“The first question then becomes,” mused Marie, “where do we start?” The heroes stopped in their tracks when they realized they had no foggy idea where to begin.
“Well, er…” stammered Mario.
“I’d say we start by learning more about the Elemental Princesses,” answered Zelda. “During the passing of a comet, a book landed in the gardens of Hyrule Castle. My father took it in and had his people translate it, since the language used was an ancient one.”
“…Funny,” muttered Rosalina, “I lost a book on the Elemental Princesses a while ago. I have other books on the individual Princesses, but the knowledge would be confusing without the book I lost. Perhaps we should start in Hyrule Castle and see if Zelda’s book is the same one I lost.”
“Then let’s get to Hyrule Castle!” declared Mario. “Link, you’ve still got that flute thing, right?”
“The Ocarina of Time?” asked Link. “Yeah, but…”
“Then take us to Hyrule Castle!” interrupted Peach.
“BUT,” continued Link, “I never learned any song that could warp us to the castle directly. I can get us to the nearest area, Kakariko Village, but that’s about it.”
“Oh, yeah,” winced Zelda. “That song was lost a long time ago. That’s why I never taught you it.”
“Well then, I guess we’re walking to Hyrule Castle,” sighed Samus.
“Link, if you please,” directed Mario. Link pulled out a blue ocarina and put it to his lips. He then played a haunting song and the whole group vanished in light.
The heroes reappeared in front of a small alcove in a graveyard, leading to a temple. Zelda shuddered. “This place, the Temple of Shadow, was NEVER a good part of Hyrule’s history,” she gulped.
“Why’s that?” asked Marie.
“This was where the Hyrule Royal family tortured its enemies,” explained Zelda.
“…Torture?!” gulped Peach.
“My ancestors were savages,” remarked Zelda.
“This way!” called Link. He led everyone out of the graveyard and towards Kakariko Village. As they walked, everyone noticed that the villagers were watching them.
“…Are they…usually this suspicious?” asked Donkey Kong.
“No,” replied Link. “Something’s not right.”
“WHAT THE?!” yelped Mario. He ripped a poster off a home’s wall. The poster was a wanted poster with Mario’s face!
“What in the name of Hylia…?” muttered Zelda. She turned to a little girl. “What crime has my friend committed?” she asked.
“Some friend!” snapped the girl. “Why are you friends with someone who keeps painting graffiti?!”
“How is that possible?” asked Zelda. “Mario was in the Mushroom Kingdom with me this whole time.”
“With all due respect, Your Highness,” called the girl’s mother, “you are being deceived. We all saw this…Mario character using some sort of paintbrush to spread goop of various colors across the village!”
“Not again,” sighed Mario.
“Ma’am, I can personally promise you,” assured Peach, “Mario was nowhere near your village!”
“DOGGONE VANDAL!” called an old man as he stumbled up to the heroes. “I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, but this graffiti nonsense must stop! People are sinking into the goop! I tell you, if you don’t…!” The old man stopped as he peered closer to Mario. “Wait a minute, shouldn’t you be a shadow person?”
“Shadow person?” asked Daisy.
“Yeah, and where’s his brush?” quizzed the old man.
“Sir, we have reason to believe,” answered Zelda, “that someone’s impersonating Mario.”
“And we have a good idea who,” supplied Mario.
“We do?” asked Link.
“There was a similar situation back in my world on an island called Isle Delfino,” explained Mario. “Bowser Jr. stole a brush from a scientist, Professor Elvin Gadd, and disguised himself as me to pollute the island and cause the island’s guardians, the Shine Sprites, to vanish.”
“You think Bowser Jr.’s trying again?” guessed Rosalina.
“It sounds like it,” replied Mario.
“Then we need to stop him!” declared Diddy Kong.
“Everyone, we WILL handle this crisis, I promise!” Zelda assured the villagers.
“HELP!” called an old woman. “THE GOOP’S MADE A MONSTER!”
“Proto Piranha!” yelped Mario.
“Where’s the monster?!” called Link as he drew his sword.
“By the windmill!” replied the old woman.
“Come on!” called Link. The heroes dashed to the windmill and found a mound of green and yellow goop with a large tendril in the center with a pair of jaws on the end. Villagers were throwing what they could at the monster, the Proto Piranha, but nothing affected the thing. It just shrugged the attacks off. The Heroes turned to Mario for guidance.
“The only thing that defeats it,” he explained, “is a steady stream of water into its mouth.”
“A pity you don’t have that F.L.U.D.D. device,” taunted a voice. At that moment, the Shadow Mario that the old man talked about stepped forward. He held the brush in his hand as if it were a sword.
“Bowser Jr., this nonsense must stop!” declared Peach.
“I had flashbacks from Isle Delfino!” supplied Mario. Shadow Mario laughed.
“I figured you would,” he purred. “That tape didn’t achieve my desired effect, but, then again, I suppose it was to be expected.”
“…Bowser Jr.?” asked Mario. Shadow Mario wasn’t talking like a child.
“I suppose that assumption has merit, but no, I’m not Bowser’s son,” replied Shadow Mario. A dark cloud surrounded him and shrouded him. It soon faded to reveal…
“GANONDORF?!” called Link and Zelda.
“Good to see you, my friends,” greeted Ganondorf.
“How did you get that brush?!” demanded Peach.
