The Sacred Mirror of Crystal Palace

By Antwan

Prologue: The Legend of The Sacred Mirror

Not much is known about the past of Pilt. Archeologists have been searching for the remains of the past for years. The legend of The Sacred Mirror was found in a diary in an abandoned house near Shiver City. The diary belonged to a powerful wizard that lived in the early ages of Pilt. Through studying and deciphering, they have found the location of The Sacred Mirror and its origin.

Long ago, in the past of Pilt, the Koopas were already evolving with the increase of strength and knowledge. Other species on the planet feared the Koopas. They had fought them countless times, but they always returned with sorrow and death. No species could even penetrate the smallest army the Koopas had.

Meanwhile, the Koopas were already planning a big attack on the whole world and had decided to start it immediately while the other races were still weak and dumb. However, what they did not know is that there was one race that had the brains to stop their global domination: the Bumpties.

Before the Bumpties were high-tech and massively intelligent, they were just a group of friendly folk that led simple lives. Some had learned the art of magic, the art of conjuring spells and blessings. One wizard known as Draco had predicted the Koopas' major plan with the help of her older sister, who had studied the power of prediction. Draco knew that the Koopas were well-armed, immensely powerful, intelligent, and very crafty. He decided to continue the research he had given up on long ago: The Mirror World.

Draco realized that The Mirror World was not a world of simple reflections. It was a cruel world full of hatred where the reflections were actually the impure self. Even a race like the Koopas didn't have twice as much evil as their reflections. The reflections had no moral value, no mercy, and no thoughts of happiness. In fact, they had no thoughts at all. Draco thought that the reflections were also dumb. They copied their other self, because that was their primary function. They could be controlled and not even know the consequences of it.

Draco studied as quickly as he could for five days. He finally figured out a way to stop the Koopas and went to forge the immense power of the crystals of Crystal Palace, which is near Shiver City, and improve them with his magic. Crystal Palace was believed to be a very powerful cave in the dark regions of the Ice World. Its mazes and puzzles would keep a wanderer stuck for days. Draco's studies helped him understand every trick and trap in Crystal Palace.

The wizard had the crystals crafted into a portable mirror, which he claimed as The Sacred Mirror. The Sacred Mirror allowed one to go to the Mirror World and back. It could also control all reflections that resided in The Mirror World. Finally, the bearer of the magical instrument would gain mirror-lihe powers such as splitting up or reflecting projectiles. With this power, Draco made an army full of reflections and stopped the attack just before the Koopas started their plan.

Draco already knew that this a very powerful force that should not be tampered, so he hid the mirror in the deepest, darkest, and most dangerous area of Crystal Palace. The Sacred Mirror remained in Crystal Palace for countless years, never touched, never moved, and never seen again. No one on Pilt, except the archeologists, know of this magical trinket, and it should stay that way. Power like this should not belong to anyone at all. Hopefully, the mirror will be kept safe in the most complex parts of Crystal Palace forever...

Chapter 1: A Big Find

"This is a wonderful find, Mr. Merit!" exclaimed an archeologist at the digging site. They were currently near the wizard Draco's abandoned home. "A diary! Detailed, sturdy, and still readable. Every day we get one step closer to our past, and some day we will finally know!"

"I'm glad you're satisfied, Mr. Mason," said Mr. Merit, a new archeologist of the Bumpty Archeological Group otherwise known as BAG. "Now we just need to find out what is in this book."

"Yes," agreed Mr. Mason. "But first, get Miss Leroy on the line."

"Right away." Mr. Merit took out his cellphone and told Miss Leroy about the big news. "Boss, we found valuable information to our past."

"Splendid," said Miss Leroy. "I need you to bring that diary immediately to headquarters."

"Right away, boss." Mr. Merit hung up and told the team to pack up and go to headquarters. Everyone took the supplies, artifacts, and important possessions to the vehicles and drove back to their main office.

* * *

Back at the office, after hours of linking and deciphering, the archeologists finally came up with the legend of The Sacred Mirror. What an important find they had! They just had to put the legend in their museum for everyone to see and get interested in their past. However, Mr. Merit thought differently about this.

