Chapter 44: The Eighth Child!
We open differently. We see a Mushroomer, very old-looking, moving through the woods. As he goes on slowly we see him come across the dead body of Danet’s Bzzap form. He looks down at it and grins.
Mushroomer: Finally! Somebody killed that rotten thing. I don't know who did it, but thank you. I can say my father feels the same way.
The old Mushroomer slowly progresses further until he approaches a clearing. It is far more scenic than the other areas, a rocky spot with a waterfall spilling from above into the ring formed by the rocks. The Mushroomer walks up there and sighs. He pulls out some flowers and places them on the rocks, and they drift out into the middle of the pool.
Mushroomer: I have good news, Father. The Bzzap that killed you... he is dead too. I guess coming today was a good idea.
The Mushroomer stands up from his kneeling position and turns around to see the image of another Mushroomer, a younger one. The Mushroomer rubs his eyes and look again to see the image gone.
Mushroomer: Dad... You always show up here. Hahaha, I guess that is why I come.
The Mushroomer walks towards the exit when he hears a rustling behind him. He then hears voices off in the distance. The voices call for somebody.
?????: Dad, where are you?
?????: Yeah! Why did he run off like that?
The Mushroomer looks into the woods to see Edger and Holts go by. He then turns around and sees Danet, still as Peach, over looking at the flowers. The Mushroomer walks up to him and, seeing him as Peach, kneels.
Mushroomer: Y-Y-Your Majesty. Wha-what are you d-d-d-doing here?
Danet: Why did you put your flowers in the water? They are so beautiful!
Mushroomer: They are for my dad.
Danet: Oh? Then why in the water?
Danet reaches into the water and hits a solid object. Pulling it out, he retrieves a blue stone with a chain on it. The stone fits nicely to make it a necklace, and he stares at it and turns around.
Danet: This stone is lovely. Your dad's too?
Mushroomer: Yes! He said it held magic in it. It was a good luck charm. If he ever lost it, it would be like his heart going away because it was passed down through generations.
Danet: Oh wow! Then why throw it in there? I'm sure he'd want you to have it.
Mushroomer: Not at all. Even if he did, I find it the perfect thing for the water.
Danet: I see. You're a good son then. You know, you're his son, I'm sure he'd want you to have it to pass it down further.
Mushroomer: Hahaha! That is a good idea you have there. Then again, you are the princess, which by the way, it's an honor to meet you.
Danet: Well thank you. May I examine the stone? I have some geological skill. I may be able to see this "magic".
Mushroomer: Sure, just... please don't break it.
Danet: I'd never.
Danet examines it. On a closer look, the stone appears to be a crystal with tiny dots floating around in it. Hundreds of them! No, thousands! They give the otherwise blue stone a purple appearance. Danet grins devilishly and looks up at him.
Danet: This stone... it's not normal. It's a soul stone.
Mushroomer: Come again?
Danet: I mean, it was a stone used in ancient times, back in the first generation during the first war of the kingdom, when this place was no more than a vast field, the war for who would set up land here, the Mushroom War 1, Mushroom race versus the Koopa race. The Koopas used this kind of stone to trap the souls of those they killed in war to make sure they never reached the Overthere or Underwhere so they could use the power of the souls. They say that after the Mushroomers won, they robbed the Koopas of the stones.
Mushroomer: That makes no sense!
Danet: What I'm saying is you have the souls of thousands of dead people in this stone. Your father may have very well been the one you were told is your grandfather, your great grandfather, and so on in the line.
Mushroomer: That makes no sense!
Danet: Rennis, I'm trying to tell you that your father can use the souls in the stone to switch bodies to live in, and if he lost the stone, even though he could still trade bodies, it would take a toll on his own soul because he couldn't switch as easily. I need you to hand me this stone and...
Rennis: You know my name...
Danet: ... I'm taking the stone!
Danet starts walking away, when Rennis turns to him and yells.
Rennis: I remember that day! I remember it well. You... You were him... and him!
We see Rennis at maybe the age of thirty-something, perhaps thirty-five. Walking with him is another Mushroomer. As they walk along, talking quietly, they come to the same clearing. Rennis looks up at the older Mushroomer, who smiles at him.
Mushroomer: Well Rennis, this is the spot!
