They reach Grass Land, the Warp Star disappearing as they hit the ground.
This worries Sweetie Belle. "What happened to the Warp Star? Is it normal?"
"Say... Why did we go there, rather than going directly to Dark Castle?"
Kirby makes gestures as if he is punching something.
"To beat the bad guys in all the islands?" guesses Sweetie Belle.
"I understand. If it's like the previous times, then Dedede has sent his lieutenants. Actually, maybe he did like with the Star Rod and gave them something important to protect? Like whatever could repair the bridges?"
Kirby nods again, smiling. "Poyo!"
"Then let's go!" She smiles back.
And so, the two start exploring the island. It's not long before they encounter the first of Dedede's minion: a Waddle Dee walking right toward them.
Here we go...
The Waddle Dee is clearly sad to attack Sweetie Belle, but she knows he doesn't have a choice. Kirby doesn't hesitate though, and eat the Waddle Dee before he could do anything. Thankfully, Sweetie remembers that the Waddle Dee is not dead, he will reappear not too far. Now that she is with Kirby, she will have to get used to that.
They continue their way, Kirby eating the Broom Hatter that follow, making appear a kerchief on his head like Sweetie has around her neck, and a broom.
Oh right. His copy ability. He will fight with a broom?
Kirby proves her that yes, he can fight with a broom, by sweeping the Waddle Dees that are next, including one that is on a floating yellow block with a star. Sweetie has seen those blocks everywhere in Dreamland, and knows that they can be destroyed with a powerful enough attack, like a strong punch. They can also serve to pass some obstacles, like right now where the block can help her reaching the top of a cliff otherwise too high to reach for her. The broom isn't really effective at knocking down the Waddle Dees, but at least it opens them for Sweetie to attack them. Kirby decides to give up the ability seeing that it's not effective. He has already tested it the previous time, but he has hoped that he would have gained more power with it since then.
After passing that cliff, which has been actually a wall of earth, they start to encounter more enemies, including Waddle Dees, Broom Hatters (Kirby spits them back to not gain their ability), a Bronto Burt, and Bouncys, pink creatures constituted of a pink head that look like the top half of Kirby, on a spring, and wearing a darker pink bow. She hasn't encountered many of the last ones in the castle, they prefer bouncing in freedom in big spaces, like grasslands. Because of the number of enemies, she has to fight, knocking out one of the Broom Hatters and one of the Bouncys.
They then reach a black door. Those black doors! They are EVERYWHERE and they don't make any sense! Because they can lead anywhere in the close area! And sometime, you take a door, reach a new area, but can't go back to the previous area because there is no door leading back! Because of this, she has gotten lost more than once in her explorations of Dreamland, even inside the castle, which is full of them! They can be fun to explore, but when you just want to traverse an area, they can become annoying.
Anyway, they take this door, and... Oh! Surprise! They appear in a new area, and no door to go back! She facehoofs. Get used to it Sweetie!
They quickly encounter another enemy: a Poppy Bros. Jr. Cute guys, if that wasn't for their love to hop around with bombs in their hands! They possess a big tan head on a smaller body in a blue clothes with two white buttons, with two feet in pointed yellow shoes, and two round hands that are actually floating! This means no arms to attach them to the body! They also have a blue cap with a white rim and a gem on it above his eyes, and the cap also possesses a white pom pom at its end. Has she say about the bombs? Not the kind of bombs that splash you in water or cover you in paint. The kind that go boom and leave behind a crater. Yeah... The ones that hurt... Sweetie has tried to avoid them as much as possible, just in case one of those bombs has a default and explode.
And now, she has to fight them too! Joy!
Luckily for her, Kirby eats the Poppy before he throws his bomb. This is followed by a blue cone hat appearing on Kirby, and a bomb appearing on his hand.
I think I will keep my distances.
After the encounter with the Poppy, they reach a wooden bridge above a small hole, a door at the bottom. Kirby decides to see where the door leads and jumps from the bridge while Sweetie takes the approaching Waddle Dee in her magic and sends him away before following the puffball. At the other side of the door, they encounter a new enemy that makes Sweetie freaks out.
It's a green parasol... with an eye! A living parasol that is now hopping toward them without anyone wearing it!