They were all at their conference table, chatting about how much money they'd receive and how many people would visit their museum. The conference room was filled with noise from babbling and rambling, but Mr. Merit remained quietly sitting in his chair, not caring about the money or the popularity at all. Nobody noticed him staying stiff as a board.

"Okay! Calm down!" shouted Miss Leroy. "Yes, yes. I am just as excited as you are, but we don't need to act like a bunch of children over it." The rest kept chattering, ignoring their boss. "HEY!!!" she shouted. The group went silent, to the satisfaction Miss Leroy. "Now, we need to schedule this event for the museum. It is an important find and we should find the mirror."

"No," said Mr. Merit, "I don't think we should find it."

The group was shocked by Mr. Merit's disagreement. "Why?" asked Mr. Mason. "This is a big day for BAG and you want to put this on hold?!" The group rambled on again, this time in anger and confusion. Miss Leroy stopped the chatter again.

"Mr. Merit, this is important; we need to move forward with this find immediately! You want to stop this? But why?" questioned Miss Leroy.

"Crystal Palace is a very dangerous, crafty, and humongous cave that could get us all killed. I think we need to get a more experienced person to fetch it for us," replied Mr. Merit. "I already called him on the way to headquarters."

"Well, okay," said Miss Leroy uncertainly. "Who did you get?"

Suddenly the door slammed open. Everyone turned their attention to the entranceway to spot the newcomer. It was revealed to be the heroic plumber of Mushroom Kingdom: Mario Mario. He walked to the edge of the conference table and took the remaining seat. "Did somebody call for help?" Mario asked.

"Err... yes," said Miss Leroy. "But, did you have to slam the door open? You just broke my valuable vase!"

Mario looked back towards the door to see a gigantic, blue, marble vase, shattered into little pieces. "Why did you put it near a door where someone can break it?" questioned Mario, defending himself. "I thought you guys were smart."

Miss Leroy shook her head in pity, rubbed her beak with her flipper, and sighed. "Anyway, Mario, we've found out that Crystal Palace has a very valuable artifact. Since you have been there before, you can help us retrieve it, right?"

"Of course," said Mario, "anything to help. I'll go there right now." He got out of his chair and was about to leave when Mr. Merit grabbed his arm.

"And I'll come to assist you," said Mr. Merit.

"Mr. Merit, you said that this is too dangerous for us to go. That's why you called Mario! Why do you want to go?" questioned Mr. Mason.

"I think the boss would agree with my suggestion. Right, Miss Leroy?" said Mr. Merit. Mr. Merit's glasses shined as he looked at Miss Leroy, waiting for a response.

"Yes," Miss Leroy finally said, "you can go with Mario. I think you'll be a real assistant to him."

"Thank you, Miss Leroy," Mr. Merit said happily. "Now Mario, let's say we go right now?"

"Well, if Miss Leroy allows it," said Mario, "then I guess you can tag along."

"Splendid." Mr. Merit and Mario walked away from the conference room to go get ready for the big expedition. Mr. Merit seemed satisfied to join Mario. He waddled beside him in pride while untilting his glasses.

Chapter 2: Venturing Into the Cave

"I still don't get why you borrowed a simple bucket and a scarf from the mayor," said Mr. Merit. "Is this some sort of code?"

"Something like that," answered Mario.

Mr. Merit and Mario were walking from Shiver City with a collection of archeological gear and Mario got... a bucket and a scarf. Mr. Merit was still staring at the items Mario obtained, wondering how such simple items could create a code.

Mario walked ahead and saw six snowmen in front of a crystal door. Only five wore a hat and only five wore a scarf. BAG had researched thoroughly and knew that Crystal Palace was behind that group of snowmen, but was surrounded by a very powerful ice property. It was as if that ice were magical. While pondering a way in, Mr. Merit suddenly heard someone say, "A hat to wear for the cold. Thank you."

"Huh? Who said that?" questioned Mr. Merit.

"The snowman," said Mario. "I found out that you have to give these snowmen the missing items in order to get in."

"Living snowmen," said Mr. Merit. "Astonishing. Who would've thought?"

Mario gave the scarf to the scarf-missing snowman and it thanked Mario for the gift. Then the snowmen shifted away from their positions and the ice opened up like a double door. The rumbling sound continued as the ice forcibly moved the deep snow until it was fully open. Mario shouted to Mr. Merit to follow him and they walked right to the doorway ahead. They walked up the stairs and moved on.

