Well, the battle between Zegorus and Bowser had come to a halt, with Bowser as the winner. However, Zegorus had escaped to the shadows, and Bowser had claimed one of the Shadow Keys. Not finding Larry, though, has made the Koopalings and Bowser leave Twilight Town. Back in Rogueport, Dopple, Luigi, and the other two were on their way to Frankly's house, wondering over their own key. As for Doopliss and the Shadow Elder, the latter had told Doopliss of their devious plot. What happens next? You can guess, or... You can continue this story!
Chapter 3, Part 1: Zegorus's Punishment
"You failed too!?" the angered rogue roared at Zegorus, who was in a rather bad condition. "Shrindo was one thing, but I wouldn't have expected you, my best pupil, to mess this up."
"I apologize for my failure, but I shan't fail again," Zegorus said rather calmly. Kaztran just stared at him, fire in his eyes.
"And how can I believe that, Zego? You say you won't lose again, but how is that guaranteed to me?! You think I should just go by your word and trust what you say?!" Kaztran shouted.
"It was beyond my control. I didn't know it would happen," Zegorus now muttered.
"Oh really?! Do you even realize that none of this would've happened had you just come back to me with the key, as I demanded?! If you can't even obey a simple order like that, then maybe you are just like Shrindo!" Kaztran continued to yell.
"Listen, I was challenged by a large brute. I underestimated him, and he bested me," Zegorus said back, his voice now starting to show some anger.
"Which I find pathetic. You could've won, Zego, but something happened, and you lost. Pretty bad by the looks of it," Kaztran said, slightly calming down.
"And I suppose you could do any better?!" Zegorus barked back, starting to get a little edgy.
"That is unconfirmed, though I would surpass you by far. But now, back to the main point," Kaztran said, finally turning to his lackey. "You failed me, just as Shrindo did. He was punished, and so will you." There was a long silence after this, Zegorus not moving, and Kaztran not acting. "However. You still have great potential in you. Because of this, you shall be given another chance, as Shrindo was."
"That means I don't receive the punishment?" Zegorus asked curiously. A few laughs could be heard from Kaztran, before the same sphere that had attacked Shrindo, was fired at Zegorus. The blast sent him into a wall, but unlike Shrindo, he managed to return to his feet.
"Always were stronger than you seemed, weren't you? But to my next point. Since you and Shrindo both failed, you must work together on your next assignment." Zegorus growled. "In the meantime, Felicia shall take the next task."
"Felicia? Why her?! She hasn't come even close to my standards!" Zegorus began shouting rather loudly, even for shouting.
"True, but she hasn't screwed up in any way either," Kaztran responded calmly. "Now go to your quarters. You need rest."
Chapter 3, Part 2: Reactions
Doopliss simply stared into the shadows, blinking occasionally at what he heard. "No way. No way I'm going through with this," Doopliss said coldly.
"Unfortunately, you don't have a choice in the matter," the Shadow Elder responded to Doopliss, in his raspy voice. "I have been quite kind for some time, but I assure you, I can become pretty nasty."
"Well, what if I refuse to go through with this?" Doopliss mouthed back.
"As I have just told you, you don't really have a choice in the matter. This is for the greater good of the Shadows," the Shadow Elder said with a stern tone. "If you refuse, then we'll have to kill you. Apologies, but that's the way things go."
"... Is there any possible way to get out of this?" Doopliss now muttered just loud enough so the Elder could hear.
"Only one possibility. And that is if your clone manages to make it here before the ceremony," the Shadows answered a puzzled-looking Doopliss.
"So if my son-" began Doopliss, before being cut off.
"I would wish you to stop referring to him as your son. He is not real offspring, just an accidental clone," said the now icy voice.
"... Fine. So if my clone manages to get here-" said Doopliss again, before getting cut off. Again.
"Even then your chances are slim. The only real threat against me is that Luigi character, and even he is laughable."
