Descent into Darkness
After the group rested for a while, they headed off to find the next Moonlight Flower. They started with the trail that Mario stepped foot on to reach the Star Sanctum a year before. Instead of going inside the building, however, they traveled down a trail nearby. Unbeknownst to them, the mysterious girl and a Koopa agent were following them. The latter was slain by an unknown source.
When the group was out of the forest, they climbed up a series rock-made skyscrapers known as mountains. On the way down, Luigi shrieked, sparking an avalanche that forced the group down the mountainside. Getting back on low ground, the terrain slowly shifted from forest to frozen tundra. The tundra summoned a blizzard that tried to blow the group away, but the team found a shack and rested in temporary peace. Outside, the girl was blasted by a high-ranking Koopa with a Bob-omb.
The next day, the party passed the circle that marks the gateway to the Arctic and entered an ancient structure left behind for untold centuries. Inside the structure, the group faced a battle with the Koopa Troop, and (if the left path was chosen) Lily made contact with her mother. In the room on the other side of the halls, the group would have gained the Moonlight Flower, but it was missing. But, their clue was a pile of pieces that once made a pillar. Inside, the Moonlight Flower and the girl, now revealed to be Rosemary, were dragged out of the pile and the group escaped the harsh, freezing winds of the Arctic.
If Iggy's plan turns out to include
luring Mario and Co. to the Lunar Flower Kingdom so he can succeed in his
plan, will the team still defend the kingdom? What else might be behind
"Four-a Moonlight Flowers," Mario announced to the team, "We're halfway finished."
"Let's-a get over to the doorway so we can install the Flower into the doorway," Luigi ordered.
"I can get back up now," Rosemary sighed. She stood up and, like a medic treating a wound on real skin, she used her magic to treat the gap. Lily used her magic to create a portal to the doorway. The girls hopped in first, followed by the Mario Bros, Koops, DK, and finally Yoshi. Seconds later, the group stepped foot next to the doorway.
"I am assuming this is the door to the kingdom?" Rosemary asked.
"Yeah," DK replied. "We're about to fill in the fourth slot." Mario tossed the Moonlight Flower to Lily and the latter filled in the slot with it. The sacred item paled out to a snow-white color.
"Where's the next Moonlight Flower?" Koopa asked.
Lily closed her eyes and illuminated the room further than it already was. After seconds, she answered, "The Ruby Moonlight Flower is inside an abandoned building that is in a forgotten town. The mansion is very dark and strange forces lie inside...."
As the glow started to fade like a candle losing its flame, Mario asked, "Wait, what-a kind of forces are you talking about?"
"I'm not too sure.... But, let's leave."
The group soon exited the doorway through a portal.
Back at the prison, Bowser was still watching the news channel. The channel was now focusing on the aftermath of the attack.
"Yesterday was a disastrous day for Mushroom City," the reporter announced. "A group of bombers attacked the city without any warning, leaving the area in ruins. Highways were reduced to fragments of concrete, major structures were missing, and the streets are filled with rubble. Thankfully, however, nobody was injured. It is unknown if this city is to ever make a full rejuvenation due to how terrible the attack was. We can only hope for the be-" Just then, the TV channel filled up with static.
"Huh?" Bowser grunted, "What's wrong with this thing?" He tried switching between channels, but the other channels were filled with static as well.
Outside the prison, a Koopa was at the satellite. The satellite was disabled with a device attached to its base.
"Prince," the Koopa whispered over the radio. "We have disabled communications so that the Mushroom Kingdom won't defend the girl's kingdom. We have devices on every major broadcasting area."
"Excellent," Iggy cackled. "Let's start
the next step."
Back with the group....
"Where is this town?" Rosemary asked.
"It's somewhere in the northwest quadrant of the kingdom," Lily whispered back.
As the group stepped outside the town, the sun started to fall. As the night darkened the terrain, Lily started to tire out.
"Something wrong?" Yoshi squeaked.
"I'm fine. Don't worry about me..."
At the Lunar Flower Kingdom, Lily's father was thrown into a prison cell after a long hour of interrogation.
