Chapter 16: Another Piece of the Puzzle
Luigi popped out of the portal as his face smacked right into the dirt. He stood up and wiped the dirt from both his face and his clothes. He looked around at his surroundings.
"Something in-a my gut tells me this-a isn't Plit," Luigi said to himself. He looked around and spotted Geno, Alkan, and Toadette. They got up and brushed the dirt off of themselves as well.
"What is this place?" Alkan said, not recalling the landscapes in the distance.
"Perhaps, this is where the witch came from," Geno suggested.
"Right, but-a where do we-a start looking?" Luigi commented.
"I'd look in the scariest-looking place," Toadette said as she ran towards the others. "Come on, let's go find someone to tell us more about where we are, and where we need to be."
The others nodded in agreement as they set off to find some assistance. Not long after, they found a small village filled with small, yet colorful creatures. They had the head of a Pterodactyl and a short, stubby body.
"They look friendly," Toadette pointed out as she walked towards the village. Alkan grabbed her, brought her behind a bush, and held her down. The others hid behind the bush as well.
"You have no idea how the creatures in this world live. We're like aliens to them," he whispered to her as Luigi rubbed his 'stache.
"I think we should have one person go out, then if everything turns out fine he'll tell the rest of us to come out. That way if there's trouble, the others can ambush 'em," Geno suggested.
"Thanks for-a volunteering," Lugi said as he slapped Geno on his back.
"But… but… but… I didn't mean me!" Geno stuttered as his legs began to shake in fear.
"So? I just-a guessed," Luigi said. Geno growled as Luigi pushed him out in the open. Geno laughed nervously, then took a deep breath. He turned around.
"Are you sure there's no..." Geno looked and realized Luigi had already hidden back behind the bush. This only made Geno twice as nervous. He gulped, then stepped forward. As he approached the village, he noticed the natives focusing their eyes on him. Though Geno was much more nervous, he was ready for whatever was going to happen. He approached the natives. "Hello there."
"Greetings, traveler! Welcome to Jinjo Village!" one of the red creatures said. Geno turned around and waved for the others to come forward. Luigi nodded to the others, then stepped out from behind the bushes. They approached Geno as all kinds of these creatures gathered in front of them.
"You know, they seem quite harmless," Alkan insisted.
"They're sooo cute!" Toadette said with chibi eyes.
"This is Jinjo Village, and we are the kind-hearted Jinjos!" the blue one said. "What brings you travelers here?"
"We're- here to look for a friend. She was kidnapped by a witch!" Luigi said.
All the Jinjos gasped in horror at what they heard.
"Did I-a say something wrong?" Luigi asked, scratching his hat in confusion.
"It's not that. You see, the only witch around here is none other than the wicked Gruntilda! She is so terrible, she kidnapped every one of us. This village used to be a ghost town," the green Jinjo stated.
"She is a mean old witch! All she cares about is herself! A conceded hag indeed!" the purple one stated.
"What happened?" Geno asked curiously.
"Well, just when we were about to lose hope, a bear and bird came and rescued every last one of us," one of the yellow Jinjos said.
"Did they come for you?" Alkan asked.
"No, they actually came for their sister, I think… Anyways, after saving both us and their sister, they decided to settle the score and killed Gruntilda. Then she came back for revenge and that bear and bird nailed her for good," the yellow Jinjo continued. Luigi and the gang were confused.
"Then how come your witch took our princess?" Alkan asked.
"Apparently someone revived her. Someone that's very good with magic. I'd be careful if I were you," the red Jinjo warned.
"Hey, could we-a meet this bear and-a bird? They might-a be able to-a help us," Luigi asked politely.
"Sorry, I'm afraid we haven't seen them since Gruntilda was defeated," the purple Jinjo said as it put its head down in sorrow. The Jinjo then snapped its fingers and looked up. "But I know someone who can! Now listen, look for a woman by the name of Humba-Wumba. She's a shaman, and if anyone knows the answers, it's her. If she asks questions about you just tell her that the Jinjos sent you." The Jinjo smiled, proud of itself. Luigi tightened his cap.
"Thanks a bunch! Come on-a, guys! Let's-a go!" Luigi said as he headed out of the village. Geno and Alkan bowed respectfully.
"We appreciate the help. Farewell," Alkan said. Toadette just waved them a farewell, then off she went.
"You just don't meet otherworldly creatures as friendly as that, do ya, Red?" the purple Jinjo said.
