Paper Mario: The Shadow Shrine

By JJ Bandit

Chapter 6: A Book is Worth a Million Words

Mario and Bloobetta arrive in Magios.

Bloobetta: What a cute little village! So weíre here to find that book about Solun. We should ask Zero. Heíll know where we can find it.

Mario: Mmhmm!

Mario and Bloobetta explore Magios a little. A young boy who looks like Merlon only about 50 years younger greets them.

Merlow: Hello. Are you here to see the future from my sister Merluvlee, or maybe youíre here to get a charm from my sister Merlee? Maybe youíre here to get the wisest of advice from Zero the Wiseman. Oh! Maybe youíd like to trade Star Pieces with me! Iíve got some neat badges! The shrine is nice too! Thereís a lot to do here!

Bloobetta: Well, we would like to meet Zero. Mario here is a hero like Solun was.

Merlow: SOLUN?! Heís, like, super famous here! We have a whole little shrine that worships him! Nice to meet you! Iím Merlow.

Bloobetta: Youíre Merlonís grandson!

Merlow: You know him?

Bloobetta: Yes.

Merlow: Cool! Well, Zeroís house is over there.

Merlow shows them a small, black house.

Merlow: Zeroís probably practicing magic or something. Catch you later!

Merlow runs off.

Bloobetta: Letís go!

Mario and Bloobetta enter the house. A Magikoopa girl is inside. Sheís dressed in a pink robe and has a purple wand.

Bloobetta: Oh, hello! Have you seen the sorcerer Zero around? Weíre looking for him.

Magikoopa Girl: You are looking in the wrong place if youíre looking for a male sorcerer named Zero.

Bloobetta: Do you know him? Where is he? Heís Eternís descendant, and we need to see him.

Magikoopa Girl: Youíll never find anyone like that here.

Bloobetta: Bite your tongue. Zero lives in Magios.

Magikoopa Girl: Yes, thatís right.

Bloobetta: Well WHERE is he? Iím getting tired of this.

Magikoopa Girl: If you are looking for Zero of Magios, youíre in the right place. But there is no male here by the name of Zero.

Bloobetta: Wha-

Mario: ?

The Magikoopa girl turns around.

Magikoopa Girl: I am Zero.

Bloobetta: BUT YOUĒRE A GIRL!!! Zeroís a sorcerer-

Zero: Iím a novice sorceress, actually. Itís an honor to meet you, hero.

Mario: Oh!

Bloobetta: Wait, Merlon told us that you were a he.

Zero: A lot of people donít know me. Merlonís grandchildren know Iím a girl, though. I do not see what the big deal is about me being a girl.

Bloobetta: !  UhhhÖ

Zero: So, what have you come to find out?

Bloobetta: Weíre here to get a book.

Zero: Youíve DEFINITELY come to the right house.

Bloobetta: The one about Solun.

Zero: Solun? So you are the hero?

Mario: Mmmhmm!

Zero: Solun was my ancestorís best friend. Etern was the Guardian of WisdomÖ I actually thought you two were here for something elseÖ

Bloobetta: What?

Zero: Itís great that you came seeking knowledge, but didnít you know that there is a Shadow Star here?

Mario and Bloobetta: !

Zero: I see. Mario, it would be a great honor to the descendants of Etern if you let me assist you.

Bloobetta: !  Mario, you donít really want her to come along. Donít you enjoy my company?

Zero: Hmmhmm. Do not worry yourself, Princess Bloobetta of Blooper Gem Key. Iím not going to get in between you and the hero here.

Zero winks and a little heart comes out.

Mario: ?

Bloobetta: Oh my! ... UhhÖHow did you know I am princess of Blooper Gem Key?

Zero: I know a lot. Iím always studyingÖ But being smart doesnít mean you are wiseÖ Oh! Sorry, I sort of zoned out for a minute. Come on, Mario! Let me help you!

Zero joins Marioís party! Bloobetta goes back to the place where Lucy, Porty, Bobby, Shurry, Koopo, and Goomaya are.

Zero: Ever since the incidents with the hero Solun, my ancestor put up my clanís symbol on certain spots. Only my wand can make them disappear and allow you to get through. You can find those symbols anywhere. They look like this.

Zero shows Mario a picture of her clanís symbol.

Zero: Well, thereís no time to lose, letís head over to the little shrine where Solunís story is. Donít worry, itís not the Shadow Shrine! Itís just a little stone garden with flowers and trees. Itís really cute!

Mario and Zero exit the house. They start heading through the village.

Zero: Mario, look!

Mario sees that Bowser, Kammy, and Kamek have the Shadow Star. They are being pursued by a little phantom.

