A Sweetie Dreamland

by Lucar

First published

Sweetie Belle finds herself in another world, working for a fat penguin self proclaimed king.

Sweetie Belle just wanted to ask Twilight to help her get better in magic. Too bad she didn't choose a good time... One magical accident later, and she is now in a throne room in an unknown castle. Hopefully, the fat penguin on the throne will help her get home. Seeing his expression, it's not looking good...

Ooh boy...


Starts around the first half of season 5.
Kirby Right Back At Ya canon will not be used.
I don't possess anything that appears in this story. Kirby belongs to HAL Laboratory and Nintendo, and My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
The cover image may be temporary.

Prologue: A Sweet Falling

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With the bell ringing the end of the school day, the fillies and colts can finally taste freedom! Or at least until the next day... And without counting the homeworks... Well it's good enough! And yet, among the young ponies are three fillies, one of them sighing sadly despite this great moment.

"Oh come on Sweetie! Are you still thinking about what Diamond Tiara said? Just forget her!" says one of the three fillies, a pegasus with orange fur and purple mane and tail. Her wings ruffle thinking about punching a certain pink filly for making her friend sad.

"Scootaloo is right. You know she told that only to hurt you for her fun. It's better to not pay attention to her," follows another of the three fillies, a yellow furred earth pony with a red mane and tail and a pink bow tied to her mane.

The third filly, a white unicorn with a curly purple and pink mane and a similar tail, sighs again in answer before saying "I know Apple Bloom, I know... but it's hard! It's like when she insults your family or Scootaloo's wings ! Even if we know better, it's hard to let it past when she hits a touchy subject, and you know how I am with my magic..."

"Yeah..." answer her two friends before sighing too, knowing that Sweetie is right.

"Well... at least it's temporary !" suddenly says Scootaloo, trying to raise Sweetie's morale. "I mean, you are training with the help of Twilight at Twilight Time, and you have gotten better since we started!"

"And won't you get a little boost once you get your Cutie Mark ? I think I have heard that unicorns have better magic once they get it," continues Apple Bloom, putting a hoof under her chin at the second sentence trying to think back to when she heard that info.

"Maybe ? I heard it too, but not everypony have the same opinion. Rarity was already good at using many objects at the same time, and she got her gem finding spell just before getting her Cutie Mark, and she didn't tell if she got better after getting it. Maybe I should ask her."

"Or ask Twilight, I'm sure she knows about that stuff," replies Scootaloo.

"Yes, I will ask her. But still... Even if it's true, I don't want to wait to have my Cutie Mark to get better at magic..." says Sweetie as she starts to think. Scootaloo is about to propose something, when the unicorn suddenly exclaims "I know! I will just ask Twilight if she can train me more!"

But Apple Bloom is not as excited. "I don't know Sweetie Belle. What if she is too busy? Remember she is a princess. It's already good that she helps us once a week."

But this doesn't stop Sweetie Belle. "But Twilight loves to teach ! Especially magic! I'm sure she will say yes! I have to go girls, bye!" she says before charging in the direction of the big crystal tree castle that is the home of the princess.

"But what about our crusading?!" yells Apple Bloom, trying to stop Sweetie Belle, without success. Seeing this, she sights.

"Shouldn't we follow her?" asks Scootaloo.

"No. Let's just go at the clubhouse. If Twilight refuses, she will join us here. If not, well... let's just search ideas for our crusading. Better than nothing."

"Alright."

On this, the two remaining fillies take the direction of their clubhouse, not knowing that they won't see their friend for quite some time.


"NEXT!" BAM "NEXT!" VLAN "NEXT!"

"Sorry your majesty, there are no dummies left..."

"Then go make more ! Or I will use all of you as replacement!"

"The next batch will not be ready for some time."

"I don't care! JUST HURRY!" A chorus of "Yes!" followed by a stampede happens almost immediately.

Four beings are left in the room at the end of the stampede. The first is a large penguin, or penguin-like creature that is actually breathing heavily in both tiredness and anger, swinging around a large hammer before finally putting its head on the floor. He wears a red cap with a big white ball at the top and a golden rim, and a finery of the same color, without the gold. He has tan clothes around his body with an obi with a pattern of red and yellow zigzag, and also yellow mittens covering his hands. His blue head with a yellow beak that look like a mouth is the only body part visible alongside his yellow palmed feet. Finally, a symbol that looks like a peace sign made with his fingers is visible on the back of his finery.

He takes a big breath and screams "Curse that Kirby! I hate him! I hate him! I! HATE! HIIIM!" before violently hitting the floor with his hammer, making the whole room quakes. The three other beings in the room with him lose their balance and fall on their face or on their back as a consequence. They all have a rounded body, two of them are identical to each other while the third has more unique features. The two that could pass for twins possess pear-shaped tan faces surrounded by orange close to red with tubby arms of the same color. Their feet also are a lighter orange. The third being looks like the other two, but doesn't have the same pear-shaped face. His round body is entirely of the same orange-red as the other two, and his feet are the same light orange. The main difference is that this one only possess one big round eye with two strands of hair above it. A particularity of those three beings is that they don't seem to possess a mouth.

They are on what is actually a boxing ring with the penguin's symbole at the center of it. Around the ring are stands, all empty, and above it are projectors to illuminate it. Crushed pink dummy parts are littering the ring, and some are even on the floor beyond the edge.

"M-m-my king... I propose that... Well... Maybe we should go elsewhere while we wait. You have been destroying those dummies for hours." proposes shyly one of the first two creatures.

He is answered by the penguin turning his look full of promising doom toward him, making him suddenly go up before running toward the opposite corner of the ring in hope of escaping say doom.

Lucky for him, the penguin takes another breath before letting his hammer repose on his right shoulder. "You are right. There is nothing more I can do here. Beside, I'm hungry. But once the next batch is ready, I'm returning here, YOU HEAR?"

"O-of course, my king!"

"I will warn the cooks to start preparing your meal, your majesty!" then says the cyclope creature before saluting, jumping above the edge of the ring, and exiting the room.

The king watchs him go before pointing at one of the two creatures left, the one that haven't talked yet. "You! Follow him and tell the cooks to bring my meal at the throne room! This is where I will wait." The creature salutes him before exiting the room. He then looks at the remaining one. "As for you, just follow me." he says before walking toward the exit too, followed by the creature.

They just have to cross an hallway full of portraits and busts of the penguin with dozens of the same creatures either cleaning or guarding it. A carpet of the same red as his finery cover the floor almost entirely and his symbol appears almost everywhere alongside red golden rimmed banners. After it, they reach the throne room where the same red carpet continue toward the throne itself, also red with golden rim like his cap, with a blue symbol at the top. The carpet end in a hexagon at the foot of the throne, with yet again the symbol at the center, this time blue in an orange circle. The floor itself is paterned like a checkerboard in white and yellow. Windows with differents geometrical forms are on the left grey wall, where a tower of the castle is visible outside. Grey columns are present between each windows and the same banners are present at the ceiling. Finally, a blue curtain is at the left, toward the throne, to cover all the left wall to hide the sunlight when needed.

Once the king is seated on his throne, the creature at his right, he starts thinking about what happened a few days ago, the event that is making him SO angry! He wanted to prove to all the kingdom that he was the rightful king ! For that, he sent his army to take all the foods, because as the king, he deserves that! But then... BUT THEN! That pink puffball! He appeared from nowhere and assaulted his castle, and even had the gall to send him flying through the roof of his castle! And then, he turned into a giant balloon and took his castle through all Dreamland to give back all HIS food! It took him and his army days to rebuild the castle at its rightful place at the top of the mountain, and that was an absolute pain! Since then, he has been training nonstop, slaughtering hundred of dummies build like that pink pest to vent his anger while thinking of a plan to get his revenge.

"I will make him pay! I swear it!" he says while slamming his left arm on his throne.

That's when the doors of the throne room open to let enter a few of the creatures wearing cook hats while pulling a white covered table full of food on it. Meat, fruits, and at the center, a big cake that is only waiting to be devoured.

"Ah! Finally!" he says happily while putting a napkin to protect his clothes from what is going to be a messy dinner, like each time the king eats, to the despair of the cleaning crew.

Too bad for them, this dinner will be far messier than the previous times...

Unknowingly to everyone, a purple light appears near the ceiling. It remains a few seconds, growing a little bigger, before suddenly disappearing with an almost inaudible pop. It's only when everyone start earing a high pitched scream that they look toward the ceiling, only for something to violently hit the cake which explodes, spreading it everywhere on the food, the creatures, and the king. Especially the king's face...


"Oh! Come On!"

Of course it had to happen! Of course! Of all the times, she has to reach Twilight in the middle of one of her magical experiments! What are the chances it would happens? She is normally reading! Well hopefully, she hasn't gotten teleported too far. Actually, if she is to trust her smell and her taste, she has been teleported at Sugarcube Corner and has fallen on a cake. She will have to apologise to Pinkie and the Cakes, even if it's not her fault. At least it tastes good ! Is that strawberry?

Quickly, she takes the cake off her eyes to have a better look at her surroundings, only to froze at seeing that no, she has NOT happeared at the bakery, if the angry look she is getting from that penguin whose face is full of the remains of the cake is proof enought...

"Oh boy..."

Chapter 1: Welcome to Dreamland!

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"Come back here you little...!" BAM

"I said I'm sorry!"

Why? Sweetie Belle could have been teleported to any castle! It could have been Canterlot's castle where the princesses would have helped her! It could have been the Crystal Empire's castle where princess Cadance would have done the same! It could have been the old castle in the Everfree, at least she would have been alone until somepony eventually found her! Instead, she finds herself in a castle where the local king is trying to crush her just for accidently ruining his cake! How is there even a penguin as the ruler of a kingdom? She though that penguins were just animals like Fluttershy loves to take care! Unless there is a species of smart penguins she didn't know? Like, there are the dogs like Winona, and there are the Diamond Dogs?

BAM "Stop there!"

"Eep!"

That was close ! Right, she shouldn't think about this, but rather tries to not end as a pancake! Where is the exit? This castle is like a maze, worst than Canterlot's castle! She is sure that she has passed that hallway at least three times! It's hard to say, all those hallways look alike with all those portraits and busts of the penguin currently chasing her. Seems like she has found someone with an ego as big as the one of Rainbow Dash.

And then, say penguin suddenly fall in front of her! Strangely, two yellow stars appear at his sides when he hits the floor. But she doesn't have time to think about it because the hammer is already ready to crush her! Without thinking, she abruptly stops herself before going for the door juste at her left while barely dodging the hammer.

The door reveals leading to the kitchen where many of those stranges creatures are hiding, some of them wearing a cook hat and others having a black bow just above their feet. Yet again, she couldn't stop, because that penguin is clearly not stopping! Instead, she jumps on one of the tables before bucking a bowl of cream right on the penguin's face, hoping to gain some time as she continues running on the long table knocking some of the food on it to the floor. This is without counting on the penguin, now really angry, taking the bowl too before throwing it at her! Thankfully, she sees it coming and jumps on the floor just before, the bowl instead hitting one of the cooks trying to catch her! Rather than jumping on another table, she decides to pass under it, and under the next one, before finally reaching a double door. Looking back, she sees the penguin jumping again, ready to crush her, this time under his weight! Before he falls on her, she passes the doors, leading to a really big room with many tables and chairs. Not stopping to admire the decor, she continues through the room to the nearest door.

"That's enough!" she suddenly hears behind her. Looking back again, the penguin is at the double door, but he has stopped... That's when he starts opening his mouth before inhaling.

"What?"

To Sweetie's surprise, she is then being aspired ! It's like a tornado is sucking her up to the penguin's mouth ! She can see the chairs and the table also moving, but not as much as her ! And before she knows it, everything becomes black.

So is this how it ends? Eaten by a penguin?

It seems that no, because the penguin spits her at the floor almost as soon, right at his feet.

"Got you !" he says victoriously before making gagging sounds. "Gah! Fur! Pouah!" After a few more gags, he stops and starts glaring at Sweetie Belle, all icky because of his saliva.

Sweetie sits up, trying to regain her bearing, before fixing the penguin, who looks like a giant just before her because of him being a little over two times her size, totally at his mercy... If he has mercy. Tears start to gather at her eyes, fearing what he may do to her.

"Wait ! Your majesty!" suddenly screams someone behind the penguin. He turns around to reveal one of the creatures. Him and Sweetie are about the same size. Actually, Sweetie may be a little smaller.

"What do you want? I have finally gotten her! I will make her pay for ridiculing me!"

"I-I know, your majesty! But isn't trying to kill her a little too much? Maybe it was just an accident! I mean, who would willingly appear above a cake?"

Sweetie decides then to take the occasion. "Y-yes ! Yes ! It was an accident! I'm sorry! I didn't want to ruin your cake! I didn't even want to be teleported here!"

The penguin looks back at her before lowering his head at her level with a suspicious look. "Reeeally?"

Sweetie gulps before continuing "Yes... I just wanted to ask princess Twilight to train me so I could get better at magic, b-but..." She then averts her eyes, rubbing one of her hooves behind her head. "I surprised her in the middle of a magical experiment. I think it was something about teleportation in really long range... Next thing I know, I'm here, or well... I was falling in your cake..."

"See, king Dedede?" says the creature, revealing the name of the penguin. "I was right! It was just an accident!"

Dedede continues to fix Sweetie Belle before finally getting up. Seeing this, Sweetie can't help but letting out a big sigh of relief.

"It seems so. Well then Waddle Dee, toss her out of the castle. She is not my problem anymore." he says, starting to make his way toward the exit of the room.

"Yes my king!" the creature, Waddle Dee, says while saluting, before approaching Sweetie Belle. "I'm sorry for what happened. Follow me, I will guide you to the castle's exit. I'm sure you will be able to find your way home... Wherever it is."

"Hum... Thanks mister Dee. I live in Ponyville, Equestria. Do you know how I can get here?"

"Ponyville? Equestria?" Waddle Dee tilts his head before putting an arm under his... chin? After a moment of thinking, he says "Sorry, I don't know where it is. It's the first time that I hear of this kingdom."

This surprise Sweetie Belle. "R-Really?! But it's like the biggest kingdom of Equus! Ruled by princess Celestia who moves the sun, and princess Luna who moves the moon!"

"Woah! Really? But that's impossible! The sun and the moon are... Wait, did you say 'Equus'?"

"Uh... Yes. Equus. You know, the world!"

Waddle Dee looks at her for what seems like minutes, before his eyes suddenly grow bigger and he takes a step back. "O-oh... Oh..."

Seeing his reaction, Sweetie starts to get worried. "W-what? Why are you looking at me like that?"

Waddle Dee starts to look around trying to avoid looking directly at her. "Well..." He then sadly looks at the floor, bumping his two arms together. "Do... Do you know anything about Dreamland?"

Sweetie Belle raises en eyebrow in answer. "Dreamland?"

"It's the name of the kingdom where we are."

"No. Never heard."

"I see..." Waddle Dee starts to walk to the exit. "Follow me... Oh! And you don't need to call me 'mister'. Waddle Dee is alright."

"Mmh... Okay? Then you can call me Sweetie Belle."

"Alright..."

Sweetie Belle follows Waddle Dee outside of the room. Once they are back in the hallway, she can see that the other creatures that are like Waddle Dee have gotten out of their hiding places, cleaning the damages caused by Dedede's rampage. Some of them look at Sweetie Belle in curiosity before getting back at their job. Sweetie doesn't pay them too much attention, worried about Waddle Dee's reaction earlier.

"Can you tell me why you seem sad please? Is there a problem? I..." She gulps. "I can go home, right?"

Waddle Dee frozes, then turns toward Sweetie in panic. "O-of course you can go home!" He starts rubbing his left arm behind his head. "It... It's just that it may be harder than I first thought... And take longer..."

Sweetie bit her lips, starting to panic. "How much longer?"

Waddle Dee looks at her sadly for a few seconds that seem to last forever, before saying "Until... we find a way to send you back to your homeworld..."

Silence...

"You mean I'm in another world?"

More silence... Then Waddle Dee nods. "Popstar."

...

...

She starts crying. "N... No... That's not true... Sniff I can't... Sniff Why... Sniff" Waddle Dee almost immediatly hugs her, patting her back. "Rarity... please... come save me... I don't wanna be alone... Sniff Rarity... Rarity...!"

"Hey... Let's think positive! I'm sure we will find a way! I mean, it's Dreamland! Where the dreams come true! Everything can happen!"

After a few more seconds of crying, Sweetie eventually answers "R-Really...?"

"Yes! Really! And meanwhile... Well I was about to ask the king if he would accept to shelter you. So you will not be alone!"

Sweetie's body suddenly gets tense in Waddle Dee's arms. She also stops crying even if she still has some tears in her eyes. "Are you sure? I mean, he almost..."

"I know. He can be a little scary and you don't want to make him angry, but once he calms down, he can be good. I mean, he listened to me when I stopped him from... you know... He will probably ask something in return, but it's better than letting you outside of the castle alone."

"If you say so..." she says, sniffling a last time.

"There. Better?"

"Yes... Thank you Waddle Dee."

"You are welcome!" he says while looking very happy, his eyes closed and almost bouncing. "Now follow me."

"Okay." says Sweetie Belle with a small smile. Better than seeing her crying, thinks Waddle Dee before walking, followed by the filly.

In the way, Sweetie Belle asks a few questions, and eventually learns that the creatures are all called Waddle Dee, but a few of them call themselves in a different name to reflect something special about them. She of course asks how they can recognize each other, which Waddle Dee answers that they just do. Sweetie decides not to ask more about it, fearing a potential headache. Like everypony else in Ponyville, she learned not to ask too much thanks to Pinkie Pie, and she can tell that this subject is a potential Pinkie Pie level of weird. She also learns the names of a few other creatures wandering the castle, like the ones with only an eye are called Waddle Doo, or the flying ones that are pink balls with insect wings and yellow feet are Bronto Burt. Them and many others constitute king Dedede's army. But if Sweetie must be frank, they don't look dangerous... In the contrary, a good number of them look adorable. Most of them don't even possess a weapon.

After walking a moment, they finally reach the throne room, which has been cleaned from the earlier... incident. Sweetie shivers just thinking about that table getting crushed while she has barely avoided getting the same fate. Now that she thinks about it, she still has some cake on her, and some other foods from the kitchen. If the king accepts to let her live in the castle, the first thing she will do is taking a bath!

Speaking of the king. Here he is, on his throne, listening to a trio of Waddle Dees, one of theme being a Parasol Waddle Dee as she learned earlier, recognizable by having a red and white parasol, actually closed. As Sweetie and her new friend get closer, she can hear the king talks.

"So they made him a home?" he says before crossing his arms. "Mph! Of course they made him one! They just couldn't let their 'hero" sleep in the wild! At least now I know where he is. Good job you three. Dismissed."

The three Waddle Dees salute before exiting the throne room, passing by Sweetie. King Dedede then notices her presence and asks to the Waddle Dee with her "What is she still doing in my castle?"

Waddle Dee signalizes Sweetie to remain where she is before approaching the throne while bowing. Once he is close enough, he says "Excuse me my king, but I learned something about her which may change your opinion."

"And what did you learn?"

"That she can't go back to her home. She comes from another world."

At this, king Dedede screams in shock "An alien?!" before turning his eyes to the filly who is now trembling, looking at the floor, her ears pressed against her head. "Is that true?!"

Seeing her cue, Sweetie walks closer before stopping just behind Waddle Dee. She bows, then looks hesitantly at the king and answers "Yes your majesty. I am from a world named Equus."

"And how can I be sure you are telling the truth? You said that you have come here because someone accidentally teleported you here. If what you say is the truth, then they would have to be really powerful to be able to teleport you at such a long distance."

"Oh yes! Princess Twilight is one of the most powerful being in my world, and is also really smart! Her special talent is magic and a few months ago she became an alicorn, like princesses Celestia and Luna, and they can use their magic to move the sun and the moon!"

If Dedede has been drinking, he would have made a spit-take! Something powerful enought to move the sun and the moon?! How is this possible?

"You are kidding me!"

"No! I swear! That's why I wanted to ask her to train me, she is so good at magic! With her as my teacher I would become like my big sister! I would be able to use at least ten objects at the same time, and I could lift heavier charges rather than just things like brooms! Maybe I could even shoot magical lasers from my horn!" Sweetie suddenly lost all her excitation. "But now it will never happen..."

"Don't say that!" shouts Waddle Dee. He will not let the filly lose her morale like that! "I told you! I'm sure we will find a way!"

"And how?" asks Dedede. "It's not like we have spaceships. And even if we had spaceships, we don't even know where is her world."

Waddle Dee has to stop himself from glaring at the penguin. "With hope!"

At his answer, the throne room is invaded with Dedede's laugh. For a whole minute, the king slams his arms on his throne while bending because of how much his belly is hurting. Tears start again to appear at Sweetie's eyes as she lower her head more and more at each seconds the king passes laughing. Fortunately, Waddle Dee is there to make sure she doesn't get too depressed by hugging her and whispering to her comforting words.

Once Dedede finally stops laughing, he then asks Sweetie Belle "Anyway...Huff! Huff! I suppose that until you eventually finds a way to go home, you hope that I will let you stay at my castle?"

"Can I?" she asks back, looking again at the king.

"You could."

Thanks to Waddle Dee, Sweetie understand what Dedede implies. After sighing, she asks "What do you want me to do for you?"

"Easy. As long than you remain in my castle, I want you to work for me like all the others inhabitants of this castle. If we ask you to clean a room, you will clean it. If we ask you to cook, you will cook. If we ask you to guard, you will guard. Understood?"

"Yes. I understand. I accept."

"Then welcome in my army... aah... I don't think you told me your name."

"Oh! I'm sorry your majesty! My name is Sweetie Belle!"

"Then welcome in my army Sweetie Belle! You will start tomorrow morning. Waddle Dee, I charge you to give her a room before spreading the news."

"Yes sir! Follow me Sweetie Belle."

The two start to depart before king Dedede says one last think. "Also, welcome to Dreamland Sweetie Belle. I hope that you will love your stay."

Well... only the future will tell...

Chapter 2: First Day part 1

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She should be sleeping. It's almost midnight and yet she is still awake. But who can blame her? She is now stuck in another world for who knows how long, and she has not even been there for an hour, then she has gotten herself enlisted into the local monarch's army. Hopefully she will not have to take a weapon, she doesn't know if she could use one.

How are everypony at home? Twilight is probably searching a way to bring her back. She is her best hope to get home, but who knows how much time will pass until she finds one? If she ever finds one... And her family... They are probably worried sick. And her friends too. She hopes that Rarity isn't too mad at Twilight for accidentally sending her in another world. Actually, have they even found out that she has been sent in another world? Maybe they think she has just been transported in another kingdom, or, Celestia forbid, on a deserted island. If that is the case, they will search the whole world... without result. Will they even come to the conclusion that she has been transported in another world? Maybe they will just conclude that she is dead and stop searching. And she will have to serve that mad king until the end. And she will never see anypony ever again. Her mom, her dad, Rarity, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo...

"I miss you..."


Sweetie is suddenly awakened as someone knocks at the door.

"Mmh... What...?"

"Sweetie Belle, it's time!" says a voice behind the door. "I will wait behind the door! Hurry up to get ready so we can have breakfast before we start our day!"

Oh... Right... So this wasn't a dream. If only it was why this kingdom was called Dreamland. Well, she has to wake up, she doesn't want to get the king mad again, he has been kind enough to let her stay at his castle, even if she has to work for him in return.

She opens her eyes, and looks toward the window, only to have her first surprise of the day : the sun is barely raised at the horizon! Seriously? It's even sooner than a school day! Ugh! She should have tried to sleep as soon as she has hit the bed! Well, she will have to do with it. No choice.

As she gets up, she looks at her new chamber. It's a little bigger than her chamber at Carousel Boutique, at least there is that. Waddle Dee has given her a good room. The problem is that it's empty. Outside of her bed, and a nightstand with a clock, there is absolutely nothing in there, not even a closet. If she has to live here, she will have to get this room more lively, even if she is not sure with what. If only she could make appear photos of her family and her friends, it would be a good start. A few plushies maybe? She could try her luck at sewing at least one that will look like Rarity. She was only able to sew correctly the Crusaders' capes, but maybe she can ask the Waddle Dees for help? She will have to think back to it once she has a break.

There is another room attached to this one, which is a bathroom. A really small bathroom. Without even a bathtub, just a sink to brush her teeth and a mirror above it. If she wants to take a bath, she will have to take it with the others. She has already taken one the previous day after she has been given her room, so she doesn't need one right now. As for her need to use the toilet, she will have to use the ones at the end of the hallway outside of her room.

In short, she doesn't need to take too much time to prepare herself before opening the door to come face to face with Waddle Dee, or she thinks, the same one that has helped her yesterday. They look so much alike, it will be hard to keep track.

"I'm ready. Good morning."

"Good morning. I hope you didn't have any problem waking up."

"A little. I had a hard time falling asleep last night. But I think I will be alright. Still, it's really early."

"I know, you will become used to it. Let's go take our breakfast."

"Hum... First..." She doesn't end her sentence, running right into the restroom at the end of the hallway.

"Oh, right..."


"So, I was told that your first duty will be cleaning the boxing ring. You need me to guide you ?"

"A boxing ring? Really? There is a boxing ring in that castle?" exclaims Sweetie Belle while watching curiously Waddle Dee eating. She has already seen Waddle Dees eating last night, when she has taken a dinner before going to bed, and she still can't help herself but ask How?! They don't have a mouth! Waddle Dee is currently eating a watermelon, and it is just... disappearing! Just HOW?! And it's not just the Waddle Dees, she can see the same thing happening with a Waddle Doo a few chairs at her left!

Stop it Sweetie. You will just give yourself a headache. Just consider it Pinkie Pie level of impossible and be happy with it, she tells herself.

"Yes. There is a boxing ring where the king trains himself. These days, it's almost always messy. There is probably some remains of last night's training. Don't worry, you will not be alone in cleaning."

"You will be here?"

"No, sorry. I'm guard duty at the treasure room."

"Oh..."

"Hey, like this, you will have the occasion to become friend with some others servants !"

Sweetie puts a hoof under her chin. "Mmh... You're right. For now, I only know you and king Dedede here."

"See?"

After breakfast, Waddle Dee leads Sweetie Belle to the room with the ring, showing her various things to help her find her way in the future. On the way, they encounter the rest of the cleaning crew, consisting of two more Waddle Dees and two Broom Hatters, pear-shaped yellow creatures with brown feet, a witch hat like the foals would wear at Nightmare Night, and of course, a broom. Oh! And they don't have any eye or mouth... Creepy. One of the Waddle Dees has his right arm around two swabs while lifting a bucket full of water with his left arm, and the last one has a household shovel, a feather duster and an empty garbage bags, he also has a white kerchief.

"Hey! You are the Rookie!" says the Waddle Dee with the swabs at seeing Sweetie Belle.

"Yes, it's me. Sorry if I'm late."

"You are right on time! Here, take this!" says the same Waddle Dee, giving her one of the swabs, which Sweetie takes with her magic.

"Thank you."

"Well..." then says Waddle Dee... the one that has been leading her. "It seems like you will be able to continue by yourself from now. I must go. Good luck Sweetie Belle. See you at lunch."

"Ok. Thank you for everything Waddle Dee. See you." She waves at the departing Waddle Dee who waves back, before turning to the cleaning crew.

Seeing she is ready, Slab Waddle Dee (she will name him that for now, and the other Shovel Waddle Dee) tells her to follow them before they continue their way to the room with the boxing ring, the filly right behind them. In the way, one of the Broom Hatters gives her a white kerchief with green stars, which she puts around her mane to protect it.
Not long after, they reach the room, and right now, Sweetie is thankful that she is not alone cleaning it, but is also wondering if they should have asked ten more Broom Hatters to follow them. The room is huge, and the ring at the center has many destroyed or crushed dummy parts on and around it. Some of them even ended up on the stands!

"Let's go !" says Slab Waddle Dee. "We have one hour to clean this!"

She gulps...


It's... not that bad, surprisingly. The Broom Hatters use their brooms to push the dummy parts and assemble them in a big pile that Shovel Waddle Dee puts away in his garbages bags with his shovel. Meanwhile, Sweetie and Slab Waddle Dee dampen their slabs with the water in the bucket and clean around where there is no dummy parts, starting close to the walls of the room, then around the stands, then on the stands once the dummy parts on them are removed, then around the boxing ring. The Broom Hatters have already finished their job and one of them is helping Shovel Waddle Dee, and there are almost no dummy parts left while the other has taken the feather duster and is dusting the ropes of the ring. And all the while, Sweetie Belle couldn't help herself but sing one of her little song. She has taken the habit to sing sometime while cleaning back in Ponyville, helping her to keep going without thinking about anything else.

Seeing their job almost accomplished, Sweetie decides to ask Slab Waddle Dee a question. "Say, what do these dummies represent ? The more intact ones look like a pink round... thing."

"That's Kirby. The newfound rival of king Dedede."

"What? But it looks so small!"

"I know. And yet, he -We are sure that he is a 'he'- was able to beat king Dedede. They fought in this same boxing ring, and at the end of their fight, Kirby was able to send king Dedede flying through the roof! He also beat by himself a great part of our army, including some of the king's strongest lieutenants. Since then, king Dedede is training really hard in the hope of beating him."

"Wow. He must be really strong then ! King Dedede is so big and has that really big hammer! And he can aspire everything in his mouth!"

"Just a proof that size and power don't mean everything," says the Broom Hatter with the feather duster... Feather Duster Hatter?

"Don't let him hear that, you fool!" says Shovel Waddle Dee in horror.

"Don't worry," reply Feather Duster Hatter. "He is certainly having his breakfast as we speak. he shouldn't come before a few more minutes."

"Still... Watch out what you say... just in case."

"Alright alright... Pfff..."

"You are doing a really good job Sweetie Belle." says then Slab Waddle Dee to Sweetie. "This isn't the first time you clean, right?"

"Huhuh." answer Sweetie Belle while shaking her head. "Rarity often asks me to clean, either my chamber, or after disturbing one of the rooms." She then sighs thinking about Rarity. She really misses her.

"I see. You also sing very well, you know ?"

Sweetie Belle hasn't thought she would get complimented, and couldn't help but blush as she looks at Slab Waddle Dee in surprise. "Uh? T-thanks!" She then averts her eyes and rubs a hoof behind her head in embarrassment. "I love singing..."

Slab Waddle Dee shuckles at seeing her embarrassment, it's adorable... "Well, it was beautiful. You should try singing to everybody else at lunch, I'm sure they will love it too."

Sweetie can't stop the squeaky "eep" escaping her mouth. She can feel her blush growing and tries to hide it by lowering her head, turning her eyes to the floor. "S-sorry. I'm a little scared of singing in front of others, especially big crowds..."

Slab Waddle Dee is about to reply when they hear a "Urk!" coming from the ring. Once she looks, she sees Feather Duster Hatter on his back, waving the feather duster at his face (?) like a fan.

"Oh my gosh! Are you alright?" she screams in panic.

The Hatter waves at her in return. "Yeah yeah. Don't worry for me. It's just heat. I will be alright."

Sweetie rises an eyebrow at his excuse. "But it's not hot. It's actually a little cold."

".......... It's a cold hot."

"What? But that doesn't make sense!"

"Just forget about him," interrupts Slab Waddle Dee while laughing. "Trust me. Leave him a minute and he will be back to work. He just needs a little air. Let's continue our cleaning."

Sweetie Belle tilts her head. "Okay...?"

Returning at their work, after a few more minutes, they finally finish cleaning the room with some minutes to spare.

"What now?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"Do you know what is your next task?" says Slab Waddle Dee.

"No, nopony told me what I must do after cleaning this room."

"'Nopony' ? You must mean 'nobody'."

"Oh? Uh... Yes! Nobody! Sorry, 'nopony' is the way we say it in Equestria."

"That's okay. So, if nobody told you what to do next, then you can either remain here until the king comes so he can give you something to do, or you can explore the castle in search of something to do."

As much as she is scared of the king, she doesn't want to get lost in the castle. "I will remain here, just in case."

"Understood. It was good to work with you, I hope we will do this again someday. Until then, goodbye! Ah! I almost forgot, can you give me the slab?"

"Oh! Of course!"

After giving back the slab, the Waddle Dees and the Broom Hatters exit the room, pushing the now full garbage bags, waving goodbye at Sweetie Belle. While waiting for king Dedede to come, she decides to explore the few rooms next to this one. One of them is revealed to be a storage with various weapons, probably to train with them on the boxing ring. Another room seems to be a gym, full of equipments like weights. This one actually gives Sweetie Belle an idea. Maybe she can still train her magic, even if she is in a different world. Maybe she may even become powerful enough to teleport back to Equestria! With this idea in head, she tries to lifts the weights with her magic one by one, from the smaller to the bigger, and once she finds a weight that she can barely lift, she takes it back to the boxing ring to train her magic with it until the king comes.

A few minutes later, said king finally comes through the door. He raises an eyebrow at seeing the filly on the ring.

"Mmh? What are you doing here? Don't you have a job to do?"

"Sorry king Dedede, I had nothing to do after cleaning the boxing ring, so I decided to wait you to see if you have some task for me."

"And you are lifting a weight with your magic... why?"

"Remember when I said that I wanted to train my magic?"

"I see. Yes, if you can get stronger with your magic, you can be a better help at fighting that pink pest."

"I suppose... but I think I took a weight a little too big, my horn is already aching."

"Pfff. Of course. This is training after all. Pushing your body to its limit, lifting weights until your arms hurt, running until you have to crawl, this is how you get stronger!" he says as he strikes a pose, flexing his arms to show the fruit of his training.

"So I should continue?"

"No. If you get too tired, you will not be able to continue your job. You know what? I propose you this. You will do what is asked of you until it is 6pm. At this hour, you will come here to train until dinner. What do you think?"

Sweetie smiles at this. Finally she will not be behind the other unicorns! "I'm okay with this!"

"Good! If you can become as powerful as you told you can be, then maybe you can become my trump card against that Kirby! If I don't crush him before, of course. Actually, you told me that this... princess Twilight became an alicorn, right? An alicorn is, like, a stronger version of what you are? That means than if you become one, you will be more powerful, uh?"

"You can say that, yes. You see, in Equestria, there are unicorns, like me, pegasi, and earth ponies. Unicorns have a horn and can use magic with it. Pegasi have wings and can manipulate the weather, make rain, snow, or even a tornado. Earth ponies don't have neither, but they are really strong and tough and can be really good with plants. The brother and the sister of one of my friend can drop all the apples of a tree with just a buck. Alicorns are like a fusion of all the three, but really, really, REALLY more powerful, and they possess both a horn and wings."

"Interesting... And how did this Twilight became an alicorn?"

"Twilight was a really powerful unicorn before, so I think it counts. But my sis told me something about the Elements of Harmony shooting her with magical lasers making her explode. And when she reappeared, she had wings. I didn't understand everything, I think there was something about a poem? I remember that my sis' Cutie Mark was changed that day... Maybe-"

"So if I make you explode, you will come back more powerful?" Dedede interrupts her.

"What? No! Nonono! I don't think it's how it works! If that was the case, then there would be thousands of alicorns! But so far, there are only four. I really don't know how it really happened that day. All I know is that you must do something worth it. Twilight would be able to explain it better."

"But she is not here..."

"Yes... And that's why all I can do is try to get better by training."

"Mph... Then get out of that ring so you can go do your next task."

"And what must I do?"

"Ah yes. Well... I know! Go to the kitchen! I want to know if you are good at cooking!"

Sweetie salutes him. "Yes sir! And thank you!" she almost screams before she jumps over the edge of the ring.

"By the way, good kerchief."

"Uh?" Sweetie puts a hoof on her mane, only to feel that she is still wearing the kerchief given to her by one of the Broom Hatters. "Oops! I totally forgot that I still had it! I will have to give it back when I can." She takes the kerchief, and instead puts it around her neck. She then passes Dedede and exits the room. Maybe Waddle Dee was right and she can still hope.

Chapter 3: First Day part 2

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The door opens and out flies Sweetie Belle who falls face first on the floor. She quickly gets up and turns around, before shouting angrily at the Cook Waddle Dee that has expulsed her "Hey! You didn't have to do this!" The Cook Waddle Dee answers her by slamming the door. Two seconds later, the door opens again only for the Cook Waddle Dee to put on it a crud drawing of her with a big red cross above her head and slam the door a second time. This makes Sweetie crosses her hooves and pouts in anger, not believing how she has just been thrown out of the kitchen. After a moment, she sights and asks herself "What now?"

"Seems like you have nothing more to do." says someone at her left. When Sweetie Belle looks to see who has talked to her, she discovers than this is a Blade Knight. Like his name indicates, he his a creature using a sword and wearing a green armor with a part of his pink face visible, again without anything on it. Or maybe he has eyes hidden behind his golden visor. At least, rather than tubby arms like all the creatures she has encountered until now, he possesses actual hands, white gloves covering them. And he has also a real head above his body. His equipment also include a belt around his body, and brown armored boots. On his shoulder pads is a yellow symbol that seems to be a fusion between a trident and a crescent moon. Sweetie remarks that he is pulling a wagon full of weapons behind him, mainly swords and a few spears.

"No. I should have been cooking until lunch, but they expulsed me of the kitchen."

The Blade Knight chuckles. "I saw that," he says before taking a bag that he fills with a dozen swords. Sweetie can distinguish two varieties of swords. The first is the same kind as the one that the Blade Knight possesses, white blade and blue guard of the same form as his symbol on his shoulders with a yellow sphere at the center. The second are swords with a blue lame with two prongs jutting out of it, and a yellow crescent shaped guard. She can already guess what will be her new task.

"You want me to give these swords."

"Exactly." He then gives the bag to Sweetie Belle who awkwardly put it alongside her barrel. These bags are really not made for her. Once the bag given, the Blade Knight points at the end of the hallway behind her, where it separates into two other hallways. "Take the right hallway while I take the left, and give these swords to all the Blade Knights and Sword Knights that you encounter. Normally, there should be enough swords."

"Yes sir."

"Remember. The white swords are for the Blade Knights, and the blue ones are for the Sword Knights."

"I understand. But... why are there two kinds of swords? Why doesn't everyone have the same kind?" she asks while tilting her head in curiosity.

"Because we don't use the same style to fight. See?" he asks while showing his own sword. "This one is sharp mostly at the edges, it's made to hurt by doing big swing to give great cuts." He demonstrates it by swinging his sword. He then points at a blue sword in the bag. "This one is the most sharp at the tip of the blade and the prongs. It's made essentially to attack by thrusting it to impale your enemies. The Blade Knights use the first style, the Sword Knights prefer the second."

"Oooh! I see ! Well, if I have to take a sword someday, I will know what to do. Thank you mister Knight."

The Blade Knight chuckles before replying "You are welcome. Now go."

Sweetie Belle leaves the Blade Knight and takes the right hallway. Thankfully, it's not a hard job. She gives the right swords at the right knights and that's all, and it's not hard to differentiate the two kinds of Knights. Instead of wearing green armor, the Sword Knights wear purple armor with a helmet that elongate behind the head. Their mouth, if they have one, is also hidden, but not their eyes, which are two and yellow. The only part of their armor that is not purple is the one covering their body, being blue. They also wears white gloves and a brown belt. So yeah, easy job.


After her task, she yet again ends up with nothing to do. Rather than starting searching for a new task, she decides to use that break to search something else.

"Excuse me." she intercepts a Waddle Dee. "Do you know if there is a place to sew?"

"Of course! Continue this way and take left. Go down the stairs, then right, right again, the second left, down another staircase, third left, second right, another right, and that should be the first door."

Sweetie stares at the Waddle Dee without moving. After a few seconds, she blinks and says "Can you repeat, please ?" which prompts the Waddle Dee to facepalm.


It has taken some time, but the Waddle Dee has given her a paper with the directions, and after ten minutes, she reaches the room she wants: the sewing room. She wants to try sewing that Rarity plushie that she has been thinking when she has awakened. Better start somewhere to make her new room feel more like home.

The room is empty. Looks like nothing needs to be sewn right now. That's good! No one is here to bother her! She will be able to work like she wants! Time to make a plushie before lunchtime!


Sweetie Belle looks at her plate with depression. Her tentative to sew hasn't ended very well... The less is said about it, the better. And now it is lunchtime, and there is no plushie. She hears someone coming and looks up, only to see a Waddle Dee sits down before her, with some fruits and meat on his plate. She is not as shocked at seeing meat as she has been the previous day when she has seen the Waddle Dees eat for the first time at dinner, but it will take time for her to get used to it. Apparently, almost everyone here eat meat. But right now, she has something else in her mind, so she doesn't care too much about it. She looks back at her plate.

"Hey, are you alright?" asks the Waddle Dee. Maybe it's the Waddle Dee that has helped her yesterday and has awakened her this morning? She will assume than yes, seeing how much he is friendly toward her.

"Yes, don't worry. I'm just a little sad that I wasn't able to sew a plushie." she answers.

"You tried to sew a plushie? You know how to sew?"

"A little, but not enough it seems. I can sew something like a cape, but definitely not a plushie."

"You simply need more experience. If you try and try again, I'm sure you will be able to sew one. But why do you want to sew a plushie?"

"I wanted to sew a plushie looking like my sister, Rarity. It... It would help me feel better."

Waddle Dee only can look sadly at Sweetie after her answer. He doesn't know what it's like to find himself in a different world, far away from all his loved one, but for a child like Sweetie Belle, it must be hard. She must feel so lonely without them. No wonder she wants something to make her feel like they are here with her. At least, he can help her.

"If you want, I can ask others to sew for you. Can you describe your sister to me?"

"You would really do that for me?" Sweetie asks with hope in her eyes.

"Yes! So?"

"Rarity is an unicorn, like me. See my horn?" Waddle Dee confirms by nodding. "She possesses white fur and a purple mane and tail. She always watch out for her look, so her fur, mane and tail are perfectly groomed, with some curls on the two laters. She is also as thin as a model, which she could be, if she wanted. Her eyes are blue, and she has three blue gems as her Cutie Mark."

Waddle Dee tilts his head at the last part. "Cutie Mark?"

"Erm... How to explain... I can see than none of you have Cutie Mark so... Well, a Cutie Mark is a symbol that appears on our flanks when we find our special talent. I don't have one yet, because I haven't found my special talent."

Waddle Dee nods to show he understands before asking "Do you have any other... family members that you want a plushie of?"

She smiles at how much Waddle Dee is ready to help her. "There is my Mom, my Dad, and my two best friends Apple Bloom and Scootaloo."

"Then describes them to me."

"Are you sure you will remember?"

"Yes, don't worry."

"Alright." And so, she does that. When lunchtime end, Waddle Dee promises her that the plushies will be given to her as soon as they are finished. Sweetie Belle waves at him as they go their separate ways, before coming to a realisation: she doesn't have anything to do... again, and she has five hours until her training. After waiting a little to see if anyone would give her something to do, she decides to ask a Broom Hatter at her left.

Thankfully, he does have something for her: cleaning more rooms ! Better than nothing. Armed with a broom and a feather duster and protected by a kerchief, the same one than she has forgotten to give back this morning, she spends the following hours going from room to room fighting a whole army of dust helped by her loyal companions the Broom Hatters and Waddle Dees, all the while singing her songs to keep the moral up. This is a dirty war, but she will not give up! Until she looks at a clock and sees that it's time for her to quit the front line to go training. And so, she gives her weapons to her companions, bids them farewell, puts back the kerchief around her neck, and starts heading toward the boxing room... after asking direction from a passing Waddle Doo. Thankfully, she is not too far, so she doesn't have too much problems remembering them.

Everything is well, until she is stopped by a running Spear Waddle Dee wearing sunglasses and a red cape coming from before her. "Hey! Rookie!"

"Yes?"

"Sorry I don't have much time! I must go patrol! Here, take this!" He gives Sweetie Belle the spear, puts the sunglasses on her eyes, and attaches the cape around her neck before putting it on her back. "The spear belongs to Waddle Dee, the sunglasses to Broom Hatter, and the cape to Blade Knight. Please, give them back. Imustgobye!" And then he is gone.

"Wha- Hey! Come back! Which Waddle Dee? Hey!" But he does not come back... "I don't have time for that! I must go training! I will give them at dinner, or after!" she says to herself.

Thus Sweetie Belle, now wearing a white kerchief with green stars around her neck, a red cape, sunglasses, and a spear in her magic, continues her way to the boxing room. Sweetie wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Waddle Dee was playing superheroes or something like that, because as Scootaloo would say, she must looks awesome. Oh! The games they could play together with her wearing this! Of course, the spear would be a fake. She can't help chuckling at the thought, before sighing at remembering that she is alone.

She finally reaches the boxing room a little in advance. King Dedede is not yet here, but there is already a few weights, smaller than the one she has used this morning.

Well, rather than wait, why not start now?

And she jumps on the ring, puting the spear beside her before starting to lift one of the weights. When Dedede shows up, she is in the process of lifting two of the smaller weights at the same time so she can try to get better at manipulating more than one object at once. He smiles at this.

"So you have already started. Impatient, uh?" He jumps on the ring. "Why are you wearing this attire?" he asks, seeing the cape and sunglasses. He didn't ask anything about the kerchief earlier, but now that's curious.

Sweetie puts the sunglasses above her horn to better look at the king. "A Waddle Dee gave them to me a little before coming here. He wanted me to give them at their right owners, but I didn't have time. He was gone before I could protest, so I had to bring them here. Beside, he told me that they belong to a Waddle Dee, a Broom Hatter, and a Blade Knight, but he didn't precise which ones, and I didn't want to lose time asking all the Waddle Dee, Broom Hatters and Blade Knights living in the castle. So I will just wait for dinner."

"The spear too?"

"Yes."

He nods. "You know? It gives you a look. Cute, yet badass. You should keep that look for when you will eventually fight Kirby. This way, he will know that you are not just another simple soldier."

She looks at him while raising an eyebrow. "Wouldn't it be more effective if I just look cute and innocent? Like this, he will lower his guard and I could take him by surprise."

Sweetie Belle's idea surprise Dedede, who remains silent for a few seconds before he suddenly starts laughing loudly. He then slaps Sweetie on the back, making her fall on the floor with an "Eep!", and says "You definitely have potential! Your idea may actually work! Well then, let's start!"

For the first half of the hour, Sweetie simply trains by lifting the weights with her magic until her horn aches so much that she can't use it anymore. She has to thanks Dedede for pushing her beyond her limit. Once he sees that she can't use her magic anymore, Dedede decides to changes the training.

"Alright! Let's do something else, this time without your magic."

"What will we do?" Sweetie asks from the floor.

Dedede takes his hammer, and smiles menacingly. This makes Sweetie gulps. "I will attack you. You just have to dodge. Don't go beyond the edge of the ring."

"Say WHAT?!!"

"Dodge!"

It's all the warning he gives before he starts swinging the hammer down at her, Sweetie Belle barely has time to jump out of the way. She quickly runs to the ropes of the ring before turning around to look at Dedede. "You are crazy! It's not training, it's torture!"

"No!" he answers. He takes his hammer in his two hands and starts running after her. "It's tough love!"

I'm gonna die...


Sweetie Belle is roughly dropped on a chair. The poor filly can barely keep her eyes open and she aches absolutely everywhere. Well, actually, not too much in her horn, so she can use a little magic again. She can't believe it. By some miracle, she has been able to avoid being hit by Dedede's hammer. She guesses that the threat of being stuck in an hospital bed at best, crushed to death at worst, has given a spring in her legs that she didn't know she could have. For thirty whole minutes, she has run, jumped and rolled without stopping, until Dedede has told that it is time to stop. By then, once the adrenaline has disappeared, she couldn't even crawl. So Dedede has taken her under his arm and has brought her... Where has he brought her, actually? She fully opens her eyes, and sees that she is beside a really big table in a room that is not where she has taken her breakfast and her lunch. In this room, there is just her, Dedede on a throne-like chair at her left, and a few guards. Oh... There is also all the food on the table. Meat -some kind of bird-, omelette, fries, a big watermelon, a bunch of grapes, fruit juice, cookies, and a cake. Sweetie Belle starts to drool.

"After effort comes comfort!" says Dedede as he starts eating the meat. "You have done well at your training, so you deserve it."

She watches Dedede eating the bird. It would have disgusted her, but her own stomach screams at her, so she starts eating. Beside, free cake and cookies!


She may have gone a little too far with the food. Now her stuffed belly hurts, and no matter how much she tells herself that it has been worth it changes that. At least now she can relax in that warm bath with the other servants, the kerchief, spear, sunglasses and cape on the floor just outside the giant bathtub. She could fall asleep right there...

"Hey Sweetie Belle! Where were you?"

"Uh?" She opens her eyes to see a Waddle Dee approaching her. She has no problems guessing who is this Waddle Dee and smiles. "Hey. Sorry for not being here at dinner. King Dedede took me with him to eat after the end of our training session."

"Wow." says another voice at her right. When she looks, she sees a Broom Hatter, without his broom and his hat, on a floating chair. "You are saying that in just one day, you got close enough of the king to the point that he left you eat with him at his private table? What have you done after we left the boxing room?"

"Wh-? Oh! You are one of the Broom Hatter that were with me at the boxing room!"

"You didn't recognize me?"

Sweetie Belle smiles sheepishly at him. "Sorry. I just can't manage to differentiate you from the other Broom Hatters. Same thing with Waddle Dee here."

"I see. If it helps you, I'm the one who had the feather duster."

Oh yeah. The one who got too hot even if it was not hot. "Nice seeing you again!"

"Me too. And don't worry about the kerchief, you can keep it."

"Really? Thanks!" she screams excitedly. "I like it!"

"N-no problem," he says while waving dismissively at her. Is it Sweetie or are his cheeks a little pink?

"So it's true?" exclaims Waddle Dee with stars in his eyes. "You ate at the king's table?"

This makes Sweetie blush. "Yes." Using a hoof on the edge of the bathtub, she gets herself half out of the water to show her slightly rounded belly. "Here is the proof," she says with a laugh, patting it before getting back in the water. "Too much cake..."

"How did you do it?"

"Apparently, with my magic, I have become his trump card against Kirby. So now he is training me."

"So lucky!" cries Waddle Dee.

"Indeed. Lucky you." says Broom Hatter.

At their words, Sweetie laughs in embarrassment, hiding the bottom of her head under the water. Strangely, Broom Hatter's cheeks become even more pink.

Waddle Dee then looks above the edge of the bathtub. "What about that cape, those sunglasses, and that spear?"

Sweetie gets her mouth out of the water to answer. "It's a Waddle Dee who gave them to me, so I could give them to who they belong, but I didn't have time because I had to go train with the king. I wanted to do it at dinner but... Well, finally I couldn't."

"You said that one of the objects are sunglasses?" asks Broom Hatter. "Can you show them to me?"

"They may be yours? Then of course! He told me that the sunglasses belong to a Broom Hatter." Sweetie uses her magic to give the sunglasses to Broom Hatter.

"Yep, they are mine." he says. He puts them on him before relaxing. "Better... Thank you."

"But there is still the spear and the cape. Wait..." says Waddle Dee. He then puts his arms before is... mouth... before screaming "Is there someone here who doesn't have his spear or his red cape?!"

One of the Waddle Dees starts jumping. "Oh! Me! Me! Me!" He then comes beside Sweetie Belle to look at the spear. "Yes, it's this one, and I know to who belongs that cape. I will bring them with me once I get out. Thanks!"

"You're welcome!"

"And this ends a good day of job well done." says Broom Hatter. "I like days like this. No problems, everyone is happy, all is good in the world. Of course, this means that tomorrow will probably suck..."

"Don't says that...!" screams Sweetie Belle before suddenly stopping. "Hum... You don't mind if I call you Broom Sunglasses?"

"Broom Sunglasses? Eh, it's cool, I like it. Ok, I don't mind. As for tomorrow, we will see. And I reserve the right to say 'I told you so.'"

This makes Sweetie sigh.


Sweetie Belle walks toward her chamber, drained of her energy. She is ready to fall asleep at any moment, her still full stomach not helping. If she ever get to eat with Dedede again, she will have to watch out what she eats, or she may end up as fat as the penguin despite the training.

She opens the door to her room. Despite the dark, she can still see a little thanks to the moonlight from the window. Thanks again Waddle Dee. After a brief detour in the bathroom to brush her teeth, she finally move to her bed, only to be greeted by a great surprise that she has totally forgotten : on her bed are five plushies, all exactly like she has described to Waddle Dee. Without being able to stop the tears, she gets on the bed, covers herself, and take the five plushies in her arms, nuzzling all of them while repeating "Thank you" again and again until she finally falls asleep.

And so end her first day in Dreamland.

Chapter 4: Nightmare

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"...No...No... I don't wanna be alone... No... Please... Rarity... Everypony... Where are you..." murmurs Sweetie Belle in her sleep, hugging the Rarity plushie.

And then...

TUUUUUUUUUUUT!!!!!!!!

The sound of a horn rings in all the castle, making Sweetie Belle jumps from her bed halfway to the ceiling !

"What?! Uh?! What's going on?!" she screams while looking everywhere in panic. She sees through the window that it's still dark outside, the sun hasn't even risen yet ! Leaving behind the bed with the cover and some of the plushies on the floor, she opens the door to see the servants and soldiers getting out of their chambers and running toward one of the end of the hallway. "What's going on?" she asks out loud at one of the Waddle Dees.

"Emergency meeting! We must all go to the main hall! Follow us!" he answers.

So Sweetie follows them to the main hall, an immense room in the center of the castle with a beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling, an oversized portrait of Dedede on one of the wall and all kind of decorations, half of them in gold and with Dedede's face or symbol on them in one way or another. Dedede himself is waiting beside the portrait as the hall is filling with guards and servants of all shapes and sizes. Wait, is that an UFO over there? A living UFO? Sweetie decides to not question it. One of the Waddle Dee sees her and waves at her. She recognizes the Waddle Dee and approaches him.

"Hey! Sorry for the rude awakening! I swear it's not a regular thing!" he says while rubbing his arm behind his head.

"It's ok." she answers. She then hugs him. "Thank you for the plushies. Thank also all the ones that participated for me."

Waddle Dee blushes at being hugged. "Hehe...he... You are welcome."

"Everyone!!!" suddenly yells Dedede once the room stopped filling. "Something really bad happened that night! And I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about, because it probably happened to all of you!" He then waited to add some drama. Some of the servants in front of Dedede take this to confirm to him what he is talking about. "So I'm right."

"What happened!" asks loudly Sweetie to be heard.

Dedede look at Sweetie with a rising eyebrow before answering. "We all had a nightmare!"

Everyone in the room gasp, excepted Sweetie who deadpans at Dedede. "What...?"

Dedede raises the other eyebrow at her expression. "You had a nightmare this night, right?"

At this, Sweetie's expression saddens. "Uh... Yes."

Waddle Dee rises an arm to attract Dedede's attention. "Remember my king, she is not from here! She doesn't know!"

"Right. Then I will explain to you. You see, Dreamland is called like this for three reasons. First: it's good to live here. It's a real land of dreams. Second : like in dreams, almost everything can happens. Well, for this one, it can extend to all Popstar."

At this, Sweetie turn her head to the living UFO. No kidding...

"Third, and that's the most important in our situation: in Dreamland, we dream! Thanks to the Fountain of Dreams, nightmares NEVER happen!"

At this, it doesn't take long for Sweetie to understand. "Wait! But we all had a nightmare! So does this mean that something happened at this fountain ?"

"Exactly what I thought! And as the king of Dreamland, it is my duty to go and see what happened! With luck, it's just the Star Rod that has fallen from the fountain, but just in case, we must prepare! So get ready everyone!" Once he ends his speech, he starts walking toward one of the exits of the hall. "I also want a dozen Bronto Burts coming with me!"

The exact number of Bronto Burts starts to fly behind Dedede while all the others servants and guards scatter.

"I must go Sweetie. What will you do ?" asks Waddle Dee.

"I don't know... I have no idea what to do." She then looks at the door where Dedede has exited the room. "I'm gonna talk to Dedede. See you." Leaving behind her friend, she exits the hall by the same door and quickly catch up to the king. "Wait!"

At hearing her, Dedede turns around to see her approaching. "What do you want?"

"Can I come with you please? I don't know what to do here, and it will give me the occasion to discover Dreamland! I haven't gone out of the castle yet."

Dedede rubs his chin at what she asks. "Maybe? What do you think you will be able to do alongside me?"

"Learn?" proposes Sweetie.

"Good enough, I suppose. Alright, come."

"Yaay!"


The group exits the castle, giving Sweetie her first real view of Dreamland, and it's beautiful ! Fields full of flowers, green forests, uplands, ocean as clear as a mirror... It's really a land of dreams, very close to Equestria actually. She can see that they are at the top of a big mountain. But when she looks behind at the castle, she can't help but shivering at its design. It's a castle entirely made of brown stone, the same color as the mountain, and looks more like a fortress than a castle like the one in Canterlot. The more disturbing are the two glaring eyes like windows at the top of the castle, giving it the aspect of an angry beast, making the front door its mouth. It really looks more like where an evil overlord would live.

And now it's her home...

Dedede interrupts her. "Awesome castle, right ? Sadly, we don't have time to admire it. Hop on me."

"Why?"

"You will see."

Sweetie nods before jumping. Dedede being taller than a pony, she is not able to reach his shoulder, so she has to climb his finery the rest of the way.

"Mmh... I will have to train you to jump higher." says Dedede. "Everyone here can jump higher than what you just did."

"Really ? Back at Equestria, it is an average jump."

"Yes, but trust me, if you are going to live here in Dreamland, you will have to learn to jump higher. This place possesses many spots where you have to jump to continue your way, unless you want to lose time with big detours."

"Okay... So what now?"

"Now you cling to me and watch."

Dedede then open his mouth and starts inhaling, making Sweetie shivers at the memory of her being inhaled. After two seconds of inhaling air, Dedede finally close his mouth, now looking like a big balloon with his belly full of air. To Sweetie's surprise, he starts floating.

"Whaaat?!"

At this, one of the Bronto Burts chuckle. "Impressive, right ? After his defeat against Kirby, king Dedede spent days training to float like him."

"Kirby can do this too?"

"Yes, an annoying move, because he can avoid most of us and our attacks this way."

"So, can Kirby inhale too?"

"Oh yes... I... personally experienced it. Kirby possesses a stomach that is like a black hole and can eat almost everything, including us."

