A fresh citrus scent greeted the Koopa Bros. as they pushed aside their last branch and looked out on the fine beach.
Black was aware that the farther they walked, the more palm trees he saw. It was a strange shift, that was for sure, but in all the things he'd seen it couldn't be that uncommon.
Red whistled a happy tune, glancing at the paper, pointing forward, and walking with hopeful strides. The four had been walking like this for quite a while, never turning or branching off from the path they had started so long ago. Finally, Black stopped. "Red...do you know how to READ a map?" he said, intently awaiting his brother’s reaction.
Red stopped and turned around, his eyes shifting uneasily. "... Uh... No."
All the other Ninjakoopas groaned with disbelief.
"But I thought if we kept going the same way we'd find someone that could!" he spoke up defensively.
"Gimme that," Black growled,
taking the map from his brother. He scanned it, squinting his eyes to make
out every fuzzy little blotch. He still doubted it was any sort of map.
Turning his head left and right, he came to a conclusion that would at least tell them where they were.
"Well, judging by how tropical things seem to be all of a sudden, and since we just came from Dark Land... I'd say we're in Water Land at the moment." Black reached a hand into his shell to pull out a World Map. He felt the wallet he had taken earlier. It served as a quick reminder to check it later.
Once the map was out, he exhaled a breath he didn't know he was holding. "Woah. We went THAT far east? Geez... Well, we're right at the tourist sites instead of some war territory, so I guess-" He winced and covered his ears as a sharp screech of excitement split the air. He looked back, immediately dreading what was going on as he saw his brothers’ ecstatic faces.
"WOW! WE'RE IN WATER LAND! Ya know, I have NEVER been here before!" Yellow yelled, clapping his hands.
"Me neither! Maybe we can go see BLOOPER SURFERS!" Red shivered with anticipation.
"Yeah! The treasure can wait! Let's go SAILING! LIKE PIRATES!" Green did a quick hop of excitement before running through the sand. "C'mon, guys!" he hollered without a back glance. Red and Yellow hurried to catch up with him, while Black struggled behind, stuffing everything into his full shell before sighing and reluctantly following.
They were all dashing through the grit when Green's sudden drop in speed made everyone slow down. The first 3 Ninjakoops were walking, gasping for breath but too anxious to stop. Black jogged behind at a steady pace. "Guys, I think this is pointless. This map is bogus, and we have no money for rides and stuff like that," he mumbled, loud enough for everyone to hear his bluntly put view on their adventure.
Green stopped and turned around with a sad look on his face. Yellow and Red did similar melancholy actions. "Black, you're... like... depressing me with your depressing...ness…" Green said, making Black stop and hang his mouth open in shock. The other two brothers quickly joined in.
"Yeah, maaaaan... You're totally throwing a blanket over this, duuuude."
"It's like I'm suffocating in your sadness!"
"Now I know why you wear black all the time."
"You're like the Emo Ninjakoopa, dude!"
"You party pooper!"
"You used to be so cool, man, what happened?" Red finished off the string of insults.
Black was just standing there, too angry to say anything. Slowly, his face regained movement, making a sour expression. "I'm cool!" he said, crossing his arms defiantly.
"No, you're not anymore! Ever since you got your first job, you've been soooo SERIOUS all the time!" Yellow jabbed a finger, making Black deny his uncoolness even more.
"I AM still cool!" he yelled at his brothers, getting frustrated as they turned their backs with sighs full of pity.
"I feel so sorry for you, dude. No one's gonna wanna hang out with a downer like you." Red tsk-tsked over his shoulder.
Black was finally enraged. They can't have sympathy for ME! he thought to himself, clenching his fists. At some point, his brain cracked under the pressure.
"FINE THEN! YOU WANT TO GO HAVE FUN?! LET'S GO SAILING! I'M STILL EXTREME! I'M STILL FUN!" he hollered at the top of his lungs, thrusting his legs forward as he ran ahead of his brothers, headed towards the bustling docks that came into view.
"All riiiiiight!" He heard a chorus of approval behind him, along with stampeding feet to catch up.
The light reflected off the calm water, making some colorfully clothed tourists wince from the brightness. The crowd was entirely made up of Koopas, most falling prey to harking stall sellers showing off cheap trinkets and knick knacks. The dock was huge, with many wooden bridges branching off to join up with small, expensive-looking boats. Most were advertising a ferry service of some kind... all except for the one that caught the Koopa Brothers’ eyes. It was an enormous, old-fashioned wooden one. The sails were starch white, the paint light brown to make it look even more classic. It was almost like staring at a doomship built to float. Well, it was a little smaller, and only had two cannons at either sides, but... still... it retained that menacing, yet grand, style.