Zero: Itís Bowser!

Kammy: Oh no, Sire! Itís Mario!!!

Kamek: HOT DOG! Whoís that hottie of a Magikoopa with him? Do you think she has a phone number?!

Kammy: SILENCE!

Zero: All right, you creeps and you old hag, give us the Shadow Star!

Kammy: Old hag?!

Bowser: Hmm, let me thinkÖ Ha ha, NO! I FOUND IT FIRST SO ITíS MINE!

An odd, phantom-type creature flies over.

???: Give the Ssshadow Ssstar to me, or Misssstressss will be ssso angry!

Zero: Misstress?

???: YesssÖ

Zero: Who are you?

???: I am Phantomiasssss, a phantom created by MisssstressssÖ

Zero: Phantomias?! Where is Misstress?

Phantomias: None of your busssinesssÖ

Kamek: Ooo! Ooo! That freak is up by that little garden with that book on a podium! Yeah. I know things. Does that impress you?

Zero: What?

Bowser: SHUT UP, KAMEK!

Misstress comes down with the book. The Shadow Scepter is in her hand.

Misstress: Hello, hero. Have you met my pet? Oh no! Phantomias, make sure you donít let them get that Shadow Star. As long as I have this book, Iím fine.

Flick comes out of the Water Scepter.

Flick: Princess Peach!

Misstress: !

Peach: Flick! Iím in here!!!

Flick: No kidding. Peach, please call me back! Iím fading away.

Peach: Oh my! Flick, come back! Please!

Misstress: Ack! No! I canít let that little light back.

Flick gets his light back. He shoots into the Shadow Scepter.

Misstress: No matter. Phantomias, make sure the heroes donít get the Shadow Star. Iíll be very upset if they do.

Misstress warps away with the book.

Zero: Oh no, Peach!

Phantomias: Give me the Ssstar!

Mario gets ready to fight Bowser.

Zero: Mario, wait! Didnít you notice? It seems like Misstress isnít that concerned about the Shadow Stars.

Mario explains.

Zero: If you have to turn it backÖ then I guess we have no choice.

Bowser: This time Iíll crush you!

(CANĒT FLEE THIS FIGHT!) Mario and Bowser fight. Itís a no partner battle so Zero, Kammy, and Kamek arenít fighting. Mario uses his hammer. Bowser bites Mario, which poisons him. Mario uses a Dried Shroom, which cures him. Bowser jumps on Mario. Mario uses his hammer a few more times. Mario wins as always.

Bowser: ARGH!!!

Bowser drops the Shadow Star.

Kammy: THE SHADOW STAR!

Zero: Oh no!

Phantomias picks it up and flies off.

Bowser: Dang.

Kammy: I say RETREAT!!!

Kammy gets on her broom and starts to fly away.

Bowser: Good call.

Bowser jumps in his Clown Copter and flies off.

Zero: Bowser!

Kamek goes over to Zero.

Kamek: So, like, can I call you?

Zero: ?

Kamek: Please?

Zero: Ummmm...  No?

Kamek: But-but-

Bowser flies back over.

Bowser: LETíS GO!!!

Kamek: Oh all right...

Kamek and Bowser exit

Zero: How bizarre... Misstress got away with Solunís story... and Phantomias took the Shadow Star. I wonder where he went?

Merlow: Miss Zero!

Zero: Hi Merlow. What is it?

Merlow: I know how you can find Phantom-whoever! My big sister Merluvlee will tell you! All fortune-like and stuff!

Zero: Of course! And Merlee can give us a protective charm! Itís our safest bet for right now. Let us go!

Mario: Ok!

Mario and Zero come across two houses next to each other. They both look like Merlonís.

Zero: The twins live next to each other. Merluvlee is on the left. Merlee is on the right. I suggest we see Merlee first.

Mario and Zero enter Merleeís house. They go over and talk to her.

Merlee: A hero and a wise friend I see, come to get a charm made by me! The dangers ahead are terrifying and grand, let me put this charm in your hand! I shall give you this charm for just a small fee, for I am the kind and beautiful Merlee! Will you buy a charm? It will prevent harm!

Mario and Zero buy a charm. Merlee does a chant on them, and gives them the charm. It will come in handy in battles.

Merlee: Have a nice day, for you must be out on your way!

Mario and Zero exit. They then go into the house next door.

Merluvlee: Ahh, hello, traveler. Have you come to seek the future ahead?

Zero: Yes, Merluvlee. We were wondering about a phantom by the name of Phantomias.

Merluvlee: Well, wise Zero, we all wonder about the future, donít we? I shall tell you what lies ahead for this character you speak of.