"Eep!"

"Don't worry! We don't know how, but if you are eaten by Kirby, then you will reappear elsewhere close enough as if nothing happened! You can ask around! At Kirby's first... visit, at least a quarter of our army got eaten by him, and yet, we are all alive!"

"I can confirm." says another Bronto Burt.

"Me too."

"Me three. But it's not a pleasant experience."

"I... see..." Now she is scared of encountering this Kirby. "But why did he attacks you?"

All the Bronto Burts divert their eyes at her question. One of them eventually answers. "We... kinda took all the food of the kingdom, and Kirby wasn't ok with this..."

This lets Sweetie agape, not able to say a word. She then remembers how Dedede has told the word 'heros" while speaking of who she thinks is Kirby the first evening.

So I'm living with the bad guys ?!


After some time, they finally reach the place where the Fountain of Dreams is, which one of the Bronto Burts named 'Rainbow Resort'. She has found Dreamland beautiful, but this place goes beyond this! It's really high in the sky, to the point that there is not a cloud hiding the stars and whatever else there is up there. Instead, there are auroras mainly blue and purple. The floor is partly covered in ice reflecting the auroras alongside some yellow and green spots, and with this, she understands why it's called 'Rainbow Resort', even if there is no rainbows. There are even stars in some parts of the floors! And plants of the same colors here and there! She can also see a tall tower a little further, and she wonders why there is one here. An observatory? This would be perfect to observe the sky. Twilight would love it!

And exactly at its center, is the famous Fountain of Dreams, and she can already see that there is indeed a problem. The water shouldn't be black, right?

When they reach the floor beside it, Sweetie hops off Dedede's shoulder and hides behind him. If she has to choose between two potential evils, best to choose the one that has been 'friendly' to her. Too bad for her, Dedede decides to approach the fountain and its dark water. She gulps, and chooses to remain where she is alongside the Bronto Burts.
Dedede looks at the dark water, wondering what to do to get rid of it. He then decides to put his hand in the water to see if it would do something. That's when the Star Rod, a red and white scepter with a yellow star at the top that is in the center of the fountain, lets out some black mist that starts to take some form above it. Seeing the mist, Sweetie is remembered of Nightmare Moon, and takes a few steps back. Dedede moves back too, scared of what is getting out of the fountain, as a dark laugh starts resonating.

A figure emerges from the mist, with first a dark blue head with a long chin, and wearing dark shades that flash above his eyes. He also wears an even darker blue helmet with gold jewels on it, and a pair of really long yellow horns. An evil smirk is present on his face, promising suffering to all present. Then come two hands of the same color as his head, with long fingers ending in really sharp nails.

If this doesn't scream 'evil'...

The being then starts to talk. "So, someone finally decide to come die before me. Who are you, fool?"

Dedede takes a big gulb to resolve himself, and answers "I am Dedede! King of Dreamland§ And I ask who YOU are! And what do you want?!"

"My name is Nightmare. And what I seek is really simple: terror. Sweet terror."

"Why!"
"Terror is power. With it, I will soon be able to take a physical form. When this happens, I will plunge the whole world in a eternal nightmare, and spread my power to the whole universe."

"And do you expect me to let you?" replies Dedede.

"Will you be able to stop me?" replies back Nightmare.

"You wanna bet?!" He takes is hammer, ready to clobber that thing. Then, he jumps, and hits Nightmare right on the head. Falling back on the floor, he jumps back to see how Nightmare will answer. Nightmare hasn't even flinched at the hit, instead laughing before pointing a finger at Dedede. From the finger, he shoots blue star-shapped hollow projectiles at Dedede, in too much quantity for him to dodge all of them. Dedede finds himself propulsed on his back, groaning.

Sweetie Belle can't believe it! Dedede has seemed so powerful with that hammer, his inhaling technic, and his jump! And yet, not only he is getting trashed by Nightmare, but also, his hammer does absolutely nothing to this thing! If only she could help, but she doesn't know how to fight! And it's not with her little hooves that she will be able to hurt him if even that hammer doesn't work!

After a few minutes of a one sided fight, Dedede suddenly do something that takes everyone by surprise, including Nightmare: he jumps on the fountain, takes the Star Rod from its pedestal, and breaks it!

"No! Stop!" screams Nightmare as he starts to disappear. After a few second, there is nothing left of him. Dedede has just saved the world! But in consequence, the fountain has stopped working, leaving just enough water inside the fountain so it's not empty. At least, no more nightmares, but no more dreams too... How will they be able to fix it?

Badly hurt, Dedede takes back his breath, before saying "There! Take that! You... whatever you are!" He then breaks the Star Rod a few more times, until it's in seven pieces.

Sweetie Belle approaches him slowly. "Are you alright?" she asks.

"Yeah, don't worry for me. Bronto Burts!" he calls.

The Bronto Burts advance. "Yes sir?"

Dedede gives one of the parts of the Star Rod to one of them. "We need to make sure that this thing doesn't come back. You, I want you to give this to Whispy Woods."

"Yes sir." the Bronto Burt says before going.

Dedede gives four other parts to four other Bronto Burts. "This one goes to Paint Roller, I trust him. This one goes to Mr Shine and Mr Bright, their power should keep it safe. This one goes to Kracko, he is my best lieutenant. And this one goes to Heavy Mole, he will hide it under earth. As for the last two... I will keep one. And the last one..." He gives the last part to a sixth Bronto Burt. "It goes to the Knight. You know who I'm talking about. He doesn't like working for others, but I'm sure he will accept once you say to him what happened."

"Yes sir."

"So that's it?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"Seems like it, for now," answers Dedede. "Well, we are going back to the castle. But first, I need a bath." In then starts to walk to the fountain.

"You are going to take a bath in the fountain ? Isn't it disrespectful?"

"I don't care. Beside, I have heard that the water possesses healing properties.

And so, king Dedede starts to take a bath in the fountain... Sweetie now understand better who he is. Dedede is a selfish king with an ego big like the world. But at the same time, he can be a nice guy, ready to risk his life to do his duty, like protecting his kingdom. His loyalty makes her remember Rainbow Dash. If they ever met... Ooh boy, what a duo they would form.

Sweetie Belle sees then something in the sky and looks up. She can see a yellow star moving. "Ooh! A shooting star!"

"Uh?" Dedede hears her and look up from his spot in the fountain, only for his eyes to grow in shock. "This is not a shooting star! It's Kirby on his Warp Star!" He then starts grinding his teeth in anger. "Of course he would come to investigate!"

The Warp Star passes above them, before turning back and leaving from where it has comes. Sweetie hasn't been able to see Kirby.

Dedede gets out of the fountain and starts pounding the ground with his foot. "Now he will starts gathering the parts of the Star Rod! And he will doom all of us! You!" He points to the remaining Bronto Burts. "Separate and spread the word to the whole army and the guardians of the Star Rod pieces! It's a Pink Alert! I repeat, a Pink Alert!"

"Yes sir!"

"What about me?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"You are not ready to face Kirby. So I will train you here until he is either defeated, or is able to come here. But frankly, I doubt he will be able to beat Meta Knight. This guy is on another level. But if he comes, then you will be my last line before me, whether you are ready or not.

She gulps.

Chapter 5: Dream

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She has thought that the training last evening has been hard, but it seems like Dedede has decided to give everything in order to prepare her to fight Kirby. The fact that she can heal any injuries she gets thanks to the fountain probably helps him because this means that he doesn't have to hold back.

The whole training consists of only one thing : fight him. If she is able to fight against Dedede, then she will be able to fight against Kirby, knowing that Kirby has beaten Dedede. This means that in the space of a few hours, she has to become powerful enough to win against Dedede, and become even more powerful again to win against Kirby. Unless Dedede has been able to get better than Kirby thanks to his training.

She has no chance... At least, when she will be eaten, she will not die, just reappear not too far.

Or she could use what she has told Dedede yesterday. Be cute and innocent, approach him, and beat him with a well placed punch.

She will NOT kill him, so no backstabbing of whatever, even if it's probably the best idea. She will just punch him in the face and hope he doesn't wake up. If he wakes up, well... at least she would have tried, and she will have an interesting subject of conversation with Waddle Dee about what it's like to be eaten.

As for fighting Dedede, right now, it's more a 'run away and hope to not get crushed', where she is the one running. She has tried to punch Dedede, but she can't jump high enough to reach his face, and punching him in the belly doesn't work because her hoof bounces on it. Dedede as actually laughed at that.

If only she knew how to shoot magical lasers from her horn ! Is her magic even enough to shoot a laser?

Eventually, she decides to try something. Rather than running, she dodges the hammer, and quickly hurry to Dedede's feet before crushing one with one of her back hooves. She can't buck as strongly as an earth pony, but hopefully, it will hurt him.

She his answered by Dedede holding back a scream, air coming out of his nose, before he swings his hammer at her from her side. Next thing she knows, she is propulsed right into the water of the fountain. Ooh her back... Dedede quickly picks her up from the water before depositing her on the ground.

"That was a nice try, but you shouldn't let your guard down when you attack."

"Like what you are doing each time you bring down your hammer?" reply Sweetie Belle.

"Mph! Touché. Well, you have the advantage of being smaller and faster, so if you focus, you shouldn't have this problem."

"I will work on it... for my back," groans Sweetie Belle, making Dedede laughts.

"My king! My king!"

The two turn their head to face a Bronto Burt coming toward them in panic.

"Yes?" says the king.

"Whispy Woods has lost!"

Dedede sighs at hearing this news. "Of course... I should have guessed. Thanks, return fighting Kirby."

"Yes sir!"

Sweetie watchs the Bronto Burt go before asking "You knew that this Whispy Woods would lost?"

"Yes. He is not really the most powerful. He is just a tree that throws apples and puffs at you. Against someone who don't know how to fight, he can do his job, but against someone with enough strength to hurt him despite his bark, he is a pushover. This is why I gave him one of the pieces. Who would guess that the weak tree is guarding such an important artefact?"

A living tree? Focus Sweetie ! "Well, Kirby did."

"Mph! Probably because he already fought Whispy the previous time. He must have thought that because Whispy helped me the first time, he would still help me the second time."

"That was still a good strategy for you, king Dedede," says a voice coming from behind them. When they turn around, they find a masked blue individual a little taller than Sweetie Belle, half hidden behind a dark blue cape with gold trimmings. They can see that he also possesses pauldrons of the same color, his left one bearing a symbol that is a blue "M" with a sword of the same color pointing up at the center. Glowing yellow eyes are the only thing visible of his face.

"Meta Knight?!" shouts Dedede at seeing him. "What are you doing there?!"

"Who is this, king Dedede?" asks Sweetie Belle.

Meta Knight ignores her to answer Dedede's question. "I wanted to see what happened for you to give me one of the pieces of Star Rod."

"An entity named Nightmare was corrupting the Fountain of Dreams, giving nightmares to everyone to gain power. I was forced to break the Star Rod to stop him, and now he is stuck inside the fountain. I have no idea where that Nightmare came from, or how to get rid of him, so this is the only choice we have for now."

"But now this Kirby is gathering the pieces, threatening to unleash this entity to the world. Does he know about Nightmare?" resumes Meta Knight before asking.

"Not at all. He came on his Warp Star, saw the broken fountain and the missing Star Rod, and immediately left, probably assuming that I am the cause." At this, he crosses his arms and pouts. "Really, why would I destroy the Star Rod and deny all Popstar from dreaming? Just for a bath in the fountain? Come on! I'm better than that!"

Meta Knight chuckles. "Well, your little stunt with Dreamland's food probably didn't help your case in his eyes. And yes, I have heard everything about it, including your lost." Dedede facepalms, groaning. "Now that I know better about the situation, I'm going back to watch Kirby. If Kirby is able to gather the first five pieces, then I will fight him at Orange Ocean. If he has been able to beat you, I'm curious to see how he will fare against my Meta-Knights, and against me. I will try to think of a plan to get rid of Nightmare in the meantime. Worth case scenario, Popstar will have to do without the dreams." With these words, he covers himself completely in his cape. Surprisingly, he suddenly get thinner before ascending to the sky in the blink of an eye.

This left Sweetie agape, and full of questions.

"Who... Who was it?" she asks.

Dedede sighs before answering. "That was Meta Knight, a lonely knight leader of his own little army named after him, and probably the most powerful warrior of Popstar, even more than me. I know it because I once tried to make him my general, but he kicked my butt in return. Outside of that, I don't know much about him, this guy is full of mysteries. I don't even know how he looks behind his mask, or where he comes from. This makes him our best chance to stop Kirby."

Sweetie still looks, agape, at where the knight has disappeared, before she suddenly hears her stomach rumble, making her blush. This makes Dedede raises an eyebrow before he hears his own stomach asking for food.

"Right, we had no breakfast." he says before taking some device with a big button. After pressing it, he places the device beside his head and starts talking after a few seconds. "Yes it's me. I didn't have my breakfast. Make one and get it transported at the Fountain of Dreams pronto. Make another one for Sweetie Belle too." He then presses the button again and puts away the device.

An invention to communicate in long distance? thinks Sweetie, yet again agape. This becomes a habit. Twilight would sooo want one ! And maybe Rarity too, to take commands.


After breakfast, thankfully for Sweetie not as filling as last night's dinner, training resumes, with the same results as previously. At one moment, Sweetie finds herself under the hammer without being able to dodge in time, so instead, she puts her forehooves above her head and catches it with them. This doesn't stop the hammer from crushing her with Dedede's strength, but at least it has lost enough of his momentum to make sure that she is not turned into a pancake. But her poor legs... Owie...

This has given Dedede an idea, so after a quick bath in the fountain for Sweetie, he starts it. He tells her to take the same position, forehooves above her head, and to not move. He then starts to press his hammer against her hooves, and tells her to push it back. Little by little, he gives more strength to the hammer, until it starts to be too much for Sweetie Belle and she starts to buckle under his weight. So he stops and decreases the pressure, making Sweetie pushes the hammer back. Then he starts to go back and forth between increasing and decreasing the pressure.

Even after they hear that Paint Roller has been defeated, they continue the exercise until Sweetie's legs give up. He then tell her to do the same thing, but with her magic, and the training continue, exercise after exercise.

After a heavy lunch, and after taking a break to digest, they continue. After hearing of Mr Shine and Mr Bright's defeat, they continue. At Kracko's defeat, they continue.

Rainbow Dash would love that place. Infinite training thanks to the fountain's water. She would pass days here. Sweetie Belle thinks then.

Comes Heavy Mole's defeat, and that's when they are interrupted by Meta Knight's sudden arrival.

"Kirby just reached Orange Ocean." he says.

"I know. I got the news." replies Dedede while Sweetie uses his belly as a punching bag. "Stronger! I don't feel anything!"

"I can't hit harder!" shouts back Sweetie Belle. "I'm using all I have!"

Dedede sighs. "You weren't a big sportif at your homeworld, right?"

Sweetie rubs her head before answering. "Not really. I ran a lot, and I did some stuff here or there, but I'm not the sportive type. My friend Scootaloo is the sportive one. And Apple Bloom is the strong one. I'm more... hum... the smart one. Not like my friends are stupid!"

Dedede just shakes his head at that. He looks back at Meta Knight. "So you will fight Kirby?"

"Yes, I haven't changed the plan. But I think I have found a way to get rid of Nightmare, but it's risky."

"Better than nothing. What is it?"

"Let Kirby destroy him with the Star Rod."

"What?! Are you crazy?!" yells Dedede.

"Hear me out. I think that Kirby can use the power of the Star Rob. Its power being the opposite of Nightmare's, making dreams, then he should be able to destroy him."

Dedede crosses his arms. "But you said 'I think', not 'I'm sure'. I will not take that risk. It has been countless time since someone has been able to use the Star Rob." He sights. "I will think of it as a last resort for the worth case. Until then, I will continue to try to stop Kirby."

Meta Knight only nods in answer before departing like he has done earlier, soon to fight Kirby.

It's in the middle of dinner that they learn that he has lost, to everyone's shock.


"I still don't believe that he lost. Are you ready?" Dedede asks Sweetie Belle.

"Not really. But I will try." she answers, scared.

"I will hide behind the fountain. When... I mean, if he defeats you, then I will jump out and fight."

"O-okay..."

Dedede nods, says "Good luck." before hiding behind the fountain, which doesn't work because the fountain barely hide him. But Sweetie will do as if she doesn't see him.

And so she waits. And waits. And waits.

And finally, he falls from the sky.

Here he is, finally, Kirby, hero of Dreamland, supposedly now the most powerful warrior of Popstar. And he is... Oh my gosh! He is adorable! Sweetie barely suppress a squee. Kirby is like the dummies have described. He is a pink puffball a little taller than her, the same size than the Waddle Dees, with tubby arms and feet that are a darker pink close to red. He has two small oval blue eyes, and blushing cheeks. And right now, he his watching her!

At seeing her, he tilts his head and lets out a "Poyo?"

Squee! I wanna hug him!

Sweetie can't stop smiling has if she is Pinkie Pie. It's really him that has been able to beat Dedede's army, Dedede himself, and Meta Knight? And Dedede expects her to hurt him? She can't!

Breaths Sweetie, breath! You have one job! Even if he is adorable, all this training and suffering would be for nothing if you don't at least try. Beside, there is a high risk that if you let him win, he will lead the world to its doom. You must do it! she tells herself, trying to regain her calm.

Then she starts to talk to him. "Hum... Hello! My name is Sweetie Belle! You are Kirby, right?"

She is answered by Kirby smiling, nodding and waving at her while saying "Hiiii!"

Gosh darn it! Stop being adorable! You are making my job harder! Is this what the adults feel when I do my 'puppy dog eyes'?

Then Kirby does something she hasn't expected: he hugs her.

"H-hey! What are you doing?! Stop! You shouldn't hug me! I'm an enemy! I'm working for Dedede! I have to beat you and... and..." she turns her head toward Dedede. "I can't! I'm sorry! I can't hurt him!"

Dedede facepalms. Hard.

"Ugh! Just get out or here and let me fight then!"

"O-okay! I'm sorry! I really tried! I swear!" She turns to Kirby. "Sorry Kirby, I have to go so king Dedede can fight you." She then has an idea. "Hum... Can you lose please?" she pleads, making her famous 'puppy dog eyes'. He shakes his head and pets her on the head. "Aww... Well, I'm going then. Good luck you two."

She quickly runs to get far enough of the future fight between Dedede and Kirby. Once she thinks she is at a good distance, she stops to watch.

Dedede jumps from behind the fountain and falls beside Kirby, who looks at him angrily. She hears him says "I didn't think that you would be able to beat Sweetie Belle simply by hugging her. I knew she was not ready to face you, she isn't yet hardened to battles." He takes his hammer. "But now you have to fight me, and it will not be as easy! I have trained hard for this day! Don't expect me to be sent flying again! I will not let you get the last piece of the Star Rod! Prepare to be clobbered!"

And he starts the fight by swinging down the hammer. Kirby dodges, and the hammer hits the floor instead, letting appear one of those yellow stars that appear every time he hit the ground with the hammer or when he jumps. Then Kirby inhales the star, making him balloon up, and spits it back to Dedede who is hit.

So that's how. thinks Sweetie Belle at seeing this.

The hit seems to make Dedede angry, because he then charges at Kirby and fall on him at the last second to try to crush him under his weight. But it looks like Kirby already knows that move, because he has no problems avoiding it by inflating before flying away. Dedede immediately follows his attack by jumping, trying to fall right on Kirby. Because he is slower in the air, Kirby isn't able to dodge this attack and get flattened under Dedede's feet. Sweetie his worried for a moment, until Dedede moves away. Kirby then gets back to normal, shaking his head to regain his bearing. He quickly dodges another swing of the hammer, inhaling the star it produce before hitting Dedede with it.

Dedede opens his mouth, about to use the same technique as Kirby, but Kirby get out of the way just before Dedede starts to inhale. Seeing that Kirby has dodged, Dedede decides instead to inhale the air to inflate his belly, making him float. Kirby seems surprised at this, making Dedede smirk.

Yeah, I remember, it's a new move. thinks Sweetie Belle. Watching those two fight is really something. Dedede unleashes all the techniques he possesses in hope of hitting Kirby, and Kirby tries to dodge them until a yellow star appear to use it as a projectile. Is it really all there is ? Has he really been able to beat Meta Knight with just that ? It would seem that Meta Knight would be hard to hit because of his smaller size. There must be something else.

Kirby has a hard time trying to dodge Dedede while he floats around to crush him under his belly. After some time, he releases the air and falls back on the floor and charges again at Kirby. No hitting Kirby, he jump again, but this time, Kirby his able to dodge before inhaling one of the stars appearing and spitting it back at Dedede. The king decides to get serious, and starts swinging around his hammer, again and again, running after Kirby all the time. Kirby runs toward the fountain, dodges another swing, and jump on the edge of it before making another jump this time to reach Dedede's head. He then use the back of Dedede's head as a springboard to bounce away, making Dedede fall, his head hitting the edge of the fountain.

Ouch! It must have hurt! thinks Sweetie while recoiling from the impact, closing her eyes.

Dedede quickly recovers and starts inhaling again. This time, Kirby his not able to dodge, and gets sucked to Dedede's mouth. Before entering it, Dedede close it and swing his hammer right at Kirby's trajectory, hitting him full force and sending him away. Kirby bounces on the floor a few times before landing on his feet and running back to Dedede who jumps, starting to fall in Kirby's trajectory. A back jump saves Kirby from being crushed, and he is able to hit Dedede with another star.

Another swing of the hammer, another star in the face. Kirby takes the opportunity to jump again to Dedede's head, but rather than falling on it, he punches Dedede in the left eye, making him scream in pain as he covers his eye with his hand, releasing the hammer.

Sweetie's eyes become as big as saucers at seeing what Kirby does next: he eats the hammer! Not just that, but eating the hammer provokes something in Kirby. In the blink of an eye, some kind of headband appears around his head, and a smaller version of the hammer appears in Kirby's right arm.

Dedede stares at what has happened dumbly for a few seconds before yelling "Since when can you do that?!"

He is answered by the hammer slamming on his right foot, before bonking him on his head while he screams again. He is able to slap Kirby away, but the puffball quickly comes back for more hammer time.

So he can use weapons? I suppose it's how he won against Meta Knight. thinks Sweetie Belle. It's good to know, if she ever end up really fighting Kirby in the future. Cuteness will not always save him!

Before long, Dedede falls on the floor. Kirby then release his hammer, under the form of a brown star that bounces out of him before the star transforms back into Dedede's hammer, which falls right on his head. The piece of the Star Rod falls of Dedede, at Kirby's feet. Once Kirby takes it, the seven pieces start to gravitate around him, before forming the completed Star Rod in a big flash of light.

Star Rod in hand, he starts to make his way to the fountain.

Oh no! We must stop him! But how?

At her surprise, Dedede wakes up and clings himself to Kirby's foot. And yet Kirby continues to walk. How strong is this little guy?

"Stop! Don't put the Star Rod back!" screams Dedede, only to be thrown away in one jump from Kirby.

Sweetie starts running to them, and yell "Stop!"

Too late.

Kirby plants the Star Rod right where it belongs, and the fountain starts to work again. Everything seems good, but Sweetie and Dedede know better. Indeed, not a few seconds later, the fountain stops working, and something black starts to form at its center. Before long, a blue sphere, purple and pink at the bottom with white stars everywhere, gets out of the fountain, knocking out the Star Rod, before flying away.

Nightmare is free.

Right as everything seems lost, Dedede remember what Meta Knight has said. He then says to Kirby, who panic, "So, you want to play hero? Then go being a hero!" He then inhales Kirby and the Star Rod, and spits them toward the sky in the direction where Nightmare has flew. "Let's hope you are right, Meta Knight."


Turns out the impossible is in fact possible. Kirby can use the Star Rod like he has used the hammer earlier. With it, Kirby can shoot yellow stars to Nightmare, and they seem to hurt him. Sweetie and Dedede can see Kirby battling the sphere in the sky, which is shooting back the blue star-shaped projectiles that he dodges. Sometime, the sphere also sends some blue shockwaves to Kirby. They are big, fast, and hard to dodge, so Kirby has gotten hit the first time. But eventually, Kirby is able to force Nightmare to retreat. A Warp Star appears where he has been, and Kirby takes it and starts to follow Nightmare, toward the moon, where they can't follow the fight, to Sweetie's disappointment.

Soon after, they can see the Warp Star coming back from the moon, followed by an explosion at the surface of the moon like Sweetie has never seen before, leaving a big crater easily visible.

Dedede sighs in relief. "Let's go back to the castle, Sweetie Belle."

She hops on his shoulders before Dedede inflates to fly back to the castle. As they fly, the Warp Star flies beside them for a moment, and Kirby waves at them. Sweetie waves back. Then the Warp Star goes toward the fountain, and Kirby lets the Star Rod falling right at its place on it, giving back the indescribable spectacle of the Fountain of Dreams working. After that, the Warp Star flies away, disappearing at the horizon.

Sweetie Belle will never forget this day.

Her first world crisis.

Her first look at Popstar.

Her first encounter with a real bad guy.

Her first encounter with Meta Knight.

Her first encounter with Kirby.

Her first 'fight' against Kirby.

The Fountain of Dreams.

What a day! And it's only her second day!

At the castle, Broom Sunglasses says "I told you so."

Chapter 6: The Calm After the Nightmare

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"What a day it was yesterday." says Waddle Dee.

"You don't say..." replies Sweetie Belle.

It's the day just after the events with Nightmare. Sweetie Belle and Waddle Dee are taking their breakfast, reminiscing the previous day, especially Sweetie.

"Nobody told me that Kirby could spit fire! I was thinking that I would get eaten, but no! I got roasted!" yells Waddle Dee while pounding the table.

"Wait, he can spit fire? Why didn't he use it against Dedede?" asks Sweetie Belle in surprise.

"What? This doesn't make sense!"

"No more than the fact that he could use ice!" says another Waddle Dee beside them. "You got roasted? I got frozen!"

"And I got cut!" says a third Waddle Dee. "He had a sword! I didn't know he could use weapons!"

"King Dedede too, apparently." replies Sweetie Belle. "Kirby ate his hammer, and a few seconds later, he was being clobbered ! The fight didn't even last a minute after that!"

"I know what happened!" says a fourth Waddle Dee. "I saw it! I was behind a Waddle Doo! Then Kirby ate him, and next thing I knew, he was wearing some buffon hat and a scepter from which he could shoot the same attack that Waddle Doo!"

"He can copy what he eats?!" screams many of the ones listening him.

"But I don't understand!" says a fifth Waddle Dee. "I found myself against Kirby the first time, and I saw him eat a Waddle Doo too, and yet, he didn't copy his attack!"

"Maybe he hadn't developed this ability yet." answers a Waddle Doo. "Does that means he will gain more abilities in the future?"

"I hope not !" says the second Waddle Dee. "If he can copy, then he is already powerful enough!"

"I saw him in a UFO! He passed right above me!"

"He crushed me! He had transformed into a rock!"

"Me and the others couldn't approach him! There were sharp needles all over his body!"

And this goes on for the rest of breakfast.


"Sweetie Belle, you didn't say what happened to you. Did you face Kirby?" asks Waddle Dee after breakfast, as they walk in the hallways of the castle.

"Sort of. I was trained all day by Dedede knowing that I would fight Kirby if he reached the fountain, but when I encountered him, he hugged me!"

"Say again?"

"He hugged me! And because of that, I couldn't resolve myself to hurt him! He was just so cute! That was not fair!" She sighs. "But in the end, it was for the better. He was able to beat Nightmare with the Star Rod."

"Really?! He was able to use the Star Rod?" Waddle Dee says with stars in his eyes.

"Yes. We saw him. He was shooting stars at Nightmare with it like this! Piouh! Piouh! Piouh!" At each "Piouh!", she swings her right hoof like Kirby has swung the rod in his fight against Nightmare.

"Awesome!"

"I know!"

"So, will you continue to train?" asks then Waddle Dee.

"Yes. I still want to get better at magic. And even, who know when Dedede will want to try his luck at fighting Kirby again? I may end up facing Kirby, and this time, what happened yesterday may not happen."

"I see your point."


Having some free time, Waddle Dee decides to show Sweetie Belle more of Dreamland. So he packs a lunch for the both of them, and they exit the castle, going down the main path. Now that it his daytime, Sweetie can better see Dreamland and all its colors. She his amazed by the beauty of this kingdom, and contrary to Equestria, not a single bad place like the Everfree Forest can be seen... outside of Dedede's castle. She can see the vast grasslands, with lakes, rivers and forests dispersed a little everywhere, and mountains in some places too. She can see the vast ocean, reflecting the light of the sun, with a few islands here and there. She remembers flying with Dedede above it the previous day to go to the Fountain of Dreams. She can even see cloudy structures! She can feels a calm fresh breeze on her fur, making her want to go sit under a tree and just watch the lands in calm, and maybe sleep. This really is a land of dreams, almost perfect to live in. To think that just the previous day, all of this has been threatened...

"I can see that you will love living here. Everybody does." says Waddle Dee.

"Yeah. It's so beautiful, and peaceful. I wouldn't mind living here forever, if that wasn't for... you know."

"Your family and friends back at your home. Yes. But if you find a way to come back and forth between our two worlds, then I'm sure Dedede won't mind you living at the castle. Unless you will prefer to build a house?"

"Well, it would depend if I am still working for him or not."

"Oh you know, you aren't forced to live in the castle to work for him. Most of us live a little everywhere in Dreamland, or even beyond. The castle is too small for our whole army. Dedede possesses a few more fortresses dispersed around the kingdom. Maybe you will see them one day."

"That's impressive! His army must be really big!"

"And yet we got beaten, twice, by a puffball." he laughs. "And the second time, we even had the supports of the Meta-Knights. I don't know if I must be impressed or scared by Kirby."

"Why not both?"

"Yes. Both. Both are good. Come, I will show you something. Look attentively by where we pass."


"And here is where the hero lives!" whispers Waddle Dee, both him and Sweetie Belle hidden in a bush. He points at a small white house that is a half sphere, with a door made of wood, a single window beside the door, and a chimney made of bricks. Beside the house is a tree, giving it some shadow. To reach it, Sweetie Belle and Waddle Dee haven't had to go too far, but Waddle Dee has had to help Sweetie jumping above some holes and small cliffs. So this is why she needs to learn to jump higher?

"This is Kirby's house? Why are you showing it to me? And why are we hiding and whispering?" whispers back Sweetie Belle.

"I am showing it to you so you know where he lives just in case. And we are hiding because I don't want to know what he will do to us if he finds out we are here."
"But he is friendly. At least to me. And he had no problems forgiving Dedede once he discovered why he destroyed the Star Rod. I'm sure he would not attack you as long as you don't give him reasons to."

"Maybe but... just... let's go. We will come back another time. He is probably recuperating after yesterday's events."

"Yes... Probably."


"Aah... It was good." says Sweetie Belle.

"Yeah... The cooks are real masters." replies Waddle Dee.

The two of them are sitting under a tree, Sweetie leaning against Waddle Dee. Beside them is the empty basket in which Waddle Dee has packed their lunch, now empty. Before them is a lake, as blue and clear as the sky, a group of Bronto Burts flies peacefully not far, and the fresh breeze end to make this moment perfect. Almost...

"If only she was here." says Sweetie Belle gloomily.

"Who?"

"My sister, Rarity. She doesn't like being dirty, but sometime, she would take a picnic with her family and friends. And this place..." She waves at the lake before them. "It would be so perfect, having a picnic with her, in the shadow of this tree, with that breeze. We would sleep together, letting time pass, in peace..." She sighs. "I miss her so much, Waddle Dee."

"Don't worry." says Waddle Dee, patting her. "You will see her again, one day. Remember, 'hope'? When that day comes, if you can, you will show her this place, and you will have a picnic under that tree, together. And you will recount to her every wonderful things that have happened to you."

"Yes... You are right. Thank you, Waddle Dee. Thank you..." she replies, before closing her eyes, falling asleep on Waddle Dee.

Seeing this, Waddle Dee puts his arm around Sweetie Belle to make sure she doesn't fall, before falling asleep too.


"Yesterday, I learned something." says Dedede. "You love cute things, and you have a hard time to bring yourself to harm one, especially if that cute thing is friendly to you."

"Sorry..." says Sweetie Belle, looking at the floor of the boxing ring.

"Don't be. You are a child, I should have seen it coming. This is why I will train you, from now on, to fight cute things!"

"How?"

At this, Dedede puts two fingers in his mouth and whistles. A Waddle Dee comes from behind one of the stands and jumps on the ring.

"By punching him!" he exclaims pointing at the Waddle Dee. "This Waddle Dee will act all cute, and you will have to attack him despite this! You have the whole hour!"

"I-I don't know if I will be able to do it! They are so adorable!" Her words make the Waddle Dee blush.

"And yet you have to! If you don't punch him at least once by the end of the hour, no dessert at dinner!"

"EH?!"

"And we will start again tomorrow ! And if you still don't, then the day after, and the day after, until you finally punch him! Until then, no dessert at dinner!"

"EEEEEH?!"

"Now, start!" And at this, Dedede exits the ring, letting Sweetie Belle with the Waddle Dee.

Sweetie Belle stares at the Waddle Dee, who watch her back... with those eyes... those cheeks...

He tilts his head.

This will be hard.


"Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out."

"Five minutes left!" suddenly yells Dedede.

"Eep!" Already?! It's too fast!

Seeing her time closing, she finally decides to try something. She has passed the whole hour, eyes closed, breathing, trying to resolve herself to hit the Waddle Dee. Now in panic, she closes her eyes, takes one last big breath, and starts running toward the Waddle Dee. "I'm sorry!" she screams.

The Waddle Dee then do the worst thing he could have done to her. He stops her in a hug and says "It's alright."

"Aah...! Not fair!"

"Sorry."

She stares at the Waddle Dee, then at Dedede in panic, then back at Dedede. She closes her eyes. "Raaaahhhhh!!!" She raises her right hoof, and bring it down fast right in Waddle Dee's left eye, throwing him on his back.

"Ah! My eye!" he screams in pain, putting his arm on his eye.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" she yells in panic at what she has done to that poor Waddle Dee.

"It... It's alright! You have done what you had to do. I'm not angry." replies Waddle Dee. "But now, I have to go take a bag of ice... Good job. By the way you have one heck of a punch."

The Waddle Dee gets out of the ring and exits the room. Dedede claps at Sweetie Belle.

"Bravo! Bravo! That's a good start!"

"Y-yeah but... he wasn't angry at me. He knew that I had to do it, and knew that he would be punched. But Kirby... I don't want to make him cry."

Dedede sights at her answer. "Then just tell him that you want to fight him. I'm sure he will understand. But that means goodbye to the surprise effect. So you will have to gain enough skills to surpass Kirby in a real fight."

"Which means more training."

"Exactly. Actually, from now on, you can train as much as you want. You will be both a servant and a soldier. So if you have nothing to do, you can come here. But don't overexert yourself. We don't have the Fountain of Dreams to recuperate your energie and to heal."

"Okay. Thank you, king Dedede."

"And now..." Dedede suddenly exclaims. "We will take more time to train! I will attack you, you try to dodge me, and you attack me in return. Remember? Like you did yesterday, excepted you will also try to not be hit this time by my own counterattack.

"But, isn't it dinnertime?" Sweetie asks.

"Dinner can wait!"


"Owie!" shouts Sweetie Belle as she is dropped on a chair at the king's dinner room.

The training has gone well for a couple dozen minutes, until she has finally gotten hit by the hammer. Now her back hurts like Tartarus! This has ended the training, and now, here they are, ready to eat. Before her is a bowl full of pasta, and behind it, a big chocolate cake, among other things. Dedede is really a big eater.

"You did good today. Don't worry for your back, it will heal quickly, trust me. Actually, you will not feel it by the end of this meal."

"How? It will take days before it stops hurting!"

Dedede smirks at her. "You will see."

After a moment, Sweetie starts to eat her pasta. Almost immediately, some sort of light surrounds her, at her surprise. She looks around her, only for the light to stop. That's when she feels that her back hurts a little less!

"What?!" she screams. She then watches closer the bowl of pasta, putting a fork in it. "Is there some healing potion inside the pasta?!"

At her reaction, Dedede guffaws. "Welcome to Dreamland! Where food can heal you! A simple fruit can heal a broken bone!"

Sweetie stares agape at Dedede. "No way!"

"And yet...!" He points at Sweetie's back. "Continue to eat and you will see!"

Sweetie continues to stare at Dedede in disbelief. A world where food can heal ?! If Twilight learns about it, she will have a meltdown ! And Pinkie... Ooh boy...


At the bath.

"So, how was training? You took longer today." says Waddle Dee.

"Awful. I had to hit a Waddle Dee. I was feeling so guilty! Then I got hit by Dedede's hammer, my back had hurt so much..." answers Sweetie Belle.

"Yeah, I can imagine that it must hurt." says Broom Sunglasses, on his floating chair.

"But then..." continues Sweetie. "I ate a bowl of pasta, and it didn't hurt anymore! You didn't told me that food can heal."

"I thought you knew. You mean food don't heal in your world?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Nope. It just makes sure that we aren't hungry anymore."

"Then how do you heal?" asks Broom Sunglasses.

"Healing spells, healing potions, or letting a doctor do its job, like stitch a big cut, put back the broken bone, put a bandage where it hurts, that kind of thing. Sometime, it takes months."

"Ugh. Now I know I will never go to your world. Wouldn't want to spend months stuck on a bed if I get hurt." says Broom Sunglasses.

"Me too!" says Waddle Dee.

"Yeah... My world must seems like Tartarus to you, see like this."

"What is Tartarus?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Hum... It's an underground prison where the princesses imprison the really bag guys. They spend eternity trapped alone in a cage, without food or water, and yet they somehow can't die."

"Wow. Eternity in loneliness without anything good. Harsh." says Broom Sunglasses. "But if they are 'really bad guys', then wouldn't it be easier to simply kill them like Kirby did to Nightmare? They must deserve it."

This makes Sweetie uneasy. "Mmh... Ponies aren't really fond in the whole 'killing' thing... I think we only do it if there is no other alternative."

"So your people are full pacifists? No wonder you suck at fighting." replies Broom Sunglasses.

"Hey! I'm still a filly! Of course I don't know how to fight bad guys like Nightmare of powerful Warriors like Dedede and Kirby!" She crosses her hooves and pouts. "Beside, thanks to Dedede's training, I'm getting better! I have hit a Waddle Dee today!"

Broom Sunglasses starts to clap. "Woah... You hit a Waddle Dee? An exploit worthy of a god."

Sweetie Belle stares at him angrily for a whole minute without saying anything while blushing at his obvious sarcasm. She ends it by sticking out her tongue at him and immerges herself more in the water until only her muzzle and above are left, her ears pressed against her head.

This makes Waddle Dee laugh while Broom Sunglasses starts venting himself with a fan, his head all red.

Chapter 7: Evil Sleepwalking Dedede?

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In the dark of the night, who knows what is looming in the shadows? A dark form approaches castle Dedede, silently turning around it to spot what it seeks. Not a sound is heard, all the inhabitants of the castle sleeping soundly despite some of them being in guard duty. The sleeping Waddle Dees on the walls prove it. But who can blame them? Nobody has ever attacked the castle at night. The only time the castle has been invaded has been during the day. Anyway, they are not what it seeks.

It spots a window larger than the others, and knows that it may be what it searches. So it approaches the window and passes through it without a sound. And here he is, the king. Powerful, yet easily controllable. He will be perfect. Slowly, it approaches the sleeping monarch. Soon enough, this world will fall in darkness.


Two weeks have passed since the event with Nightmare, as peaceful as they should be. Sweetie Belle has enjoyed them as much as she could, either working with the other members of Dedede's army, training mainly her magic, or going out to explore Dreamland, often with her friend Waddle Dee, and sometime with Broom Sunglasses when he is off cleaning duty. She has now fully entered her new life, her room now better decorated with more plushies, this time of Rarity's friends, a portrait of Dedede given by Dedede, a lamp, a shelf with some books, and a closet with some clothes including a maid outfit that Broom Sunglasses as asked to be made for her to tease her because of how good she is at cleaning. She has found it cute, so she has decided to keep it, even if she will never wear it!

Well okay, she has worn it once to get her revenge on Broom Sunglasses. She has finally seen how Broom Sunglasses becomes all red each time she acts all cute beside him. When wearing this maid outfit, she looks absolutely adorable. Thus, by acting all cute while wearing it around Broom Sunglasses, the poor guy has almost died, along with a couple dozens of Waddle Dees, a few Waddle Doos, and a Blade Knight. Dedede has told her after that to only use this dreadful weapon against enemies invading the castle, and to make sure that no one else is present if it happens. That has been before being sent back to his bed, because he has lost consciousness when Sweetie has shouted "Yes sir!" and has saluted while still wearing the outfit. She has immediately taken it off after that.

At least, she can be proud to say that she has been able to knock out king Dedede without even touching him.

Some of Dedede's servants has started to name her 'Fatal Cutie' after this event, and now, a wooden plaque with written on it "Chamber of Sweetie Belle, the Fatal Cutie." with a skull at the bottom is studded on the door. Someone has placed it here when she has been exploring outside. She couldn't help but roll on the floor laughing when she has seen it the first time.

After, the inhabitants of the castle have fully started to treat her as one of them, discussing more often with her, helping her, joking with her (jokes often linked to the 'Fatal Cutie Incident'), and pretty much being more friendly to her. Waddle Dee is still her best friend in the castle, but now, the majority of the castle's inhabitants can be considered as Sweetie Belle's friends. However, she still has problem to differentiate them, making it a source of teasing on their part.

And she is being hugged, a lot.

Her training is also going well. She can now lift heavier weights, has an easier controle on two objects at the same time and has started training on three, she can jump high enough to punch Dedede in the face, and can now win a duel against a few of Dedede's soldiers. This has started when a few days ago, Dedede has told her to fight a Waddle Dee until one of them is knocked out. She has won, to his pleasure. The following days, she has tested her skills against a few more Waddle Dees, a Waddle Doo, two Bronto Burts, and a Blade Knight. She has won all her fight excepted the last one, where the Blade Knight, wearing a familiar red cape, has been able to use the guard of his sword on the back of her head to knock her out.

Each day would end with a big dinner at Dedede's table, a hot bath with everyone else, and a good night.

She hasn't seen Kirby since the Nightmare incident.


Breakfast.

"And then, we were covered in sap! It took us hours to rid ourselves of it!" Sweetie says.

At the end of her tale, everyone listening to her starts laughing. She then end her drink with a proud smile at making everyone laugh, even if deep down, she is blushing in embarrassment at telling the misadventures of her and her friends to obtain their Cutie Marks. What a good way to start a day.

TUUUUUUUUUUUT!!!!!!!!

....This day will be a bad one, right?


Everyone gather at the main hall, only to be greeted by an unexpected sight: Dedede sleeping, while being on his feet.

What now? thinks Sweetie Belle, worried.

Once everyone is present, they are starting to wait. After a moment, some of them start to wonder if they should awake the king. That's when Dedede suddenly starts to talk... while sleeping!

"Everyone." he says emotionlessly. "I have decided on the next plan to show everyone that I am the king and that I must be respected." He then stops talking for a few seconds, before continuing. "We will go toward the Rainbow Islands, and destroy the Rainbow Bridges. This way, the inhabitants will be forced to take me seriously, and serve me." At this, the whole army starts murmuring about this plan, and Dedede's state. Sweetie can only watch in horror, Waddle Dee has told her about the Rainbow Islands, and she knows how the Rainbow Bridges are important for the inhabitants of the archipelago. "You are all dismissed. Let's prepare to depart for the islands and join the Dark Castle," he finally says before slowly walking... or sleepwalking toward the exit.

That's weird. Maybe I should wake him up. But wait, isn't waking up someone sleepwalking dangerous ? Better take the risk, rather than letting Dedede do something evil in his sleep. Thinking this, Sweetie Belle follows Dedede. "King Dedede! Wait!" she screams, only for Dedede to ignore her. So she continues running before sitting in front of him. "Dedede! Wake up! You are sleepwalking! I'm sure that in truth, you don't want to destroy those Rainbow Bridges!"

Dedede stops, looks at her for a few seconds with his closed eyes, and says, still emotionlessly, "Out of my way and go prepare yourself to go to the Rainbow Islands. If you don't, then you will be punished."

Sweetie Belle takes a step back. Then she gulps and goes at his feet, poking him. "C-come on, Dedede. It's me, Sweetie Belle. Wake up. You are being scary."

But then, Dedede does something she hasn't expected: he kicks her out of the way in the belly. Hard. In the blink of an eye, she hits a wall, totally out of breath, coughing and hurting. He then says "Last warning. Next time, I will kill you." and continues his way, letting Sweetie behind.

That... That can't be him. Or is it what he is deep down? I must do something, but what? Waddle Dee! Maybe he can helps!

After recuperating her breath, she runs back to the main hall, hoping that Waddle Dee is still there. "Waddle Dee!" she screams. At her call, all the Waddle Dees turn toward her, but only one of them waves at her.

"Yes, Sweetie?" he screams back, understanding that she calls him specifically.

Sweetie runs to him. "Can we talk in private? In my room? Please?"

"Uh okay?"


"No way!"

"Yes! I swear! He kicked me! And after, he threatened to kill me! Please Waddle Dee, you have to help me stop him! He his not in his normal state!"

"Well I... I don't know... I'm just a Waddle Dee. I can't..." He stops himself when he sees the filly starting to cry. He then decides to try to find something. After a moment, he talks, not believing what he is about to say. "Maybe... you should go warn Kirby. I don't see any other way."

"Y-yeah... You are right. Well then, I'm going. Thank you, Waddle Dee."

"You are welcome Sweetie. I will spread the word to the others, so they know what to expect. We may be forced to fight Kirby, so the king doesn't suspect us."

"Alright... As for me, I will hide in Kirby's house."

"No. The king will obviously find out that you have betrayed him. He may send one of his lieutenants to attack you, and nobody would be able to save you. I think it may be best if you follow Kirby, so he can protect you, even if this means we will have to attack you too. Consider this as more of your training to become stronger. I will make sure the others do."

Sweetie Belle looks at the floor, ears pressed against her head, before nodding, understanding that it's the best way. She then hugs Waddle Dee, who returns the hug. "Thank you."

"Take care, and good luck."

The two separates, and Sweetie run outside of the room, leaving Waddle Dee behind.


She exits the castle, goes down the mountain, and follows the path her and Waddle Dee has taken to join Kirby's house. After many minutes of running and jumping, she eventually reaches it. Taking back her breath, she knocks rapidly at the door, shouting "Kirby! Are you there?! It's me, Sweetie Belle! I need your help!"

Not a few seconds later, the door opens, showing the heroic puffball.

"Poyo?"

Sweetie Belle looks at him, takes her breath, and says "It's Dedede. I don't know what is happening. He is... sleepwalking. And now, he wants to destroy the Rainbow Bridges of Rainbow Islands!"

Kirby gasps at this news, and screams "Poyo?!"

"You must stop him! And wake him up! He is not himself!"

Kirby takes a determined expression, nods at her, and starts to run toward the castle. But he is stopped by Sweetie Belle. "Wait!" He stops and looks at her, tilting his head. "Let me comes with you! Dedede has probably found out that I betrayed him, and may send someone to kill me!"

Kirby looks at her, smiles, and nods, meaning she can comes.

"Thank you! I will try to be helpful! I have learned how to fight a little!"

And so the two take the way to the castle.


They reach the castle, only to find it empty.

"Oh no! They are already gone to the islands! What do we do?!"

Kirby waves at her and exits the castle, followed by her. Outside, she finds Kirby on a Warp Star, and he waves at her. Understanding what he wants, Sweetie gulps, jumps on the Warp Star and clings to Kirby, remembering how fast the Warp Star can go. "Oh boy... Oh boy... Oh boy..."

After a few seconds, the Warp Star flies away above the ocean, with Kirby and Sweetie on it, the filly screaming at full lungs. The Rainbow Islands aren't too far of the main lands, so it doesn't take long to reach them.

The Rainbow Islands are an archipelago of seven islands in a zigzag pattern. She can see that the first one has grasslands with what seems to be a small lake, the second one has a big forest on its whole surface, the third one possesses an immense lake, the fourth one is made of ice, the fifth is a canyon, the sixth is a mountain, judging by the hole at the top, a volcano, surrounded by clouds, and the last one is a big fortress, certainly the Dark Castle.

And no Rainbow Bridges linking them... He already broke them?!

Kirby sees this too and becomes angry. He then takes the Warp Star on a course toward the first island. If she remembers correctly what Waddle Dee has told her about the Rainbow Islands, it's simply named Grass Land.

Whoever named the islands had one heck of an imagination...

Chapter 8: Grass Land

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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?"

Kirby nods.

"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.

Kirby nods.

"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.

"T-t-t-t-t-th-th-t-thatwasmyfirstkiss!"

"Poyo?"

"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.

"Ow!"

"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!"

"Oh... Horsefeather..."

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?

Chapter 9: Big Forest

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It takes them only a few seconds to reach Big Forest. This is definitely not enough for Sweetie's stomach to stop aching after her earlier meal. When the Warp Star disappears once on the ground, Sweetie has a hard time following Rick and Kirby. Seeing this, Kirby hop off of Rick, and lets the hamster take the poor filly. Riding on his head, Sweetie only has to worry about shooting her recently acquired magical beams at the enemies, making their journey far easier. But she will have to avoid shooting too much beams, in fear of taxing her magic and making her horn ache too.

Her first target doesn't wait to appear : a bouncing mushroom. But she knows better. Cappies -that's what they are called- are actually creatures living a little everywhere in Popstar, some of them being in Dedede's army, but they rarely come to the castle. The truth is that the mushroom is just a disguise, the mushroom cap being just a hat hiding their real face. Disguised, they hope to come close enough of their unexpected victims before attacking them, but once their disguise is revealed, they get scared and either attack in despair or flee. Their true form looks like the stem of an actual mushroom, but with a round head, two holes for eyes, another for mouth, and two arms, one of them flexing up, the other flexing down. They are also extremely weak, explaining why they prefer using a disguise. To prove it, Sweetie is able to knock it down with just a beam. She also knocks down the Bronto Burt that follow.

Another Cappy comes after that, Kirby deciding to face him. When he tries to eat him, he actually inhale the mushroom cap, revealing the Cappy's true body. Kirby spits back the cap at him, knocking him out. While he has been busy attacking the Cappy, Sweetie Belle attacks another Bronto Burt that has been approaching.

They pass above a log forming a bridge above a river and continue their way, Kirby eating one of those green parasols to gain the parasol ability. They eventually reach a door that leads to a small room with another moving bag hanging from the ceiling, and...

"Hii! A Scarfy!" screams Sweetie Belle at seeing the creature that guard the bag. The Scarfy is a smiling orange floating ball with cat ears and white cheeks, and Sweetie just wanna hug it. They are like pets that are very common in Dreamland, some of them even living in the castle. The Scarfy just floats here, watching them. It seems they will have to attack it to continue, to Sweetie's sorrow.

That's when Kirby signs Rick to remain where he is with Sweetie Belle, taking a serious face. Why? Scarfys aren't dangerous. But then, Kirby attacks the Scarfy with the parasol, and the creature suddenly transforms. The orange become beige, its mouth get bigger with fangs inside it, and its two eyes becomes just one big slitted eye.

To resume it, it's not cute anymore!

"Eep! What happened to it?"

The now scary Scarfy is now approaching Kirby, trying to bit him. Kirby jumps back and hit it a second time with the parasol from as far as possible, making its body actually liberate an explosion. This doesn't kill the Scarfy, but it will not get up anytime soon.

Wait a minute! Scary... Scarfy... Scarify? "Oh come on! You mean those things are meant to jumpscare us?!" she screams at understanding the purpose of the 'pet'. She will not see those creatures in the same way, and never pet them anymore.

Kirby ignores her, instead opening the bag, freeing a purple owl as big as Rick, with a white belly with three stripes, black tipped wings with white underside, and more black around his eyes that looks like eyelashes. On his head are spikes formed by his feathers.

The owl gets out of the bag, flying happily around the room while saying "Coo! Coo!" before posing himself on Kirby.

Sweetie Belle laughs at seeing a parasol appear on the owl's head. After Rick, she doesn't question it. "It seems like we have a new friend, right Coo?"

"Coo coo!" The owl flaps his wing with joy. Kirby also smiles and raises his arm toward Coo to welcome him.

They pass through the door that has somehow appeared after the Scarfy's defeat, and find themselves on a block a little far above the ground. Coo starts to fly with Kirby in his claws, while Rick jumps to the ground, not bothered by the fall. The hamster immediately punches a Waddle Dee, and Coo spins around himself, forming a small tornado that sends a Bronto Burt flying far away. Sweetie shoots another Bronto Burt closer to the ground while Rick continues his way, punching the enemies that cross him on the floor, and the owl continues to spin, sending away all the enemies that are in the air. What a good team they form now!

Rick is forced to jump above two holes, forcing Sweetie to protect him from three Bronto Burt, shooting two and punching one that has gotten too close. It's clearly them that get the most work because of all the enemies that are on the floor and the few Bronto Burts that fly too close. Coo doesn't have as much problem with the few Bronto Burts that try to reach him and Kirby in the air.

After a moment, they reach another door hidden behind a few blocks under a log. Before taking it, Kirby spots another enemy on a block : a Sir Kibble. Sweetie Belle find them scary. They are what seems to be an empty suit of armor, round, yellow, with red hands and silver feet, and a blade on their helmet. And yet, they are moving, showing that they are alive! They are alright to be around, but they aren't much for conversation. They just do their job in silence, or maybe they can't talk? Anyway, Kirby eats it, and Coo's purple feathers suddenly turn green while a yellow cap with eyes, little white wings, and a blade similar to the one of the Sir Kibble appears on Kirby's head. With the new ability in his possession, they pass the door.

This lead them further in the forest, where the trees are far more numerous. If they don't watch out were they go, they could get lost. They appear on a branch with enough leaves to somehow form a platform solid enough for their weight. From there, they can either choose to jump from branch to branch, or continue on the ground, or fly in Coo's case. Of course, there are less enemies on the branches, but they take the risk to fall with a miss jump.

But that's when Coo flies down toward the ground. When Sweetie and Rick look to see why, they see that there is a door below. Coo leads Kirby through it, to Sweetie's panic. What if this is a one way door? Should they follow them? She decides to wait a little on the branch just in case, but if Kirby doesn't come back after some minutes, then she will follow them with Rick! Thankfully, after about a minute, Kirby and Coo reappears beside the door, and Sweetie sighs in relief. But she sees that Kirby seems annoyed.

When Coo brings back Kirby on the branches, she asks "Is there a problem?"

Kirby then spits the Rainbow Drop, and point at it. "Poyo!"

"You got another Rainbow Drop?!" she yells in happiness, only for Kirby to shakes his head. She thinks a moment before saying "You found one, but you couldn't get it?"

"Poyo!" Kirby confirms.

"Those blocs again?"

"Poyo!"

"You don't have the right ability?"

"Poyo!"

"And... do you know which one you need?"

"Poyo!"

"Let me guess. The parasol like last time?" Kirby shakes his head. "Mmh... Bombs?" Nope. "Hammer?" Nope. "Broom?" Nope. "Fire?" Nope. Sweetie starts to think back at the list of abilities that the Waddle Dees and other minions had described after the Nightmare incident. "Ice?" Nope again. "Sword?" Miss. "The rock one?" Fail. "The... Hum... The needle one?" Bingo! "Yay!" exclaims Sweetie in victory. "But that means we will have to come back."

At this, Coo salutes at her. "Coo!"

"Oh yeah! We found you here ! You probably know this forest and how to come back here without using those doors!"

"Coo!"

"Then let's go! We must find the needle ability!" She shouts while raising a hoof, followed by the others in answer.

Objectif in mind, the team continues its way jumping from branches to branches. Coo uses Kirby's cutter ability to send feathers that cut the enemies that try to stop them. The only real obstacle they encounter are a few Gordos blocking their way. The problem with Gordos is that they are invincible, so all they can do is avoid them, which means that Rick has to wait for them to move away before jumping.

After some jumps, there are no branches anymore, and Rick is forced to continue on the ground. But judging by all the Gordos in Coo's way, it's probably for the better. Annoying pests! Rapidly, they reach some other branches that lead them at a door on a bigger branch.

It teleports them on a... floating log? Well, after the floating blocks and whatever... Anyway! They are in a less dense area. Farther before them, they encounter a duo of Scarfys. One cut from Coo's feathers is enough to make them explode, they don't even have time to transform, to Sweetie's relief! After that, they find a bottle trapped on a block between two Gordos that are immobiles. Rick punches the block, destroying it and making the bottle fall. Sweetie takes it in her hooves, deciding to keep it for when they are hurt. Well, it doesn't take long because Rick is charged from behind by a Waddle Dee, making Sweetie fall. One throwing of Waddle Dee later, and Sweetie gives the bottle to Rick who drinks it.

That's when they encounter... some sort of bipedal hedgehog? It has a small head on a body with two eyes but nothing else. It has two tubby arms and two red feet. And of course, it possesses black spikes on his head all the way to the bottom of his back.

"Do you think it can give you the needle ability Kirby?" Sweetie asks the puffball.

Kirby simply answers her by giving up the cutter ability before eating the hedgehog. And indeed, it gives him a pink cap with many sharp needles on it.

"Yay! We found it!" shouts the filly, Kirby slapping her hoof in a... hoofbump ? Fistbump ? Let's go for hoofbump.

Surprisingly, when Coo takes again Kirby in his claws, nothing change. Just in case, they test the ability on the Sir Kibble that is beside, and it turns out that Coo taking Kirby in his claw leads Kirby growing needles below him. It has not much in attack, but it can be good to protect Kirby if an enemy comes from below. But Coo having lost the cutter ability, he is now vulnerable.

Anyway, Coo flies with Kirby above the trees, certainly to get the Rainbow Drop from earlier, leaving Sweetie and Rick behind to wait.

Sweetie then hops down from Rick. "Thank you Rick, I can walk from now. I need the exercise." she says, her stomach not aching anymore. She then punches a Waddle Dee coming from behind Rick.

The Waddle Dee says something before losing consciousness. "Arg! I say it again, you have one heck of a punch, Sweetie Belle..." And he closes his eyes.

