It was the first day of summer; night had fallen, and Yo'ster Isle was lit by a beautiful spectrum of light. The awesome array of color was provided by several long stings of fruit-shaped lights that dangled from branches of the many palm trees that littered the island. Several long buffet tables piled with every fruit imaginable stretched along the island, and a large, well lit stage had been constructed and strategically positioned at the island's center. A band of several musically talented Yoshis strummed and pounded away on guitars, keyboards, and drums as several groups of Island Natives, many of them couples, cheerfully danced with one another.
A young Yoshi with crimson-colored skin stood alone, striding nervously among the dancing natives. The dino's eyes periodically flickered in the direction of an attractive female Yoshi who was yellow in color. The female native was talking and giggling with a large group of other Yoshi girls, and the red-skinned male quickly turned away as one of them caught his eye. Feeling slightly nauceous, the male dino quickly made his way off the dance floor and positioned himself near the water's edge. As he gazed out at the darkening ocean, the Yoshi spotted a slow-moving shadow.
Squinting, the Island Native made out a tiny raft that was gliding along the waves toward the island. The small craft was being pushed along by two figures; one was considerably larger then the other and had a large head, a lengthy tail, and a pair of chunky boots. The second figure was more difficult to distinguish, but it possessed two stubby arms (one of which was latched to a rectangular box) and wore a hooded robe.
A moment later, the craft slid onto the sandy shore, and the two figures stepped from the raft and into the light. The first figure was the green-skinned Yoshi, one so famous that he was known simply by the name of the species itself. The second figure was a Shy Guy clad in a yellow-colored robe; he carried a bright-red toolbox that made the creature's stride slightly off balance.
"Hey! Yoshi!" the red dino called out, waving the new arrivals over to him. "You made it just in time!"
"Good to hear!" Yoshi said cheerfully, hauling next to the crimson-skinned native. "So, how goes it, Torshi? How come you aren't off dancing?"
The dino known as Torshi glanced nervously toward the yellow-colored female. Yoshi followed his gaze and grinned widely.
"Too nervous to ask someone, eh?" he teased, and Torshi quickly averted his eyes.
"Um... no," Torshi lied. "I'm just... taking some time to enjoy the view."
"Yeah, okay," Yoshi acknowledged, his tone suggesting he hadn't believed a word.
There was an awkward pause, and Torshi twiddled his fingers together.
"So..." he said finally. "Who's that guy?"
Torshi motioned toward the Shyster, who had been keenly observing the surroundings. Before Yoshi could answered, the Shy Guy turned to him.
"Name's Mecha Guy," the Shyster introduced, offering Torshi a hand. Torshi, who was over twice as tall as the masked creature, had to bend over slightly in order to take it.
"He's a traveling mechanic," Yoshi explained. "Happened to be in Toad Town when that whole Koopaling fiasco started and offered his services. Truthfully, I don't think Luigi could have properly defended the Kingdom without his help."
"That makes two of us," Mecha Guy agreed, grinning up at the dino. "Anyway, Yoshi popped in upon my request, and helped us with the last couple Koopa Kids. Afterwards, he told me that you guys have an Annual Summer Festival here at Yo'ster Isle around this time of year. It sounded cool, so I decided to tag along."
"That's... that's great," Torshi said unconvincingly. "We're always happy to see a new... tourist."
Yoshi shot Torshi an "I can't believe you just said that!" look, but Mecha Guy seemed unaffected.
"Yeah..." the Shyster said dreamily, glancing behind him. "Ooh, sweet! An authentic Tiki Bar! I just might have to have a drink."
As Mecha Guy waddled off, Yoshi turned back toward Torshi and scowled.
"Do you have to be so rude?" Yoshi asked in an irritated tone.
"No..." Torshi replied. "Guess not. To be truthful, I'm not really at my emotional peak."
Yoshi rolled his eyes.
"There's no reason you shouldn't be! We're celebrating the beginning of Summer! Stop moping around and ask some girl to dance!"
Torshi glanced down and kicked at the sand.
"Well... I... um-"
"Look," Yoshi interrupted with a hint of exasperation, "I need to go register for the race, and I don't have time to give you the You're Only Young Once Lecture. Swallow that pride of yours and ask someone!
"Enjoy the food!" Yoshi continued as he jogged inland. "Enjoy the party! ENJOY LIFE!"
Mecha Guy slowly sauntered over to a barstool and hopped onto it. A red-colored Yoshi sporting a pencil-thin mustache and holding a clipboard appeared in front of him.
"What can I getcha?" the bartender asked.
"I'd like a Banana Daiquiri, if you wouldn't mind," Mecha Guy answered. "Stirred, not shaken."
The bartender shot the Shyster a peculiar glance and scribbled something on his clipboard, shaking his head slightly as he strolled away.
