat from the jungle. Bowser slipped in and dosed himself with the water before stepping out and shaking himself dry like a dog. He walked forward into the cavern.
Small lanterns hung from the walls after the light of day hit it's limit in the cavern. Each lantern held a soft glow of blue-ish/green that gently illuminated many yards into the cavern and the straight path to a small shrine. Bowser continued down the [path up up the small stair case that lead to said shine of old columns that held up a elegant but ancient marble roof. A Large bell hung from the center of the roof, with a thick, woven rope of purple and red that could be pulled to ring it. Under the end of the rope was a grate that was pitch black inside. Bowser looked around and noticed that the shrine was the farthest one could go into the cavern before black water over took the rest of the cavern, which was at the same level as the edge of the shrine floor, walls keeping the water from flowing farther than the shrine and flooding the place. A small sign was on a plaque on the tablet of stone that held the grate and Bowser leaned over to read it.
'Bade an offering of your Kingdom.
Only those black-hearted, will be heard.
Carefully, steel thy soul,
For words hold more power than the sword.'
Just a bunch of phrases thrown together, Bowser assumed before another sign caught his eye on the other side. He walked around to the plaque and read it too.
'Once they kingdom offered,
Let it be heard to the wind, the water, and the earth.
That thou dost humbly pray and request,
The audience of-'
There seemed to be two words that had been scratched out. The markings were old, Bowser mentally noted as he ran a finger along the scratches, perhaps made when the plaque was first laid down. Bowser lapped the same finger to his chin. 'Offering of your kingdom'? He crossed his arms as he tried to think before remembering what Ganondorf had told him to bring. He produced a gold coin and walked forward, dropping it into the grate. It fell with a clink and Bowser pondered what to do next, looking at the old plaques. 'Wind, water, and earth.' 'humbly request' 'steel'? Which was it? Bowser turned his back to the grate to think more and his shell hit the grate, making him lose some of his balance and he threw his arms around for something to grab onto. His hand found something and he clung to it for support and pulled it down.
Bowser jolted at the loud gong and looked at his hands. He had grabbed onto the rope and rung the bell above him with gonged loud and strong. The water rippled and the sound resonated off the walls.
Bowser tried to slowly ease the rose back upwards to silence the gong but it was already too late. He looked up and noticed something engraved on the gong, making him squint to see it clearly.
'Put faith in thy hands,
As thy vile corruption taints them.'
Bowser didn't under stand it but he looked across the water for a split second and saw a figure rise from the center. He immediately let go of the rope as the figure drew closer. They seemed…female…in appearance, but they seemed to be made of some transparent thing as Bowser could see right through them. The phrase 'Pray' came to his mind from one of the plaques and Bowser got down on his knees and prayed. For what, he didn't know, but he clasped his hands tightly and kept his head down, and the soft tapping of someone walking filled his ears.
"Did you offer me this?" A double-toned voice asked and Bowser looked up, the figure standing before him held the Gold Coin he had thrown in. Bowser nodded and the figure gestured for him to get up, "Stand before me." Bowser got up and faced the crystalline being. It held large, silver eyes and flowing white locks that covered the more private parts of the feminine anatomy that it sported. "Are you a villain?" It asked and Bowser nodded. The figure stretched out a hand to him, turning their palm towards the sky, "Touch my hand. I will gauge your honesty." Bowser hesitated but reached out and gingerly touched the hand offered to him. The clear crystal body of the figure before him turned dark as something black swirled inside of her see-through being. "Yes. You are honest." She pulled her hand away and stepped away, "Come. Don't be afraid." Bowser couldn't deny that he was nervous as he followed the figure until she began walking on the surface of the water. She stopped and turned half-way to him when she realized he wasn't following, "Step forward." Bowser looked at the black water. Suddenly it began to clear up and he was able to see deep into it as it turned clear and he took a step forward.
His paw didn't break the surface of the water. It was the same for the next step he took. And the next.
Bowser continued to follow the figure until they stopped in the middle of the large lake, far from the shrine, and he stopped in front of her. "Tell me about yourself. Your name, where you hail from…what you have come this far to get." She said and Bowser looked at the water. Images began to dance on it's surface, swimming in it's depths, as he looked at it, but whenever he looked away and looked back, they were still there.
"Bowser Koopa, your, uh, Grace." Bowser growled, "I come from the Koopa Kingdom, not too far from the Mushroom Kingdom. I'm king of the Koopas." he said and the woman looked down, a map appearing on the water and moved, slowly, from their location to the one he spoke of.