"Enough questions," the Shadow Elder responded quickly. "You shall wait for the time to come, then you shall see what happens." The Duplighost simply sighed, and began to pace the chamber.
Chapter 3, Part 3: A Frank Opinion
"Hmm! Oh! Yes!" said an old Goomba excitedly. Staring at the Shadow Key through his thick glasses, he looked fascinated.
"Well? What can you tell us?" Luigi asked impatiently.
"Absolutely nothing!" Frankly responded with a grin. Dopple and Boomer groaned loudly.
"You sure? Nothing? Spill the info!" Larry said, slowly getting louder. Frankly just shook his head.
"I can't tell you what I don't know! However, I can look up as much on it as I can. Louie, do you have a Mailbox SP?" Frankly asked Luigi curiously.
"I have Mario's with me... And my name is Luigi!" Luigi quickly added in agitation. Frankly ignored him and continued on.
"That's good! Now, if you don't mind leaving that key-thingy with me, I can get back to you as quick as possible. You okay with leaving the key here?" Frankly asked the four. They muttered a few things, before finally nodding in agreement. "Good. You should leave while I work on this."
"Bah, this place smells bad anyways," Dopple said before exiting, soon followed by the others. "So... What do you suppose we do now?" Dopple looked from one face to another, trying to seek out an opinion. Boomer cleared his throat, then began.
"Well, I think we should just wait until ol' Frankly gets an idea about the key." The other three just looked at him oddly before shaking their heads, except for Luigi of course, who began nodding. Majority overruled, though.
"If it were up to me..." said Larry with a grin, "we would go find my family." He added a snicker on at the end, before Dopple glared at him.
"Why don't we see if there are anymore keys?" Luigi finally said, sounding nervous.
"That might just work..." Boomer said under his breath. Larry shrugged, while Dopple just nodded in agreement. Luigi looked disappointed. He didn't really want to look for keys, just to sit back and relax.
"Nice one, Luigi." Dopple said with a smile. "But where to start...?"
"How about Rogueport Sewers?" Boomer piped up. Dopple simply stared at him, blinking a few times. "Well... Yeah. There's all sorts of stuff down there. Plus, there IS a fortune teller who could tell us..."
"Where one of the keys is!" Larry caught on.
"So, the sewers it is!" Dopple said, looking partly disappointed. He had not expected part of their journey would take place in such a location. "How do we get there?"
Luigi pointed over at a pipe nearby. "There. It leads right into underground," Luigi told Dopple.
Soon, the three departed underground,
and made their way, with some trouble, to the fortune teller. Once there,
they discovered that one of the keys was surprisingly close. In fact, it
was located right before the Thousand-Year Door! The only thing keeping
me from putting this in detail is the fact that nothing really interesting
happened. So there. I saved you time.
"Thousand-Year Door, eh?" Dopple asked. "Sounds cheesy. Where is it?"
"Close. Very close. Just follow me," Luigi said, now heading down for the Thousand-Year Door, the other three close behind.
"So, what's so special about it?" Larry asked Luigi, looking somewhat sinister.
"It just has the Shadow Palace within it, a place that concealed demon once. Thankfully, I don't think we'll ever have to go in there!" Luigi said with a sigh of relief.
"I've got a bad feeling about it now," Boomer said to himself, nerves shot.
Chapter 3, Finale: Betrayal
The family-sized Koopa Copter hovered high above Rogueport, high enough so that it wouldn't catch any attention. Seven of the eight passengers were snoozing happily, while the Copter followed its own set course. On Koopaling, however, was fiddling with his radar, when it began to beep slowly. Alerted by this, Ludwig began poking his father.
"Um... King Dad?" Ludwig asked his sleeping father. Soon he began jabbing his father in the arm. A few mutters came from Bowser, before he punched Ludwig for having woken him up. Ludwig clenched his stomach, and nearly fell out of the copter.
"What do you want?" Bowser asked Ludwig in an annoyed tone. Ludwig held up his radar.