"I feel weak," he groaned. "But I can't let the invaders capture our energy source. If I give in, I will have let my people down and the invaders will annihilate this place. They may also conquer other areas as well... Marisol, what should I do? I hope the children save us from this degenerated place."
Lily's father grappled the bars to watch the scenery of his homeland. "My children, maybe the gods rest with you."
Hours later, the bars of his cell opened. Two Koopa guards stormed in.
"Let's go," one of the guards sneered. "You're up again. Move it!"
"I'm going," the father replied. The
Koopas yanked him out of his cell. One of them whacked him on the back
With Mario and Co., the group was already out of the town. At the edge of the horizon, the moon was now a pale red, signifying a lunar eclipse. At this point, the other members noticed a faint red aura around Lily.
"Is something wrong with her?" Luigi gasped slightly.
"I have no-a clue," Mario answered.
"The red glow represents that a lunar eclipse is in force," Lily answered. "When a lunar eclipse occurs, the Lunar Flower Kingdom gains a temporary increase of strength."
"Geez, it's getting dimmer here," Koops sighed.
Lily illuminated the room with white lights from her hands, while Mario snapped his fingers to create a flame. Rosemary set her visor to brighten what she is seeing. All that could be heard in the area were the leaves rustling from the gentle wind that only Mother Nature can provide, but even that wasn't enough to calm some of the more timid members of the party. They felt as though someone was hiding to attack the group like a predator stalking its prey, but there was nothing.... Warm chills were felt in some of the members.
"Is this-a the right trail?" Mario asked.
"I hope so..." Lily breathed.
As the group progressed further on, Mario noticed some type of black, semi-liquid substance on the plants. It was the same substance he had examined on the plants at DK Island. "Everyone, get a load of this," Mario called.
"Wait, isn't that the...." Koops tried to ask.
"Yes. That's-a the same substance we saw back at the island."
"This is getting weird," Luigi mumbled. "We're seeing the substance here too?"
"I guess so. Rose, can you-a scan this?"
"I will." Her visor scanned the substance and when the process was complete, the results were confirmed. But, there was one problem.....
"What? Unknown?" Rosemary gasped in shock.
"What's wrong?" DK spat.
"The name and description of this substance is unknown! All that it states is that it forms on plants, causing rapid decay... The plants are rotting right now."
"Yucky," Yoshi squeaked.
"Does this have to do with what's going on in Lily's kingdom?" Koops mumbled.
"We're not sure," Mario answered confidently. "But, we must-a watch our backs."
The group continued on to the abandoned town. As the moon sluggishly drifted up to the sky, Lily's red glow faded away. Soon, the environment changed to an open plain. The area was bathed in moonlight, and the timidness of some of the members wore off.
"What is this?" Koops sighed.
"This area is-a known as the Toadstool Plains," Mario confirmed. "It spans over much of the northwest quadrant of the Mushroom Kingdom. Many farmers reside in this area because of its rich soil and wheat. Looks like we won't-a be finding a resting place here. We need to push on."
"Well, I'm still feeling tired," Lily whispered.
"Hopefully we can get some rest. The town may be able to offer that."
The plains created a vast area for the group to travel. Close and far, there was wheat rooted and grown in the area. But the downside was that there were no farmhouses from their position. In addition to Lily, Luigi and Yoshi were also starting to wear out as well.
"Something wrong?" Mario turned to Luigi.
"I'm feeling weak..." Luigi moaned.
"There's a house up ahead!" DK yelled. He aimed his finger at the farm that was up ahead. The farm's paint was dull as rusty steel and the wood was shattered in several areas. There was no one inside, but for some reason, the lights were on....
"Check what's-a inside," Mario ordered. "We don't want to find ourselves getting attacked inside."
Lily dimmed the lights on her hands as soon as the group entered the farmhouse. Inside, there were some candles that were used hours ago. There was a minimal amount of hay, just enough to fill a small hole. Upstairs there were bedrooms, but no one was in any of them.