"I see…a shame, really, I have never been. May hap, once long ago, I passed through it briefly." The woman answered before looking back at Bowser, "And what is your deepest wish, Bowser?" He hesitated when asked before answering,
"What is your name? And what do you do…exactly?" Bowser asked and the woman laughed a little. It was a sweet and melodious sound that resonated off the water and the walls, a simple chuckle that sounded like a chorus.
"My name, long forgotten, is no longer of importance. Call me what you will." She answered before looking at her hands, "This…"occupation"…of mine was a promise I made to someone I loved very, very much." They answered somberly before looking at Bowser, "I grant wishes, in a sense of the word. You; offer me something precious to you, and I; grant a single wish of yours to the best of my ability. On the condition that you take time to think of what you truly want, more than anything else, the possibilities I provide are almost limitless." She told him and put her hands together in front of her waist line, "What do you wish for, Bowser?" Bowser looked at the water and images of a blonde-haired, blue-eyes woman with a warm smile and a pink parasol wafted in it's depths. "She's awfully pretty, Bowser. Does she have a name as well?" The woman asked and Bowser was silent for a while.
"Peach…Princess Peach of the Mushroom Kingdom." "Have you told her your feelings?" "…Not really, no…But I've tried. Every time I do try, that jerk, MARIO comes and takes her away from me! Says I've kidnapped her!" "This 'Mario' is your love rival?" "Yes…and…she only really likes him anyways…" Bowser grumbled, the figure walking forward as he wondered why he was spilling his guts.
"I only offer my services…to villains." The figure said and Bowser looked up, "For it is usually they who have the saddest stories and the growing need to be helped. Tell me, Bowser, what do you seek? Power, to crush your rival? The Magic to kill him forever more? The strength to take the kingdoms around you for your own? Or…something else that will win you the love of your heart?" Bowser had to think about it hard. Mario was a necessary distraction, he guessed, and aside from Bowser kidnapping Peach all the time, they were on friendly terms. But Mario was always there. Always in the way of him and Peach. And whenever him and Peach were alone she still thought of him.
"I…I want her to love me…" Bowser choked as he thought about all the times he had came so close to telling her before Mario ruined it all, "I may not be that smart, or as skilled as Mario, but…But I'm tired of her fawning over him as I watch." Bowser sobbed and the figure nodded,
"And what will you give me to get this wish of yours?" She asked and Bowser wiped his eyes, "It's more of a…loaning process. I give you this wish in exchange for your precious something. If you no longer want the gift I give you, then I will take it back and return to you what you gave me for it." Bowser tried to think of something to give her in exchange for his wish, "But time will rewind to when you first gave me your precious something."
"You'll…give it back…If I give your gift back?" He repeated warily and she nodded. "Then…Could I give you my ability to breath fire?"
"Absolutely. Do we have a deal?" She questioned, holding out her hand to him, "In exchange for your 'Fire', I will give you what you truly want." Bowser reached out and shook the woman's hand. There was a bright, blinding flash that make Bowser cover his eyes until it faded- but when it did, the woman held a swirling ball of flame between her hands, letting it float in the air just above her palms. "The deal is done. By tomorrow morning, you will have what you wished for." The figure slowly faded from existence with his fire and Bowser watched her go, "Fare thee well, Bowser of the Koopa Kingdom."
After a while, Bowser regrouped with Ganondorf who, as promised, was patiently waiting for him, "Hey, welcome back." Ganondorf greeted and Bowser grunted before they began down the path again. "Get what you wanted?"
"Ganondorf, how did you know this place was here? And how it worked?" Bowser asked his friend who looked at him, "Did you come here and make a wish too?" Ganondorf looked away, scratching his beard,
"Maybe, maybe not." Ganondorf answered vaguely and Bowser chuckled, "You? Ganondorf, the Evil King, had a wish you couldn't make happen?" Ganondorf flushed with embarrassment,
"Hey, not everything can be done with good-looks and power, ok? Especially not in your case." Ganondorf quipped and Bowser scoffed, "You're not getting a peep out of me other than that. Let's just go back to my place, wash up, eat some of my wife's cooking, and just not talk about this." Bowser nodded, "And don't snitch me out to her in a moment of weakness again! She got me good for the last time you ratted me out."
