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Insulting foreign ambassadors is always a good idea

Chapter Text

There were other countries in the world besides Dreamland; a fact rarely acknowledged by the people living in it. It's to be expected their monarch knows nothing about interacting with foreign diplomats. This would one day come back to bite him in his feathery butt.

That day was today.

 

 

Waddle Doo was standing guard at the castle's entrance like he usually was. The bridge was drawn, since the only visitors he ever receives are people who already live inside the castle. But today, someone new arrived. The new visitor was taller than a Waddle Dee. This wasn't really unusual. What is unusual is that he had six hands. And zero arms. Yes, his six hands just floated in the air.

Stars, Waddle Doo noticed that the visitor didn't have legs, too.

And were those two extra eyes in his hair??

The visitor approached Waddle Doo and said, "Greetings, citizen of the lower world! I am Taranza, ambassador of Floralia and the people of the sky. I am here on behalf of Queen Sectonia and would like to speak to your ruler and see if Floralia and Dreamland could perhaps become allies!" The floating spider smiled warmly.

This would end in disaster, so much Waddle Doo already knew. No one wants to be allies with Dreamland after talking to Dedede. Too bad turning the guy away at the door would be even worse.

"Please," Waddle Doo said, "follow me and I will lead you to our king."

 

 

Tiff wandered the castle halls aimlessly when she saw the Waddle Dees in an uproar. They seemed to be whispering as much as creatures without a mouth can, at least. They nodded at each other and motioned like one would when giggling as she passed.

What could happen to cause such a buzz? Someone poisoned Dedede's breakfast? The Waddle Dees got a raise after unionising like Tiff recommended they do? "What's up with the Waddle Dees?" she asked her father.

"There's a foreign diplomat talking with Dedede," is all he had to say on the matter while smiling knowingly. They both knew only one thing could come out of this.

This would be a disaster.

During her snooping, she heard two voices in the throne room. One was obviously Dedede shouting "In your dreams, you creepy bug!" and the other, while just as angry, sounded far smarter.

"I'm not a bug! I'm an arachnid! How dare you insult me like this! I came here on behalf of Queen Sectonia to forge an alliance with Dreamland but now that can only happen, as you put it, in your dreams!"

The foreign diplomat stormed out of the room. He wasn't any species Tiff knew of but she was smart enough to see he's probably not a bug. Without turning around he said "You will regret the day you insulted the people of Floralia! I will tell the Queen about your actions, King of the Lower World!" and the four eyes on the back of his head glared at Dedede who was grumbling about 'rude bugs not seeing his awesomeness.'

Oh dear. This was a disaster. Like any smart person, the ambassador was very upset after talking to Dedede, which, even though Tiff could empathise, might lead to an actual war with another country.

This is the second person to swear revenge on Dedede in a week. Tiff's only solace was the fact that this wasn't a new record.

 

Of course, mad people can never leave peacefully.

 

....There's a giant flower tree in the garden and it's destroying everything.

 

 

Kirby was having a good day. He played soccer with his friends, had a big lunch, and was now going to visit Tiff at the castle and play with her! She was trying to teach him letters, and even though it's difficult, Kirby thought it's fun!
But there was a big meanie in the garden! It was a really big tree, just like Whispy Woods! Where did it come from, Kirby wondered. The pretty flower he saw was gone and a tree was in it's place!

"Kirby, watch out!" Tiff was here! Kirby jumped out of the way as the tree (it was flowery and looked like Whispy Woods! From now on, Kirby would call it Flowery Woods) threw some of its many flowers at him. Maybe he could-

he could! Just eat the flowers, that is. There was a sensation in his stomach and- "Look!" said a familiar accent, "it's Leaf Kirby!"

Leaf! That's new! Kirby was excited to try it out, but he had to protect Tiff first! No wait she was out of the way. Alright, Kirby could now focus on the threat! Flowery Woods threw more sharp flowers at him and Kirby jumped above them. He threw leaves of his own at Flowery and it roared at him.

Kirby kept the leaves coming until Flowery Woods suddenly launched itself into the air and slammed down to try and crush Kirby. He barely dodged out of the way. Then it tried to crush him with it's giant roots! How could it have roots that big if it just unearthed itself? No matter! Kirby fought on bravely and jumped and dodged (and hid in leaf piles) when he finally defeated Flowery Woods! It shrunk back into the pretty flower which smelled really nice and also wasn't mean any more.

Wait a second! Didn't he see someone in the garden? He didn't have arms and floated which Kirby thought was cool, to fly like a bird without having wings, but he was gone now! Where did he go?

 

 

The foreign diplomat floated off into the sky. Which is when Tiff noticed the giant floating chain of islands in the distance. Didn't he say he was from Floralia? As in, the floating continent partially known for its advanced military equipment? Oh dear, what a disaster.

Chapter Text

Unlike most people who swore revenge on someone after being insulted, Taranza intended to make good on his promise.

Initially he had wanted to see if the issue of the hero the rebels whispered about could be resolved peacefully, but this was the straw that broke the camels back. Calling him a creepy bug! Him! The audacity! Taranza would stomp his feet if he had any. Instead he just scoffed.

"How can anyone be a hero if they're so rude!" he said to himself and decided to go with the original plan. So as to quickly get the Dream Seed he prepared, Taranza powered-up a flower with his magic and made his escape during the ensuing battle with the now giant tree.

That fool was going to see the true power of Floralia!

 

And so the Dream Seed fell to the earth and from it sprung the Dream Stalk. Giant vines twisted and turned and made their way to the castle from where the seed had landed.

They surrounded the castle in almost no time at all and carried it up into the sky. Everything inside turned into chaos; Waddle Dees tripped by the dozen because of the 'earthquake' with panic all around.

"What's happening?!", "An earthquake! I need to hide!", I dropped my lunch!" all of these were thoughts running not through the heads of everyone present, but instead exclusively the mind of the refined monarch of Dreamland, King Dedede.

Who was now reconsidering his mistakes in life as sentient vines tried to choke him till he turned more blue than he already is. Maybe being rude to that bug was wrong since the guy could just magic up some demon beasts? Maybe he shouldn't have broken that one mirror since they're bad luck? Hah! As if! The King didn't make mistakes, is what he repeatedly told himself once the ceiling blew up.

"Do you regret antagonizing me now, you lowly king?"

It's the creepy bug actually coming for his revenge? What what's he doing with that net that doesn't look too good-

and Dedede's world turned dark.

