Chapter 57: The Final Battle Part 2: The Devil's Avarice
Mario backs slowly towards the cliff as Edger slowly moves towards him, letting out roars and bubbles. Mario grunts and throws a flame at him, causing him to blink, but no more than that. Edger grins.
Edger: This new form... I can't be destroyed.
Mario: Seems that way, but nothing is completely immune to death.
Edger: I am. The dead can't die.
Mario: Said your brothers, sister, and father.
Mario: You're so desperate to kill me, you turned yourself into a monster.
Edger: What? This? Aaaahhh yes, this is what happens when the souls come in. Let me explain, will you?
Mario: Sure, if you feel wasting time is fine.
Edger hisses at Mario and closes in to keep him at the cliff edge.
Edger: As you know, the souls are only fractions of me since I don't have just one. As such, I can control and utilize the souls in certain fractions at a time, allowing me to change my power level and my resistance to death. The fewer souls I use, the fewer souls will be lost when I die and the weaker I will be, but the more souls I use, the more souls I will lose when I die and the stronger I will be.
Mario: So basically you're utilizing all of the souls at once.
Edger: There you go. I'm giving the souls control, but since my body is the host... I still have control over them in the long run.
Mario: Heh... neat. All of you could do this, or just you?
Edger: Everybody but Dad since he never technically died.
Mario: Well that was a fine lecture, but I feel now you’d best just eliminate me. I don't want to stand here for the next sixty-some years.
Edger grins at Mario and laughs a little.
Edger: What do you have planned?
Edger: Let me be sure...
Edger flings two of his now-many tentacles out and smashes the land in between them, causing the land to give way and plunge Mario towards the sea below.
While this goes on we go to the stairway between the Underwhere and Overthere. We see Luigi climbing the stairs slowly, his footsteps echoing all over as droplets of water fall from the stalactites.
Luigi: Ugh, it stinks in here. It's been so long, too. What do you guys think?
Veny: I don't know. I'll just be happy when we get to the Overthere.
Tongulty: Can I eat it?
Luigi and Veny: NO YOU CAN'T!
Veny: I'm still amazed Jaydes is letting us go with you.
Luigi: You weren't that evil, moreso brainwashed. Put it that way.
Tongulty: I'm hungry.
Veny: You'll eat when we get to the Overthere.
Veny: Yeah, you're right, Luigi.
Luigi: Yeah. Let's hurry.
As they go further they begin to hear a clinking sound, as if metal is being struck over and over against the stone floors. The three begin to examine the surroundings, nervous as a shadow comes up behind them.
Going back to Mario, we see him falling down the cliff side and landing in the water at the base. As he sinks further and further, he slowly regains his ability to move and, quickly positioning himself properly, begins to swim back up. As he surfaces he gasps for air and pants.
Mario: Gah! I can't believe I let him do that. I have to get back up there somehow.
Mario looks up to see Edger running wildly down the cliff side. Mario’s eyes widen.
Mario: OH GOD!
Mario dives back underwater as Edger plunges into the water after him. Six tentacles emerge from Edger’s body and begin to drain the water. Mario goes lower into the lake as the water drainage catches up, leveling the two off as Edger makes a wild swim towards him.
Mario: YOU ABSORB LAKES TOO!
Mario springs from the lake and grabs the cliff side before grabbing a rock and throwing it at Edger’s eyes, causing him to stop temporarily for Mario to throw a few fireballs in his face. Mario begins to climb as Edger, seemingly undamaged, swims to the cliffside, turns vertical, and runs up the side of the cliff after Mario.
Going back to Luigi, we see them going up the stairway to the final door.
Veny: Is this it?
Luigi: Yes it is.
The three walk to the door, when a sword flies by and impales the doorway. The three stop and go pale, slowly turning to see Redip.
Redip: Really? Did you think you could make it out alive without bumping into me?
Luigi: No... Tell me you're not going to the Overthere...
Redip: Well of course. While Jaydes was busy talking to you three, I slipped in here and waited.
Luigi: I have no time. Go back where you belong.
Redip: Oh no. You see, you still have your life orb. That's the perfect thing for me to have another chance in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Veny: YOU CAN'T HAVE IT! I'LL DEFEND YOU.
Redip blindly darts by the three, grabs his sword, spins, and takes a swing at Luigi, who jumps back.
Redip: STAY STILL!
Luigi slams his hands into the ground, creating electricity that causes the floor to explode. As the floor caves in, the three run to the door to the Overthere as Redip jumps across the falling debris and swings again. He swings into Luigi, hitting him in the chest and knocking him down. Veny and Tongulty, seeing this, jump at Redip, who swings at them and sends them back.
Redip: NOT ENOUGH!
Redip jumps at Luigi, who grabs him by the foot and drags him to the floor. Luigi stands up and kicks Redip, who falls into the gap and plunges all the way to the base of the tower and crashes into the ground. Luigi, Veny, and Tongulty quickly rush through the door as we head back to Mario.
Mario reaches the top of the cliff as Edger shoots up faster and faster. Mario climbs onto the top as Edger zooms into the air overhead and goes in for a nosedive towards him. Mario spins and fires more flames at him, causing an explosion that throws Edger through the air and back over the cliff.
Mario: Take that, jerk.
Mario gets up and looks around before running.
Mario: I have to get out of here fast. Where is Dad?
As Mario runs, the ground shakes before he hears Edger storming after him again. Mario spins and throws more flames towards the sound of Edger’s footsteps, causing the trees to catch fire and fall over. Mario begins running backwards so he can shoot more.
Mario: Come on out. I know you're there. I know you can catch up faster than that.
Edger leaps through the flames and rages forward as Mario spins on the spot, letting out flames in a chain shape and flailing them, causing them to wrap up Edger and explode, catching him in flames. Mario stands there panting, exhausted and waiting for the flames to lower. As they do, Mario's eyes bulge and he trembles as he sees, not just Edger in the flames, but Edger with around fifty faces pressing against his body. Mario backs up in terror as the faces appear to be inside and trying to rip out of him. Edger begins to thrash before falling on his side.
Edger: N... NO I CAN'T KEEP THIS UP...
Mario: He's... dying?
Edger: GAH I'M DIEING TOO MUCH! I CAN'T MAINTAIN THIS FORM!
Mario gasps and turns, darting behind a mass of trees as the ground caves around Edger. Edger screams as holes rip in him and long streams of yellow smoke with faces shoot from him. As they emerge, the smoke disappears and Edger's body shifts and shrinks slowly. Mario watches closely as Edger reverts to his normal form in a completely beat up state.
Edger: N...no. I feel weak. This can't be happening.
Edger slowly gets up and eyes Mario through the trees.
Edger: M-Mario... DIE!
Edger fires his tentacles at Mario. They slice through the trees as they move in.