Rennis: Really, Dad? It's so amazing!
Dad: Ahaha, yes it is! You know, Son, my end is coming near. I'm sick… I think it's time we part.
Dad: Well, I don't want to go around you. Ahaha!
Rennis: Why is this coming up?
Dad: Well I need some time to find a new self before I die!
Rennis: A new self? Dad, you're funny! You're cool the way you are.
As they talk, a robed Bzzap comes up behind them. He pulls out his stinger and aims for them.
Bzzap: You two! Fork over your coins now!
Rennis: Oh my God, Dad! Run! I'll take care of this!
Rennis’s dad pushes him aside and walks towards the Bzzap.
Bzzap: Freeze! Throw me your coins or I'll shoot!
Dad: I wouldn't do that if I were you.
Rennis: Dad! What are you doing?
Dad: Finding a new me.
Rennis: A dead you isn't a good, new you, though!
Bzzap: I SAID STOP MOVING! NOW, OR ELSE!
Dad: Kill me or I kill you!
Bzzap: So be it!
The Bzzap fires a stinger through Rennis’s dad, causing him to fall backwards. As Rennis zooms up, a red ball emerges from his dad's body and moves towards the Bzzap. Rennis kneels and cries over his father’s body, then looks up in rage to see the Bzzap, whose eyes flash red before going back to normal, the body standing straight and still before returning to normal. Rennis stands up as the Bzzap smiles at him and walks away.
Rennis: Wh... What the? He... He didn't even take anything. Just... just my dad! WHY? GET BACK HERE, YOU MONSTER! NOW!
Rennis screams on for a bit before falling to his knees, crying.
Rennis: Is that... Was that…? Was that why he didn't take anything from me?
Danet: ... Yes!
Rennis: So... you're... my father... And after you were killed... you became the Bzzap!
Rennis: But... why would you takeover the body of the princess?
Danet: You haven't died yet... The reason would give you a heart attack for sure! I'm surprised you haven't taken one yet.
Rennis: So... how old are you?
Danet: This body is only young... My soul though... about... I can't remember!
Rennis: If what you say is true, then....
Danet: I fought the first Mushroom War to determine if we or the Koopas would gain control of the place that today is what you call the Mushroom Kingdom.
Rennis: H… How old are you?
Danet: My soul was twenty-five at the time, and it was my original body, so... I am at what I will call nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine years of age. This is the ninth generation people have lived here for. I've seen them all. I've lived them all. I've been granted the pleasure of a child in all but the first.
Rennis: So... then... I have brothers and sisters that are hundreds of years older than me.
Danet: Yes! And you just saw two of them
Rennis: Two of them? What do you... Wait! Those two? The Dry Bones and Bandit who ran by earlier?
Danet: That is right!
Rennis backs up, gasping. Danet holds the stone towards him.
Danet: This stone... It holds the souls I've been looking for!
Danet punches a hole in Rennis’s chest and places the necklace in him, then pulls out his hand. A bright flash of purple covers over the wound with a layer of flesh, almost as if the wound was never made. Going from alive, to dead, and instantly back, Rennis looks up trembly-eyed.
Rennis: W… What did you do to me?
Danet: My life is in your hands! Not the life of Peach, but the life of my soul!
Rennis: Wha...wha? This is too nuts! Tell me this is a dream! Just tell me it is, please!
Danet: I would, but I don't lie to my kids!
Rennis: Why, Dad? WHY DO THIS?
Danet: Because I am Danet! Bringer and creator of the sins!
Rennis falls to his knees as Danet walks away without another word! Rennis just stays there on hands and knees, pounding on the ground, screaming and crying. As Danet walks along, he catches up to Holts and Edger, who turn in shock!
Holts: Dad! There you are! What in the world?
Danet: Don't worry, kids. I was dealing with some old memories and putting myself in safe hands.
Danet: Don't you two worry! Now! We need to find Luigi and the Mushroomer with him! Mario and that doctor are as good as gone by the hands of Warth and Redip by now!
Danet: Are we okay now?
Holts: Yes, Dad!
Danet: All right! Let's go then!
The three walk on as Danet puts on a frown, Edger a grin, and Holts... some expression that can't be shown because he is a skeleton.