As they went up the stairs, Mario instructed his traveling partner to jump over the pit. Mario went at blinding speed and successfully made it. Mr. Merit almost made it, but slammed his face onto the icy wall. Mario grabbed him in the nick of time before he slipped to the bottom, and they moved on.

They went in various directions and found a switch on the other side of a pit. Mario found a pebble on the floor, and simply threw it at the switch. The switch activated a bridge and it slid to the side Mario and Mr. Merit were standing on. They walked right through.

Mario battled an assortment of Duplighosts, White Clubbas, and Frost Piranhas on the way, using his special moves, strategies, and... well not exactly brains, but close, to beat them up. He made it look as easy as ripping tissue.

Before they could reach the door with the marking, Mario realized he had forgotten the stone he needed, and knew they couldn't go back for it. Going to Mario's house and back would take too long, because Mario had been told the mirror had to be taken to BAG as quickly as possible.

"I seem to have left the stone at my house, Mr. Merit," said Mario. "You're an archeologist, maybe you can find a new path for us to go."

Mr. Merit searched the diary for a secret path to the Palace. He found one path that led to the Palace, but...

"Hmm, it seems really difficult to go through this path, but it's the only one I can find," said Mr. Merit. "See that strange marking right there? That leads to the Crystal Cavern, and I found a sketch of the map inside the book." Mr. Merit took out a pick-axe and gave Mario one. They both picked on the wall of ice as fast and hard as they could. They picked on that wall for an hour and finally made it through.

"Here it is," said Mr. Merit. "You'll have to go that way."

Mario and Mr. Merit went left through the cavern and saw that the cavern was very gloomy. There was black ice everywhere, and simple, wooden stakes held up the cavern. They walked and walked through each and every corner. Hoping they wouldn't get lost, they kept going faster and faster. Then they stopped and noticed something.

"Hey, my button!" Mario noticed that his extra suspender buttons that are sewn to the back of his suspenders had fallen out. "We've been here before! Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

"Positive," said Mr. Merit. "Um... I think we go that way."

"No, we went that way!"

"No, we didn't."

"Yes, we did."





"No infinity!"

"Ergh... Look, let's just rest for a little bit and take a seat." Mario sat on a smooth ice rock, and suddenly the rock descended into the floor. "Ahh! Something's got me!"

"No, you idiot. Look." Mario noticed that the rock he sat on was really a pressure switch. The wall behind Mario suddenly slid to the right, revealing a staircase in the next room. "Well, what do you know?"

The duo walked inside slowly until... BOOM! A creature made of solid ice dropped from below and roared with extreme power! He was shaped similarly to Hooktail. He had glowing eyes and a glowing ball in the bottom of his chest.

"Oh no! It's a guardian!" screamed Mr. Merit. "What are we going to do?"

"We fight," said Mario, pointing at the doorway. The wall was sliding back.

Mario took out his Fire Flower and became Fire Mario. He jumped at the monster and pulled off a kick with his leg engulfed in fire. The monster screamed from the pain. The monster then slashed Mario with his claws, and Mario dropped down. Mario rolled before the monster could step on him. Mario jumped with full force and gave a super punch to the monster's jaw. Mario glided down with full force and became a fireball. He sailed straight through the monster's chest, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of his stomach. The monster slapped Mario with his tail, causing the plumber to land near Mr. Merit. Mr. Merit screamed like a little girl over the near-death experience

Mario got back up and threw some fireballs at the monster's glowing eyes. The monster roared with pain and couldn't see what was going on. It looked like Mario had the upper hand, but he didn't. The monster used his power from his glowing area to take some of the crystal and fill in the gaping hole and get new eyes. Mario jumped up and tries again, but was slapped by the monster's hand and hit the cavern wall, making a big piece of ice fall from the ceiling. Mr. Merit saw this piece and had an idea. He looked in the diary and found he was right. "Mario!" exclaimed the archeologist. "If you can destroy the glowing area in his chest, then the monster will lose his powers! Mario! Use that big chunk of crystal!"