The room goes dark.

Merluvlee: Oh Noble Stars light up the path, show the present, your vile wrath! Show me the future, the next scene, everything you can mean! Willa wacka, dilla dacka, killa kacka, woo! Future uture, chuture uture, wuture uture BOO! Ahh I see! <3 Phantomias awaits you in Solunís shrine! Take the path up and he will be with the Shadow Star.

Zero: Thanks, Merluvlee!

Merluvlee: Thank the Stars, Zero! If you ever get lost again, just find me. I will put you on the right path for a small starting price of ten coins. Farewell, hero.

Mario and Zero exit.

Zero: So according to the prediction, Phantomias is up by the shrine! Come, Mario! I will not allow my ancestorís friend to be disrespected!

Mario and Zero head up the dirt path to Solunís little shrine. Zero gets rid of obstacles using her wand. They encounter enemies like Dark Boos and Hyper Goombas but reach the top of the hill. Thereís a garden with a pedestal. On top of the pedestal is a small painting of Solun and Etern. The Noble Stars are painted on it. The book is missing. Phantomias is hovering over it with the Shadow Star.

Zero: PHANTOMIAS!

Phantomias: HeroÖMust dessstroy. That isss my purpossse.

Zero: Give us the Shadow Star! You donít know how to control it!

Phantomias: And you do? I have heard how wisssse you are, Zero, but sssurly you cannot control it either.

Zero: Itís time for this phantom to fall.

Phantomias: Really? That would make Missstresss ssso angry. Iím not allowed to make her angry. Time to fulfill my dessstiny.

(CANĒT FLEE THIS FIGHT!) Phantomias changes the peaceful area into a stage of darkness. His red eyes flash and send the heroes piercing pain. Zero heals Mario with her wand. Mario uses his jump attack on Phantomias. Zero uses many of her attacks as well, which mostly involved magic. Phantomias uses a lot of dark magic attacks. Mario uses his jump and some special moves. Zero delivers the final blow by zapping Phantomias with her lightning attack from her wand. Mario and Zero win.

Phantomias: IíVE FAILED!!!

Zero: Leave, and never return to Magios!

Phantomias flies off.

Noble Star Spirit: Many thanks to you, Hero Mario. You have saved me from the evil grasp of the Shadow Shrine.

Zero: SHADOW SHRINE?!

Noble Star Spirit: That is where Phantomias was created. Now it is time for me to return to the other Noble Stars. I need your help, Noble Guardian Bloobetta; please free me.

Bloobetta: A NOBLE GUARDAIN?! ME?! But-but how? I mean, itís not like I donít want to be one, itís just that, well, what have I done to be given this honor?

Noble Star Spirit: Bloobetta, you put your heart into your kingdom and into the hero. You are willing to accept others and show no betrayal. Your strength and love have made you the Guardian of Trust. Now, lend Mario the strength that he has given to you.

Bloobetta: Mario, as my bodyguardÖ no, as my hero and my friend, I LEND YOU MY POWER!

Bloobetta sends Mario her power. Bloobetta returns to the ďpartner placeĒ. Mario frees the Noble Star Spirit. Mario can now use the special move Trust Fall. MARIO SAVED A NOBLE STAR!

End of Chapter

Six out of seven Noble Stars have been saved! With only one more to find, Mario has gotten one step closer to Misstress. With a new friend and ally Zero on board, Mario is ready for anything. But two questions still remain for our heroes: where is the final Shadow Star, and what is phase 2 of Misstressí plan?

Peachís Event

Misstress: Phantomias, my pet, you have failed. Why?

Phantomias: I didnít mean to! Honessst! They were ssstrongÖ I couldnít-

Misstress: Phantomias, who created you?

Phantomias: You.

Misstress: Wrong. It was that hero Solun. Heís the one who put Masster in the Shadow Shrine. That is where your dark power comes from. Since I am Massterís descendant, I can destroy you.

Phantomias: NO, DONíT!

Misstress: I suggest you leave this room before I decide to.

Phantomias: At onccce!

Phantomias exits.

Boogly: Iím sorry I failed too.

Misstress: Hush. This is a very interesting book Iím reading (Solunís story).

Boogly: What do we do now?

Misstress: All we can do is wait now. The time has nearly come.

Boogly: I hate to disagree with you, but the last Shadow Star is-

Misstress: I KNOW WHERE IT IS! IíM THE ONE WHO TURNED IT INTO WHAT IT IS! Really, Boogly, if youíre so concerned then maybe you should take matters into your own hands.

Boogly: You want ME to execute part two?

Misstress: No, I want Doop to. OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO DO IT, YOU MORON!