"Let's-a rest," Mario yawned. "I will sleep in the small bedroom, while Luigi and Koops will sleep in the larger bedroom that used to belong to the parents. The girls will rest in the pink room with the bunk beds. DK will-"
"I'm ok sleeping in the hay, Mario," DK interrupted.
"All right, then...." Mario continued. "Yoshi will sleep with the girls."
"Room going be tight?" Yoshi chirped.
"The pink room has some space for you to sleep."
After the group split up, nearly all went to sleep. Only two were left awake....
"Why do you have a Toad's Mushroom cap, yet you have the height of a human?" Lily questioned.
Rosemary untied her hair, then responded, "It has to do with my parents. I have 3 older sisters and they are not part Toad. Before I was born, my sisters' father ended his marriage with my mother. My mother remarried to a Toad, and I was born. At that time, my family was on Earth due to frequent wars here in the Mushroom Kingdom. My birth father also migrated for the same reason."
"I understand. What about the armor?"
"Five years ago, me and my siblings were on a train in Mushroom City. We were enjoying it all until the driver passed out. Emily tried to wake him up, but it was too late. The train followed the wrong path and crashed into the streets. I was crippled by the engine, and required several operations. Finally the doctors infused my body with the Light Mecha Angel pieces. I made full use of my new powers a year ago, when the Halo of Dreams crisis sparked. What about you? How is it that you are the most important flower maiden in your home?"
"My mother is the daughter of the king and queen of the kingdom. It has been foretold by the gods that the first-born daughter will be the main flower maiden. That became reality three years after my brother Sol's birth."
"What will happen if you die?"
"The next daughter will be the flower maiden, which is my sister, Estrella."
"That's amazing. Why is it so important to have a flower maiden in the kingdom?"
"You'll figure out why soon..."
"Let's get some rest."
At Iggy's castle.....
"WHAT?!" Iggy roared. "You still can't get the man to answer?!"
"We tried every tactic in the book," an elite Koopa puffed. "He must be either very courageous or very empty-minded to resist torture."
"I'm losing my patience... If you want me to interrogate him, I'd be very, very glad to do that. But if you want to continue, then KEEP INTERROGATING HIM!!!"
"Yes, Prince..." the Koopa gulped. And with that, he exited the throne room.
"Now is the time to catch a Moonlight Flower. Mario probably has almost half of them by now."
Iggy called a Koopa into the throne room. This Koopa had some scouting equipment, some of them in his pack. "You need me, Prince?" the Koopa asked.
"Search all over Plit for the Moonlight Flowers," Iggy ordered.
"How will I know where to find them?"
"One of my assault troopers collected this list of clues to where the Flowers are." Iggy handed a paper containing clues to the scout. "The first three or four have already been collected. Find the rest."
"I won't fail you, Prince." The scout
exited the room.
The next morning, clouds filled up the sky. Soon, rain soaked the plains. The lightning woke up Luigi and Lily. "Now's a good time to get to the town," Luigi mumbled.
"We’d better hurry and find the Flower or Iggy will swipe it," Lily yawned.
When all the other members were awake, the group exited the farmhouse and entered the drenched plains. If only the rain would soak up another place, Mario pondered. As the group approached the western forest, the clouds darkened and the rain evolved into a near-endless monster composed of water and wind. The group sought refuge amongst the trees, but the forest was a couple of miles away. This was further compounded by the fact that there was a small mountain range blocking the forest from the plains. Thankfully, the mountain range wasn't very towering, and the group passed over to the other side. In the forest, there were three Koopas.
"Koopas," Mario lowered his voice down to a whisper, "We must eliminate them quietly." Mario created a fireball from his hands and bounced it over to the Koopa on the right, burning the Koopa to death.
"Someone there?" gasped one of the Koopas who remained standing. He pulled Bob-ombs from his pack in fear and desperation. He tried to stay calm, but the fear was too much for him. The other Koopa was not as frightened, and thus, calmer.