"According to this... Ow... Larry is nearby." Ludwig moaned in pain. Bowser became alert quickly.
"Morton! Wendy! Iggy! Roy! Lemmy! Ludwig!" Bowser shouted at the top of his lungs.
"I'm already awake," Ludwig added as the others slowly began rubbing their eyes, groaning about being up that early.
"Shut up, Ludwig." Bowser added finally. "Okay, everyone. We are now going to descend down into that fowl-looking town. And keep an eye out for Larry!" No sooner than the Koopa Copter landed did the radar's beeping pick up in speed. "He's gotta be close!"
"King Dad?" Ludwig added again. Bowser snorted before staring at Ludwig ight in the eyes.
"What?" he asked sternly.
"We're right on top of Larry, according to what I see," Ludwig said, now staring at the radar. Bowser was now checking the soles of his feet, as were the other Koopalings.
"Bah, that piece of rubbish can't tell anything," Roy commented in a smug tone.
"I woke up for THAT?" Wendy said, looking angrily at Ludwig.
"Your radar must be broken, or something!" Iggy added in.
"It probably never worked!" Lemmy said to Iggy.
"Man, now we'll never get back to sleep!" Morton finished up, also glaring at Ludwig. Slowly, they approached him.
"But I swear! This thing is positively accurate!" Ludwig quickly said in a panic. As the other Koopalings almost reached him, Bowser stepped in between Ludwig and the others.
"No! You five are not allowed to attack Ludwig!" Bowser quickly shouted in anger. The five groaned, while Ludwig sighed in relief. "That's my job!" Ludwig swallowed hard as Bowser began to approach him, claws curled up into fists. However, the ground beneath them shook. "Eh? What's happening?" Bowser looked around curiously.
"This ground might not be able to handle all of us standing in one spot," Ludwig noted. Bowser began to laugh.
"That's great, Ludwig! Oh, the ground beneath us won't hold! Oh no, we're gonna fall in!" Bowser taunted in a mocking voice. A few seconds later, though, the ground collapsed, and they all fell in.
"What did I tell you?" Ludwig said in mid-fall.
"Shut up, Ludwig." Bowser said again, while the radar beeped even faster than before.
"Hey... Thanks for picking this up for
me!" said a happy-sounding voice. The three's eyes darted around the area,
searching for anyone who it might be. They even checked the Koopalings
and Bowser, who still didn't move. Black smoke appeared near the Thousand-Year
Door, accompanied by a slight chuckle. The three turned and watched.
"W-what's that?" asked Dopple, taking a few steps back.
"D-don't ask me..." Luigi said, doing as Dopple had. Boomer simply stayed floating where he was, waiting for something to happen. A few seconds passed, and the smoke became solid, now revealing one of the rogues, still laughing slightly. The key floated towards the being, who then snatched it from the air.
"It was nice of you three to get this key back from that monster," it said, indicating Bowser. "But I think you should give me the one you hold as well."
"Shrindo?" Dopple finally muttered as clear as he could. The rogue let out another chuckle.
"What? No, no, I'm not that idiot. I am Felicia!" she responded with glee in her voice. "And Kaztran will be so pleased when he sees what I found! That is... once you give me your key, that is..." She held out her arm, as if expecting one of them to place their key in it.
"Um... You're crazy." Boomer said calmly, and with no emotion.
"You'd have to get it from our dead bodies!" Luigi barked at her.
"Shut up, Luigi!" Dopple muttered through his mouth, elbowing Luigi slightly. Felicia simply laughed at this.
"Fine, but I only have so much time to mess with you three before I really have to go back," she said, two claws emerging from her sleeves. Dopple swallowed hard and took a step forward. Boomer soon floated forward as well.
"See ya," said Luigi, ready to leave, before Boomer went over and dragged him back by his coller. Felicia cackled one more time, and the three spread out. The battle for the keys was ready to begin.
To Be Continued...
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