"FINALLY! KEELHAUL KEY!" Larry cheered, kissing the ground.
"I'm surprised you swam all that way," Jack observed.
"Why?" Larry wondered, "Didn't you?"
"I just floated on this Jugem's Cloud," Jack replied. "You could've come on it too."
Larry's jaw dropped. "You mean-"
"Yes," Jack answered quickly.
Larry proceeded to walk to the nearest tree and began bashing his head against it.
"Sorry to interrupt," Jack interrupted, "but shouldn't we find this Regal guy now?"
"Oh. Right," Larry said, putting an end to the probable head injuries.
As they walked, they noticed a blue-shelled Lakitu floating backwards.
"YEAH! How do you like that, bonehead? I gave ya the beatdown!" Thumbs shouted, clearly gloating over something he didn't do.
"What are you babbling about?" Larry asked.
"I just beat up that stupid ghost pirate, Cortez," Thumbs responded with a grin.
"What?!" Jack was in shock. "You did?"
"Yup!" Thumbs answered, still grinning, "And I got this too." Thumbs showed them the Sapphire Star.
"He's got a Crystal Star!" Larry shouted. "Get him!"
Jack was reluctant. "I don't know, man. I mean, he said he just beat Cortez."
"I don't know who that is," Larry said, "so I don't care!" He spat out a fireball at Thumbs, who dodged it and ran off screaming.
"After him!" Larry began to give chase, but a silver Yoshi jumped in front of him. He had a pair of wings; one looked angelic while the other looked demonic.
"I advise you leave the Lakitu alone," the Yoshi said, "otherwise I may be forced to use these." The Yoshi showed Larry a couple of swords, one black, one white.
Larry began to back up. "All right. Fine. But we'll be back, and with a weapon. That Crystal Star will be ours!"
Larry ran off, motioning Jack to follow, who did.
"Hey, thanks," Thumbs said after they left.
"No problem," the Yoshi said. "What's your name?"
"Thumbs," Thumbs responded. "And yours?"
"Silver," the Yoshi answered. "I overheard you beat Cortez. Is this true?"
"Well... um... sure!" Thumbs had that grin again.
"Good," Silver said. "I want that treasure."
Thumbs almost jumped out of his skin. "Yeah... about that..."
"Hmm?" Silver wondered. "You did beat Cortez, correct?"
"Then let's go get his treasure," Silver said, walking towards Pirate's Grotto.
"Okay!" Thumbs followed, and then whispered to himself, "What have I gotten myself into?"
"ARGH!" Larry whined. "We have to get that Crystal Star!"
"We'd better find Regal then," Jack suggested. "Those two guys seem tough."
"Who's that?" Larry pointed.
They saw a white Bob-omb walking near the shore. He had a read vest and a blue monocle.
"I'd like your bump, old chap," the Bob-omb said to the Whacka.
"You're not getting my bump again, Regal!" the Whacka yelled, and then went underground.
"Blast!" Regal shouted.
"That's Regal!" Larry chreered. "We found him!"
"What are you young ruffians going on about?" Regal asked.
"We're looking for you," Jack replied. "We want you to help us find the Crystal Stars."
"What in the bloody are Crystal Stars?" Regal wondered.
"Um, stars made of crystals?" Larry attempted.
"Right..." Regal said. "Well, I suppose I'll help you anyway, my dear boy. I have nothing better to do."
"YES!" Larry exclaimed, jumping for joy. "Now let's get that Lakitu."
Jack stopped him. "Dude! He beat Cortez! I'm not fighting him!"
"Fine..." Larry said. "We'll go to Hooktail Castle. My dad told me there was one there a long time ago."
"Doesn't mean it's still there..." Jack muttered.
"Well, we're going anyway," Larry decided. "Now come on," he added, walking off. Jack followed.
"I daresay this excavation will be quite exciting,"\ Regal said to himself before following as well.
"Here we are, Pirate's Grotto," Silver said, looking around.
Thumbs was looking around too, but much more frantically. "Yeah..."