 

Dedede woke up quite some time later and noticed several things the moment he opened his eyes.

a) he was not on the ground

b) he was trapped inside a net

c) his kidnapper was none other than the creepy bug, as looking upward revealed

and d) they were moving even further upward each second

this was the moment for Dedede to do what he did best; show the world his magnificence, even under pressure!

 

Taranza began regretting his plan quickly. Which is to say the moment the King woke up and opened his mouth.

"Put me down, do you hear?! This is no way to treat a king! Where are you even taking me?!"

Dear Stars, Taranza already wanted him to shut up.

"I will bring you to none other than the revered Queen of Floralia! She'll decide what to do with you," Taranza grumbled. She would deliver justice not only upon his misdeeds, she would also make the people of the sky realize the error of their ways by defeating the hero! A brilliant plan!

Taranza nodded in agreement with his own thoughts when the lowly King interrupted him, "Well, when are we gonna get there! I got important business to do an' all."

It was very tempting to drop Dedede on the ground but that would be admitting defeat. 'I have to stay strong,' is what Taranza chanted like a mantra. Finally, just as his will began to falter, they left the first island, Fine Fields, and Lollipop Land entered his sight. Two down. Three to go and then he's there.

"Hey, you! I'm hungry! Got any food around here?!" Dedede shifted around in the net. He's so heavy..

"Be patient," Taranza answered. "And watch out. The rocks might look like candy but they're still rocks. And definitely not edible."

The warning either came to late or fell upon deaf ears, because Dedede had picked up a rock on the ground while they were flying low, and promptly shoved the gumdrop-shaped hunk of dirt inside his mouth.

He recoiled in disgust. "This is just a rock! Why's it look like candy? That tasted terrible! You should have warned me!"

Taranza wisely chose to keep any snide comments to himself. Two down. Three to go. Who decided hostages were a good idea? Oh right, Taranza did, four hours ago.

 

Somewhere still high up but still further below, the residents of Castle DeDeDe, which had been wrapped in vines like the most oversized Christmas gift ever, faced a dilemma. To help or not to help, that is the question.

A trio was left behind in the now empty throne room. Tiff, Tuff, and Kirby. Now was the time to think. Kirby puffed himself up and tried floating out of the hole in the ceiling but Tiff stopped him, "Kirby, wait! Should we really help him? Dedede got what's coming for him." In response, Kirby floated back down and stared at Tiff.

Tuff interjected, "But sis! Aren't you always the one harping on and on about moral stuff? Shouldn't that mean we gotta help him?" That's a surprisingly convincing point. And yet, would not helping Dedede really make someone a bad person?

Just then, Escargoon burst into the room. "What happened to the King?!" he asked, distress colouring his features.

"He got kidnapped by a spider that can fly," Tuff helpfully provided with no mercy whatsoever.

Escragoon almost fainted but caught himself with his arms before landing on his face, "What!? You have to save him!"

Tiff pouted, "Why should we?"

Kirby disagreed with that sentiment once again by trying to climb one of the vines on the castle walls.

"For one, Kirby agrees with me-" he pointed at said puff-, "and second, you're already stuck up here! Since none of us can get down anyway, you might as well just use your time and do something!"

 

Being productive wasn't really something Tiff could argue with. So off the trio went, climbing up vines and wandering through floating forests. The forest looked a lot like Whispy's Woods. Nothing really interesting to say about it.

 

That was when they reached the next island, however.

"Tiff, look! The entire island's made of candy!" Tuff ran around excitedly. "I bet the people here never go hungry!"

Tiff sighed, "Please don't try to eat the rocks on the floor."

"Eat the rocks, Kirby!"

Kirby chose fun over logic, listened to Tuff and began inhaling. The vacuum of Kirby's stomach uprooted all sorts of rocks and other debris, and wait what was that gold thing-

Suddenly, Kirby had a bell on his head and two in his hands. He played around with them, which meant hitting Tuff right on the head. The unsuspecting boy crumpled into a pile on the floor.

"Bell Kirby, huh," Tiff said, eyeing her brother face down on the ground. He totally deserved that.

Chapter Text

Finally, the end of Lollipop land was in Taranza's sight, marked by a giant circus.Floating further ahead, someone shouted at him, "Let Dedede go, you fiend!"

Three children ran into the building. Taranza was scandalised; this were the people sent to stop him? Were these Dreamland's best soldiers? Two humanoid whatevers and a pink orb creature? Speaking of the orb creature, it looked pretty angry for a baby, with furrowed brows and everything. It even angrily stomped, which intensified the image of a baby throwing a tantrum.

"I can't do that," Taranza replied to the one who'd spoken, though he wasn't sure which child it was, "I have a duty to bring him to Queen Sectonia. I won't fail my duties to her Majesty."

Not only that, but giving up now would be admitting defeat to the lowly king! Speaking of him, he slept soundly inside of Taranza's magical net. He slept because of totally natural causes, like falling asleep. And not because Taranza really wanted him to shut up. He would never stoop so low, that is the 100% definite literal truth.

The pink orb advanced toward Taranza in a cutely menacing manner. Then it threw a bell at him. And another. And another. There were bells ringing all around him and Taranza couldn't help gripping his head. This distraction only allowed the pink child to throw more bells, because of which Taranza shut his eyes in pain. No! He wouldn't be defeated by ringing sounds! He had to get a grip! Which he did. Quite literally. On a painting. He could use this.... first and foremost as a shield to hide behind.

On one side, the two non-orb children found cover behind a pillar. On the other side, Taranza and his royal cargo hid behind the painting. They had hit a stalemate. There had to be something he could use as a distraction for his escape..

One of the children shouted something that sounded suspiciously like, "Go get him, Kirby!" although Taranza chose to ignore it in favour of his own thought process. Something he might control with his magic maybe... He franticly looked around. A ball, no. That's a trampoline and a lot of paintbrushes also no- One of the bells whizzed past his head, ruffling Taranza's immaculate hair. Out of fear reflex, he ducked behind the painting once more.

The painting! Truly genius! Letting out a victorious laugh he turned to the trio of meddlers with a flourish of his cape and said, "Don't think you've won quite yet! You'll soon learn that I have quite a few tricks up my sleeve!"

The green haired one muttered, "You don't even have sleeves," in reply. These insolent youths would learn the true power of the Queen's right hand and stop their useless slander! Which is why he raised four of his own hands and let his magic take control of the canvas. A form took shape, orange with a pointed hat; the painting came alive!

Taranza fixed his hair as the vacuum-orb stopped its musical assault and flew off into the sky with a final laugh.

 

To say Tiff was a little miffed was an understatement. First they finally catch up to the kidnapper and next said kidnapper animates a painting into attacking her and her friends.