"O-oh! Hum... Sorry again."

More enemies try to attack them while waiting for Kirby and Coo to come back, but the combination of the two of them is more than enough. After many minutes, the pink ball and the purple owl come back, Kirby showing the two Rainbow Drops.

"Yeah! Good job you two!" shouts Sweetie, jumping in joy.

Kirby eats the two drops, and they continue, defeating more enemies, destroying blocks, and avoiding Gordos, until reaching a door between two trees, on a block that can't be destroyed.

At the other side, after even more enemies and jumping above vertical logs, they reach a river with blocks forming a bridge. They pass above it, when something unexpected happens. Three Kabus appears out of nowhere in the air, and one of them is able to fall on Sweetie while Coo percute another, making him fall with Kirby. Kabus being living statues of just a head with a round top and a flat base, it hurts quite a lot to take one on the head.

"Arg! Since when does Kabus can appear like that?!" Sweetie has always found the Kabus weird and a little scary with their empty eyes and gaping mouth, but they generally mind their business without doing anything!

Rick punches the Kabu that has fallen on her head, while Kirby use his needle on the ground to knock down the two others. Coo quickly gets up after shaking his head and go on Rick, thinking that it is preferable if he lets Kirby continue alone for now.

Kirby is able to use the needle ability on the ground to protect him and Sweetie from the enemies that approach them. Soon after, they find a door on a cut trunk, but they first have to jump on two ther cut trunks, the first one being smaller and the one with the door being taller. They appear in an denser area where Coo takes Sweetie and immediately starts to lift her toward the top of the trees. Kirby follows them by inflating to float while Rick jumps from branch to branch.

"Uh? Is there something up there?" Sweetie asks Coo.

"Coo!" confirms the owl.

Indeed, after a few enemies that Sweetie shoots down with her magic, they reach another door. This leads in a room where there is another moving bag hanging from the ceiling and... a giant brown eyed parasol with a foot and sticking out its tongue? What the heck? It also possesses some sort of wooden shoe.

Sweetie stares at the parasol before saying "I think this one takes the palm of weird and creepy." She then shouts "Nobody told you it's bad to stick your tongue out?!" This seems to hit a nerve, because the parasol starts to spin around toward them. "Eep!"

Thankfully, Kirby uses the needles, repelling the parasol. But then it kicks off its shoe toward Kirby, who is surprised by such an attack. This knock out his ability, but instead of taking it back, Kirby inhale it alongside the shoe, only to spit them back at the parasol. Another shoe then appears under its foot. Sweetie hit the parasol with a beam, and use the time where it his disturbed by the hit to run toward it and punch it in its eye. With the parasol blinded, Sweetie then grabs its foot and slams it on the ground before jumping on its 'head' three time and then punch it another time, making it bites its tongue. For good measure, she kicks it at the knee.

Now the parasol is rolling on the floor, groaning in pain.

Kirby, Rick and Coo stare at her with round eyes, not moving.

Sweetie sees the parasol on the floor, looks at her hooves, then turns toward her friends. "Have I really done what I have just done ?" she asks in disbelief.

They nod.

"Let's... just save the poor guy in the bag, okay?"

They nod again. First, Kirby eats the parasol, gaining the parasol ability, then he flies to the bag and release whoever is inside it. In the bag is a blue... blob thing with googly eyes and a very long tongue. Without saying anything, he licks Sweetie, the animals and Kirby in thanks before jumping away, now with a parasol in his tongue.

...

"What the heck was that?"


Putting the blob out of their mind, the group take the door, and end up on ground floating in the sky above the forest. Sweetie just shakes her head at this. They see that they have to get down. Coo takes Sweetie in his claws and starts to fly down beside the levels of grounds while Kirby gets on Rick and takes the path through the holes in them, fighting all the enemies in the way. That is until Rick falls on a hedgehog, guetting his butt stung. They have to take the following minutes to remove the needles that are stuck, Sweetie pitying the poor hamster. Once at the bottom, they pass through another door.

They continue their way, only for Sweetie seeing a raindrop-shaped grey thing with a propeller, angry eyes and sharp teeth approaching Kirby from above.

"Watch out Kirby!" Sweetie warns him, but too late. The enemy hits Kirby before exploding, hurting both Kirby and Rick. Sweetie quickly beat the enemies around before running toward them. Seeing them getting up, she asks "Are you alright?"

"Poyo..." groans Kirby, shaking his head followed by Rick.

Sweetie sights in relief at seeing they aren't badly hurt. "Let's hope we find some food quickly."

They nod, and with this, the four friends resume their journey, Kirby now without ability. Before long, they find a Poppy on an apple before a door. Kirby eats the Poppy, getting the bomb ability, then takes the apple and divides it in four parts, giving three to his friends. Sweetie stares at her quarter of apple, obviously, with how big is the fruit, one of Whispy's. She is still full of the previous apple but feels the bump on her head from the Kabu that has fallen on her. At least it's just a quarter, it should be alright.


Yeah, it's alright. She hurts a little, but she can manages. She still takes a mental note of trying not to get hurt anymore so she doesn't have to get more stuffed. And to double her training after the end of this journey. Between this and dinners with Dedede, watching her weight will be hard. Whoever created the physical law 'food can heal' was a genius and an idiot.

Yeah! Someone is behind this! You can't say it's natural!

Whatever. Sweetie Belle passes the door with Kirby, Rick, and Coo. At the other side, they end on a wooden bridge with above them another bridge, and the ground below them. They can reach the bridge above and the ground below thanks to a hole in the bridges at different places. All of this link two trees, each tree having three holes at the end of each levels. And in the holes...

There are boars charging right at them, one of them two times bigger than Kirby while the others are the same size than him.

The big boar has dark brown fur, a white belly, black hooves, and sharp tusks. The small ones looks like the big one, but possess a lighter brown fur with the addition of white stripes on their bakes, but no white belly. They also have smaller tusks.

Coo immediately flies out of the way with Kirby in his claw while Rick jumps on the bridge above and Knock off the small boar there, and Sweetie run to the hole before the big boar, going on the ground below and punching the small boar on it.

"So this is the leader of this island?" Sweetie asks loudly.

"Coo! Coo!" confirms Coo, flying above the upper bridge, keeping an eye on the holes in the trees.

"A big boar? I didn't know that Dedede had a boar under his command! Actually, he never told me who or what he had under his command!"

She sees the big boar -she will name it Grouiky- getting out of the hole before her. Wait, hasn't he entered the other tree ? How has he been able to get here? No time to think, Grouiky is already charging. She quickly jumps back up at the bridge by its hole, then get back down once it has passed under her, and starts shooting it in the back with her magical beams, hitting it four times before it enters the tree hole. She can see another small boar falling from the upper bridge, likely knocked off by Rick.

Grouiky gets out of the same tree but this time at the upper bridge alongside one of the small boar, threatening to knock Rick off the bridge with its tusks, but the hamster jumps above the boar just before. That's when Kirby, still in Coo's claws above the bridge, releases a bomb that fall right on Grouiky, hurting it and knocking off the small boar. He releases another bomb, but Grouiky is able to jump off the bridge right to the ground just before getting hit again. Instead, the bomb hits the bridge and destroys a part of it, blowing a second hole. The boards between the two holes fall on the bridge below with Rick jumping right on time to avoid the same fate, which knock a few boards of that bridge, getting its hole bigger and almost hitting Sweetie Belle on the head. This makes Kirby sweat at the destruction he has caused.

Grouiky gets out of the middle hole of the first tree, and at everyone's surprise, throws a bomb right at Kirby while charging! Coo barely flies away before it explodes, only to be hit by a second bombs thrown by the boar, making him drop Kirby and dive in a bush outside of the battlefield with smock on his tail.

"Coo!" screams Sweetie at seeing her friend falling. Because of this, she is almost hit by a small boar jumping from the bridge, punching it in time. Rick comes at Kirby's side and nudge him to see if he has nothing. Kirby gets up, thanks Rick with a wave, then takes a bomb and throws it right inside the second tree. This doesn't destroy the tree, but they can hear many pained Groiiiink!!! coming from it. It also destroys the end of second bridge close to it, collapsing the whole bridge excepted a few boards close to the first tree. Kirby and Rick jump of the bridge before its collapse.

Grouiky gets out of the middle hole of the first tree again slightly blackened, stops at the edge of the hole, and starts to throw bombs after bombs everywhere at the ground, making Sweetie, Kirby and Rick run in hope to avoid the explosions. Kirby not being able to target Grouiky because of how busy he is at avoiding all the bombs, Sweetie decides to shoot back her beams. One of the beams hit Grouiky's right tusk, breaking it. In pain, Grouiky jumps from the hole and starts to charge toward her, making her panic. In a desperate move, she jumps right on its back. With the filly on its back, Grouiky tries to get rid of her by thrashing around, bucking his hooves and jumping. Trying not to fall, Sweetie places her hooves on its ears, and clings to them. The boar doesn't seem to like it, because his thrashing are getting more violent.

"Help!" she screams. Kirby wants to help, but he doesn't dare to throw a bomb at Grouiky with the filly so close. Rick approaches to stop it, but is awarded by a buck in the face, sending him flying into a tree.

Then, a really violent jump almost leads Sweetie Belle to fall. Her hooves clinging to Grouiky's ears, it cause her to strongly pull them. This forces the boar to get on his back legs, yelling in pain before getting back on its four hooves with Sweetie Belle still on its back.

Seeing this, Sweetie stares at Grouiky before a smile slowly forms. "Waiiit..." This one word causes Grouiky to become as still as a statue, panic apparent in his eyes. Then, Sweetie pulls a little on its left ear, forcing it to turn a little to the left. She pulls harder, and the boar turns more. She tests the right ear, with the same results. Her smile becomes bigger, almost as wide as the ones of Pinkie Pie.. That's when a few dozen of the small boars comes out of the second tree, coming to help their leader, only to be stopped by Sweetie suddenly shouting six words of doom.

"CUTIE MARK CRUSADER, BOAR RIDER! YEAH!!!"

The next instant, half of them are sent flying by Grouiky charging at them, Sweetie forcing it by pulling its ears. The rest of them start to run away, wanting to avoid the same fate. The big boar continues its charge into the forest, the filly laughing on its back, and leaving behind Kirby and the animals, sweating.

Before long, the whole forest is sent into a panic, minions sent flying right and left, into branches and into tree holes. It's a real path of desolation that follow the boar riding filly having the time of her life. Dozens of Waddle Dees and other creatures are running before her, hoping to escape Grouiky, some of them without success while others are able to jump away into bushes, holes, or even the river when it's close enough. Many of them climb the trees to be safe, and soon enough, there are more creatures on the trees than on the ground, watching in horror the carnage below.

Sweetie then shouts "Too bad Apple Bloom and Scootaloo aren't here! This is so fun!"


After a few minutes, they reach the edge of the island, the boar finding itself charging toward the ocean. The two of them panic and Sweetie pulls on the ear to stop Grouiky, but too late. At the last seconde, she is able to jump from the boar before he falls from the cliff into the water.

Sweetie gets at the edge and looks below, seeing Grouiky getting its head out of the water. "Hey!" Grouiky looks back at her. "Are you alright?!" she shouts.

From Grouiky's point of view: "Are yOU alRiGht ?" says maliciously the white demon, promising doom with a sadistic smile full of sharp fangs, flaming hairs, and glowing red eyes.

"GROIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINK!!!!!"

Sweetie Belle watches as Grouiky swims away from the island, already just a speck at the horizon. Wow! It must have beat a speed record! Now alone at the edge, Sweetie looks until the boar finally disappears far away, before turning to the forest. Before long, a giggle escape her, and soon, she is rolling on the floor from laughter.


One minute later, Coo appears in the sky and spots the filly still laughing. Looking back somewhere to the ground, he points in her direction. Soon enough, Kirby and Rick comes out from behind a tree, and Coo lands on the pink ball. Kirby slowly approach Sweetie Belle, and touches her to make her know of his presence. She looks at him and starts to calm down, rubbing the tears out of her eyes.

"Poyo?"

"I'm alright!" she answers. "I'm just... I... I don't believe what I have just done! I rode a giant boar! Oh my Celestia! Apple Bloom will SOOOO not believe me! That was the most fun I had in a long time! You would have told me just yesterday that I would do that, I would have thought you were crazy! And yet, I did it!" She collapses back on the floor, her laugh starting again. "I can't wait to talk about it with everyone at the castle!"

Eventually, Rick decides to pick her up and puts her on his back. The filly is still laughing and talking about what she as done and how others will react. Rick looks at Kirby, only for him to shrug. Still, he must says that the filly has done a pretty good job. And... she has been rather scary, with how she has been smiling, then laughing back on the boar. How she has gotten it to obey to her. He doesn't know if she is naturally like that, or if Dedede's training is getting to her. But thinking back about it, it has been funny to watch her chase those poor minions.

Kirby starts to laugh, followed slowly by Rick, then Coo. They are still laughing as they take off on the Warp Star.

Time to go to Ripple Field, and have more fun!

Chapter 10: Ripple Fields

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The Warp Star leaves them on a palm tree in Ripple Fields, the third island known for its great lake. The ride on the Warp Star has let everyone time to calm their laugh, although Sweetie still giggles a bit now and then. What she has done with Grouiky will be a source of laugh for a long time. She still has a hard time believing she has done it.

They jump of the tree, Coo taking the Waddle Dee coming from behind in his claw only to let him fall in the water a little farther. Kirby flies above the water in question while Rick and Sweetie Belle jump on blocs to traverse it. Back on ground, they quickly get rid of a Bouncy, then reach another tree. When passing under it, Kirby, who is in the lead, suddenly jumps back at seeing a coconut fall. Sweetie is about to ask why, until she sees the coconut exploding at hitting the floor.

And now explosive coconuts? What next?

She then sees on the tree, and the following ones, what she remembers Waddle Dee has described as Glunks, creatures that look like sea anemones with a green body and pink tentacles like 'hair'. They also possess two big round eyes. Waddle Dee as warned her about those creatures for if she ever go in the water. They can't move but they shoot water projectiles at regular interval, hurting whoever is hit. Those Glunks being on the trees, Sweetie, Kirby and the animals don't pay attention to them, Coo still making sure to fly under the trees while Sweetie shoot the following coconuts in the trees. After a moment, Kirby decides to help her by throwing bombs at some of the coconuts, and also at the Glunk on the floor they cross at the end of the path. They jump above a small wall, only to almost get hit by a rock falling on the slope above it. Well, it looks like a square rock, but Sweetie sees the closed eyes on it, proving that it's not just a rock, but an actual enemy made of stone named Rocky.

There are not many Rockys, but Sweetie has seen some on the mounts around the castle. Their real appearance is the one of a generaly brown stone on yellow feet without any arms and two eyes. They tend to possess a white and blue headband around their head. At seeing him, Kirby decides to give up the bomb ability and eats him, giving him a crown of rock with gems around it on his head, and the ability to transform into a rock, probably that with all the water around, it could be useful. At the other side of the small slope is another, bigger slope going down, with many Glunks in the way. Kirby uses his new ability and turn into a rock at the top of the slope, slidding all the way down and stricking all the Glunks, opening the path. After the slope is another Rocky falling from edges to edges, and Sweetie hit him with her beam, but he barely flinches. Yeah, their defense is solide, it will take more than a hit to knock them down. Rick jumps beside the Rocky and punch him, hurting the Rocky before waving his paw in pain. Punching rock is a bad idea. Sweetie finishes the Rocky with another beam, letting them continue.

They reach the top of another slope, and this time, Kirby jumps on Rick. The hamster suddenly turns into a round rock, rolling on the slope and crushing all the minions on it before falling in the water at the bottom, crushing a squid. Still on the slope above, Sweetie sees that there is a door in the water.

"So we continue in the water? I hope we will not drown." she says, worried.

Coo winks at her before jumping in the water without even taking his breath. Doesn't he fear to miss air? She then takes a big breath, block her breathing, and jumps in the water too, the group passing the door. At the other side, they are still under water. Luckily, they aren't far under the surface. Sweetie quickly swims to retake her breath, only for a blade from a Sir Kibble to graze her. She immediately shoots him with a beam. Meanwhile, Kirby, not getting back at the surface, uses some water jets to beat a Glunk that block their way. It surprises Sweetie Belle how she is the only one taking back her breath, the others all remaining under water.

Raising an eyebrow at this, she returns with them and encounter her first living Blipper. First living because she has seen some on Dedede's plates. They are round fishes that are red in the back and orange in the belly... and they wear swimming goggles. She facehoof at this. Why does a fish wears swimming goggles?! Because they swim? They are fish! They don't need goggles!

Rick punches the fish aside, and Kirby use his water jet to destroy the blocks blocking the way. Sweetie shoots the Glunk on the ceiling above the blocks, and Coo uses his claws to knock a second Glunk on the floor under those same blocks. Sweetie quickly reaches again the surface with the others, taking back her breath, and Coo destroys a floating block, letting fall an energy drink right in Kirby's hand before it reaches spikes at the bottom. He drinks some of it, before giving it to the animals to heal the wounds from the battle with Grouiky, Sweetie not needing it, to her relief. Back in the water, they avoid the projectiles of a Glunk under them, get rid of him, and enter a door bellow.

They enter a tunnel fully immerged in the water, to Sweetie's horror. She tries to quikly swim through it, hoping to reach the end before she drowns. Not an easy task because of all the Glunks in the way, forcing her to use her beams, helped by Kirby's water jet. They are able to reach another door, leading back to the area under the surface. She gets her head out of the water, and takes a big gulp of air before seeing a floating door above the surface. Coo then take her in his claws to help her pass it, while Kirby inflates to fly throught it, and Rick is able to jump into it.

They reach the top of a tall cliff. Before them, another cliff. Between the two cliffs, a Scarfy, and a big hole full of enemies. Diagnostic: they have to jump in the hole, making Sweetie gulp. Coo takes her again in his claws, and starts to fly down, Sweetie shooting the enemies in the way with her horn. Kirby starts to fly too, following Coo. As for Rick, without fear, he jumps in the hole, falling right on a block before looking down at were to jump next. Two Waddle Dees with green parasols and a Gordo are following below, making his next jump difficult without taking a hit. Kirby decides to transform into a rock and fall right on one of the Waddle Dees, while Sweetie shoots the other, and also the Bouncy on another block under the Gordo. With the path open, Rick jumps, falls around the Gordo, but miss the block, falling directly in the water, getting close to be hit by a Glunk. Kirby, still a rock, as fallen on another Glunk, and Sweetie shoots the one that has almost hit the hamster. They then take the door under water to the next area.

Another tunnel under water, this time with pipes creating currents leading right into spikes if they aren't fast. Sweetie would like to ask about the presence of those pipes, but trying to avoid drowning, she has to keep her mouth shut to not let air escape. They quickly pass the currents, avoiding the spikes, and enter another door in the way.

This leads to a room, thankfully without water. Before them his a big green jellyfish, and above, a moving bag. This is becoming an habit. The jellyfish remains here for a moment, before skidding across the floor toward them. He then jumps before them, before sparks of electricity get out of his body, electrifying everyone in a shocking surprise for a few seconds. This is followed by him jumping high before shooting a star shaped at Kirby, who is able to get back of his shock and avoid the projectile before inhaling it. Before he can spit it back, the jellyfish falls back on the floor, producing a shock wave toward them. They are all able to jump above it before Kirby spits back the star at the jellyfish, followed by Sweetie shooting him. The jellyfish jumps again, only for Sweetie to shoot him another time on the head, making him fall on it. Kirby then inhale him, getting the spark ability. This gives him a hat made of blue electricity surrounded by a golden circlet with a gem.

The enemy beaten, Coo takes the bag, letting Rick open it to reveal a blue sunfish with a big round mouth that is somehow able to breath despite the absence of water. The fish then happily jumps on place at being free, before jumping on Rick's paws. Sweetie smiles at seeing a new friend.

"Hello!"

"Hiiii!" says Kirby.

"Coo!"

The fish nods at them in return.

"Will you help us in our journey, too?" asks Sweetie Belle, the fish answering her with another nod. "Thank you! My name is Sweetie Belle! This is Kirby, Rick, and Coo! As for you..."

"Kine !" suddenly says Kirby, jumping. The fish jumps on Rick's paws too at hearing the name given to him.

"So it will be Kine. Welcome to the team!" says Sweetie Belle.

They then get out of the room by the door, getting back were they come from.

Oh no! I forgot to take my breath! then thinks Sweetie Belle in panic, only to discovers something in her panic. "Wait..." she then says. "I can breath underwater?! How is this possible?!"

Kirby, Rick, Coo, and Kine stare at her, before laughing, to her embarrassment. Rick then starts to take big breath to show that he can too, followed by Coo and Kirby doing the same, to her amasement. She then places her hooves on her eyes, not believing it.

"So in this world, we can breath underwater? This is... great! But so confusing! Urg... This is like the food, the doors, and everything else, I will just stop thinking about it. Although..." She turns to Kine. "Can you use abilities when Kirby is with you too?"

Kine ponder this for a moment, before he suddenly takes Kirby in his mouth, to the puffball's surprise. Not long after, Kirby fully enters the mouth, and out of it comes a lightbulb, illuminating the tunnel. Kine then spits the lightbulb, hitting an orange frog that was swimming toward them, before Kirby get his head out of the fish's mouth.

"Poyo..."

"That's neat!" shouts Sweetie Belle, making Kine happy at her compliment.

Kirby decides to remains in Kine's mouth while underwater, even if this is not pleasant. They open the way, using the lightbulb to beat all the enemies they cross while the others follow them. Kine being a fish, he also has less problems swimming against the current, this could reveal being useful. After a moment of passing currents, fishes, frogs, and Glunks, they reach the next door, leading to a dark area.

Kine uses the lightbulb to light it, so everyone can better see where they go. It turns out that they are in a small pocket of water at the start of a tunnel. So they get out, Kirby remaining in Kine's mouth so he can still use the lightbulb to light the way. Kine can jump on the floor outside of the water, but Rick decides to take him in his paws to help him. They do well, because they see a door that they wouldn't have been able to see in the dark. However, taking it, they see that it only leads in a small room with some water without any exit. Returning back, they continue their way.

"You know..." then says Sweetie Belle to Kirby. "I wouldn't be surprised if the Rainbow Drop is behind a door like that in the dark. You should try to keep this ability just in case.

Kirby looks at her from Kine's mouth and nods.

In the way, they encounter a new enemy, which is a Sparky. A green creature that looks like a tear drop with two yellow orbs of electricity at the top, and two eyes. After him, they find more water, and a door leading outside, under the surface.

Barely escaping the charge of a Flamer and the jump of a frog, they get out of the water back on ground, Sweetie shooting a coconut in a tree just before them. This is followed by more enemies, and more jumps on small pillars of ground outside of the water, until reaching the next door.

They appear back under water close to the surface, continuing their way. Kine swims under water with Kirby, shocking all fishes, squids and frogs they cross, while Coo takes Sweetie and starts to fly above the surface, just in case, Sweetie shooting the enemies in her sight. For more efficacity, Rick jumps on one of the pillars of ground, and jumps from platforms to platforms, knocking down all the enemies that aren't shooted by the filly. At the end, there is another door.

Another Flamer avoided, they encounter some sort of blue eels with light blue underbelly coming out of pipes. Avoiding them, they reach a hole in the way. Jumping in it, they fall in water again. Finding nothing after destroying some blocs, they eventually find a door that only Kine can reach because of the strong currents. However, clinging to Kine, they are all able to reach it, entering a dark room. Illuminating it, they find a secret door, and take it.

They end up in another room with familiar walls. Jumping on some steps, they reach a few blocs that are different from the normal ones, making Sweetie smile at recognising where they are. They look to be made of iron. But...

"What? We need another ability to destroy them?" she whines at seeing they have made all this way only to get out empty hooved.

"Poyo..."

Well, nothing to do there for now. They get out and get back on the surface with all the eels, continuing their way, until they encounter a Rocky. Kine looks at him, thinks for a moment, and a lightbulb appears in his mouth before disappearing. He then points one of his fins at the Rocky, trying to say something at Kirby. The puffball understands, gives up the spark ability, and eats the Rocky to get the stone. Kine then quickly jumps back with Kirby in the earlier hole, leaving behing Sweetie, Rick and Coo.

"You think it his the right ability ?" asks Sweetie Belle to the animals. They answer with a shrug.

Before long, Kine and Kirby come back, Kirby's big smile telling everything they need to know.

"So this makes three?" He nods. "Yay!" Sweetie and the animals jump in joy at finding another Rainbow Drop, Sweetie hugging Kine, who passes from blue to red.

After this little victory, they resume their way, reaching a new door. The other side his revealed to be a VERY long submerged tunnel full of currents and frogs. Letting themselves carried by the currents, they only have to watch out the frogs. Sadly, Kirby's rock ability is not very effective in this area, beause there are some frogs coming from above them. So Sweetie and Rick are the ones leading the group, followed by Coo, then by Kine with Kirby inside his mouth. In the way, they find a bottle of energy drink, and Sweetie take it with her, planning to drink it with the others once there are no more currents. After a time, they finally reach the door, only for Sweetie to wonder how they will be able to drink the bottle underwater.

Kirby then looks at her with an arched eyebrow, and Sweetie understands what he means. She sighs, seeing no other way, blushing.

"Alright... Take it and... do it."

She gives the bottle to Kirby, who eats it. Then he quickly gets out of Kine and do a mouth to mouth with her, giving her some of the drink. He does the same with Rick and Coo, who aren't as embarrassed as Sweetie who hides her face behind both her hooves and her tail.


They arrive in a big submerged tunnel, finding before them a giant angler fish three to four time Kirby's size. It is brown with a glowing yellow lure, darker yellow fins, and many sharp teeth. It could gobble them in one go ! There are also yellow one eyed starfishes rolling on the walls of the tunnel, and squids floating around.

The fish then starts to fire arrow-shaped lasers from its lure at them, the squids start to swim to reach them, and the starfishes jump from the walls, floating toward them while spinning on themselves.

"Emergency dispersion!" shouts Sweetie Belle, causing the whole group to separate to not be hit by any of the enemies. Coo, however, still get scratched in his right wing, and Sweetie get a cut on her left cheek. Kine, Kirby still in his mouth, quickly gets above the fish and Kirby turns into stone inside him, hitting the big fish right on the head, three starfishes start turning above its head while its eyes get all googly. Kine quickly swims away.

The fish then starts to fire sparks and arrows everywhere in the tunnel in a wild attempt to hit them despite its eyes looking at two directions at the same time. Many of them hit nothing or the fish's minions, but one of them manage to hit Rick in the belly and Sweetie Belle is barely able to avoid one by spreading her legs at the last moment, the projectile passing under her belly. Sweetie shoots back some beams with her horns at the fish, one of them hitting it in its mouth. Too bad they don't have bombs!

Coo swims toward the fish, clings himself on its head with his claw, and starts to poke it at the left eye, making it trash around violently. The fish then charges in hope of getting rid of the owl, barely missing Kine and Sweetie, before hitting the wall, Coo getting out of the way juste before and a starfish getting crushed.

The fish turns back toward them, very angry, its left eye closed. It then charges again at them, mouth wide open, to Sweetie's horror. Coo is the unlucky one being targeted, and the poor owl find himself trying to swim away to not get eaten alive. But birds are not made to swim!

He is saved by Sweetie hitting the fish's right cheek with a beam, getting its attention. The fish charges at her.

"Horseappeeeeeuuuuuule!!!" screams Sweetie Belle now trying to not get eaten. The fish is almost at her, until Kine falls on its head with a stone-shaped belly. This doesn't stop it, but the sudden weight forces its head to get down, the lure hitting Sweetie, who then clings to it. The fish gets rid of Kine with one good swing of its head, unknowingly getting Sweetie to be carried around by the lure getting wild. In panic, she shoots the fish in the right eye.

Bad idea...

This causes the fish to heavily swing its head back in pain, carrying the lure and Sweetie still on it. Then with her weight, the lure swings back right in the fish's mouth, getting the filly stuck inside as the fish closes its mouth, accidentally bitting its lure. Its eyes open back because of the sudden pain, and twitch, the fish becoming immobile. With the lure inside its mouth, its inside can be seen being illuminated, some light escaping from the mouth.

With the fish immobilised, the animals swim toward it in hope of saving Sweetie Belle, Kine in head. But then...

A small explosion is suddenly heard from inside the fish, then another, and another. As the fish restarts to move around, more explosions are heard inside. The fish collides with a wall, then charges at another, before finally releasing the lure, and Sweetie Belle with it. She fires another beam in the mouth before getting out of range of the inside. She then screams "And don't try to eat me again!" while releasing the lure.

Before the fish can do anything, it takes another hit from stone Kirby inside of Kine. It seems to be the final straw, because the fish's eyes finally close, and it starts to fall toward the bottom of the tunnel, not moving anymore.

Sweetie looks at it for a few moment with angry eyes. Kirby approaches her to see if she is alright, when she suddenly hugs him. Then, he can hear her starting to cry.

"I... I really though that I would get eaten...Sniff I was so scared... I... Sniff I... Sniff I wanna see my mommyyy!"

Kirby hugs her back, patting her on the back, rubbing his head against her. Rick, Coo and Kine join the hug too, being there for her.


While they are flying above the Rainbow Islands on the Warp Star, Kirby looks behind him at Sweetie Belle in worry. The filly, while clinging to the Warp Star to not fall, is currently pressed against Rick, the hamster giving her comfort. Coo is at her other side, his wing wrapped around her. Kine sadly can't do much, beside being close. He had forgotten that the filly was just, well, a filly. A child. He is young too, but he has always known how to live by himself, facing danger head on without fear, not being bothered by things like almost getting killed in battle. But Sweetie Belle hasn't. Apparently, she comes from another world, living what anyone would consider a normal life, with a family, friends, a home, safety. But now, here she is, by herself, forced into a life risking adventure, and just lived her real first near death experience.

Thankfully, he, Rick, Coo, and Kine are there for her. Dedede too apparently, taking care of her in his castle. But right now, he is seemingly sleepwalking and scheming evil plans while sleeping. And he is not sure that treating her like a potential living weapon to fight him count. A part of Dedede's army seems to truly care for her, too bad they are actually forced to fight her. Why don't they rebel? He will probably never know the answer. Or maybe it's just blind loyalty, or because Dedede is strong... Whatever. In the absence of Dedede and his army, they will watch over Sweetie Belle and make sure that nothing happens to her. And he has an idea... Hopefully, it will work as he thinks.

He has taken a detour to let the memories of the event pass, but now, they are starting to approach the fourth island: Iceberg.

Chapter 11: Iceberg

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The Warp Star disappears like the previous times, dropping them on the snowy ground. The animals immediately take a formation around Sweetie Belle, Rick before her, Coo flying above, and Kine behind. Sweetie can't help but smile at how protective they have become after her earlier... 'episode'. Kirby is at her right, looking at her.

"Poyo...?"

"I... I will be ok." she tries to assure him. "Thank you all."

Kirby smiles at her, before he does something that she doesn't espect. He jumps on her back. "Poyo!"

This makes Sweetie laugh. "Kirby! You don't need to..." But she is then stopped by another unexperted event. A sudden light appears around her, and her fur turns into white stone! "Wh... WHAAT?!"

Kirby seems to knew it would happens, because he starts to jump happily on her back, shouting "Poyo! Poyo! Poyo!"

However, the animals are clearly surprised, with how they are watching her with mouths wide open, or more open in Kine's case.

Sweetie looks at her stoned hooves in wonder, still being able to move, before looking at Kirby. "Since when...?" Kirby points at the sky. "On the Warp Star?" He nods. "You got, just like that, the idea that I may gain the same ability as Rick, Coo, and Kine if you were riding on my back?"

"Poyo!" He nods again.

She looks back at herself. "But how... I don't even understand how the animals gain this hability, but at least they are from this world, so there may be a link! But I'm not! I'm an alien! I have nothing to do with Popstar! So... HOW?!"

A paw is pressed on her mouth. When she looks, Rick is looking at her, before shaking his head, as if to say "Don't question it, just accept it."

Sweetie deadpans at him, then sighs. "You are right. Let's just say 'it's magic' and be done with it. Actually..." She looks at her horn. "Maybe it's magic!" She groans "Too bad Twilight isn't there, she would have probably been able to find out... after freaking out about it." She looks at herself again. "Well at least it's neat. I wonder now what I may obtain with your other abilities." She then puts a hoof on her mane to feel it, only to hit more stone. "Wow! Even my mane is all rocky, probably my tail too! I wonder if I can eat rock, now."

The animals look at her with a deadpan expression, clearly thinking "Seriously?"

Sweetie sees their look. "What?" This makes Kirby laugh.

Shaking their head, they turn back toward where they want to go, taking back their position around Sweetie Belle. Rick waves for them to move, and the group's journey on Iceberg finally starts.

If only her turning into stone could also protect her from the cold. Hopefully, she will not catch something. She will definitely ask for a scarf!

One of those things flying with a propeller is their first encounter. It starts to charge at them once they approach too much, and Sweetie shoots it before it gets too close, being the only one that is actually able to deal with it without taking its explosion. This is followed by one of those hedgehogs that give the niddle ability. As soon as they get close, it gets on its belly and spreeds its spikes around to protect itself. Sweetie then thinks about testing something, so she passes Rick and stops before the hedgehog. Raising her right hoof, she then punches it, without even being hurt by the spikes, actually sending the hedgehog flying right into the Bouncy behind it. Sweetie looks at her hoof with a big smile. "Yay!"

Rick whistles and waves a paw, feeling for the poor hedgehog that must have a concussion now.

"S-Sweetie Belle?!" suddenly screams a voice from above. When they look up, they see a Waddle Dee on a bridge, shocked. "Sweetie Belle, is that you?"

Sweetie Belle gasps. "Is that you Waddle Dee? Oh my gosh! I'm so happy to see you again! Are you alright?"

"Y-yeah... But... What..."

"I'm glad! Hey! Look!" She waves at her body. "I'm now made of stone! When Kirby rides on me, I can use his abilities! Like Rick, Coo, and Kine!"

"That... That's good... Hum... Imustgothatwasnicetoseeyouagain!" He then runs away, screaming "We are even more doomed! Fly, you fools!" They then see a Sparky jumping from another bridge above, before running away too.

This makes Sweetie pout. "Oh come on! What a drama queen! I wasn't going to punch him too hard! He is my best friend, and we were okay that we would fight as if I was training! Mph!"

The others can only sweat. "P-poyo..."


They don't encounter any enemies for a few seconds, before crossing a lonely Flamer after destroying a few blocs. Before the Flamer can start charging at them, Kirby quickly gives up his rock ability, giving back at Sweetie Belle her normal appearence, before eating him for his fire, thinking that it could be useful in this island. With the fire, not only he gains the hat, but Sweetie's mane and tail catch fire too!

"Wha- WAAAAH!! I'm on fire! Water! Quick! Quick!" She runs around in panic, jumping of the bridge on which they have found the Flamer, tapping the fire on her head to try to stop it, without succes, Kirby clinging to her neck for dear life. But then, she realizes something. The fire doesn't hurt! "Oh right! Fire ability! Kirby is riding me! So I have fire ability too!" She gasps. "Does that mean I can spit fire?!"

"Poyo!"

"Wait Kirby, I must see!" She takes a big breath, only to spit nothing, to her disappointment. "Aww..." But then, Kirby taps on her head to gain her attention. When she looks at him, he points at her horn. "Wait, my horn? Of course!" She then points her horn before her, and concentrates like she does when she uses her beams. Befole long, a fireball is shooted from her horn! She then screams "This is awesome!"

A sudden chill creeps at the backs of Kirby and the animals, having the feeling that they have unleashed a beast. Does she still need to be protected?

At least she stopped thinking about the giant fish almost eating her.


At the same time, far enough, Waddle Dee spies the group with binoculars. He then says "We are SO doomed... Maybe I should go say to everyone to go hide..."

Broom Sunglasses, also with binoculars, and eating pop corns, then says "No need. Let her have her fun. If what I heard about what she has done in the forest is true, then it should be funny. This filly as great potential! Now just sit down, take some pop corns, and enjoy."

"But..." Waddle Dee starts to say, only to be hit by a broom.

"I said enjoy."

Waddle Dee sighs. At least, I warned everyone around. I hope they will spread the word. He then turns to Broom Sunglasses. "What is it about the forest?"

Broom Sunglasses chuckles. "Ooh boy. What a story."


Sweetie and the others pass under the earlier bridge, approaching a door, only to have a bad surprise in the form of blocks of snow disappearing under them. Coo quicly catches Kine who has almost fallen. Now watching on what they walk, they enter the door to a small tunnel leading to some blocks of ice. Sweetie Belle immediately understand what she must do, and shoots a fireball, melting the blocks and opening the way. Behind them is a small room with another bag.

Opening it, they discover the same blue blob that they have saved in the forest. Like previously, he licks them one by one, ending with Kirby, before jumping away, now spitting fire.

...

"Wait. Is he copying your ability by licking you, Kirby?"

"Poyo..."


They get out, and continue, only to encounter nothing for a while, excepted a Propeller that Sweetie beats without problem, and a Shotzo, a living canon that are numerous in Dedede's castle. Sweetie remember thinking they were normal canons, until she saw one of them move alone. Like Gordo, they are invincible, so they have no choice but avoid it. Luckily, the next door is just before it.

Taking it, they reach a new area where they are welcomed by a penguin spitting ice at them. Kirby quickly jumps on Rick so he can spit fire back and cancel the ice until the penguin stops. He then jumps back on Sweetie Belle while Rick punches the penguin. Too bad, she would have loved to see what it would have been with the ice ability. Would her mane and tail become ice and would she be able to shoot ice balls? It would be cool!

The area is full of those penguins, but with Sweetie Belle raining fireballs on them, and avoiding the snow blocks, they have no problems reaching the next door. Guarding it is a Sir Kibble, so Sweetie thinks it's the occasion to see how she is with the cutter ability, but Kirby refuses to eat it, so Sweetie has no choices but to burn it.

The door leads to an area guarded by a big, living grey block with a face and two feet. The block then jumps, trying to crush them under it. They avoid it, and Sweetie shoots fireballs, nobody wanting to try their luck at punching it. The block then charges at her, but thankfully, it's slow, so she doesn't have any problems avoidind it. A few more fireballs, and it stops moving, falling on the ground. This opens the next door.

They end up on a platform, below them being slopes. Just above them, on a block, is a Rocky. Everyone understand what has to happen next. So Kirby gives up the fire and takes the rock before jumping on Rick. Now with the form of a round rock, Rick starts to roll down the slopes, crushing all enemies they encounter, followed by Sweetie Belle and Coo, the last one having Kine in his claws. Many slopes later, they reach the bottom, where there is another door, which they take after Kirby jumps back on the filly, turning her into her rock form.

In the next area, a strong wind pushes them forward, the only one able to resist it being Coo. In the way, they have to jump on blocks to avoid the two chicks and the Cappy that are between them. Sweetie destroys some more blocks, revealing that they are coming close to a hole where they have to jump on a small pillar to pass it. Rick take Kine in his arms, run toward the hole, and is able to jump on the pillar before jumping again, landing at the other side of the hole, some blocks stopping them from being pushed further by the wind. Seeing her turn quickly coming, Sweetie gulps, regretting not having wings like Coo, before jumping. She quickly sees that she has jumped too far, passing above the pillar, but not reaching the other side of the hole.

"Oh no!"

Kirby doesn't lost time, clings himself to Sweetie, and inflates. The two of them starts to float, with Kirby leading them to join Rick and Kine while Coo places himself under Sweetie just in case. They land beside Rick, who takes the trembling filly in his arms while Kirby pats her back.

"Thank you, Kirby." says Sweetie Belle. It's the second close call! The journey is really starting to become dangerous. She has to pay a closer attention to everything, or else... She gulps, trying to regain courage, before saying "L-let's go."

They look at her for a few second, and nod. Rick let her go, before turning and destroying the blocs. They then reach a wall of indestructible blocs, forcing them to jump on them. Still pushed by the wind, they barely have time to jump again to avoid the snow blocs, and the Broom Hatter that is somehow able to walk on them without destroying them. They land on other indestructible blocs, and jump again to avoid more snow blocs with a Kabu on them. The process is repeated another time, this time with an hedgehog.

After that, they finally reach a place where the wind is not as strong, but somehow too strong to let them walk back. They are between floating indestructible blocs before and behind them, with doors on them. They now have to choose. The problem is that the wind stop them from reaching the first door. Coo being the only one able to reach it, he will have to carry everyone one by one.

Not knowing which door to take, and if one of them leads to the Rainbow Drop, they decide to split the group in two. Coo carries Kirby and Kine to the first door, while Sweetie hops on Rick, and the hamster jumps before the second one. After Coo is finished with his task, he comes back to Rick and Sweetie Belle. The idea is that the two smallers groups will enter the two doors, and if one of them is a door without a way back, then the group taking it will wait the other. If the two are doors without way back, then... they will just wait about 10 minutes, then continue the journey in their separate way.

Sweetie's group enter one of those rooms with a bag and a more powerfull enemy. Lucky for her, the enemy here is one that she knows very well: the brown parasol.

The parasol seems to be a different one than the one they have beaten, because it clearly doesn't recognize her. It attacks directly by spinning toward them, only for Sweetie to stop its attack with a beam. Rick quickly gets behind the parasol and takes it in a bear hug, trapping it. Sweetie then charges her horn, and releases a charged beam, more powerful, that the parasol take right in the face. Rick then slams the parasol on the ground, jumps, and fall on it with all his weight, crushing the parasol under his belly, defeating him. Their enemy beaten, Coo take the bag, brings it back to the floor, and opens it.

That blue blob, again! How does he get captured so quickly?


Well, at least, they saved the blob, again. Now they can join Kirby. Coo carries them one by one to the other door, and once done, they enter it, finding Kirby and Kine waiting for them in the other side.

"Poyo?" asks the puffball.

"Nothing. Just that blue blob that we had to save, again."

This disappoints Kirby, because this means they still have to search the place where the Rainbow Drop is. He then jumps back on Sweetie, turning her into stone.

The group united, they resume their journey, where Sweetie discover that they are trapped between two wall of snow. The only way is up, by jumping on ice blocks, snow platforms sticking out of the walls or floating in the air, and ice platforms while avoiding stalactites falling from the ceilings. At the top, they find a door, and a tomato that the whole group rushes to eat!

After the door, they find themselves in a small tunnel, where the only way is blocked by star blocks. Destroying them leads to a way down, and more blocks. After much more blocks, they find a door above ice blocks, and yet the tunnel continue. They explore further, only to find the way blocked by more ice blocks. They will need the fire ability.

Thankfully, the room behind the door has no less than six enemies that they knock out, all of them giving a different ability, among them a Flamer. There is also a Rocky, an hedgehog, a Sir Kibble, a green parasol, and a penguin. At this, Sweetie looks at Kirby with pleading eyes, seeing an opportunity. Kirby understands and sighs, accepting. Beside, he is curious to see too how Sweetie will use his abilities.

Turns out Sweetie has been thinking right about the ice ability. It transforms her mane and tail into ice, and she can shoot ice balls from her horn. She can also skate on the floor, to her joy.

The needle ability gives her spiky fur all over her body except where Kirby is to not hurt him. Enemies trying close quarter combat with her will end up turned into cheese.

As for the parasol, it makes a parasol appears out of her horn, serving as a shield, the downside being that when it's open, she can't see where she goes. She is also able to use it to slow her fall, like Kirby and the Waddle Dees.

And finally, the cutter ability. With it, she can use her tail to send sharp crescent waves behind her. The waves have a boomerang effect, so after flying behind her for a seconde, they turn back and pass her to attack whatever is in their path before her. Thankfully, the waves don't have any effects on her, as she has seen after accidentally getting hit by one.

After testing all those abilities, Kirby finally takes the fire one, and they get back in the tunnel. Sweetie Belle first destroys the ice blocks under the door, only to end up in dead ends. So they take the remaining way, destroying the ice blocks blocking it, until they reach the end of the tunnel, and the door.

The next area in nothing more than a serie of slopes where the stone ability and Rick would have done wonder. Insteed, they pass it the normal way, punching and burning all the enemies they cross, watching out for the Rockys and the stalactites. After the door, they end in a small room with a new enemy and another bag.

"Again?" whines Sweetie Belle. "If it's this blue blob again...!" She then looks at the enemy. "Hum... Hello, mister...?"

"Frosty," answers the bipedal white walrus-like creature. He wears dark blue overalls and light blue shoes. No tusks on him, thankfully. He then turn around and lower himself to do something, exposing his... nacked buttocks...

"I... didn't need to see that..." Sweetie says with round eyes.

Thankfully Frosty turn around, only to throw an ice block at them. Sweetie quickly gets out of her shock and shoots a fireball at the bloch, destroying it, then shoots again at the walrus. He doesn't like that, because he then charges at them, rather slowly. Avoiding him, Coo use his claws to scratch his bald head. Trying to slap the owl, Frosty ends up percuting the wall, and Sweetie takes the occasion to shoot a fireball at his butt, making him jump in pain to the point that his head hits the ceiling. Back on the floor, on his belly, he is vulnerable to Rick, the hamster kicking him in the nose, stunning him even more. He is still able to get up and roar in rage, only to eat a fireball from Sweetie, which finally knock him out as smoke comes out of his mouth.

In the bag is the blue blob...

"Are you sure you don't want to come with us? You wouldn't get captured like that." proposes Sweetie. The blob seems to understand her, because rather than jumping away, he starts to think. After a moment, he finally nods, accepting her proposition.

He then says something. "Gooey!"

"Is that your name?" asks Sweetie, and Gooey nods. He seems to be in many ways like Kirby. Gooey then wraps his tongue around the unconscious Frosty... and eats him! After that, he starts spitting ice !

"So he can really copy abilities ! He is like you Kirby!"

"Poyo?" Kirby raises an eyebrow. He has really though that he was the only one with this ability.

Let's hope that the guys he eats reappear too...


The following area is another tunnel, this time with water. Gooey immediately jumps inside Kine's mouth, the fish almost shocking with how he has been not expecting this. But then he discovers that he can now use ice, surrounding himself of ice crystals. So Gooey can also influence the animals?

Well, anyway, they all jump in the water, Kine using the ice ability to freeze the fish and Glunks that attacks them. Back on the ground, it's Sweetie's turn, using her fire ability to destroy the blocs in the way and burn the frogs behind them. They reach another water point with more frogs and Glunks, all turned into ice cubes by Kine. The fish also use the ice to destroy more blocs in the way, finding a way up to a room where there is a tomato, to everyone's joy. That is, until Gooey wraps his tongue around it and eats it whole. Everyone stares at him for a long moment of silence, before tears starts to fall from Kirby's eyes at having his favorite food stollen from him under his nose.

"Hum... Gooey... In the futur, could you avoid eating the food by yourself unless we tell you you can please? We all wanted a part of that tomato." Sweetie says with sorrow, confirmed by all the animals nodding at him, disappointment in their eyes and Rick patting Kirby in the back.

Gooey sweats before rubbing his tongue against the back of his head, smiling sheepishly. "Googoo..."


The second half of the tunnel being similar to the first half, it doesn't take long for them to find the door. Back outside, Sweetie quickly uses a fireball to eliminate a Propeller, before they jump on a big bridge with a few other smaller bridges above it. They encounter a few Poppys, but Kirby doesn't dare to give up the fire in case there are more ice blocs. Gooey decides to do it instead, giving him the bomb ability, which he uses immediately to eliminate some of the enemies. Sweetie then looks at him with hesitation, before her curiosity win.

"Gooey? Do you want do get on my back please ? I wanna see what the bomb ability gives me."

Gooey looks at Kirby, and the two nods. Kirby hops off of Sweetie, and Gooey jumps at his place. With him on her back, Sweetie tries to test how the bomb ability work with her. She uses her horn, and a bomb materialise before her face before she catches it with her hooves. With a "Eep!", she immediately throws it as far as she can before it explodes. She does another test, this time not wanting the bomb to materialise before her, bur farther, and it does! She looks at one of the bridges above, and is able to materialise another bomb on it! The main dowside is that the bombs are smallers than Kirby's, and are less powerful, but still! She can materialise bombs wherever she wants! And because the bombs fall, she can hit enemies hidden behind obstacles!


"We are so so SO doomed..."

"What? I love fireworks!"


They have to watch out when they reach the next door, because it is on a snow bloc. Sweetie, with Gooey still on her back, his the first to jump and pass it. Rick, is the one following, jumping on a snow bloc a little below before jumping again to pass the door. Coo, with Kine in his claws, and Kirby just fly through it.

In the next area, they are immediately attacked by one of those black hedgehog thing like Kirby and Sweetie Belle have encountered before freeing Rick. The hedgehog jumps and fall back toward them like a meteor, forcing them to disperse. Kirby quickly jump on Rick and the hamster starts to spit fire at him, while Sweetie Belle materialises bombs after bombs. The poor creature doesn't last more than ten seconds against the onslaught, opening the way under some ice platforms.

It becomes rather calm for a moment, not much traps beside a few snow blocks, and some enemies trying to surprise them from behind. But when they pass the next door after beating a Scarfy, they find themselves on snow blocks, Coo warning them of the danger. A quick jump later, and they see that they have done well, because there are spikes under the snow blocks. Not thinking about the barely escaped trap, they start traveling the tunnel in which they have ended up. They go up with a few jumps, they beat a few Sir Kibble embushing them, jump above more snow blocks, and jump again above spikes in the way, Sweetie exploding some Glunks at the same time.

After two rows of spikes, they end up at an edge, with two ways possible. They either go below, or they continue before them where they would have to jump above a few more rows of spikes. They decides to go below, where they have to destroy a few ice blocks, before falling in a water point. Kirby going inside Kine's mouth, they eliminate two frogs and destroy a few star blocks, before revealing a door that only kine can reach, currents stopping the other from swimming toward it.

They all look at each other, questioning if they should take it or try the other way too. Kirby decides to take the risk and sign to Kine to go. They enter the door, only to get out a second later, Kirby smiling at them. Kine approach them, and Kirby sign them to cling to Kine. With the help of the fish, they all enter the door, into a room with ice blocks in a side, and star blocks at the other. They see the walls, and immediately understand where they are.

"It's one of those rooms with a Rainbow Drop!"

"Poyo!"

With Kirby still inside his mouth, Kine jump on an ice platform, and spit fireballs after fireballs to destroy the ice blocks, revealing a Rainbow Drop! Kirby doesn't wait to take it, everyone jumping in joy.

"This makes four!" screams Sweetie, before turning to the star blocks. "I wonder what there is behind those blocks." She answers her question by using bombs on the blocs, revealing a Gordo on a socle similare to one that had the Rainbow Drop. "Seriously?"


They return where they have had to choose a way, and take the remaining one, avoiding spikes and snow blocks, until they reach what is seemingly a dead end. Gooey then uses his tongue on one of the snow blocks, showing that the rest of the way is hidden below those. After that, it's not long before they reach the door... on more snow blocks. And it's not hard to guess that those ones don't hide some secret way or room.

Like before, the others let Sweetie jumps first with Gooey, showing to the others that there are spikes under the blocks, followed by Kirby, Coo with Kine in his claws, and finally, Rick takes a big risk by jumping through the door.


They appear in a cavern with a high ceiling, facing something that remind Sweetie of what Spike would be if he was obese. The creature is some sort of round bipedal dragon about the size of Dedede. He has light blue scales with a cream belly and teal spikes on his back. The problem? For a dragon, he is adorable! The other problem? He's roaring at them, showing them his fangs.

So, her first adventure, and she ends up fighting a dragon? Hum... Cutie Mark Crusader Dragon Slayer, yay?

Yeah, not sure about that. She has already almost gotten herself eaten by a giant fish, and this oversized lizard has a rather big mouth. Well, if she keep her distance, she wouldn't be eaten, right? Yes! With her bombs, it should be a piece of cake!

That is until the dragon starts to run toward them, mouth wide open, and there is not much space in the tunnel to avoid him. Sweetie starts to panic, until she gets an idea. She materialises a bomb juste before the dragon's mouth. The dragon still running, the bomb ends up inside his mouth, and Sweetie sees that it is gobbled, the bomb ending in his stomach. One second later, they hear a small boom and the dragon's belly briefly inflates. He then stops, smoke getting out of his mouth. Kirby takes the opportunity, gets on Rick, and they attack the dragon with fire.

The dragon quickly replies by spitting ice on the both of them, freezing them. The fire ability gets knocked out, but Kirby is fast enough to get it back before it disappears. They then step back.

So it's an ice dragon? It should have been obvious, with all the ice and snow and cold... This also means we have the right ability, with the fire.

Sweetie quickly gets around the dragon, going at the opposite side of the tunnel. Coo dives toward him to poke him with his beak before having to fly back because of the dragon's ice breath. Kine jumps before his face and slap him a few times with his tail before retreating too. Having enough, the dragon jump high before falling back, Kine barely escaping being crushed. But somehow, this make stalactites to form in the ceiling before falling. Coo is hit in surprise by one of them, and Gooey takes one too, protecting Sweetie. This gets the bomb knocked out of him, but he quickly uses his tongue to take it back.

Before Sweetie could ask if he is alright, the dragon slams a foot on the floor, making a stalagmite appear before him. With one hit from his tail, he sends it toward the filly, who is hit, the attack violently sending her to the back wall, which gets Gooey a little crushed. Yet again, the bomb ability is knocked out. Lucky for them, the dragon is attacked from behind by Rick breathing fire at his back, which get his attention. The hamster retreats as the dragon breath his ice at him, using his tail as a propeller to move forward, chasing them.

Meanwhile, Gooey yet again gets back the bomb, and Sweetie uses one on the dragon's head. Coo, who has taken Kine in his claws, release the fish above the dragon, Kine headbutting him before jumping away. The dragon roars, then starts to jump all around the tunnel, making raining stalactites. Gooey leaves Sweetie belle to use his more powerful bombs to destroy a few of them, then attacks the dragon with another. Sweetie finds herself having to use her beam, destroying more stalactites to save her friends, even if Kine still gets hit.

The dragon then kicks the floor a dozen time, making a circle of stalagmite to appear around him, before he uses his tail to send them all over the tunnel. Coo save Kine while everyone else his able to jump abole the projectiles. In mid-jump, Sweetie counterattacks with a few beams and Gooey throw another bomb, before Rick takes Kirby and throws him too toward the dragon. Kirby surrounds himself in fire, and rams the dragon on the head like a meteor.

This gets the dragon to finally lose consciousness, falling belly first on the floor, almost crushing Kirby who has to run away. Everyone look at the beast, before approaching him slowly. Kirby pokes him a few times to see if he wakes up, and confirms that they have beaten him by raising his left arm with a big smile. Sweetie sighs in relief.

Wait until she says to Spike that she has beaten a dragon alongside a hamster, an owl, a fish, a blob, and a puffball. Still, that has been a tough fight.

Fourth island done, three to go. Next one: Red Canyon.

Chapter 12: Red Canyon

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By the time they reach Red Canyon, the sun is already starting to set, the sky turning orange. The perfect setting for this island made of red stone, hence the name. This gives also a panoramic view like Sweetie has never seen before, the filly opening her mouth in awe before so much beauty and majesty from the mountainous island. And that's when she finally pick up about the mountains, which they will have to climb...

When all of this is finished, she will probably sleep a whole week.

The Warp Star drops them just before a Bouncy, followed by another, then two Waddle Dees, one of them charging from behind. And they have just arrived ! After some jumps above holes, they reach three blocks made of stone with cracks on them. The first and last blocks are above spikes, while the middle one is above a door. It doesn't take a genius to guess that those blocks are like the snow ones back in Iceberg. Knowing that, they are able to reach the door while avoiding the spikes and exploding the Rocky on the middle block.

Sweetie will really have to ask Waddle Dee how they can walk on those blocks without destroying them.

They find themselves on a bridge above spikes, facing a green jellyfish like at Ripple Fields. Sweetie immediately drops a bomb on it, followed by some fireballs from Kine with Kirby in his mouth. The jellyfish hasn't even time to attack before it his knocked out. Gooey then discards the bomb and eat the jellyfish, gaining the spark ability.

With Gooey being on Sweetie, she gets the spark too, not changing much her appearance outside of making her mane and tail look more like the ones of Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash, even spikier with some arcs of electricity appearing in them sometime. She tests the ability and discovers that she now can shoot lightning from her horn!

Back at the previous area, they continue their way, quickly running on the stone blocks that follow before they disappear. On a pillar further, they spot, below, a tomato on a stone block above a profound hole. Not taking any risk, Coo flies to it and takes it in his claws. Once he is back, they cut the tomato in six parts for everyone, taking a small break. The door is not far after.

After the door, they are underground, jumping on some more pillars while avoiding two Gordos. They then have to get up, jumping on a block that can't be destroyed and avoiding a third Gordo flying horizontally. They pass another Gordo and a Flamer, destroy somes star blocks, and have to get up again with the help of another indestructible block. Sweetie uses her lightning to shock a Poppy on a giant apple, before Gooey eat the apple, and they do the same thing for the two following Poppys.

They reach a dead end with some stone block in the ground, and understand that they have to continue this way. The next few moments are a chaos where they have to wait for a few rows of blocks to disappear while trying to avoid Gordos in small spaces, and Rick and Sweetie get hit. They finally fall on another row of stone blocks, with before and behind them star blocks. Kirby and Rick quickly destroy them before moving from the disappearing stone blocks, revealing spikes under them. One of the wall of star blocks lead to a small dead end, forcing the ones that have ran to it to be carried by Coo to the other side.

Passing the other wall of star block, they get out of the mountain, where they have to jump a few top pointed pillars before reaching the door, which is floating in the air above nothing, meaning they have to jump through it without failing. Because of this, Coo and Kirby are the last ones to take it, so they could catch anyone that would miss the door. It leads to another underground tunnel, where they have yet again to jump from pillar to pillar while avoiding more Gordos. The pillars eventually let place to three small platforms sticking out of the walls, with a star block between them. Shotzos drop from holes in the ceiling on the blocks, stopping them. Thankfully, they just have to destroy the blocs to get rid of them, the Shotzos falling in the void below them.

They then find themself back on pillars, with more blocks between them, but this time, no Shotzos, but a Waddle Dee, then a Sparky, another Waddle Dee, and a Sir Kibble. They find the door, where they have to jump on two more blocks to reach it, Sweetie using lightning on the new knight guarding it.