Mario decided to go along with it and used his full power to lift the crystal piece and gave it his power to become engulfed in flames. Mario jumped up and slashes with the gigantic chunk of ice. The monster slashed him with his tail, but missed. Then, Mario dropped to the ground and dropped the piece, which shattered. His power faded away, since he gave it to the crystal. The guardian turned around and roared at Mario in his face with all the power he could, but then, the monster stopped. The guardian looked at his chest and noticed a big crack in his stomach. The light is going crazy and was wiggling around at full force. Then the light separated into millions of pieces and faded away. The monster's top half slid from the incline of his wound and fell off the bottom half. The monster had been slain by Mario.

Now that the battle was over, Mr. Merit ran to Mario and helped him got up. They both walked to the spiral staircase, hoping that it would lead the way. They walked up and were halfway there when Mario noticed something down there. The monster's bottom half actually walked to the staircase and whacked it with his tail. The top half roared, signifying that even though it had lost its super strength and regenerating ability, it was still alive.

They both ran up as the stairs were collapsing with each hit from the tail of the bottom half. "I thought I killed that thing!" screamed Mario.

"I didn't say it would die from it, I just said it will lose its powers. Guardians NEVER DIE. The diary says so."

"Now you tell me this?"

The stairs were almost completely collapsed now, and Mario and Mr. Merit realized that they wouldn't make it. Mario had an idea, but he knew he would have only one shot. He jumped from a collapsing piece of the stairs, grabbed Mr. Merit, and flew up with full force, and got through the end of the stairs just before it completely collapsed. The monster roared at its failure and new disability. Meanwhile, the duo noticed that another cavern wall had slid open, along with something else they felt relieved about.

The duo finally made it to the entrance of Crystal Palace. They took a look inside and saw the palace in all its confusing glory. The main hall featured a mirror wall on the left and a big door ahead of them. Everything shined with a mysterious, dark presence.

"This is going to take a while, but don't worry. I know the way in," said Mario.

"Actually, you don't need to go anywhere," said Dr. Merit. "Right here, in this main hall, is where the mirror is."

Mario looked around the main hall. "Um, Mr. Merit? I don't see it."

"Remember, Mario. Legend has it that Crystal Palace can fool your eyes, your ears, your mind. Take a closer look, up there."

Mario looked at the ceiling of the room and saw something shiny sticking out of the ceiling. It could be the handle of the mirror. "Wait, you told me that the legend states that the mirror was placed in the deepest, darkest, and most dangerous room of the palace," said Mario.

"Yes, and that room is on the second floor, the floor that Draco had torn down to really make sure that nobody would ever get it. It's in the diary."

"Then, how will we get up?"

"Do you know that button over there at the door?"

Mario looked at the red button with the exclamation mark on it. "Yes, but that's the switch to swap the doors."

"In his diary, it says that you should lift the button."

Mario walked to the button and lifted it to find a window stuck in the floor. Mario couldn't understand how the button worked with the glass pane in the way, but then again, nothing makes sense in Crystal Palace. Mario took out a flashlight to get a closer look down the hole. There was a room with a button in the middle. It was protected by a glass case and was really deep down there. Mario tried to break it, but it was too hard to penetrate. Then, Mario used a Fire Flower and became Fire Mario. Mario hit the glass with a fire punch and it broke. Mario rubbed his hand over the slight pain he endured.

"Okay, I guess I'll press it," said Mario.

"Yes, but..." Mr. Merit walked towards Mario and looked him in the eye, staring at him closely as his glasses shined. Mario was suddenly feeling very drowsy and couldn't stay awake. His legs felt like spaghetti and he couldn't focus at all. He tried to stay awake, but it was too late. Mario fell down through the hole and his large body weight broke the case and pressed the button.

Then, there was a rumbling sound heard in the room. The room started to shake uncontrollably. Then, half of the ceiling slid onto the other half as a staircase was emerging from the floor, slowly, step by step. Then, everything stopped all of a sudden and Dr. Merit walked up the staircase. He saw the mirror sticking from the ground. It was just like the legends described it, and Mr. Merit couldn't wait to get that power.

"Sorry, Mario," said Mr. Merit, "but I had to get rid of you. After coming here, you are nothing but dead weight now. Now, the Sacred Mirror of Crystal Palace shall be mine."