"I'll catch one with this," Rosemary whispered. Her left hand retracted into her wrist and a claw entered its place. She launched the claw at the unarmed Koopa and it grabbed on to his face. Rosemary then yanked the Koopa right into his partner, igniting the Bob-ombs and destroying both of the Koopas.
"We must head to empty town!" Yoshi squealed.
The rain continued to pour down harder and harder as they neared the town. Soon, the storm was an inland hurricane. Although the clouds were brightening up due to the sun, it created no difference to the darkness in the forest. Mario was already aware that he couldn't light a flame from his hand due to the rain, but Rosemary activated her night visor. A trail started to form and the group followed it. The trail extended over hundreds of feet, but at the end there was a gate leading to a concrete road ahead. After passing through the gate, the party followed the road and noticed that the forests were clearing up. The rain didn't stop, however, as the area started to flood.
"We almost there," Yoshi shivered. The rain and wind mixed together caused discomfort for him.
The environment slowly morphed to a small town environment. Vehicles were sprinkled all over the streets like snow on a mountaintop; street signs were either inactive or damaged, and the buildings were empty.
"Hold up," DK puffed. "There is one question I have. If we have to get through the door, then how did the Koopas manage to bypass it and invade your land?"
"I have no clue as to why that happened," Lily whispered. "They either used another form of transport to get inside or they did something to the door, but the latter is not likely."
The group dragged themselves through the flood streets and turned to an alley at the south part of the town. What they found at the end was shocking.
"What is that?!" Yoshi shrieked silently.
"It's a Koopa skeleton," Rosemary responded.
"I wonder how-a he was killed?" Luigi murmured.
"Look at the hand." Mario pointed at the skeleton's left hand. Tangled in the bones was a key. There was a tag attached to it, but the ink on the tag made the words difficult to read. Some of the ink was dripping to the ground from extreme rain like oil from a car dripping into a barrel. Mario forced the key from the hand and stuffed it into his pocket.
The group’s next stop was an empty store with no items whatsoever. There the group found a map of the town they were in, and with its guidance traveled to the mansion. However, there was some difficulty. Some of the roads were destroyed. By this point, the rain had finally subsided. The sky, however, was still a barricade of charcoal blocking sunlight....
"That mansion doesn't seem like it’s been used in a while," DK gasped.
"It looks..." Koops stuttered. "I don't know the right words for this... Gothic, I guess?"
"Hopefully we won't-a be ambushed here," Mario sighed. He yanked the key from his pocket and inserted in into the hole. As he turned the key, a lantern hanging by the door suddenly illuminated. Some of the party bounced back a bit in surprise. Neither Lily nor Mario were surprised, however, for they were already aware that there were paranormal forces at work in the mansion. After the group entered, they glanced at the interior. It was mainly dark because some of the windows had been sealed off, and the candles were burnt out. Only a light bulb in one of the hallways provided a safe haven for light to shine...
Mario started to lay out a plan to search the mansion. “We must-a split up to search in the different areas of this establishment," he announced. "DK and Yoshi, you will head to the hallway up ahead."
"Ok," Yoshi squeaked.
"Luigi and Koops, you take the second floor."
"We won't fail you, Mario," Koops squeaked.
"Girls, you will head to the western part of the hall."
"Will do," Rosemary replied.
"Wait," Koops interrupted. "What if the forces are trying to chase us down?"
"Just keep your guard up."
"As I was saying, I will-a head to the third floor. Alone."
"What are we waiting for? Let's-a split up!" Luigi shouted.
As the group scattered, a feeling of high tension flowed through the veins of every party member....
"I'll try to bring a shine to the area," Lily whispered. She tried to create a glow, but for reasons neither explained nor understood, the attempt failed. As the adolescent girls progressed down the hall, a sound of thudding was caught by their ears. Rosemary tried to track down the sound by enhancing her ears to not only bypass all the walls and the ceiling, but to expand the hearing range. Still the source was not located.
"Let's keep going. T-this place is getting creepier by the moment," Rosemary shivered. The girls approached the door, but the thud was getting louder also. It soon became as low-pitched as an earthquake. Lily slowly placed her hand on the doorknob, but was hesitant to turn it because of the thuds. After seconds of making a decision, she finally turned the knob and gently yanked the door.