This newly alive painting currently fought Kirby in a fierce battle consisting of only three things and nothing else: bells, paint, and dodging. Kirby and the witch darted about the weird mix of circus and atelier in their colourful clash, with a lot of debris flying about as a result.

Tiff and Tuff hid from the battle; they knew Kirby could handle this. Paintballs and bells flew about in equal measure with both adversaries trying their best to evade the other's strikes.

As it turns out, the witch was worse at dodging than Kirby and a bell hit her square in the face. After letting out an enraged shriek, she flew to the ceiling and painted four artworks of her own. A painting painting? That's something Tiff hadn't seen before.

Not only could the painting paint, she could animate her paintings as well! Four spike balls loomed over Kirby. He looked at Tiff for guidance.

She studied the paintings with an intense gaze. They could drop any second now there had to be a trick-

"Kirby! The painting on the right is fake!" she shouted. Just in time, Kirby jumped to the right as the heavy spike balls crushed only air to his left. The fight went on.

Tuff cheered Kirby on, "Go for the eyes!"

"Isn't that unfair?" Tiff replied, "And where did you even learn that?"

Tuff shrugged, "That's just what the knights told me." Well then. "Look! It really worked!" Tuff said and pointed at the current battle happening four meters to their right.

It sure did work. The witch shrieked again and quickly retreated back into her canvas, where she luckily remained inanimate. The image was actually pretty. Too bad the witch's new injuries became part of the image, too.

"Another victory for Kirby!" Tuff rejoiced. Kirby did as well. He stepped the left, jumped around, rolled to the right and struck a pose in his little victory dance.
Tiff hated to interrupt this cutesy display but they needed to continue. "Guys, we have to get going if we want to rescue Dedede." Tuff and Kirby deflated with Kirby doing so a bit more literally. Back to climbing it was.

 

"How tall can a stupid beanstalk even be?" Tuff climbed onto another leaf above him. The answer to that, as he would later find out, was very, very tall.

Chapter Text

Ah yes, the island of Old Odyssey. Well known for its stunning cliffs and icy mountains, but most of all its... trains.

Waddle Dee shaped trains because apparently Waddle Dees also lived in Floralia and opened a train station here. In a floating country. Whose islands were connected using a giant beanstalk that definitely couldn’t support trains. Yet today bad business planning worked in favor of the trio of children who were known for even worse planning. Namely, no planning at all since all of them were children and one of them was a baby.

And so, a choice confronted them; do they take the way too small and uncomfortable train or do they walk?

Actually no, it wasn’t a choice at all. Tiff, Tuff, Kirby took the Waddle Train with its Waddle Conductor and Waddle Waiters and Waddle Dee size tables which Tiff and Tuff repeatedly knocked their feet into since the tables didn’t boast an impressive height.
But the siblings currently faced an even worse issue than the size of tables. This being, Kirby’s endless hunger.

Tiff, ever the problem-solver, decided to order food and called over one of the Waddle Waiters. “Hello, waiter!” she said, “we’d like to order something!”

The Waddle Waiter Waddled Waddly by waddledly waddling- the waiter handed her the menu.

Tiff sighed. “Just give us everything.”

Although she’d never been good at reading the expressions of Waddle Dees’, she could still tell Kirby struck fear into this one’s heart. It steps back, unbelieving, maybe it reconsidered its life choices in the face of Tiff’s look of defeat. A Waddle Dee in a chef’s hat entered the compartment, nodding at the waiter. The waiter nodded. A single tear escapes the chef’s eyes as they head back to the kitchen.

Kirby cheers in anticipation of his comming meal.

A few minutes later, the food arrived. Waffles, pancakes, waffle-pancakes, Waddle Waffles- there were several plates worth of food Kirby happily stuffed his face with as another person on the train, a purple humanoid, eyed them from beneath its large hat. That‘s totally not suspicious or anything

Who wouldn’t watch two kids and a baby make every waiting staff on the train cry, honestly.

Just as Tiff was about to voice her complaints about how naming enemies was a waste of time, sirens sounded from the monitors in the dining area. The words Breaking News flashed across the screen in a red and blue fanfare.

A newswoman, her eyes stern and her expression serious, spoke loud and clear into the camera, “Three dangerous individuals have entered Floralia! Sources say they wish to attack Queen Sectonia for reasons unknown, and have already tried to harm the Queen’s second-in-command, though he barely escaped the terrible assault. These three people are to be treated with extreme caution. Sightings of them should be reported to the proper authorities.”

And once her statement ended, she bowed her head as a farewell and three sketches showed up in her place.

First, a ball with an oversized mouth and eyes scribbled on it.

Second, a boy with what might be green and/or yellow hair.

Last, a girl with an enormous ponytail and no face since a splash of paint covered it.

All together, the drawings looked as if someone attempted to draw all three at the same time while being chased by a pink ball flinging bells everywhere.

The news report concluded and Tiff was nervous. She was a criminal now. It’s a bit of a suprise that it hadn’t happened sooner. Good thing you can’t prosecute people under fourteen, she thought as she carded a hand through her hair.

“Does that mean someone will kill us?” Tuff almost shouted inside a crowded train car.

“Shut up, Tuff! What if someone notices that’s us!?” Tiff shrieked as she threw her hands up in frustration, thereby almost slapping Kirby who still ate his lunch in peace.

And notice the people did, because from one second to the next, a bow was pointed at Tiff’s face by a purple dude with a fedora.

He pulled the bow’s string back, preparing to fire.

Kirby to her left and a window to her right left Tiff no room to dodge.

The archer released his arrow, Tiff and Tuff wouldn’t be able to crawl under the table in time.

In what might be her last moments, many thoughts raced through Tiff’s head. Examples include: how come I can help defeat an immortal warlock and then get killed on a train? This is all Dedede’s fault.

She held her hands over her face yet no impact came, instead a light flashed to her left. She slowly opened her eyes to glance at the light; Kirby wore a purple fedora now.

“Archer Kirby, huh?” commented nobody because Tiff was busy grabbing Tuff and making a break for the nearest exit.

About everyone on the train had drawn their weapon by now. Someone luckily pulled the emergency brake, so Tiff and Tuff rushed out the door with Kirby fending off an assortment of bewildered employees behind them.

They ran and ran as the surrounding air turned colder and colder, the people around them fewer and fewer, until no one but them remained.

Kirby tripped over a staircase on the path ahead. With no other way forward, the trio climbed upward onto a platform. There it was Tuff’s turn to slip on the slick ice, turned even slicker by the sudden rain.