"I highly doubt she can do anything else but smile." Bowser laughed. Ganondorf, not too long ago, had gotten married to his mysterious wife that practically no one had ever heard of. Bowser had been his best man and never seen the girl but everyone saw her when she walked down the isle towards a rarely-nervous Ganondorf. She rarely spoke though, which was a little more than odd.
"She's vicious. And when she found out I told you about the family plans? The woman nearly sent me to the next village over for the week." Ganondorf explained, "I was able to whittle it down to the night on the couch in our room but it was still pretty harsh, even for her." Bowser tried to remember if there were ever any instances he'd seen them fight or her to be outwardly angry with Ganondorf. Eventually the subject changed to something else as they went by to Hyrule Castle. Ganondorf had made a deal with the last princess, Zelda, that he would trade her throne for his freedom to do what he pleased- and she took it. She now happily lived with her hero, Link, elsewhere. The servants let them in and Ganondorf went off to seek out his wife. After a few minutes, he found her in a small study, leaving the door open for Bowser to enter.
A red-haired woman sat on a long window sill, reading, looking up and smiling as Ganondorf entered and kissed her on the head, "Feeling any better?" He asked and she nodded slightly, before smiling and waving at Bowser who waved back. "Any appetite today?" She shook her head and closed her book, "Hey, Bowser and I just got back from our Hike. Maybe you'll feel like eating after you whip something up? Then we can all eat together." She gave an unsure smile, "Wouldn't hurt." She laughed a bit and set her book down, getting to her feet slowly, before leaving the room through the open door, "Bowser, you're not doing anything tomorrow, right? It's already pretty late, why don't you just stay over?" Bowser shrugged,
"Why not?" He answered before pointing towards his buddy's wife, "Dude, she's wobbling, you sure you want her cooking?" Ganondoorf strode over and looked into the hall as his wife teetered from side to side before putting a hand on the wall, a few servants helping her and escorting her down the rest of the hallway.
"The Servants will help her." Ganondorf assured as Bowser asked,
"What's wrong with her?"
"Don't know." He responded vaguely, rubbing the back of his neck before sitting down in a chair, "She's been like that for a week now and all the doctors give the both of us the run-around. It's frustrating, just sitting here and watching." Bowser would probably feel the same way if it was Peach. Then again, Ganondorf seemed to care a lot more about his wife than he let on usually. The two of them went down to eat when a servant came and got them, his wife already sitting down, raising for them at the table. A servant came out and placed some of the meal in front of her, giving normal portions to the men that sat down and she smiled weakly. She had helped make bread bowl stew but she got a small bowl of the meat instead.
"Thank you." Bowser said politely and she smiled happily and nodded, Ganondorf repeated the phrase and she gave the same response before they ate and she nibbled on her food.
"Kohana." Ganondorf said and his wife looked at him. "We don't have anything going on tomorrow, right? No 'all-of-a-sudden' events?" He asked and she thought about it before shaking her head 'no', then 'yes' to his next question to save him the air. A servant brought out some tea for her which she daintily sipped at without interest and nudged her food around. "Eat up." Ganondorf encouraged as Bowser was asking for thirds of the stew. His wife, Kohana, nibbled here and there on the contents of the stew before sipping at the broth. After the awkward dinner of Ganondorf pushing his wife's bowl to her and she pushing it away, Everyone retired to their rooms.
The Next morning Bowser stretched in the guest bed and yawned, getting up, pulling on the braces for his arms and noticed they were too big- way too big. "Hm. I'll just tighten them. Must be dreaming." He voiced in a lot less gruffer tone, leaving the room and made a pit stop at the study where Ganondorf and Kohana were playing chest. She moved one of her pieces and he threw the board out the window as Kohana ducked, "How am I supposed to win a game if you keep winning, woman!?" Ganondorf yelled at the ceiling and she coughed a little before looking over in Bowser's direction- and she twitched. Kohana tugged on Ganondorf's cape and he looked over at Bowser and blinked in surprise, "Bowser?"
"Yeah. Duh." He grunted, the two people staring at him, "What's the problem?" Kohana gently pushed Bowser out into the hallway and in front of a long mirror, Ganondorf following. Bowser frowned and asked, "What's with you?" Before looking at his reflection and jolting.
A peach-skinned human stared back at him, with small horns protruding from a wild mass of crimson locks, crimson eyes staring back at him.
Bowser reached up and gently touched his face, having long nails instead of claws and abnormally sharp canine teeth instead of fangs all around. The mirror mimicked his movements and he pinched himself, feeling and seeing pain.