The knight has been different from the Blade Knights and Sword Knights, possessing a cylindrical black body with a purple helmet on his head with an orange spike on top. His hands and feets have been purple too and he has had no eyes visible through the visor of the helmet.

They just arrive in the new area that they are attacked by Bronto Burts and an hedgehog followed by a Broom Hatter. Not long behind the Hatter, they are ambushed by three Kabus appearing in the air, one of them falling on Kine. Barely finished with the Kabus, and they are assaulted by four Bouncies. Are they finally starting to send more troops to stop them? Or is this just this area? In one case like in the other, they have to beat much more enemies before reaching the door.

And... They are back in the forest.

What? How are we back in the forest? I thought that those doors didn't teleport this far! And I haven't seen a forest in Red Canyon since the Warp Star! And... IS THAT A NINJA?!

Before them is a bipedal creature in purple ninja garb, with yellow shoes. The biped possesses yellow five fingered hands and two yellow eyes. There is no mistaking him, he is a real ninja.

After living parasols, a dragon, giant animals and whatever, I now fight a ninja?!

She shakes her head to focus back on the ninja, only to be hit by some crescent-shaped projectile, cutting her. Rick charges at him, but the ninja suddenly disappear before flashing around in the air. After about two seconds, he stops and start to drop toward Kirby, who avoids the attack by jumping in Coo's claws. Hitting the floor, a star leading flames appear from his feet before bouncing on the ground, threatening to burn anyone touching it. He is burned by Kirby and Coo counterattacking him by charging him surrounded in fire.

The ninja runs, and at Sweetie's surprise, runs up a tree! He then jumps and kicks Coo in the face before throwing two crescent-shaped projectiles toward Rick and Kile. While they jump out of the way, Sweetie is able to hit the ninja with lightning. Rick follow by punching the ninja in the face, knocking him out.

I should write down everything I have done since arriving in this world. I can now add 'fighting a ninja.'


After the ninja, they are back in an underground tunnel partially submerged. In it, they find a tomato, before reaching another door without any problems. It's the next area that cause problem, because there are no less than three doors. They decide to follow the same strategy as earlier, this time separating the group into three. Sweetie and Gooey take one, Kirby alone take another, and the three animals take the last.

Sweetie enters the door, coming face to face with a knight similar to the previous one. But he wears a skull mask and use an axe. A single lightning as reason of him, but she gains nothing from that fight. When Sweetie comes back, she sees that the others have been able to win their fight, and have gotten nothing too. What a lost of time...

They end up traversing a bridge before reaching an area where they have to jump through many pillars to go to the next door on a tall, but narrow pillar. The next area reveals to be a lake where they find a tomato at the bottom, Sweetie starting to get full again. They then separate, Kirby and Kine taking the water way while the others continue at the surface, fighting many enemies including a few embushing Kabus. After the Kabus, they regroup, nothing important reported. Fighting somes eels, they reach a water pit, having to enter it to continue. At the bottom, pipes release currents leading them right into spikes, forcing them to swim up to not get turned into cheese. At a moment, they pass under a hole that Kirby and Kine can reach, leading to a door. While they continue to follow the current, Kirby and Kine go into the door, coming back a few moment later with the cutter ability and another tomato. Now Sweetie is really getting full. She may have to decline the next one, as sad as it is.

The following area is a succession of rock platforms and bridges where they have to ascend, fighting many Broom Hatters on the way alongside a few other minions. At the end, they have to avoid three Gordos and fight two Scarfys before entering the door. And now they have to cross an area full of platforms on narrow pillars, making seem as if the platforms would fall if there is too much weight on one edge. The most annoying are all the Bronto Burts bothering their jumps, forcing Kirby to go with Coo so he could use the feathers with the cutter ability to get rid of them.

After another door, they are now in a room, with... a giant Gordot that look angry? And who actually attacks them? Panic starts to appear in the group.

"How are we gonna fight him? Gordos are invincible, and this one must not be different!"

Before they can think too long to find a solution, the giant Gordo charges at them, forcing them to disperse. The Gordo then hits the wall behind them... and his spikes fall off of him... his body takes a pale blue... and he loses his angly look...

They all attack him at the same time. It only takes three seconds...

Sweetie deadpans at his unconscious body. "That's... disappointing."

They all nod. The smaller Gordos are far more annoying than this one.

After this... 'battle'... they end up in a place where violent winds push them, but there are not much in term of obstacles. All they have to do is jump above the stone blocks not long after the start, eliminate the few enemies, jump above some spikes at a point, and not jump to avoid three Gordos in a row.

The next area is more interesting. They start in an underwater tunnel where currents push them. Sweetie not wanting to use electricity in the water, let Gooey separate from her so she can uses her beams while Gooey can use the same water jet as Kirby. As for Kirby, he enters Kine's mouth, and spits from inside sharp waves right before him thanks to the cutter ability. With all of them, they have no problems knocking out the Blippers and the Glunks in the way, until they reach a place where they can get out of the water even if the tunnel continue in a level above. This second level is a straight line full of pipes expelling air with fishes hoping on the ground and an eel coming out of a pipe at one point. Going on the pipes, the currents expulse them in the air, making them fly, much to Sweetie's joy, the filly starting to laugh.

And now I can add 'using air currents to fly'! This is so fun!

One last pipe leads them higher, reaching a third level of the tunnel. with more eels and some Scarfys between blocks. At the end, they can see the door behind two Gordos trapped between blocks. They have to destroy all the blocks, so the Gordos can have bigger space to move, leaving the group more space to pass them.

After the door, they are in another tunnel where they have to go up by using platforms with Sparkys on them. At the top, they have to go forward, before going down through some star blocks and reach water. They have to pass through Glunks and squids while avoiding two Gordos before getting out of it, landing on more platforms with Sparkies. At the top of the platforms, they reach not one, but two doors side by side. Kirby jumps on Rick, and together with Kine, enter the left door, while Sweetie, Gooey, and Coo enters the right door. Turns out that the right door is the right one, because they end up on a floating rock platform with no way back, just a way up in a vertical tunnel. While waiting, Sweetie zaps a few Sir Kibbles above them.

A few seconds later, Kirby, Rick and Kine join them, Kirby having a tomato in his hands. Sweetie bits her lips, still full. Oh heck! I'm not missing it! And it's with a stomach aching a little that they start to climb the tunnel, using floating platforms, bridges, and even stone blocks to go up. They then have to climb two slopes, then jump on more platforms, before reaching... another tomato!

"Oh come on! What is with all those tomatoes?! I can't eat anymore!" Kirby and the animals look at her before chuckling. Kirby then takes the tomato to partage it, about to partage it in five parts, before she then says "Urg! Just give me a part! I will eat it later!" which Kirby does, Sweetie placing the tomato part on her back in front of Gooey. "Don't eat it, alright? Just make sure it doesn't fall."

A few more jumps later, another problem arise. There is a door, and up above a few more platforms, there is another door. Yet again, they separate like earlier, same groups. Kirby, Rick and Kine take the first door, and Sweetie, Gooey and Coo take the one at the top.

They appear in what Sweetie recognizes as what she now call a Rainbow Drop Room, making her smile widely. And apparently, they made the right choice, because it turns out that the blocks in this room are vulnerable to the spark ability, which Gooey, and by extension her, currently possess. They destroy the blocks above them, then they have to take a way between two. They go down a few steps, and destroy more blocks at the other side of a small hole. The ceiling being too low, they can't jump above it. While she is about to tell Coo to take her, Sweetie Belle is suddenly lifted from the ground, and yet, it's not Coo, the owl being at her left. The feeling of a wet tongue around her barrel answer her question. Looking back, she can see Gooey flying, some ring of small orange orbs having appeared behind him.

"You can fly?"

"Googoo!"

They reach the other side of the hole, and Sweetie decides not to question how Gooey can fly without even inflating himself like Kirby or Dedede. She remarks after landing that the oranges orbs on Gooey disappear before he lands too on her back. They go up a few steps, and reach the socle with the Rainbow Drop, Sweetie Belle taking it.

"Yay!" she shouts while raising it in her hooves. She then gives it to Coo, before taking the way back, Sweetie eating the tomato part as a reward for herself, even if it causes her stomach to hurt a little more. Such gluttony, Rarity would be shocked! She doesn't care. Those tomatoes are too good. Beside, she has at least waited a little before eating it.


They join Kirby and the others behind the first door. To Sweetie's surprise, they are on a cloud! She is actually walking on a cloud, without a cloudwalking spell! How?!

Stop it Sweetie, it's Dreamland! Remember! After all that 'breathing underwater' thing, it shouldn't shock you!

Coo gives the Rainbow Drop to Kirby, who eats it with a big smile, congratulating them for finding one. Sweetie doesn't pay too much attention to that, looking below the cloud to see where they have to go from there. There are a few more clouds on which they can jump, it's the only way she can see. Coo then takes her in his claws, Gooey jumping from her back, and together, the group get down, jumping from cloud to cloud until they reach star blocs in the sky. After destroying them, more star blocks are further below, and after destroying them, even more below. It's only after that they reach the door on a big cloud, at the top of the tallest mountain of the island.


They now end up on some platform arena in the sky above the mountain, finding themselves between... Oh, seriously?

A living tree, a giant boar, a giant fish, a dragon, and now, the sun and the moon, alive?! No, that can't be right. Kirby fought Nightmare on the moon, and it was bigger than this. Are those just some creatures that look like the sun and the moon?

The sun one is nothing more than a ball of fire with two hands and a face. As for the moon, he is actually crescent-shaped with two hands and feet, and a face too, of course, his mouth being in the hole of the crescent. The two of them are two time Sweetie's size.

Kirby seems to already know them, because he starts to say many "Poyo!" and instructs them in what to do to fight them. If only they could understand him. At some moments however, he points at the sky, so Sweetie at least understand that they have to keep an eye in the sky.

The sun starts to talk. "We are happy to see you too, Kirby. And you brought friends! What a BRIGHT idea!"

The moon takes his turn. "Too bad they don't look like knights in SHINY armor, you would need one right now!"

Sweetie deadpans at them. "Seriously? We just encounter, and you already start with bad puns? Wait..." She facehoofs. "Would you be Mr Bright and Mr Shine? That Dedede asked for help in the Nightmare incident?"

They bow. "In person! And thank you for being such a good public!"

"We are present all day..." says Bright.

"And night!" continues Shine.

She deadpans at them again, before turning to the rest of the group. "Let's just beat those idiots and go to the next island."

Bright then does a good impression of Rarity about to faint. "Ouch! Such burn!"

"Stop it!" yells the filly.

"Hey Hey! Don't be grumpy! Or I will be forced to say 'Good night' to you!" says Shine with a smirk. Sweetie answers by shooting lightning toward him, only for the moon to jump high in the sky, avoiding the attack. "As you wish!" he then says while he ascend. He suddenly stops in the sky, looking like a real crescent moon. Somehow, the sunset suddenly turns into night. "Good night!"

Shooting stars then fall from the sky toward them, forcing the group to disperse. Kirby turns to Bright and starts to pummel him with the blades of his cutter ability. The sun, in return, charges at him like a comet, the puffball avoiding him in the last second, only to see that the sun continues his charge toward Sweetie Belle who is too busy looking for the shooting stars to notice the danger.

"Poyo!" screams Kirby.

"Googoo!" tries to warn Gooey on her back, seeing the sun coming.

At their call, Sweetie turn her head, saying "What?" before being pushed out of the way by Rick, who takes the hit at her place. The charge send the burning hamster further away, where he slowly get up, a paw on his burned fur. Sweetie shoots a lightning at Bright in revenge, succeeding at hurting him.

Sweetie then hears a thud coming from behind while the sun jumps in the sky. When she looks behind as the night turn to day, Shine is here. Before the moon can do anything, he is attacked by Coo and Kirby, until he starts to roll around, forcing them to go away.

"Goo!" suddenly screams Gooey. Sweetie quickly looks at where he point his tongue, and sees the sun coming right above her. Understanding that being under the sun is a bad idea, she runs away, just in time to avoid being fried by a laser coming from the flaming ball. While she runs, she shoots another lightning at Shine as he stops rolling.

Shine jumps back in the sky, but Bright doesn't come down. Actually, Bright puts himself above the center of the arena, and Shine put himself right under him. The whole area starts to illuminate, excepted a cone of darkness under the moon, where the light of the sun doesn't reach. Not knowing how to react, the whole group hasn't time to hide as the sun expulses fire everywhere that his light reaches, burning everyone. This knock Kirby and Gooey's abilities, but they are thankfully able to take them back.

Bright gets back on the floor, where he is immediately assaulted by Kirby sending his blades and Sweetie shooting her lightning. He is about to charge at them again, when the attacks seem to get him. He is forced to jump back in the sky, where cracks are seen on him, and Shine is forced to take his place. At once, everyone attacks him with everything they have. The assault only last two seconds before the sun suddenly goes just above the floor, and Shine goes back to his moon form, this time behind the sun. The area starts to flash again, and everyone run toward the cone of darkness created by the moon. But Bright and Shine have been smart, because the cone is revealed to be too far, nobody reaching it in time. The sun expulses his flames all over the area, and everyone is yet again burned by his attack. This is too much for Rick, who fall belly first on the floor, unconscious. Kine and Coo are barely in a better stat, and Sweetie Belle can feel herself also starting to close her eyes. Kirby and Gooey are still able to recuperate their abilities in time.

Instead of returning in his biped mode, Shine remain in the sky alongside Bright. The sun positions himself again at the center of the arena, followed by the moon below him. Sweetie understands that they are about to do this attack again, and shoots a lightning right into the moon. Cracks appears on him after being hit, and he suddenly finds himself colliding with the sun in a big explosion. The two celestial bodies then fall beyond the arena, somewhere in Red Canyon, and a last explosion is heard as they hit the ground behind the mountains.

Not celebrating their victory, Sweetie runs to the hamster, who is already nudged back to consciousness by Kirby.

"Are you alright Rick?" she asks. "I'm so sorry that you took a hit for me."

Rick places a paw on her mouth and shakes his head with a smile, signifying "It's alright, no problem. Don't hurt yourself like that." He then hugs Sweetie to reassure her, while Coo lands on his head.

Kirby sighs in relief. This fight has been harder that he had thought it would be. This new move of Mr Bright and Mr Shine changed everything. He is glad that everyone has been here to help him, or he would have had a hard time battling those two by himself.

They wait a few minutes, the time to take back their breath and to let the pain of the burns disappear, at least a little. They then take the Warp Star, ready to brave the sixth island: Cloudy Park.

Hopefully, they will find a tomato quickly. Sweetie's full stomach can go to Tartarus, they need to heal.

Chapter 13: Cloudy Park

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They are dropped on a cloud, somewhere around the volcano of Cloudy Park. Kirby jumps on Rick so he can better defend himself. Thanks to the cutter ability, Rick can throw Kirby aroud like a boomerang, with the puffball cutting all enemies that touch him. Some meters, enemies, and blocks later, they can already see that this area, and potentially this whole island, will be a pain. The following path is full of Scarfys that they have to eliminate to jump from cloud to cloud. At the edge of a cloud, Sweetie makes the mistake to look below, seeing how high they are. She gulps, before quickly taking a big breath to resolve herself. She has to continue, she will not fall, Kirby, Coo and Gooey are here to catch her if she misses her jump.

A Propeller tries to ram Kirby and Rick from below a cloud in front of her, but they are saved by the filly shooting a lightning at it. Well, lucky for them that she stopped because of her curiosity!

They reach a bigger cloud, with two Poppy Bros. Jr running on fruits. The first one is an apple, while the second one is a tomato!

They don't last five seconds.

The group now healed, they continue. Kirby jumps from Rick to go in Coo's claws, while Sweetie asks Gooey to hop off of her back so she can go on Rick while digesting, not being able to move too much with how stuffed she is now. Gooey decides to go inside Kine's mouth instead, giving him the possibility to spit lightbulbs from his mouth.

From the next cloud, they see that they now have to jump between two Gordos moving up and down between this cloud and the next one. This repeat two more time until they can reach the door. This force Rick and Kine to time their jumps, while Coo just have to fly above the Gordos, lucky owl.

After the door, they appear on a tall pillar of stone, the base hidden by clouds. When they look around, they find that they are in a true field of pillars of stone, going beyond the clouds. They have to jump from pillar to pillar, Coo dealing with the flying enemies again while Sweetie shoots beams at the enemies on the pillars. She also has to shoot some star blocks to drop a Shotzo.

After the Shotzo, they discover the cloud equivalent of the snow and stone blocs from the previous islands, forcing them to jump quickly to continue and pass a door that is on one of them. Behind the door, they are back on clouds, with a small bridge linking two of them. On the opposite cloud is another of those brown parasols, that quickly fall from the assault of Coo's sharp feathers, Kine's lightbulbs, and Sweetie's beams.

This whole thing is revealed to be a lost of time, because they gain nothing of that fight, and the door leads them back to the previous area. Thankfully, the cloud blocks have reappeared, so they don't fall, but they quicly have to jump to not fall anyway after their destruction.

Sweetie drops a second Shotzo the same way as the previous one, before they have to jump on more pillars. They then reach a bridge made of cloud blocks, but they can also choose to go below and continue jumping from pillars to pillars. Kine decides to take the pillars while Rick runs on the bridge, Sweetie shooting the Bronto Burts trying to stop them helped by Coo. They then reach another group of cloud blocks with another door, this one floating in the air. Some carefull jumping later, they pass it.

After it, they have to climb. To do it, they can choose between using the clouds, or using air currents to propulse themselves. They would gladly take the air currents, but there are Gordos in the way, so they alternate between taking the air currents, and jumping on the clouds to avoid the Gordos and some projectiles from Sir Kibbles.

Reaching the top cloud, passing through it, they find another tomato by destroying some blocs on an indestructible one. Stopping resisting, Sweetie just eats her part without saying anything. The door is hidden behind another pair of blocks.

They find themselves on a platform made of indestructible blocks like the one a few seconds ago, the platform being on a big cloud with other similar platforms. Gordos are turning around some of those platforms, forcing the group to watch out. Further, they find transparent blocks with a penguin on them. It's not hard to find the link.

Kirby gives up the cutter ability and eats the penguin to obtain the ice, and is able to destroy the blocks thanks to Coo launching three ice projectiles on them, only to find nothing under. After that, they end up fighting a few knights like the ones earlier. Among them are knights that Sweetie has not seen before. They possess a black body like the others, but also heavy purple armor with a light purple cross in the front, and the head is smaller than the body. They use a big spiked flail as big as Kirby, making Sweetie gulp. Thanks to the abilities and the filly's beams, they don't have any problems fighting them. They reach the door, which is trapped between indestructible blocks and the transparents blocks. Destroying them with the ice, they are able to go through it with a jump.

They end up on ground, with a pipe propulsing a strong current of air at the edge before them. This current helps them reaching a flying platform of similar ground with another pipe releasing a current. They see before them a platform too far to reach, but they can fall on it from other platforms similar to the actual one above it. To reach them, they just have to use the pipe, then another before letting themselves fall. They reach the platform in a pool of water between two Glunks, where there is a door. This is a one way door leading to an underwater area with strong currents, but thanks to Kine, they are able to go against it to reach another door by clinging to him.

They get themselves in a room against a green jellyfish. After avoiding his tentative to shock them, they have no problem beating him. But they then discover that this whole thing is another lost of time, returning to the area with the pipes. They still return in the water area to let themselves being pushed by the water current, reaching more doors, only to get the same result. Sweetie's left eye twitches.

They finally pass the platforms with the pipes and pass the door that really leads to the next step of their journey, finding themselves in a room with two Shotzos on blocks made of electronics. Understanding that they are vulnerable to the spark ability (so the jellyfish was for that?), Gooey goes back on Sweetie, and she aims at the blocs, destroying them and dropping the Shotzos in the void below... only for nothing to happens, the door already there since they have appeared in the room. This makes Sweetie and the animals deadpan at nothing.

The next area, back on clouds, has a strong wind pushing them back, but they can see that they have to go against it to reach what is probably another door behind some indestructible blocks. However, only Coo can fight the wind, so he has to go alone with Kirby. They come back one minute later with the cutter ability. With nothing else, they let themselves being pushed by the wind, having to avoid many Gordos in the way until they reach another door that lead, to everyone's joy, to a Rainbow Drop Room. And it turns out that the blocks in this room can be destroyed by the cutter ability! A few seconds later, they leave the room, the sixth Rainbow Drop warm inside Kirby's stomach.


After the next door, they just have to walk on more clouds linked by bridges made of cloud blocs. While running, they end up chased by a group of Waddle Dees with a Bouncy, but some beams from Sweetie stop them in their momentum. After some time, they have to destroy star blocs blockind their way, with a Sparky hidden inside, before finding themselves having to jump in water. Liquid water in a tunnel made of cloud. Go figure. And there are frogs in it. Frogs in liquid water... on clouds. Yet again, go figure. After everything she has seen, this doesn't surprise Sweetie anymore.

The next area is the most annoying one as of yet. They are not on clouds anymore, but another air current pushes them until they have to fall in a pit. In their fall, they pass by a few star blocks in the walls. Coo is able to fight the air current to destroy them with Kirby, but the others are forced to continue down, then back, then up again beside other blocks, before returning where they have started, revealing this place to be a loop. Still pushed by the wind, they end up falling again, this time going through the hole in the wall that Coo has been able to create, only to end in another, smaller loop. Coo has already destroyed the blocks of this one and the next ones too.

After a few more loops, they finally reach the door at the center, the animals stopping to take their breath.

"I hope there will not be more areas like this one. This island is one annoying moment after another."

After the door, they appear on cloud blocks above a Sparky. From there, they have no choice but to walk on more cloud blocks to go down a few levels. After that is a serie of falls with star blocks and cloud blocks blocking their way. In their fall, they encounter a new enemy that creeps them out: a disembodied floating head of a mummy! And more than one too! They can't see the head itself with all the cloth around it, but they still can see an eye through a hole. The mummies are floating toward them, until Coo deal with them. Sweetie hugs Rick, trying not to think of them.

If that wasn't for the Fountain of Dreams, I would probably have nightmares tonight. Why are there things like that here? I though that Dreamland was a land of dreams. Those things are more from a nightmare!

After more falls and eliminating more of those mummy heads, they finally reach the door, putting this awful area behind them. Excepted those mummy heads come back in the next one, where they reveal that they can appear like the Kabus. Speaking of Kabus, they are there too, but the group is able to avoid them, as well as the Propeller embushing them from under a cloud. They enter a room where they fight a big Gordo, as easy to beat as the previous one. After the Gordo, they appear in a tunnel of cloud going up in diagonal and full of Gordos. Coo get hit by one of them, getting trapped, and Kine end up jumping on another by accident. The door at the top of the tunnel lead to a similar tunnel, this time underwater, with more Gordos. This time they are able to avoid them, even if they got some close call.

Passing the next door, they are now in the sky, pulled up by a wind, so they don't fall despite the absence of floor. But the wind makes Coo, Kine and Sweetie hit their head against star blocks above them. Ouch... There are yet more Gordos in the way, and many more blocks, and by the time they reach the end, Sweetie has some more bumps on her head. Luckily, they have found two energy drinks and a tomato in the way, healing say bumps alongside a few other injuries, excepted the pain coming from her stomach. Urg... Destroying one more block hiding the door, they pass it.

They are now... Oh Celestia. Cloud blocks! Cloud blocks everywhere! They are literaly in a tunnel made of cloud blocks! With a Gordo blocking the way! Kirby gets out of Coo's claws, and Sweetie reluctantly gets down of Rick. Everyone immediately starts to sprint, avoiding the Gordo in the way even if the animals have to press themself against the wall. At the end, they have to jump up on a platform where they take their breath, before running the other way, avoiding another Gordo. Another jump up on a platform with another small break, and they still have to run, jump, run, jump, run again and again. After a few more jumps on three platforms in a row, they see that they are at a dead end.

Turns out the cloud blos of the floor at the end have been hiding the rest of the way, leading to more cloud blocks that they have to wait to disappear under their feet. After that is more platforms to jump on, leading to more cloud blocks hiding the way below. This goes on another time before they can continue after jumping a few more platforms. After some more running, they finally reach the door, getting out of this torture! At the other side, Sweetie, Rick and Kine are on the floor, breathing heavily, while they feel a wind against them, not strong enough to push them.

Sweetie Belle turns her head to Kirby. "And it's the third time you do this? How are you doing it?" she asks him. Kirby only shrugs in answer.

Ten minutes later, they decide that it's enough and resume their journey with Sweetie going back on Rick, only to end up having to fight against the wind to go forward, making their jumps more risky. Coo, again, is the one with less problems, so Kirby and him lead the way, beating all the enemies. They jump above pits, then above a few Gordos, and they reach two bridges made of cloud blocs, forcing Rick to run and Kine to jump quickly, Sweetie hitting the enemies on the bridges with her beams so they aren't stopped to fight.

After the bridges, they reach the door, only to be send in a small room with five other doors. Having already found the Rainbow Drop, they don't have to take risks, so they decide to test the doors one by one, starting with the one in the center. This door lead to another small room full of Scarfys that they don't have any problems to beat, being able to avoid their explosion. Back in the previous room, they test this time the door at the right of the first one they have taken, leading to... nothing. Third time is the charm. They take the door at the left of the first one and they end up in a room with five energy bottles!

Jackpot!

Sweetie decides to let the other have their pleasure, still full. But that's not counting their generosity, Kirby, Gooey and the animals all letting a small part of their bottles for her. How could she refuse after that?

After the door, they are back on rocky floor, having to fight a jellyfish with a small wind from behind. Like the previous one, he doesn't last long against all of them. The next room has nothing of interest excepted a single block vulnerable to spark, too bad destroying it doesn't help. After the room, they are in another tunnel area with wind pushing them. Gooey then gives up his actual ability and eats one of the Poppys in the way to gain the bombs. With Gooey having the bomb, and being inside Kine's mouth, the blob release bombs that are actually round mines that can float and explode underwater.

Pushed by the wind, they have to fall through a few levels of clouds while fighting more Poppys, some of them on apples that Kirby and Gooey eat. They also have to pass a few cloud blocks in the way, and a few other enemies including Gordos, before reaching a section of the tunnel submerged, finding another bottle that Rick take in his arms, before passing the door at the bottom.

After an annoying underwater maze that seems to take hours, they find the exit door leading to another submerged cloud tunnel with a current pushing them up until they get out of the water, where Rick finds himself embushed by two Gordos, taking heavy damages while droping Kirby. The current still pushing them up, the puffball doesn't fall back in the water, instead helping taking out the many flying enemies in the way, mainly Bronto Burts, but also some Propellers and Waddle Dees with the living parasols. Once at the top, they reach a cloud where they can rest, where they find another bottle of energy drink and a tomato somehow floating in the air.

Now even the food can float...

Drinking the now two bottles and eating the tomato, the group is ready for what waits them after the door.


They find themselves on a giant cloud arena, and they immediately understand that they have reached the lieutenant of the island. The thing is... where is the lieutenant?

They look around, searching for... well, anything, really. After the living tree and everything else, they can end up fighting anything. Although Kirby has an idea of who they may fight. Cloudy area are HIS playground after all.

Then in the middle of the group, a bump appears in the cloud. They take a step back as the bump grows in size, until something appears in it: an eye, looking right at them. Kirby doesn't lost time and throws blades after blades at the eye until it gets back in the cloud, only to repop beside Kirby, shooting lightning at them. They are all able to jump out of the way, before they counterattack. The eye gets back in the cloud, and pop out again in another place, but this time the eye flies out of the cloud, floats in the air and surround itself of four smaller orbs that rotate around it.

Yep, that's him.

Kirby immediately pushes everyone out of the way, just in time to avoid a charge of the eye before it starts to fly around in an impredictable manner. Despite that, they are still able to hit it many times, until they knock it out of the air. The eye then rolls on the cloud, seemingly already beaten.

"We have already beat it?" asks Sweetie Belle, only for Kirby to shake his head and signing them to step away from the eye. "You know about that thing?"

Kirby nods, before saying a single word: "Kacko!"

"Kacko? Wait..." Sweetie remembers, back at the day of the Nightmare incident. Dedede had given the pieces of the Star Rod to a few lieutenants and other creatures that he trusted. She remembers him saying their names. One of them was Whispy Wood, that they fought this morning. Then their was Mr Bright and Mr Shine, that they fought just in the previous island. And then, he had say that name: Kracko. Is this that Kracko? The one that Dedede qualifies as 'his strongest lieutenant'?

The eye then starts to float again in the air, but this time, clouds are getting around it, growing, and growing. Spikes appear all around the cloud, and it starts to take a pink color at the bottom and a blue color at the top. Before long, the cloud is at a side that dwarf all the other lieutenant excepted Whispy Wood, and the eye opens, looking angrily at them. They can hear the cloud rumble, like during a storm.

That's Kracko.

He charges at them, beams of spark going around him trying to shock them. They barely avoid it as Kirby already sends everything he has against the cloud while being carried by Coo. Smaller Krackos then pop out of him and try to ram them, only for Sweetie to destroy them with her beams. Gooey attacks Kracko, sending bombs after bombs from inside Kine's mouth as the fish hop around, always facing the cloud. Rick follow is idea and starts to run around farther, letting Sweetie on his back shoot at the eye.

Lightning then rain under Kracko as he flies around the arena, electrifying Kine and Gooey while ramming Coo and Kirby. Following this, he shoots lightning projectiles from his eyes in Rick's trajectory, the hamster jumping at the last seconde. Seeing his attacks on the hamster not working, he creates a strong wind, pushing both Rick and Sweetie toward the edge of the arena, threatening to make them fall. Rick finds himself having to run against the wind to avoid this fate, even able to gain some distance, only to be surprised by the wind suddenly stopping before being charged by Kracko, almost being sent beyond the edge. He saves in extremis Sweetie, who as been sent a little further and has started to fall, catching her hooves with his paws before pulling her back.

Kracko is suddenly attacked in the eye by Kirby, back in Coo's claws with the cutter ability, stopping him from focusing on Rick and Sweetie Belle. He then feels a bomb explode behind him, sign that the blue blob is also back. Rick takes Sweetie on his back and benefit of the distraction to run away from the edge back at the center of the arena, Sweetie hugging him. Kracko then shoots a lightning directly at Coo, the owl avoiding it by some miracle, still getting some feather of his left wing burned. He then charges at Kine, hitting the fish who is sent flying, before he shoots another lightning at him, this time knocking him out for good. Gooey get out of the unconscious fish's mouth, takes back the bomb ability, and goes toward Sweetie and Rick.

Sweetie sees him and understands what he wants to do. She takes a big breath, not thinking anymore about almost falling to her death, before she jumps from Rick's back. Gooey then jumps on her, and Sweetie can now materialise bombs again. She immediately attacks Kracko with them, while Rick stays close behind, just in case. Little Krackos pop out again of his cloud and start to approach the filly, only for Rick to destroy them with some good punches. Coo comes back without Kirby, and scratches his claws against Kracko's eye. He only gets for reward another lightning, before being rammed by the cloud. The owl hits the floor, and doesn't wake up. Kracko then sends another lightning toward Kirby, who dodges before attacking with more blades.

A last bomb as finally reason of him, the cloud disappearing, and the eye closing, falling, rolling on the cloud, and finally falling from the arena.

Gooey jumps from Sweetie's back and go toward Kine alongside the filly while Rick join Kirby at Coo's side. Soon, the two animals are back to consciousness, badly hurt. Helping them, everyone regroup to recover from the battle at the edge of the arena. They decides to rest for a few hours as they admire the end of the sunset, the stars appearing in the sky with the moon coming from the other side.

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, Sweetie turns her eyes toward the last island, their ultimate goal: Dark Castle. Kracko has been a pain, he is not the strongest lieutenant of Dedede for nothing. So... how much harder will be the fight against the king himself?

Kirby sits down beside her, looking at the forteress too with determination, followed by the others. Many hardship probably await them, but as long as they are together, they will not fail.

They are ready to end this.

Chapter 14: Dark Castle

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After a few hours of rest, they reach Dark Castle. Kirby decides to not get too close of the castle to avoid the cannons, so he lets the Warp Star drop them on a bridge leading to the castle, the imposing structure looming before them in the night. Kirby takes the lead, and poses a foot on a block that is part of the bridge, only for the block to disappear under him half a second later. Surprised, he is able to inflate himself and flies back to his friends, looking back at the blocks. A good amount of the bridge is made of those blocks. If they want to continue, they will have to run. Again. They remark before that than the bridge has a separate section a little further ahead that is above the current one. They will have to jump to reach it. Of course, there are a few enemies in the way.

Coo takes Sweetie Belle in his claws, and the filly rains beams after beams on the enemies while the group runs on the disappearing blocks, Rick carrying Kine. They jump on the second section of the bridge, and run again until reaching a third section below. More sections follow, some of them having to be reached by jumping on an unique disappearing block floating in the air. Eventually, Sweetie sees something and shouts to the others to stop on one of the part of the bridge that is not made of blocks. She then takes in her magic a bottle of energy drink that was hidden below some of those blocs before giving it to Kirby. Coo drops Sweetie Belle beside him before the puffball gives the bottle to the owl and Kine, the two of them needing it the most.

After this little break, they restart to run, until reaching the end of the bridge, where Sweetie Belle leaves Coo's claws before passing a door. It leads them inside the castle, which well deserves its name, where they have to go up by jumping on many levels of platforms going from wall to wall with spikes at both ends. After the climb, they are in a long hallway where they are ambushed by many enemies coming from before and behind, mainly Waddle Dees and Bouncys. With some teamwork, the group is able to beat all of them without taking any hit before reaching the door and having to fight a black hedgehog. Dodging his flaming charge, they beat him rapidly, unlocking the door.

They appear in the air, only to fall in water full of Glunks with some Blippers. Because of the unexpected plunge, Sweetie is hit by one of the first Glunks before they are eliminated. Once finished with this underwater section, they get out of it only for Coo to be hit by a stalactite surprise falling of the ceiling. How are there stalactites in a castle? At least, they now know there are stalactites, so they avoid the following ones without problems and reach the door. One room full of enemies later, they end in an hallway with some holes full of spikes, and they are forced to destroy star blocks to jump above them. After the holes, they are in an intersection with two hallways, one going up, the other down, the two leading to a door. Turn out the bottom door lead to a dead end with nothing, annoying the ones taking it. The other door lead to a room where a red caped Blade Knight await them, his arms crossed.

Sweetie immediately recognizes him. "That's you!"


Sweetie Belle is on the boxing ring, an unconscious Waddle Dee with a parasol before her. The fight has only lasted a few seconds, all she has had to do has been to charga at him and punch him in the face, and he has fallen out cold.

She is winning fights after fights now, all as easily as this one, and she feels like at the top of the world. Dedede's training is really starting to pay.

Then, a Blade Knight with a familiar red cape gets on the ring and faces her, sword ready. Her first Blade Knight. He shouldn't be much harder than the others, she will just have to watch out his sword.

Piece of cake.

The knight nods at her, and the fight starts. She charges at him, hooves ready to punch, but when she reaches him, the knight takes a step at the side, avoiding the attack. He then raises his sword, guard down, and violently hit her at the back of her head, knocking her on her belly.

And with this, the fight is already over, but this time, she is the one on the floor.

As she loses consciousness, the knight says something. "This is not because the king considers you as his trump card that you are a trump card right now. You are still weak and vulnerable. Remember that, or you might get yourself killed one day.


"You are the Blade Knight that beat me!"

"Hey Rookie, I have been waiting for you. I have heard some crazy stories since you started this journey. Apparently, you have ridden Nruff?" the Blade Knight says.

"Nruff?"

"The big boar that was guarding Big Forest."

"Oh! That's his name? I was naming him Grouiky."

"Gr... Grouiky?" asks Blade Knight in disbelief, before guffawing. "Oh this is the best! Grouiky! I will so call it that in the future!"

As Sweetie giggles too, Kirby approaches the filly before asking "Poyo?"

"Yeah, I know this guy. And I think I know why he is here. Leave him to me, I have a score to settle with him."

"You guessed it right Rookie," says Blade Knight as he calms down. "I can already tell that you have been through a lot during your journey. Alongside your new friends, you have been able to beat powerful enemies, including Kracko himself. Now, I want to see how much you have grown since the day I have beaten you. I, Cape Knight, Captain of the Guard, challenge you, Sweetie Belle!"

"Wait, you are Captain of the Guard? You didn't tell me that the first time!"

Cape Knight chuckles at her surprise. "Yes, I didn't. I wanted to see king Dedede's 'trump card' in action, and if I had told you what I was, you wouldn't have fought me like you have fought the others. You were becoming too confident, when all you were doing was throwing your hooves without any strategy. You needed a lesson. So..." He points his sword at her. "Have you learned your lesson?"

Sweetie takes a few steps toward Cape Knight. "This is what you want to see today, right?"

"Yes. Let's see how you now fare against me."

Sweetie starts the fight by shooting a magical beam at Cape Knight, only for him to deflect it with a swing of his sword. He charges at her, crossing the distance between them in one second before slashing his sword at Sweetie Belle. The filly takes a step back to dodge it, and retaliates by shooting another beam right in Cape Knight's face, but the knight puts a hand before his face and the beam hit it instead. Despite this, Sweetie continue attacking by charging at him, and she is able to take him off guard, headbutting him, only for the knight to headbutt her back, sending her a few steps back. She immediately lowers her head, avoiding a swing of the sword, and shoots a beam that hits the knight in the belly, forcing him to jump back. Sweetie doesn't let him take a breath and charges after him, raising a hoof, ready to punch him. The knight sees her coming, and take a step to the side, readying his sword to hit Sweetie in the back of her head. But Sweetie has known this would happen, the same thing happening the first time they have fought each other. She lowers her head, turns her back to Cape Knight, and bucks him in the face, sending him colliding against the wall as he releases his weapon. Sweetie takes the sword in her magic, and places it against the knight's neck, smiling.

At this, Cape Knight stares at Sweetie Belle in silence, before chuckling. "You have gotten better, I can't deny that. But there is still some problems."

"What problems?"

"You are too naive." In the blink of an eye, he takes the sword and throws it at Sweetie Belle. Surprised, Sweetie takes a step at the side, dodging it as it passes beside her head, only to be rammed by Cape Knight charging at her, sending her on her back. Cape Knight then quickly turns her on her belly, goes on her back, and takes her two forelegs before pulling them up, threatening to dislocate them. "The fight doesn't stop until you are sure that your enemy can't move anymore! You thought that putting the sword on my neck would lead me to give up, and you let your guard down, thinking it was finished! This gave me the opportunity to return the fight at my advantage!"

Sweetie grinds her teeth under the pressure of her legs being pulled almost to the breaking point. She then lowers her head, face to the ground, and get a determined expression, before saying "W-well then, why are you talking to me as if you have won, when I can still fight?"

Her horn lights up, and Cape Knight is suddenly bonked on the head by the guard of his sword, making him drop the legs. Sweetie quickly gets up, the speed causing Cape Knight to be sent flying before hitting the floor. She then sits on him, and pummels his head with a few punches, until she stops, thinking that it's enough. She gets up, and takes a few steps back, staring at Cape Knight, horn ready to shoot a beam.

After a whole minute, Sweetie starts to think that Cape Knight is unconscious, only to hear him chuckle.

"You win. You got me."

"Really?"

"Yes. You still have many things to learn, but you learned well from our previous encounter, and your journey." He then takes a tomato out of his cape and throws it at Sweetie Belle who catches it. "Take this Maxi Tomato to heal, and you can continue. Let me also tell you that if you want to get the item you seek in the castle, you will need something to light the dark. Good luck."

And he becomes silent, stopping moving. Sweetie gives the Maxi Tomato to the rest of the group, partaging it between them. Then, Kirby approaches Cape Knight and inhales him, getting a long green hat and a sword similar to the Blade Knight's, and jump on Sweetie's back, sword raised. This turns Sweetie's coat into brown with still some white the long of her head between her eyes and at her hooves. There is also some black at her muzzle, knees and horn, and her mane and tail also turn white with some black at the start of her tail.

For some reason, she suddenly wants to get on her hind legs and neighs, but she stops herself.

She looks at her new appearance, only to be disappointed. "What? Only a change of color? Come on!" She feels Kirby taps the back of her neck, calming her. "Yes sorry. I really hoped for something more than my coat turning brown, like being able to form a blade on my horn. At least, this form looks great."

Finally finished with this room, they pass the door and end in another intersection, with one long hallway right in front of them, and a smaller hallway at the back getting below toward another door. Gooey takes it alone, only to come back shaking his head, signaling that there is nothing. So they take the remaining hallway, Kirby and Sweetie at the lead, until Kirby makes her stop suddenly, a stalactite falling right in front of her. She sees many holes in the ceiling in all the hallway, and there are also some new blocks in the floor that are suspicious. Toward the end, she can see a Sir Kibble waiting them, blade ready.

Kirby then shouts "YAAHH!" and Sweetie charges through the whole hallway at maximum speed, Kirby readying his sword while the stalactites fall and the blocks disappear behind them. Once they reach the Sir Kibble, Kirby swings his sword at him with another "YAH!" and cuts him. They are joined by Gooey and the animals, before they take the door, finding themselves in a room with a green jellyfish.

Kirby starts the fight by raising his sword, the weapon flashing, before he swings it down, releasing a sharp shockwave at the jellyfish, followed by a bomb from Gooey. Sweetie charges, turns around, and bucks the jellyfish in the face, Kirby hitting him with another swing of the sword, before she retreats, the jellyfish sending electricity around him. A last bomb from Gooey ends him, and the blob gives up the bomb ability before eating the jellyfish, remembering what Cape Knight has said about needing the spark to find the Rainbow Drop.

Passing the door, they are back outside of the castle where Kirby yet again leads the charge with Sweetie, cutting the Kabus that appears in the way while yelling "YAH! AAH! YAAAH!" They jump above the gulfs, avoid the Gordos, eliminate some Bouncys, and reach the next door.

Sweetie doesn't know why, but since Kirby is on her back with the sword, she feels like nothing can stop her, gaining enough courage to do all this without stopping despite the risks. She feels like she can trust Kirby with everything, while Kirby trusts her back, and she can't disappoint him!

Back inside the castle, they now are in a big hallway with many intersections, some of them leading to the same point, others leading to dead ends. Sweetie has to jump above a few holes with spikes at the bottom, using her magic to destroy the blocks and eliminate the enemies, not forgetting the tomato in the way. Yet again, they reach the door in record time, where they take a break to eat the tomato, before entering it, and fighting a Mr Frosty.

Frosty throws an ice block at them, only for Sweetie to buck it back to his face. Rick charges and headbutts him in the belly, opening him to a double punches in the face from Sweetie followed by Kirby's sword. Gooey ends him by sending a big ball of electricity, finishing the fight and opening the door.

They end up back on a bridge similar to the first, even to the sections, but with different enemies, including knights, and at the other side of the castle. With another charge, they quickly cross it and reach the door, Coo finding in the way another tomato. They are then in a room inside the castle that is a copy of the first one, where they have to do the same thing, jumping some platforms to go up before crossing a long hallway full of enemies, this time two heads of a mummy, two Scarfys, two Bouncys and a Flammer, with star blocks between them.

In another room, they fight this time a ninja, and Kine stops him from attacking by jumping, and trapping the ninja's head inside his mouth. Confused, the ninja can't dodge the following onslaught, knocking him in less time that it takes to say it. The similarities to the first half of the castle continue after the ninja, the group getting back in a section of water like the first one, this time the room being fully submerged with much more Gordos to avoid but not a single Glunk. After the door comes another room full of enemies, and after this one, another hallway with spiked holes and an intersection leading to two doors, this time with Gordos, forcing Sweetie and Kirby to be more cautious, not charging. Just in case, they take the bottom door, only for it to lead to a dead end, showing that like last time, the right door is the top one, leading to a room similar to the one where Sweetie has fought Cape Knight, but this time with just a normal knight.

After the room, they charge through another long hallway like the one after the battle against Cape Knight, with no stalactites but with Scarfys and some other enemies, leading to another room where they fight another of this enemy that look like a big living block. Not having anything effective against him, the fight last longer, with the block being able to charge Kine before being put down.

They are yet again outside of the castle in a similar section with gulfs and platforms, but this time the wind is blowing, forcing Sweetie to watch her jumps, Coo making sure to be close in case she misses. In the way, they catch a bottle of energy drink before reaching the door with four Gordos floating around. With some careful jumps, they pass it, and following the pattern of the first half of the castle, they end up in another hallway with all the intersections leading to dead ends or crossing back, exclusively guarded by all three types of knights they have encountered in their journey. Following the same way that the first time, they pass the door and fight another giant Gordo. He doesn't last long against them.

The door opened by beating the Gordo leads FINALLY to something new. They are dropped on a pillar of disappearing blocks above a floor full of spikes, and they have to jump on platforms above them to avoid falling. From there, it's a vertical hallway where they have to jump from platforms to platforms while avoiding two Gordos and a Shotzo, until the hallway shrinks and spikes get out of the walls, so it's only wide enough for Sweetie and the others to pass one by one, or two with Kirby being on Sweetie. They still get some scratches in the way, but they are able to reach the door without being hurt too much, and they enter a dark room.

"Gooey! I think it's here!"

"Googoogoo!"

Gooey enters Kine's mouth, and the fish produces a lightbulb that light the room, they destroy the blocks and Glunks in it, and discover that the blocks were hiding icons in the following order: a flame, a stone, spikes, an ice block, and a crescent blade.

"Is this a clue? Do they represent abilities that we will have to use?"

"Poyo..." says Kirby with an arm under his chin.

"So they represent the fire ability, the stone, the needle, the ice, and the cutter?"

"Mmh... Poyo." Kirby confirms.

"Goo." says Gooey as he gives up the spark ability. They then end in a Rainbow Drop Room with a few different enemies where they have to get up. Gooey eats the Flamer under the hatch and they pass a trapdoor that close behind them, meaning they can't come back to change ability. Getting up a few more platforms, they reach some blocks in two walls. In the first wall, they are ice blocks, vulnerable to fire, meaning that it is the way. The following room is similar, but this time Gooey eats a Rocky before destroying the blocks vulnerable to it. Like indicated with the icons, this is followed by the same thing happening with needle, ice, and cutter. After destroying the blocks vulnerable to cutter, they appear under the Rainbow Drop, and take it.

"We did it! We did it! We did it!" screams Sweetie Belle, jumping in joy with the others. Kirby open his mouth, and the six other Rainbow Drops get out of him, before they all levitate around him... only for nothing happening.

"Poyo?"

Coo flies to the drops, staring at them in hope of finding what is going on. "Coo?"

"Googoo! Googoo!" suddenly exclaims Gooey.

"Poyo?"

"Googoogoo! Coincoin! BAM!" Somehow, Gooey is able to imitate a... duck...? before punching a wall with his tongue.

Wait...

"Are you saying we must first fight king Dedede before we are able to repair the bridges?"

"Googoo! Googoo!" confirms Gooey.

"Well, okay then... He must not be far now. By the way, Dedede is a penguin, not a duck."

"Goo?"

"Whatever..." says Sweetie, shaking her head. "Let's continue. Beside, we already knew we would have to fight Dedede to stop him."

"Poyo/Goo/Coo!"

They climb up the platforms, take the door leading to another vertical hallway with more platforms full of Broom Hatters, and start to climb it too, the Broom Hatters letting them pass. Among them, Broom Sunglasses say "We are with you. Nice look by the way."

"Thank you Broom Sunglasses!" says Sweetie Belle as she passes him.

Passing the door, they have to fight another brown parasol. Five seconds later, they pass the opening door.


They climb up again, platform by platform. Nothing block them. No enemies, no traps, nothing. They are getting close.

Nobody says anything. They are ready to face the king and anything he will throw at them, and end this.

Here is the door.


They appear at the top of the main tower, at the center of the castle. Dedede is there, still sleeping, and yet looking at them, expressionless. Without saying anything, he charges at them, hammer raised. They charge too.

Sweetie and Kirby are the first to reach Dedede, and the penguin swings down the hammer at them. Kirby stops it with his sword, the weapons clashing with a loud noise. Rick comes at their left and punches Dedede in his right cheek, not even phasing him. Coo is behind Dedede, Gooey in is claws, and throws his sharp feathers at his back, slightly hurting him.

With surprising speed for his size, Dedede jumps back and turns around before he swings his hammer, catching Coo off guard as he is sent toward the edge of the tower, dropping Gooey. The blob then jumps back while throwing his blades, hate in his eyes toward the penguin. King Dedede seems strangely focused on Gooey, attacking him relentlessly.

Now that Sweetie thinks about it, why were Dedede's minions so focused at imprisoning Gooey? Does he have something against him? She thought he was against Kirby!

"You... trai...tor..."

Wait... Was that Dedede? That wasn't his voice! It has sounded more... evil... dark...

Gooey then answers. "Gooey! Goo feel!"

"Feel... Feel... Hurt... FEEL HUUUUURT!!!" Dedede slams his hammer, Gooey dodging again. Cracks appear in the floor around the impact while Dedede becomes red. He continues to slam the hammer around, trying to hit Gooey. "Darkness... not feel! BAM! Darkness... not hurt! BAM! Darkness... every...where... not hurt! BAM !

He is then headbutted from behind by Kine, the fish thrown by Rick. Dedede turns around, only to be charged in the belly by Sweetie Belle before Kirby hits him in the chin with his head, causing him to step back. Sweetie continues with a charged magical beam, which sends the king on his back, before Coo dives beak first right in his belly.

Sweetie runs toward Gooey, and says to him "I don't know what's going on, but it's clear that this is not Dedede, and you know this. Can you tell us what we are fighting?"

"Goo..." he says sadly.

He doesn't have time to say more, before Rick is thrown between them, badly hurt. When they look back at the king, he is back up, Kine under his left foot, and Coo in his right hand. He then slams the owl on the floor before kicking the fish, and turns toward them and jumps. Sweetie and Gooey jump away and avoid Dedede falling back, but then Dedede turns to Gooey and inhales him before spitting him back at Sweetie Belle, sending the two of them and Kirby toward the edge.

They get up and Kirby points his sword at Dedede, yelling "YAAH!" Sweetie nods and charges at the king while shooting a magical beam at his face. Once she reaches him, she runs around him, Kirby slashing his sword without stopping. Dedede tries to hit her with the hammer, only for her either slowing down or fastening up to avoid it. Eventually, Sweetie Belle bucks his belly, forcing Dedede to bend, and Kirby uses the guard of his sword to hit him between his eyes.

Dedede falls on his back.

He doesn't get up.

Kirby and Sweetie Belle look at Dedede. "Is this it?" she asks.

"Poyo!" confirms Kirby.

Goo joins them. "Goo!" He looks at Kirby and nods.

Kirby nods back, understanding. He jumps from Sweetie's back, turning her back to her normal colors. He then spits the Rainbow Drops, and they start to float around, before merging one by one. Once the last one merges, they take the form of a sword with the colors of the rainbow, from the guard to the top. When Kirby takes it, the sword ability disappears, and the Rainbow Swords flashes in every colors as something starts to get out of Dedede.

Something dark, with a single eye.

"What is that?!" asks Sweetie Belle, scared of that... thing made of darkness. She remembers Nightmare, that has seemed also made of darkness, and of how powerful he has been. Will she have to fight this thing now?

The thing flies away up far in the sky, with no means to follow it. That is until Kirby jumps on her back, and her mane and tail turn into the color of the rainbow, like Celestia's. Then, the Rainbow Sword somehow leads them to the sky, after the black thing.

They quickly catch up to it, seeing the form that the black thing has taken. It is two times her size, and it possesses a grey cloak around its body open at the front, letting appear its black body. The edges of the cloak at this opening are red and yellow in a zigzag pattern. On its shoulders and around its neck his a piece of dark blue armor with pauldrons rimmed orange. Its head his totally black, with black hairs and a single eye behind a grey visor. It also has a sword.

Sweetie gulps. This thing looks tough. "Who... Who are you?" she asks.

"Dark... Matter," it answers with its voice that seems to come from the deeps of Tartarus. "Die."

As they continue to go up! Up! Up in the sky, Dark Matter charges at them, sword ready to impale them. Sweetie is able to move out of the way, and Kirby slashes at it with the Rainbow Sword. Sweetie 'flies' away from it and shoots from her horn a few beams in the colors of the rainbow, hurting it once before it dodges the rest. Dark Matter points its sword at them and shoots back energy beams, Kirby deflecting the first before Sweetie moves out of the way.

That's when Sweetie looks down, and sees how high they are.

WAAAAHH?!! We are in space?! And wait, is this Popstar?!

Below them, Popstar appears as a giant star with two rings around it in a crosslike manner. She remembers seeing one of them from Dreamland and wondering what it was, well now she has her answer. Actually, she remarks that they are at the levels of the rings, one of them not being far.

"Poyo!"

Kirby's scream bring her back to the fight, and she instinctively move away, dodging Dark Matter trying to ram them. Sweetie remains beside it so Kirby can slash at it as much as possible, Dark Matter parrying some of the attacks. It then slashes at Sweetie Belle, forcing her to go away to dodge while she fires back a beam. Following this, Dark Matter points up its sword, forming a sphere of dark energy, before it throws it at them. Sweetie is about to move away again, only for Kirby to swing the Rainbow Sword at the sphere, deflecting it back at their enemy, which seems to really hurt it.

Sweetie charges back at Dark Matter, and yet again, the two swords clash for a whole minute, the two sword users not backing up. Dark Matter is suddenly hit from behind by something, opening itself to more slashes from Kirby until it backs away, seeing who has attacked him from behind.

The attacker is none other than Gooey, back in his form with all the yellow spheres behind him, and a determined look in his eyes. Seeing him seems to make Dark Matter angry, because it charges at him and swing its sword, only for Gooey to dodge and headbutt it.

Sweetie doesn't let this chance passes, and comes behind Dark Matter so Kirby can use his sword to attack while she shoots her rainbow beams. They move back again as Dark Matter swings its sword at them, opening itself to Gooey shooting some dark lightning from his mouth. It then turns around itself, shooting many energy beams at all of them. Gooey moves out of the way while Kirby simply deflects them with the sword. Dark Matter continue attacking by sending a dark orb toward Gooey, but the blob destroy it with a dark lightning. Sweetie takes the occasion and charges, Kirby readying the sword. As they pass beside it, Kirby slashes it, and dark energy starts to get out of its body as it seems in pain.

Its body explodes in an explosion of dark energy, before reappearing in a new form. A dark ball with many little yellow orbs and a single eye at the center.

The resemblance with Gooey's actual form doesn't escape Sweetie Belle, which would explain how they know each other, but she doesn't have time to think about it because they suddenly start to fall!

Panic is about to start for Sweetie Belle, until Dark Matter comes back to continue the fight, charging right at her. Forgetting about the fall, she quickly gets out of the way and Kirby slashes again. Gooey approaches and fires his lightning, but Dark Matter fires its- or his own lightning even more dark than Gooey's all around him, hitting all of them. They back away, and Dark Matter attacks again by sending his yellow orbs at them. Kirby deflects one back at Dark Matter, only for Sweetie to be hit by two others that explode at contact, and Gooey is hit by four others. Hurt, Sweetie counterattacks by shooting beams at Dark Matter without stopping while Gooey shoots his lightning, but Dark Matter doesn't give up, and shoot countless dark energy beams at them, hurting them even more.

They can see that they are approaching the atmosphere, they must finish this fight quickly! Gooey lands on Kirby's head, and restarts shooting his lightning, this time rainbow colored, and Sweetie charges back at Dark Matter with some difficulty. Kirby slashes relentlessly at the dark orb, wanting to end this fight, but he is unseated by a lightning from Dark Matter. Losing Kirby from her back, Sweetie starts to fall faster, only to be catched by Gooey going under her.

"Th-thanks, Gooey... You are a savior." she says, hugging the blob, making him go red.

But when Dark Matter looks at them, his eye is suddenly filled of hate and pain, and he charges at them with the full intention to end them. Gooey flies away from Dark Matter, wanting to keep the filly safe. Sweetie shoots some beams -back to normal- at the dark orb, but they don't have any effects on him. They then pass beside Kirby, his sword ready, and as Dark Matter flies beside him, he swing his sword, cutting him heavily.

Dark Matter stops, and dark energy starts to get out of him. As he moves in pain, more and more dark energy go out of him, until finally, he explodes with a last high pitched screech full of pain.

Sweetie Belle sighs in relief. Finally, it ends. Their enemy is no more, and all should go back to normal. Or... Well... They first have to survive the fall. Now that Dark Matter is no longer distracting her of the problem, she is about to scream in panic, when Kirby suddenly catches her right hoof. Looking at him, she sees that he uses the Rainbow Sword to fly.

Kirby smiles at her, reassuring her that everything is alright, before pulling her on his back. Gooey then uses his tongue to cling to Kirby's feet, and together, they descend back at the surface of Popstar, the yellow of the star letting place to oceans, grasslands, mountains, and other places. Guided by the Rainbow Sword, they return above the Rainbow Islands just as the sun is starting to appear above the horizon. When they reach the first island, the sword flashes, and a rainbow appears behind them, the end going toward Grass Lands. When they reach Big Forest, the rainbow cuts, and the second end go to the island. Another rainbow start to form from Big Forest, and goes toward Ripple Fields. The same thing happens with all the other islands, giving a spectacle that Sweetie will never forget, seeing the islands with all the rainbows linking them.

Eventually, they reach Dark Castle, where the sword drops them at the top where they have fought Dedede. Speaking of the king, he is back to consciousness, admiring the view of the Rainbow Bridges coming back with a big smile. Alongside him are the animals and many Waddle Dees tending to all four of them. Sweetie recognizes Broom Sunglasses and Cape Knight among them, and she hopes that Waddle Dee is there too, but she can't recognize him with all those Waddle Dees. Oh! Here he is, waving at her!

As they land, the Rainbow Sword disappears in a flash of rainbow light, not needed anymore.

With conscious steps, still hurting from her battle against possessed Dedede and Dark Matter, she slowly approaches the king, quickly helped by Waddle Dee.

"Are you alright, king Dedede?" she asks.

"Yes, this thing did nothing to me while it was in possession of my body. I just have to recover from our battle, but a quick meal and I'll be back fully recovered."

