"Where were you?" Silver asked as he jumped off of Thumbs's cloud in Jade Jungle.
"I was fighting some evil Yoshi."
"That purple one we saw yesterday in Rogueport."
"Her?" Silver sounded a bit shocked.
"Well, I didn't expect that... Did you win?"
"I guess you can say it was a tie, though she tried to kill me. Better add her to the list."
"Yeah," Thumbs replied. "I keep a list of people who try to kill me."
"Erm, okay. Well, do you still have the Crystal Star?"
"No, she has it now," Thumbs said.
"Bah... We should try getting it back."
"Maybe, but I think we ought to avoid that lunatic for a while. She was about to get herself killed trying to kill me."
"Who were those guys who attacked you?" Thumbs asked.
"They called themselves X-Nauts or something. They're very strange, but rather powerful I must admit."
"The Yoshi must have been with them. They really wanted that Crystal Star."
"What for?" Silver wondered.
"Well, the Yoshi, Pura, didn't say, but it's probably something important if she's going through all this trouble to get it."
"I'll make sure we'll get that Star back later," assured Silver.
"Okay, but until then, what shall we do?"
"I'm not really sure besides resting up after that fight."
"Want a slushie?" Thumbs offered.
"... Do you ever get tired of those?" Silver asked him, taking the slushie.
"No way!" Thumbs declared, drinking his slushie.
"Here ya go! Piece of the Moon Stone." Wendy handed it to Cook Guy.
"I thank you," Cook Guy thanked. "For this deed, your order is on the house." He walked to his kitchen and began cooking.
"It's about time..." Larry grumbled. "We could have just gone to Tayce or Zess T, but they don't serve Koopas. Pssh..."
Cook Guy placed the bowl in front of Larry. "Bon appetite."
"All right, let's go!" Larry took the bowl and left.
"Soup?" Ludwig asked, looking at the food Larry held up toward the window so Ludwig could see.
"Yes, now let us in!" Larry demanded.
"Very well, but it better not be cold." Ludwig let a rope down for the others to climb, which they did. Larry handed Ludwig the soup when he reached the window. "I suppose I'll give this a try..." Ludwig said, sipping it. He immediately loved its taste. "Mmm, delicious! You can go now."
"No 'thank you'?" asked Wendy, pretty much demanding one.
"Yeah yeah, thank you. Now go away." The group left Ludwig's room as he took another sip. He was not yet aware he had suddenly had grown antlers, part of the soup's effect. His next spoonful changed his hair color to pink. The third made the spikes on his shell a bit larger, but made the antlers disappear. The fourth cancelled the second's effect out, changing his hair back to blue. Ludwig put the soup away for later, as he very much enjoyed the taste. He did not notice any of the effects it had caused. According to Cook Guy, each spoonful of the Soup of No Return changes you somehow, but when you finish the soup, all the changes revert to normal except for one. That one change is usually a small increase in intelligence or strength. Usually...
"Now that we're well-rested, let's find out where the next Crystal Star is," Grodus told Pura and Crump, "X-Naut!"
An X-Naut PhD entered the room. Crump could recognize it was Dr. Swirl. "Yes, Sire?"
"Have you located the next Crystal Star?"
"I have. Even better, I have located them both," the doctor informed.
"Excellent!" Grodus complimented. "Where are they?"
"This may come as a shock, but both appear to be located in Castle Koopa."
"WHAT?!" Grodus looked steamed. "What does Bowser want with the Crystal Stars?! He already has the world in his hands!"
"I'm sorry, Sire."
Grodus regained his composure. "Very well. You may go now. Do you know what this means?" Grodus asked Pura and Crump as Swirl left. "Now we have to go through Bowser's army to get the last two."
"No problem." Crump was sure of it. He started laughing in his normal annoying way. "Buh huh huh huh!"
"No. This will require every last X-Naut, Yux, and Moon Cleft recruited we have. I will spare one Z-Yux to guard my Crystal Stars."
"'Your' Crystal Stars..." Pura muttered.
"Have something to share, Pura?" Grodus asked her.
"No, Sire," Pura quickly responded.
"Good. Now, I will take the time to prepare the X-Nauts. After that, we leave," Grodus announced.