"Watch it..." Silver warned. He threw one of his swords forward and an explosion was heard. He then walked off to where he threw the sword, where it could be seen lieing on the ground. "Bulky Bob-omb," he said, picking his sword up and continuing on.
Upon seeing all that, Thumbs began to become more confident. "Hey, this guy is pretty strong," he thought to himself. "Maybe with him around I really can beat Cortez!" He had that grin back as he followed Silver to Cortez's ship.
"Time to get that treasure," Silver said, walking inside the ship. Thumbs followed.
Inside, the treasure could be seen everywhere, lighting up the room. Silver began to pocket it. Thumbs began to do so as well, but was constantly looking around. Soon enough, there was a large puff of smoke, and when it cleared, a huge skeleton with a pirate's hat as well as several pirate weapons appeared.
"YOU AGAIN?!" Cortez shouted upon seeing Thumbs. "I thought I told you to never come here again, amigo."
"In the mood for another beating, Cortez?" Silver challenged.
Cortez laughed. "Beating? No comprende, muchacho. No one has ever defeated me in combat. Well... there was one guy, but he's long gone now."
Silver glared at Thumbs, who let out a nervous laugh. "Heh heh, I, um... beat him up in my mind?"
"I told you never to return, esse," Cortez began. "I said I'd take your soul if you did. Well, I can't go back on my word now."
"Not so fast!" Silver interupted. "If you want to kill him, you have to go through me."
"A death wish, eh?" Cortez asked. "Very brave, but very foolish. You will regret that decision." With that, Cortez slashed his sabre at Silver, who blocked it with his black sword. Cortez then swung his own sword, which was blocked by Silver's white sword. "Not bad, amigo," Cortez admitted, "but I have a bit of an advantage." He then swung his hook, which caused Silver to jump back. Silver then fired a whitish beam from his sword, hitting Cortez and disarming him of his sword.
"How did you like that?" Silver asked.
"ARGGH!" Cortez shouted in pain, and then said, "Not bad. Not bad at all. But let's see how you deal with the Soul Beam!" Cortez glowed for a second, and then fired a green beam at Silver. Seeing this, Silver fired a black beam and a white beam from each of his swords in an attempt to block it.
Thumbs, seeing Cortez distracted, chucked a Spiny at him and bonked him on the head, forcing him to lose his concentration. Silver's beams overpowered his and Cortez took a nasty hit, dropping his hook.
"There's something about this Yoshi..." Cortez thought. "He's very strong. I do not think I'll be able to win, especially if that Lakitu is still around." Cortez stared at Thumbs for a moment and without a word, threw his rapier at him.
"Eek!" Thumbs yelped as he turned around and ducked. The rapier hit and bounced off of his shell, generally not harming him, but knocking him off his cloud. "Ouch..."
"Cheap shot. Can't you play fair?" Silver asked, swinging his black sword at Cortez, who was able to block this time with his only remaining weapon. Cortez then fired another Soul Beam. Silver didn't expect this and was knocked to the ground, but he quickly got up, though he was beginning to breathe heavily.
Cortez stared at him for a moment and let out a laugh. "Ho ho, I'm very impressed with you. You just don't give up. I respect you for that, so I concede to you," he said, dropping his last weapon, the sabre.
"What do I win?" Silver asked, not sounding like he believed it.
"You may have a piece of treasure of your choice," Cortez responded. "I grow more and more bored of guarding this stuff everyday."
"I think I'd rather take it all," Silver said.
"Do not be foolish," Cortez warned. "You may be able to destroy me if I was living, but I am dead. I can never be destroyed, and I would beat you eventually. Your energy is not unlimited."
"I suppose you got me there..." Silver admitted. "All right, I'll take ONE piece of your treasure."
"Hey!" Thumbs yelled, getting back on his cloud. "What about me?"
"YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME OF MY TREASURE!" Cortez shouted.
"Okay okay! I won't take anymore! Just don't hurt me!" Thumbs pleaded.
Silver dig through the treasure and eventually found an old-looking Raven statue. "This looks interesting..." he pondered. " I suppose I'll take it."