There was no object against the door, much to the relief of Rosemary. Instead, there was a massive cathedral on the other side. Candles were scattered across the room, dimly brightening the room. There was an altar at the far side and rows of seats between it and the front door.
"The people that used to reside here must be very religious indeed," Rosemary sighed. She than noticed a book on the table on the altar area. After informing Lily, both girls examined the book. This book identified the religion that the people who resided in the area followed, including the info about the deity, history of the religion, songs, prayers, and other subjects. What really caught their attention was a painting of a blood-colored flower, which held a fine glow.
"Wait," Rosemary gasped, "Isn't that the Ruby Moonlight Flower that's suppose to be here?"
"Hm, you're right. It is one of the Moonlight Flowers, but why would the people have it for themselves?"
"According to this book, it states that a long time ago, people were searching for a treasure on islands far off from the Mushroom Kingdom. That was attempted for glory, power, and the spreading of beliefs to nearby areas. During the search, they stumbled across the "flower that glows a light of all colors, yet the flower itself appeared like it was soaked in blood". They soon used it as a symbol of strength and faith. The Ruby Moonlight Flower was praised to the point where it was believed to be a gift for their god. Looks like they stole an important aspect of your culture, Lily."
"That was very heartless of them," Lily gasped. "How could they ever rob such a sacred treasure from my culture?"
"Let's keep moving."
Through one of the exits, a graveyard awaited the girls. The trees filtered out the majority of the light, impeding their vision. Neither Lily nor Rosemary paid any attention to the graves, until their eyes caught a Goomba glued close to a grave.
"Excuse me, sir, are you all right?" Lily asked. No response. "Sir, can you please answer me?" Silence chilled both of the party members.
At that moment, the Goomba twitched in an erratic manner and twisted around. Its body was in serious decay: teeth missing, skin rotting, limbs deformed, bones unstable, and eyes aspark with cold-blooded intentions. Lily bounced back slightly. Rosemary fired needles at the undead Goomba, but the chemical had no effect. Lily tossed a flower petal and it split the Goomba in two.
"Mario was right about keeping our guards
up..." Rosemary sighed in relief. "Let's stay sharp."
Meanwhile, Mario has entered the third floor and is using his fire abilities to illuminate the hallway. He was feeling confident, as usual, but there was something about this estate that didn't seem correct to him... Just then, he heard a faint voice.
"Someone there?" Mario called.
"Help me... Mario..."
"It's all right, stay-a where you are. I'll help you." As he heard the voice more clearly, he started to recognize whose voice it was. He wasn't sure yet, but it seemed vaguely familiar to him...
"M...m...M?" Mario tried to ask. However, he didn't want to spring into conclusions.
"Don't leave me here..."
"Mama? Is-a that you?"
As Mario pointed to the direction of the voice, he noticed a faint silhouette of a woman. This woman was at a young age, but for some reason, her figure was barely translucent.
"Don't worry, I'm-a coming," Mario replied. He sprang after his mother, but she floated away from him. Immediately a chase was on. It spread out from the halls to the bathrooms to the library. Mario kept up the pace until reaching a barred hallway.
"Mario, this way..." the woman whispered.
"Mama, come back!" Mario yelled. "MAMA!!!" In desperation, Mario tried to tear the bars out, but his strength failed. His next attempt was to melt the bars, and he succeeded. However, his mother's figure had already disappeared. He was about to leave when something powerful collided into him from behind. Mario bounced back up to notice a Boo from behind. The Boo taunted Mario by giving a high-pitched cackle and attempting to lick him. The plumber immediately ignited a flame by snapping his fingers, frightening the Boo and forcing it to flee.
The search continued. Unfortunately, it would come to a halt when his mother's form floated through the window. Mario halted and glanced down to the ground from a fall that would be lethal. The ground, Mario pondered, must be hungry for my soul... Not willing to take any chances, Mario retreated back to the library.