"Eep!" She takes a step back.
Kirby, not scared by the weird enemy, throws one of his bombs to the green parasol who is sent flying by the explosion. He continues to throw bombs at the blocks behind the parasol, eventually finding an energy drink, and drinks it. Because why not?
Yeah, somehow, there is food a little everywhere in Dreamland, from cakes to ice creams. Pinkie would love this world, Sweetie love it too for that. When you find free ice cream by simply breaking a block, hooves down, this means best world ever! Even if it means dealing with those black doors.
They return in the previous area, and Sweetie jumps back on the bridge, only to be punched by a Waddle Dee.
"Sorry!" says the Waddle Dee.
Sweetie punches him back, knocking him out. "I'm sorry too!"
Kirby sweats at seeing this scene. She is really friend with those guys. Too bad he has drunk the bottle, it could have healed her. He then sees a Poppy approaching Sweetie from behind and explodes him with a bomb.
They continue, jump from a small cliff, and reach a pyramid of blocks inside of which has been hidden a couple of Waddle Dees, and some sort of yellow chick in an egg. When the egg is destroyed, before Sweetie has even time to "Aww!", the chick starts to fly toward them, beak ready to poke them. Kirby doesn't let it come close. After a few more Bouncys, Waddle Dees, and another Poppy, they reach another door, leading to another part of the island.
In this new area, there are pillar of stones, and barriers. They are immediately welcomed by a Flamer, a red, round thing with a single eye at the center, and four holes on his sides from which he expels fire. In the castle, Sweetie hasn't really interacted with them, the creatures preferring minding their business while moving on the walls above everyone else. This one has been turning around a block, ready to great them. When they approach him, he expels his flames around him and charges at them, like a comet. They dodge him, Kirby getting rid of his bomb ability. He then eats the Flamer, which causes a crown made of fire to appear on his head, with some gold around it, and a jewel at the front. The famous Fire Ability that Waddle Dee has been talking about.
Kirby immediately uses it to roast a Waddle Dee and a Poppy. Not far behind the Poppy is one of the yellow chick, that Sweetie knocks out, not wanting it to become fried chicken. A few more enemies later, they reach a big wall with a tunnel blocked by more blocks. With the fire, Kirby charges through them like a comet, destroying them and revealing that the tunnel leads to another door.
By passing it, they end up in a room with no way back. Before them is some black... hedgehog thing with spiky hairs, small round arms, yellow eyes, and red feet. He jumps in the air and then falls toward them like a meteor. They dodge him, and Sweetie sees then a bag hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room, something moving inside it.
"Oh my gosh! There is someone in that bag!"
"Poyo!" Kirby tries to warn her, but too late. She is hit by the hedgehog falling on her, badly burning her. Kirby quickly charges at the creature with his fire, burning him and sending him hit a wall. He then continue attacking by spitting fire at the creature before he gets up, burning him until he moves away.
Despite the hit, Sweetie is able to get up, and looks angrily at the hedgehog. When he lands, then jumps, and tries to fall on Kirby, she runs where he hits the ground and punches him three times before sending him flying by bucking him. One last charge from Kirby knocks him out for good.
Their enemy beaten, Kirby flies toward the bag and unhook it, letting it falls on the floor. The bag opens to reveal a hamster with white fur, brown on the head above the muzzle, on the back, and on his rump, and pink feet, bigger and taller than Kirby! When out of the bag, he jumps in joy before nuzzling both Kirby and Sweetie Belle in thanks.
Sweetie laughs at being nuzzled by the hamster. "You are welcome! What is your name ?"
Obviously, the hamster can't talk. Instead, it's Kirby who says something, surprising her. "Rick! Rick!" he says, jumping.
"You can talk?" says Sweetie Belle.
"Poyo?" answers Kirby, tilting his head. She just shakes her head at this.
The hamster jumps in joy too after what Kirby has said.
"You love the name Kirby gave to you?" asks Sweetie Belle. Rick nods at her. Then, Kirby jumps on him, and Rick is suddenly briefly surrounded by a light. However, when the light disappears, nothing has changed. "What happened?" Kirby and Rick just shrugs at her, making her sigh.
They exit the room, Kirby riding Rick. Then, at the first Waddle Dee approaching, Rick spits fire at him!