"Yes, very good," Cortez said. "You will be leaving now, correct?"
"I suppose so..." Silver answered. "Come on, Thumbs."
"Okay, we just have to find the Pedal Meadows now," Larry told Jack and Regal.
"I do believe these sewers are a bit on the dirty side, old chap," Regal informed.
"Obviously, but this is the easiest way to find what we're looking for," Larry said.
After a bit of walking, they could hear a couple of people approaching. "But don't forget you owe me, Pura," one of them said.
"I heard you the first eighty-four times, Crump," the other responded.
Soon, Pura and Crump rounded the corner and noticed Larry, Jack, and Regal.
"It appears some people enjoy rolling around in filth," Crump chuckled.
Pura said nothing. She was glaring at Larry as she passed him. Larry was doing the same, glaring at Pura, not noticing the Garnet Star, as Pura had hidden it in her cloak. After a few seconds that seemed like an eternity for the two of them, they walked their separate ways.
"What was that about?" Crump asked quietly.
"There's something about him I don't like..." Pura whispered back.
"Buh... We'll just kill him the next time we see him or something," Crump said. "But right now we gotta take this Crystal back to Sir Grodus."
"You all right there, chap?" Regal asked Larry.
"Y-yeah, I'm fine," Larry responded. "Let's just go."
"Excellent! Excellent!" Grodus exclaimed, seeing the Garnet Star. "As usual, you never fail to impress me, Pura. Perhaps you can go the next mission alone. I've been thinking about firing that useless Lord Crump for a while now."
Crump, who was listening at the door, began to panic and starting pacing around outside of the room.
"No, you don't have to fire him," Pura said. "I enjoy having him around as a punching bag."
Grodus laughed. "Ha! Very well then. I'll keep him around."
Crump let out a huge sigh of relief.
"Our X-Naut scientists are going to find the location of another Crystal Star soon," Grodus said. "But until then, you have the night off."
"Thank you, sir," Pura said, walking out of the room, where she saw Crump. "Now we're even," she said, walking off to her room.
"Got it!" Crump said gratefully, going to his own chambers.
"Why did I come here?!" Larry shouted.
"Because you said a Crystal Star was here..." Jack answered.
"I didn't know a dragon was here!" Larry yelled.
"Relax. Hooktail's long gone."
"Are you sure?" Larry asked.
"Of course," Jack said, entering Hooktail Castle.
"Okay then..." Larry said, following.
Regal was staring at the castle walls. "I like this kind of stone," he said.
"Come here, you!" Larry grabbed Regal by the wick and dragged him in. Inside, there were several Dull Bones laying on the ground. Larry shivered. "Th-those are Koopas, aren't they?"
"Yup," Jack said, not intimidated.
"I'm outta here!" Larry shouted, beginning to run off.
Jack stopped him. "Oh, come on. I already told you Hooktail's gone."
"Fine, fine." Larry continued through the castle. After passing many of the Dull Bones, they saw a Red Bones. Larry proceeded to poke it. It woke up.
"YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE THIS CASTLE ALIVE!" it shouted.
"AHH! It's not dead!" Larry exclaimed.
Jack stared at it for a moment. "Shut up, bonehead," he said, bashing the Red Bones in the head with the hilt of his sword. It collapsed.
The group eventually made it to the top of the castle in front of two large doors.
"Well, if the Crystal Star is here," Larry said, "it's behind these doors."
"Then let's go, chaps!" Regal blasted through the door.
Inside, they met a giant dragon that resembled Hooktail.
Larry screamed. "You said Hooktail was gone!"
"This isn't Hooktail!" Jack shouted back. "This dragon is made of crystal!"
"That's right," the dragon said. "I am Crystaltail, and I'm out to avenge the death of my siblings!"
"I thought Hooktail, Gloomtail, and Bonetail were the only ones..." Jack wondered.
"False," Crystaltail said. "And since it seems so obvious you're out to get us dragons, you shall die!"
"We're not you to get you!" Larry yelled.