He chose a different path and entered what appeared to be a music room. A variety of instruments, enough to create a full orchestra, were stored in various areas of the hall. One instrument in particular was a century-old piano. Mario examined it and a book containing different music pieces from famous composers. Before he could continue, he noticed writing on the piano. It was a Spanish message:
Si el sol te abandona, tiene que traer de vuelta a la luz de la luna.
"The Sun..." Mario deciphered. "If the Sun abandons you, you must bring back the light with the moon. What does it-a mean by that?" He continued to search through the pieces until reaching a certain piece entitled "Moonlight Sonata".
"Moonlight Sonata?" Mario murmured. "A classic from Beethoven himself. I remember hearing this when-a I was still young... Not sure if-a I can play this, but I'm going to try."
Mario played the song. He had to stop
several times due to mistakes, but he gradually grew to perfection. As
he played, candles in the room illuminated and a window from above opened
slowly. By this point, the sun was going down. Once he was finished, a
secret pathway opened up from the floor. Mario slowly paced his way to
Luigi and Koops were inside a dining hall. Most of the chairs were worn down and in danger of collapsing. The plates had no food and were either scratched or shattered, and the paintings on the walls were dull. Only a candle on the table brought light in the room.
"I'm scared..." Koops shivered.
"I am too," Luigi answered. "But we must-a keep going and gain the Ruby Moonlight Flower."
From behind, several glows were following the party members. They were slowly creeping up, but when Luigi twisted around, they vanished. They headed towards the doorway at the end of the hall. On the other side there was a auditorium filled with tons of seats. Lights were wrecked and the curtains were tattered, with a few candles to bring a dim light. A wind whispered across the area.
"I can't handle this..." Luigi shivered. "Search the stage; I will search the seats."
"Ok," Koops responded. Koops pulled the curtains away and grabbed a candle from one of the walls. He searched behind and below the stage props and backstage, but found nothing of any importance. Just then, he heard a shriek from Luigi. Koops rushed to the seats to catch Luigi in sweat and shock.
"What's going on?" Koops asked.
"G-g-g-g-g-ghost...!" Luigi whimpered. Immediately a ghost appeared in front of the two. Both of them fled to the stage, but the ghost gave chase. Both of them tried to hide, but Luigi suddenly realized that he still had the Poltergust 4000. He yanked it out, employed the candle Koops was holding to stun the ghost, and sucked up the ghost for good.
"Close call there, Luigi," Koops sighed.
"Let's continue searching," Luigi whispered. Further back in the seats, Luigi noticed drops of a grass-colored liquid spread out across a row to a doorway. He didn't call to Koops about this. As far as Luigi could tell, this liquid wasn't a chemical because it didn't deteriorate the carpet. He swept up a small drop and tasted it. The taste was like salt, how blood tastes...
"Was Lily here?" Luigi pondered to himself. "I don't suppose she has been here, unless there is a pathway between here and where she and Rose are heading." Believing that something suspicious was happening, Luigi decided to investigate the doorway. He suddenly felt a shocking feeling of tension when trying to open the door, fearing that something grotesque might be behind it. He opened the door and it revealed an old-fashioned elevator.
"Koops!" Luigi shouted. "Over here!"
"What is it?" Koops mumbled.
"It's an elevator leading to something down below. Not sure if it's safe, but we'll check."
"Sure." Koops and Luigi shuffled inside the elevator and used the ropes to lower the platform. Minutes later, they realized that they were in a garden. This garden was brighter than the rest of the estate, mainly because the roof was constructed out of glass and steel. Orchids, daisies, sunflowers, and other varieties coated the garden with color, but the most notable kind was the Lunar Flower.
"Whoa," Koops gasped. "You might think that they interpret the Lunar Flowers as something precious."
"Possibly, but I'm not-a too sure," Luigi sighed. "However, they weren't that bright to rob something sacred to someone like Lily. We should-"
He was interrupted by a moaning down the garden. This moaning was groggy, weak, and raspy, the sound of a creature slowly stumbling towards Death's very jaws. Worried that the jaws might reach them too, Luigi and Koops rushed through the garden to investigate. Halfway through, they halted to gasp at the source of the moaning: an undead Goomba staggering through the garden, waiting for its meals to fall into its grasp....