“Thank the stars we’re safe,” Tiff said as Tuff removed his face from the floor. “I thought we’d never get away.”

 

“That’s because you didn’t.”

Tiff and Tuff looked up into the dark blue sky above them. And sure enough, a by now familiar spider floated onto the platform they occupied, Dedede in tow. But worst of all, an even more familiar shape flew behind him; an angry blue eye and yellow spikes on a fluffy cloud; Kracko.

 

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The wind blew through the clouds, making the glinting snowflakes dance; it is the only sound besides peaceful snores. The moon lets the ice sparkle and glisten. A true picture of serenity.

If it weren’t for the sole conscious occupant of this scene. The spider in the snow might be best described as internally screaming.

To say Taranza felt frustrated would be the understatement of the century. NO! OF THE MILLENIUNM!

He felt so incredibly frustrated he was tempted tear his own hair out, except he spent a great deal of hairspray and effort on it this morning. He won’t ruin that because he’s angry.

Thing is, Taranza was mostly angry at himself. Why did I kidnap this idiot? Why did I try to befriend Dreamland at all? Why didn’t I stop Sectonia from going off the deep end so this wouldn’t have happened in the first pla-

Many questions raced through his well-educated, calm and composed mind.

The most pressing one being:

How do I find anything to distract the pink pest with if I’m on top of a tower with nothing on it?

Almost whimsically, the clouds drifted around the small tower’s peak. Yes, this was a perfect spot to contemplate, no distractions but the clouds.

Wait a second, the narration gave Taranza an idea! The clouds! Magic them up into some sort of.. cloudy killing machine might be a good idea.

This was the best plan Taranza had by a long shot so... he threw a ball of magic at the clouds. Then they turned dark; it began to rain.

Just as Taranza started to think nothing happened except a storm, something did happen. Staring at him head on, a single eye had grown in the cloud.

“Alright, then. I guess this works,” he said to himself. That’ll... certainly do the job. This baffled him so much he couldn’t find it in himself to be angry anymore. Two birds with one stone, he supposed.

A commotion sounded behind him; footsteps and a bit of yelling prompted Taranza to turn around. There he saw the last people he wanted to see, these being the trio of children tormenting him all day.

The boy spoke as he turned to what is most likely his sister, “I thought we’d never get away.”

What a great opportunity for a dramatic reveal! Now, a statement that will strike fear into their hearts!

“That’s because you didn’t,” Taranza said, hands clasped together, feeling very smug about coming up with such a comeback on the spot.

 

...Sadly, cool lines can’t impress babies. The baby, armed with a bow and a stupid yet fashionable hat, simply raised said bow and fired an arrow in Taranza’s direction.

He quickly ducked out of the way, only to hear an enraged wail behind him. The cloud monster yelled, cried, and evaporated into water vapor.

Only a tearful eye rolled across the floor. The two children shared a baffled look. The girl shrugged. Taranza should really learn their names sometime.

With the eye rolling to a stop in the middle of what might’ve been a battlefield, no battle occured. Silence reigned supreme because sticking out of the eye was a single arrow.

Well, now that another plan has jumped off a cliff, it’s time to be angry again!

“I’ll get you meddling kids next time!” Taranza shouted as he flew off into the metaphorical sunset. If villainy was so difficult why did everyone keep doing it? One more question on his never ending list; Taranza’s diary would know about this.

Chapter Text

Ah. The object of his troubles. Finally awake.

Writing in his diary, Taranza decided to ignore him. A grave mistake, as it turned out. Once Dedede spotted Taranza scribbling away, concealing his journal like the nerdy kid in class who didn’t want you copying their test, he said smug as can be, “Of course a guy like you’s got a diary!”

Not a shred of irony could be found in Dedede’s statement, despite the by now many ‘objectively true’ journals about Kirby one may find stashed in his sock drawer.

Taranza’s face turned redder than Dedede’s coat, “There are alot advantages to keeping a diary,” he pouted and flailed his hand around, “it helps me remember past events and organize myself!!”

Crossing his hands like a person with arms might proved no challenge to someone without any, but he remained silent despite his impressive feat. It was getting dark. The cold of the impeding winter and flying all day made him tired. At least he’d be home soon.

Once he flew his way through the sprawling jungle of Wild World, Floralia’s fourth and predictably wildest island, Taranza reached his old house. A dark and dreary mansion that might have been lively once upon a time, only for its inhabitants to abandon it one by one, until Taranza remained alone. The mansion is... probably haunted again.

‘A quick lunch won’t hurt,’ is what Taranza thinks as he makes his way inside.

 

Turned out quick lunch was more of a big dinner. Newly declared ambassador or no, once a butler, always a butler, and so Taranza might’ve gone just a tiny bit overboard

Said big dinner consisted of an impressive array of foreign cuisine. The main dish, triangular buns filled with meat strips, salad, and yogurt-sauce he lacked the knowledge to recognize, made Dedede swoon.

Why, it was the best meal he had all day! He licked his lips and rubbed his hands in anticipation, that spider could cook for sure!

That’s what Dedede, in those exact words, politely told said cook. Though it turned out more like “That’s some tasty stuff! You sure know how to cook, Kawasaki’s grub’s trash compared to this!"

In response, Taranza froze, teacup in hand. Was that.. the first nice thing the lowly king ever complimented about him? Did he just compliment his hard-earned cooking skills by insulting someone else’s? Taranza wasn’t quite sure how to react, so he blushed and sipped his tea.

“Thank you,” Taranza said, “though you shouldn’t insult others like that.”

Dedede threw his head back and laughed. “‘s not an insult if it’s true! Hey, how come you can jus’ waltz on in here an’ cook, anyway?”

Leaning forward in his seat, Taranza said, “This is my family’s home, of course. Nevertheless, I’m the only one who currently lives here. My cousin-“he gestured to a portrait of a cat-like creature cloaked in blue behind him- “visits sometimes. But that’s it.”

Something very important was visible on the portrait. One tiny detail that jumped out at Dedede, an idea worming its way through his thoughts and out of his mouth, “does having no arms run in the family or somethin’?”

Time came to a stop “Excuse me?”

“Don’t dodge tha question! Does it or don’t it?” Dedede asked with the grace of an elephant in a porcelain store.

Mercy would not shine upon Dedede much longer. “You’re really putting your foot in your mouth here.”

Bzzt, wrong answer, “You don’t got any of those either!” is what Dedede replied with his brimming wit, making Taranza’s eyes narrow.