"Too bad. Whether or not you're after me, I need a meal," Crystaltail said, and immediately tried to stomp on Jack.
"I don't think so, crazy dragon dude!" Larry shouted, firing a polygon spell at Crystaltail.
Crystaltail was hit, but seemed unphased. "I'm a girl," she said, firing ice breath at Larry.
"Eep!" Larry yelped, barely dodging the ice.
Seeing Crystaltail distracted with Larry, Jack slashed at her, leaving a large cut in the side of her belly. She roared and kicked Jack to the side, and then fired more of her ice breath at Larry.
"You gonna help at all, Regal?" Larry asked, dodging blasts.
Regal said nothing.
"You're useless!" Larry shouted, firing a fireball at Crystaltail. She was phased for a moment, but seemingly unhurt. Crysaltail then stomped on Larry, hard. He fell to the ground, and stayed there.
Jack jumped back up to slash Crystaltail again, but was knocked right back down by her tail. Regal continued to do nothing.
"Ahhhh. Now that my meal is tenderized," Crystaltail said, "it's time to eat," She began to approach Larry, who was still laying on the floor. However, she was stopped by a tapping on her foot.
"Hello there, lass," Regal said, looking up at Crystaltail.
"What do you want?" Crystaltail demanded. "To be eaten first?"
"Nono, I want you to feel the Regal Explosion." With that, Regal exploded, creating a huge blast, fire and smoke filling the room.
Jack had recovered from being struck and waited for the smoke clouds to clear. When they did, Regal could be seen standing next to a downed Crystaltail, who was laying on her back...
"Wow..." was all Jack could say.
Regal walked up to Larry. "Are you all right, my dear boy?"
Larry jumped up. "I will be when we find that Crystal Star!" Larry began searching all around the room. He even went inside of Crystaltail to look for it, but found nothing.
"It's not here," Jack simply said.
"I KNOW!!!" Larry shouted, laying back down on the floor. "Why isn't it here?!"
"I do believe we should search elsewhere," Regal suggested.
"Fine..." Larry said, getting up and walking out. Regal and Jack followed.
They walked out of the castle, through Petal Meadows, and then started into Petalburg, but Larry was still moping. "This is just like with my father!" he whined. "He could never find one ei-" He was interrupted as he ran into a Koopa. The Koopa had a bandaid on his beak, and was wearing a blue jacket.
"Ohh... Sorry about that," the Koopa said.
"Watch where you're going next time," Larry mumbled.
"KOOPS!" a female Koopa called.
"Sorry, I must get going," Koops said, before dashing off into a house.
"What was that about?" Jack wondered.
"Beats me," Larry responded. He was about to walk off, but then Koops came back out, holding the Diamond Star. Larry almost choked.
"Isn't that a Crystal Star?" Jack asked.
"It is. Get him get him get him!" Larry shouted.
"Hey, what're you- Ow!" Koops was knocked down from a Shell Shot by Larry.
"Give us that Star!" Larry demanded.
"Why do you want it?" Koops asked.
"Yeah, why DO you want it?" Jack also wondered.
"Um..." Larry thought for a moment. "It's a special reason," he said. "But I'm not allowed to tell why."
"Well, um, I guess that makes sense..." Jack said quietly.
"If you can't tell me, you won't be getting this," Koops said, starting to walk off.
"Give it! It's miiiine!" Larry shouted, tackling Koops.
"No, it isn't. I earned this," Koops said, kicking Larry off of him. "Now I am leaving." Koops began to walk off.
"I think not," Larry decided. He took out his wand and fired a beam at the ground near Koops. Vines quickly grew out of that area and entangled Koops in them. He was unable to move. Larry walked up to the trapped Koops.
"I'll be taking this," he said, forcefully pulling the Diamond Star from Koops's hands. "Pleasure doing business with you." Larry then walked out of town, Jack and Regal following.
After a few moments of struggling with the vines, Koops finally broke free. "I will have that Crystal Star back," he said quietly to himself, "after I call up an old friend of mine..."