"Wait, what?! Since when does hamsters can spit fire?" Rick points at Kirby. "You are saying you possess the same ability that Kirby currently possesses?!" He nods. "But... How..." He shrugs. This makes her throw her hooves in the air. "Alright! Whatever! This world doesn't make sense! Let's just continue! I will just say it's magic!" she yells, making both Kirby and Rick chuckles.
They then find another bottle on a floating block. Rick destroys the bloc by spitting fire at it after jumping, and the bottle fall on the floor. Kirby then hops off of Rick and drink the bottle.
"Hey! Wait! I need it to heal!" yells Sweetie.
Kirby finishes the bottle, then comes beside her.
And he kisses her.
Shocked, she doesn't have time to say anything before she feels the bottle's liquid enter her mouth, healing her. Once done, Kirby separates their mouths, leaving Sweetie Belle as red as a Waddle Doo. Kirby tilts his head at her reaction. Rick too.
After a moment of processing what has just happened, Sweetie Belle suddenly shouts a high pitched scream, forcing both Kirby and Rick to put their arms... hands... paws... whatever on their ears, even if Kirby doesn't have ears.
"K-Kirby! Why did you do that?"
"Poyo poyo! Poyo!"
"I thank you for the heal, but you didn't have to do that! You could have just given me the bottle ! Or let me take it! Or drink a half of it before letting me drink the second half! But-but not giving the drink to me with a mouth to mouth! That's not... That's not okay! You understand?" Sweetie approaches Kirby and then screams at his face "YOU DON'T KISS OTHERS TO GIVE THEM FOOD!!!" making Kirby fall on his back. She then put her hooves on her face, hiding her eyes. "I wanna die..."
Kirby pats her back and Rick nuzzles her, trying to calm her. A Waddle Dee not far isn't sure of what to do, having seen the whole scene. He decides to leaves them alone, telling his comrades the same thing. He will have to tell that to the others once this ordeal ends !
After calming down, still a little red, Sweetie, alongside Kirby and Rick, reaches a new black door without encountering enemies, thankfully. Before entering it, she stops and turn toward Kirby. "L-listen, Kirby. I'm not mad at you. You just wanted to do well. But, in the future, when you find food, and I need to be healed, just give it to me. Ok?" Kirby nods, and they pass the door.
At the next area, they avoid the Waddle Dee and the Broom Hatter jumping on them from two wooden bridges above them, and eliminate them. Kirby his then surprised by a Waddle Dee punching him from behind, which has for effect to knock out his ability in the form of a star. Kirby quickly inhales it back while Sweetie slams the Waddle Dee on the ground with her magic. She barely avoid a Poppy trying to roll on her on a giant apple, coming from the top of a slope. Kirby roasts the apple and the Poppy on it, before eating the apple.
After some jumps, they reach the small lake, with at the bottom a tomato with a big M on it. At this, Kirby smiles his biggest happy smile and go in the water to eat it, Sweetie noting that goggles for swimming appear on his eyes. (Don't question it!) If Kirby loves it at this point, it must be delicious, and now, she would like to try one. Just after the lake, they break a pile of blocks between two pillars, revealing a door. This leads them between two bigger pillars, with a wooden bridge above them linking the two pillars, they jump on it. A little farther are two other pillars, taller and linked by another bridge. A longer bridge is above it, letting them jump on two other pillars even taller, and they reach another taller pillar, with a smaller pillar on it. A door is at the top. The bridges and pillars have been full of enemies, but Rick has been able to spit fire on most of them, and Sweetie Belle has watched his back by throwing down with her magic the ones approaching from behind. Sweetie throws the chick in front of the door, and they pass it.
They have done well to pass this door, because it leads them inside a room. After jumping down a few steps, they reach a hallway where the ceiling seems to be able to be destroyed. But the blocks are solide, the fire doing nothing to them. They need a weapon. They are forced to continue their way, jump up a few steps, and pass another door. At the other side, they are greeted by a Parasol Waddle Dee falling slowly from the sky, but instead of having a normal parasol, he wears one of those green living ones with an eye.
Kirby gets an idea and gives up is fire ability, before inhaling both the Waddle Dee and the parasol, making appear a parasol in Rick's hand.