Sweetie smiles at him, and suddenly jumps around his neck, starting to cry. "I'm so glad! I was so scarred! You became all evil and you threatened to kill me and you were all weird, so I had to ask Kirby for help and we fought you and also Whispy Woods and Mr Bright and Mr Shine and Kracko and that big fish who almost ate me and-"

"Hey hey hey! Calm down! Seems like you had quite the adventure."

"Yes! We had to explore all the Rainbow Islands! And..." She yawns, the whole day of adventure catching back to her. "And I even learned how to shoot magical beams... And I beat Cape Knight in duel... I have become stronger..."

"You will tell me that later. It seems like you need to sleep."

Sweetie Belle nods, her eyes starting to close. "Yes..." She yawns again, then rubs her head under his chin. "I'm so glad... you are back... Dedede..."

Seeing that Sweetie Belle has stopped talking, Dedede takes her in his arms, the smiling filly curling into a ball against his chess.

A warm smile appears on his face. "I'm proud of you little one. I knew that I could count on you."

Kirby has watched all this from farther, smiling. Maybe he does care actually.

Chapter 15: Choose your Weapon

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Consciousness comes back to Sweetie Belle, the filly feeling the warm of wherever she is. She doesn't want to open her eyes, she doesn't want to move from where she is, it's just so warm, and so calm, especially after all that happened... But her gurgling belly and her full bladder are saying something else.

Urg... Stupid natural body needs.

So she opens her eyes, and discovers that she is back in her chamber in Dedede's castle. She can see that it must be rather late in the day, the sun not showing through the window like it does in the morning. She looks down at her bed, and smile at seeing Dedede's red finery covering her above her normal cover. Not so selfish the penguin, when he wants. She remarks at the same take some bandages on her body, where she has been hurt in her fight against Dark Matter.

It's only then that everything she has done catches up in her mind. She has helped saving the world! She has gone in an adventure with the local hero, has passed mortal traps, has fought a whole army and powerful beings that would give problems even to her sister and her friends, excepted probably Twilight, has almost gotten herself killed many times, and they killed, actually killed a creature of darkness with the help of a powerful artefact! It's not in Equestria that something like that would have happened to her! At worst, she had to face Diamond Tiara! And Scootaloo's 'awesome' ideas to obtain their Cutie Marks at the risk of being sent to the hospital... Without forgetting hiding during the occasional disaster that happens in Ponyville, from bunny stampedes to evil beings coming back after millenia of emprisonnement... Yeah, her life in Equestria was full of excitement, but actually risking her life to fight an evil being and save the world, never!

Sweetie takes the finery and puts it on her back to cover her whole body, then she takes the Rarity plushie and hug it, trying to think of it as her sister reconforting her. Her stomach and bladder can wait.

...

Or not...

She drops the Rarity plushie and quickly gets out of her room, surprising the two Spear Waddle Dees guarding her room.

"Hey! You are awake!" says one of the Waddle Dee.

"No time! Need to go!" And she disappears behind the door to the toilet, making the two Waddle Dees chuckles.

"Well, I'm gonna warn the king. Wait her and tell her whatever she wants to know when she gets out," says the first Waddle Dee.

"Alright," answers the second.

...

"Wait, was she wearing the king's finery?" asks the first.

"Yep. And it's definitely too big for her."


Sweetie gets out, relieved, and is joined by the Waddle Dee.

"Hello," he says.

"Hello. What time is it?" she asks.

"It's almost 5pm. We are still the same day if you want to know."

"Really? I thought that I would have slept at least a whole day after everything that happened."

"Eh! That was just one day of adventure! Nothing too serious!" says the recognizable voice of Dedede from further, making them turn in his direction as he approaches them. "After all thoses days of training, that wasn't too much!"

"My king." says the Waddle Dee, bowing.

"Thanks thanks. You can go."

"Yes my king!" he shouts before exiting the hallway.

King Dedede then takes a Maxi Tomato out from his cloth and gives it to Sweetie Belle. "Here. This will heal you, and fill you until the banquet of tonight."

"A banquet?" asks Sweetie while eating the tomato.

"Of course! To celebrate your victory over that dark thing and saving me! Even if you had Kirby's help, you still proved that you have become quite the fighter, and that you possess great potential like I thought! I have heard some stories from my soldiers, I had a hard time believing them. Can you really use Kirby's abilities when he is on your back? When I fought you, I remember you just had a change of color."

"It's totally true! He had his stone ability, and when he jumped on my back, my whole body became stone! And when he took the fire ability, I could shoot fireballs from my horn! As for the sword... I think it gave me more courage, because I had less problems taking risks to make sure that Kirby could use his sword and to pass the areas as quickly as possible."

"Mmhmmh!" Dedede nods with a hand under his chin. "And do you think... you could use them without having Kirby on your back?"

At this, Sweetie rubs her head, thinking. "Maybe? With my magic, I suppose I could. But at my current level, I'm not sure. Shooting fireballs is more difficult than just shooting beams of raw magic, but I remember how it felt, so I could try to reproduce it. But there are some things like covering my body in stone or in needles that will really take a long time to learn, and others where I will need to train with a weapon, like the sword and the parasol."

"As long as you try, it's all I ask."

"Speaking of weapon, king Dedede..." She looks at the floor. "It has already been two times since my arrival that Popstar has been put in danger, and the second time, I have been forced to fight. Who know if it may happen again in the future?"

"I think I see where you are going. You think that another evil being will pop out, and you may end up having to fight again, so you want to train with a real weapon? And not just to copy Kirby?"

Sweetie stares at the floor in silence for a few seconds, before she looks at the king and answers "Yes."

"Alright then, let's go to one of the armories so you can choose. But first, let's take off those bandages, you don't need them anymore. And give me back my finery. As much as it looks good on you, it's too big."


"King Dedede?" suddenly says Sweetie Belle in their way. "I have just thought about it, but what happened after I fell asleep?"

"Nothing much. We all got back in the castle, Kirby took his Warp Star and has gone back to his house to rest, the three animals have returned to their islands, and the blue blob... I'm not sure where he has gone. Of course, they made sure to say goodbye to you, even if you were sleeping. And everything came back to normal," Dedede answers. He then opens a door leading to a room full of weapons. "Here we are. Now choose your weapon. Take anything you want, whatever better fit your style."

Sweetie enters the room and looks at all the weapons around her. There are swords, spears, parasols, hammers, bows, flails, and many others. It will be hard to choose.

She already knows she will not take a hammer of a flail, too heavy. She takes instead a bow with an arrow, but quickly dismisses them, she already has her beams. She then takes a sword in her magic and starts to swing it around, only to knock off an axe of its support, almost slicing Dedede in two.

"Eek! W-watch out what you are doing!"

"Sorry!" She puts back the sword, and sees another weapon on a table at the corner: a whip. She thinks for a moment before taking it in her magic, levitating the weapon before taking it in her hoof by the handle. No, this will not do. She takes it back in her magic, the light only around the handle rather than all over the whip. She tries to crack it, but yeah... She needs training, like for all those weapons. But then, she expands the light of her magic all over the whip, and before long, she manipulates it around her, doing waves in the air as if it is a snake. She gets it up, down, then makes it do some loops around her body, then wraps its extremity around the handle of a sword, taking it briefly before putting it back with a big smile.

"You know it's not how you use a whip, right?"

"I know, but look what I can do with it thanks to my magic! I can feel it, once I have trained to use it, this will be the best! I can already see all the things that I will be able to do to fight my enemies with it! Like, I would crack it, but then I would use my magic to wrap it around them and trap them! Or even steal their weapons from their hands!"

Dedede rubs his chin with his fingers, smiling. "Yes! I see it! You would become a real little terror with this weapon coupled to your magic! So, you take it?"

"Yes!"

"Then let's test it on the boxing ring! With it, you will become my champion!"


Dedede puts a Kirby dummy on the boxing ring, in front of Sweetie. "There! First, I want to see your magic in action. Shoot this dummy with one of your beams."

"Okay!" shouts back Sweetie before firing a beam at the dummy, making it fall on its back.

"Good! Good!" Dedede claps his hands. "I wonder what kind of other attacks you will develop in the future with your magic."

"Well, if I can use my magic to do like when Kirby was on my back, then I could shoot fireballs, ice balls, lightning, blades-like projectiles, turn my fur into needles or into stone, create bombs, or at least something that explode. I don't know about the parasol though, there was one popping out of my horn, but I don't know if I would be able to do the same thing. There is also the broom ability but I don't know what I would do with it. Of course, this is just thinking with Kirby's abilities. You should see all that Twilight can do with her magic, like teleport, transform objects, animate objects, use shields... She even created butterfly wings so my sister could fly, even if it was temporary. And... erh... There was the 'Smarty Pants incident', where she cursed a doll leading the whole town to try to get it, as if that doll was the most important thing in the world and we had to take it for us and us alone. That day was crazy."

"I see. We will forget that curse and try to teach you the rest, especially that transformation spell. If you could turn your whip into whatever you want, like other weapons, then the possibilities in battles would be almost infinite. I don't think even Kirby would be able to learn all you could do and win thanks to it. And teleport..." He take a big breath. "Teleportation would be a huge addition. Thanks to it, you would become even more imprevisible. And I can't even start to think of all the possibilities that could happen thanks to that animation spell."

"But those are really advanced spells, it would take years of training before I have enough magic and enough control to use them! The only one that I can think of right now is the shield."

"Then we will start with the shield. Having a defensive move would leave you less vulnerable. But first, let's start your training with your weapon. Start to use it on the dummy, I will bring more."

"Okay!" As Dedede exits the ring, Sweetie Belle use her magic to bring the dummy back on its feet. She then looks at her whip. "Mmh... Let's see..."


Sweetie Belle and Dedede are in their way to the banquet room, the filly drained and slightly injured.

Sweetie has trained for two whole hours, trying to learn to use the whip, and later, the shield spell. In the later case, it has consisted of Dedede throwing dummies at her, and she had to make a shield appear to stop them. The injuries are proof that the dummies have won this battle, but they will not win this war! But now, it's time to start the banquet, and with having eaten just a Maxi Tomato since she awakened, and after such a workout, she is starving.

Dedede opens the door, leading to a huge room with no less than five tables of banquet full of foods of all kind, the Waddle Dees and other members of Dedede's army already around them eating with gusto, talking to each other in a big hubbub of laughter and discussions.

Everything stops when they enter, everyone looking at them, or more likely, at her. Knowing she has hurt a good part of them in her journey, it's no wonder. Despite that, she can still hear someone eating. When she turns toward the origin of the sound, her jaw almost hits the floor.

Here, at one of the tables, is none other than Kirby eating plates after plates of foods.

Dedede sees him too, and after a small silence due to shock, he yells "Kirby?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!"

"Poyo?" Kirby says at hearing this, and turn around to see them. At seeing her, he smiles and waves at her. "Poyo!"

"Hey!" she waves back.

A Waddle Doo comes beside Dedede, bowing. "I'm sorry my king, he invited himself and we didn't dare to stop him."

"Grrr... The nerve!"

"Well, he helped save you and fight Dark Matter," says Sweetie Belle. "I think he deserves to be there too."

"Good point..." He takes a big breath. "Alright, he can participate in the banquet. But it's only because I owe him one!"

"Thank you king Dedede!"

The penguin looks at Kirby with a 'I'm watching you' stare, before going at another table to eat. Sweetie follows him, hops on a chair beside him, and starts to eat too, until she is joined by a Waddle Dee.

"Hey Sweetie, good job for yesterday."

"Mmh?" She turn to the Waddle Dee and recognize him. "Oh hey! Thanks!"

"You are welcome. And don't worry about everyone, they have no hard feeling about you beating them up. They actually admire you for what you have done."

"Really? That's a relief. I thought that they were now mad at me, or scared of me. Speaking of, why did you run away?"

"Urm... Sorry, but seeing you having Kirby's ability, and knowing how things can get out of proportion with you, I thought I would die if I fought you."

"Oh come on! You are exaggerating! I would have just punched you on the head like all the other!"

"Yeah... I didn't want to test it. Remember when we sent you plumbering? You flooded half the castle! And must I remember you the 'Fatal Cutie Incident'?"

Sweetie blushes at being reminded of that and pouts. "But I killed nobody!"

"Yeah, by some miracle. But some of them ended up in a coma." He laughs. "Between you, Kirby, and the friends that joined your group, half our beds were full."

"At least it was fun to watch." says Broom Sunglasses from her other side, eating a plate of fruits.

"Good to know..." says Sweetie, deadpanning at him while eating an apple pie made from Whispy's apples.

"Continue this way, and you will live more and more to the name 'Fatal Cutie'." He then looks directly at her and chuckles. "Through, if you continue to eat like that, we will have to call you 'Fatal Gut-" Blam He is interrupted by a cream pie hitting his face, crashing him on the floor. This makes Waddle Dee laugh, arms on his belly.

"Sometime, I wonder if he has a death wish," says Cape Knight, coming from behind.

"I wonder too," says Sweetie Belle, staring at the Hatter on the floor with anger while blushing. After a few seconds, she turns to Cape Knight. "How are you?"

"Fine. Fine. Kirby eating me has done nothing, don't worry."

Sweetie nods, then says "Thank you, for helping me."

"I just did the right thing. You are the king's best hope, and I want to do everything I can to help you reach his expectations, even if I have to be hard with you. At least, I think I can stop calling you 'Rookie'. You don't get out of an adventure like this one alive and still being called like this. You have gained much experience."

"Yeah... All those traps, and those battles against Dedede's lieutenants. And Dark Matter. I almost died, more than once. I now understand better what my sister has lived through. And now, I'm not even scared anymore of using a weapon. I'm actually starting training with one."

"Really?" shouts Waddle Dee.

"Yes. A whip."

"A whip, mmh?" says Cape Knight, rubbing his chin. "We don't have any whip users in our army, but I could give you some advices in how to use it, if you want."

"I would love it. I have trained a moment with it, but I still have a hard time hitting the dummies."

"Yes, the whip is not an easy weapon, but it can be really useful, as well in a battle than outside. If you end up in another adventure, it will become your best friend. Just watch out the enemies using close quarter combat. I think you should learn some martial art or something, so you cover every possibilities."

"I'm learning to use magical shields if it can help."

"It can. But relying in your magic too much is a bad idea. It's not for nothing that the king trains you to use your hooves alongside your magic."

"I understand. But I still want to get better in magic, it's the reason I ended up here after all."

"I never said not to learn your magic, but to not focus in it."

"King Dedede!" suddenly yells a Waddle Dee coming beside the king. "I have a bad news!"

"What is it? I hope it's not another evil being trying to conquer Dreamland!"

"No! Worse!" The Waddle Dee then points at Kirby. "You are about to lose your title of King Eater!"

"WHAAT!!!" screams Dedede, his head becoming red. He starts to run toward the puffball, rolling up his sleeves. "I will not let it pass! KIRBY!!!"

At his shout, Kirby stops eating and turns toward him. "Poyo?"

Dedede puts his face before Kirby's. "So you think you can beat me at being the best eater of Popstar?"

"P-poyo?"

"Then you ask for it! Kirby!" He points a finger toward the puffball. "I challenge you in a Gourmet Race!"

Silence...

Then Sweetie says "Wh-what?"

Chapter 16: Gourmet Race

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"Come on... Come on... Come... ON...!"

"You can do it Twilight! Please!"

Twilight's horn glows brighter, and brighter, the purple alicorn pouring all the magic she possesses in it. Before her is a mirror, just a simple mirror big enough for her reflection to appear entirely. A swirling purple vortex appears in it, first as small as her hoof, but growing with each seconds.

Behind her is a white unicorn with well groomed purple mane and tail, a smile forming in her muzzle. "Yes! Yes! It works!"

"Continue Twilight!" says a small purple dragon with a green belly beside her.

But as everything seems to be working, the vortex suddenly starts to lose in size. Twilight tries to stabilise it, but she can't stand on her hooves anymore, and before long, she falls on her belly, and the vortex disappears.

Taking her breath, she says "S-sorry... Rarity. I thought I had it."

Rarity sighs in sorrow behind her, a tear falling from her left eyes, before she takes a big breath to regain herself as the dragon pats her leg. "It's alright darling, you have done all you could. At least, this time, you were able to open a vortex, even if only for a few seconds."

"Yes. This shows that I am in the right track. Before long, I will bring back Sweetie Belle. I may take a few more days, or weeks, but I will bring her back."

"I know Twilight. I trust you. And thank you Spike, I'm alright."

"Sorry to say this, but you are wrong about being in the right track. The train you took doesn't lead to where you want, but right into a pit." says a voice behind them. A voice they recognize without problem.

The two ponies and the dragon turn around to find a yellow pegasus with a pink mane beside a tall creature that is none other than a draconequus, having the head of a pony with the antler of a deer and the blue horn of a goat on it. His eyes are yellow with different sized red pupils, and he also has a goat beard, and a long fang. His right arm is the one of a lion, his left one is a claw, his right leg is from a lizard, and the left is from a goat. He also possesses a pegasus wing, a bat wing, and the tail of a dragon with a white tuff at the end. He seems... nervous.

Rarity says "Oh Fluttershy, thank Celestia, you finally found Discord!"

"Sorry Rarity." says the pegasus in a small voice. "He didn't want to come, and I had to use the Stare to convince him."

Rarity raises an eyebrow at Discord. "And can I ask... 'why'?"

"Oh, you know, because I had my reasons." answers Discord.

"Wait." interrupts Twilight. "What did you mean? I'm not in the right track?"

"That's exactly what I said. You should know by now that mirrors only lead to alternate versions of the same dimension, like where your friend mini Sunbutt lives."

"But it's the only way that we know how to open portals to other dimensions! Does this mean that Sweetie Belle is not in another Equestria?"

A green flashing O appears above her head with the sound of a bell.

"Exactly! And you know what this means? You lost all this time... for nothing!"

Twilight's eye twitches. "I don't understand, I was trying to use the mirror portal to create a teleportation spell that could teleport me directly in Canterlot High School! How could she end up in a dimension that is not even an alternate Equestria?!"

"Because your spell has gone BOOM!" Discord answers, making his head explode at the 'BOOM'. "And you know how spells that explode can cause mind blowing results, when it's not just blowing results. It's one of those cases."

Twilight takes a few deep breaths, like her foalsitter, Cadance, teached her. "Alright. Yes. I understand. But now you are there. You can use your magic to open a portal and-" She is suddenly interrupted by her mouth zipping shut.

"This is where I must stop you. Because, yes, I can bring her back. But the thing is..." He looks at Fluttershy, gulping. "I will not."

A white hoof then pulls him down by the beard, and he find himself facing a really angry Rarity.

"And why, do tell, you will not bring my sister back if you can?"

"You will not like the answer."

"I already don't like your answer."

"Please Discord," pleads Fluttershy. "Tell us at least why."

Discord teleports away from Rarity with a snap of his lion paw, then sighs.

"First, I must tell you something. Have you remarked how everything, or almost, seems linked?"

"How so?" asks Twilight, her mouth not zipped anymore thanks to Spike.

"Easy." He raises his lion paw toward the ceiling and unrolls a big blank paper from it. On the paper, an image of Discord on a throne with Celestia and Luna shooting a rainbow at him appears. "I was the ruler of Equestria, and Celestia and Luna used the elements to stop me. At the same time, I planted my plunder seeds, hoping that they would free me. Of course, because of the Tree of Harmony, it didn't work." Then the image passes to him getting out of stone. "One thousand and whatever years later, I'm free, imprisoned again, and released in the hope of making me one of your friends."

The image changes again, this time to Twilight, wings appearing on her. "Not long after, you become an alicorn..." The image now shows the plunder vines attacking Ponyville. "Only for my Plunder Vine to finally go on their rampage, a few hundred years too late. And you are forced to give up the Elements of Harmony to save the Tree of Harmony, and stop my vines. In exchange..." The image shows a familiar box. "it gave you that box. Box that..." The image shows Twilight and her friends blasting Tirek with the Rainbow power. "coincidently contains the power to stop the rampage of the next villain: Tirek. And to open the box..." The image now shows Discord giving Twilight Tirek's pendentif. "Well, you know what I have done. After that, you gained your palace with that map that gives you your Friendship Missions, making sure that you can do your princess job by spreading friendship everywhere. Now you see what I mean? This is what we call 'Fate'. And I didn't even include Nightmare Moon leading to you getting the Elements, Sombra and the Crystal Empire that proved to Celestia that you were ready to become a princess, or the Changelings that will probably have a role in the future."

"I... I didn't even think about this, but you are right! This is like an event leads to another, and..." Her mouth is zipped back, making her deadpan at him.

"But what does that have to do with Sweetie Belle, and why you will not bring her back ?" asks impatiently Spike, getting Rarity's words out of her mouth.

"Well, let's take a step back in this Fate story." The image changes again, showing Twilight entering the mirror portal. "The Element of Magic is stolen by Sunset Shimmer, and Twilight discovered the mirror portal. After Tirek, Twilight got her castle, and she brought the mirror in it. Note how it links to everything I have said until now. Then Twilight started to study it, and TADAA ! In the middle of an experiment, Sweetie Belle comes, causes Twilight's magic to go BOOM, and she ends up in another dimension."

"Alright." says Twilight, her mouth unzipped again. "So that was destined to happen. So why do you refuse to intervene ?"

"Because destiny has led her to that dimension, and I'm not sure that bringing her back now is a good idea. I can't see the future, so I don't know if I have a role to play. All I know is that this may be important for her. I have seen a little of what she has gone through, and let me tell you, this may be big."

"Why? What happened to her?!" asks Rarity with fear.

"The exact same thing that happened to you actually! In a more epic proportion! She is your sister alright."

"Which is...?"

"She has gone on an adventure and helped save the world from a being of darkness!"

"SAY WHAT?!"

"Wait! Let me show you!"

With a snap of his paw, a blank canvas appears before him, and Discord is now with a brush in his lion paw, a palette of paint on his claw, and a multicolored beret on his head. He soaks the brush in the paints, and starts to paint on the canvas. A few brush swings later, and he shows his creation to the ponies and dragon.

This is a painting cut into eight sections, one big round at the center with the seven others around it. In a clockwise direction, starting at the top, they can see a bottom view of Sweetie Belle beside some sort of giant hamster ridden by some pink ball and bearing a parasol. The hamster uses the parasol to protect them from giant apples falling from a living tree looking angrily at them.

The second section shows Sweetie Belle on a giant boar, the filly pulling its hears while clinging to it as the boar is on its hind legs. The pink ball, wearing some cone hat and with a bomb, and the hamster, now without parasol, are in the foreground looking at the filly and the boar in worry. A big purple owl is flying above the boar in the background, and many smaller boars are around the big one.

In the third section, Sweetie is now clinging to the lure of a giant brown fish while shooting a magical beam at its mouth. The hamster and the owl are swimming after it, but the pink ball is nowhere to be seen. However, there is a blue fish the same size as them whose square shaped belly seems to hit strongly the giant one on the head, like a weight.

In the fourth, they are against some obese bipedal blue dragon with a cream colored belly that is breathing ice at the hamster and the pink ball that are running away, the pink ball on the hamster and wearing some crown made of fire. The owl is using his claws to scratch dragon's head, and the fish is slapping his tail at him. In the background, they can see Sweetie Belle with some blue blob on her back, horn facing the back of the dragon as a bomb fall on him.

In the fifth, this is again from a bottom view, where the whole group face what seems to be a living sun and a living crescent shaped moon. The sun is charging at them while the moon is jumping in the night sky, shooting stars falling toward them. Sweetie still has the blue blob on her back and her mane and tail look like Rainbow and Scootaloo's, with some electricity visible in them, and she shoots actual lightning at the charging sun. For some reason, the pink ball is now wearing a yellow cap with a blade on it.

The sixth depicts them fighting this time a giant spiked cloud with a big eye at the center and raining lightning. Sweetie is at the foreground, on the hamster's back, shooting magical beams at the eye. The pink ball is in the owl's claws, still with the yellow hat, and for some reason, the owl is now green and throws sharp feathers at the cloud's left, the fish under them. The blue blob is at the background, behind the cloud, throwing bombs at it.

The seventh one is even more crazy, somehow... They are fighting a giant penguin in royal garments armed with a big hammer. Sweetie's fur is now brown with some white and black, and her mane and tail are white with some black at the start of the tail. She is directly in front of the penguin on her hind legs, and the pink ball, now wearing a green hat and a sword, is riding her, the sword clashing with the penguin's hammer. The blue blob, the hamster, the owl, and the fish are all around the penguin, attacking him, the blue blob somehow throwing blades.

And finally, the last section at the center. The animals are nowhere to be seen, Sweetie, the pink ball, and the blue blob being the only ones present. They are flying in the night sky, facing some kind of one eyed dark being wearing a cloak and using a sword. Sweetie's mane and tail are in the colors of the rainbow, looking like Celestia's, and the pink ball is riding again on her back, this time wearing nothing but bearing a sword that seems to be made of rainbow. As for the blue blob, it is further, at the right of the dark being, with orange orbs behind it. Sweetie is shooting rainbow beams, and the pink ball has the rainbow sword ready to slash the dark being who is charging at them, sword ready to impale, and the blue blob shoots some dark lightning at it, seemingly having not much effects.

"Do you really expect us to believe that Sweetie Belle fought all those things? I mean, the living sun and moon, really?! And since when can she shoot lightning? And why is she brown in this fight against that penguin? And-" And Twilight's mouth is zipped, again. Her eye twitches.

Discord then does something she hasn't expected. "I Pinkie Promise, everything I have painted here happened. Cross my heart and hope to fly, put a cupcake in my eye. I was in the first row."

Everyone's jaws drop at this. They have to believe him after that.

"See? Now your sister is a hero!" Discord says to Rarity, a white shirt with 'I love Sweetie' written on it appearing on everyone, alongside a flag with Sweetie's head drawn on it on his claw. "You should be proud!"

And... she faints... And is splashed on the head by a bucket of chocolate milk. "EEEEK!!!"

"No time to sleep! Don't you want to party for your sister's success?"

Pinkie Pie suddenly pops from behind the mirror. "Did someone said 'party'?!"


"So, can someone explains to me what just happened?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"The king challenged Kirby into a Gourmet Race to prove that he is still the best at eating." answers Waddle Dee.

"Okay... But what is a Gourmet Race?"

"Oh! It's awesome!" shouts Waddle Dee, raising his arms. "This is, like, the most exciting event of the castle!"

"This is some sort of championship in three races, with the winner determined by points." then says Broom Sunglasses. "To put it simply, here are the rules: the racers must try to reach the goal first in each races. In the way, they must eat as much food as possible. One plate of food eaten gives one point. A Maxi Tomato gives three points. And the racer reaching the goal first gains thirty points. At the end of the three races, the points are counted and the one that has the most points win. Easypeasy. Of course, to make it more challenging, there will be traps and obstacles in the way, and in some races, there will be more than one way to reach the goal."

"And king Dedede is the unbeaten champion!" shouts again Waddle Dee.

"But don't they risk to get sick? I mean, when I run after eating, it makes me sick."

"Really?" asks Broom Sunglasses. "This never happened for any of us, and definitely not to the king."

Sweetie Belle remains silent at this. This is clearly not the kind of thing that can happen in Equestria, unless more ponies were like Pinkie Pie. The pink pony would love this.

She laughs. "This world is more and more weird."

In the end, the banquet has lasted a few more hours, with Kirby and Dedede doing some sort of eating contest. By the time Sweetie reaches her bed, she is stuffed like she has never been before. Curse that world and its delicious food. Those apple pies shouldn't exist.


"So, do you still want me to do it?" asks Discord.

"I must see that Sweetie is alright, especially after what you told us yesterday! So yes, show me!" shouts Rarity.

It's the middle of the morning in Equestria. Rarity and all her friends are in Twilight's castle, in an empty room, facing Discord. The draconequus has his arms crossed, a blank wall behind his back.

"Alright then. But remember, this will be an one way window. We will only watch her. She will not be able to see or hear us. That means that if she is in danger, you can't do anything for her. We must let her live her adventures, and I will only intervene if there is no other way. Understood?"

"Whatever! I just want to see her!"

"Good! Then..." He snaps his fingers, and everyone find themselves on a chair facing the wall with a bag of popcorn at their side. Another snap, and a portal starts to form on the wall.

"I don't like this, watching whatever will happen without being able to do anything." says Applejack, the orange earth pony mare crossing her hooves.

"You are not the only one," says Rainbow Dash, the rainbow maned cyan pegasus at her right. "Letting Sweetie having all the fun? I would much prefer being at her side kicking flanks!"

"Hopefully, she is not fighting." says Fluttershy. "I... I don't want to see a fight..."

"It's not because she is now a hero that she is fighting H24 you know?" says Discord. "You are all heroes, and yet, are you fighting all the time?"

"Nope!" answers Pinkie Pie. "We also party, and go into picnics, and help other ponies, and sell whatever we sell. Twilight reads, I bake, Applejack bucks her trees, Dashy does her awesome stuffs, Fluttershy-"

She is interrupted by Rarity putting a hoof in her mouth. "We understand, dear, you are right. Fighting is only a small part of our life. And this must be the same thing for Sweetie Belle. Villains don't pop up everydays."

"Hush! Hush! It's starting!" suddenly says Discord, putting 3D glasses on his eyes.


On the boxing ring, Cape Knight puts a Kirby dummy in front of Sweetie Belle.

"Now, show me how you use your whip." he says.

"Ok." answers Sweetie Belle. She takes the whip in her magic by the handle and attacks the dummy with it. But the whip just seems to bounce on the dummy without doing much to it. "I just can't find how to do the crack."

"Yes. I can see. I know what you have to do. I know there is a few methods to make your whip crack, but it should be easier to start with the following. First, make sure that the whip is untangled and go straight back behind you, make sure that it will not touch your hooves."

"Like that?" asks Sweetie as she does so, making the whip looks like a snake raising its head at her right.

"Yes. Now bring the whip straight up in the air. Imagine as if you were pointing your hoof to the sky, but this time, with your magic holding the whip. If you do it right, then you should be able to create a loop with it. If you are able to create a loop, then the whip will crack. Now try."

And she does. For the following minutes, she attacks the dummy, trying to do as Cape Knight has said. Until...

Crack!

A cut appears in the pink fabric of the dummy.

"Yay! I did it!" shouts the filly, before she starts hopping around in joy, repeating "I did it! I did it! I did it!"

Cape Knight chuckles at that. "You sure did it. Good job. Now that you know how to use the whip, you can try other ways to make it crack, like from the side. Just remember the loop. You must always make sure that there is a part of the whip going in one direction, and the other part going in the opposite direction. Continue to practice with this dummy, I will bring more."

"Alright!"

When Cape Knight comes back on the ring with a big bag full of dummies, it his under the sounds of many Crack! Crack! Crack! and the dummy has now much more cuts in its fabric.

With the new dummies, Sweetie tries some different things with the whip, sometime with the help of her magic. Thus, she is able to wrap the whip around a dummy, and to send it flying around her like a flail before sending it crashing on another dummy. Then she wraps it around another dummy and sends it flying in the air, where she shoots a beam at it. Before long, all the dummies are in pieces on the floor, and Sweetie takes her breath under the clapping of Cape Knight.

"I think you did well in choosing the whip," he says. "With your magic, it is an impressive weapon. Once you master it, you will be formidable."

"Thank you," says Sweetie, rubbing the back of her head.

"Now, let's try something else. You said you wanted to use magical shield, right?"

"Yes. So I can better protect myself, and others aren't forced to take the hit for me. Dedede tried to help me by throwing dummies at me, but it didn't work..."

"I see. Then start to light your horn like you do when you shoot your beams."

"Ok." A green light appears around her horn. "What now?"

"Now..." He readies his sword. "block this!" He charges at her, about to swing his sword toward her neck.

Sweetie can only gasp in surprise, before she closes her eyes, and somehow, is able to create a green shield around her. When the sword hits, the shield his destroyed, and she find herself on the floor, her horn aching.

"Y-you could have killed me!"

"I would have stopped the sword just before touching your neck." He chuckles. "At least, it worked, right? You created a shield."

"Y-yes. I did... But why didn't it work with the dummies?"

"Because dummies aren't as life threatening as a sword about to behead you. When nobody is here to teach you how something work, sometime it's best to let your instinct do the work. And a life threatening situation is the best way to make it happen. You thought you would be killed, and you let your instinct move your body." He raises his left arm toward Sweetie Belle. "What do you think?"

Sweetie smiles at him before taking his arm to get up. "I think that it was a cunning move, and that you are crazy." She then hugs him. "But thanks anyway. You really helped me." Cape Knight just laughs, and rubs Sweetie's mane. After a few seconds, she steps back. "What about the close quarter combat, or whatever?"

"Err... For that, you will have to ask a Knuckle Joe for help."

"Eh... Of course."

"Now let's continue, with a fight. There is no better way to train than a fight. Until we are called for the Gourmet Race."

"Alright!" She takes the whip in her magic. "I'm ready!"

"Then here I come!"


"And... here they go," says Applejack.

"I just can't believe what I'm seeing. My sister training and fighting! I thought it would be more for Scootaloo, not Sweetie Belle! And a whip, really?! That... That's just..."

"Barbaric?" proposes Rainbow. This makes Rarity sigh. "I think it is cool. I mean, have you seen how she sent those dummies flying around? Whatever bad guy she may face next, he will so have a bad time."

"So true!" continues Spike. "Look! She is trying to take his weapon!" Sweetie has indeed wrapped the whip around the sword of the knight, trying to pull it out of his hand. But then, the knight pulls on the whip, and Sweetie finds herself flying toward the knight, and she has to use her hooves to protect herself from his punch, sending her back. Using the momentum, she pulls again on the whip, and causes the knight to fall on the ground before she sends a magical beam at him. "Woo! Go Sweetie Belle!"

"Yeah! Go Sweetie Belle!" repeats Pinkie Pie, waving a flag with Sweetie's head drawn in it. Rarity shakes her head.

"I'm sorry Rarity," says Twilight. "It must be hard for you to see Sweetie Belle fighting like that."

"Don't be Twilight. If it's Sweetie's calling, then I will just have to get used to it, especially if it's to save the world where she is from villains like the one Discord showed us. And don't guilt yourself about it being your fault, it was an accident."

"I know... But I should have taken more precautions to make sure it doesn't happen."

"Hey! Look! Something is coming!" suddenly shouts Pinkie, pointing at the window portal.


"Sweetie Belle! Cape Knight!" screams Waddle Dee as he runs toward them. The filly and the knight stop their fight and turn in his direction.

"Waddle Dee! The race is ready?"

"Yes! They are getting at the start! Come quick!"

"We are coming!" She turns to Cape Knight. "Let's go!"

They follow Waddle Dee in the hallways of the castle until they reach a room that Sweetie has never been in before. It's full of stalls with boars that look like a fusion of Nruff and the small ones that she fought in Big Forest. Sweetie has a big smile when she understands what they are about to do. Soon enough, they pass a big door leading outside of the castle, each of them riding a boar, the filly laughing in fun. Thanks to their mounts, they quickly go down the mountain and reach the grasslands, and before long, they are at the start of the first race.

Dedede and Kirby are at the starting line, a Waddle Dee with a flag raised beside them. At the sides of the track are countless creatures from Dedede's army, counting Waddle Dees, Waddle Doos, Blade and Sword Knights, some sort of living snowmen, Sparkys, Bronto Burts, and much much more! Before the starting line in the sky, supported by a couple dozens of Bronto Burts, is a giant screen showing the two racers. Around the public are four loudspeakers on wood towers.

A Waddle Dee and a Waddle Doo riding two Bronto Burts and holding microphones then come above the tracks.
The Waddle Dee speaks. "Welcome everyone, to today's big event..."

"The Gourmet Race!" finishes the Waddle Doo. "Today's challenger is none other than Dreamland's hero: Kiiiiirby!"

"But he will have a hard time, because he is facing the invincible Gourmet Champion himself, the king of Dreamland, Dededeeeee!"

The public yells as loudly as possible at his name, and Dedede waves his arms at them.

"Now we must remember the rules." says Waddle Dee. "This is a three races championship! No fighting between the racers! Each food eaten is one point, and the Maxi Tomatoes are three points! The first racer reaching the goal gains thirty points! The racer with the most points at the end of the three races wins! This will challenge both your speed and your gluttony!"


"I WANT!!!" screams Pinkie Pie.


"Are the racers ready?" says Waddle Doo. "Good!" Waddle Dee takes a horn and readies himself to blow inside it. "3! 2! 1!"

BROOOOOOOOOOOOO

The Waddle Dee beside the racers swings down the flag, the speakers starts to blast a catchy song, and the race starts. Kirby is already at the lead, and before long, the two racers are gone, forcing the public to follow them with the screen.

Kirby is at the head and eats everything in the way, letting nothing for Dedede until they reach a wall of star blocks that they have to destroy. All Kirby has to do is inhaling one, and spit it at the bloc behind it to open the way for him, while Dedede is forced to use his hammer to open the way. Turns out there was food hidden inside the blocks, and Dedede gets his first points. The same thing happens with a second wall, giving Kirby a big lead. The puffball is able to reach the goal with a big advance, eating two tomatoes in the way, much to the penguin's frustration.

"You haven't won yet!" he says. "There is still two races!"

"Kirby won the first race easily! His small size helped him passing the walls of blocks and left the king in the dust! But king Dedede hasn't said the last word!" says Waddle Dee.

Five minutes later, they are at the starting line of the second race, the Waddle Dee with the flag beside them.

"Let's start the second race. This gets tough!" says Waddle Dee. "3! 2! 1!"

BROOOOOOOOOOOOO

Flag down, the two racers start the second race, Kirby yet again at the lead. But there are many bumps in the tracks, forcing him to jump. His jumps going farther, Dedede takes the lead and leave Kirby behind. The puffball is quickly able to catch him thanks to his speed, and between the jumps of Dedede and Kirby's speed, none of them is able to stay long at the lead. They eventually reach a ladder that Dedede climbs in record time while Kirby continues forward, passing a small wall of blocks. But when he reaches the goal, Dedede suddenly falls before him thanks to one last jump and passes the goal first.

Dedede does with his finger the same sign as his symbol in victory, while Kirby looks at the ground in sorrow.

"And this round goes to the king!" yells the Waddle Dee.

"This one was pretty intense! We didn't know who would reach the goal first until the very last second! This is why I love this sport!" says Waddle Doo.

"But the king must watch out. So far, Kirby as still eaten far more food than him. Everything will be decided with the last race!" continues the Waddle Dee.

"Oh my gosh! I didn't know it would be so fun!" shouts Sweetie Belle in excitation. "Oh... I don't know who to cheer!"

"See?!" shouts Waddle Dee beside her. "I told you! This is the best event!"

Five minutes later, and place to the third race! Somewhere rather weird, with colored bells inside bubbles, and the flour seemingly made of colored kid blocks.

"This is it guys!" yells Waddle Doo. "The decisive race! In this one, the racers will have to give everything! They will have to watch out for the traps, and the obstacles will be many! Ready everyone? 3! 2! 1!"

BROOOOOOOOOOOOO

And Kirby yet again starts the race at the lead, but trying to take a Maxi Tomato out of the way, he gives the occasion for Dedede to take the lead. But the penguin reaches a row made of star blocks that he has to destroy to continue. Kirby is able to pass by a small opening above the blocks and leave the king in the dust, only to reach a wall of spikes and, being too fast to stop, gets hurt. To continue, he has to fly up, then jump above small ponds that could slow him if he falls in. It's when he takes another Maxi Tomato that Dedede passes him, jumping right in the hole beside the tomato, only to be stopped by a few row of blocks that disappear only by walking on them, and the two have to wait together that all the blocks disappear.

They find themselves having to choose between two ways, and Kirby chooses the one above while Dedede choose the one below. Dedede has to destroy a wall of star blocks before joining Kirby who just passes another wall, taking the lead again. Kirby has to fly up again, avoiding a block of spikes in the way, before jumping in another hole and falling in a pond where there is another tomato. Bad idea, because Dedede yet again takes the occasion to be at the lead, and the two of them reach a water section, with somehow some parts without water. Once out of the water, they eventually reach another intersection,one way after another where they have to fly up, Kirby at the lead. The puffball takes the second way, and the king takes the first two seconds later. When Kirby reaches the top, he sees that he has taken the bad way, because Dedede is slightly before him, and he quickly runs to catch him. They are elbow to elbow, but then the king trips and fall, head right on the goal line just before Kirby passes it.

"And this round is yet again for king Dedede! This makes two races won for him!" yells Waddle Doo.

"I really through that Kirby would pass the goal first for a moment here. But the king tripping stopped that!"

"But this doesn't mean victory! Remember everyone, we still must count the points!"

A few minutes later, the two racers are back at the start of the first track.

"Kirby winning a race, he starts with thirty ! King Dedede winning two races, he starts with sixty! Now let's see," says the Waddle Dee.

The screen turns black, and a white line separates it in two vertically. Dedede's face with the number 60 appears in one, and Kirby's face with the number 30 appears in the other. And then, the numbers start to go up. A few seconds later, they finally stop.

Kirby : 164
King Dedede : 155

Silence...

"And..." says Waddle Dee, shocked. "And... the winner is... Kirby..."

"Kirby is the new Gourmet Champion," says Waddle Doo.

"NOOO!!! I can't believe it! I have won two races! How could I lose?!" screams Dedede, making a tantrum. He then feels someone hugging him. When he looks down, he sees that it is Sweetie Belle.

"I'm sorry that you have lost Dedede," she says. "But look at the score! You have lost only by nine points ! That was a close call!"

"Yeah... I still would have prefered winning."

"I know. But what counts is that we had fun, right? Don't tell me you didn't have fun."

Dedede smiles at her, before chuckling. "I still would have prefered winning."

Sweetie laughs. "I know. But hey! That means that you will have to take back your title! And we will have more fun!"

"You are right!" Dedede turns to Kirby. "You hear that? I will train hard! And we will race again! And this time, I will win!"

"Poyo!" says Kirby, determined.

"Mph! Let's go everyone! I need to train!"

The king departs, followed by his whole army yelling his name in repetition. The only ones staying behind with Kirby are Sweetie Belle and Waddle Dee. Once they are far away, the filly hugs the puffball.

"That was awesome Kirby. Congratulation for winning," she says.

"Yeah..." says Waddle Dee. "I still can't believe that the king lost, but... good game. But you will see! Next time, this will not be the same thing!"

"Poyo!"

"By the way Kirby..." continue Waddle Dee. "Thank you for watching Sweetie Belle while the king was... you know... possessed. I... I owe you. We all owe you."

Kirby smiles. "Poyo!" he shouts, raising an arm.

Waddle Dee nods at him. "Let's go, Sweetie Belle." He starts to follow the others.

"I'm coming!" She turns to Kirby. "Listen Kirby. I'm starting to train how to use a weapon, and to use more spells with my magic. Like this, if another villain appears, I will better be able to help you without you or others having to risk your life to protect me. But this is also so I can fight you one day for real, not like last time at the Fountain of Dream." She laughs at remembering what happened. "Just know this, Kirby. Whether we are fighting together, or each other, I consider you a friend." She raises her right hoof toward Kirby.

The puffball understands what she wants, and he bumps her hoof, smiling. "Poyo."

Sweetie nods, smiling too, before she joins Waddle Dee, leaving Kirby going back to his home. She then bumps Waddle Dee on the arm. "Told you he is friendly."


"Well, I propose we end this session here," says Discord, closing the window portal.

"Wait, I don't understand. They are friends, and yet they will fight each other?" asks Rainbow Dash.

"This is what we call 'friendship in rivalry', like you and AJ when you race each other, but there, it's in battle," says Pinkie. "Now excuse me, but I have to go prepare a Gourmet Race!"

"What?! Pinkie! Outside of you, nopony will be able to go in a race like that! They would end up too stuffed, or too sick to reach the goal!" points Twilight.

"Oh, I'm sure I can find ponies that could participate! And I can always replace the full plates of food by something else, like... like candies! Yes! Candies will work! And this will be the best race ever!" And she is gone.

"I wouldn't mind participating in one. What do you think, AJ?" says Rainbow Dash.

"I think that you would lose," the earth pony answer.

"Oh yeah?! You are on!"

The two exit the room, leaving Rarity, Twilight, Fluttershy, Spike and Discord behind. The pegasus hugs Rarity. "She is alright. She seems to be with good friends, they will watch her."

"Yes, I saw. But she is my sister, I'm still worried for her even if she is not alone. This is worst, knowing that she will fight, but at least, she will not fight alone. And I can see she trusts this Kirby, so I'm trusting him."

"They did fought together an abomination of darkness," says Discord. "It would be hard not to trust each other after something like that." He then goes beside Rarity's ear and whisper to her. "I ship them."

"This is my sister, you ruffian! As much as they are adorable together, Kirby must be too old for her!"

"Actually, he is younger than her."

"What?!"

Meanwhile, Twilight is reading some notes she has written during the race, hairs popping out of her mane and eye twitching. "How did this penguin inflates his belly to the point of flying? How can this pink ball eat foods as big as him like that? How could he actually eat dozens of time what must be his weight, and not get bigger? How could this water float? How could those things talk without a mouth? How...? How...?! HOW...?!!"

Chapter 17: I'll Make a Man Out of You... Even if You Are a Filly

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"Sweep sweep sweep let's go sweep the dust
Make this room clean is the must
Side to side until there is none
Make this room clean is so fun."

Sweetie Belle sings joyfully as she sweeps her broom on the floor in rhythm to her song alongside the two Broom Hatters in the chamber. It's certainly less boring to clean a room this way!

BLAM!

Everyone in the room jumps at the suddenness of the door being kicked open, a silhouette standing at its place.

"So... I have heard that you search someone to help you learn how to use your body to break skulls?" says the silhouette, arms crossed.

Sweetie understands that the silhouette is speaking to her. "Mmh... Breaking skulls, maybe not, but at least to better fights enemies that get too close. And no need to be so dramatic Knuckle Joe."

"Aww... You are no fun," says the silhouette, revealed to be a Knuckle Joe, a small bipedal creature with a tan head with big cheeks, small eyes like Kirby, pointy ears, spiky yellow hairs separated in two by a white headband with a red jewel, a blue jumpsuit on his body, red shoulder pads, white gloves on his hands, and blue shoes.

"Watch out what you do, you idiot !" screams one of the Broom Hatters. "You could have broken the door!"

"Sorry," says Knuckle Joe, bowing to the Broom Hatter.

Sweetie Belle giggles at this. Knuckle Joes are such hotheads. Always punching first, thinking later. But they are formidable fighters, their punches powerful enough to destroy rocks. They can even throw energy balls with their hands!

"I would love to start training with you Knuckle Joe, but can I first finish cleaning this room with the Broom Hatters? I'm almost done."

"I don't mind. I can even help!" he shouts. Without warning, he jumps beside one of the Broom Hatters and takes his broom.

"Wha-? Wait!"

"Hiya!" Knuckle Joe violently bring down the broom on the floor to sweep it. Crack! Too violently, the broom breaking in two at the impact. "Haa!"

"My broom!" yells the Broom Hatter in rage, before jumping on Knuckle Joe, pulling his hair. "You didn't have to be so violent, you knucklehead!"

"Argargarg! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Stop it please!"

Sweetie sighs, then giggles again, shaking her head. Such hotheads... They remind her of Scootaloo.


On the boxing ring, Knuckle Joe takes a wooden plank, a hand in each ends, and shows it vertically in front of the filly.

"Break it! I'm sure you can with your hooves! I just need to see!"

"Uh... Alright. But I never tried before, so I'm not sure. Unicorns aren't known for their strength. An earth pony however, like my friend Apple Bloom, could break it without problems, I'm sure of it."

"Still try!"

Sweetie nods, takes a breath, and with a big "AYAH!", she punches the wooden plank, effectively breaking it in two.

"See? Hooves are hard! They can already do some powerful punches! All you need now, is to learn how to use those hooves to win a fight without needing a weapon! You can already knock out the majority of the king's army this way, with just a punch, but against a more experienced opponent, you will need more!"

"Yeah... Cape Knight made sure to make me know that that was not enough."

"Of course he did! He is not the Captain for nothing! But next time, you will be able to win a fight against him just by doing this!" He then does a serie of small jabs in rapid succession releasing small shockwaves, his famous Vulcan Jab, followed by an uppercut with his fist engulfed in energy, the Rising Break. He ends his combo by putting his hands at his right side, and forms an energy ball that he shoots in the air, the Force Blast, destroying one of the spotlights above the ring. "Oops..."

Sweetie giggles. "That was so cool!"

"Thank you!" He bows. "I will also help you learn how to grab an enemy to throw them! Or to trap them in a powerful grip from which they will not be able to escape so you can finish them like you desire! By the end, you will be as swift as a coursing river, as forceful as a great typhoon, and as strong as a raging fire!" He raises his fist right above his head. "You will be invincible! Or almost. Nothing is truly invincible."

Sweetie Belle sweats. "Yeeeeah... Thank you Knuckle Joe." Oh boy...


"Come on! Stronger the jabs! Imagine that this sandbag is your worse nemesis! Faster!"

"I’ll try!"

"Don't try! Do it! Just! DO IT!"


"Continue! More push ups! Don't stop until I say so!"

I'm gonna die...


"And now you will do some laps around the room."

"O-okay..."

"With this weight on your back!" he says, taking a big, heavy weight from behind the stand.

Celestia... Help...


"Urg..." Sweetie groans from the floor.

"That was some good training! You have done well! In no time, you will become as good as me! But now, it's dinner time, so it's time for me to say goodbye to you! Until next time we train!" He bows. "Have a good night!"

"Ugh... Thank you..."

"Is there a problem?"

"Can't... move..."

"Oh... Have I gone too far?"

"M-maybe a little..."

"Sorry!" He bows again. "Let me help you!"

"You don't need to... Just give me a minute... or two... or three..."

"I insist!" he shouts. He suddenly takes Sweetie Belle from the floor and puts her on his back. "You have dinner with the king, right?"

"Eep! Uh yes. But, wait..."

"Then let's go! Tayooooo!!!" He starts to run like a rocket, exiting the boxing room in two seconds and leaving behind him a trail of dust. Sweetie Belle clings to him for dear life, screaming so loudly that she thinks that everyone in the castle can hear her. The two of them are a blur when they traverse the hallways, Knuckle Joe sending flying all the servants that have the misfortune of being in his way, screaming "Sorry!" each time. If he could bow, he would!

Before long, they reach the king's dinner room. "My king! I'm bringing Sweetie Belle to you!" he yells at the entrance of the room. On his back, Sweetie Belle tilts right, then left, then right again, before falling, her eyes looking at two directions at the same time. Knuckle Joe then bows at the king.

Dedede looks at them, mouth open with a raised eyebrow. "What?"

"After our training, she was too tired to walk for dinner, so I ran with her on my back so she could come!"

"I... I see... You are dismissed."

"Yes! My king!" He bows again. He then bows at Sweetie Belle still on the floor. "Until next time!" And he is gone.

Dedede looks at the filly, and after a few seconds, chuckles. "Seems you found quite the teacher."

"You... don't... say..."


The following weeks, nothing much happens. She does her tasks, she trains with the help of Dedede, Cape Knight, or Knuckle Joe, and sometime goes out to walk around Dreamland, spending time with her friends, including Kirby, taking a good time. She would sometime observe a butterfly with red rimmed orange wings fly around, reminding her how peaceful this land is when nothing is trying to turn it into darkness land. She also learns more about the various creatures living in the Kingdom, and beyond, making sure she knows what she could face in the future.

Sometime, she would punch Broom Sunglasses in the face, because he asks for it.

Right now, she is in the boxing room again, about to start her training with Knuckle Joe.

Gulp "What are we gonna do today?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"Something that can seem easy, but that is actually really hard."

"And... What is it?"

"Meditation."

"....What?"

"I know it may not sound as great as throwing jabs at a sandbag or running around with a weight, but it is important if you want to do some of my more powerful techniques like my Force Blast."

"Uh?"

"How do you think I have been able to find the inner energy that I use to boost my punches or to create those balls? I had to do countless hours of meditation! And no, this energy has nothing to do with your magic! This is a different kind of energy!"

"Okay... So what do I do?"

"Nothing. You just sit on your hind legs, empty your mind from all thoughts, and search inside you this energy! This is also a great way to learn how to better control your feelings, so you can better focus in a fight! Or doing other things!"

"Are you sure? Because you don't seem to control your feelings so well, seeing how you are always excited to the point of being clumsy."

This causes Knuckle Joe to fall backward as if he has been punched in the face. "Ouch! So true!"

Sweetie giggles. "Well then, I'll try."

Knuckle Joe gets up. "Remember, it tooks me many hours ! You may not accomplish it first try!"

"Right..."

Sweetie sits on her bottom and crosses her legs, then she closes her eyes, and takes a big breath. This is not so different from when she tried to use magic the first time, but it's still harder. With magic, at least, she didn't have to focus so much. She already had a little knowledge of how to use it. But this energy... It's more profound, she can tell. Already, emptying her mind his so hard. There is always something that come in her mind, excitement for when she will unlock this energy, curiosity like what will there be for dinner tonight, or thoughts of her home, her family, her friends...

She takes another breath. Maybe she should start with something else. Her magic! She will start focusing in her magic, and from there, she will go deeper!

So, magic. Magic is near her heart, going all the way from here to her horn passing by her brain. Focusing in that point, it's not long before she feels her magic in her horn. She keeps her focus in that point, not thinking of anything else. Not breathing, she lets her body do the job. Not the beating of her heart. Not the sweat on her forehead. Just her magic. The magic becomes a green star in a vast blackness, with nothing else in sight. She can see some of that star going out, toward what she knows is her horn, but she doesn't focus in that. She focus in the magic. Just, the magic.

And then, she starts to move her focus elsewhere, deeper, while keeping the star as a beacon. She starts to search the energy, whatever and wherever it is. For what feels like hours, she searches. She searches. She searches.

Nothing.

She keeps her frustration in check, this will not help her. She returns to the star, thinking to try again. But as she returns to the star, she sees something. In the star. Deep, in the very center of the green, she can see something. Something... She is not sure of the form, or the color. Is this the core of the star ? The very origin of her magic ? It's... It's...

Her?

She reaches to it... or to her...


Knuckles Joe looks at Sweetie Belle, the filly not moving at all. He has been worried when he has seen her horn light up, thinking that she has been doing something wrong. But almost after that, she has totally stopped moving, only her breathing showing that she is alive. Not even her ears move. Seems like her magic has been the key to enter her meditation state, which is impressive. It took her only a few minutes, while it took him about an hour the first time. There are some people that are just better gifted...

It has been many hours now, and Knuckle Joe may have to stop the exercise soon.

But then, he starts to see something, barely visible. Some white-green-blue energy is starting to envelop the filly. He gasps. She did it!

In an instant, Sweetie opens her eyes, and puts her fore hooves at her right, where an energy ball of the same color is forming.

But when she throws it, the ball disappears...

...

"Oh come on! I had it!"

Knuckle Joe shakes his head in disbelief. This filly is something. He then says "At least you found it. I must congratulate you. But how have you been able to find it so fast?"

Sweetie takes a big breath before answering. "Well, first, I put my focus in my magic, so I could use it as a beacon to search deeper in me for that energy. And... turns out it was deeper, but deeper in my magic. I barely saw it, it was almost invisible, impossible to feel, but it was there, in the center. It..." She looks at Knuckle Joe right in the eyes. "It was my soul, right?"

He nods. "A part of it, at least. This energy is an energy coming right from your soul, representing your spirit. Seems like your magic is from the same origin." At this, he laughs and claps. "Nature sure spoiled you! And your people!"

She looks at her hooves, annoyed. "But I wasn't able to form an energy ball. Mph!"

"Of course you weren't! It's one thing to find the energy, it's another to learn how to use it! But I think we can stop for now, it's almost dinner."

"Really?! Already?!"

"Time goes fast when you are in meditation! You can go! I will ask the cooks to prepare for you a Maxi Tomato pie as a reward! You deserve it!"

Oh Celestia... An apple pie made from Whispy's apples is already too good, what will it be with the Maxi Tomatoes ?


Sweetie walks in the hallways, not knowing what to do while waiting for dinner. She is not sure she can start any task and finish them in time.

But then, she hears a Waddle Dee starts a discussion with a few other servants.

"Have you heard? A few days ago, Kirby has fought that giant bird, Dyna Blade, who terrorised a part of Dreamland."

"It's only now that you heard about it?" answers another Waddle Dee. "Were you living under a rock?"

"Hey, I was sick! I just learned about it, like, five minutes ago!" replies the first.

Oh yeah, Dyna Blade. Too bad I wasn't here, Sweetie thinks. She has been annoyed to miss helping Kirby in fighting another threat, but at the same time, she can't be at his side every time, so she can't know when he goes on another adventure.

"I have heard something else," suddenly says a Sword Knight. "The Bronto Burts have seen some heavy activities from the Meta Knights, at their not-so-secret base at the coast of Orange Ocean, at the south. They must be preparing something."

"Meta Knight? Preparing something?" says the second Waddle Dee. "All he does is walk around Popstar challenging whoever he finds powerful enough. What would he prepare?"

"I don't know..." says a third Waddle Dee. "Why would he have an army of mercenaries under his orders if he just want to become stronger?"

"Good point," say the others.

She has heard enough. Dinner can wait. If there is even the chance that the Meta Knights may prepare something bad, she must go see what it is. Their base at the south, at the coast of Orange Ocean, right? All she will have to do is follow it.

The Meta Knights are not to be underestimated. She has only met their leader, Meta Knight himself, but she has heard many thing about them. They are less numerous, but far more well trained than Dedede's army. And Meta Knight is the most powerful warrior in the world outside of Kirby.

Hopefully it's a false alert, because she is not sure she will be able to fight Meta Knight, but someone must at least stand against them. Kirby may not have heard about this rumor. Maybe she should go speak to Dedede, together they may have a chance. But he may not take seriously what are just speculations on a rumor.

She enters the room with all the boars, hops on one, and exits the castle, under the sunset.

Many minutes later, she can see the trident-like towers of their base, and a giant dome. A dome that is opening, letting out... something. It's long, black, with many canons, and what seems to be a bridge like on a ship, but far bigger. At the front, she can barely see it from where she is, there is a reproduction of Meta Knight's mask.

Then, big metal tubes at the back spit fire.

And it starts to fly, long purple bat wings deploying at the sides.

A giant, technologically advanced flying battleship.

"Oh boy..."