Boogly: I will not be defeated by that Mario again.

Misstress: Hmph. Just donít let Doop follow you.

Boogly: Of course.

Boogly exits.

Misstress: Finally. No more interference.

In the Shadow ScepterÖ

Peach: So Flick, what type of training should we do today?

Flick: Actually, Princess Peach, I want to talk to you.

Peach: Flick? Go right ahead.

Flick: PeachÖ do you consider me your friend?

Peach: What a silly question! Of course I do! I know we had that fight, Flick, but everythingís all right now.

Flick: I see.

Peach: What is it, Flick?

Flick: Nothing. Never mind. You have to send me to Mario, Ďmember? Iíll give you a dream about hope before I go.

Peach: Flick, you seem different. Are you ok?

Flick: Ö Yeah! Iím fine. Itís just, I really didnít think you liked me! Iíve been pretty nasty to you! Iím very sarcastic. (And I tried so hard!)

Peach: Oh Flick! Donít worry! No matter what happens, weíll always be best friends through thick and thin! I promise you!

Flick flies around Peach. She falls asleep.

Flick: I was afraid youíd say thatÖ Sweet dreams, PrincessÖ Maiden of Hopes and Dreams, Peach.

Flick shoots out of the Scepter.

End of Peachís Event.

Bowserís Event

Bowserís theme is playing.

Bowser: ARRRGGGGHHH!!! STUPID MARIO! WHY DOES HE ALWAYS WIN?!

Kamek: Uhhh...  Because-

Kammy: Donít answer, nincomkoop!

Bowser: We donít even have one shadow thing... ITíS NOT FAIR!!!

Kammy: Please calm down, Your Wretchedness!

Kamek: Instead of going after shadow things, why donít we just find that Misstress person and kidnap Princess Peach?

Bowser: Because, KAMEK! Weíre gonna get shadow things, and then when Mario saves Peach weíll kidnap her! IíLL BE UNSTOPPABLE!!!

Kamek: UGH!

Kammy smacks Kamek.

Kammy: Come, my Liege.

Bowser goes through a Bowser level. He stomps on anything in his way. He ends up at Lakitu Spring.

Kamek: Where in the worldÖ?

Bowser: Sweet. I bet these chumps have a shadow whatsit.

Lakitu 1: Hi! Welcome to Lakitu Spring! May I help-

Bowser: GIVE US THE SHADOW STAR THING!!!

Lakitu 1: O_o  What?

Kammy: WE KNOW YOU HAVE ONE!!!

Lakitu 2: Yo Bro, whatís happening, dawg?

The Lakitu brothers whisper to each other.

Lakitu 1: I think theyíre crazy.

Lakitu 2: Ok. Letís get some backup...

Kamek: Well?

Lakitu Brothers: REINFORCEMENTS!!!

About 7-thousand Lakitus show up, all carrying Spinies.

Bowser: HA HA HA! KOOPA TROOPS, FALL IN!!!

Kamek: Iím pretty sure they canít-

About 7-thousand Koopa Troopas show up.

Bowser: Oh yeah!!!

The Koopas and Lakitus all start jumping on each other in a big cartoon cloud fight. Bowser, Kammy, and Kamek are shoved out of it.

Kamek: Maybe they donít have one after all...

Bowser: URK! Fine. LET'S GO!!!

The three leave. The fight continues.

End of Bowserís Event.
 

Interlude

Zero: *Sighhh...* What an adventure... Well, Mario, I think we should be headed back to Ladow Town, donít you?

Mario: Mmhmm!

Zero: I guess Iíll be leaving Magios for a while, hmm? Iíve never really left home... Letís go!

Mario and Zero take the pipe back to the underground passageway. They return to Ladow Town.

Zero: So now we go see Melon. Itíll be nice to meet him. I think he knows who Etern is... Oh! Sorry, Mario! I keep spacing out on you! Well, no time for dilly-dallying!

Mario and Zero go to Merlonís house. Luigi, Toad, Merlon, Toronto, Toadiekins, and Flick are all there.

Merlon: Nice to see you back, Mario.

Toadiekins: Are you okay?

Toronto: Címon, Toadiekins, theyíre heroes! Of course theyíre okay!

Luigi: Yo, Bro!

Toad: Hi!

Flick: Hey, Mario!

Zero: Oh Flick, youíre okay! Thatís great!

Flick: Címon, Iím me, Ďmember? I can handle myself pretty well! Here you go!

Flick flies around Mario and Zero. They level up.

Flick: Well, Iím off!

Merlon: Good luck, Flick.

Flick flies away.

Zero: Merlon, itís an honor to meet you. Iím Zero, Eternís descendant.