"Do you think it will work?" asks Sweetie Belle. Kirby just waves at her to follow him, and they pass again the door, getting back in the room. They return at the blocks at the ceiling, and Rick uses the parasol, destroying them. The new hole in the ceiling leads to a secret room, where a few jumps later, they reach a rainbow colored oval shaped thing with two stars floating around it. Kirby takes it in its arms.
"Do you think this is what will help repairing the Rainbow Bridges?"
Rick is the one who confirms it by nodding.
"I'm surprised it's not guarded by one of Dedede's lieutenants. I guess he learns from his defeats. Now we have to really search everywhere. I suppose there is one in each islands."
Kirby nods at her conclusion, then eats the Rainbow Drop, as Sweetie decides to call it.
"Hum... Reassure me, you can spit it back, right?" When Kirby nods, she sighs in relief.
They leave the room and resume their journey. Outside, they reach another tomato. Kirby is about to gobble it, when he sees Sweetie looks at the tomato in curiosity. He tears off the tomato in three parts, and give one to her.
"Really? You don't mind?"
He shakes his head.
Sweetie takes the part of tomato, says "Thank you!" and smiles at him, before looking at her part of tomato. Even if it's just a part, it's still big! Enough to fill her for a moment! She tastes it, and immediately, stars form in her eyes. "It... It... It's the best thing I have ever eaten!" she shouts. "No wonder you love it!" She then continues to eat.
Kirby smiles at her comment, before giving the second part to Rick, and eating his own.
The few enemies around decide to let Sweetie eat in peace.
After the tomato, Dedede's minions become more numerous, but Rick doesn't have any problems using his parasol to knock them, Sweetie ending the ones still moving. After a few jumps on pillars, they reach a door. With the presence of all those minions, it's not hard to guess that they are getting close to the leader. So Sweetie gulps, not knowing if she is ready to face a lieutenant of Dedede.
They pass it.
They appear just in front of the lieutenant, a big tree with a face, but... there is something wrong with him, despite the fact that he has a face. His eyes are all swirly, and he has a white mask above his mouth, similar to what the doctors or the really sick ponies... people use.
"Yo-you are there." says the tree, his voice muffled by the mask.
"A living tree... Wait! Are you Whispy Wood? What are you doing here? I thought that you were living in a forest! In the mainlands!"
"It's not because I'm a tree that I'm stuck at the same place. I can move. Ugh... Can you stop moving you... you... six? Nine? I hate grasslands..."
Wait... Sweetie deadpans at Whispy. "You have allergies? A tree can have allergies from pollen?"
"I'm a living being! I can be sick! And I'm as vulnerable to pollen as everyone else!"
"Sorry! I didn't want to judge! You are the first talking tree that I encounter."
"Anyway." suddenly says Whispy. "I will stop you."
"Even if you are sick? You have already lost to Kirby two times when you weren't! How do you expect to beat him?"
"I have developed a new trick. Don't underestimate me."
Whispy then starts the fight making roots poke out of the ground... two meters at their right, then just behind them, then at their left. They don't even need to move to avoid them. Kirby, still on Rick, decides to spare Whispy more embarrassment and leads the hamster to approach him before attacking him with the parasol. Sweetie approaches too to punch him, only to be hurt at her hoof.
"Did you really expect to be able to punch a tree?" mocks Whispy.
"My friend's big sister and big brother can! I just need to get stronger!"
"Well, to get stronger, you need to eat your fruits. Here are some apples for you."
Giant apples start to fall from Whispy's branches, threatening to hit Sweetie, Kirby, and Rick on their head. Rick approaches Sweetie Belle and use the parasol to protect all of them. Sweetie decides to step back to not be as exposed and let Kirby and Rick fight.
The following fight is a joke. Thanks to the parasol, the apples are doing nothing, and because of Whispy's allergy making his eyes all swirly, his roots miss nine times out of ten. Sweetie is able to avoid the rolling apples without problems, trying to think of a way to help Kirby. That's when Whispy makes a desperate attempt by making raining apples all around him, with nowhere to dodge when they start rolling with how much there are. Kirby and Rick can easily protect themself by getting their back directly against Whispy's trunk and using the parasol, but Sweetie has nothing to protect herself. She is washed away by a real wave of apples as big as her! Once the rain stops, Kirby and Rick run toward where they have last seen her and dig her out, hurt, but alive. But then, a root poke out of the ground just under Rick's feet and sent both him and Kirby flying, knocking the parasol ability out of the puffball.