“Bowser Jr. loaned it to me,” explained Ganondorf. “In exchange, I taught him how to use a few spells. He became quite proficient in them.”
“Ganondorf, listen!” called Mario. “That brush is a Gadd device! It was never meant to bring harm!”
“Anything can be a weapon,” remarked Ganondorf. “Now, I know you’re trying to fill in the gaps of your knowledge concerning the Elemental Princesses, so I intend to burn that particular book. I would wish you farewell, but that would be counterproductive to the reason I made the Proto Piranha in the first place. At least TRY to put up a fight without F.L.U.D.D.” Ganondorf then vanished in a cloud of black and purple smoke.
“This is bad!” groaned Mario. “The only thing that can defeat a Proto Piranha is a steady stream of water shot into its open mouth! You’d have to do it three times!”
“Maybe the Song of Storms will help!” suggested Link.
“He said STEADY stream,” reminded Zelda.
“Besides, that would really hurt us!” called Pearl.
“Well, we have to do SOMETHING!” argued Link. “We can’t just…!” That was when the Proto Piranha fired a stream of goop from its mouth!
“That’s new!” yelped Peach.
“They never did that before?!” called Donkey Kong.
“Guys!” shouted Diddy Kong. “There’s someone trapped in the goop!” The Heroes could make out a tuft of something blue and hair-like poking out of the goop surrounding the Proto Piranha.
“Now we REALLY need to clean up the mess!” groaned Luigi.
“I have an idea!” called Daisy. She then turned to the villagers. “Everyone! We need buckets of water! We have to clean the goop here!” The villagers wasted no time in collecting water. While Daisy organized the water efforts, the rest of the Heroes did what they could to keep the Proto Piranha distracted. Samus activated her power suit and fired her arm cannon. Unfortunately, the Proto Piranha shrugged it off.
“Good grief, even energy blasts?!” protested Samus. Daisy had gotten the villagers to clear away the goop so she could pull whoever was in there out of it. As she reached into the goop and grabbed the person, a sense of filthiness ripped through her.
“Ugh, GROSS!” she gagged. She then took deep breaths. “Okay, here goes!” She got a hold of the person and pulled them out. While dirty, one could see that the person was a plump woman with blue hair and clothes and a currently disgusted expression on her face.
“Water!” she gulped in disgust. Daisy got her a bucket of water. The woman then moved her arm in a fluid fashion. The water in the bucket then floated out and hovered over the woman. The woman then stopped her arm and the water just splashed onto her, getting rid of the goop. The woman sighed in relief. “Much better,” she whispered. “My thanks, Ms. …erm…I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.”
“Hi, I’m Daisy!” Daisy replied on instinct. “…Really gotta work on that. Anyway, are you one of the Elemental Princesses?”
“I wish,” chuckled the woman. “I’m just her teacher. Though, I’m no less powerful than her.”
“Well, if you’re a master of water, we could use you,” explained Daisy.
“Daisy, are you done talking to her?!” protested Callie.
“She’s the Water Princess’ teacher!” called Daisy. “I think she may be just what we need to get rid of that thing!”
“I’ve done battle with it before,” replied the woman. “I was unsuccessful.”
“Well, the Proto Piranha,” explained Mario, “needs a steady stream of water shot into its mouth three times before it melts and evaporates.”
“In that case, round 2 will be infinitely better,” declared the woman. She used the remaining water buckets as her weapon, using fighting moves resembling Tai Chi to control where the water went. The woman waited until the Proto Piranha opened its mouth to spew goop before launching a steady stream of water. The instant the water entered its mouth, the Proto Piranha roared.
“That’s it! Again!” cheered Mario, feeling a sense of progress. The woman struck again at the Proto Piranha’s open mouth, making it roar. “One more will do it!” called Mario. The woman struck the open mouth for the final blow and the Proto Piranha gave off a death rattle before the mouth and neck collapsed into its mound body and the mound of goop evaporated, taking all the graffiti with it. The windmill then appeared before a small blue star with a pair of eyes appeared.
“A Water Star!” breathed the woman. “So, they’re taking the Elemental Stars too. Smart, they’re starting their plan on the right path.”
“Water Star?” quizzed Daisy.
“Can’t say as I’ve heard of it,” rumbled Donkey Kong as he reached for the star.
“Wait!” yelped the woman. “Don’t touch it! It will…!” Donkey Kong took the star into his hand and examined it. Every Hero got a chance to touch it and examine it. “…turn you into…water?” mumbled the woman, finishing her warning weakly. “…Impossible! I thought only the Legendary Heroes and my other Knight friends could…I mean, unless you were…but you CAN’T be!”
“What are you talking about?” asked Link. The woman shook her head.
“Never mind,” she declared. “We must save my fellow Knights! There are a group of people wishing to kidnap our Princesses and they’ve incapacitated us all!”
“Those people are our main nemeses, Aqualixar” explained Rosalina.
“Rosalina,” chuckled the woman. “It has been too long! These are your friends?”
“In every sense of the word,” replied Rosalina. She then turned to the Heroes. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet Aqualixar, the Knight of Water from the Blue Galaxy Sector of the universe.”
“I’d ask for your names, but my fellow Knights are in danger,” continued Aqualixar. “We MUST rescue them! They’re being held along the way to this world’s castle!”
“That’s all part of the job for us!” declared Mario. “Let’s-a go!”
“Follow me!” called Link. He led everyone out of the village.