Chapter 3: True Form

"Well," said Mr. Merit, "I guess I don't need this ridiculous form anymore." Mr. Merit took out a wand that gave out sparkles whenever it moved. He waved the wand around him and black dust surrounded his body slowly. Then, the dust moved away, revealing Kamek, prophet of Bowser, the Koopa that owns the grim and small Dark Land. "Finally," said Kamek. "It has been two weeks since I joined BAG to find out more about the Sacred Mirror. It looks like my vision IS coming true, I am getting the mirror."

Kamek snatched the mirror from the ground with one thrust of his magical wand and took it from his hands. "I hope this works, I have been studying with BAG long enough to make this mirror work." Kamek simply walked to the stairs, but the stairs suddenly rose up and encased the Magikoopa in a dark room.

Kamek simply used his wand to illuminate the room, revealing tons and tons of Duplighosts in the room, obviously guarding the mirror from unwanted visitors. The Duplighosts were armed with crystal-tipped spears. Kamek fought by shooting his beam at them. He kept shooting and shooting, but there were too many of them in the room. Then, Kamek simply charged up with as much power as he could and blasted the guards just before they were going to trample him. Kamek grabbed the mirror and used its powers to go through a crystal that reflected the Mirror World. He mae his escape out of the room and left Mario down in the first room.

* * *

Bowser has been waiting for too long for Kamek to retrieve the mirror. As he sat on his throne and waited for him to come, Bowser was losing every bit of his patience.

"His vision better had come true!" Bowser yelled angrily. "It has been two weeks and I haven't heard a word from him since! If that bozo screws up one more time, he is outta here!!!" The room shook slightly from the enraged roar. Then, Bowser heard something shatter in his room. He got up and walked to his room, thinking about the moron's punishment for trying to enter his private bedroom. He saw Kamek, right by his standing mirror amid pieces of a broken vase.

Bowser simply said, "How did you get in...?"

"The mirror, my liege," said Kamek. "I have finally retrieved The Sacred Mirror of Crystal Palace, just like my vision showed. Now you will have an endless army to control at your will and all the inhabitants of Pilt will bow down at your feet! Exciting, isn't it?"

"Very. I am impressed, Kamek. Perhaps you will get to keep your rank after all. However, before we create our army, I need to make sure that Mario will not be an obstacle."

"Mario was left in the Crystal Palace. There's no way he can get out before your new army conquers the world."

"Mario always gets out of these fixes, one way or another. We need to make sure that Mario will NOT interfere with our plans. To do that, we will need the help of someone... similar."

"Yes, I see where you're going with this. I'll call him out immediately."

* * *

Mario slowly opened his eyes, trying to perfect his vision. He noticed that he was inside a room containing a plethora of messy things. The picture frames were crooked, the clothes were stuck to the wall, the TV had something red smeared on the screen, and a lot of miscellaneous objects were laying on the floor. Mario slowly got out of the bed, which had a lot of lumps, and wondered how he got there.

What is this, my dorm in Wrench and Plunger Trade School? thought Mario. Then, someone came into the room. It was a Bumpty wearing a suit similar to what the BAG members had been wearing. The Bumpty said, "Sorry. I never really come to my home very often, you know. I just don't have time to wash the windows and vacuum the floor. How do you feel?"

"Fine," said Mario. "Are you part of BAG?"

"Yes, I am Mr. Mason, Mr. Merit's partner."

"Mr. Merit? Did he leave me in the palace?"

"Yes. I'm afraid I got some bad news, Mario. Mr. Merit was really an impostor, a con man, if you will."

"A con man?"

"You see, I have been working alongside our new recruit, Mr. Merit, for two weeks on finding The Scared Mirror of Crystal Palace. We were completing objectives and followed orders, like a BAG member always does. However, I noticed something strange about Mr. Merit at that conference earlier. When he volunteered to go, I knew there was something wrong. Our boss would've never let a rookie like Mr. Merit go to the palace without his team, and Mr. Merit's glasses shined when he was glaring at Miss Leroy, who seemed a little dizzy. It was as if he hypnotized her to tag along with you. This happened a few times with other Bumpties earlier on, and then he always suddenly got his way. It couldn't have been a coincidence. I decided to follow you and Mr. Merit from a safe distance for investigation. When he tricked you in the palace, I knew that Mr. Merit was an imposter. I rescued you with my rope and my climbing gear ran out with you to nurse you back to health. So, here you are, in my home."