Yellow and Green Ooooed and Ahhhhed at its look, ignoring all else and walking straight towards it. Black stopped, slowing down with Red, who was temporarily distracted by a man selling Pianta masks. He pulled his brother by the shoulder, both of them stopping along with Yellow and Green in front of the massive, pirate ship-like floater.
In front was a Bob-omb with a pirate patch, bandana, and cross bones for a knob. "Ahoy there, land lubbers! Me name’s Pa-Patch! What can I help ya with?" he greeted them heavily.
Black was already prepared to answer, knowing full well there was no way this ship was up for rides. He smiled slightly, glad to derail everything with minimal damage.
Suddenly, Red grabbed his shell and shook it, making Black's teeth clatter with pain. "Right! We want to go sailing, but this thing comes FIRST! Can you read this? We wanna know where to go!"
Red's voice reached Black's dizzying mind, the Ninjakoopa stumbling around drunkenly before shaking his head to wake himself up. He groaned to himself as he saw his brother hold up the “treasure” map. Pa-Patch looked it over, giving a thoughtful “Hmmmmm…” before nodding his head and answering. "I may be no navigator, but that there looks ta ME like a map leading to Delfino Island!"
Black's eyes widened. "WHAT?!" he yelled, confused. He pushed his way through his brothers and stared at the map. It didn't look like it had ANYTHING to do with that place! "There is NO way-"
Yellow bumped him with a fist. HARD. "Blaaack! This guy's a professional! It's rude to say something like that!"
Black staggered backward, giving a slight wheeze before straightening up.
"Ya know, mateys, I'll give ya a ride to that place for a small price! Only 100 coins!" Pa-Patch proposed with a cheery demeanor, walking up the ramp leading to the boat. He must have seen Black's mouth gape open with shock, because he followed with "Yeah. This ol' lady may not look like a ferry, but she'll get the job done!" The Bob-omb gave a mean wink at the lone brother, who turned his head, more confused than ever.
"WOW! We'll get to the treasure
AND have fun! Doesn't that just sound GREAT?" Green was already running
up the ramp, the other two brothers following like sheep.
Pa-Patch stopped them before they set foot on the deck.
"Now, first things first, I'll be needin' those coins." He shook his body, letting his bandana fall to the floor, waiting like a pouch. Black, now suspicious of what was going on, got a good look at the crew for the first time. A Toad with a headband and Fire Flower imprint on his shirt was in the crow’s nest, staring down with a creepy grin. A pair of Beanies had similar expressions. The entire CREW, in fact, was staring at them expectantly.
Black felt he needed to stop things before they got out of control. "Well, although that offer seems nice, I'm afraid we have no money to give you. Sorry, Brothers, but we must depart."
He started walking away, smiling as he heard footsteps behind them, then frowning when a quick "Wait!" made him turn around.
Red was waving around... the wallet Black stole! "There's enough coins in here for the trip!"
"WHERE'D YOU GET THAT?!" Black yelled as he ran up to his brother, reaching a hand out to snatch the wallet. He fell with a THUMP when Red stepped away and dug around, pulling out rolls of fresh gold coins.
"It fell out of your shell when I took the map!" Red plopped the money into Pa-Patch's hat, who barked for a deck hand to grab it and go.
"Hey, Black, I didn't know you were so rich!" Green was squinting his eyes, peeking over his other brother's shoulder at the wallet.
Black was crouched, feeling like he'd just lost something. Who knew what would happen now?
He initiated an emergency avoidance plan. Getting up and opening his mouth, he... snapped it shut as Yellow made a comment.
"Of COURSE Black would have money! He probably kept it along for us to do fun stuff! After all... he's COOL!"
Black was dazed slightly, the praise throwing off his gut feeling. The cheers of his brothers echoed into his ears, making him walk towards them. He'd do this, if only not to seem like a fun-sucker.
Pa-Patch whistled, already at the prow. He howled to the crewmen, who were already hustling about in preparation.
"Aye! Hear me, mateys and crewmen of this fine vessel! Hear what me ol' heart would have me say! Our guests and new friends, who we don't know yet, come to our ship after long wandering, in pursuit of the finest goal of treasure! As in the past, let us provide passage, and quickly, for no guest of ours languishes here for lack of it!"
Red yelled “Aye!” with the rest of the crew before dragging Black onboard while the other two brothers were already running towards the opposite railing of the ship.
"Wow! The ship's called Old Pooky! Look!" Green pointed at the bright gold letters painted on the side.
"Hey, Green! ... We're on the poopdeck!" Yellow snickered to himself.
"Nautical terms are funny!"
Black was gripping a barrel until Red let go, then he slumped into a beaten state, trying to block the chit chat of his siblings.
PART 2: DIRE STRAITS!