"You got that right..." Red sighed, then his eyes widened. "That reminds me. King Jingaling said something about Gruntilda! He wanted us there pronto!" With that he was off. Purple followed him, then turned to the rest of the village.
"Come everyone!" the Jinjo said as the whole village left for the castle.
Back with the others, Luigi and the gang were climbing up a large hill.
"Are you sure we shouldn't ask for directions?" Toadette asked as she panted up the hill.
"Nah! We're-a totally fine!" Luigi said as he marched up the hill. Toadette rolled her eyes.
"Do all men just REFUSE to ask for directions?" Toadette asked, quite annoyed.
"Most likely," Alkan admitted. Geno was having a little trouble climbing. His wooden legs began to crack. The poor doll thought they were going to break off. Alkan looked over his shoulder and noticed the doll was having trouble. He quickly climbed down.
"Grab onto my back, Geno. I'll help you," Alkan said as Geno latched onto Alkan's back. He wrapped his arms around Alkan's shoulders.
"Thank you, Alkan," Geno said as his little body shook in fright. He shook so hard Alkan could hear the wood clatter in his ears. Alkan began to climb to the top. Luigi had already reached the top of the hill. He grabbed Toadette's hand and hoisted her up. It was a beautiful view, they could see all kinds of magnificent things. To the right lay what looked like a golden temple, a little further left appeared to be a Mayan temple, and even further left there appeared to be a tunnel. Luigi scratched his head as he thought of a place where a shaman would most likely be located. He then heard hard panting and turned around to see that Alkan and Geno had finally reached the top. Alkan wiped the sweat from his forehead as poor Geno tried to stop shaking.
"Now where to?" Toadette asked Luigi. Luigi's mind seemed to be on something else, since he shook his head, then stared blankly at Toadette.
"What did you say?"
"Ugh. Where now, Mr. I Know Everything!" Toadette said sarcastically. Luigi had to think of something fast. He didn't want to Toadette to even suspect he had no idea what he was doing.
"Let's ask whoever lives in that golden temple," Luigi said. With that he ran down the mountain. "Come on!"
"Geez! Can't we rest for at least five minutes?" Toadette protested, but it was too late. Luigi was already far from earshot. Toadette scoffed, then ran down after him. Alkan quickly jumped up, with Geno on his tail.
"Wait for us!" they cried as they began to dash down the hill. Geno tried not to trip over his own feet so he ran while trying to keep his balance. They saw Luigi enter the temple, and the three of them quickly followed.
Scattered thoughts floated through Mario's mind. 'How was Peach doing? How much could Luigi handle without him being there to help? What would Bowser do now that he was gone? What had become of the Mushroom Kingdom? And more importantly what was going to become of him?' Mario just wanted to relax for a while. This adventure of traveling through different worlds was giving him a headache. He could hear random voices.
"Mario! Mario!" It was Peach! He was certain. Mario looked up at Peach and smiled. "Wake up, Mario!" she said as sheshook him. Luigi was next to her.
"Wake up, man! Wake up!" he said. Daisy was beside him, and beside her was Yoshi.
"Poyo!" Yoshi said. Mario was confused. Yoshi began to jump up and down. "Poyo! Poyo! Poyo!" Mario was scared to death.
"AAAAAAAAA!" Mario screamed. He woke up to find himself lying on a beach surrounded by Kari, Samus, Link, and Kirby.
"Thank goodness you’re all right," Kari said. "You hit that rock pretty hard when we landed in the sea." Mario was a little disappointed that he wasn't back in the Mushroom Kingdom. Luigi, Daisy, Yoshi, and Peach were still far away. Mario began to frown.
"What's the matter?" Samus asked. Kirby quickly jumped on Mario's lap. He began jumping up and down excitedly.
"Poyo! Poyo! Poyo!" Everyone around Mario laughed at the sweet thing Kirby did. Mario got a little chuckle himself. He patted Kirby on the head.
"Thanks-a, Kirby." Mario got up and dusted the sand off his overalls. "Where'd we end up this-a time, Kari?" Kari took out her DS. She turned it on, but the screen still remained black. She shook the DS a little, nothing worked. She then shook it violently.
"Oh no! My DS needs to be charged!" Kari said with a moan. She looked around. "Where am I supposed to find a charger on an island?" Mario scratched his head.
"Perhaps the locals on this island could help us?" Samus suggested.