As if to slap Dedede with all of them at the same time, Taranza raised his hands, when something snuck behind the lowly king sitting across from him. A skull-shaped mask, beset with eyes like glowing amber, decorated with a wide-brimmed hat in a shade of the finest purple concealing a ghostly presence.

“Uh, lowly king?”

“Don’t you avoid answerin’!”

It crept closer and lifted its arms. “There’s something behind you. We should leave.”

“Sure there is,” Dedede waved his hand in dismissal, “I’m not afraid of no monster. I’ll just whack it real good!”

To prove his point, he turned around. And came face to face with a ghost. All it needed to do was simply say “Boo!” and Dedede screamed.

With not a second to waste, Taranza grabbed both a basket of food and Dedede, who would have shattered glass had he decided to be an opera singer, with his magical net and jumped out of the nearest window. How great it is to not have feet.

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Walking though the woods was very fun! So much to see, sudden noises, new sights! A chirping bird somewhere behind the bushes, colorful flowers Kirby had never seen anywhere; everything around captivated him, fighting for his attention.

Because another noise came from the bushes, Kirby walked over. Although Tiff called out to him, Kirby pressed onward undisturbed. What was that sound? Was it a voice?

Yes it was! Kirby’s good friend and fellow lover of food, King Dedede! Kirby’s stomach growled at that thought.
Maybe this generous friend would give Kirby some snacks like he usually does (when Kirby raids his kitchen)?

Faded golden gates slammed shut as Dedede and the spider disappeared into a huuuge mansion. Stained glass hung across the walls like paint splatters that reflected what little light forced its way past the tall trees and onto the ground. Pillars topped with purple flame solemnly stood next to the doors, a grin made of stone looming above them. And even further above was a single eye; a red pupil keeping track of Kirby’s every step as he walked forward without a care in the world.

Yet not a detail of it ever reached Kirby’s mind, either that or he simply pay attention to is, as he pushed open the doors and went inside.

-----------------------

“Hey sis, where’s Kirby?” Tuff turned to his sister,

“Oh no,” she sighed, “he disappeared again, didn’t he.”

After he wadded through countless bushes trying to stab him with their pointed spikes, Tuff happened upon a clearing. He called for his unfortunately sole companion, “You wanna take a look at this?”

“How bad is it?” Tiff responded, since she, with all of her bookworm knowledge, knew that ‘how bad could it be was an insidious trap.

Good thing she did, because before her stood a haunted mansion the likes of she hadn’t seen since the ‘Spook-Out’.

“Kirby’s inside, isn’t he," she deadpanned.

“Yep,” Tuff replied, shivering as he did so.

Oh ho, what do we have here? “Hey Tuff,” he looked at Tiff with wide eyes, “that old house sure looks haunted, doesn’t it.”

Tuff taking a step back revealed that Tiff hit her mark, “No, no way! I bet there’s nothing inside. Just cobwebs. And dust.

“Really?” a devious grin crossed Tiff’s face, “no ghosts? Monsters lurking where you can’t see them?”

“Yeah, I’m not scared,” Tuff huffed with as much bravery as he could muster, which was, admittedly, not a lot.

“Who said anything about being scared?”

“No one!” Tuff pouted, still quivering. “I’ll show you! I’ll just go in and find Kirby without you!”

After he stormed inside, Tiff stood before the open doors alone.

Maybe needling her brother like that wasn’t the best idea, Tiff thought and followed him.

 

The foyer revealed its true colours only once Tiff stepped inside. These colours were..... purple. Everything was purple. Just like the couch Kirby jumped on.

“See?” Tuff raised his arms in triumph, “nothing to worry about.” Holding his head high, he looked around with confidence now that his fears had been put down to rest. Nothing could stop him...

not even screams echoing from farther inside.

Now it was Tiff’s turn to be the healthy amount of concerned. “What was that?” she asked.

“It’s nothing, obviously,” pretending to be nonchalant, Tuff simply shrugged, “Ghosts don’t exist. You always said that. And look, Kirby isn’t afraid.”

  As if to prove his point, siad pink puff happily bounced around on some sofa cushions. “Right,” Tiff waved her concerns away with a shake of her hand. Ghosts don’t exist. She knew that. She’s the one always telling Tuff that (except when the situation calls for a bit of a scare, of course). Nothing’s here, in this creepy, dusty, disused, dark place.

Something in the corner of her eye moved. She turned, but it were just the curtains blowing in the wind. Weren’t the windows shut?

.Which is when laughter, high-pitched and joyous, echoed off the walls. It must be Kirby.

Although Kirby was still sitting on the couch.

“Should we check it out?” Tuff suggested, still filled with courage and a somewhat working facade of bravery.
Before Tiff had a chance to reply, he rushed off again, Kirby only two steps behind him.
“Come if you’re not a chicken!” her darling brother called back after his silhouette already faded into the darkness of the hallway.

Step by step, Tiff tiptoed forward. The cracked walls, the stained carpets, none of it mattered to her. She marched on, with only determination (and Tuff calling her a scaredy-cat for not hurrying) as her guide.

A tearoom. Truly terrifying. Bookshelves thrown to the floor in a hurry, shattered windows, upturned chairs; all sorts of things decorated this at first innocuous tearoom. Curious indeed, like the untouched food on a long table. A tea by now cold and some sort of sandwich left half-eaten.

Until Kirby devoured it with no mercy, obviously. Following in Kirby’s lead, Tuff grabbed a biscuit from the table.

“Aren’t you worried it’s bad?” Tiff slapped the biscuit out of his hand.

“Nah,” he said and picked up another one, “It’s fresh. Just look at how tasty everything is!”

Alright then, disaster via food poisoning averted. Now calm, Tiff took another look around. There, by the upturned chair at the head of the table lay a small book.

Tiff picked it up and turned it over. “A diary?” she whispered.

Chapter Text

It was a simple diary. A pale green decorated with pink flowers running along the cover. On it, ‘Taranza’s diary’ was written. That’s a name she’s never heard before.

As the owner of a diary herself, Tiff felt a bit of shame for peeking inside, but she’d always been known more for her brashness than restraint. Though her father attempted to teach her to be better than this, she simply couldn’t help herself. A book! Right here! Tiff hadn’t read one in.. like a day. It was about time for a new one.

So she flipped it open, not without checking if Tuff and Kirby are still occupied with what might be a sort of... salad? The dressing looked weird.