Merlon: Ahh...! Oh my! Iím terribly sorry. I had no idea you were a-

Zero: Girl? I get that a lot...

Merlon: Well, itís absolutely wonderful that you saved another Noble Star!

Toad: We have bad news, unfortunately.

Luigi: The good news is itís not even about me!

Toad: Anyway... Merlon and Toronto both tried really hard, but neither of them could figure out where the last Shadow Star remains.

Mario: Oh!

Toronto: Did you get the book at least?

Zero: Misstress got away with it. The good news is that I know most of the story by heart.

Toadiekins: Excellent!

Merlon: Please. Please share it with us.

Zero: Ok. A long time ago, about eight centuries I think, a man named Masster tried to get unlimited power...

The scene fades and a sort of storybook-type thing comes up, showing events of what happened.

Zero: Masster had dark shadow powers. It was said he was born a shadow. He wanted the world to be in his control.

- Using his dark powers, Masster turned the protectors of hopes, dreams, and light, the Noble Stars, into Shadow Stars.

- A man named Solun who lived in Magios heard about Masster. He decided that he must be stopped. His heart was pure like a heroís.

- He and his best friend, Etern, traveled to a small town; there they met a young girl who was traveling with a ball of light.

- They made a pact. The four of them sought out the six other Noble Guardians.

- When they finally returned to the town, Masster was there with the seven Shadow Stars. In the deep depths of the town, there was a shrine that belonged to the young girl, aka the Maiden of Hopes and Dreams.

- The Noble Guardians gave Solun their power. He released it into each Shadow Star. They turned back into the Noble Stars. Masster still released his dark energy, however.

- Solun had made a staff in the process of finding the Guardians. He only needed a gem for it.

- The Maiden used her power and created a gem for it. They named it the Shadow Scepter.

- They trapped Massterís dark power inside it. It was not enough, though. So the Maiden opened her ancestorís shrine, and she and Solun trapped Massterís soul behind the door.

- His dark powers remain within the Shadow Shrine to this dayÖ

The scene goes back to everyone outside of Merlonís house.

Zero: I forget all the details after that, but some things occurred. The town where they fought Masster was named Ladow Town after light and shadow. Many legends were said about it. Solun and Etern returned to Magios, where they could live in peace. Not much is known about the Maiden of Hopes and Dreams. She just sort of faded away. Everyone assumes she just wanted her normal life back. I canít blame her for that, either.

Luigi: So, with the help of Peach, we just need to trap Misstress in the Scepter, right?

Merlon: Iím not sure. If Masster was trapped in the Shadow Shrine, weíll have to open it again so we can put her inside too.

Toronto: Wait, if we save all the Noble Stars, wonít Misstress be stopped?

Zero: Not necessarily. Misstress will still have her dark powers like Masster did.

Toadiekins: Hmm... Well, I guess all thatís left to do is find the last Shadow Star, right?

Zero: Thatís our best bet. What do you say, Mario? Are you up for a treasure hunt?

Mario: Mmhmm!

Boogly: You make me laugh, heroes!

Zero: Boogly!

Boogly: Alright! Itís time for me to have some fun!

Boogly holds up the Shadow Star.

Everyone: !

Boogly: Itís time to execute phase two!!! Split the town into its true forms! Itís time that light and shadow were separated once more!!!

The Shadow Star flashes black and Ladow Town starts to change. Mario and Zero wake up outside of Merlonís house, which has turned white. It gives off a pretty yellow light.

Zero: What in the world happened? ! Merlon? Toronto? ... TOADIEKINS!!! LUIGI! TOAD!!! Where is everyone...? Ladow Town seems strangely different.

Merlon comes out of his house. He is dressed in all white. He has a bright complexion as well.

Zero: Merlon? Whatís going on? Where did everybody go? Why are you dressed like you are? What happened to Ladow Town?

Merlon: Ladow Town? Why, dear child, this is Light Town!

Mario and Zero: ?

Zero: Wha... OH MY GREAT KUMQUATS!!! LADOW TOWN SPLIT-

Merlon: Into two? Why yes, I suppose it has. I am Light Merlon. All the citizens of Ladow Town have two doubles.

Zero: And you knew about this?

Light Merlon: Ah ha ha! Why no, dear child, I did not. Not until now. I am the light side of the whole Merlon. My shadow, Shadow Merlon, lives in Shadow Town.

Zero: Whereís Boogly?!

Light Merlon: Probably at the Shadow Shrine. It is in Shadow Town after all.

Zero: !  The Shadow Shrine?! Itís been in the shadows of Ladow Town this whole time?!

Read on!


 
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