"Oh, no...." Koops coughed. The stench the Goomba released was almost unbearable.
"KILL IT!" Luigi screamed. And Koops did, with his shell.
"Close call..." Koops puffed. "Let's
Donkey Kong and Yoshi used the light in the hall to find out where they were traveling. Passing it up, there was but one candle that was still burning. Yoshi grappled the candle to aid his and DK's sights. Closing in on the door, there was the stench of rotting meat leaking from the door. What the dinosaur-ape duo discovered was a kitchen with foods long past their prime and ovens either damaged or with no gas or both.
"Wow," DK huffed. "They didn't even bother to store their food when they fled. It would be better to have transported the food with them to another place."
"Yoshi understand," Yoshi whispered. "But Yoshi hungry."
"You'll have some food when we-"
Just then, an oven door was busted open by a burning Koopa. DK whirled around to K.O. the Koopa, but his fist was singed in the attempt. Yoshi swallowed the Koopa and created an egg.
"What... was he doing in there?" DK mumbled.
"Yoshi don't want to find out," Yoshi shivered.
Leaving the kitchen, DK and Yoshi entered another large hall leading to different areas of the estate. They selected the door in the southwest. The other side held a dark hallway and then a cathedral behind it. Unbeknownst to either DK or Yoshi, this was the same cathedral that Rosemary and Lily have entered before. The investigation lasted for a few minutes until Yoshi slid a portion of the wall in the altar. There was a stairway leading to an area below the ground. The area was in obscurity due to the darkness.
"Yoshi go down here," Yoshi squeaked.
"Let's check it out," DK whispered. Both descended down to the darkened room At first, neither Yoshi nor DK could catch a clue as to where they were, but their questions would be answered with the appearance of bars throughout the room.
"Bars?" DK gasped.
"Yoshi guessing we inside a boiler room," Yoshi chirped.
"No, we're inside a prison. Why would they have a prison here?"
The prison held mystical symbols important to the culture established in the town. Inside the cells, there were chains and skeletons lying on the floor. A small wind rushed through the area with a small whisper, which frightened Yoshi slightly.
"I wonder why they have symbols all over the prison?" DK asked himself.
Progressing further down, there was a wide room in the prison containing a table with a skeleton in the center. What really caught DK's attention, however, was a knife forced through the rib cage of the skeleton. Small drops of dried blood were on the knife.
"Holy..." DK puffed.
Inside the hole, Mario dropped down to a bright shrine hidden from the rest of the estate. The area held a glass-stained picture of the Ruby Moonlight Flower and a pedestal in the center containing a glowing object. Upon close scrutiny, the object was seen to be a flower with a blood-colored tint to it.
"That's what I'm-a searching for," Mario sighed. He tried to grasp the Moonlight Flower, but an unknown force prevented him from removing it from the pedestal.
"??? There must be some way to remove it from its pedestal."
From an eagle's eye to an ant's height, Mario searched for something that would let him disable the shield. All attempts failed until he noticed that the floor held special panels. Each one possessed a different symbol: a flame, a thunder bolt, a hand, a flower, a mouth, a shell, and a Mushroom.
"What do-a we have here?" Mario gasped.
"What you mean?" Yoshi asked.
"This is not just a prison, it's a secret ritual room!" DK exclaimed.
Before he could continue, bones hopped out of the cages and formed skeletal Goombas, Shy Guys, and hundreds of Dry Bones.
"This is very ugly..." DK gasped.
"Let's leave!" Yoshi yelped. And so they did, but not without their skeletal foes chasing them down. DK tossed barrels from behind to slow the horde down, but the undead always reformed.
"You have... infuriated us... for invading... our resting place..." a voice hissed. "Now you will perish..."