A shout of “Why is it so sour?? I’m never eating salad ever again!” put her at ease and she started to read. What unfolded before her was a tale of love at first sight, between a gardener and a princess.. How romantic, Tiff swooned. Yet as she ventured further ahead, things took a turn for the strange. After this Taranza had gifted the princess with a mirror, he reported that she changed. More vain. less friendly. The story grew almost dystopian and she read how the gardener, now the princess’ right hand, destroyed the revolution against a maniacal monarch. This couldn’t be this Queen Sectonia, could it? And if it is, then the owner of the diary would be...

She skipped to the latest entry with no time to lose.

“Dear diary,

Dedede ate a rock off the ground after I told him not to.”

Yep. Building up the image of a sympathetic figure in her head, woefully torn between his love for the Queen and his duty to the people, turned out to be for... the creepy spider. She’d acquired the private journal of her enemy, and it revealed incredibly useful weaknesses such as his favourite flowers are gerberas.

Also that Dedede ate a rock of the floor, a fact that Tiff will add to the ‘Blackmail for Emergency Purposes’ hidden in her nightstand. Great minds think alike, but fools rarely differ.

“Hey Tiff!” her brother’s shouts interrupted her disappointment at this reveal, “the food here sucks! Can we go now?”

Before he saw the diary, Tiff slipped the little journal inside her pockets, intent on returning it at a later point in time. Violating people’s privacy was incredibly rude, after all, and no one’d be any wiser that she did just that.

 

...is what Tiff hoped would happen.

Instead Tuff ran over in time, snatched the diary from her hands, and inspected it like a dead bug he found on the ground.

He cleared his throat and began to read with all the disdain of a ten-year-old jock, “Today I bore witness to the most beautiful creature upon this planet. She walked among the flowers I tended to, yet eclipsed them all with her ethereal beauty.” Having finished, he met Tiff’s stare. “That’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever read.”

“I’m more surprised you know how to say ‘ethereal,’” Tiff replied.

Unbothered, Tuff continued, “With a voice as smooth as silk and as sweet as honey, she gave her name to me: the one and only revered Princess Sectonia.” This time Tuff paused. “Isn’t that the lady spider-guy keeps rambling about?”

“Yes, she is. That’s why that book is important intel!”

“Intel such as?”

Tiff paused. Everything in that thing was pretty useless, but she already dug her own grave by defaulting to defending all books. “We know..,” she hesitated, “his name now?”

In the following moment of silence, inspiration struck her. She yelled, “new blackmail on Dedede!” with the fervor of someone taking the metaphorical lightbulb above their head and smashing it into someone’s face. Said move included showing the most recent entry to her brother, who then attempted to show it to Kirby, though Kirby only showed an interest in the remaining food in response.

Kirby’s response, however, continued as he took a step back from the food and looked around in concern. He tugged at Tiff’s sleeve.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. Frantically, Kirby pointed to an empty wall, a regular bookshelf, a broken window and an empty suit of armor holding its gleaming halberd in the air just above Tuff’s head.

Without thinking, she leapt toward her brother with a shout of “Watch out!” and tackled him to the floor. Behind her, the halberd swung to the floor, taking the tip of her ponytail with it.

Meanwhile, Tuff was shaken. “Is that..,” his voice quivered.

The armor’s head turned in their direction with a series of creaks like nails on chalkboard. Bright yellow eyes stared at them from within hollow darkness.

The siblings pulled each other up, not taking their eyes off the armor for even a second. It’s definitely what they thought it was. It’s...

“A ghost!” they screamed in unison. Grabbing Kirby’s and Tuff’s hands, Tiff dashed to the nearest exit. The hallway they’d come from. The ghost laughed.

“I’m sorry I made fun of you,” Tiff said. Better to say it late than never.

“Let’s talk about how I’m right after we survive the crazy axe-ghost!”

“That’s a halberd.”

“Who cares?!”

Chapter Text

Huffing and puffing, Tiff, Tuff, and Kirby managed to exit the totally-actually-no-really haunted mansion in the nick of time, and slammed the giant double doors right in the mean ghost’s face.

Yet they still ran further, afraid that it might pursue them. After they reached the clearing Tiff and Tuff had lost Kirby in just an hour ago, Tuff spoke.

“I’ll just.. rest for a second,” he said as he promptly collapsed onto the forest floor.

Tiff lightly kicked her brother in the stomach. “Wake up, Tuff!”

“Five more minutes...,” he turned to lay on his belly, to protect it from this merciless assault.

“If you want to get hypothermia because you’re sleeping on the floor,” she said as she kicked Tuff again, making him roll over the floor like the footballs he loved to play with.

Finally, he gave up and rose from his pillow of leaves that were hopefully not poisonous. “Can’t we take a break though?” Tuff groaned. To illustrate his point, and his complete unwillingness to move anymore, he dramatically pretended to fall to the ground once more, this time playing dead on top of a nearby tree stump.

“Alright,” Tiff sighed, “but we’ll get going in 15 minutes.” Upon consideration, Tiff could barely stand as well. Kirby, too. At least she knew that he wouldn’t get sick whether he slept in his bed or on top of an iceberg.

-------------------------------------------

“Why didn’t you say you had a ghost in your house?!”

“Because I didn’t know that there’s a ghost in my house!”

“But it’s your house! I’d know if there’s a ghost in MY house.”
“Well, I haven’t been to my house in three months.”

“Why not?”

“I’ve been busy.”
“With what?”

“That’s confidential.”

“Confi-what now?”

“It’s a secret and I can’t tell you.”

“You can tell me all the secrets!”

“As if.”

“As so!”

“I’m making the biggest cake this world has ever seen. None can know until it’s finished.”

“Really?!”

“No.”

And that’s that for those two.

----------------------------------------------------
Today was a great day, is what Tuff will say. A, for lack of better and/or more embellishing words, menacing villain kidnapped the ruling monarch (though he’s sadly not a damsel in distress, that would have been better) and now the band of tireless (they could travel for days on end!), fearless (even in the face of ghosts with axes!), and selfless (he didn’t expect a reward from Dedede. Nope, not at all. Escargoon and the Waddle Dees totally shouldn’t prepare a feast in their honor) heroes (not publicly wanted criminals in a foreign country) had to rescue him! Heroically!

Is what Tuff will say when he tells his friends what happened later.

Right now, though, another trial awaited the very tired and fearful heroes. A giant golden temple loomed above them. Snakes of gold and ruby stood guard, and the by-now somewhat paranoid Tuff swore they were watching him. All he did now was sigh, and hope for a nap after the next encounter with the antagonist.

------------------------------------------------------

It seemed ancient civilizations were always somehow more modern than modern technology, since instead of simple walkways, the ancient temple had fully functional conveyor belts.