Chapter 18: The Halberd

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"Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!" repeats Discord excitedly as he enters the same empty room as last time. He then snaps his fingers, making Twilight, her friends, Spike, and the Crusaders appear on chairs, much to their confusion. "Everyone!" he shouts. "Who wants to see an epic action movie?"

"Discord? What?" asks Twilight in confusion.

"I was about to eat with my family!" shouts Applejack.

"Yeah! I wouldn't be against some action, but there, my stomach is asking for food!" shouts too Rainbow Dash.

"Oh?" Discord snaps his fingers, and bags of popcorn appear beside them. "Well, here is some food!"

"Discord, what is going on?" asks Fluttershy.

"Oh okay, let me repeat myself. Who wants to see an epic action movie featuring a certain white unicorn filly?" At this, he snaps again his fingers, making a screen appears on the wall. The screen shows an image in black and white of Sweetie Belle's head with written before it "Today, Sweetie Belle in a new adventure!"

Everyone gasps. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo then run at Discord's feet. "We are going to see Sweetie Belle?" asks Apple Bloom.

"Please, tell us it isn't a joke," says Scootaloo.

"For once, no jokes!" Discord says, retiring a mask of a clown from his face. "Except this one."

"Oh please! Show us! You said that she is going on an adventure?" says Rarity.

"Exactly! And we are all gonna watch it in direct!"

"Then stop losing time and turn on the screen, or we are gonna miss it!" yells Pinkie Pie, starting eating the popcorn.

"That's what I was gonna do!" He snaps his fingers and the window portal reappear on the wall at the place of the screen, before he sits. The portal shows Sweetie Belle riding a boar beside an ocean not far of a forest and a mountain. "Here is our hero." Then the portal shows, a little farther ahead, something flying above the ocean. "And here is her target!"

"What is that!" shouts Twilight.

"It looks awesome!" shouts Rainbow and Scootaloo.

"Well, it is no less than a battleship!" says Discord.

"A BATTLESHIP?!" yells Rarity. "That thing is a battleship?! And Sweetie is going to attack it?! ALONE?!! Discord! Bring her back! She will get herself killed! Fate can go to Tartarus!"

"Wait!" shouts Apple Bloom. "Something is happening!"

"Yeah. It's shooting at something in the sky," says Applejack.


She can see him, on his Warp Star, approaching the ship. "Kirby! Oh thank Celestia you are there!" But then, the Warp Star is shot down by one of the many cannons of the ships. "Oh no!" She can only watch in horror as the Warp Star crashes in the forest. "Quick Grouiky Junior! To the forest!"

"Groink!"

Passing a few doors and jumping above a few holes, searching in and around the forest, she is able to find Kirby just as he gets out of a big black door, between the forest and a mountain, thankfully not hurt. She sees that Kirby is wearing a purple cap, and he has a yo-yo. She lets the boar charges at an enemy that looks like a microphone on feet not far of him, and gets down. She then hugs the surprised puffball.

"Kirby! Thank Celestia! I thought that you have been killed in that crash!"

"Poyo. Poyo," says Kirby, patting her on the back of her head.

She steps back, and looks at the battleship in the distance. "So, it's bad news?"

"Poyo!" Kirby confirms.

"We must stop it?"

"Poyo!"

"Then, how are we going to reach that thing?"

At this, Kirby takes a determined expression, shouts "Poyo!", and starts to run.

"Wait!" yells Sweetie Belle. "Maybe we should go search reinforcements! Like Dedede! Or Gooey! Do you know where is Gooey?"

Their run is interrupted by the apparition of two big enemies. Sweetie recognizes them as Bonkers by their gorilla-like appearance with dark blue pants, purple clothes, and purple hair with a pompadour haircut. They use for weapon a hammer as big as the one that Dedede use. One of the Bonkers appear before them, and the other behind them, using his hammer to send the boar blasting off.

"Grouiky Junior!" she shouts. She then looks at the Bonker in anger. "You will pay! I take this one Kirby!"

"Poyo!" shouts back Kirby, readying his yo-yo while facing the other Bonker.

Not looking back, Sweetie takes her whip and cracks it in the face of the Bonker. The Bonker counterattacks by bringing down his hammer on her, but she jumps to her left, avoiding it. She then jumps on the Bonker's back, and bucks it behind the head, making him eat the ground. She hops down from him, and shoot a charged magical beam at his butt, causing the Bonker to jump in pain, releasing his hammer. With the help of her magic, she wraps her whip around the handle of the hammer and makes it fly around her, before bringing it down on the head of the Bonker.

This is not enough to knock him out, and he takes back his hammer before taking an explosive coconut from his pocket and throwing it at her. She passes under the coconut before it explode, avoid the hammer again, then buck the Bonker at his right knee. Jumping back to avoid the hammer, she makes her whip cracks at him multiple times and send a last charged beam, making the Bonker finally falls unconscious.

When she looks toward Kirby to see if he has dealt with his enemy, she sees the puffball with his yo-yo wrapped around all four of the Bonker's limbs, waving at her. She giggles, before bucking the wrapped Bonker right in the head, knocking him out. Kirby then gives up his yo-yo, and eat the Bonker, giving him the hammer ability.

"So, what now?" Sweetie asks.

Kirby answers by pointing his hammer toward the flying ship getting away.

"So we are chasing it? Even if we have nothing to aboard it?"

Kirby nods.

She sighs.

Kirby then starts to run, and destroys a bomb block that causes the destruction of a whole wall of seemingly indestructible blocks around it. Sweetie has no choices but to follow him, maybe they will find something. A few more bomb blocks later, Sweetie is forced to jump on Kirby so he can lift her up because it's too high to jump. Kirby takes the floating hot dog and orange juice, then uses his hammer to stick a small wooden pillar in the floor, causing the destruction of more blocs that reveal a Maxi Tomato that Kirby partages in two, giving one half to her.

"Thanks. I haven't eaten because of this."

"Poyo!"

After eating, they destroy another bomb block, and Sweetie jumps down the way it opens to punch a Kabu before shooting a beam at another bomb block, revealing two Scarfys. Kirby takes them down with his hammer without letting them mutate, and Sweetie has yet again to jump on his back to be lifted up. She uses her horn to destroy another bomb block in the way, and takes the floating candy that it reveals, letting Kirby eat the hot dog, before entering a door.

"Yay! I love free candy!"


"Not fair!" shouts Pinkie. "Why can't I find free candies in the wild too?!"

"The real question is: why is there food in the wild?!" shouts back Twilight.


At the other side of the door, they are almost rolled on by an enemy that looks like a rubber wheel with its eyes at the center of both sides of the wheel. A Wheelie. Seeing the long straight way that await them, Kirby gives up the hammer and eats the Wheelie, gaining a red cap backward. He is then about to do something, when he looks at Sweetie Belle in curiosity, putting a hand under his mouth.

"Poyo..."

"What?"

Then, Kirby jumps on her, and her hooves suddenly turn into wheels ! Before she can say anything, she loses control of her hooves, the wheels almost making her faceplant. Trying to regain balance, she finds herself doing like when she has first gone skating, trying to put her hooves under her only for them to go wild. Skating! It must not be different! If she can keep her balance while skating, then she can keep her balance with wheeled hooves! So, remembering her skating, she is able to place her four hooves under her and keep her balance.

Accomplishing this, she smiles. "Yay!"

"Poyo!" congratulates her Kirby.

She tests the wheels, somehow making them roll a little. "Now..." She then looks at the long way before her, eyes half closed, and at all the enemies that are on it. "I'm gonna rolling..." Her smile becomes sadistic. "And they are gonna hating it."

"Po-yo!" shouts Kirby, raising his right arm.

And she rolls, right forward, jumping above holes, above spikes, and sending flying all the enemies that are in the way. She doesn't care about the Scarfys flying above, as long as they are not in the way. At the end, she falls on springs, bouncing her on a level above, where there is another long way, this time with bomb blocks. She destroys the first one, making something explode, but she is not sure what. Same thing with the second one. At the end, she has to jump on a bridge above and turn around, rolling above holes with a plate of pancakes and a normal tomato, that she takes in her magic. Once they reach the door at the end, she stops, and Kirby jumps from her back.

"Poyo! Poyo!" he shouts, jumping on place and smiling at Sweetie Belle.

"It was awesome! Here are some foods for you in thanks!" she says, giving the pancakes and the tomato. She still takes one of the pancakes to eat it.

Once Kirby as inhaled his food, they pass the door, and find themselves in front of a pink round enemy with black feet and fire for hair with a headband. A Burning Leo. Kirby gives up the wheel and eats him, gaining the fire. They then jump on the spring behind them, and are bounced up beside a big cannon pointed up, where they can see its wick poking out of the ground not far. Another similar cannon is alongside it, pointing up too.

Sweetie wonders what they have to do, only to see Kirby lights the first wick before jumping in the first cannon. He then signs to Sweetie Belle to hop in.

"Are you sure?" she asks, scared.

"Poyo!" confirms Kirby.

"Alright..." And so, she jumps in the cannon just before the fire reaches it, only for the cannon to explode, expelling them in a ball of fire. As they hit the ground, Sweetie coughs some black smoke. "You... You were saying?"

"Poyoooo..." groans Kirby beside her. He then gets up, helps the filly, and goes light the other canon.

"You still want to try?" she asks.

Kirby shrugs from inside the cannon.

Sweetie sighs. "Well... There is no other way, unless we go back down the mountain..." She jumps in the cannon.

When the fire reaches the cannon, it makes a few turns, surprising its occupants, before pointing down. Next thing they know, the cannon is launched into the sky like a rocket, the both of them screaming. A few seconds of flying later, the cannon falls back at the top of the mountain, bouncing a few time before rolling, then stopping. Sweetie Belle and Kirby take this to get out of it, their eyes rolling around.

Kirby is the first regaining his senses, and is then startled by something he sees. When Sweetie shakes her head to stop the world from spinning around, she sees what has startled Kirby, and her jaw almost hits the ground.

Before them is a giant bird made of red and white metal and rainbow wings, a blue jewel at its chest, and yellow feather on its head like a crest. The bird looks at them with its big eyes.

"Is... Is that Dyna Blade?!" shouts Sweetie Belle, taking a step back. Kirby places himself before her and takes a fighting stance. But to their surprise, Dyna Blade lowers its wings, inviting them on its back. "It wants to help us?"

Kirby smiles at this, and waves at Dyna Blade in thanks before getting on its back. Soon after, Sweetie Belle follows him, insure. Once the two of them are on its back, the giant bird flaps its rainbow wings, ascending, before flying in the direction of the battleship.

It doesn't take them long to reach it, but once they get too close, its many cannons start shooting at them. Dyna Blade is able to avoid them and approach the ship, only for a big cannon on the deck to charge before shooting a giant laser, hitting fully the bird. The hit ejects Sweetie and Kirby from its back, but they fall on the deck at the head of the ship beside some giant cannon, successfully boarding it.

Sweetie barely has the time to look with sadness at Dyna Blade diving to the ground in pain, about to crash, smoke trailing behind it, before they are attacked by the crew on the deck, starting with a Sir Kibble that Kirby eats, giving up the fire for the cutter. They then hear someone speaking from a speaker.

"Dyna Blade has been shot down!"

"But...! But...! Kirby is on the deck ! And he is with the king's lackey!"

"Hey!" shouts Sweetie at this.

"Relax," then says a voice that Sweetie recognizes. Meta Knight. "We must handle this calmly."

"Lister, you lubbers!" then shouts someone else. "I want you all after those two!" Seems like a commander.

Fighting the crew, they run on the deck of the ship until entering an hallway with Gordos in the way. But some sort of platform on the floor that charge forward once they walk on it is able to get them pass them. Continuing advancing, they reach their first door of the ship. At the other side, they are ambushed by what seems to be some elite members of the Meta Knights consisting of knights using a flail (a big one), a trident, and an axe (this one wearing a skull).

"That's far enough, Kirby!" then says Meta Knight.

"Now you will know the power of Meta Knight!" shouts the commander.

"Fight!" shouts a smaller voice.

At once, the knights jump on the two of them. Sweetie wraps her whip around the knight with the axe and send him toward the one using a trident while Kirby use his blades to cut the big knight using a flail. This is enough to beat them. But further, they are yet again ambushed by more knights, this time one of them using a javelin, but no axe wearing one. Sweetie avoid the swing of the javelin and take it in her magic. The knight not wanting to let it go, he is send flying toward the flail of the big one, sending him flying above the edge of the ship. The javelin knight flying into it has caused the flail to lost its momentum, making it fall on its user's head. Meanwhile, Kirby has taken one of his blade in his hand and has used it to slash a few times at the trident wearing knight, defeating him.

After this embush, they pass another door, leading them inside the ship.

"Looks like Kirby and the pony are trying to get on deck."

"Well then," says the commander. "let's guide them in front of one of the cannons."

"I don't like this Kirby, they will trap us," says Sweetie Belle.

"Poyo!" reassures Kirby. Seeing a Poppy approaches them, he gives up the cutter and eats him, only to discover that this Poppy has been using boomerangs, giving back the cutter ability. He sweats at this. "Poyo..."

"No bombs this time, sorry Kirby."

After this, they take an elevator to go up, Sweetie putting a shield around them at seeing a Shotzo shooting at them from the side. At the top, Sweetie shoots a Bomber, a literal walking bomb with a skull drawn at its sides, while Kirby cuts a Plasma Wisp, a living, floating mass of blue plasma with two gloved hands and two eyes. They take another elevator, then a third, leading them before three Shotzos. Just before they shoot, Kirby sees a bomb block above him, and destroy it, which cause the destruction of the floor under the shotzos, making them fall.

"I would like to know what was the point of putting those three Shotzos above a floor that can be destroyed with a bomb block."

Kirby only shrugs in response.

"She has a point, Captain Vul," says the small voice.

"Shut up!" shouts the commander, now knowing his name and rank, and making Sweetie giggles.

They pass the door that the Shotzos were guarding, and end in a big hangar full of smaller ships and weapons. Sweetie is awed at such a military power. Just in this room, they have enough to take over Dreamland, and they could even take over Equestria! The princesses would probably put a fight, but against all those ships and their armement, would they last long?

She shivers. "We must stop them!"

"Poyo!"

Continuing, Kirby gives up his ability seeing the next enemy: a Bio Spark. A round being wearing purple clothes all over his body excepted before his eyes, with a golden headgear and a headband with a star. He has red hands and feet, and a red tassel at the back of the head. He uses a katana as a weapon. To put it simply, it's a ninja! And Kirby eats him, obtaining the ninja ability! He now wears a skullcap with a headband similar to the ninja, and now possesses a katana.

Kirby looks at himself, turning around, before he puts his hands before him, raise a foot, and shouts "Yooooo!!!"

This causes Sweetie to roll on the floor laughing. "This... This is... Oh my Celestia! My sides!" Kirby laughs too, before pointing at Sweetie Belle. At this, she gasps. "Oh my gosh! Yes! Please! Yes!" She quickly goes back on her hooves, and Kirby jumps on her back. A light engulfs her, and when it disappears, she finds herself entirely covered in a black cloak leaving only her eyes, horn, and tail visible. She then throws a shuriken into a wall, and seeing it hits, she shouts "Cutie Mark Crusader, Ninja! Yay!"


"Noo! I want to be a ninja too!" whines Scootaloo.

"Sorry, squirt..." says Rainbow Dash.

Twilight's eye twitches.


Not long after, they are ambushed by two new enemies: some pink fighter with yellow hair wearing a white gi with a black belt, and having floating blue gloved hands, and a Poppy Bros. Sr, pretty much like the juniors, but bigger. The fighter launches his hand at them, only for Sweetie to throw a smoke bomb at her hooves, disappearing from the enemies' sight. She then fall on the fighter, kicking him on the backhead, and Kirby throws a dozen kunais at rapid succession towards the Poppy, beating him. Sweetie ends the fighter by taking his head in her hooves, and slamming it on the floor.

The battle finished, they continue, beating another Bio Spark, followed by a Gip, some sort of pig-like round creature without any limbs excepted two white wings, on a bridge of star blocks. While beating the Gip, Sweetie accidentally destroys a block by sending a shuriken at it, showing that there is a bomb block under them. Kirby destroys the remaining blocks, and discovers that there are actually two bomb blocks, including one that seems to destroy a wall. Kirby then jump down from Sweetie's back, making her lose the ninja outfit, and lets her go on is back before inflating and flying down. Sweetie destroys with her horn the first block which, strangely, actually create platforms to jump back up. Destroying the second block reveal a secret door, which they take.

"Have we be found...?" then says Captain Vul with sadness.

"What is this place?" someone else.

Seems like they have found some secret room of the captain, and this room has food in it! A flan, which Sweetie immediately eats, a normal tomato, a Maxi Tomato that they partage, and some sort of glowing candy with a small star.

"What is this?" asks Sweetie.

"Poyo! Poyo!" says Kirby excitedly, before eating the candy. He then starts flashing!

"Wh-" Sweetie is about to ask what is going on, only to be stopped by Kirby doing a mouth to mouth to her, making her flash too! And turning her head all red...


"Eep!"

"What the..."

"Oh my gosh! Sweetie has a coltfriend!"

"Told you," Discord says to Rarity, the mare having red cheeks.

"Oh my..."


Sweetie sputters as Kirby end the mouth to mouth. "Wh-wha-" But again, she hasn't time to say anything, because Kirby takes her by the hoof and starts to run, forcing her to follow. They take the door, jump on the platforms, and eliminate the next enemy, some sort of robot with a single eye at the left, a blue cap backward, red shoes, and a yo-yo, just by touching it! Taking the door behind it, they quickly cross the next room without even taking the Maxi Tomato.

"They are now approaching Main Cannon number two."

"They'll be burnt to a crisp," says Vul before laughing alongside the small voice.

After the room, they are now just in front of the very cannon that has shot the giant laser at Dyna Blade, and it is now pointed right at them! The cannon is actually two cannons, a smaller round one on top of a bigger scarred one, the big one being the one that shoot lasers. Alongside the cannons is a mechanical arm, the hand menacingly turned toward them. The big cannon then shoots its laser at them, and Sweetie can only cover her eyes, thinking her end coming.

The laser passes around them, but at her surprise, they aren't getting vaporised! After the laser, she looks at herself, and sees her body stopping flashing, like Kirby.

"Did... Did that candy gave us invincibility?" she asks in disbelief.

"Poyo!" confirms Kirby.

"Impossible! How did they survive?!" screams Vul.

"They took an Invincibility Candy in the secret room," answers Meta Knight.

"Grrrr... No matter! The cannon will destroy them!"

At this, the cannon at the top fire a round explosive bullet at them, forcing the two to separate. Sweetie goes to the left, and Kirby goes to the right, where he start to throws kunais at the big cannon at the bottom. He is forced to take his katana to parry the charge of the mechanical arm trying to ram him. While Kirby is busy with the arm, the top cannon turns toward Sweetie and fires another bullet at her, only for her to step back from the impact area before shooting a charged magical beam at it. The arm changes its target and grips Sweetie Belle by her barrel, lifting her in the air. The big laser cannons then points at her and starts to charge.

"Help, Kirby!"

To save Sweetie Belle, Kirby takes his katana and jumps at the arm, cutting right through it, sectioning the hand and releasing the filly just in time before the laser fires. Thanking him, they avoid another bullet from the top cannon, and Sweetie attacks it multiple times with her whip while Kirby throws his kunais. Sweetie jumps away from another bullet, and Kirby avoid another laser, only to be rammed by the arm, still attacking despide not having its hand anymore. Sweetie shoots a charged beam at the base of the arm, destroying it completely.

But the cannons still has a long way to go. Sweetie then decides to try something. Avoiding a laser, she gets on her hind
legs, puts her fore legs at her right, and starts to focus her energy. Before long, an energy ball forms between her hooves, and she throws it, only for it to disappear.

How hard is it to create an energy ball with this energy? I can shoot beams with my magic, this shouldn't be this different!

She doesn't have much time to get annoyed at her failure, because she sees yet another bullet coming at her. Having enough, Sweetie takes her whip and wraps it around the bullet, makes it do a loop around her, before sending it back at the cannons, where the explosion of the bullet damages the two. "Yay!"

Jumping above another laser, Kirby then falls on the top cannon and starts to cut it. The top cannon has time to fire another bullet that Kirby dodges, before suddenly stopping, electricity racing around it. Kirby jumps away while Sweetie wraps the last bullet it has fired in her whip and send it at the bottom cannon, hitting right where it shoots the lasers just as it has been charging. This cause the cannons to explode in a big explosion, revealing that the cannons were probably linked to something important, because following that, the whole top of the ship from the cannons to the head start to explode.

Just before that, the Warp Star comes and takes both Kirby and Sweetie, escaping the destruction of the deck. As the top of the ship finally disappears in an explosion of giant proportion, destroying a good part of its armament, the Warp Star leads them toward the base of the left bat wing of the ship, where it drops them beside a turret with two small cannons.

As they start approaching the wing, beating everyone in their way with Sweetie shouting how awesome and unbelievable what they have just done is, they can hear the crew speaking again.

"Ahh! Main Cannon number two was destroyed!"

"The cannon's a wreck! We can't use it!"

"What?! How could this be?" shouts Vul.

"They are now heading for the left wing!"

"You don't think they'd..." speaks the small voice in worry.

"Everyone!" shouts again Vul, angry. "We need to keep Kirby and that pony away from the left wing!"

"That pony has a name!" shouts Sweetie Belle. "And it's Sweetie Belle! Remember it!"

"Don't play tough with us, you little pest!" shouts back Vul.

Thanks to another small ride from the Warp Star, Kirby and Sweetie reach the side of the ship, where violent winds are pushing them from behind because of the speed of the flying ship. In the way, they encounter Laser Balls, big floating orange balls with eyes who can shoot small lasers.

They find themselves reaching a wall, forcing them to go down by destroying the floor thank to a few bomb blocks and using rope ladders. A few rope ladders later, they are now at the bottom of the side of the ship, where they have bigger risk falling because of all the holes. Big holes.

Sweetie then looks at Kirby ninja and gets an idea. "Hey, Kirby, get on my back! I think I know how we may be able to cross this section easily!"

"Poyo?" says Kirby in wonder, before he jumps on Sweetie's back, giving her the ninja ability. The filly then approaches the wall of the ship at their left with a big smile.

"Ninpo! Walk-on-the-wall-no-jutsu?" she asks.

Kirby gasps, and smiles. "Poyo!"

And so, with the ninja ability, Sweetie run toward the wall, before starting to run ON the wall, running above the holes and the platforms full of enemies looking at them in wonder, shooting the Laser Balls and a bomb bloc that destroy a wall in the way.

"That's cheating!" screams Vul.

"No!" replies Sweetie Belle. "That's ninja!" she says as she grabs a Maxi Tomato that is in the way in her magic, giving it at Kirby. With the katana, Kirby cut the tomato in two, and the two half fall right in their mouth.

They are however stopped by a Mr Frosty throwing an ice block in their may, forcing them to land on the floor before him. He then turn his back on them to get another ice block, showing his naked butt. Bad idea for him, because Sweetie wraps her whip around his right foot, and with the help of Kirby, sends him flying. After hitting him on the wall a few time, they give a big tug, and the Frosty passes right THROUGH the wall. This apparently destroys something important, because the whole section starts exploding alongside the left wing, forcing Sweetie and Kirby to enter the hole. The wing is destroyed just as they enter, leading the ship to tilt on its left.

"The left wing is destroyed! Damage to 74% of the wing!"

"Arggh!" yells Vul in both surprise and rage.

"We're starting to lose stability because of it!"

"Retract the sails! Give more lift to the left wing!" orders Meta Knight.

They then find themselves in a small section, with the only way through a small conduit in the ceiling above some electric floor.

"Hey! Where are Kirby and Sweetie Belle now?" asks Vul.

"It looks like they're inside the cabin now..."

"We got them on radar! They're in the ducts!"

So that's where they are. Anyway, Kirby on her back, they wall jump to the conduit and walk slowly inside it.

"What're they doing there?!" they hear Vul ask as they climb some ladders, reaching a small room with blocks spitting fire in the floor.

"They're moving through the ducts now!" they hear as Kirby helps Sweetie fly above the fire, reaching an elevator.

"Are they lost or something?" asks the small voice.

"Good question. Where are we going Kirby?" asks Sweetie, only to be answered by a shrug. Leaving the elevator, they reach a small room with a switch guarded by a Sir Kibble. Dealing with him, they find that the switch opens the door, but when they stop hitting it, the door starts to close back. So they go beside the door, and Kirby uses his kunais on the switch, opening the door, and they quickly pass it before it closes, entering another elevator.

"Wait... I thought of something. Heeheehee," suddenly says Vul, worrying Sweetie.

"What does he have prepared now?" asks Sweetie to herself.

They have to deal with a Knuckle Joe guarding a door once they leave the elevator. He is able to punch Sweetie a few times, before she wraps her whip around him, trapping him, and Kirby finishes him by cutting him with the katana. They only find a Maxi Tomato behind the door, healing the injuries that Sweetie has just taken.

Getting out, they have to go up. Some wall jumps later, they enter another small conduit leading to another Knuckle Joe that Kirby beats with a few kunais. Jumping on two platforms, they reach another door, this one leading in a big room full of weapons of all kind.

"Have they made it into the armory?" then says Vul.

"They have their pick of the lot now."

Well then, jackpot. Seeing a hammer, Kirby decides, with regret, to take it, giving up the ninja. Feeling like Vul is preparing something bad, Sweetie also takes a sword to use alongside her whip, it may help her. And, heck! Now that she has a better control of her magic, why not take more? So she takes a trident, and for good measure, a javelin. They eat the Maxi Tomato in the room, and take the door.

They appear in a big hallway full of crates half plunged in the dark, not a sound is heard.

"Are we all ready?" shouts Vul.

"Are we really doing this?"

"Hmph. I know we'll regret this."

"Shut it! Now is our only chance to finish them!" yells the captain in anger. "This time, we will succeed! Heavy Lobster, away!"

At hearing this name, Kirby gulps and urges Sweetie to move. That's when they destroy a few star blocks in their way that they start hearing heavy metallic footsteps coming from behind, approaching. Looking back, Sweetie can see in the dark glowing blue eyes coming closer and closer at each footstep. Whatever it is, it is big!

"What is that Kirby?"

"Poyo!" answers Kirby, urging her to run.

They find themselves having to pass around, above, and below many crates, and destroying more blocs in the way. They eventually start hearing the crates being destroyed behind them. A group of crates suddenly explodes in a fiery explosion, damaging the structure and urging them to go faster.

Vul then starts to laugh like a maniac. "Crush them! CRUSH THEM!!"

"He is crazy!" shouts Sweetie as Kirby helps her fly above a big wall of crates, hearing more explosions behind.

"Ahh..." they hear someone sigh. "Looks like our ship is falling apart..."

"Don't worry about it! Just press on!" says Vul.

They reach the end of the hallway, and they now have to jump up from platform to platform just as the last crates are destroyed, Sweetie seeing the silhouette of the Heavy Lobster through the smoke. But they are able to escape it by climbing, until reaching a big room with a few more wooden crates.

But then, the floor under the crates explode before them, the Heavy Lobster passing right through it in a deafening racket of exploding wood and metal hitting metal. This causes a wall at their right to fall, revealing a room full of big cylindrical metal things that seem explosives.

And here it is, four times their size, two glowing, now red flashing eyes looking right at them. Like says its name, the Heavy Lobster is a giant mechanised bipedal lobster made of golden metal, with two powerful golden claws that could snap them in two. It also possesses two small wings for some reason...

The Heavy Lobster raises its right claw, and bring it down right at them, Sweetie and Kirby barely escaping it. Kirby jumps toward its head and use his hammer to hit it, making it slightly tilt, only for the Lobster to charge its head back at Kirby, sending him to a wall. Sweetie runs as far away from it as possible and sends the three weapons she has taken toward it. The javelin brokes in two upon hitting it, and the trident gets the same fate. The sword, however, only bounces, barely scratching it. The lobster turns toward her, and shoots from its left claw what seems to be some sort of mini-lobster that fly in her direction. She creates a shield, and the mini-lobster explodes on it, destroying it.

Kirby comes back with his hammer, only for the Lobster to jump and fall on him, trapping him under its foot and making him lose the hammer. It is hit on the head by a charged beam from Sweetie Belle, succeeding in making it step back, freeing Kirby. But before the puffball can get up, the Lobster kicks him right at Sweetie Belle, sending the two of them toward a wall. The Lobster then opens its two claws, and spits fire from them. Seeing this, Sweetie takes Kirby in her magic and runs away from the flames, the jets following her behind. When the Lobster stops, it shoots some slime made of paint, followed by another mini-lobster at her, and she barely jumps away from it before shooting the slime. Leaving Kirby, the puffball starting to run around, she approaches the Lobster and cracks her whip a dozen times against its head, but this barely fazes it, and it charges at her with the help of some rocket behind it. She is not able to dodge, and the Lobster drags her on its head for a few meters before sending her flying in the big room with the cylindrical things.

She slowly gets up, heavily hurt, and watches as Kirby is able to inhale a mini-lobster and spit it back at the Heavy Lobster, damaging it, only for it to charge at him too, and Kirby barely jumps out of the way, only to be rammed by a claw. Sweetie then gets on her back hooves, puts her front hooves at her right, and charges her energy into a ball, only to fail again. Kirby jumps above the Lobster's fire. She sits on her bottom, and close her eyes, grinding her teeth, shaking.

Darn it! We will die if this continue! I don't wanna die! She opens her eyes, and sees Kirby almost getting crushed by the Lobster falling on him, but he then get caught in its claw and is violently thrown to a wall. She tries another energy ball, and fails. Tears start to flow from her eyes. Come on! There is nothing else I can do! Focus Sweetie! It's like magic! It comes from deeper, and it's harder to keep it flowing, but it's the energy coming directly from my own spirit! I can do it! She then hears a scream, and Kirby is flying right at her. She is able to catch him, and remarks that now he is somehow wearing a grey cap backward, but the Lobster quickly follows, jumping and falling just before them. It then opens its claws.

Closing her eyes, she loses all focus, and prepares another energy ball.

Sometime it's best to let your instinct do the work. And a life threatening situation is the best way to make it happen.

"YAAAAAAHHHHH!!!"

She throws it, a ball as big as her, right between the Lobster's eyes, making it fall on its back.

"What was that?" shouts Vul.

"A Giga Force Blast!" answers the small voice. "It's, like, the most powerful technique that a Knuckle Joe can use, but it's really hard to use! It's the first time that I see one!"

"Must be a beginner's luck," says someone else. "She was clearly failing the previous attempts."

Kirby then gets up, see the Lobster starting to get back on its feet, and jump in the air. He then takes a bucket full of paint, and splashes it all over the Lobster's head, including the eyes, covering them.

"Captain Vul! Heavy Lobster's eyes have been destroyed!"

"What?! Paint ability, you say?!" shouts Vul.

"Oh no! He can't tell his left from his right anymore!"

"Rassa frassa blassa! Arrrgh!" screams the captain in blind rage.

The Lobster charges right in front of it, Kirby taking Sweetie Belle before dodging, now without any hats on his head anymore. The Lobster continues its charge until hitting one of the cylindrical things, making it stop.

"Oh no..." says Vul in horror.

The Lobster turns to its left and fire a mini-lobster at nothing, hitting a wall, before jumping and falling on nothing.

"Good job Kirby! It's now vulnerable! We can destroy it!"

"Poyo..." says Kirby, stepping back. He then takes Sweetie's hoof, before a Warp Star comes and he jumps on it with her.

"Why are we running away?" she asks.

The Lobster then opens its claws, about to spit fire.

They get out a window just as Vul screams "Heavy Lobster! STOOOOP!!!"

BOOOUUUUUM !!!

A big part of the right side of the ship is blown away in a deafening explosion, including the right wing, to Sweetie's awe. Rapidly, the Warp Star drops them at the back of the ship, at the edge behind the bridge.

"The Heavy Lobster caused the right wing and the surrounding area to be destroyed!"

They then hear Vul taking big breaths, before saying "Alright... Having both wings destroyed may be just what we needed..."

After a small silence, someone else talk. "They are climbing around the outside of the ship, heading for the helm."

"Where do we go from there?" asks Sweetie.

Kirby looks around, then down beyond the edge. "Poyo!" he says, pointing down.

"We have to jump?!"

Kirby nods, and signs for her to go on his back. Slowly, Sweetie climbs, and Kirby inflates before letting himself falling down. The filly uses her magic to shoot at all the enemies trying to attack them in the air while Kirby fall around the floating white cannons pointing up, not wanting to go up. At the bottom, they reach a door with a glass of fruit juice, that Kirby gives to Sweetie.

"Are you sure? You need healing too."

"Poyo," confirms Kirby with a smile.

Sweetie looks at the juice, then drinks some of it, before giving the rest to Kirby, smiling. "Like this, everyone is happy."

Kirby can't refuse it, and so, he drinks it, before they pass the door. They end up at the left side of the ship, at the bottom, the wind back, and before a wall with a bomb block.

"They are moving along the base of the ship," says someone in the speakers as Sweetie destroys the wall with a beam.

"Not much we can do to him there... But the wind is strong," says Vul. Sweetie jumps on Kirby's back so he can fly her above the big hole that follow.

"And it's cold," says the small voice.

"And it's high."

"And it's scary."

"...All right, you lot," says Vul.

They reach a serie of yellow platforms moving rapidly up and down. Sweetie takes her time to calculate her jumps and not fall, because like she has heard from the speaker, it's high, and it's scary. Thankfully, Kirby remains beside her to make sure she doesn't fall while eating a Plasma Wisp to gain the spark ability. At the end of the platforms, Sweetie destroys another wall while Kirby deal with a Broom Hatter. Another wall later, and they enter a door.

At the other side, they have to pass a door with a switch, only to enter another room with two switches, each switch opening a door during a certain amount of time. To enter the next room, they have to make sure to pass the two doors without the second one closing before they reach it.

The next room is harder, because there are three switches, including one behind a door. This means they first have to open this door, reach the switch behind it, get out, and hit the last switch to continue. Thanks to Sweetie's beam, they are able to gain a few seconds, and they pass the doors.

They now reach an elevator, but when they try to use it, the way is blocked, so they have to take another one, destroying some cannons on wheels in the way, leading to some food, and a switch that destroys something. Taking again the first elevator, this time, they are able to get all the way down.

As Kirby sends a big ball of electricity on a chicken-like enemy, the ball hit a wall not far behind it, destroying it and revealing a door that they go through.

"Nooo!" suddenly shouts someone. "My secret stash of food!"

And... eeyup! Pancakes, flan, tomato, and a Maxi Tomato! Just what they needed after the Lobster! Enjoy!

"So you were the one hoarding them!" shouts Vul. "You scallywag!"

This makes Sweetie giggles as she eats the pancakes with Kirby.


Stomach stuffed (for Sweetie) and now fully healed, they restart their exploration of the inside of the ship and pass another door.

"Kirby and Sweetie Belle are headed for the reactor!"

"If we lose the reactor, this is all over for sure!"

Reeeally?

"Never fear," reassures Vul. "I don't think they can do anything to the reactor."

"So long as a reflected laser doesn't hit the reactor, it will be invincible," says the small voice.

Seriously? deadpans Sweetie Belle.

"Eeeyah!" screams Vul. "Don't even say things like that!"

Too late. Sweetie and Kirby look at each other smugly.

"Stop with that look, you two!" shouts Vul.

Sweetie answers by sticking out her tongue.

"You...! You...!" They can hear that Vul is about to explode, making Sweetie giggles again. This guy is so fun to mess with, even if he tries to kill them.

They pass the door, and end up just in front of the reactor, in a room full of tubes where they can see Wheelies rolling inside.

Wait, is this reactor being powered by Wheelies? That's slavery! We must save them!

The reactor itself is constituted of a square bipyramidal crystal floating between two big machines coming out of the floor and the ceiling, with electricity racing through blue prods around the crystal. The bottom machine possesses a cannon, and they can see another smaller machine going down from the ceiling above them, targeting them. The small machine then shouts a laser at them, which they dodge, the laser bouncing on the floor.

"Ah!" shouts the filly. "We can use this laser to destroy this crystal! Kirby, try to make sure that this machine's lasers reach it!"

"Poyo!" salutes Kirby, only for the two of them to be hit by flames coming from under the floor. When they look down, they can see some burners moving under the floor. Then the cannon starts to charge, and they quickly get out of the way as it fires.

The small laser gun comes back, and is targeting Kirby. The puffball quickly flies beside the core, and dodges the laser shooted at him. The laser hits the crystal, making it crack.

"Yes! That's it!"

They avoid more flames and another shoot from the cannon, and this time, the laser gun targets Sweetie. Because she can't fly, she has no choice but to make sure that the laser bounces from the floor right into the crystal. So she places herself between the laser gun and the canon, and dodge the laser, which bounces on the floor, and hits the crystal, creating more cracks. Another laser, and it's finally destroyed, making the whole room starting to explode. The Wheelies escape from their chambers and roll everywhere before escaping the room alongside Sweetie and Kirby.

"The reactor has been destroyed!"

"All of our Wheelie power sources are escaping!"

"Ahhh!" screams Vul. "What are you idiots doing?!"

Finally, the Warp Star comes and take them out of here, and it's not long before the belly of the ship explode, and the whole structure starts to lose altitude.

"We did it! I don't believe it! We destroyed that battleship!"

"Poyo!" shouts Kirby happily, only to become serious again when he looks toward the bridge of the ship. He then points at it. "Poyo!"

"Uh? Wait, you want to return on it to go fight Meta Knight?"

"Poyo!"

She sighs. "A-alright. I suppose he deserves some punishment for trying to take over Dreamland. Let's go."

And so, they fly toward the bridge.


"All systems failing! N°3 and N°5 engines are gone!"

"We're junked! Nothing left to do but crash!"

"Attention to all crew !" then shouts Meta Knight. "Evacuate ship immediately!"

Wow! He cares for his men! thinks Sweetie at hearing this.

"Ahhh!" then screams Vul. "This ship is done for! I gotta get out of here!"

So much for the captain...

They run inside an hallway as the whole ship is shaking, hearing some explosions here and there and fighting some sort of flying casino wheels that flash in various colors.

"I'm escaping now!" talks again Vul. "Don't think badly of me!"

"So... Now it's time for the rest of you to escape as well," says Meta Knight, as they find a glass of fruit juice and a strawberry shortcake, healing the burn from the reactor.

"I will stay until the bitter end."

"We should finish off Kirby and Sweetie Belle then all escape together!"

Wow... They are very loyal... Are they that bad?

"...You are all about to perish. Do as you please," says Metal Knight with a touch of sadness.

We will not kill them, we will just beat them. What does he think? she thinks as they pass a door to an elevator, eating rapidly a Maxi Tomato in the way. They go up, up, up, and finally reach the bridge, where they are waited by many knights like they have fought at the start.

"Wait Kirby!!" shouts one of the axe wearing knights.

"I cannot let you go any farther!" shouts one of the flail wearing ones.

Sweetie takes her whip and cracks it on the floor. "Come!"

The big knights then send their flails at them, forcing them to jump. Back on the floor, Sweetie quickly wraps her whip around one of the axe knights and make him fly around, hitting many knights in the way. Kirby starts to run around, charging electricity around him, and dodge a trident before sending a big ball of electricity, shocking some of the knights. The knights surround Kirby and ready their weapons, but Sweetie uses her magic to create a shield around him, protecting him. The shield his destroyed, but the knights are electrified by Kirby surrounding himself in electricity. Sweetie wraps her whip around him, and make him fly around her, electrifying even more knights. She then dodges an axe and punches its bearer, then hurls him on a group of knights, knocking them like quills. They aren't giving up, and a big one sends a flail at her, but she crouches, letting the flail pass above her, before shooting a few beams at him. Kirby sends another ball of electricity, and is able to defeat the remaining knights, or he thinks. A last axe knight tries to attack Sweetie from behind, only for Sweetie to punch him in the face from above her shoulder without even turning around.

The axe knight, on the floor, starts to talk. "Lord Meta Knight, please take care!"

One of the knights with a flail get up. "We'll go on ahead then!"

"Yes, hurry up before the ship sinks in the ocean," says Sweetie. She turns to Kirby. "Let's go."

He nods, and the two take another elevator, going up to a door leading to a last small room with a Maxi Tomato, healing the few cuts they have gotten in the fight.

They pass the door.


They enter a room, and here he is, on a platform above them, back turned to them.

Sweetie then talks. "Meta Knight, why? When I met you at the Fountain of Dreams, it didn't seem like you wanted to take over Dreamland. You helped us protect it, and the world."

Meta Knight stays silent for a few seconds, before speaking. "Three times now... It has been three times now that Dreamland as been threatened. First, a self-centered auto-proclaimed king took all the food for his own person. Then, a being threatened to cover the world in an eternal nightmare. And last month, that was an incarnation of darkness. With Dyna Blade, we can count it to four. And all those times, the inhabitant of Dreamland, of this world, have done nothing to help. They wait in their homes, hoping for someone to do the job for them. And Kirby as always been the one answering the call, always risking his live to help, without taking anything in return. And then, you came too, Sweetie Belle, joining Kirby in becoming Popstar's shield."

Meta Knight then turns around, facing them. "But there are only the two of you. If you were to fail, then who could defend Popstar behind you? Me? Dedede? And then who? That makes only four!" He swings his sword. "That's why I did this. I want the inhabitants of Dreamland to become more active in defending their lives, even if I have to force them. All of them would become like you two, their own hero, and together, they would be able to help defend this world against the likes of Nightmare. This is why I built this ship, the Halberd. To defend. To attack. To show power. But now.... I failed."

"At least, you wanted to do something to help everyone," says Sweetie Belle. "But your method is wrong. What you are telling is that you want to form a dictature, and force everyone into one big army. But you can't force people to become warriors, to risk their life, even if that would be for the better. You would no be better than the ones you want to protect Dreamland from. This is why there are people like us, willing to fight to protect them, so they can live in peace. And if failing means the end of Dreamland, then that means that we will do everything in our power to not fail. And even if we fail, as long as we can still fight, we will continue to fight, like your troops have done."

She sighs. "It's not long ago that I was one of those inhabitants waiting in my home for someone to save the day, back in my world. And that someone was my sister and her friends. They protected Ponyville, Equestria, or even the world more than once, doing everything they could. Just a few weeks before I ended in Dreamland, they fought a giant centaure that had absorbed the magic of everyone in the kingdom, and they lost. And yet they came back, and this time, won. This is what it truly means to protect everyone. Not force them to take a weapon, but be there to take the weapon for them and do all we can to bring back peace."

Kirby nods, looking at Meta Knight.

Meta Knight closes his eyes, and stays silent for a few seconds. He then says "Your belief is strong, but so is mine. Sometime, to do what is right, you must take hard decisions. I have seen wars where the leaders were forced to recruit simple civils to have an army big enough to defend what counted for them. I strongly believe that this is what Dreamland needs, but you strongly believe that you will be enough... So..." He throws a sword at Kirby's feet. "Let's see which of us put the more strength in our belief. Survive this fight, and show me your strength!"

They nod, and Kirby takes the sword, gaining the green hat of the sword ability. Sweetie takes her whip in her magic, and lights her horn. Seeing they are ready, Meta Knight jumps from the platform, and lands in front of them, his golden spiked sword ready. "Let me warn you, Kirby. You beat me in Orange Ocean, however..." Some sort of energy starts to build up in his sword. "I was going easy on you!" He then swings his sword, and out of it comes a tornado, taking Sweetie and Kirby off guard. The tornado sends them flying into a wall, shaken.

Meta Knight doesn't let them breath, and charges at them, his cape becoming bat wings that propulse him, revealing his round body and his armored feet. Kirby quickly gets up, and parry his sword, before jumping above the knight and cutting him on the head. As he turns around to follow Kirby, Sweetie Belle shoots a beam at him, only for him to deflect it before sending from his sword a sharp shockwave at Kirby, who is able to stop it with his sword. He swings back his sword at Sweetie charging toward him, slightly cutting her in the left cheek as she jumps back.

Kirby charges at him, and Meta Knight parries his sword. Sweetie takes this to crack her whip on his back, hurting him. Using his wing, he flies away from the two of them, sending a few shockwaves that Sweetie is able to stop with her shield. Sweetie shoots back her beams, only for the knight to either dodge of deflect them. He then charges back at them and slashes his sword at great speed, cutting them multiple times as they are not able to parry all of them. Sweetie counterattacks by punching him in the face, her hoof surrounded in energy, making a small shockwave at the impact "Yes!" she shouts at this. She follows the punch with a serie of jabs, doing a real Vulcan Jab, hitting Meta Knight a dozen times before sending him flying with a Rising Break, before throwing a Force Blast at him.

Knuckle Joe would be proud!

Meta Knight stabilises himself in the air thanks to his wing, only to be cut by Kirby jumping at him. He counterattacks with a slash, and Kirby is sent to the floor. Meta Knight then sends a tornado toward Sweetie Belle, and she is barely able to dodge it. Landing on the floor, he jumps at Kirby who parries his sword. The puffball tries another slash, but Meta Knight sidestep it and attacks Kirby at the back, only for him to slash three time at the knight. Sweetie takes it to use her whip, however Meta Knight jumps back and sends a shockwave at her, cutting her. Kirby sends his own shockwave at him, and is able to hit, before going back close and personal, the two sword users trading blows after blows, parrying, counterattacking, slashing, jumping or dodging.

Sweetie keeps her eyes on them, trying to find an opening. She eventually shoots a charged beam at Meta Knight, only for him to dodge it while continuing fighting Kirby. The knight then separates himself from his opponent and sends a tornado at him, and another at Sweetie Belle. Kirby dodges the first one, only to be hit by another one hidden behind it, and the same thing almost happens to the filly. To stop him from sending tornadoes, Sweetie shoots dozens of beams at him, forcing him to parry them of dodge them. He then charges at Sweetie Belle, slashes Kirby in the way, before reaching her and swinging his sword, forcing the filly to use a shield against his endless attacks. Meta Knight is then hit from behind by a shockwave from Kirby, and the knight flies away.

Sweetie looks at Kirby, and the two nods. Kirby jumps toward Meta Knight, and parries a shockwave from him, before hitting him with a slash, landing, and running. As Meta Knight is about to follow him, he sees Sweetie Belle throwing a charged beam at him. He easily dodges it, only for Kirby to jump in the way of the beam and deflecting it back at Meta Knight, knocking him from the air. Sweetie then sends her whip toward Kirby with her magic and wraps it around him. She makes him gain momentum by making him doing some loops, and she finally sends him toward the knight, the puffball raising his sword. Meta Knight gets up, sees him coming, and prepare to parry him, only for a Force Blast from Sweetie Belle hitting the sword, causing him to have his sword deflected out of the way. At this moment, Kirby slashes his mask, making Meta Knight take a step back.

The mask then splits in two.

And they see his face.

Sweetie's jaw hits the floor. Two small oval-shaped yellow eyes, a mouth, a round body... He looks like Kirby! The main difference is that he possesses real hands instead of tubby arms.

His mask destroyed, his face revealed, Meta Knight wraps himself in his cape and disappears after going up.

Sweetie gets beside Kirby, mouth still open in awe. "He... He is from the same species as you Kirby! This is the first time that I see someone else that is really like you! Wait, does that means that he can also copy abilities?"

"Poyo," says Kirby, shrugging.

And then the whole bridge start to illuminate.

"Oh no!" shouts Sweetie Belle. She quickly go beside Kirby and wraps the two of them in a shield. Just in time, because not a second later, the whole bridge explode, followed by more and more explosions all over the Halberd. However, the explosion of the bridge destroys her shield, and the two of them are sent flying outside, Sweetie wrapping her hooves around Kirby.

They soon land on the remain of the deck around the bridge, hurt and burned, but alive. They slowly get up, and looks around them at the wreck that the ship has become.

"T-that was close... We must get out of there!"

"Poyo!" says Kirby, nodding.

That's when they see a Wheelie approaching them. A few seconds later, the Wheelie stops beside them, and nods.

"You wants to help us get out of the ship?"

It nods.

Kirby smiles at the Wheelie, and jumps on it, a helmet with goggles appearing on his head.

"Thank you Wheelie!" says Sweetie Belle, jumping on Kirby's back.

The two of them now on him, the Wheelie starts to roll.

And then, Meta Knight appears above them, flying, a new mask on his face. Without a word, he sends a shockwave at them, the Wheelie barely dodging it.

"He doesn't give up..." says Sweetie. "Keep an eye on the way, I will protect us!"

"Poyo!"

As the Wheelie rolls, jumps above holes, and go left and right to avoid explosions and falling debris, Sweetie shoots a beam at Meta Knight, only for him to dodge. He charges at them, sword ready, and Sweetie stops him with a shield that breaks at the impact before shooting another beam that forces him to go back. Meta Knight goes above them, and point his sword down.

"Dodge!" she shouts, and the Wheelie goes to the left, avoiding the knight diving at them. Sweetie uses her whip and hits him, pushing him away, only for him to come back with a charge. "Jump!" she shouts, and the wheelie jumps, dodging his sword. Sweetie then use her magic and takes the sword from Kirby, the one that Meta Knight has given him at the start of the fight, and uses it to parry Meta Knight's next assault. The knight attacks and attacks again on the sword, until eventually, with a big swing, he is able to send it away. Sweetie then shoots him with another beam, this time charged and made of both her magic and her energy, and is able to send Meta Knight flying.

"Poyo!" suddenly shouts Kirby.

"What?" asks Sweetie as she turns her head, only to see them approaching the end of the ship. She clings to Kirby, closing her eyes, and Kirby cling to the Wheelie, closing his eyes.

And they jump.


After the longest jump of their live, they land on the ground, the Wheelie able to turn around in the air to face the sea, and the Halberd. Sweetie and Kirby open their eyes, and stare in awe as the ship, once formidable, now an exploding wreck, crash in the ocean, propulsing tons of water in the air. The Halberd sinking in the ocean, the Wheelie turns around, and they start their journey back home, the sun setting in the horizon.

"I'm surprised Meta Knight hasn't followed us. I wonder where he is now," says Sweetie Belle. She then sighs. "That was intense... I'm exhausted. Still..." She laughs. "Destroying a battleship all by ourselves... That is not something I was seeing myself doing when I appeared in Dreamland. Nobody will believe me back home."

Kirby laughs at that. It sure is one heck of a story !

Sweetie then looks back toward the ocean. I hope Meta Knight will change his way. He wants to do good, but his method isn't the good one. She looks back forward. One day, maybe he will help us protect Popstar, the right way.

She closes her eyes, and starts to sing.

"Lonely kniiight you have looost the way of the heroooo
To retuuurn you will haaave to restart back from zeroooo
Lonely kniiight don't lost hooope in the light of the woooorld
And your friends
And look back at the sky to search your glimmering guiding staaaar.


Discord closes the portal.

"Oh boy! Explosions, mecha, ninja, humor, lasers, what may be the start of a romance, suspense, turnaround, revelations, not so Manichean, and a final where the heroes go toward the sunset with a song. They gave us quite the spectacle!"

"You don't say!" shouts Rainbow Dash. "They took down a bucking battleship! With lasers! And robots! Just by the two of them! And Sweetie Belle can now throw energy balls! ENERGY BALLS!! And she got to be a real NINJA! WHY IS SHE THE ONE HAVING ALL THE FUN?!!"

"I really hope they will become friend with Meta Knight," says Fluttershy. "He is a good... uhh... ball, in the end."

"Well, as long as he got in his head that to protect the world, he must force others to fight, this will be hard. I hope that getting his ship wrecked and being defeated in battle will knock some sense into him," says Applejack.

"Yeah, he was being a meany, but he was so cool !" shouts Pinkie Pie. "Did you saw when he threw tornados with his sword? And his cape that can turn into bat wings? And his mask?"

Scootaloo then goes at Discord's feet. "Please! Send me in this world so I can be with Sweetie! I want to go on adventures like this too! This will be so awesome!"

"No Scootaloo!" shouts Rarity. "This is not a game, or one of your crusades. Sweetie has truly risked her life in this, and she almost got herself killed more times that I dare thinking! If that wasn't for that candy that gave her invincibility, that laser would have... And that mecha... And that Meta Knight really tried to kill them too! One wrong move and she could have lost her head!" She takes a big breath. "This is like the time we were sent to deal with that dragon, or all the times we had to go through the Everfree Forest... And she had many weeks of training behind her to help. Do you think you would be able to go through it? Knowing that you could die at any time?"

Scootaloo remains silent for a time, before she answers. "I would probably have to train first, like Sweetie, but if she has been able to, then I can too."

"Me too," says Apple Bloom. "And with our help, she would be able to better fight bad guys, and protect the world, even if it's scary. Because we are a team."

"Exactly!" exclaims Scootaloo. "It's like with Rainbow Dash. She is the most awesome pony by herself, but it's when she is with all of you that she is at her best!"

"Well said Scoot!" shouts Rainbow Dash.

Rarity smiles at this, and shakes and head. "Even if it's a good reason, you will still not go to that world," she says.

"Why?" whines Scootaloo and Apple Bloom.

"Because Discord is already gone," then says Applejack, laughing.

"What?!" they shout. When they turn around, the draconequus is indeed gone.

Fluttershy giggles at this, before she sees Twilight fixing the wall where the portal was. "Twilight? Are you alright?"

"Uh? Oh yes! Yes! I'm alright! Food can heal ! Everything float without reason! Sweetie can become a ninja with Kirby getting on her back! Nothing make sense! But I'm alright!"

Pinkie then pops beside her. "And this is why this world is so fun! Because as Discord would say, 'what is the fun in making sense?'"

"And that's why I love that world!" suddenly shouts Discord from everywhere.

"Not helping!"

Rarity giggles, then looks at the wall where the portal has been. Please Sweetie... take care of yourself...


Sweetie gets on her bed, even more stuffed than when she has gotten back in the castle after all the food she has eaten on the Halberd. She has told everyone what she has done, and Knuckle Joe has given her the Maxi Tomato pie as a reward. She has tried to eat only a piece, but after taking the first bit, she has eaten the whole pie in ten seconds flat. It was that good.

The worst part? As a reward for saving Dreamland in his name, Dedede has promised more pie tomorrow, and Knuckle Joe has promised her another one for doing her first energy ball, which was a Giga Force Blast, and for doing his special Vulcan Rising Blast combo. Ugh...

Oh. And Dedede will make her his second tomorrow, making her the superior of everyone in his army, and another banquet is planned to celebrate that. Re ugh...

Just... Curse that world...


Under the night sky, on a cliff, Meta Knight looks at where the Halberd has sunk. Beside him are Captain Vul, which is a bearded bird with tan feathers, a beak similar to an albatross and wearing a captain sailor outfit, Sailor Waddle Dee, which is just a Waddle Dee wearing a sailor cap, and some of his knights.

"I don't believe we lost..." says Vul. He takes his captain cap and lowers it to cover his eyes in shame. "I failed as the captain."

"We all failed," replies Meta Knight. "We did everything we could, and we lost. Kirby and Sweetie Belle have been better."

"What do we do now?" asks the Waddle Dee in his small voice.

"You and everyone else will repair the Halberd. As for me..." He looks toward the sky. "I have much to think about."

Chapter 19: A Celestial Dispute

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"And so, I give you this cape, so it can show to everyone your position," says Dedede, putting a cape of the same red as his finery, with the same symbole and the same white rim, on Sweetie's back, wrapping it around her neck alongside her kerchief.

They are in the throne room, Dedede on his throne and Sweetie Belle before him. The room is full of minions watching the event, including Waddle Dee, Broom Sunglasses, Cape Knight, and Knuckle Joe who has tears in his eyes.

Sweetie looks at it, feeling the fabric on her back. "It's nice. It's warm too."

"And it's strong too. It should be able to protect your back a little."

"Not sure it will do much against your hammer or Meta Knight's sword."

"Of course. Nothing is that strong outside of making you a real armor made of the strongest metal, but it would impede you too much. Now, to go with it..." He then places a headband with the same red and yellow zigzag pattern as his cloth on her head.

Sweetie raises an eyebrow. "And now you will give me a hat similar to yours?"

This makes Dedede laugh. "No, let's not go that far! This should be enough! If you want a hat, you will have to find one yourself... Unless you actually want a hat like mine?"

"No thanks."

Dedede nods. "You can give now any order you want to my troops as long as it doesn't go against me and my own orders. Try to give one right now, anything to anyone. Go on."

Sweetie turns around and look at the observers. Her eyes then fall on Broom Sunglasses. She smirks. He sweats.

"So... If I could order Broom Sunglasses here to wear a dress, he would have to?"

"You wouldn't dare!" he shouts.

"After all the times you made fun of me eating too much and risking gaining weight, it's tempting."

Broom Sunglasses remains silent for some seconds, thinking about something before he talks. "So you wanna play like this! Okay then! I'm gonna wear your dress! And you will regret this!" And at this, he exits the room.

Sweetie stares at the exit, and giggles. "I didn't even gave him the order. I was just kidding. Oh well." She then looks at the crowd. "I actually don't know what to order. Mmh..." She points at a random Waddle Dee. "You! I want you to...! To...! To do something!"

The poor Waddle Dee finds himself looking left and right trying to find something to do. But what will he do?! Should he clean the room? Should he bow? Should he fetch some Maxi Tomato pie, which is now known to be her favorite food? So much choice! Oh! He knows! Girls love those things!

"You are the most adorable commander ever!" he shouts.

Silence... He blushes and slowly starts to retreat toward the exit.

"Hum... Thanks..." says Sweetie Belle, her cheeks red.

Dedede guffaws.


"So, what does it feel to be everyone's superior?" asks Waddle Dee at lunch.

"I still have a hard time believing it. And I don't think I will ever get used to this role. I'm not really the kind to give orders, I'm more for asking and saying 'please'."

"And you can continue to ask and say 'please'. This is not because you are our superior that you have to change. It's just than now, if you want us to do something absolutely, like when we are invaded, we will listen to you without hesitation."

"Even if it's a bad order?"

"Well... Yes. But someone can always propose to you to give a better order if we feel like your actual one is a bad idea. I don't like saying this, but once the king has an idea, it's hard to make him change his mind, so nobody really tries to talk to him; but you, I'm sure you would listen. It would be good to name someone as your advisor. Or even two advisors."