"But where do we-a start?" Mario asked with a sigh. "All I see is a creepy jungle." Once again Kirby was way ahead of him. He dashed right into the jungle at the speed of light.
"Gah!" Link stuttered as his eyes widened in shock.
"After him!" Kari ordered. The four of them dashed into the jungle, hoping to catch up to Kirby. They began calling his name while smacking vines out of their way. "Kirby! Kirby! Come here, Kirby!" Kari called. Suddenly she tripped over a large root and fell on her face. The others tripped and fell on top of her.
"Waha! What-a happened?" Mario asked, dazed and confused.
"Apparently we should watch where we step," Samus suggested.
"Apparently," Kari responded sarcastically. "Would you mind getting off?"
"Oops! Sorry!" Samus and the others got off. "Oh no!" Samus said as she pointed to four split paths. "Where do we go now?"
"Let's follow the path that has Kirby's footprints." Mario suggested. Mario walked ahead of the others and observed each path.
"Mamamia! No tracks!"
"How is that possible?" Kari got up and observed the paths herself. "Woah! He's right! I guess the ground is so hard and Kirby's feet are so soft that they didn't imprint into the dirt."
"Looks like we have to split up," Samus suggested.
"But what if we-a get lost?" Mario stated. "I don't-a know about the rest of you, but I don't want-a be lost in a creepy jungle!" The whole group fell silent as everyone tried to think of a plan so they didn't get lost themselves. Finally Link reached into his pocket and pulled out some Deku Seeds.
"How about these?" Link said as he opened his palm for everyone to see.
"Great idea, Link! We'll use these seeds to mark our trail. As long as we follow someone's seeds, we'll at least be going somewhere." Kari held open her hand and Link gave them to her. "Do you have enough for the others?" Kari asked. Link pulled out a whole bag.
"Yahoo! Now we can go find-a Kirby!" Mario said as he approached Link and held out his hands. Link poured some for Mario and for Samus, and kept the rest for himself. " Let's-a go! I'll take the left-a path." With that Mario ran off, dropping seeds every few feet.
"I'll head to the right. If anybody runs into monsters just scream and I'll handle the rest," Samus said as she headed towards her direction.
"Good plan," Kari said sarcastically. She then turned to Link. "Looks like it's your turn. You can either go northwest or just north."
Navi popped out of Link's hat. "Let's go north, Link! We should let Kari be closer to Mario." With that, she flew off and Link followed. Kari just stood there confused.
“What was that supposed to mean?" Kari finally took out her gun and shrugged. "Oh well, better get started." Kari headed onto her path.
Mario had been walking in the same direction for a long time. "Kirby! Come here, Kirby! Here Kirby!" Mario called as loud as he could, but he did not get a response. Mario yelled with all his might. "KIRBY!!!" His scream echoed through the jungle. Suddenly, Mario heard a rustle. It was coming from the treetops. Mario looked up and spotted a figure leaping from one tree to the next. The sun's glare was directly in Mario's eyes so he couldn't make out what the figure was. The figure vanished a second later, but Mario could still hear it. Forgetting about Kirby, Mario dashed after the figure, hoping it could help him and his friends find the next portal. "Hey! You in-a the trees! Stop!" The figure did not stop, but kept going. Mario tried to keep up with the sound, for if he would lose the sound he would be lost in the jungle. Mario ran as fast as his little plumber legs could take him. He could see the figure in the trees again. "You there! I need to talk-a to you! Please st-" Mario had tripped over a large stone. He landed in the muck and his seeds scattered everywhere.
Mario lifted his
head from the mud and looked around for the figure. He could not see or
even hear it. Mario looked around and had no idea where he was. All of
his seeds had fallen in the mud, and he had probably trailed far off from
the others. Mario was lost.
Ch. 17: Monkeyin' Around
"Kirby! Oh Kirby!" Kari called as she continued her search for the little puff, marking her trail as she walked. Eventually she came out of the dark jungle and caught sight of an enormous mountain of bananas. She looked around, wondering who this enormous batch belonged to. Her stomach began to growl, she was very hungry. She knew it was rude to take food that didn't belong to her, but the bananas were too ripe to resist.
She opened her visor, revealing her two brown eyes. She reached over and plucked a banana from the pile. She slowly peeled back the mouthwatering fruit, then took a small bite. When the banana touched her lips, it not only satisfied her hunger but it also quenched her thirst with all the moisture. She took another bite, then heard a loud rustle.