Tuff made full use of this technological miracle by sleeping while he stood, which he did with his mind at ease, since he knew full well that his sister’s voice could wake him even if he were in a magical coma (it didn’t wake Kirby, the first time around, but he found a way regardless, so it didn’t weigh on his mind as much as it should).

Said sister, however, was twitching with the fear of someone who convinced themself their own shadow was an evil spy. Surely the snakes were alive, surely the conveyor belt was a trap, surely any second now a giant rock would drop from the ceiling and they’d have to run away in an Indiana Jones sequence of events..

Well, everything’s fine as long as Kirby’s there. Speaking of, he no longer snored away on Tuff’s foot. Instead he... was gone again?

“Tuff, wake up,” she shook her brother awake. He stumbled for a second and looked around in a daze.

“What is it?” he grumbled as he rubbed away the sand in his eyes.

“Kirby’s gone,” she replied.

Tuff tilted his head and pointed behind her. “But he’s right there!”

And sure enough, it... wasn’t Kirby. Firstly, the thing they saw was drop-shaped, not spherical. Secondly, it was white, not pink. Thirdly, it had big eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth and hopped toward them!

Fourthly, Kirby just ate it. Tuff was right, Kirby was just behind her. Maybe they should both go to sleep. If Kirby had spikes now, that was likely just her imagination.

Except... those snake statues looked weird.

“Hey Tuff,” she turned to her brother to make sure it’s really not sleep deprivation, “is that statue looking at us?”
uff squinted at the statues, “It sure is.”
“That’s bad.”

“Sure is.”

“I think we should run.”

“We sure sh-“ whatever dull answer Tuff wanted to share got cut off by the sizzling of a fireball the snake launched straight at him, Tiff and Kirby.

Dodging out of the way in time, the pillar behind them didn’t have the same luck. Since ancient temples couldn’t care less about their own upkeep as long as all intruders somehow meet their doom, a large, round stone sat on top of the falling pillar.

So now said rock rolled toward them.

While Tiff and Tuff participated in the family-fun activity of dodging fireballs and giant rocks, Kirby, with his fancy new spikes, retreated into his spike shell, perfectly safe from any and all attacks. In this moment, the rock either decided Kirby made for a better target than two normal kids, or Kirby’s lack of planning ended with him sitting in the middle of the rock’s path. It shall forever remain a mystery which option it really was.

This was it. A rock as fast as a blue hedgehog facing off against a Kirby as spiky as a real hedgehog. An unstoppable force meets and unmovable object once more to answer the question: which is stronger?

The rock picked up more and more momentum, just as Tuff picked himself up from the floor since he might’ve collapsed again. Then, the moment of truth upon everyone, the rock hit Kirby and stopped.

It had been impaled by one of Kirby’s spikes, said puff remaining perfectly safe. Silence reigned as Kirby uncurled, the stone remaining on his head. Even the previously fire-spitting snake simply watched while Kirby used his ability to shoot spikes to catapult the rock in its face.

The snake’s head landed besides the onlooking sibling with a heavy thud; this made Tuff regain most of the senses he had lost at least two hours ago.

And with these senses, he decided “We should go now.”
Because no one else was awake enough to object, they moved on, now with decidedly fewer death traps.

 

After a bit of luckily uninterrupted walking, the most heroic squad in existence came upon a room. Not just any room, no, it was a room right next to a huge abyss with no safety rails whatsoever!

They all decided to stay away from that side of the room.

Another special thing about this room, besides being big and empty, was the fact that it had a big snake statue inside it. This actually wasn’t special considering they were journeying through Snake Temple™️, but it didn’t stand straight like the others, it curled around itself!

And also someone used these curls to make glowing purple hammocks.

The occupants of these hammocks hid inside the hollow space the statue offered and argued about food.

“Could ya hurry up?” one of them grumbled just like his stomach, “I wanna finish lunch.”

This voice was quite unmistakable.

“Uhh,” Tuff mustered up his courage and took a step towards the other group in the room, “we’re here to rescue you?”

The response was immediate. “Who said I need that pink menace to rescue me!”

The face of King Dedede looked at the trio from inside the statue’s hollow middle in disdain. “I got everything under control!” he said as he accusingly pointed at his eternal enemy.

“No, you don’t” Tiff said. Even in her current state, she always has the energy to point out flaws in Dedede’s logic. “You’re trapped in a net.” She gestured at Dedede’s current state, which not only included having lunch (or more like a midnight snack at this point) inside a statue, but also included being trapped in a magic net by a magic spider.

“That’s part of the plan!” Dedede said and shook his fist in anger. How did he still have this much energy?

“Sure,” Tiff deadpanned in response.

This angered Dedede even more. “I’m gonna surprise attack him after I finish my food!”

A second face appeared from within the snake cave. “Nice to know,” Taranza said, his always perfect hair for once disheveled.

The obvious conclusion that Taranza had to also be here startled the sleepy Tuff who shouted “We’ve got you now, villain!” as he swayed on his feet.

Meanwhile, Kirby found another opening into the statue’s middle and stole a sandwich right out of Taranza’s hands, who took and chewed on a bite of air without making any remark.

Once he finished his delicious bite of nothing and stopped starring at the air he hadn’t eaten yet, he slurred “You won’t pre-heat...” he snapped to attention again, “defeat me!”

“Oh yeah?” Tiff said, putting her hands on her hips in a display of confidence, “you and what army?”

“I...,” Taranza was dumbfounded, “didn’t say anything about an army?”

In turn, this response dumbfounded Tiff, who now wondered what she actually meant to say.

Dedede’s yell of “I wanted to sleep there!” eventually broke the impromptu starring contest, only for everyone to stare at Kirby, asleep in one of the web-hammocks, about to be punted to the ground by Dedede.

Taranza mumbled something under his breath, which sounded a lot like, “I’ve been awake for 82.. no.. 28 hours.”

Then he turned toward the siblings and pinched his non-existent nose. “How about a truce, just for tonight?”

“No!” answered Tiff.

“Yes!” answered Tuff.

“I’ll even make you some webs,” Taranza said.

“It’s a trap!” answered Tiff.

“Nobody cares,” answered Tuff.

Tiff huffed in defeat. Wait, she’d been waiting for a moment like this!

“Taranza,” she began, since he stared off into space again.

“Yes?”

“I found your diary.”

“What?!” answered Taranza.

“So that’s his name!” answered Tuff.

Chapter Text

Although he very much liked sleep, the background noise of bickering children proved to be a source of entertainment.