Two stools down, a pair of blue-colored creatures were discussing plans in very quiet whispers. The first figure was very fierce-looking Yoshi equipped with a pair of sunglasses. The other was a strange reptilian creature wearing a red top hat.
"You gotta promise me you don't screw dis up!" the Yoshi said, taking a long swig from the glass of beer he was holding.
"Course I won't, boss," the second figure said silkily. "Both of us gots lots a dough ridin' on dis match. You think I'm gonna mess it up?"
"No..." the dino replied, lowering his glass. "Of course not. You're one of the best in da business, Croco, you've got my total faith. But, just for my sake, run the plan though me one more time."
"Do I have to, boss?"
"Yes," the Yoshi answered stiffly.
"Fine, fine..." the reptile said. "I go hide in the thickest part of the track, and wait for that green fool to show up. Once he does, lay the smack on 'im, and get outta there."
"I am not to be seen by anyone," the second figure finished.
"Exactly," the Yoshi said, raising his drink and cocking his head subtly in Mecha Guy's direction. The Shy Guy seemed unfocused, sipping on his frozen beverage and gazing at the stars.
"You don't think that guy heard, dija?" the reptile asked.
"No..." the dino answered. "And even if he did, what harm could it do?"
Totally unnoticed by any of the Island Natives, two shady characters sporting spiky, rainbow hair conversed with each other in the cover of a thick island shrubbery.
"Lemmy..." the first figure moaned. "Why are we here?"
"You wanted to engage in a little mischief-making, correct?" the second figure answered.
"Well, yeah..." the first figure agreed. "But here? King Dad is already really ticked off because of what we did while he was gone. If he discovers that we stole two more Koopa Copters-"
"You didn't seem to care when I asked to come originally..." Lemmy muttered, peeping his head out from the shrubbery and examining the surrounding area. "Plus, this won't take long. We come, we rob the Yoshis, we leave."
"Rob?!" the second figure stammered. "There's no money here! This is Yo'ster Island, there IS no currency!"
"I'm completely aware of that, Iggy," Lemmy explained cooly, withdrawing his head. "But are YOU aware of the massive amount of betting that takes place on the island during the Summer Festival? And you are also aware that they have all that precious money stashed here? All bets and all the winnings are placed and awarded on the island! And, from what I've heard, the security is very lax. All those pathetic dinos will either be dancing or watching the race!"
"Great," Iggy mumbled. "So where do they keep all the money?"
"That's what I'm trying to figure out..." Lemmy answered, poking his head out of the brush once more. The Koopaling peered around and spotted a purple-colored Yoshi moving slowly toward a wooden shack with a sign next to it that read "Betting Booth".
"Bingo!" Lemmy exclaimed. "Now, all we have to do is wait for a diversion... namely, the race."
Near the shore, a thick, white line had been painted on the sand. Several Yoshis, including the shady blue one that had been chatting at the bar, were stationed next to it, chatting cheerfully amongst themselves. A large group of natives whispered anxiously as the pack of racing dinos stretched and warmed up their muscles. A very tired looking Lakitu hovering next to the group periodically checked his wristwatch and glanced over his shoulder. After several additional minutes of waiting, the dinos grew restless, and the Lakitu floated into positioned.
"Wait!" Yoshi called as he quickly approached the group. "I'm coming! Don't start yet!"
"So good of you to come..." the shades-wearing dino said quietly as Yoshi joined the group.
"Always a pleasure, Boshi," Yoshi said, grinning widely.
Boshi sneered and turned forward. The Lakitu now brandished a flag and was hovering a few feet in front of the pack.
"Now I want a nice clean race," the Lakitu said halfheartedly, raising his flag. "Is everybody ready?"
The group of dinos nodded.
"Great..." the Lakitu wheezed. "On your mark... get set... go!"
A cheer erupted from the crowd, and the racing Yoshis bolted off.
Torshi's heart pounded excitedly as he watched the yellow-colored female break from the group and stride slowly over to the water's edge, where the race had just started.
"This is my only chance..." Torshi told himself quietly, redirecting himself in the direction of the female.
The crimson Yoshi plodded slowly after the girl, keeping his eyes glued on her. Suddenly, two other figures appeared in the corner of his vision. At first, Torshi thought that his severe state of nervousness had caused him to hallucinate, but his sighting had been confirmed as a loud shout echoed through the night air.
"Everyone, look! Two Koopalings are heading toward the betting booth!"
The music died down, and the large group of dancing and spectating Yoshis turned toward the booth. Lemmy and Iggy froze on the spot, their large eyes widening in terror.
"I KNEW this was a bad idea!" Iggy cried.
"Shut up!" Lemmy hissed, regaining his composure.