Oh no! They are being hurt because they are forced to help me! And I can't do anything to help them in return! thinks Sweetie Belle, looking at them as they land a little farther. She then turns her eyes to Whispy, anger filling them. Enough is enough! She jumps on the apples littering the ground. I will not let Kirby do all the work! I have been training for the last two weeks for occasions like this! And he his just Whispy Woods! Dedede told me that he is a pushover! One of the weakest! We will NOT lose to him because of me! During her mental rant, magic starts to build up in her horn, a green light surrounding it. "Listen you bully! We have an archipelago to save, and a king to wake up! And it's not a tree as WEAK as you that will stop us!"
"Me? Weak?" mocks Whispy. "Is it not you that hurt yourself hitting my bark just a few minutes ago?" He then starts laughing.
This angers Sweetie even more, and before she knows it, she shoots a beam from her horn, right between Whispy's eyes, making him close them in suffering. Somehow, this makes Whispy's mask fall, and when he opens his eyes, they aren't swirly anymore. This reveals that his eyes and his mouth are actually holes in the bark.
He blinks, before saying "Wait, I'm not sick anymore! Your attack somehow knocked the sickness out of me!" He then stares angrily at Sweetie Belle. "But it has REALLY hurt! I will turn you into fertilizer!"
More apples start to fall, alongside a few giant worms, and even a Gordo ! Metal eyed blue balls with spikes around its body moving in and out. When reaching the ground, instead of rolling, it jumps directly at Sweetie Belle who is forced to dodge. While dodging the worms and the apples, she is able to shoot another, smaller beam at Whispy, smiling.
I can shoot lasers! I can shoot lasers! If I wasn't busy trying to stay alive, I would SO jump around screaming yes!
She is then hit by puffs of air spitten by Whispy Woods, blowing her back. She shakes her head and shoots a beam in vengeance. That's when Kirby comes back, inhales one of the apples in the ground, and spits it back at Whispy as a star. More apples rain, more puffs of air comes close to blow them, and more roots, this time targeting them right, force them to jump away. Another Gordo falls, jumps, and is able to hit Sweetie from behind before jumping away.
Seeing Sweetie badly hurt, Kirby looks at all the apples and gets an idea to end the battle. He opens his mouth and starts to inhale as much apples as he can without swallowing them. After inhaling at least a dozen apples, he spits them all back as a very big star right at Whispy. The star is slow, but Whispy not moving, he takes it full force!
When the star disappears, it lets a crying Whispy who says "I... I give up."
Kirby sighs in relief, before going to Sweetie to see if she is alright. "Poyo?"
"It's okay." assures Sweetie as she sits. "I'm alright. I just need some time. That Gordo has really hurt."
Kirby looks at her, then looks at the apples around them. He takes one, and proposes it to her.
"An apple? Oh right. It's food, it can heal me. Thank you Kirby."
She looks at the apple. It's as big as her! She doesn't think she will be able to eat the whole thing. She takes a bit. "Oh my gosh!" She takes more bits, starting to heal her wounds. Sorry Apple Bloom, but your apples are now seconds. Those ones are above them!
As she eats, Kirby and Rick starts to eat the other apples, Kirby by inhaling them.
"Ooh..." groans Sweetie Belle, back on the ground, apple core beside her, and hooves on her aching swollen belly. She turns her head toward Whispy Woods who has stopped crying but hasn't say anything since, watching them. "That was the best apple ever. I may come back to you in the future."
"N... Nice to hear..." he answers.
Rick is also on his back, patting his belly, while Kirby watch over them, having eaten all the apples. He nudges Sweetie Belle, pointing at the Warp Star waiting not far.
"Y-yes. I'm coming. Just wait a minute." she replies. She slowly gets on her hooves, Rick already up. Once done, the three of them jump on the Warp Star, and take flight.
Next step: Big Forest. Seriously, what is up with those names?