K.K. roughly butted Kappa's body with the end of a large stick. Beside him, his K.K. Klown Kopter hummed, revved up. Since Mario Party-goers didn't really fight all that hard against him, the vehicle was in almost perfect shape. Copter blades under it kept it floating, while the small, flat airplane wings kept it in place. In front, his emblem was painted above a large Bullet Bill Blaster.
Koopa Kid tried one more time to revive Kappa, whacking him across the face with the stick. Nothing.
Groaning, he dragged the body by the legs to his Kopter, pressing a button on the side that released a ramp. Once both of them were in, he grabbed the steering joystick and pulled him.
Higher and higher he ascended, until the air around him was thick with Goonies. "Stupid birds!" he yelled, flailing his arms in front of them to scare them off. He finally pressed on a pedal, sending his Kopter flying forward.
For a while he whistled, familiar with the 20 minute-drive back to the castle. Eventually, he tapped his foot, growing bored.
He didn't realize Kappa was stirring awake.
He stood, completely oblivious, while the knight Koopatrol got up with a scowl, a limp in one leg and K.K's giant stick in the other.
Koopa Kid heard a slight scraping, and turned around...
...riiiight as Kappa slammed the stick at the steering wheel, making K.K's hands drop from it.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" K.K screamed and fell down. The Kopter stopped for a moment, going into automatic stall for a few minutes.
"YOU BANDIT!" Kappa yelled with fury as he smashed the stick downward. Koopa Kid rolled out of the way just in time, gulping as the weapon broke in half.
"WAIIIIIT! I'M NOT A BANDIT!" He panicked as he saw the knight raise a gauntlet-covered fist. Kappa hesitated, and K.K. used that time to headbutt him in the stomach, getting up in a rush.
"AGH! You COWARD! If you're not a bandit, then WHY DID YOU JUST HIT ME?!" The Knight hopped around in pain before turning his fierce gaze back to K.K.
"Ummm… Ahhhh.... All right, I overreacted on tha- HOLD IIIIIT!" Koopa Kid squealed as Kappa got him in a devastating headlock.
"SILENCE, THIEF! DO YOU NOT SEE THE PAIN YOU INFLICTED UPON ME?!" K.K. winced as he saw the bruises he gave Kappa earlier.
"I was just waking you up! DON'T TWIST THE HORNS DON'T TWIST THE HORNS OWOWOWOWOW!" He struggled to free himself as Kappa started to yank on the two small spikes on his scalp.
"SPEAK THE TRUTH AND YOU WILL GO FREE! Where is the royal stamp? It's much more valuable than YOUR LIFE! Also, where did my helmet go? I was going to keep it as a memento! Now what will I pass down to my children, my ARMOR?! WHERE-IS-MY-STUFF?" With each word, the angry Koopatrol pulled on the horns, making K.K. use all of his strength to try to push the knight off. FAIL.
"You mean you don't have
the stamp with you? That's what I came for! Lemme goooo!"
K.K. finally broke free of the knight's grasp and started gasping for air.
"GASP! So YOU are after the stamp as well, and planned on taking me somewhere for interrogation! YOU FIEND!" Kappa threw another punch that missed.
The Klown Kopter started descending slowly.
K.K. yelped like a hurt puppy as Kappa grabbed his tail and held him up, making the Koopa Kid scrape the floor with his claws. Wow. That takes skill, to hoist something that heavy up with one hand. I mean, I'm not saying K.K's fat or anything but, I mean, WOAH.
"I have one final question for you! Answer right, and you'll be redeemed! ... Where's my WALLET?!" Kappa swung K.K's body over the side of the dropping Kopter.
"AHHHH! AHHHHH! Dude, I'm a KOOPALING! Don't hurt me or you'll be IMPRISONED!" Koopa Kid was panicking, probably because of his body dangling in the sky while the ground got closer and closer.
Kappa snorted in reply. "Ha! Liar! I know and have SEEN all the Koopalings! You are not one of them!"
"Stupid obscurity!" K.K muttered.
"ANSWER THE QUESTION!"
"WAHHHHH! OKAY! Kamek, the Magikoopa, HE has your wallet! ... All right? Are we good? ... WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT! Uh... Look! Your helmet!" K.K. pointed at a cloud hanging in the sky. The Kopter was starting to drop at an alarming rate. Kappa frowned, but looked over at where he was pointing. K.K. took that time to swing his body back into the Kopter and headbutt Kappa in the face. The Knight stumbled around for a little bit before falling down unconscious.
K.K. pulled up on the joystick, bringing the Kotper back in the right direction. He gasped for air, the adrenaline wearing off, and pushed Kappa's body away with his foot.
"... Glad that's over…" he mumbled to himself, happy to see the Kastle looming in the distance.