"Who's there?" she called. No answer. She slowly turned toward the direction of the sound. Her fingers slowly ran across the handle of her gun. She could hear loud footsteps of someone running in her direction. She wiped her mouth with the hand holding the banana, then closed her visor, making sure her other hand didn't leave the gun. A figure dashed out of the jungle. Kari quickly drew her gun and pointed it towards the figure.
"Gyaa!" The figure stuttered as it froze in place with its hands in the air. Kari got a good look at the figure and realized it was only Link.
"Please don't shoot! Link's eagerness got the best of him! He only wanted some Bananas!" Navi cried as she flew in front of the pistol.
"Sorry, I was only keeping my guard. Help yourself," Kari said as she pointed at the batch of bananas. Link rushed over to the pile, grabbed a banana, peeled it, then popped the whole fruit into his mouth. "I'm guessing you guys haven't found Kirby either?" Kari asked. Link shook his head.
"Nope." Navi flew around. "By the way, where's Mario and Samus?" ahe asked. Suddenly Samus's morphball popped out of the jungle and veered to the right. Then, at the speed of light she turned back into her human form. She observed the others eating their fill.
"Looks like you guys are working REAL hard to find Kirby," Samus said sarcastically.
"Just grab some bananas and shut up," Kari, said annoyed. Samus chuckled and sat down on the patch. She took off her helmet and waved her long, blonde hair. She then placed her helmet beside her, took a banana, and began her meal.
Kari scoffed so quietly it was almost a whisper. She took off her helmet and waved her dark, brown hair (her hair was so dark it almost looked black). She then placed her helmet beside her and finished her banana. Samus got a small chuckle from Kari's little “show”, but continued her snack. Kari shot a glare at Samus out of the corner of her eye. She broke focus, though, when she heard a loud noise. It sounded like a gust of wind. One of the bananas from the batch appeared to be getting sucked in. The banana flew into a nearby bush. Kari couldn't believe her eyes.
"Did you guys just..."
"See a flying banana? Yep," Navi interrupted as she watched yet another banana soar into the bush.
"Kirby?" Kari wondered as she got up from her seat. She grabbed her gun, which influenced Link to grab his sword. Link approached Kari's side. Samus moaned, then finished the rest of her banana.
"There's never a moment of peace," Samus stated as she put on her helmet. The three of them made a formation, weapons at the ready. Kari stood in the middle with Link on her left and Samus on her right. They approached the bush and could hear munching. Kari signaled them to wait, then put her hand on the bush. Kari whispered to the others.
"On the count of three, we corner this thing. Ready? One... Two... THREE!" Kari ripped open the bushes, but in a split second both Samus, Link, and Kari herself were sucked into a vortex that was none other than Kirby
Mario walked around the jungle, calling out the names of his friends. The jungle gave him the creeps, and the fact that he was all alone didn't make the situation any brighter.
"Kari, Kirby... Anybody!" Mario cried. It was dead silent. He couldn't hear water, rustles in the trees, bugs buzzing, or anything else you would normally hear in a jungle. "It's all-a because I followed that stupid-a figure!" Mario kicked a nearby rock into the trees. "Mamamia! This jungle sure goes on-a forever." Mario's doubts began to get on his nerves. I need-a to calm down, he thought to himself. After all, this can't-a be as-a bad as the time I got-a myself stuck in a painting by-a King Boo. Mario was trying to keep his mind positive regardless of the current situation.
There was-a also the time Bowser's son framed-a me for polluting Isle Delfino. Mario began to grin. Hey, maybe I'm-a not in as bad a situation as-a I thought! Mario soon changed his mind when he came across a huge ditch.
"Waa!" he screamed as he viewed the bottomless pit. Mario glanced to his right and noticed a crooked, wooden sign. It read:
Welcome To Vine Valley
Mario scratched his cap, then viewed his surroundings. "Now-a what?" Mario then caught the sight of the many vines dangling from the treetops. He rubbed his 'stache, then snapped his fingers. "I got it!" Mario took a few steps back, then dashed towards the edge. He then jumped and grabbed onto the nearest vine. Mario could hear the vine crack and watched as it swayed back and forth. "Umph! I need-a to lay off-a the ravioli!" Mario clung to the vine and took a deep breath. He jumped to the nearest vine and held on with all his might. Mario glanced around and realized he still had a long way to go.
"It's not me, Kari."
"Will someone please get off of me?"
"Well this is a fine situation you got us into, Kari."