The Koopaling glanced around furiously, and noticed the female Yoshi that was standing stalk-still next to the booth. Lemmy lunged toward the girl, who had no time to react, and latched one claw around the Yoshi's neck. Grinning wickedly, Lemmy turned to the crowd and positioned his other claw at the side of the dino's head.
"No! Alishi!" a female Yoshi cried from the dance floor.
"Silence!" Lemmy snarled, flicking his claw closer to the Yoshi's head, causing the crowd to gasp and retreat several feet. "One false move and my claws make mincemeat out of her!"
The crowd of natives did nothing, standing stalk-still in stony silence.
"Excellent," Lemmy said maliciously, eyeing the crowd. "Now... one of you will have to empty this booth for me! Aw... yes. You!" Lemmy suddenly pointed toward Torshi, whose eyes bulged in terror. "Yes, you! The red one! Come help out Uncle Lemmy!"
"Well, well," Boshi said, jogging at level speed with Yoshi. Both dinos were several hundred feet in front of the pack. "It seems like it's between you and me once again."
"I suppose it does," Yoshi said, leaping a fallen palm tree.
The two Yoshis discontinued conversing as they turned a corner and followed the track into a thick grove of palm trees. Both dinos dodged past the island plants expertly, weaving in and out of trunks, brushes, and leaves. At the jungle's thickest point, Boshi swore loudly as he caught his foot on a coiled vine, causing him to fall forward and land painfully onto the dirt. Not stopping to look back, Yoshi continued forward through the thick grove.
"Thar she blows..." the top hat-wearing reptile said sinisterly, gripping a bomb tightly with one hand.
The clever crocodile had concealed himself behind a palm tree, and as Yoshi passed, he emerged from behind it.
"Sianara, sucker!" Croco cried, cocking his arm back.
Yoshi turned just in time to see a bright red box smash over the surprised reptile's head. The bomb sailed up into the air, but was swatted away by the metal box as Mecha Guy appeared from behind the fallen thief.
"Good luck!" Mecha Guy called, waving at Yoshi. "Win this one for me, pal!"
"Thanks!" Yoshi called back, ducking a branch and increasing his speed.
Torshi reluctantly plodded up to the Betting Booth and stationed himself in front of Lemmy.
"Good," Lemmy said. "Now help this man empty the booth of all its riches." Lemmy pointed toward a middle-aged Yoshi that managed the betting.
"And be quick about it!" Lemmy added with a snarl as Torshi slowly trudged forward into the booth.
"What?" the crimson-skinned dino asked as he entered the building. "Do you have to go home before bedtime?"
"Silence!" Lemmy roared, tightening his grip around Alishi's neck. The frightened dino let out a tiny whimper of pain.
Torshi stopped dead, whipping his face around so that his eyes met Lemmy's. A rush of cold hatred pumped through the Yoshi's body, and without thinking, Torshi lunged toward the rainbow-haired Koopaling.
Lemmy, who had not been expecting this, could not react in time to stop Torshi's blue-colored boot from colliding with his skull. The Koopaling lost his grip on Alishi and was sent flying to the ground. The Yoshi female, who had been yanked slightly by Lemmy's momentum, tipped backwards and was about to hit the sandy ground when Torshi caught her. A great cheer boomed through the island air as the crowd of natives shouted and clapped their hands in appreciation. Torshi brought Alishi to her feet and, to Torshi's great surprise, the female dino leaned over and kissed him.
"Oh, for crying out loud!" Lemmy shouted, getting to his feet. "This has gotten way too cliché and cheesy for me! I'm OUTA here! C'mon, Iggy!"
The two Koopalings hurriedly scampered away while none of the Yoshis made any attempt to halt their progress. The music started up once more, and the crowd of Yoshis slowly began to continue their celebration.
"Congratulations," Mecha Guy said, as Yoshi sat down on the stool next to him.
"it was all thanks to you," Yoshi admitted. "If you hadn't stopped that Croco fella, I could've been blown sky high."
"He never had chance," Mecha Guy assured, fingering a handful of gold in his pocket. "I had way too much money on the line to let that happen."
The two friends laughed, and Yoshi peered toward the dance floor, where Torshi and Alishi were taking part in a slow dance.
"I'm just glad everything worked out."
Two Koopa Copters landed quietly next to Castle Koopa's front gate, and two small figures leapt quickly out of them and bolted for the door. The frightened Koopalings entered the darkened front lobby, and Iggy flicked the nearest light switch. The figure of Kamek appeared just a few feet in front of the Koopalings as the room illuminated. The aging sorcerer was wearing his night robe and had both arms folded as he smirked at the two young Koopas.
"So good of you two to show up," Kamek said pleasantly. "The Good Lord Bowser almost burned down the castle when he discovered you two were out of bed and that there were two choppers missing. After a fit of yelling, he said something about, 'keeping those two rascals in the dungeon for eternity.' I'll go tell him that you've arrived."
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