"Oh no, I have to stop this! Who knows what he's, uh, she's... it's, whatever is going to do with that mirror!"

"Well, after closer investigation into this impostor, I found out that Bowser had something to do with this. I heard Mr. Merit contacting him yesterday on his cell phone."

"Then, I'll have to stop Bowser. Who knows what he's up to?"

Chapter 4: To the Castle

Mario received supplies and care from Mr. Mason. He was on his way to Bowser's castle to take care of some business. "This should be no problem," said Mario. "I go to his castle all the time and always kick his tail." Mario remained confident throughout his journey to Bowser's castle.

* * *

After the usual baddies blocking the way and the perilous traps (If you read these fictions, you should know what happens), Mario finally made it to the castle. It looked the same as it always did: dark, spooky, and grimy. Mario took out a yellow cape and underwent a process to gain more power. He became Cape Mario and used his ability to fly onto an empty guard tower. He walked to the door to get inside and went down the stairs, into the hall. He looked around in the hall and saw that the coast was clear. He walked to the north and tried to find Bowser. When he was going to check in the bedroom, he saw a guard coming around. Mario quickly rushed inside, and the guard heard a slam.

The guard went to the bedroom and opened the door. Hmm... It looks empty, thought the guard. Huh? What was that? He went to the closet to investigate the sound, and saw nothing. The guard left the room, thinking about how his imagination had got to him.

Mario dropped from Bowser's pajama top. Good thing Bowser's so big, or the guard would've known I was in there, thought Mario. Mario saw that Bowser wasn't around, but he found his journal with the key right by it. Bowser must have been in a hurry. Mario unlocked the diary and went to the newly written page, hoping to find some information about his plans.

After two weeks, it seems that my prophet has finally returned with The Sacred Mirror of Crystal Palace. I thought that Kamek was losing his touch; two weeks can really test my patience. He has already told me the plan of using this mirror and I left the mirror in his hands, and I'll make sure he'll do it or I'll yank out his head and play baseball with it. Another idea sparked up when we decided to use the mirror to bring through Mario's reflection to replace him and wreak havoc. With Mario's name tainted, I can conquer the lands freely while Mario rots in a jail. It's perfect!

My wife nagged my to get some clean drawers from the store. What is up with that woman? In case she hasn't noticed, I don't wear underwear. Sheesh.

Mario dropped the diary and decided to pick up the pace. They could be carrying out their plan right about now and ruin his reputation. Mario looked in various rooms and tried to find them, but he didn't find a trace of them. He knew he was running out of time. Before he could find the next room, a guard spotted him and sounded the alarm. Everyone rushed to the guard's side.

"It's Mario, get him!"

Mario used his cape to fly over the crowd of guards, and landed. The guards rushed for him again and Mario used his special moves to finish them off. He pulled off a side somersault and landed on a few of the guards. He punched to the left and punched to the right. He slid down and knocked the guards like bowling pins. The guards took out their spears and tried to stab him, but Mario dodged every move they made. He grabbed a spear and whacked the guards with full force, then kicked a guard to get another spear. Mario threw the spears, and watched as they passed through the rest of the guards' capes. The guards ended up pinned to the wall, unable to escape.

Mario ran to the main foyer and out of the castle, knowing that Bowser wasn't there. Then, a Magikoopa suddenly zapped Mario, who became trapped in an electric cell made by magic. Mario tried to get out, but the magic was too strong for him to break. The Magikoopa used telekenisis to lift the cage, and brought it to Bowser and Kamek. They were performing a ritual with Bowser's stand-up mirror without the magical grounds.

"So," said Bowser, "did you really think you were going to foil my plans once again? Think again, Mario. I have the upper hand now that I have someone to help me. Kamek."

Kamek walked to the left to show that their first phase of the plan was complete. Mirror Mario was in the real world. "Now, you shall witness as our plan takes effect, Mario," said Kamek, "and you'll see it all while staying in that cage for the rest of your life! Hahahahaha!"

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