"Hey, I didn't expect Kirby was gonna eat us."
"Quit arguing, you two!"
"Well maybe if you thought just a little, we wouldn't be here."
"I haven't seen you do anything but morph into a ball!"
"Cut it out, girls!"
"At least I can actually fight!"
"Why of all the..."
"HEY! LISTEN!" Navi began to glow so bright it lit up the inside of Kirby's stomach. They were all crammed together, with Navi hovering above them all. "The two of you can argue later. Right now we need to come up with a plan to get out of here," Navi lectured.
"I could make him spit us out," Samus suggested.
"Really?!" Kari said sarcastically. Samus ignored her and transformed into a Morphball. Kari sighed, not amused. Suddenly Samus dropped a small, blinking pebble. Kari leaned forward and could hear a beeping noise. She sighed.
"Samus... You stupid-"
Kirby, who had been napping, suddenly awoke with smoke coming out of his mouth. He spat fire at the banana pile and also spat out his fellow companions. who flew into the batch. He ran in circles. then dove into the pile .eating one banana after another. Navi popped out of the pile, quite furious.
"Last I heard. the saying was DODONGOS dislike smoke!" Samus got out of the batch in human form.
"Well I got us out. didn't I?" Link came out of the pile. brushing the ash off his clothes.
"Someone should've warned me. I had my Goron Tunic for situations like these." Link shook the ash out of his hair as Kari emerged from the pile. She turned her head towards Samus.
"I give that plan a C for carelessness!" Kari remarked. Samus began to get irritated.
"I didn't see you come up with anything!" Suddenly Kirby waddled out of the pile. He approached Samus.
"Hi!" Samus found Kirby to be quite, adorable so she picked him up and held him in her arms. Everyone calmed down as they sat and watched Kirby resume his nap. Everyone else started getting tired. Link let out a yawn, then slept next to the pile. Samus began to doze off as well. Kari began to lay her head back, stare at the sky, then slowly closed her eyes.
A couple hours went by...
Mario had been swinging from vine to vine for a long time now. His muscles grew sore and the sweat stung his eyes. The worst part was, he wasn't even halfway to the other side. At times, Mario felt like just letting go, but he had to get over this feeling. Usually when Bowser would kidnap Peach, the Mushroom Kingdom had hopes for him, but this time the whole world... No, the entire universe of Nintendo relied on Mario. He could not give up just yet. Mario swung to the next vine, then heard a very Disturbing sound. He could hear what he assumed to be squawking not too far from where he was. Sure enough, a pack of large vultures could be spotted on the other side. To make matters worse, these creatures were heading straight towards the plumber. Mario weakly reached his pain-filled arms and took out his DS. He pointed the DS towards the vultures.
Des: Large vultures that rarely come alone. They have a habit of diving at those they find bothering.
Game: Donkey Kong Country
Weakness: Their bald heads
"I wish-a my DS had-a the map. Then I wouldn't be-a doing this!" Mario said with a moan. The vultures were closing in. Mario began to leap towards the vines as fast as he could, and hoped he had a tight grip on him. The vultures began to fly past him at lightning speed. Mario almost lost his cap when one of the Necky's wings smacked him. Mario soon grabbed a vine that began to crack. Mario could feel the vine was ready to snap off. He was just about to grab onto another when WHAM! Mario could feel the Necky's beak jam into his side. Mario lost his grip and began to fall.
"Mamamiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaa!!!" Mario screamed as he began to fall into the endless abyss. He desperately grabbed onto the talon of the Necky. Mario's weight caused the bird to fall with the plumber. The Necky turned its head toward the plumber and began to peck at Mario's hands. Despite the pain, Mario kept his grip as the vulture tried to stay in the air. The Necky then began to bite Mario enough to pierce the skin and draw blood. The bird was so busy trying to rid itself of the plumber that it got in the way of another Necky and was rammed into one of the trees. The bird was killed instantly and began to fall. Mario released the bird and quickly snatched the nearest branch. He watched the Necky fall until it vanished into the darkness. Mario was not lightweight, and because of this the branch began to break. Mario tried to grab another branch, but he missed and ended up falling from the treetops.
As Mario watched the ground come close, he suddenly felt a pull on one of the straps on his overalls. Mario then realized he seemed to have been flying. He quickly looked over his shoulder and saw what looked like a monkey with a baseball cap. This was the last he remembered before he passed out and his vision went black.
To Be Continued...
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