"I see..." replies Sweetie Belle, starting to think. "Mmh... I could ask Cape Knight to be my advisor. He is captain of the guard, and so, he has many experience in giving orders, and would know what to do in time of crisis. As for a second advisor... Sorry, but I don't see anyone. Unless you wanna try?"

"Me? No. Definitely no. I don't know anything about giving orders."

"I suppose. But remember that you saved me the first day, stopping Dedede from attacking me. You convinced him to give me a chance, and to let me live in the castle. You don't know how to give orders, but you can help me taking decisions. And..." She hugs him. "I trust you. I don't need another reason."

He blushes. "May... Maybe... I could give it a try..."

"Hellooooo everybody!" suddenly shouts a high pitched voice from the entrance. Sweetie Belle, and everyone else, turn toward it to see a Broom Hatter. Only, he is wearing a pink dress full of frufrus, pink high heels, and a wig of long blond hair. There is lipstick where his mouth should be if he had one, and too many makeup on his face. The sunglasses are a giveaway of who he really is. Sweetie's jaw drops. "How is everyone going today?" he continues in that false girl voice. He then takes a pink fan and flaps it at his head. "I'm Princess Sunglasses! Nice meeting all of you my beauties!"

"W...Wh... What the heck..." murmurs Sweetie Belle.

"Oh my star!" suddenly exclaims the false princess at seeing her. "What an adorable little pony I am seeing here! Oh look at you, you are SO adorable that I just have to hug you!" He tends his arms toward her. "Come here cutie. I will smooch those adorable little cheeks, and then I will do some brushy brushy to your mane."

"Uh... No thanks."

"I insist! Come here!"

"No thanks..."

"I insist!"

"No thanks!"

"Then... Here I come!" he shouts, running in her direction.

"Eep! Nope!" She jumps over the table, knocking down her plate, and runs toward the end of the room, followed by 'Princess Sunglasses' doing kiss noises.

"Don't be scared! I just want some girl time with you! I will hug you, and pet you, and brush you, and dress you in cute little cloth! And then I will tickle that little tummy of yours, so I can listen to your irresistible little laught!"

"Nope! I don't wanna!" Sweetie shouts just as she exits the room by the opposite door. "Help! I need an adult!"

"But I am an adult! Come here, you little ball of cuteness!" shouts 'Princess Sunglasses' as she exits the room after the filly.

Everyone in the room is silent as they continue to hear the filly and her pursuer shout more in the hallway until they can't hear them anymore.

And the whole room explodes in a roar of laughter.


After the "Princess Sunglasses Incident", the rest of the day has continued as planned. The banquet has come around dinner time, and Sweetie has gotten her two promised Maxi Tomato pies, and she has promised herself after that to avoid them like the plague afterwards, unless she wants to become a literal 'ball of cuteness', and go to sleep with the great mother of all stomach aches each times. Those things aren't made for mortals.

The following week is one novelty and event after another. Rather than facing Waddle Dees, and all kind of other 'small' opponents to train herself in fighting, Dedede is now sending his stronger troops, composed of Bonkers, some beetles-like beings named Bugzzys, big lions with fiery manes named Fire Lions, Mr Frostys, Poppy Bros. Sr, or even some giant living alarm clocks named Mr Tick-Tocks. This sure make the trainings more intense!

With those more intense trainings comes her finally starting to learn more spells to fight, using Kirby's abilities as inspiration, starting with the fireballs, then ice balls, and from there, various utilisations of the fire and ice elements, and by extension, water.

Then, one of the fortresses has been assaulted by a famous group of mouse thieves stealing some great treasures, and she has been sent to see if she can do anything. Sadly, the thieves have escaped above an airship, and they have disappeared as quickly as they have appeared, and she couldn't do anything to help tracking them. She has only gotten the name of the group of thieves, and their leader: the Squeak Squad, and Daroach. Wherever they are, one day, she will find them, and beat them, and take back the treasures. They aren't famous for nothing, it is far from being their first larceny.

Dedede has defied Kirby in another Gourmet Race, only to lose again. He has been training hard, but the puffball has only become more skilled after the first time, and it has been yet again another close call. Seems like it will become something like a monthly event, much to Sweetie's joy. Those races are just so fun to watch!

No news about the Meta Knights. They seem to have disappeared after their defeat, because all their bases have been abandoned. Sweetie wants to hope that this is good news, but with Meta Knight, this can mean anything. Maybe right now, they are building a flying fortress that would pass the Halberd for a toy ship.

And then comes the most weird day so far: the day where the sun and the moon have started to fight.

"What the heck?" shouts Sweetie, seeing through a window the moon pushing away the sun, turning the day to night in a few seconds. Then the sun comes back, and the two start to turn around, bumping each other for at least one minute, before the sun is able to push away the moon, turning the night back into day. Only for the moon to come back, starting the fight again. "Am I dreaming?"

"Nope," answers Broom Sunglasses at her right. "This is not a dream. The sun and the moon are fighting."

"How is this possible? Are the ones controlling them having a dispute?"

"Controlling? Nobody controls them."

"I don't understand! The sun and the moon are best friends! Why do they fight?" shouts Waddle Dee at her left.

"Wait... Are you saying that the sun and the moon are actually ALIVE?!" yells the filly.

"Oh right. You said that in your world, your princesses move them, right?" says Waddle Dee.

"Yes! They are just... a rock and a ball of fire in the sky that the princesses move to make the day and the night! They aren't alive!"

"Well, here they are." says Broom Sunglasses. "Don't ask why. They are just alive."
Sweetie stays silent at this, mouth wide open. After a whole minute of day and night alternating, she shakes her head. "Right... It's Dreamland. It's crazy." She then walks toward the exit of the room where they are. "I'm going out."

"Why?" asks Waddle Dee.

"I don't know why the sun and the moon started fighting, but I know that Kirby will want to stop it. And this means another potential adventure where I can help him. So I'm gonna find him, hoping he hasn't already started."


Riding on a Bronto Burt, asking him to help her finding Kirby, it's not long before she finds him among other inhabitants of Dreamlands, watching the two celestial beings fighting. So he is just staying here? Doesn't he know how to stop them?
Duh! Of course he wouldn't! It's not like he knows everything! But maybe he could have just go up on his Warp Star to ask them to stop fighting. Would they even listen to him? Probably not. But now what?

That's when she sees some round pink being with just a face and two feets wearing shoes, a red bow under his mouth, and a jester hat half blue half red, coming behind Kirby while hoping one foot at a time on a ball. She recognizes him as Marx, a friendly but somewhat crazy guy that likes to mess around, doing more or less annoying pranks and other tricks. She remembers again the day he inhaled some helium to talk in a squeaky voice like her, making her laugh.

As Sweetie approaches with the Bronto Burt, Marx shouts "Hey, hey, hey," attracting the attention of Kirby and the others around him. Sweetie then lands beside them as he continue. "Can you make peace between the sun and the moon?" he asks.

"How?" asks Sweetie. "Would they listen to him?"

"No," answers the jester. "You need to ask the giant comet Nova for help!"

This makes some of the inhabitants gasp. "Who?" asks Sweetie.

"Nova. He is so powerful that he can stop the sun and the moon from fighting. But first, there's something we must do. To ask Nova, we must gather power from all the stars around us." He then looks at Kirby. "It will be difficult, Kirby, but you can do it!"

"But how do we gather that power?"

"With the Fountains of Dreams! Starting with the one from Popstar!"

"So there are more... Which means that we have to go to actual other worlds?" She turns to Kirby. "We can do it, Kirby?"

"Poyo!" he confirms with a nod.

"We... We are going to explore more worlds... Wow! I... Oh my gosh! I wonder how are the other worlds! This will be so awesome!"

Kirby laughs at her excitation.

"We are counting on you," then says Marx. "Good luck!"

"Thank you Marx! We are going to stop this fight! Don't worry! Let's go Kirby!"

"Poyo!"

A Warp Star then comes, and Kirby and Sweetie Belle jump on it, starting their way to the Fountain of Dream of Popstar.


They reach the fountain a few minutes later, still as beautiful as ever. The Warp Star drops them not far of it, and they approach.

"So, how do we do?"

Kirby rubs his chin, thinking of how they can make the fountain give them that power they need to call Nova. Finally, thinking about how the fountain works with dreams, he closes his eyes and dreams of the fountain giving them what they want.

Suddenly, a big column of light appears on the fountain, and the next instant, Kirby can feel this power entering him. He immediately releases it, under the form of another, slightly bigger Warp Star. He jumps on it, and he signs Sweetie Belle to come.

"That's wonderful, Kirby!" she shouts, jumping on the star.

With the both of them on it, the Warp Star start to go up in the sky. They soon pass the atmosphere, and continue to go up, into space. Sweetie looks back, seeing the giant star that is Popstar, with his two ring, the sun, and the moon, still fighting around it, becoming smaller and smaller. She then looks around her with a big smile, laughing, not believing what is going on. She is flying in space! She can see the stars all around her, some close, other so far! And they are actually going into other planets!

"This is awesome!"

Chapter 20: Grass and Water

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They have been traveling in space for some time now, the distance between planets being far greater than a mere trip through an ocean. They have been following some trail created by the Fountain of Dreams, probably leading them to the next world. And before long, they can see their destination appearing, Sweetie Belle awing at seeing the new world.

The world that they are approaching is clearly different from Popstar. It's a giant green dome surrounded by a ring covered in green too, all of this on a giant chunk of ground as if someone had taken a giant shovel, had plucked it, and had let it float in the middle of nowhere. As they get closer, they can see that the green on the dome and the ring are plants, revealing that it's a world almost entirely constituted of grasslands and green hills.

When they traverse the atmosphere, they see that the hills are like big pillars of ground with grass only at the rounded top, some of the grass being white and forming horizontal white lines with white stars between them. Even the clouds are striped, white with blue lines ! There are also some actual round hills further, green, but also blue or pink. And then there are smaller pillar of grounds a little everywhere that actually looks like screws, again only green at the top with a yellow star at the center.

They land beside a few small trees that looks like green bells with pink fruits, and some pink rocks that are shaped like donuts, even shaping an eight, and they can feel a small spring breeze brush them.

Sweetie looks around her, at the beauty of this world so strange, so different, and yet so familiar. It feels almost like Dreamland. Heck, even the animals they can see, a frog and a chicken without legs, look like the ones from Dreamland. And she can actually see one of those black doors on top of a ladder! So it's not just Popstar? Does this world possesses the same crazy logic? Food popping everywhere? Yes! She can see a strawberry shortcake not far after the ladder, at the bottom of a tree! Will she still be able to breath underwater? Walk on cloud?

Kirby pokes her on the leg, getting her attention, before pointing toward the door, telling her that they should start searching the Fountain of Dreams of this world.

Right.

So, after Kirby get a quick snack with the strawberry shortcake -he really loves them-, they climb the ladder and pass the door, only to find themself at the same place. But wait, something is different. The grass is now a more dark green, the breeze is not here anymore, and it's hotter. It feels more like Summer now, where before, it has felt like Spring! And is that now a candy at the place where there has been the strawberry shortcake?

And then, Sweetie sees something else that doesn't make sense: a Bronto Burt! And he is attacking them! Kirby quickly eats him.

"What?! What is a Bronto Burt doing there? We are not on Popstar!"

"Poyo," Kirby answers, shrugging. He then looks back at the door, wondering something, while Sweetie eats the candy, not letting pass a free candy. Kirby then waves at her and pass the door. Sweetie raises an eyebrow before following him, only to be shocked again once at the other side.

Now it's Autumn! It's clearly Autumn! The plants are now orange, and leaves are falling from the trees! Actually, the one beside them is now cut, only leaving the bottom of the trunk with the roots, with now an ice cream bar beside it. And what is a Plasma Whip doing here?! Well, at least, he gives Kirby an ability to better defend himself.

They take the door again, and now, it's Winter, the ground and the trees now covered in snow and- "Waaah!" She quickly shoots a beam at the mutated Scarfy charging at them, making it explode. "A Bronto Burt! A Plasma Wisp! And now, a Scarfy! And is that a Chilly?" She sees a living snowman made of two snowballs with two round hands floating at his sides, wearing a bucket as a hat, and a bell around his neck. "Yep, it's a Chilly. So earlier, those animals were really a Sir Slippy-" The frog. "-and a Tookey?" The chicken. "So what, that means that this world has the same inhabitants as Popstar?"

Kirby shrugs again, as if saying "Seems like it."

Sweetie puts a hoof on her forehead, sighing. "Well, it doesn't make less sense than the rest..." She jumps from the top of the ladder, landing on the snow. She then smiles, looking at the snow. "At least, we are in Winter! And you know what this means?"

"Poyo?" Kirby asks, landing on the snow behind Sweetie, only to suddenly take a snowball between the eyes, making him fall on his back. "Poyo?!"

"A snowball fight!" she shouts, more snowballs levitating around her. Kirby sees this and smirks at her, before giving up the ability and eating the Chilly, gaining the ice ability. Using the ice, he materialises snowballs in his hands, and starts to run, getting around the tree, which somehow is not cut anymore. He dodges a snowball from Sweetie, and throws one back at her.

Sweetie quickly uses her magic to create a wall of snow between her and Kirby, who gets out of behind the tree to throw another snowball at her, only to hit the wall. Seeing that Sweetie has built some defense, he uses his ice ability to build two walls of snow at the left and the right of the tree, making sure to stay hidden. Once the walls are finished, he starts to throw snowballs after snowballs from behind the left one, and Sweetie counter attacks by throwing dozens of them at once.

Some Chillys and other creatures see what they are doing, and approach to get a better view. Kirby sees them and signs to them with a big smile to come help him. They accept. However, two of them decide to join Sweetie Belle so she is not alone. This gets the fight to grow in proportion, the walls quickly becoming small snow fortress, and getting the attention of more Chillys who joins the battle in either Kirby's army, or Sweetie's army.

Before long, the battle become a full blown war between the Fortress of the Crusader in one side, and the Fortress of the Great Tree in the other, the walls now easily two to three time the size of Sweetie with steps to get on them, and crenels at the top. In Kirby's side, flying creature have gotten the idea to go at the top of the tree with a few Chillys to build an ice platform from which they can rain snowballs on their enemies, forcing Sweetie and her Chillys to create a ceiling made of ice.

"Soldiers!" shouts Sweetie at her knights around a round table of ice, now wearing an helmet made of ice. "Because of their platform on the tree, the enemy has the advantage! So, I ask you..." She slams her hooves on the table. "Do any of you have an idea?"

"I may have one, Captain Crusader!" yells a Chilly, doing a salute.

"Which is?"
"We are below a door, madam! We could use it to send troops to another season, so they can take another door back to Winter behind the enemy's line!"

"Excellent idea, soldier! Alright, half of the army is gonna take that door and attack the enemy from behind! The other half will cover them and unleash the biggest snowstorm of our life on the enemy's fortress! Now let's start the operation 'Avalanche'! GO GO GO!"

"Yes Captain!" shouts all the soldiers present.

As ordered, half of the army is ready to run toward the door, while the other half, Sweetie at their head, prepares hundreds of snowballs to defend them. The second half is the first to start, getting out of the cover of the ceiling to go on the wall and throw everything they have. They are immediately pelted from the platform on the tree, that is pelted back by Sweetie. The first half then start their run. The door is not far, but with all the snowballs raining around them, it's as if the door is miles away. More than one of them fall victims, but despite that, they continue, for the glory of the Crusaders!

They reach the ladder under the door !

"They did it! We must continue everyone!" Sweetie yells as she hits an enemy Chilly right in the head.

Before long, they are all able to pass the door, and Sweetie and the others return under the cover of the ice ceiling, taking back their breath. The operation is a success, but they have gotten heavily hit. At least, it will be worth it!

"Captain!" suddenly shouts a soldier. "We have a problem!"

"What is it?"

"Come and look!"

They come in an observation post at the edge of the wall, and Sweetie sees with horror what has gotten her soldier so panicked. On the platform on the tree, the enemy is about to launch a giant snowball! Big enough to crush at least half the fortress, which would render them vulnerable to an assault!

They must stop it! They must...!

Kirby is here, waving at her, with a big smile. That little...

Too late.

Sweetie can only watch as the giant ball fall right in the middle of her fortress, destroying a big part of the wall and the ice ceiling, and burying many of her soldiers under pounds of snow. Immediately, she hears shouts coming from the enemy fortress, and a great part of their army charge right at them with ice bags full of snowballs!

"Everyone!" she yells. "Take cover behind whatever you can! We are under attack!"

She hides behind a part of the wall that has survived, and readies dozens of snowballs in her magic. If she has to go down, she will go down fighting!

What follow is despair, her army separated in small groups behind whatever cover they could find, bombarded from every directions. Seems like this is it...

But then, she hears it, more shouts, but this time, coming from beyond the enemy fortress, further behind! They are there! And the platform at the top of the tree is suddenly shot down by a giant snowball coming from behind!

"They have a catapult!" she hears an enemy yelling. Oh, those clever...

Without the platform, her army can now take more risk without finding itself peltel from the sky. And the enemy in their fortress are forced to flee before the arrival of her soldiers from behind, leaving them open. Another giant snowball fall on their wall, destroying a part of it, and she can start to see her troops coming at the other side.

And thus comes chaos. The enemies trapped, they are forced to disperse to find covers, while her soldiers take over the enemy fortress. However, a few courageous enemies, including Kirby, have remained in the fortress, forcing her troops to fight them. Her troops still in the remains of her fortress used the confusion to also disperse everywhere, forcing the attackers to also disperse. And now, the whole area is a giant pandemonium where her troops and the enemies are fighting each other everywhere, with snowballs flying in anarchy, to the point that nobody is sure anymore who hit who. All of this is worsened by the giant snowballs of the catapult still falling from the sky, hitting friends and foes.

At this point, all notions of armies disappear only to let place to a giant free for all, until the absurdity of the situation gets to Sweetie, and she starts to laugh. Kirby sees her laughing, and follows her. This is followed by the soldiers around them, and the soldiers around those soldiers, until everyone laugh, ending the Great Snowball Fight.


"So, remember, the door only appears in Autumn, and you will have to fight the guardians," says the Chilly.

"Thank you," replies Sweetie Belle. "And thank you all for this good time."

"No, thank you for giving us a good time. That snowball fight is the most fun I have had in my life, and it's certainly the same thing for all the others." Sweetie giggles at that. "Good luck for your journey. You can come back anytime. Goodbye!"

"Goodbye, and thank you!"

And so, Sweetie Belle and Kirby left the Chilly, take a door, and return in Spring, only to take it again until they are in Autumn. After that, they follow the instructions of the Chilly until they reach the door they search. They can say that it's this door because there is a big star above it.

Before passing it, Sweetie and Kirby take a deep breath, readying themselves to fight the guardians. Once ready, they go through it. At the other side...

They find themselves between two living trees, like Whispy Woods.

Sweetie deadpans. "Of course there are living trees in this world!"

The ground suddenly starts to shakes, and long roots pop out of it, trapping Sweetie and Kirby between the two trees. They could fly above them, but they would have to dodge the attacks of both trees, and it would be hard.

Sweetie turns to one of the trees, she will call him N°1, and Kirby turn to the other, N°2. N°2 then puffs air at them, and N°1 makes giant apples, worms, and Gordos fall from his branches. Kirby slides below the puffs of air and charges at the bottom of N°2, breathing ice at him, and Sweetie jumps above them before shooting the apples and the worms and avoiding the Gordos, yelling at Kirby to look out for them. She then wraps her whip around one of the Gordos and send it right into N°1's left eye, making him yell in pain.

N°2 avenges him by trying to impale her with his roots while N°1 puffs air at Kirby to stop him from attacking his brother. All the while, the two trees make more apples and other projectiles raining on them. While Sweetie rolls around to avoid the roots, shooting a fireball at N°2, Kirby jumps above N°1's puffs of air and freeze the apples and the worms, turning them into floating ice blocks. He then kicks on them, sending them in the face of the two trees. Once the roots stop coming, Sweetie turns back toward N°1 and spits fire from her horn, burning him gravely and making him squirm in pain, while Kirby returns breathing ice in N°2.

This makes N°2 angry, and more roots poke out all over the ground, threatening to impale them. Sweetie and Kirby jumps above the roots, and they join together in the air right in the middle of the path between the two trees. With their momentum, they take each other's hand/hoof and spin around sending fire and ice alternatively at them. This make the two trees stop attacking them, crying in pain, giving up the fight.

Victorious, Sweetie high fives Kirby, and the two of them take an apple from the floor as a reward. They aren't as good as Whispy's, but they are still good. At the same time, a big black door appears between the trees, and once the filly and the puffball have finished their snack, they pass it, appearing before this world's Fountain of Dream.

Kirby then closes his eyes and do like in Popstar, and when he makes appear the Warp Star, it glows with two different colors.

"I wonder how many time we will have to do that," Sweetie asks herself.

Finished with this world, they jump on the Warp Star, and go toward the sky. Passing the atmosphere of this world, Sweetie looks back at it.

"We will definitely come back. It will be nice to go there to pass a nice, snowy Winter day in the middle of a hot Summer, or vice versa."

"Poyo," confirms Kirby, smiling.

They remark the new trail that has appeared, leading to their next destination, and they follow it.


The next world is... a giant bubble almost full of water, that shine at the center. Well hopefully, Popstar's logic will follow them to this world and they can breath underwater.

When they approach the surface, it turns out that this world is not just made of water, because they can see many islands with vegetation out of it. But they aren't stopping at one of the island, instead diving right in the ocean with the Warp Star, percutting a few Blippers and Sir Slippys in the way. The Warp Star eventually disappear, leaving them beside a door at the bottom of the ocean. And yep, they can breath.

They pass the door, and appear under the surface of the ocean, beside a small island. Going on it, they avoid an explosive coconut, and Kirby eats a hot dog, before they look around them at the world they are in. As far as they can see, there is water, with islands everywhere, and colored stars on the water. The clouds are all spheric, looking like floating giant rock candies.

If only she had a camera.

They go on another, bigger island beside the first, Sweetie having to be on Kirby's back to reach it. Note for later, learn to self-levitate. Upon landing on the island, Kirby gives up the ice and eats the Sir Kibble before them, obtaining the cutter. Once done, they can see further ahead a big wall, meaning they would have either to get around or fly above it. But between them and the wall are three bomb blocks with Glunks among them. Two of the bloc do nothing, but the middle one destroy a part of the floor, letting them dive in more water under the island with a few Gordos. Sweetie shoots another bomb bloc in a wall, destroying the whole thing and letting them pass under the island, having to avoid currents. They reach a third island in the way, and at the other side of it, they find a bomb block in it. Destroying it causes a door to appear on the island, sadly leading nowhere. Returning, they find some food in the water under some destructible blocks, including a Maxi Tomato, that say partage despite Sweetie still being full of the apple of the previous world.

They then reach another part of the same island, with a black cannon like they have used to reach Dyna Blade back when they have been assaulting the Halberd. Understanding that it may lead them somewhere important, Sweetie uses her magic to light the fuse, and they hop in it. However, it only lead them to some food before they go back through a door. After the cannon, they enter another door in a wall.

They appear in a giant submerged cavern, the water here full of stars and air pockets. They have to swim while avoiding a few Gordos, until they reach a tunnel with the water suddenly stopping at the entrance. Fighting a Broom Hatter and a Knuckle Joe in the way, they jump in a hole, diving in more water, that lead eventually to another section of the tunnel without water. This leads to more water with a biscuit, an ice cream, and a Maxi Tomato. This time, Sweetie only eats the biscuit, trying not to go too far, with their adventure just beginning and Rick not being here so she can ride on him. It's still hard for her to miss a Maxi Tomato.

Above them is another door in a pocket of air, they end up... What? In space? Water floating in space? With what seems like the entrance of a palace? A palace not even floating in the water, the water stopping around it! And are those Meta Knight's knights guarding it? What are they doing here?

Just... What?!

Kirby has to tap Sweetie on the head to reboot her brain, before they continue, entering the palace, the filly stopping thinking about the impossibilities, scolding herself for not learning after the first couple dozens of time. After that whole 'the sun and the moon are alive and fighting', she should have stopped asking questions.

At the other side of the door, they have to fight a bunch of Blade Knights, before going down by breaking a few blocks in the floor. Seems like this temple belongs to another order of knights. They jump above some spikes, Kirby eats a Maxi Tomato in the way, and they reach a big colored window showing the sun and the moon, a Jukid (the creature wearing a white gi like they encountered in the Halberd) waiting to fight them. He sends his hands toward them, only to be charged by Sweetie who put her hooves around his waist before bending her back to make him crash head first on the floor.
Darn it, there is nothing in this palace, they have lost their time. At least, she can now say to Knuckle Joe that she has defeated a Jukid with a powerbomb. He will be proud.

Getting out of the palace, they return in the water and find another door, leading to a room, followed by an hallway going up and down.

"Okay. We have two ways. Up and down, which one do we take?"

"Mmh..." thinks Kirby, arms crossed. He then points to himself, then points down, then points to Sweetie, and finally points up.

"Ok!" Sweetie shouts, saluting.

So Sweetie goes up, only to reach a door. When she takes it, she gets back in the previous room before the hallway. "What?"

Kirby then appears beside her. "Poyo?"

They look at each other, before they return in the hallway, this time the two of them going down. Sweetie sees a door at a dead end, but Kirby points at it and shakes his head. They take the way opposite to the door, then down, then go toward another door, only to end back in the first room again.

"Oh no... We are in a maze, where we probably have to find the right door, and all the others lead back at the start." She puts a hoof on her forehead. "This will be... Ugh!"

"Poyo..."


https://youtu.be/MXcMV-d_2Js


After countless ups and downs, lefts and rights, restarting the maze who know how many time, they try their luck in a small hallway after a room going down, then right, then up, and they get out of the water in a bigger hallway.

"Oh Celestia... Please... Make it the good one..." pleads Sweetie Belle.

Kirby then shows her the door at the end of the hallway, after two tomatoes, two plates of pancakes, and two flans. It has a big star above it!

Sweetie looks in awe at it, before a smile as big as Pinkie Pie's appear on her muzzle, and she shouts "Yay! We found it! Let's get out of here!" She is about to run toward the door, but Kirby then points at the food with a pleading look.

"Poyo..."

Sweetie bits her lips before sighing. "Alright, let's take a break."

One tomato, plate of pancakes, and flan for each of them later, they FINALLY get out of this Tartarus of a maze! They end up in a giant caverne half submerged, on a long wooden bridge with some red grass. Looking around, they suddenly heard a big Splash! behind them, and when they look, they see a giant pink whale in a sailor suit with a pipe in his mouth jumping toward them!

"Oh... Buck..."

The whale falls in the water beside them, creating a huge tidal wave that sweep them out of the bridge, right in the lake. This is followed by numerous rocks falling from the ceiling of the cavern, almost hitting them on the head as they quickly go back on the bridge. The whale then goes back beside the bridge, rolling on himself on the surface of the lake trying to hit them with his head. Jumping above it, Sweetie and Kirby hit the whale with blades and ice balls, until the whale goes back under the water. He then goes back, only to shoot water from his blowhole, hitting the ceiling and making raining more rocks that Sweetie destroy with her beams as Kirby cuts the whale with more blades.

"Okay. I may have an idea to hurt him really badly. Give me a minute."

Kirby nods and prepares his blade, looking for the whale.

Sweetie then starts to shoot fire from her horn into the water, evaporating some of it. Being in a cavern, the steam eventually cumulates under the ceiling, forming a cloud. She quickly dodges the whale jumping above the bridge, trying to ram them, and shoot more fire into the water, getting the cloud bigger. After many minutes of dodging, she stops and starts releasing toward the cloud ice balls and fireballs.

During all those weeks, beside training, she has also learned much about Dreamland and its inhabitants. She has been curious about Kracko, and by extension, how the clouds work. Back in Equestria, they hadn't reached the lessons about how the weather work, but now, she knows this: a cloud is made of water (duh!) that has been evaporated and compacted. But that cloud right now is not as compact as she wants, so using her magic while continuing throwing balls, she 'grabs' the cloud and starts to compress it. She smiles as she sees it starting becoming black. A giant black cloud.
Kirby, somehow, has found himself riding on the whale's back, clinging to him and cutting him with the cutter to force him to not attack Sweetie Belle. He sees the filly create a giant black cloud above their head, and sweat appears on his head. She will not...? Will she? Suddenly, the whale jumps high and fall beside the bridge, Kirby finding himself thrown off from his back.

Sweetie gets sweep by the tidal wave created by the jump, and quickly go back on the bridge alongside Kirby to continue her work. It's almost over! By compressing the cloud, she causes the droplets of water in it to come closer from each other. Then by sending fireballs and ice balls, she causes the droplets to be heated or cooled. As everyone can feel when they take a bath, hot water goes up, and cold water goes down. When they go up, they get colder and go back down. And when they go down, they are heated and go back up. And because the droplets are so close, this causes them to create static electricity.

And when there is static electricity in a cloud, eventually...

THERE IS LIGHTNING!!!

BRAOOOOOUUUUUM!!!!!

Sweetie quickly form a shield around her and Kirby as the cloud rains lightning around them ! The electricity spreads in the whole lake, until the cloud stops a few seconds later. The cavern then fall into a deep silence, until the whale emerges from the water, alongside hundred of Blippers, not moving anymore.

She makes the shield disappear, huffing and puffing, her horn hurting. If she knew how to shoot lightning, she wouldn't have needed to do something so overkill, but... Oh well! At least, it has done the job, and it was awesome!

Kirby stares at the carnage around him, jaw hitting the floor. "Po... Po... Poyo...?"


They leave the water planet behind, and start following the trail to the next planet, the Warp Star now glowing with a third color. Kirby still sweats at thinking about the final move of Sweetie Belle, right now the filly sleeping beside him, her energy empty after what she has done. She has sure gone far! Luckily for him, if he ends up fighting her, she would have a hard time getting this attack ready, with him constantly attacking her.

Who knows what other moves she will create in the futur, or is actually hiding behind her horn. So far, she has showed only controlling fire and ice, without forgetting about her magical beams and her fighting skills, both with her hooves and her whip. When she will learn to control more...

She will be a formidable ally, and also a formidable opponent.

Chapter 21: Wind, Flame and Cave

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When the Warp Star reaches the third planet many minutes later, which from afar looks like a giant blue ball surrounded by layers upon layers of clouds, Sweetie Belle is still sleeping peacefully. The Warp Star passes between many of those clouds in various colors and floating balls and stars until reaching a floor made of more cloud, beside a floating door. Rather than going abruptly and risk another crash like all the previous times, Kirby decides to approaches slowly, before hopping down from the Warp Star with the filly on his back.

He hesitates to wake her with how peaceful she is. So rather than passing the door and carry on with their adventure, Kirby decides to lay Sweetie on the fluffy cloud, which make the perfect bed. He then takes some clouds from the floor and uses it to make a cloud wall with a hole for a door and another one for a window around them. Before long, he has created a small cloud house similar to his own house in Dreamland, with the filly sleeping inside. Deciding to use the occasion to take a nap, Kirby goes on the floor beside Sweetie Belle, cover himself with her cape while making sure that it still cover her, and snuggles against her. In her sleep, Sweetie puts a leg around him as if he is a teddy bear, and soon, he joins her in Dreamland. He should sleeps on clouds more often. So fluffy...


Sweetie Belle wakes up, slowly opening her eyes. She can feel that she is sleeping on something really soft, and hugging something else just as soft. Looking around, she quickly sees that she is in a round cloud house, and that she has been sleeping on said cloud. She yawns, then looks at what she is hugging, only to raise an eyebrow at seeing that she is hugging a sleeping Kirby.

And now, Sweetie find herself with a few contradicting thoughts. Kirby is a boy, so the two of them sleeping together like that makes it weird and she is now blushing, and she has to stop herself from jumping away or pushing him. However, the puffball is far too innocent to be thinking about that kind of thing, and has probably only wanted to keep her company and warm, like when her and her friends in Ponyville sleep sometime together during a Cutie Mark Sleepover, especially when it's cold. And it sure is cold there, wherever they are. Beside, with how soft he is, she doesn't mind the idea of sleeping with him, he is like a big plushie.

And Celestia darn it, he is adorable.

And has he built that house where they are? Gosh, his kindness could rival Fluttershy's. Such a sweetheart. Now it would be cruel to push him away, as awkward as the situation is. Will she even dare wake him up? He has let her sleep, so... But they should continue their journey, they have already lose enough time.

She then can feel him rubbing his face against her, pressing himself against her.

She sighs. Why are you making this so hard?

Waiting until he wakes up it is, then. Curse that ball.


They get out of the house, fully rested and ready to end this adventure. Sweetie looks around her, seeing clouds everywhere alongside those big balls and those stars. So they are in a world made of cloud now? Well, that's nice, but it's a little cold.

She then turns to Kirby at her right, and says "Thank you again Kirby, you are a great friend. Let's... Let's just not talk about it to anyone, they could get ideas."

Kirby tilts his head. "Poyo?"

"...Let's just go."

She then jumps through the door, Kirby just watching for a moment with a raised eyebrow before following her. They have to fight their way through Chillys, Bronto Burts and a few other enemies trying to stop them for some reason, before they reach a small cloud tunnel with a star bloc in the ceiling. There is a strong wind in the tunnel pushing them, so it's a little hard to target it, but Sweetie is able to destroy it, detailing a small hallway going up, and she lets Kirby go see what there is up there while she continues, freezing a Twizzy, a bird, in the way with an ice ball before kicking it into another.

At the end of the tunnel, she finds some foods, and decide to wait Kirby there while eating, letting the hot dog for Kirby. No meat, thanks. She remarks some structures further ahead, that looks like towers where she can just see the tops poking of the cloud floor. So there are normal buildings in this world? It would be nice to visit them. Kirby comes back a few seconds later with a new ability, the puffball now wearing a metallic hat that looks like a plane, with a reactor behind.

"Poyo!" he shouts.

"Hey! What is this ability? And there, a hot dog for you."

"Poyo!" Kirby thanks her before gobbling the hot dog. He then jumps, and thanks to the reactor of his hat, charges right forward him in great speed for one second before the reactor stops. He lands and looks back at Sweetie, raising his left arm shouting "Poyo!"

"Neat! You can fly fast now!"

Kirby then looks at her, rubbing pensively his chin. Quickly, he runs back at her, and jumps on her back. After a small flash, Sweetie can now see metallic wings poking out of her back, each of them with two small reactors. "Poyo!" he shouts in joy at this.

"Wait, you are not telling... How my gosh! I could fly?!"

"Poyo!"

"OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHQUICKQUICKQUICKQUICK!! I must test it! I must test it!" She then puts her four hooves firmly on the floor, neck right and head looking forward. Thanks to the ability, she instinctively knows how to make the wings work, and before long, she can hear the reactors purring, and fire start to get out of them. "Here we GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!" she shouts, suddenly taking off at a speed that would make Rainbow Dash proud. Which is too fast! She almost hit one of the towers before quickly going right. She then sees a wall of yellow and green blocks quickly coming, and she tilt her body to go up.

And so, she flies through the clouds, trying not to crash on one of them. She finds herself doing loops, U-turns and other zigzags for what looks like hours, only to be a few minutes, until she is able to gain control of her wings and starts to have an idea of what she is doing.

After a whole minute of silence, she then shouts "WIIIIIIIIIIIII!!! I'm flying! I'm flying! I don't believe it, I'm flying!"

"Po... Poyo..." groans Kirby on her back, his pink turning green.

After a few more minutes of flying around, they are able to reach where they were, only they directly land at the end of the path, beside a door. Sweetie then takes Kirby from her back and hugs him. "I can never thank you enough for this! Thank to you, I have been able to fly! Fly! First the ninja, and now that! Oh Kirby! Thank you! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!"

Kirby rubs his cheek against hers before stepping back and jumping back on her back. He then points at the door, shouting "Poyo!"

"Alright Kirby! Let's go!"

She runs through the door with the biggest smile she can give, only for that smile to disappear at seeing what await them after it. They find themselves in a small room, with a Parasol Waddle Dee, a Parasol Waddle Doo, and not one, not two, but THREE doors.

"Uh... Alright Kirby, where do we go?"

Kirby looks at the three doors, then points at each door in turn while singing "Po po po popoyopoyopoyo..." Eventually, he stops at the door in the center. "Poyo!"

"Well... Let's hope that luck is with us."

Slowly, with the help of a small push from her wings, she flies to the door and take it, only to end in a similar room with more door. She can see that they are in a different room, because the decor and the enemies guarding it are not the same.
"Oh please... no..."

She takes one of the other door, and they end up in another different room with more doors.

She deadpans. "A door maze..."

Kirby deadpans too. "Poyo..."


https://youtu.be/dFTLFv1iZEM


"I... hate... mazes..."

They are actually in a room with three door, a Grizzo, which is some sort of bear with stripes on its back, and two Noddys, round creature that pass their time sleeping with a sleeping cap on their head. They have now gone through at least two dozens doors, some of them they have probably taken more than once, but it's hard to say with how the rooms all look almost identical.

Wait, she can swear she has been to this room before... Oh yeah, she has come from the middle door and has taken the left one. And now... they have entered it from the left door. Urg... Well, this means that they haven't taken the right door, hopefully it will lead to a new room.

They take it.

At the other side, something fall before them.

"Wha-" BAOUM!!!

Whatever it has been, it has caused a big explosion. Sweetie and Kirby find themselves propulsed in the air, the jet ability knocked out of the puffball. Despite the pain, Kirby quickly gets up and takes back the ability before it disappears. Sweetie, meanwhile, slowly sits up, rubbing one of the burns she has gotten.

"Owie... What happened?"

Answering her, Kirby goes on a platform, starts to walk in a funny way toward the edge, then at the edge he lets himself fall. When he reaches the floor, he shouts "Boum!"

Sweetie facehoof. "That was a Bomber?"

Kirby nods.

Sweetie looks up toward the ceiling. "But where did it fall from?"

He shrugs. He then takes a Maxi Tomato on the floor of the room and gives a half to her.

"At least, there is that. Thanks."

Has they eat, Kirby points at the door at the center of the room, on the floor. Seeing the door, then the big star on top of it, she gobbles the remain of the tomato, takes Kirby on her back, and run through the door without looking back.

They are out of this bucking maze! Yay!

At the other side, they are on a small arena made of blocks, and before them comes a familiar big eye. The eye gather clouds around him, and before long, a Kracko lookalike in a grey-blue color is facing them. Is this his brother?

Sweetie takes her whip and turns on her reactors, ready to start the fight. She doesn't have to wait long, because Blue Kracko charges at her only two seconds later. She flies away from him, and shoots a beam at him, before dodging a lightning. Avoiding more lightnings, she flies away again before doing an U-turn, charging right through the Blue Kracko, making a big hole in his cloud. She restarts the same maneuver, only to be hit by a lightning before Kracko rams her. She counter attacks with her whip, hitting the cloud a dozen time before flying away.

She retries another charge, and is able to dodge a lightning with an aileron roll, and another with a second in the opposite direction, before passing through Blue Kracko, creating another hole. Blue Kracko decides to fly after her, starting a chase through the sky as the cloud tries to ram her again, shooting dozens of lightnings. After a moment, she turns on her back, her head facing the Blue Kracko while still fleeing from him. Kirby has to cling to her back to not fall. Still going left and right to avoid the lightnings, she shouts back her beams, some of them dodged by Blue Kracko, but with him being bigger, he is not able to avoid all of them.

Eventually, she charges a magical beam in which she infuses her energy, she then turns around her body, charging right at Blue Kracko again, before shooting the beam right at his eye. The beam hits, and then she rams his eye, plucking it right out of the cloud. She grips the eye in her hooves and dive toward the arena where they have started the fight. At the last second, she places the eye under her hooves, and they percute the ground, the eye crushed between it and the floor. She then kicks the eye away, letting it fall beyond the edge of the arena.

He is not getting back. This opens the door to the fountain.

"Ah! Take that you Kracko wannabe! I'm Dedede's second in command! Kracko is just one of his lieutenants! You had no chance against me!"

Kirby sweats. "Poyo..." Having fought Kracko not long ago, she should watch out. The cloud is learning and may not be as easy to beat.


After getting out of the cloud world, and a small trip in space, they now reach the next world: a giant ball of rock surrounded by fire. Can they even get close to it without being cooked alive?

Seems like yes, as long as they are quick. The Warp Star leads them in a hole in the surface, leading to an underground cavern. While still being hot, at least this is not TOO hot. They will still need to drink a couple of bottles of water once they get out of there...

The Warp Star crashes them on a rock poking out of a wall, and they already can see that the jet will be a big nono. There is magma everywhere, and with the jet, the risks of crashing into it are too high. So Kirby releases it and let Sweetie get on his back.

They fly for about a minute, Sweetie shooting a Sir Kibble in the way, before they reach one of those floating cannons that can expulse them. Taking it, they are shot at the other side of a big pathway with more magma and a bomb block. Once they land, or rather, crash, Sweetie shoots a beam at it, only for it to cause magma to fall. With nothing else to do, they continue, flying up before reaching a place where they can walk. In the way, Kirby eats a Sir Kibble to gain the cutter, and they find an invincibility candy.

They look at each other, Kirby raising an eyebrow. Sweetie sighs. "There are no other ways? Like, you could break it in two and give me just a part?"

He shakes his head.

She sighs again. "Alright, go on."

One mouth to mouth later, and the both of them are now running as fast as they can, wanting to use their temporal invincibility as much as possible. They pass a door, only to find themselves behind a minecart.

Again, they look at each other, this time smiling. They then both jump in the minecart, and Sweetie use her magic to push it. Taking speed, they now move forward, somehow rolling on magma, as if they are in an amusement park, not quite like in a roller coaster, but close enough. They lose their invincibility, destroy walls, push in the ground wooden pillars, sometime somehow creating a path, and ram enemies in the way, all the while laughing in fun. Sadly, they have to jump out of the minecart when a wall of magma suddenly appears in front of them, Kirby taking Sweetie on his back. Luckily, there is another minecart after the wall, with some food floating in front, including a Maxi Tomato. Sweetie take them in her magic, and after eating two candies, an half of the tomato, and drinking fruit juice, she starts to push the minecart.

Sadly again, the ride doesn't last long before they are stopped by another wall of magma, that is followed by a door. It leads to another area full of magma everywhere in the floor and the ceiling, and Sweetie is forced to go back on Kirby's back so he can fly them through it, avoiding Gordos in the way. Sweetie sees another Maxi Tomato a little out of the way, and takes it in her magic in case they get hurt.

They then reach some cannons, leading them through a small maze of cannons, much to Sweetie and Kirby's annoyance. The fact that they can't see where they are going because of the cannon doesn't help. The first cannon at least lead them to yet another Maxi Tomato, and another to yet again another! This makes three tomatoes that Sweetie is keeping in her hooves, until they reach a fourth at the end of a small pathway. Sweetie takes it in her magic, and they then reach the door to the guardian.

"We can't keep those tomatoes, they will bother us. But I'm starting to get a little full..."

Kirby licks his lips in anticipation of eating four Maxi Tomatoes at the same time.

"Alright, you take three, I take the fourth."

One meal later, they pass the door finding themself in a big room with nothing in sight. Where is the guardian?

They walk around the room, looking everywhere, until suddenly, Kirby is charged from behind by something, sending him flying a few meters. When Sweetie turns around, she can see a creature a little bigger than her that looks like some sort of red lizard with two big eyes at the sides of its head and protrusions at the back of its head that look like horns. It possesses small forelegs with claws, and two long hook-like hind legs that it actually use to stand up.

The lizard looks at her, open its mouth, and suddenly, she is grabbed by a very long tongue. Next thing she knows, she is trapped inside the lizard's mouth. No wait... Could this be a chameleon ? Answer later, right now, she must try to not get eaten. But before she can do anything, she is spitten back outside, right into Kirby, making the two of them hit a wall.

They quickly get up, only to see the lizard changes color, blending with the room. Yep, it's a chameleon. Sweetie quickly shoots an ice ball at its last position, only to hit nothing, the chameleon having already moved elsewhere. Rapidly, Sweetie and Kirby go in the center of the room and go back to back, not leaving any blind spot to not be surprised.

...

...

"Poyo!"

Sweetie turns her head, and see a tongue coming at them. She takes her whip, dodges the tongue with Kirby, and wraps the whip around the tongue.

"Grab the whip! Quick!"

Kirby understands and takes the whip alongside her. Forcefully, they pull on it, and they are able to lift the chameleon from its spot. Another pull, and it is slammed on the floor, forming many cracks in it. Kirby quickly throws his blades at it, and Sweetie wraps her whip around the hind legs, crippling it. But the chameleon is a smart one, and it starts to use its forelegs to turn around itself, dragging her around it. Kirby is forced to jump to avoid her, while she tries to regain control, without success. Kirby runs to the chameleon and go on its back, where he lashes out at it with countless slashes from his blades.

Sweetie then gets the idea to trap her hind legs to the floor with ice, so she points her horn to them and does so. Even if the cold hurts her, at least, it works, and she stops being dragged by the chameleon, immobilizing it. The chameleon still tugs at the whip, trying to break the ice, but Kirby then slashes at one of its eyes, stopping it from tugging, instead trashing on the floor in pain. This leaves it vulnerable to more slashes from Kirby, and charged beams from Sweetie, until finally, it stop moving.

Sweetie release the legs, melting the ice with some fire, and approaches the chameleon, glaring at hit, daring it to move. Kirby jumps from its back, and go before its face, blade ready to cut.

It opens its eyes, then its mouth, and Kirby finds himself trapped inside it. It turns around, ready to spit him back at the filly, only to suddenly put its claws around its neck, its expression turning into one of pain. It then spits Kirby on the floor before it, cuts visible on its tongue, and more inside its mouth. Sweetie takes this to charge a Force Blast, and shoots it inside its mouth. It flies right on its back at the impact, and stops moving again.

The door appearing prove to them that this time, it will not wake up anytime soon.

They sigh in relief. This chameleon has taken more effort to beat that they have thought first.


Finished with the fire planet, they follow the trail to the next world. This time, the world they are approaching seems to have nothing special, just being a big ball of rocks. When they pass the atmosphere, they find out that the whole world is mountainous, with clouds hiding their base. The Warp Star crashes them on one of those mountains, right beside the door probably leading inside it.

Passing it, they end up in a cave facing a Bio Spark that Kirby eat, much to Sweetie's joy. After passing a Gim, the robot with a cap and a yoyo, they take a ladder going down, watching out the Gordo going left and right in the way. Another ladder, this time going up, with another Gordo later, and they end up in a room with crates as floor where a Chef Kawasaki is waiting them. He's a orange egg-shaped being wearing a chef outfit, with two tubby arms, and two pink red feets. And his first action if to try to fry them, trying to drag them in a cauldron with his ladle that can extend. Sweetie simply take the ladle in her hooves and use it to lift the chef before dumping him head first in the cauldron. His body causes the cauldron to roll, spilling the hot soup all over the crates. The chef doesn't wake up after that.

Leaving the unconscious chef, they reach an intersection with a path going forward, and a ladder going down. They decides to take the ladder, only to discover that it leads to more paths. At this instant, they understand: another maze.

Sweetie screams.


https://youtu.be/0M6e9e-NzOA


This one is the worst so far. Not only they have to find the right way, but they have to fight many stronger opponents along the way, like a Poppy Bros. Sr, a Mr Frosty, a Bonker, or an Iron Mam -big armored ball with spiked balls for shoulder pads, two big round pink hands that are not attached to the body, two pink shoes, and a pink bow-, and many others. Right now, after a long hallway full of food, they are fighting a Bugzzy. Too bad the Bugzzy is in a dead end.

The Bugzzy charges at them with his mandibles ready to grab them, one of his eyes swollen because of a punch from Sweetie, and many cuts all over his body because of Kirby. The ninja puffball jumps out of the way while throwing kunais, and Sweetie sidestep him before punching him between the eyes with an energy charged hoof, sending him flying. Kirby runs after him, take his katana, and slash his belly, making him drop unconscious.

This causes a door to appear.

Sweetie's eye twitches. "We had to fight those guys... until we find the one that open the door? In this maze?"

"Poyo..." Kirby rubs his head, before going to the door, followed by a filly taking deep breath to calm herself. They end up in an area, where they see a big metallic door like there were in the Halberd, the kind that open with a switch. Say switch is revealed to be after a bomb block, which the destruction causes water to fall, forcing them to swim up. Hitting it with a beam from Sweetie, they quickly go back down and are able to pass the door before it close. Behind this door, they find a black door leading to a small room with some food, including a Maxi Tomato, and an invincibility candy.

Now the two of them invincible, they end up in the previous area, above the metallic door. Quickly running in the remaining path above them, they run up some slopes, go down two ladders, forget the Maxi Tomato at the end, and pass the door to the guardian.

They are now on a platform arena, in a giant room plunged in the dark. Looking around, they eventually see something appears in the dark, and whatever it is, it's giant. They can just see the head, and even then, they can only see a few features: stone-like eyes, a big stone-like mouth, two stone-like ears with diamond-shaped earrings, a stone on the forehead, and some stone-like thing on his head that is maybe hair. Thanks to all those features, they can see that the head is scarre-shaped, and that's all, the rest being hidden in the dark. Also, Sweetie and Kirby are even smaller than his eyes... What is his full size?

Then, a giant floating hand made of stone appears above them, and fall on them, only for it to be destroyed by their invincibility that disappears just after. The destruction of the hand seems to hurt the giant.

Another hand appears and try to ram them, and Kirby jumps above it while sending kunais at it. Sweetie just avoids it by running out of the way before sending a normal beam at it, not having more time to charge before it disappears in the dark.

Kirby then jumps on Sweetie's back, giving her the ninja ability, and uses it to avoid another hand that turn into a bunch of boulders raining on them. A second hand slaps its finger, causing more boulders raining from the ceiling. All the while, Sweetie jumps from boulder to boulder, sending shurikens at the hands and the face of the giant, not making much damage. Two hands appears at both sides of the arena and try to crush Sweetie and Kirby between them, only for Sweetie to jump again, but this time, she makes sure to fall on the back of one of the hands, getting lifted by it.

This makes the giant angry, and he tries to get rid of Sweetie by shaking his hand first, then by turning it so Sweetie would fall in the abyss, but thanks to the ninja ability, she clings to it no matter what he tries, all the while attacking the hand. The giant then tries to punches her with another hand, only for Sweetie to jump on it while the punches cause the first hand to be destroyed, hurting himself.

On the second hand, Sweetie shouts charged beams at his eyes, making him close them. In pain, he shakes his hand again, without success, until Sweetie takes a katana, and jumps directly toward his head, planting the katana in the stone in his forehead. Getting her hind legs around the katana and letting herself hang from it, she then charge a Giga Force Blast, and shoots it right between the giant's eyes, making him yell in pain. She sees a fist coming right at her, and get on her katana before jumping from it just as the fist collide with the giant's face, planting the katana entirely in the stone. At this moment, as he yells again in pain, she throws kunais on his eyes, inside his mouth, and on his stone, the kunais having red burning parchments.

Just as she lands on the arena, the parchments burn completely, and they explode. With a last scream of pain, and with smoke coming out of his mouth, his eyes, and his now destroyed stone, the giant falls on his back, making the whole room shakes.

...

...

"Did I just knock out a giant at least one hundred time my size?"

Chapter 22: Machine and Eternal

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Still having a hard time believing that she has just won a fight against an actual giant, even if she has been helped, Sweetie and Kirby are going toward the next planet, following the trail. Reaching it, they are marvelled by what it his: a planet sized futuristic floating city, with skyscrapers going both up AND down below the world. Going to the surface, they can see huge buildings everywhere, without anything else, of all shapes and size. They are so amazed, that Kirby doesn't see where they are going. When Sweetie looks, she screams "Watch out!", but it's too late, and they crash through a wall at the top of one of the skyscrapers.

Thankfully, nothing too bad, a bump at worst. Slowly, they get up, Sweetie glaring at Kirby. "Maybe next time, you should watch where you are going when you are driving."

"Poyo..." replies Kirby, rubbing his head, sorry.

Looking around, they see that they are in a small room with just a door and nothing else. For some reason, the door looks like the ones in the Halberd. Kirby is the first one passing it, followed by Sweetie Belle, now giggling, remembering all the times she has crashed because of Scootaloo when she is driving her scooter, carrying her and Apple Bloom on their cart.

The door leads them on the roofs, where they have to jump on a second building with a bomb block at the top. Destroying it causes the apparition of water all around the building. The third building has two ways possible: the roof where they would have to avoid Gordos, and through a pathway where they would have to run on disappearing blocks that are above electrified floor, with a Gordo in the way. They choose the roof, where they can take their time to avoid the Gordos, with some food in the way. At the end, they reach a cannon that shoots them at a second cannon below, then a third further, that shoot them through a wall until they hit another more solid. Kirby quickly takes Sweetie on his back before she falls, before flying on the roof of the building they have collided.

This seems to be the end of the way, until Kirby sees at the other side of the building, on the wall, a bomb block that he destroys by sending a kunai on it. This causes the destruction of the whole building, accept for a door on a platform, with an invincibility candy falling on it. Sweetie also sees a Maxi Tomato falling and takes it in her magic, before they take the candy and pass the door.

In the other side, they go inside a building where they have to do some jumping before having to go down, then up, and they enter a room with somehow a strong wind pushing them back and a door under the ceiling. As the invincibility disappears, they eat the Maxi Tomato from before the previous door, before Kirby goes on Sweetie's back and, now with the ninja ability, she runs on the wall until reaching the door. At the other side, they have to take an elevator down passing many Gims before passing another door, which only lead to an empty room. Annoyed, they go back into the room with the wind.

Because of the wind, they don't try to go on the path above, and they rather take the one below, where they have to avoid more Gordos. Kirby then decides to give up the ninja before eating some bird named Birdon, with red feathers and goggles on his eyes. This gives him a new ability where Kirby now has wings on his arms with a mohawk of feathers on his head.

After jumping on some platforms, they see a switch at the end of a conduit, and they understand that they will have to go through metallic doors again. Sweetie activates it with her beam and they jump on the platform above, where they find a closed metallic door with a switch in front of it. Not losing time, they run toward the door, activating the switch in the way which make it open. Behind the door, Sweetie shoots another beam on a third switch in an hallway below, and they quickly pass a second door followed by a third. They find the exit door below a platform at the end, after Sweetie eats an ice cream.

This leads to an elevator that goes up, and they stop at the second floor. Here, they enter one of the two proposed room, only to find a Mr Frosty waiting them. Kirby immediately flies at him and cut him with his sharp feathers, followed by Sweetie punching him all over the body with a vulcan jab, beating him before he has time to throw his ice bloc. This makes a Maxi Tomato appears, and Sweetie take it in her magic. The second room has a Jukid. Beating him makes a biscuit appears.

Walking back the elevator, they reach the third floor, with two more rooms.

"Let me guess, we will have to beat more of those guys until we find the one making the door appears? Like in the previous world?"

Kirby shrugs at her with an expression that say "Seems like it."

In the end, the door has been defended by a Bonker in the fourth floor. Seeing this is the door leading to the guardian, they eat the tomato released by the Frosty before entering it.

This leads them inside a factory, and... Wait... Are those Heavy Lobsters they see in these containers? There are dozens! Thankfully, they are deactivated. But at this moment, they hear something falling behind them, and when they look, they see a silver Heavy Lobster ready to crush them. Jumping back, they ready themselves.

"We have gotten better since then. I'm sure we can destroy it without problem this time."

"Poyo."

The Heavy Lobster then opens one of its claws and shoots a mini-lobster at them. Kirby flies up to avoid it, while Sweetie takes her whip, wraps it around the mini-lobster, and sends it back to the Heavy Lobster who then charges at her. The bridge they are on not being large enough to jump out of the way, Sweetie is forced to use a shield to protect herself. This is however not enough to protect her, and her shield is destroyed before she is rammed into a wall. Kirby attacks the Lobster by sending sharp feathers to stop it from attacking Sweetie, and is able to gain its attention, the Lobster spitting fire at him. Sweetie quickly takes the occasion to send a Giga Force Blast at the Lobster, sending it on its back.

Seeing that Sweetie is disadvantaged, not being able to fly, he lands on her back, hoping that it will do what he thinks it will do.

And yes it happens: wings appear on her back. At this, Sweetie gasps.

"OH MY GOSH! Does that mean I am an alicorn now?!"

"Poyo!" Kirby interrupts her, pointing at the Lobster going up.

"Oh, right!"

The Lobster going back on his feet, she flaps her wings and is able to fly away from the bridge. Thanks again the ability giving her instant knowledge in how to use it, or else, she would have probably crashed.

She then avoids barely a mini-lobster sent at her, and she counter attacks by sending a charged beam at the Lobster. It attacks again by sending more mini-lobsters in rapid succession, forcing her to fly around it while approaching it. Avoiding one of its claws, Sweetie then charges her energy into her hooves while Kirby sends his sharps feathers at one of the eyes of the Lobster. Once she has charged enough energy, she then starts to throw her hooves forward at a great speed, sending powerful shock waves hitting the Lobster all over its body, causing dents to appears all over it.

"Take my Meteor Jabs, you piece of junk!"

The Lobster doesn't admit defeat, and is able to grab the filly in one of its claws, trying to crush her. Kirby then flies from her back, go around the Lobster, and uses one of his wings to cut at its left eye, damaging it to the point that it stops flashing red. The Lobster drops Sweetie Belle and immediately slams its claw at Kirby, sending him hitting a wall, but this gives Sweetie time to go behind it, and send a Blast Force into its reactor, causing it to explode. The Lobster turns to her and retaliates by kicking her, sending her hitting a wall. Kirby comes back, and is able this time to cut its right eye, making it stop flashing red too.

Kirby then helps Sweetie getting up, and goes on her back, giving her wings again. The filly quickly flies out of there, avoiding a mini-lobster as the now blind Heavy Lobster goes on a rampage, sending mini-lobster everywhere. She takes one in her whip, goes behind the Lobster, and throws the mini-lobster at the remains of its reactor, destroying more of it and opening a small hole. The Lobster turns around and shoots fire at her position, but she flies out of the way, and goes back again behind the Lobster, charging another Giga Force Blast. Throwing it at the hole that remains after the destruction of the reactor, the blast reaches important mechanisms inside the robot, finally destroying it, the robot falling in pieces.

"Yay! We did it! We destroyed a Heavy Lobster!" shouts Sweetie in joy.