Both of the members rushed upstairs to the cathedral and DK slammed the door shut. Yoshi sighed with relief, but that relief would be severed from him when the horde began pounding on the door repeatedly. DK attempted to push the horde back. At first successful, he was overpowered and the horde rampaged out of the stairway. Immediately the duo fled from the area and back to the main hall. Both of them prepared for battle as they were surrounded. Yoshi swallowed several foes and DK used his strength to shatter the bones of every opponent. Unfortunately, that was insufficient to completely annihilate the wave and the duo was closed in by the crowd. But hope was on the horizon when a blast from the west destroyed some of the enemies.
"Thanks for the help, Rosemary," DK called.
However, another problem would follow. A horde of undead Goombas and Boos dived into the room and joined the skeletons in the fight. Both the flower maiden and the young Toad-human-Mecha Angel hybrid aided DK and Yoshi to combat the situation. While DK was spiraling around to bash the enemies back, Lily performed a new move, "Esfera de Luz" (meaning "Sphere of Light"). This burned several enemies in the crowd and blinded the Boos. Luigi and Koops soon barged into the room with hundreds of ghosts behind them. Luigi used the Poltergust 4000 to sweep and suck up tens of ghosts at once, while Koops ignited his shell to scorch the ghosts.
"Wait," Koops gasped. "Where's Mario? He's supposed to be back by now."
Yoshi encased himself in an egg and
flattened a long row of foes. During that, Rosemary's right leg opened
up from above the knee and launched a rocket that not only dismantled several
enemies, but caused a part of the area to collapse. Lily tossed a needle
that captured a Dry Bones and impaled an undead Goomba.
Back with Mario…
"So," he declared. "I must-a gather
every single party member here in this shrine. The problem is, the others
might still be searching. I must wait."
"We should go upstairs," DK ordered.
"Why?" Koops questioned.
"That's the path Mario stated that he'd explore."
"Time to leave!" The party paced their way to the third floor as the horde gave chase. Crashing through the halls and through the library, the group had to decide which path to take. In desperation, they selected the path to the music room and discovered a hole leading to the shrine below. The group dropped down to reunite with Mario.
"Everyone stand-a on the panels," Mario commanded. "Lily, you are on the flower; Luigi, the thunderbolt; DK, the hand; Yoshi, the mouth; Koops, the shell; and Rosemary, the Mushroom.
"Why?" Yoshi squeaked.
"Hurry!" Mario yelled. Everybody sprang to the panels and a light shined upon the pedestal. Afterwards, the light shattered the shield and vaporized all the enemies in the area. With the Ruby Moonlight Flower at hand, Mario shuffled over to the pedestal and snatched it away.
"We're done here," Mario sighed.
"Let's-a leave," Luigi whimpered.
By this time, the moon was already in the sky. The group reentered the Toadstool Plains and back into Toad Town, where Peach was waiting.
"So," Peach recalled. "You were inside a mansion?"
"Yes," Mario answered. "We-a also noticed more of the semi-liquid substance on the plants."
"Semi-liquid substance... Does it have to do with anything with the invasion?"
"Not-a sure. We'll find out sooner or later."
At Mario's Pad...
"Almost done," Mario sighed.
"We really need to watch our backs from here on in," Koops mumbled. "Or we could fall pray to Iggy's plan."
At the Lunar Flower Kingdom, below one of the castles...
"Our secret entrance is within the one the rivers?" Luna spoke.
"Correct," Sol replied. "Now, we must head further down the caves to travel upwards."
"It's dark and wet," Estrella complained.
"Don't let that slow you down."
After minutes of traveling past a series of stalagmites and stalactites, the group uncovered a doorway leading to a hidden stairway up to one of the safely hidden rooms.
"This is it," Sol grunted. "We must
At the prison, the woman, now known as Marisol, was still weeping about her separation from her husband and children.
"Oh, by the gods," she sobbed. "I hope
you are still alive, Marcus... If our children can't help, who will?"
And so ends Chapter 5. Will Marisol realized that hope is still available? When will Mario and Co. ever find out about the coal-colored substance? How did the Koopas bypass the gate to invade the kingdom? Chapter 6 will be around soon.
To Be Continued...
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