Chapter 3: Strife Across Plit
Mario, Merlin, Bowser, and the Koopalings began to take their seats in Bowser’s dining hall, a gigantic room with a very high roof and a portrait of Bowser above the door. The place, like every other room, was lit with torches. Of course, they still had to wait for Plit’s greatest “heroes” to assemble.
Bowser sat on a large chair at the far end of the room and leaned back, enjoying the relaxation of a gigantic leather chair. Then the Koopalings took seats near the end and sat there patiently- with the exception of Lemmy, who was growling out of boredom. Merlin stood in a corner while Mario took a seat at the opposite end of Bowser.
“So it’s agreed,” Bowser began grudgingly. “I’ll have to make a truce with the Mushroom Kingdom until we’re rid of those six infernal monsters.”
“Agreed,” Mario answered simply.
“Not to mention, if Plit is destroyed, all the blame will be on your head for not being able to save the entire planet in that window of time.”
Merlin yawned and then, after hearing what Mario had agreed to, started another one of his lengthy explanations. “Bowser, it’s going to take more than pressure to motivate Mario into beating the menace we face! It’s going to take strength, cunning, intelligence, and… uh… I forgot what else, but that’s not the point! We know Mario has not fought a villain in months, or years for that matter!”
“Sure thing, Merlin.” Bowser growled, not caring.
“However, I think that others may be noticing this sudden disturbance, as it has affected many areas of Plit. That and potential allies shall flock here.”
“Wait, then what-a am I supposed to-a do?” Mario asked.
“Look for these allies now, Mario. First
search in the outskirts of Mushroom City, as there is an ancient archive
there that could prove useful.
Meanwhile, in Yoshi’s Island, there rested a small, peaceful environment free from many of the main continent’s problems, like the current strife enveloping the area. Unfortunately, this was not meant to last, at least for one Yoshi currently in residence on the Island, as one of those evil men was arriving there just that day.
To anyone, the human warlord Tabias would be just as cold-hearted and soulless as the others who accompanied him to Plit. There was one thing about him that did raise suspicion amongst the Yoshis of Yoshi’s Island, though: the soulless glare beyond that helmet of his. He often stayed at the local inn, only insisting that he was “studying Plitian botany”. He had other plans, on the other hand, that his brother, L’Nasckra, had devised for Yoshi’s Island’s fate.
The inn was not very crowded today, as half the people staying were scared away just by the sheer terror presented by Tabias. He had some sort of aura radiating around him, as if only his presence was enough to drive anyone mad. However, he seemed to be challenged, as only one Yoshi stood there at the inn’s bar, besides all the staff; this challenger was a black-scaled Yoshi with blue spikes, a red leather coat, and who wore a pair of steel gauntlets and greaves. The two seemed to stare each other in the eye like worst enemies.
“Y’know, you seem awfully suspicious,” the Yoshi growled, his working eye tightening, “like one of those human cultists that’s been spamming our inboxes about the apocalypse daily.”
Tabias merely laughed coldly in response to the Yoshi’s insult. “And who are you to challenge me, Plitian wimp?” he insultingly asked.
“Does the word ‘daemon hunter’ ring a bell?” the Yoshi retorted, motioning his left hand towards his saber, the hilt shining crimson red with golden lining and the guard gleaming a bright silver color in the light of the torches. There was another round of cold laughter from Tabias as he too put the palm of his hand onto the hilt of his sheathed mace.
“Perhaps you need a lesson, the hard way,” Tabias growled, finally pulling his mace out into a ready-to-attack position, “and I’ll make sure you suffer for your insolence.”
“Bring it, then.” The Yoshi drew his saber in the way a fencer would at the Olympics.
“Oh, Mister Renaissance, I see?” Tabias insulted, swinging his mace around in a wide circle, destroying the table he stood by outright. Every staff member ducked under the bar.
“What’s a renaissance?”