Cries of “Where’s my pillow!” met by “Why do you always blame me first!” let a small smile slip past Taranza’s lips; surely only because Dedede below him rested his fluffy head on two pillows instead of just one.

One must be sensible as often as circumstances allow (which is much less often than one might think). This included eavesdropping on aforementioned squabbling kids despite the fact that it was one o’clock, and, of course, retaliating with a magical vengeance after a supposedly missing pillow nailed him in the face.

Many pillows were thrown in a most sensible fashion, befitting an intellectual such as Taranza, who definitely did not yell, use magic to conjure web-pillows and his six hands to throw six at once, or force the children into bed afterward, because it was really getting late, you guys.

Thus, after a long night of sensible thinking, Taranza thought, ‘maybe what I’ve done isn’t sensible at all’.

-------------------------------------

The next morning, Tiff rolled out of bed and landed on her feet. In stark contrast to Kirby, who rolled onto the floor. Then she stretched her arms over her head until her joints gave a nice pop as she yawned the last traces of sleep away, and looked toward her ball of responsibility on the floor.

Who wasn’t on the floor at all, actually.

Instead, only Tuff walked to her side, a sandwich in his hands.

“Where’s Kirby?” she asked him.

He nibbled on his sandwich. “Want some breakfast?”

Her stomach answered with a growl before she could. “Yeah, what do you ha- where did you get it from? And where’s Kirby?”

“I’ve got jam, honey, and some weird spread that’s either chocolate or cheese?” he counted each item with his fingers and glanced to the side in thought. He finally concluded “Chocolate-flavoured cheese?”

“That’s nice,” Tiff said and tapped her foot, “but where’s Kirby?”

He pointed at a regular woven basket and said, “In there.”

In spite of her suspicions, Tiff tip-toed to the basket laying beside the stone snake. With utmost carefulness, she lifted the latch to reveal... Kirby in a pile of sandwiches. Well, what’s left of them, anyway.

After carefully pulling Kirby out to get a closer look, Tiff noticed a note.

In elegant handwriting, it said,

“To the villainous trio chasing me,
I have, unfortunately, made too many sandwiches for breakfast. Since I cannot possibly eat them all and throwing them out would be a waste, you can have them. Do not take this as a gesture of goodwill, because it isn’t. I’m just being sensible here.

Sincerely, Taranza.

P.S: Yes, the chocolate thing is cheese.”

Huh.

“Hey Tuff!”

“What?”

“It’s cheese!”

“WHAT?”

------------------------------------

It’s hotter than a faulty faucet, it smells worse than a meeting of chainsmokers, it explodes more than a malfunctioning toaster! It’s the one and only volcanic hellscape of Endless Explosions!

The tourism department tried their best, alright. There’s got to be some adrenaline-junkie who likes being blown to bits.

Which did not include the current duo making their way past volcanoes and lava geysirs.

Pools of lava below you, debris raining from above.. people who can’t float must be green with envy.

Silence reigned uninterrupted. Except for the nearest eruption, of course.

Narrowly flying past said eruption, a solemn spider attempted to break the silence. “So..,” he began, “what exactly are those children to you?”

“Pests,” replied the pompous penguin like he saw rats eating his breakfast, “plain and simple.”

“May I ask as to why?”

Dedede’s answer came as a groan. “What’s not to hate ‘bout that Kirby! He’s the worst of the worst.”

He fanned his face with his hands as he continued, “He destroys my monsters! Turned people against my magm-, magifence!”

“Magnificence?”

Dedede blushed at his blunder, “It’s too hot here!”

“Perhaps you’d like to...” Taranza gestured vaguely, “...take your winter coat off?”

“I can’t just take it off,” he yelled, “it’s my brand!”

Ready to continue arguing, a croak interrupted Taranza’s thought. Even after looking around the smouldering landscape, locating the source proved impossible.

With this in mind, unease nagged at his mind during the flight. Dedede’s mumblings didn’t help.

Every now and again, there would be another croak. Surely it’s just his imagination, he thought. Nothing bad. And yet...

“‘s there a frog ‘round here?”

Oh no, Dedede heard it, too.
In that moment, Taranza remembered a name he had seen in a brochure of this island.

Pyribbit.

The fire frog.

Taranza faced his captive with fear in his eyes. “We need to get going right now. Don’t make a sound.”

“Why’s that?” Dedede asked, fidgeting with his coat.

“Because of very bad news. Fire-spitting-frog-will-melt-your-face kind of bad.”

He ran his hand through his hair at that. Maybe they could get away on time.

 

 

 

 

They could not get away in time.

The Pyribbit, a creature twice the size of Dedede, came closer one hop at a time. It simply smashed any debris between itself and its prey with no mercy in its narrowed eyes. Its strong legs carried the Pyribbit through lava, its long tongue lashed behind the fleeing duo.

With another jump and a gurgle the frog closed all remaining distance. Taranza gulped.

Dedede had an opposite reaction; he took out his hammer (wherever did he keep that thing?) and threw it in the frog’s face using all of his feathery strength.

He hit bullseye, too.

While Pyribbit busied itself seeing only red in anger and jumping in place hard enough to break the floor, Dedede and Taranza booked it.

The latter went as fast as his magic could carry him, but his companion’s net trailed just a bit behind. Meaning Dedede was in spitting distance of the fire-spitting frog.

The air smelled of burned fabric and smog.
Dedede flung his coat away with the plan to stomp the flames out, although he then realized he was not, in fact, on the ground. So instead of landing on the floor, it floated away to the awaiting Pyribbit’s mouth.

“My coat!” Dedede yelled after it and outstretched his arms in a vain attempt to catch it.

Yet it drifted forever out of reach.

-----------------------------------------------

Tiff dragged her feet and Tuff wiped his forehead every second; no volcanic climate had any business being this far in the air. At least there was no sign of the villains yet. ‘Wouldn’t no villains be a bad thing though?’ What if we can’t catch them? Tuff thought, though the relative peace still made him sigh in relief.

Mayybee, Tuff almost fell into the lava. Twice. But it was no problem whatsoever, including the rocks raining from the sky now and then. Running for shelter and definetly not screaming along the way was easy for a guy like Tuff (and of course his sister and Kirby).

Tuff snatched it out of Kirby’s hand, whose expression fell.

“Don’t worry, I’ll give it back.” Kirby brightened again. “I need to look.”

The identity of the cloth was........... a familiar peace sign emblem. Not even the soot managed to hide it.

“We don’t need to worry about spider-guy here,” Tuff said and gave the piece of fur-lined coat back to the eager Kirby.

Hopefully, the chicken didn’t get overcooked.