“I wont go through that entire history lesson! I may be in honors history, but I don’t like to make historical references in Fun Fics!” the author yelled from out of nowhere, but was eventually bricked for breaking the fourth wall.
Tabias made the first move, advancing onto the Yoshi and attempting to slam him hard with the brimstone mace, but missed after the Yoshi leapt to the side and out of the way. In response, the Yoshi threw himself at Tabias with a quick strike of the saber, but was parried easily. Sparks flew as the blade met the mace head.
“Not bad,” Tabias remarked after backing out of the parry and again swinging his mace uselessly in a full circle. He rushed at the Yoshi, and was parried. More sparks flew, until the Yoshi’s saber suddenly crackled with blue electricity. This seemed to be a bad sign, or so Tabias thought as he kept the parry held.
“Like I mentioned before,” the Yoshi said calmly, “the word daemon hunter rings bells, does it not?”
Tabias said nothing. The blade of the saber crackled even more violently until finally, the Yoshi applied upward pressure to the hilt, knocking the mace from Tabias’s hand. The weapon twirled in the air before plummeting and smashing a chair near the bar. The Yoshi leveled his saber with Tabias’s hauberk.
“End of the line,” he remarked. Tabias chuckled while outstretching his armor-covered arms.
“You know nothing, Plitian.” He growled, opening the palm of his right hand, which was facing his mace; the mace soon wobbled, and leapt back into his hand magnetically. “And like I said, you need a painful lesson to remind you of that!”
He raised his mace, and was about to strike the Yoshi when he all of a sudden stopped. He looked towards the door, only to notice something. He turned to the door and started to bolt, stopping at the doorway.
“I have a feeling I will see you another day, Plitian.” He roared, and then left with a noisy clanking of clad armor.
The staff got up from behind the bar, which the Yoshi walked over to and sat on a stool next to.
“Did you manage to see what he’s running after?” the Yoshi asked, calmer than the shivering bartenders and innkeepers.
“I-I,” the first of the Yoshi bartenders quivered, “it looked like some orange light.”
“Orange light?” the Yoshi questioned. “Yet another job to do,” he growled.
“What do you mean? Who are you?” another bartender asked.
“Well,” the jacket-covered Yoshi started, “all my life I faced desolation at the hands of some external-source human from another planet; thus I made it my job to hunt those types of fanatical morons.” He took a swig of the cola he’d bought before Tabias attacked. “Yep, and I’ve been doing that ever since; however, it seems that Plit has a sizable portion of them these days.”
“And you are exactly?”
“Vexxan Aurus, local daemon hunter of
Plit. I hunt… well… demons, daemons, cultists, hierophants, and whatnot
of occult entities; and all for no charge,” he introduced. He gargled down
the rest of the cola and dropped ten coins on the bar counter. “Keep the
change,” he growled, walking out of the bar and after Tabias. He was in
a hurry to catch the next ferry to Toad Town.
Back in Dark Land, Mario trudged out of Bowser’s Castle alone. He only decided to go alone this time because he would rather die than work with any of the Koopalings; and he had succeeded alone before, thus he figured he could do the same here. He walked out into the ash-wastes of Dark Land’s blackened landscape, knowing he’d run into his enemy eventually.
It so seemed that there were footsteps, very heavy ones. Mario paid no heed to them, however, as he continued to trek across Dark Land. The pounding grew louder… and louder… and louder… until Mario bumped into something green and metal; he immediately backed up to see a large armored human with a glaive twice the size of an average man. Next to the armored one was a blue-robed, red-eyed freak who seemed to be floating.
“Well, hello, Mario…” the blue-robed figure spoke.
“Bwuh huh huh…” the second one laugh, but then got smacked in the face by what looked like the author’s gigantic metal hand due to the rising annoyance statistic; yes, it was the author’s own gigantic metal hand. After the armored figure stopped laughing, the blue-robed one grinned calmly, too calmly.
“I see that you’ve come to… ah… what’s that word?” the blue-robed freak thought for a moment before continuing, “‘Interfere’ with us?”
Mario nodded, but not before charging a fireball in his right hand. “You have no right to ruin my home,” Mario growled, challenging the figures.
“Well, go ahead, Mario, waste your life defending creatures that will eventually ridicule you and banish you from society,” the apparently smarter freak explained. “You may be the hero for now, but eventually those who used to root for you will begin to reject your ideals, and name you an outcast.”
As this was explained, Mario seemed abit more provoked to attack sooner.
“Oh, where are my manners?” the blue-robed figure joked badly, chuckling slightly. “I’m Aevirith, of the Deceiver Demigod Cult, and that clod over there is Dunkriek, of the Bird-flu-Indulgence cult.”
“I love spears…” Dunkriek remarked childishly.
“See what I mean?”
“Been there,” Mario confirmed, remembering that vague memory of having to work with Wario, Bowser, and other morons.
“Wait?! Why am I socializing with an enemy!? Prepare to die!” Aevirith roared, drawing a blade made of some form of brimstone; it was very black, with shining, blood-red runes engraved on every square inch of the blade. He raised it and tried to strike Mario, but missed as Mario stepped out of the way. Then Dunkriek, lance lowered and in a “stabbing” position, stupidly and dramatically charged at Mario, but found that he had run into a large boulder instead. Aevirith shook his head in dead embarrassment.
“Oh why did I go with him?!” he anguished, but then turned towards Mario in a rage. “You, nuisance, are going to enjoy having even more pain…” Now Aevirith was channeling some sort of blue flame into the blade he carried, and held it up into the air. Meanwhile, Dunkriek had pried himself out of the boulder and was now charging towards Mario again; this time, Mario threw a fireball at him, hitting him square in the left arm. It did not hinder Dunkriek at all, but only seemed to tickle him as he rushed at Mario. But then, as he was close to spearing Mario, he was punched in the face and knocked onto his back.
“Bwuh? I thought dis Mario person was supposed to be a weakling!” Dunkriek moaned annoyingly loud as he desperately tried to get up but was only flailing around like a turtle on its shell.
“He is, you’re just stupid,” Aevirith insulted, pointing his blade, which was now ablaze, at Mario. He rushed at Mario with inhuman speed and attempted to slash, the blade rippling the very fabric of reality as it moved swiftly, at Mario’s neck; he only clipped his hat though. In response to this, Mario threw a fireball at Aevirith, who floated to the side to dodge it. There was demonic laughter as Aevirith slashed at Mario again, and this time he actually managed to hit; it would have been violent, but since there were censors, Mario merely took heavy damage from it, a magnitude that would make even the Magnus Von Grapple look like a pile of scrap. Mario found himself kneeling in front of his opponent.
“I see the artifacts gathered from other worlds prove useful here,” Aevirith remarked, sheathing the brimstone blade. He then grimaced as he held out his left hand, one holding a Crystal Star, “And these can easily be corrupted to complete the ritual for uncovering one of the greatest artifacts in the known universe.” He laughed as he started channeling some sort of black lightning into the Crystal Star, or rather the palm of his hand.
“What are you doing?!” Mario yelled, pointing at the Cystal Star, which was now enveloped in the lightning. It then shot right past Mario and hit Dunkriek straight in the mouth, knocking him very far away; the distance traveled was now marked by a little twinkle in the horizon. Mario shot a confused expression.
“I will spare you on the grounds that… ah… that I would rather kill you alone than have that clod watching; I leave you now, and I pray we don’t cross each other,” Aevirith said slyly, floating off towards Castle Koopa. Mario was tempted to go back to Castle Koopa and take down Aevirith once and for all, but he knew doing so would most likely cost him his life. He continued in a southerly direction, towards Mushroom City, and to this “Archive Cathedral” Merlin had told him about.