"Poyo!" suddenly yells Kirby, pointing at the remains of the robot, arcs of electricity appearing everywhere on some of its pieces.

"Oh oh..."

As quickly as she can, she spots the door to the Fountain of Dreams and flies through it, just as the remains of the Heavy Lobster explode, the explosion engulfing the whole room, reaching the other Heavy Lobsters.


They can see the resulting explosion from the Fountain of Dreams in the sky not far from the factory, taking the form of a giant fiery mushroom that go high in the sky, and destroying a great portion of the area around it, probably destroying at the same occasion the buildings they have crossed to enter the factory.

While she remains to look in awe at so much destruction caused by her, Kirby takes the power from the fountain, readying them to go from this world.

"Well, at least Kirby, I don't think we will encounter another Heavy Lobster anytime soon," Sweetie then says, giggling slowly.

"Poyo," replies the puffball, creating a new Warp Star.

As they start to fly up in the sky to leave the world, Sweetie speaks again. "It seems like Meta Knight has come to this world before. Between the doors, the Heavy Lobster, or the electrified floor, he probably used this world's technology to build the Halberd. I wonder how he has been able to come here."

Kirby answers her by flapping his wings.

"His bat wings? He can go in space with them?" Then it clicks in her mind. "Oh right. We can breathe in space, so all he has to do is fly in space until he reaches this world."

Kirby nods.

...

"I really hope he is not preparing another plan to take over Dreamland..."


They get close to the next planet, that seems to be a big rock divided in two parts: the south is surrounded by clouds, and the north is surrounded by millions of small yellow stars. The whole thing is turning around itself rapidly, but the clouds are turning in the opposite direction.

They approach by the north, only for the Warp Star to hit one of the stars and exploding, sending them flying, bouncing on a few other stars before Kirby is able to stabilise himself with his wings and take the filly on his back.

"Thank you Kirby. I didn't think that those stars were that solid, some of them are hollow."

"Poyo."

"Here is a door," points Sweetie Belle a little at their left. Surprisingly, the door is not black, but white, but seeing this whole world seems dark, in the end, it's no wonder.

Taking it, they are teleported at the south part of the world, at the surface. They can tell because of the strong wind suddenly pushing them. With the help of his wing, Kirby is able to use it to rapidly fly them above countless of creatures, Scarfys, Bio Sparks, Grizzos, Bronto Burts, or even Bombers. They quickly reach a section where Kirby has to slalom between floating electrified blocks, not easy between the enemies harassing them and the wind, and they are shocked more than once, but they are able to pass it and reach the door.

They are now in the north part of this world, walking on yellow stars, and...

"Minecarts!" shouts Sweetie Belle, immediately jumping in the one in front of her.

"Poyo!" follows Kirby, joining her.

Like in the fire planet, Sweetie uses her magic to propulse them, gaining speed and ramming enemies until they crash into a wall of stars. Luckily, there is another minecart above them, only for this one to not go far except leading them above a small hole with a star block. Destroying it, they discover a door leading to a room with a few Simirrors, creatures whose bodies are totally hidden under a mage outfit constituted of a robe and a wizard hat with a star. They just can see their hands, one of them wearing a wand, and feet. With the wand, they can create mirrors to attack their enemies, create illusions, or to deflect projectiles.

Kirby decides to eat one of them to gain their ability that could be useful in this world against all those powerful enemies. It gives him a two colored blue jester hat with some parts made of mirrors and a wand with a diamond-shaped head. He then jumps on Sweetie, not changing much her appearance outside of giving her a reflecting mane and tail, but it gives her the possibility to create similar mirrors from her horn, far more useful than her simple shield.

Going back in the previous area, they take another minecart above the previous one, this one crushing a wooden pillar that open the way. One fun ride later, and the minecart leads them right in front of a door. Before taking it, they eat the food not far to heal the damages from the electric blocks from the previous area.

The door teleports them beside a small Warp Star at the start of a tunnel made of stars. Taking it, they are able to traverse the whole area, Sweetie taking a Maxi Tomato in the way with her magic, before they crash on a wall of stars, finding themselves facing a Chef Kawasaki and a Big Mam at the same time. Kirby takes on the chef, sending sharps mirrors at him from Sweetie's back, while the filly attacks the Big Mam with more mirrors. The chef throws plates at her, only for Sweetie to take them in her magic, dodging one of Big Mam's attacks, before throwing the plates in her face, followed by a charged beam. Kirby then warns her about something, and she jumps at her right, avoiding the chef's ladle, the chef instead grabbing the Big Mam that ends up in his cauldron.

"Aaah! Sorry!" he shouts, before a whip is suddenly wrapped around the cauldron. Sweetie makes it do a loop around her before sending it at the chef's head, spilling the soup and knocking him out alongside the Big Mam, making a door appear.
This leads them at the south part of the planet, at the bottom of a small mountain, with wind pushing them up. Using it to fly, they avoid the Scarfys, the Gordos and the Shotzos in the way, using the mirrors to defend themselves when needed, until reaching a floating water section inside of a tunnel, where they end up reaching the door to the guardian.

Eating a floating Maxi Tomato beside the entrance, they advance until they are stopped by three floating windows opening in front of them : one big rectangular at the top, one smaller under it, and a last even smaller rectangular one at the left.
The second window then shows a new figure, a human magician with a blue mage outfit, a red bow, and a magician staff in his left hand. What a shock that has been to see that there are actual humans in Dreamland, even befriending one of them, a girl named Adeleine that love to paint. She can even give life to her paintings! So knowing this, she has no problems recognizing what is this magician.

Text appears in the first window:

A Magiacian appears!

And the third window shows:

HP: 080

This makes Sweetie giggles. "It looks like one of Button Mash's video games."

The magicien suddenly gets out of the second window and the first shows:

Kirby and Sweetie Belle attack!

Sweetie and Kirby raise an eyebrow at this, until they understand that it's the moment to attack. So they shoots a few mirrors toward the magician until he goes back in the window where he can't be attacked anymore.

The Magician takes 60 damage!

HP: 020

"So we are fighting a video game? That's the most weird fight ever."

The Magician attacks!

"Horsefeather!"

She quickly raises a mirror shield before her and Kirby, just in time to not be burned by flames thrown from the staff of the magician at them.

Sweetie Belle raised her and Kirby's defenses!

"Alright, once I go back in Equestria, I will tell Button Mash than no, real life video games aren't funny! Not when you can be hurt!"

Kirby and Sweetie Belle attack!

"It's our turn! Quick!"

"Poyo!"

A few mirrors later.

You beat the Magician!

"Yay!"

Then, a new figure appears in the second window, bigger than the magician. This reveals to be a human dark knight, with purple armor, horns on his helmet, red glowing eyes, a rather big sword, and a red shield with a skull.

An Evil Knight appears!

HP: 180

"How many will we have to fight?"

Kirby and Sweetie Belle attack!

As soon as the knight touch the floor, Sweetie sends a Force Blast while Kirby throws a few mirrors.

The Evil Knight takes 120 damage!

HP: 060

The Evil Knight throws knifes!

The knight then throws knifes at Sweetie, only for the filly to run to avoid them.

Kirby and Sweetie Belle avoid the attack!

Kirby and Sweetie Belle attack!

Sweetie uses this to attack the knight with a Vulcan Jabs while Kirby throws a mirror copy of himself to him, finally making the knight explode.

You beat the Evil Knight!

Thinking that this is not finished, Sweetie prepares a Giga Force Blast and Kirby prepares his wand. They do well, because the next enemy appears: a big, brown colored dragon. Not one like the Ice Dragon! No! A REAL dragon, like in Equestria!

Sweetie gulps.

A Great Dragon appears!

HP: 250

"Alright, that's not so bad."

The Great Dragon gets the first attack!

"Oh! come on!!!"

"Poyo!" Kirby jumps in front of Sweetie Belle and puts a big mirror shield in front of them. Thanks to this, the filly doesn't have to stop her attack.

The Great Dragon slashes with talons!

The dragon slashes toward them with one of his claws. Kirby braces himself, and intercepts the claw with his mirror, only to be expulsed by the strenght of the dragon breaking the mirror.

Kirby blocks the attack!

Kirby takes damage!

Sweetie doesn't move her eyes from the dragon, she knows that Kirby will be alright. It's not that that will seriously hurt him.

Kirby and Sweetie Belle attacks!

She throws the Giga Force Blast at the dragon, and continues with using both her whip and her beams, quickly helped by Kirby when he comes back, attacking with mirrors.

The Great Dragon takes 200 damage!

HP: 050

The Great Dragon breaths fire!

They run out of the way of the fire, Sweetie getting the end of her tail and her cape a little burned.

Kirby and Sweetie Belle avoid the attack!

Kirby and Sweetie Belle attack!

The two of them end this fight by shooting a charged beam and mirrors, making the dragon explode.

You beat the Great Dragon!

Kirby and Sweetie Belle defeated all the enemies!

"Yay! Finally!"

"Poyo!"

You gained 156 EXP! (Not that it matters.)
Your Kindness went up by 2!
Your Maturity went up by 4!
Your Eye Sparkle went up by 3!
Your Roundness went up by 2!

"What?"

The third window disappears.

Your Heroism went up by1 !

The second window disappears too.

Your Love went up by 3!

And the last window disappears, ending this whole crazy nonsense. The door then appears.

"Oookaaaay..."

"Poyo," says Kirby, waving at her to forget about this and go toward the door.

"Yeah... Still, that was the most weird thing in my life, and I saw many weird things."


Kirby gets the power of the Fountain, and then, a smile forms on his face before he starts to jump in joy, repeating "Poyo! Poyo!"

"What?"

"Poyo!" he waves at her.

Sweetie stares at him, until "Wait. Are you saying we have the necessary power to invoke Nova?"

"Poyo!" he nods.

"Oh my gosh! Yes!" She takes Kirby's arms, and they start to jump together. "We did it Kirby! We did it! We will see Nova!"

Kirby then stops jumping and creates a new Warp Star before waving at her.

"Yay!" They jump on the Warp Star. As they go up in the sky, Sweetie asks herself "I wonder how he looks?! How will he stops the sun and the moon from fighting ? Will he become our friend? Ooh! I'm so excited!"


"Ho ho ho ho ho! They have done it. I knew they would succeed. Now, it's my time! Ohh ho ho ho ho!"

Chapter 23: Nova and the Traitor

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Now possessing the power of all the Fountains of Dreams, Kirby and Sweetie Belle leave the dark world behind, going deep into space. A few minutes later, they finally stop in the middle of nowhere, and Kirby separates the Warp Star into eight stars of different colors of the rainbow that start to turn around both him and Sweetie as they float in the void.

"Oh boy... Oh boy..."

The filly is beyond excited at this point. They are about to invoke Nova! A being so powerful that he can stop the fight between the sun and the moon! He will probably be as powerful as Celestia, maybe even more! She can feel her heart about to explode!

The stars then fly away far into space, until reaching a single point that illuminate everything around, almost blinding them. And then, with lightnings flashing around, he appears. And Sweetie's jaw drops.

He is HUGE!!! About half the size of Popstar! He looks like a giant yellow pocket watch, the center looking like a sun with a red shooting star above his right eye, while there is a hole above his left eye, showing a giant gear. All around him are various giant items, in clockwise: a weather vane, several gears, a telescope, a wind-up key, a drafting compass (beside his cat-like mouth), a globe, two atomic tubes, a grandfather clock pendulum (at the bottom), a pocket watch without numbers and its hands bent (at the other side of the mouth), a triangular ruler, a chain, several piano keys, a compass, and a light bulb. Sweetie would ask herself why there are all those objects, or why he has the mouth of a cat, but she is too occupied by being amazed to be concerned about this.

Because, that's him.

Nova.

A giant, planet-sized clockwork comet.

And he talks. "READY." He then looks at them. "I WILL GRANT YOU ONE WISH..."

Sweetie's jaw drops even further. He can grant wishes? That's beyond powerful! He could help me go back home! But... We have to ask him to stop the fight between the sun and the moon... She sighs, only to smile just after. We can always invoke him again.

Kirby opens his mouth, about to make the wish in his poyo language, but then...

Someone comes, and kicks him into Sweetie, sending them away.

And they hear a familiar voice shout "Well, I want to control Popstar!"

What?

They look back at the being that has kicked them away, stealing their wish, and see than it's none other than him.

Marx.

"OK," says Nova, closing his eyes.

Oh no! He will grant his wish!

"3... 2... 1..." He starts shaking, before opening his eyes, emitting a great light from them, saying "GO!"

Everything flashes for a moment, and when they can see again, Nova is flying away, seeing that his back has four nozzles making him move. When they follow the direction he takes, they recognize, far away, the star of Popstar.

"I did it!" shouts Marx, the jester floating beside them, watching them in victory. "It all went according to plan! I got the sun and moon to fight. I got you to go into space..."

"What?"

Light suddenly emits from Marx, and in a few seconds, they can see him transform. Big yellow bat-like wings appear at his sides with two sharp claws that look like fangs jutting out of them and also a red heart. Rather than skin under the wings, there are flashing mirror-like, multicolored, hexagon-shaped scales. As for Marx himself, he his a little bigger, his eyes are now huge, with big black pupils that look in opposite directions, and his mouth is larger with two fangs. His bow is almost undone, and his shoes are now round at the end.

"It was all according to my perfect little plan!"

Sweetie looks at him with pain and betrayal, tears in her eyes. How could he deceive them like that? So all this time, all those pranks, making them laugh, being friendly and all, it was false? Just him playing them?

Is it what Rarity and her friends felt when Discord betrayed them for Tirek?

He continues talking, as he starts to fly away toward Popstar. "So now Popstar is mine! All mine! Now I can cause all the mischief I want! Haha! See you later!"
Sweetie grind her teeth in rage. "We will stop you! You will pay for betraying us! You hear that, YOU JERK?! YOU WILL PAY!!" Sweetie shouts.

"I would like to see that!" he replies back, laughing crazily.

"What do we do Kirby?" she asks, looking at the pink ball.

Kirby looks back at her for a moment, before closing his eyes and taking her hoof. The next instant, the colored stars reappear around them, before engulfing them in a rainbow light, forcing Sweetie to close her eyes. When she opens them, she finds herself now behind Kirby in a flying chariot with a yellow star at the front and white-blue streamers for walls. She is awed at this.

Immediately, Kirby takes control of the starship, and flies at the pursuit of Nova.

"How will we stop him? He is so big!"

"Poyo!"

It takes them a few minutes to catch up to Nova close to Popstar, only to witness an unbelievable spectacle: the sun and moon working together to push him back! They have stopped their fight to protect the world! They can't help but smile at seeing this, giving them the occasion to go in front of Nova and find a way to stop him for good. Kirby then leads them inside Nova, passing by the hole above his left eye.

"We are going to destroy his core?" asks Sweetie.

"Poyo," he nods.

"But... This will kill him..." she says sadly.

"Poyo..."

"We have no choice, uh?"

"Poyo." He shakes his head, making Sweetie sigh.

Now in their way to Nova's core, they are attacked by many defenses trying to stop them, like cylinder-shaped blue missiles, some sort of discs with spikes and blue fins, or dome-shaped gun turrets, all coming in great numbers from all directions. Kirby does everything he can to avoid being hit by all those defenses, maneuvering to dodge them, or shooting them with star-shaped projectiles from the starship. Sweetie helps him, either by shooting beams, or placing a magical shield around the ship.

One wave of missiles come from below, and Kirby shoots them while he dodges the projectiles from a turret that Sweetie destroys. Discs come from the left, then the right, followed my more missiles from above. They slalom between giant gears to avoid them, shoot a few missiles coming from in front, shield from a few turrets on giant cylinders left and up right. They are hit by a disc coming from behind, then dodge the ones that follow, and Sweetie shoots another turret and a few other missile coming from up left.

They avoid things that look like circular saws, and pass beside giant ball-things with blue glowing lines on them, while avoiding more missiles coming from up, down, left, and right by accelerating. Discs try to force them to crash into the numerous obstacles in the way with more and more saws, and less and less space to fly, before they enter a small tunnel, leading them to their destination: the core.

They are now in a huge room, where the main colors are grey metal and purple. The core itself is heart-shaped, spinning counterclockwise and floating inside a forcefield between two giant machines above and below, the machines themselves each surrounded by three rings parallels. All around at the edge of the room of the core are 8 clusters of red, blue, green and yellow spheres floating up and down between moving pillars. Kirby immediately shoots at one of the clusters of spheres, destroying them and a part of the pillars above and below them.

Nova doesn't seem to like it, because the pillars start to move faster, giving Kirby a hard time to target the spheres. Sweetie helps him again, shooting her beams at the spheres. A second cluster is destroyed, then a third. Nova suddenly stops the pillars and makes them move the other way, almost making Kirby crashes into one of them. Three more clusters are destroyed, and now Nova is getting desperate, moving the pillars erratically back and forth, making them unpredictable. But this just delay the inevitable, because without anything trying to stop them beside the pillars themselves almost making them crash a few times, they eventually destroy the two last clusters, destroying the forcefield around the heart.

The heart vulnerable, both Kirby and Sweetie shoot at it, until electricity surround it as the heart falls and hits the machine below. Seeing it's about to explode, Kirby does a U-turn and take the way back to get out of there, followed by the sound of the heart exploding, and the explosion itself following them, getting closer. Going as fast as they can, they are able to get out of Nova just before the explosion reaches them, causing the hole abole Nova's left eye to become bigger and sending the giant gear flying into space, forcing him to close his left eye and stopping his advance toward Popstar.

Outside of Nova, the starship disappears to reform the colored stars, giving Kirby back his Warp Star. To Sweetie's surprise, they leave her with her very own Warp Star, flying beside Kirby!

They have no time to wonder about it, because they spot Marx flying toward a giant asteroid, and they follow him, not taking long for Sweetie to understand that her Warp Star works with her thoughts, however, she is flying slower than Kirby, not yet used to it and not wanting to take risks.

They both reach the asteroid and crash on it, Sweetie now understanding that it's not easy to land with a Warp Star. She can forgive Kirby for all the times they have crashed.

"You have been able to stop Nova," says the voice of Marx behind them, causing them to turn around to face him as he flies, glaring at them. "But I don't need him anymore. With the power he gave me, I will be enough to control Popstar. But first, I will show you that you can't stop me ! Prepare to die!" he shouts, following that by a crazy laugh, before disappearing.

Kirby readies the wand of his mirror ability, while Sweetie takes her whip and lights her horn to charge a beam, both of them looking around. Marx reappears not far at Sweetie's left, and she shoots her beam at him, only for him to teleport above her and Kirby and send crescent blades that Kirby counter with his mirror. Marx teleport again, avoiding the projectiles sent back to him, and throws more blades. Sweetie runs between the blades and cracks her whip, but Marx teleports again, this time, behind Kirby, and throws a third wave of blades. One of them cut the puffball, only for him to counter attack, turning around and sending mirrors, some of them hitting Marx before he teleports away.

Marx reappears between them and flies up in the sky, suddenly making raining a dozen seeds all over the battlefield, Sweetie and Kirby being able to dodge them, only for dark branches of energy to sprout out of the ground where the seeds hit, almost hitting Sweetie Belle who has been about to walk on one of those spots. Sweetie then sees a big shadow appears under her, and before she can understand what is happening, Marx pops out of the shadow and sends her flying. Marx comes back, only to be hit again by more mirrors of Kirby, and he counter attacks by making raining a stream of arrows at him, that Kirby run away from, the stream following him with Marx laughing.

The whip hits him from behind, stopping his attack, and he turns around to see Sweetie before he teleporte one, two, three times around her and throws more of his blades at her, then at Kirby, then at Sweetie again. Dodging the blades, Sweetie is able to hit Marx with a beam before he teleports above Kirby, spitting some sort of bomb on him. Kirby runs out of the way, only for the bomb to explode and send ice balls all around it, one of them hitting Kirby and freezing him while Sweetie jumps above. At least, Sweetie is able to hit him a few more times with her beams.

Two teleportations later, he appears further away, and his eyes suddenly become all black, and black blobs fall of them and bounce from the floor toward them. They dodge them, only for the blobs to follow them, forcing them to run around a few more time. Sweetie wrap her whip around Kirby and send him toward Marx, but the jester disappears just before the puffball reaches him, and he reappears beside his trajectory, spitting a giant laser right at him, badly hurting Kirby and knocking the mirror out of him.

While Kirby recuperates the mirror, Marx goes back to Sweetie and shots more arrows at her, only for her to jump and send a Force Blast at him, sending him back. He then teleports a dozen time around both Kirby and Sweetie Belle until he stops, facing both of them. His eyes suddenly grow bigger, to the point that they protrude out of their pockets, forming big white balls with many pupils appearing all over them, and they shoot small lasers all over the place, the lasers moving around. Sweetie and Kirby are both able to dodge the lasers, jumping between them, slightly disgusted by the attack, and they reach Marx before attacking him with the whip and the mirrors until he teleports away again.

He teleports once and spits another ice bomb, and the two jump above the ice balls. He teleports again, and he flies up, sending his seeds to the floor, only for it to be for nothing. He then teleports between them, and he suddenly retracts his wings, spreading in their places countless red veins, one of them grazing Sweetie and burning her a little while Kirby counter attacks by throwing mirror images of him at Marx. Sweetie attacks him too a few times with her whip while sending a beam.

Marx grind his teeth, and teleports away, making a shadow appears under Kirby. The puffball runs around, followed by the shadow, but he is able to avoid Marx getting out of it, and Sweetie punches him just as he gets out, sending him back on the floor where he takes a charged beam from the filly and some mirrors from the pink ball.

"RRAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!" he suddenly yells, the area around them glowing red, blue, and green a few times until it stops. Marx then teleports again, and reappears between the two heroes. "Why..." He throws his blades that are dodged, and teleports. "Won't..." He spits his laser at Sweetie, there again dodged, the filly seeing it coming. He teleports. "You..." The black blobs. One of them hits Kirby from behind, but he takes damage from a beam. He teleports. "DIE?!" He splits himself in two, to both Kirby and Sweetie's surprise, and A BLACK HOLE appears between the two halves. They run away from it as it tries to suck them in, before it disappears, and Marx reappears. Seeing that the black hole has not worked, he starts shaking in rage.

"Because we will not fail!" shouts Sweetie, wrapping her whip around him and pulling at it, forcing him to approach her, right into her hoof, sending him back. She pulls again, and Marx takes another punch, another pull, another punch, until he has enough and teleports away, only to be attacked almost as soon as he reappears by Kirby's mirrors. Flying away, he throws blades at him, only for Kirby to deflect them with his mirror shield, getting Marx hit by his own attack, before taking a Force Blast in the back. He then starts teleporting erratically everywhere, throwing one attack after another, turning the battlefield into chaos as it flashes red, green and blue again and again, showing how much Marx is now straining his power to the maximum to beat them. Dodging all those attacks is almost impossible, and they are hit many times as they run left and right.

"You have to fail! I have been given the ultimate power by Nova himself! I can't lose to simple beings just like you! You will die! And the whole world will become my playground!"

Seeing the battle getting desperate, both for them and for Marx, Sweetie quickly gets beside Kirby and whispers something to him. Kirby nods at her idea, and he jumps on her back, giving her the mirror ability. Jumping out of the way of a laser, she then throws a Force Blast at Marx, only to miss him as he teleports. But then, a mirror appears in the way of the blast, and deflects it. Dodging some blades followed by a stream of arrows, she shoots another blast right at the first one, the two blasts fusing to get bigger and more powerful. Kirby makes another mirror appears in the way of the blast and deflects it again.

What follows is Sweetie throwing dozens of blasts everywhere, trying to hit Marx, only for him to teleport out of the way, but each time, her and Kirby would make a mirror appear and deflect the blast. After a moment, dozen of blasts are flying around the battlefield, deflected by mirrors, fusionning, of hitting Marx even if he tries to teleport to avoid them and attack Sweetie and Kirby again. One of the blasts eventually become really huge, result of the fusion of many blasts, until it become four time bigger than Sweetie. The filly then charges a Giga Force Blast.

She shouts "Hey Marx! I have a question!"

Marx stops teleporting, curious. "Yes?"

She jumps right beside him, smirking. "Why did you stop?"

And she throws the Giga Force Blast at him at close range, hitting him and sending him flying. Before he can recover, he finds himself in the passage of the giant Blast, deflected by another mirror below him created by Kirby, and he impacts it, the giant ball of energy flying up, up, up into space, carrying him with it.

The ball, with Marx, flies right toward Nova's hole, and the planet-sized clockwork soon explodes in the biggest explosion ever, illuminating the sky for almost a whole minute as the various objects composing him are expulsed throughout space.
Seeing they have won, Kirby and Sweetie hug each other, jumping, and the filly shouting "We have won! We did it!" and the ball shouting "Poyo! Poyo!" before they let themselves fall on their back on the floor, looking at the sky that become little by little black again.

They remain here, just laughing, for a few minutes, before Sweetie finally talk. "That was the most crazy thing ever!"

"Poyo," Kirby says, nodding.

"We... We beat... This guy had power that could have rivaled princess Celestia, and yet, we beat him! In a fight! Not even using an artefact like against Dark Matter!"

"Poyo."

"And we caused the destruction of a machine the size of a small planet! Kirby, am I dreaming?"

Kirby punches her on the foreleg.

"Ow! No, I'm not dreaming..." She giggles, before stopping, losing her smile. "But this also means that I killed someone... I don't think that Marx survived such an explosion." She takes Kirby in her arms and hugs him. "I killed him... Kirby... What does that make me?"

"Poyo..." Kirby looks at her sadly, before pointing at himself. "Poyo."

"That makes me... like you?"

He nods.

"Right... You killed Dark Matter back then. Even if he was a being of darkness, he still was someone. So... Is it part of being a hero? Sometime having to kill the bad guy for the better of everyone?" She then remembers something that Meta Knight said. "Having to take hard decision, to do what is right?"

He nods.

"Will I have to kill again in the future?"

He shrugs.

She looks back toward the sky.


Sweetie is walking on a road, exploring some part of Dreamland a little farther of the castle. Sometime, an inhabitant of Dreamland, half the time a Waddle Dee, would pass beside her, some of them waving at her, and she would wave back.

"Hey, hey, hey! Are you new around? I never saw you before!" says a new voice behind her. Sweetie turns around, and discover a strange little guy hopping on a ball and wearing a jester hat.

"Yes. I arrived in Dreamland not long ago after an accident, and I now live in Dedede's castle. My name is Sweetie Belle, what is yours?"

"My name is Marx, nice meeting you. I would like to shake your hoof but like you see, I don't have a hand to shake it."

This makes Sweetie giggles.


"What are you doing Marx?"

"I'm about to do an imitation! Look!" He takes a balloon, and inhale the helium in it. He then starts to talk in a squeaky voice. "Hello everyone! My name is Sweetie Belle, and I'm adorable!"

This causes Sweetie's cheeks to puff, trying to hold back her laughter. "S-stop it!"

"S-stop it!" he repeats.

"Stop talking like me!"

"Stop talking like me!"

Sweetie thinks a moment, before saying "I'm stupid!"

"You're stupid!"

Sweetie glares at him, before laughing loudly, followed by Marx.


"Woah! You can really give life to your painting!" says Sweetie Belle, seeing the painted Waddle Dee moving around.

"That's right!" replies the human girl with a green smock and a red beret, Adeleine. "I can paint anything, and make them real!"

"That's so cool!"

"I have the same power!" shouts a familiar voice.

Adeleine facepalms. "Oh no... Not him..."

"Oh! Hey! Marx!" shouts Sweetie, waving at the approaching Marx with a paintbrush in his mouth.

"Look! With this paintbrush, I can make a red Adeleine!"

"Really? How?"

"Like this!" He jumps toward Adeleine, and swings his brush a few times on her face. When he jumps back, Adeleine has now a black mustache, black fangs on her mouth, and black big eyebrows that frown above her eyes.

Adeleine takes a mirror and sees what Marx has done. Her face immediately turns red, and she screams "You jerk!" before chasing Marx who is running away laughing loudly.

Sweetie rolls on the floor laughing.


Sweetie starts to cry. "Why... Why has he done this? Why did he betray us? Why did he try to take over Popstar? He was my friend... Kirby... It hurts... It hurts..."

"Poyo..."


One hour later, the two of them are flying back toward Popstar, each on their own Warp Star, Sweetie getting used of it. Any other time, she would laugh, and have the time of her life.

But now...

They pass the atmosphere of the planet, seeing the sun back at its place, about to set, and no moon trying to push it away. They fly above Dreamland, taking in the view, taking their time to return home. Kirby then sees his house, and waves at Sweetie, and she waves back at him, saying goodbye to him with a small smile. The ball then dives toward his house... and crashes beside it. She giggles a little. At least, she can count on Kirby.

It's not long before she reaches Dedede's castle. She goes down toward the entrance, only to not stop in time, and she crashes through the doors, startling the guards beside them as she ends up on her face. She groans, slowly getting up, and looks around her at the guards with a sheepish smile.

"Sorry everyone. I'm getting used to my new Warp Star."

Chapter 24: Doing What is Right

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"YOU DESTROYED NOVA?!!"

Sweetie is almost blown away by the loud roar of King Dedede. She then hides herself partly behind the table, only letting half of her head poking out.

"Uh... Yes..."

"Nova... THE Galactic Nova... Destroyed..." says Dedede in disbelief.

"I... I know he was a big deal around here... But I didn't have a choice. He was helping Marx trying to conquer Popstar. He would have probably repaired himself and resumed his assault if I hadn't done it." She looks at the floor. "I'm sorry..."

Dedede takes a deep breath. "Don't be. You have done what you thought was the right thing to do and saved all of us. And frankly, I would have probably done the same thing in your place. Still..." He slams a hand on the table. "Curse that Marx! If you hadn't already blown him with Nova, I would have gone clobber him to next week!"

"I still don't believe that Marx played us all this time," says Waddle Dee. "He was so friendly!"

"It shows that not every person we trust are reliable. Maybe someone in this very room is a traitor biding their time," says Cape Knight.

At this, the guards and servants around the table look at each other in suspicion.

Dedede then yells "I hope for them than no! Or else..." He slams his hammer on the table, breaking it, making everyone gulp.

Sweetie looks at the broken table, sweating , and slowly says "IIIIII'm... going into my room. After this adventure and this fight against Marx, I need rest. And... I also need some alone time."

Dedede looks at her expressionless, then says "Alright. I will even give you free time tomorrow. I can see you have many things to think about."

"Thank you your majesty."

"But."

"Yes?"

"Don't feel guilty about Marx. You have done the right thing."

Sweetie remains silent for a few seconds before replying. "I know... But it's still hard. Knowing that I have killed someone. Two, counting Nova."

Dedede sighs. "Just go."

Everyone watches her as she leaves the room. Then Waddle Dee says "Should we really leave her alone?"

"She just needs some time to get over this," replies Dedede. "She now understand that the path she took, protecting Dreamland and Popstar, involves sometime bloodying her hooves. Now, she has to accept this."

"For her, it must be even harder, knowing that she is a child coming from a people extremely pacifist," says Cape Knight. "The idea of killing, even to save the world, must be sickening. But at least, this shows that she isn't a monster."


She can't sleep.

Sweetie is in her room, on her bed. Outside, it's the middle of the night, the moon is high in the sky, and the stars sparkle. Not a sound is heard, everyone is sleeping.

But not her. She just can't.

She has saved the world, but for this, she has had to kill someone. As far as she knows, even her sister and her friends haven't killed any of the bad guys they have fought.

Nightmare Moon has been purified into princess Luna.

Discord has been petrified.

The changelings have been thrown away by the love barrier.

Sombra... Nopony is really sure about him. All they are sure is that he has been disintegrated by the Crystal Heart.

Tirek has been sent back into Tartarus.

But here...

Dedede has been thrown through the roof of the castle.

Nightmare has exploded with a part of the moon.

Dark Matter has exploded too after one too many cut from the Rainbow Sword.

Meta Knight has been able to escape the Halberd.

And now, Marx has been sent into Nova who exploded.

So far, half the bad guys they have fought have been killed, and she has had a role in the last one's death. What does that mean? Twilight and the others can find a way to (almost) always spare their enemies, but here in Dreamland, Dreamland, they can't? has there even been a way to spare Nightmare, Dark Matter, and Marx? So far, she can't think of anything.

Nightmare would have continued to try plunging the world in an eternal nightmare, he has just been evil, and the only means to stop him has been the Star Rod that has killed him, not sealed him. Not every artefacts are ones that seal or lock like the Elements. And he has been too powerful to be imprisoned the normal way, and Dreamland doesn't seem to possess any special prison like Tartarus.

Dark Matter... What he has said to Gooey, when he has been possessing Dedede. Feel hurt... For some reason, feelings have been hurting him, and yet, he and Gooey have been of the same species, and Gooey isn't hurt by the feelings. And if she has followed what Gooey has said right, then it's Gooey who has somehow gained the capacity to feel without being hurt. Could they have done the same thing to Dark Matter? But how... How has Gooey gained the capacity to feel? If only he could talk... Really talk. Beside, in the middle of the fight, it was hard to think of a way to help Dark Matter while trying to not be killed by him. MAYBE there has been a way to spare him, but they didn't have it, or known it. And like Nightmare, they have had to end him.

And Marx. He could have been defeated the normal way without having to use any artefacts, but he has just been too powerful. Despite that giant blast, he would have probably continued the fight if he hadn't been sent into Nova, and they probably would have lost. If they have been stronger, then things could have been different, and they could have beaten him down and talked to him. There must have been a reason why he has wanted to control Popstar, and he hasn't seemed as evil as Nightmare or Dark Matter. He has looked more like Discord. He has been evil, but maybe they could have convinced him to find a better way. Too bad again, no Elements of Harmony to help keeping him in check. And again, in the middle of the fight...

In Dreamland, they just don't have the means to spare the villains too evil and/or too powerful.

And Sweetie doesn't like that.

She decides to get up and go walk outside of the castle. Maybe some fresh air will help her.


It's hard to believe that such a peaceful land hides such a hard truth, that villains aren't as easy to spare as in Equestria.

She is walking on a road, passing beside a tree every now and then. It's a little cold, but her cape keeps her warm enough to not shake. Nobody is around, she is all alone in this path, with her thoughts.

Or, that is, until she hears a familiar voice talking. "You seems to be lost in thought."

She gasps, and turns at her right, at the source of the voice. Here, sitting at the bottom of a tree, is Meta Knight himself, looking at her. "Meta Knight!"

He chuckles at her reaction. "You didn't think you would see me, uh?"

Sweat appears on the filly's forehead, not sure what to consider Meta Knight. "Well, you have disappeared after our fight, and nobody heard about you or your knights since then."

"And you aren't sure about my intentions. Well, do not worry, I don't intent to attack you. I'm just enjoying a good night by myself. And it seems you are doing the same thing."

"Yeah..." Sweetie answers, looking toward the ground. "I needed some fresh air..." She sighs. "to think about... things." She remains silent for a time, Meta Knight just looking at her without saying anything. She then looks at him. "I killed someone."

"I see... Yes, the first kill is always the hardest. I learned to live with this, knowing that this is part of the path that I choose. And with the path that you choose, it had to happen sooner or later."

"Yes... Now I understand that."
"Who was it?"

"Marx. And if he counts, Nova."

At this, Meta Knight's eyes become bigger behind the mask for the space of one second. "You destroyed Nova? I suppose it has something to do with the chaos that happened yesterday, with the sun and the moon."

"Yes. Marx secretly caused the sun and moon to fight, and then asked Kirby to invoke Nova so he could stop them. I helped him finding the Fountains of Dreams of various worlds, passing traps and fighting powerful guardians. By the way, sorry, but we destroyed the Heavy Lobster factory in this futuristic world. I hope you will not mind."

Meta Knight facepalms. "This just means that I will have to search for something else."

"Anyway, in the end, we have been able to invoke Nova, only for Marx to steal the wish under our nose. He wished to control Popstar, gaining great powers while Nova started flying toward Popstar. Me and Kirby stopped Nova by destroying his core, then we fought Marx, but he was too powerful. In the end, I used a giant Force Blast and, with the help of Kirby, sent him toward Nova, making it explode with Marx."

Meta Knight nods. "You have done the right thing."

"That's what everyone is telling me, and that's what I'm telling to myself. But... I can't help myself but think that there could have been a better way."

"Thinking about 'what ifs' will not change what happened. You fought Marx, he was overpowering you, you acted in consequence to assure that you would not fail, and that means that you had to take a drastic measure. For the same reason that I thought that taking over Dreamland to protect it was the best way, you thought at the time that killing Marx and destroy Nova to protect Popstar was the best way. Sometime, to do the right thing, you have to take hard decision. And it's the harsh trust that every warrior must accept one day. If you do not, then just give up your whip and return to what life you had before taking it."

After a few seconds of silence looking at the ground again, Sweetie says "I don't like it."

"I never told you to like it. Sometime, the trust hurts. I don't like it either. Kirby doesn't like it either. My knights don't like it either." He sighs. "As crazy as he seemed back then, even Vul doesn't like it." His gaze becomes harsh. "The ones that like it are the ones that we fight."

Before she can think of a reply, Meta Knight's eyes suddenly turn toward the sky, slightly at his left, before he looks up. Curious, Sweetie follows the direction he is looking at and her jaw drop in awe. Up there, something is falling from the sky.

"Is that a meteor?" she asks.

"After your fight against Marx, I doubt. It could be a part of Nova. They must be littering the space not far of Popstar."

After he talks, they see the falling object hitting the ground a few miles from their position. Sweetie then sees Meta Knight getting up and opening his wings.

"What are you doing?" she asks.

"I'm going to see what it is, in case it may be dangerous," he answers.

"Then I'm coming, just in case."

Meta Knight only nods, taking off. He is soon followed by Sweetie Belle on her Warp Star.

"So you got a Warp Star?" he says.

"Yes," she answers. "I got it just after destroying Nova's heart. It has been given to me by the Fountains' power. However, I'm still learning to control it, so I don't dare going too fast."

Nothing more is said. They don't take much longer to reach the impact area, and see the smoking crater left by the object. They land beside it, only for Sweetie to crash again, the filly bouncing on the ground a few times as the Warp Star explodes.

"Urg..." groans Sweetie, slowly getting up. "I really need to learn how not to crash..."

"It's one of the hardest things to do with a Warp Star, avoid crashing," says Meta Knight, chuckling.

Sweetie groans again, before approaching the crater alongside Meta Knight. The smoke is starting to disperse, letting the two of them see what has crashed, and Sweetie gasp.

"Marx?!" she shouts.

Hearing this name, Meta Knight takes his sword and gets closer, seeing, indeed, the jester himself, face on the ground, burned all over his body with a few scratches. His jester hat somehow survived, but has many holes. They hear him groan.

"He has survived?! How?!"

"His powers gained from Nova must have been great enough to protect him from the explosion. But..." He readies his sword. "he is weakened. Let's not pass this occasion to really end him, or he may start again." He then advances toward the fallen villain.

"Wait..." Sweetie suddenly says.

This gets Meta Knight to stop and look at her. "What?"

"I... I understand that this may be best to k... kill him so he doesn't try to take over Popstar again but... Can I try to talk to him before? In his state, I don't think he can do anything to me, and I will keep an eye on him. I just want to understand something first."

Meta Knight looks silently toward her before saying "You are about to take a big risk."

"I know. But please..."

He sighs, and puts away his sword. "Alright."

"Thank you."

Sweetie takes her whip in her magic and walks toward Marx, stopping just beside him, hearing him groan again. She then slowly turns him on his back, seeing that he has his eyes closed in pain. She looks at him, both in anger and in pity, before sighing.

"Marx?" she calls him.

All she gets in answer are more groans, but she then sees his eyes starting moving under his eyelids, before they slowly opens. His pupils then turn toward her. "Oh... You..."

They silently stare at each other for a few minutes, nobody saying anything, Meta Knight just looking at them without moving. Sweetie Belle then says one thing, as tears appear in her eyes.

"Why?"

Marx answers her with more silence, until he laughs, not his crazy laugh, but a pained laugh that still possesses amusement. "Because I want to have fun."

"Didn't you have already fun with us? Like when you imitated me?"

"Oh, I had fun. But not enough. Messing with peoples, doing what I want, without anyone telling me what to do or not to do... The whole world as my playground... without limits... I would have had SO much fun..."

Sweetie sighs. "Even if you end up without friends?"

"I don't need friends to have fun."

"Maybe... But... Let me tell you a story."

"Oh... I love stories."

"It comes from my world, and let me tell you, it's a true story. You see... Long ago, there was a powerful creature. He was so powerful, than in the snap of his fingers, he could do what he wanted, and nobody could stop him. But this creature loved to have fun, and so, using his powers, he made the whole world into his playground. One snaps, and the houses where flying. Another, and the roads turned into butter. Another again, and he turned the clouds into cotton candies, and made them rain chocolate milk. He was the master, and nobody could defy him. This creature called himself Discord, the Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony. And he thought exactly like you, that he didn't need friends to have his fun.

But one day, two sisters were able to gather powerful magical artifacts called the Elements of Harmony, and despite Discord's huge power, he couldn't do anything against them. The Elements turned him into stone, and left him trapped like that for over one thousand year."

"That stinks..." says Marx.

"You have no ideas, and me neither, but I know that he must have been bored to death. However, he eventually was able to escape his prison of stone, and the first thing he did was trying to retake control like before. But yet again, in less than a day this time, he got turned into stone by the Elements, and he could have ended trapped in it for another millenia. But then, something unexpected happened. The sisters, the same ones that imprisoned him the first time, decided to give him a chance, because they knew that deep down, he wasn't truly evil. All he wanted after all, was to have fun. He just had to learn to have fun without messing with the lives of everyone else.

And so, they used the Elements to free him, but he had to avoid going too far, or less he would be turned into stone again, but that still didn't stop him from pranking everyone. And while many saw him as an annoyance, some persons tried to befriend him, and despite him, he actually started to care for someone, his first real friend. She accepted his chaos, and would have fun with him, and they would laugh together. In return, he would go with her to do simpler activities, like..." She laughs. "tea parties. And despite those activities not being as chaotic as what he generally did, he still had fun, because he was passing time with a friend. And with time, he got more friends, and more fun. He now uses his chaos to not only make himself laugh, but also to make others laugh, ans seeing others laugh makes him laugh even more.

He may not have as much 'fun' as before, but he now has fun with others, and he learned that this fun is the best fun.

Do you understand Marx? What you told me you wanted to do a few minutes ago, it's exactly what Discord was doing one thousand years ago. You wanted to use your powers to have fun, but it would have been a lonely fun. You already had enough fun with everyone else, with your pranks, with your tricks... But now... You have just lost everything..."

She stops talking and looks at Marx, in the eyes, expressionless. Marx looks back at her, mouth slightly open, not saying anything.

Then, she smiles. "There is something more in my story. You see, there was that centaure named Tirek that escaped from a special prison for powerful villains, and Discord has been asked to stop him. However, Tirek was able to convince him to help him and betray everyone. In the end, he hurt everyone he was starting to care, only to be betrayed too by Tirek, who didn't need him anymore. Tirek even threatened to kill him, only to be saved by one of the persons he betrayed, and he helped finding a way to beat Tirek and send him back to his prison. After that, despite his betrayal, he was forgiven, and now, he his a friend that we can trust, even if he is annoying.

So Marx..." She takes a deep breath. "I don't know about the others but..." She smiles at him. "I would like to give you a second chance, so you can have fun, with me. Oh, and sorry, I would like to give you a hoof so you could use it to get up and shake it, but you don't have a hand to take it."

She smiles widely at him, and he looks at her with wide eyes.

And then, he laughs.

And she laughs too.

Meta Knight still watches, not intervening.


Marx has fallen asleep after a whole minute of laughing. Sweetie takes him on her back, before returning beside Meta Knight.

"I hope for you, and for everyone, that this will not bite us in the back," he says.

"I know that I'm taking a big risk, but I don't want him to get killed if there is still a chance for him to be good. Don't worry. If he betrays us again, then you, me, Kirby, or even Dedede will be ready to stop him again, and this time, for good. I'm still training, so I will get stronger, and Dedede is getting stronger too, and you too, I guess. So I'm not scared. I only want to kill someone if there are no other options."

He nods. "What will you do with him?"

"I... don't know actually. The castle may not be a good idea. King Dedede is really pissed off at him. Maybe Kirby can help him? He forgave Dedede for stealing the food of Dreamland, so maybe he will forgive Marx despite him trying to take over Popstar."

"Yes. Kirby is that simple. He doesn't really care for someone's past actions. If that person doesn't do anything bad right now, then he will accept them."

Sweetie giggles. "Goodbye then, Meta Knight, and thank you, for helping me."

Meta Knight nods. "Goodbye, Sweetie Belle." He turns his back to her. "You have a big heart. I hope that this will not be your downfall." And at this, he takes off.

Sweetie follows him with her eyes for a time, before saying "Don't worry. I only do what I feel is the right thing. And deep down..." She looks at the sleeping Marx on her back, smiling. "I know that I'm doing the right thing."


Looking through a window-portal, Discord smiles warmly at what he has just seen, a tear at the corner of his left eye.

Twilight will be so proud.

Chapter 25: Smile

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Kirby sleeps peacefully in his bed, wearing his favorite sleeping cap. A well-earned rest after exploring seven worlds, fighting powerful guardians, and saving Popstar from a giant wish-granting clockwork comet and a mad jester with demigod powers.

But his well-earned rest is suddenly interrupted by a loud noise coming from outside his house, the one of a Warp Star crashing. He has heard this sound enough time to recognize it. And since he's not the one crashing, for once, because of the fact that he's in bed, then this means one thing. That's probably Sweetie Belle.

Why is she here, in the middle of the night? Has something happened? It may be urgent.

With this in mind, Kirby gets out of the bed and runs toward his door, not even taking off his cap, before opening it. Once outside, he looks around, trying to spot the filly, until he hears her groaning. Following her voice, he sees her upside down, back against the bottom of the tree beside his house.

Sweetie then sees him, and waves at him, before saying "Hello Kirby. Sorry for waking you, but you may be the only one that can help me." She then rolls on her side, and gets on her hooves, shaking her head. Kirby remarks that her horn is surrounded by the familiar green light of her magic, and raises an eyebrow.

"Poyo?" he asks.

Sweetie answers him by pointing her right hoof up. "Look up, and you will see."

Kirby does so, and sees floating down a familiar silhouette. It takes him only two seconds to recognize Marx, sleeping and with burns all over his body. His jaw drops.

"Poyo?!"

Sweetie poses Marx slowly on the floor beside her, and says "I know. He survived the explosion of Nova and crashed just a few minutes ago. I was walking outside, talking with Meta Knight -don't ask-, when we spotted him falling. I talked to him when he was still conscious, and I think... I think that I may be able to redeem him, so we don't have to kill him. But now, he needs a bed, but I don't dare bring him to the castle because of Dedede being angry at him, so I told myself that you could help me... And help him.

I know it may sound crazy, knowing what he has just tried to do, and with how powerful he is now, but I really want to try and help him. He may not be irremediably evil, and we may make him our friend... for real this time. So, do you accept, Kirby?"

She looks at him with pleading eyes. How could he say no? Not like he wants to refuse. As long as Marx doesn't try anything again, he will help him without problems. So he nods, smiling widely, saying "Poyo!"

Sweetie Belle smiles at his answer, and hugs him, saying "Thank you Kirby. I knew I could count on you."

The next minute is spent getting Marx in Kirby's bed. The puffball doesn't have any spare bed, but he doesn't mind sleeping on the floor, it's not so different from the times where he naps at the bottom of a tree. He puts the cover on Marx, and turns to Sweetie, smiling.

"You are sure you don't mind sleeping on the floor?" she asks.

He nods.

"And..." She bites her lip. "Is it okay if I remain here too? Don't worry, Dedede gave me the day off tomorrow, and I will sleep on the floor too. I don't mind. I just want to be there for when he wakes up."

He nods again. "Poyo."

"Thank you again." She then looks around and points at the fireplace with a small fire still burning. "Well then, I'm gonna sleep over there."

At this, she goes in front of the fireplace and lies on her side, making sure to face the bed, and using her magic to take off her cape and headband. Looking at the cape, Sweetie wonders how it hasn't been damaged with all the hits she has taken in her adventure. She remembers the same thing happened with Dedede's cloth when they beat him at Dark Castle. She will have to ask what is the material they use, because she is sure that Rarity will want some.

Too busy looking at the cape and wondering about the reasons there are no cuts or burns, she doesn't see Kirby approaches her, and so is surprised when she feels him suddenly sit against her belly, putting his head on her as if using her as a pillow. When she looks at him, she sees that he is already closing his eyes, going back to sleep. Rather than saying anything, she just sighs with a small smile.

That puffball, really...

She decides to let him. Beside, at least, he will keep her warm. Finally putting her headband a little further, she then fold her cape and places it under her head, using it as her own pillow, falling asleep while unconsciously curling around the ball.


When morning comes, Kirby is the first to wake up, rubbing his eyes from the dust and yawning one last time. He then sees that he is not on his bed, but on the floor, but it doesn't take him long for him to remember what happened last night, Sweetie Belle bringing Marx alive but unconscious to his home in the hope to give him another chance. They have let Marx sleep in the bed while they have slept beside the fireplace on the floor.

He can feel her hooves around him, and he understands that he is being hugged like a teddy bear by the filly. As nice as it is, he decides to slowly remove her hooves before going up, instead giving her his sleeping cap which should do the job in his place. Letting the filly sleep, he approaches the bed to look at his unexpected guest still sleeping in it. He is still in a really bad shape, maybe he should go search a Maxi Tomato to heal him when he wakes up.

But first, breakfast. He takes two strawberry shortcakes from his food stock, gobbles one, and lets the other on a plate in front of Sweetie for when she wakes up. Once done, he walks to the door and exits his house, searching the healing fruit.
When he comes back with the fruit, none of his two guesses have yet opened their eyes. No, scratch that. Marx is just waking up. He can hear him groan while he start moving, and before long, his eyes slowly opens. Kirby rapidly goes beside the bed, putting the tomato in his right, before raising his left arm and saying "Poyo!"

This startles Marx who tries to sit up in surprise, only to lie back down groaning in pain. Yeah, they got him good... Kirby wants to give him the tomato, but he is not sure he should give it now, not if it's for him to go back into his 'crazy bat jester' mode. Even if they could probably beat him again, especially now that they know his moves, he wants to make sure that he can heal him without regret.

Marx then looks at him, and after a few seconds of silence, smiles and says "Hey... hey... hey..."

"Hiiii."

Marx looks around, and says "I didn't expect to end in your house. It seems nice by the way, cozy, but a little boring. Where is Sweetie Belle?"

Kirby points at the sleeping filly.

"Oh here she is. Look at her. isn't she adorable? She is such a sweetie," Marx says before laughing at his pun. "I don't believe her. Despite what I have done, she decided to let me live. She is either too nice, too naif, or too crazy. Maybe the threes at the same time. Well, I'm not gonna complain. I love living."

At this, Kirby gets his head close Marx's and looks at him right in the eyes with the most serious stare that he can give. He then points at his eyes, then at Marx's, shouting "Poyo!"

"Hey! Back off, or we are gonna kiss! And do you really think you scare me?"

Kirby opens wide his mouth, as if ready to inhale Marx.

"Come on! Nobody told you that it is bad to eat your guests? Especially when the guest is hurt and can't defend? What would say Sweetie Belle?"

Kirby closes his mouth and stares at Marx. Then, he smirks, and takes a feather from... somewhere. He slowly approaches the feather to Marx, his smirk getting bigger at each seconds.

"Hey now... Are you really gonna do this?" says Marx, looking at the feather and sweating, as if seeing his doom coming.

It gets closer.

"Stop."

Closer.

"Stop."

Clooooseer.

"Stop! Alright! I get it! I will stop!"

"Poyo!" Kirby nods, smile wide and eyes closed. He then takes the Maxi Tomato and gives it to Marx. "Poyo!"

"You are really giving me a Maxi Tomato?" says Marx, surprised. "Just like that?"

He nods. "Poyo!" He then glares at Marx and point at him, shouting "Poyo!" and he smiles again, saying another "Poyo."

That is the moment that Sweetie Belle chooses to wake up. The two balls hear her and look in her direction, seeing her stretching like a cat. She then gets up, rubbing her eyes, and sees them. Seeing them, she smiles and speaks.

"Good morning you two ! I'm glad that you are awake Marx ! And Kirby, it's so nice of you to give him a tomato to heal!"

"Hi!" shouts Kirby before pointing at the strawberry shortcake beside her. "Poyo!"

Sweetie spots the cake and takes it in her magic. "Thank you Kirby. So, Marx, how are you?"

"Like I'm having the time of my life!" he says happily. Too happily. Yeah... That's hidden sarcasm.

"...Ok. That was a dumb question. Sorry," says Sweetie, laughing sheepishly and approaching the bed. She sits down at Kirby's right, and starts eating the shortcake. "At least, you will get better once you eat your reds," she continues, giggling.

Marx laughs. "I would throw that tomato at you for that joke, but I need it."

"If you do, then make sure to target my mouth."

"Right now, I'm targeting MY mouth!" he says, taking a bit of the tomato.

"Well, you could still target my mouth, giving it to me like Kirby took the habit to do."

"How so?"

"Mouth to mouth."

This causes Marx to spit some of the tomato before coughing, which leads to Sweetie guffawing. Once he stops coughing, Marx glares at Sweetie Belle for two seconds before rolling on the bed laughing too. "You got me!"

Kirby tilts his head, not sure he understands why it's funny. It's alright to give food from mouth to mouth, it helps everyone being healed equally.

"Wait!" continues Marx. "Kirby really gives you food like that?"

"Only when it's necessary, like with the invincibility candies."

"Now I have to tell this to everyone!"

Sweetie smirks at the attempt to get at her and sticks out her tongue. "Too late." She looks away, blushing. "One Waddle Dee saw us in the action and told it to everyone at the castle. Now everyone tease me about it sometime." She then crosses her hooves, mumbling something about Kirby not being her coltfriend or something like that. Thankfully nobody saw the two of us sleeping together, or I wouldn't hear the end of it.

"Bummer. Oh well. when can I expect to animate your wedding?"

"Eep! Not you too!" she shouts, as red as a tomato. "Beside, I'm too young for that!"

This makes again Marx rolls on the bed from heavy laughter. "Got you!"

Sweetie continues to glare at Marx before laughing too. "I should have kept my muzzle shut."

And yet again, Kirby doesn't understand what is going on.

"And deprive me of such a good laugh? Please no!"

"So it's fun, uh?"

"Uh?"

"Laughing together like that, telling jokes, teasing each other. Don't you find it fun?"

"I... find it fun. Yes."

"See?" Sweetie says. "It's nice." She then loses her smile. "All of this wouldn't have happened anymore if you had won. You would have laughed, but you would have been the only one laughing."

"Yes..."

"Didn't you like it, when you were making others smile with your jokes?"

"I... liked it... But I wanted more..."

"For a jester like you, there shouldn't be anything better than making others smile. You know, back in my homeworld, there is this pony named Pinkie Pie, and she has a song that is perfect for you."

"Sweet. I love songs."

"Then let me sing it to you. She sings it so much that I remember it entirely." She then clears her throat.

"My name is Pinkie Pie
And I am here to say
I'm gonna make you smile and I will brighten up your day
It doesn't matter now
If you are sad or blue
'Cause cheering up my friends is just what Pinkie's here to do

'Cause I love to make you smile, smile, smile
Yes I do
It fills my heart with sunshine all the while
Yes it does
'Cause all I really need's a smile, smile, smile
From these happy friends of mine

I like to see you grin
I love to see you beam
The corners of your mouth turned up is always Pinkie's dream
But if you're kind of worried
And your face has made a frown
I'll work real hard and do my best to turn that sad frown upside down

'Cause I love to make you grin, grin, grin
Yes I do
Bust it out from ear to ear let it begin
Just give me a joyful grin, grin, grin
And you fill me with good cheer

It's true some days are dark and lonely
And maybe you feel sad
But Pinkie will be there to show you that it isn't that bad
There's one thing that makes me happy and makes my whole life worthwhile
And that's when I talk to my friends and get them to smile

I really am so happy
Your smile fills me with glee
I give a smile I get a smile
And that's so special to me

'Cause I love to see you beam, beam, beam
Yes I do
Tell me what more can I say
To make you see
That I do
It makes me happy when you beam, beam, beam
Yes it always makes my day

Come on everypony smile, smile, smile
Fill my heart up with sunshine, sunshine
All I really need's a smile, smile, smile
From these happy friends of mine "

She points her hoof at Marx. He understands and starts to sing with her.

"Come on everypony smile, smile, smile
Fill my heart up with sunshine, sunshine
All I really need's a smile, smile, smile
From these happy friends of mine "

She signs Marx to continue to sing the refrain while she sings.

"Yes the perfect gift for me
Is a smile as wide as a mile
To make me happy as can be "

She then signs him to follow what she says.

"Smile, smile, smile, smile, smile

Come on and smile
Come on and smile"

They end the song, Sweetie hugging Marx with her left foreleg, under Kirby's applause.

Marx laughs before saying "That was fun!"

"I know, right? She loves having fun. And for her, having fun means giving fun to the others. And everypony love her for that, even if she can melt our brains with her crazyness. Not literally, of course. Even if she did give Twilight a meltdown once." She laughs at this.

"I understand..." says Marx. "I..." he sighs. "I'm sorry... I have been stupid. Thank you Sweetie Belle."

"You are welcome. Friend?"

Marx nods. "Friend."

Sweetie then bumps his right foot to seal it. At the same time, just as the hoof and the foot are hitting, Kirby bumps them too, shouting "Poyo !"

"But I still wouldn't mind freezing alive someone and use them to slip down a slope!"

"What/Poyo?"


Twilight is in her library, reading dozens of sheets of notes and formulas about how to use magic to successfully open a portal to another world without using a mirror.

And this leads to nothing!

"Arg!" She throws the notes above her head in frustration. "Why is it so hard to open a portal without a mirror?! I have been able to send somepony in another dimension by accident, so this is not my power that cause problem!"

"You know, maybe you should try to create a portal with the help of technology rather than magic. A Star Gate, a portal gun, whatever, I'm sure it would work."

"Not now Discord..." says Twilight, rubbing her forehead.

The draconequus then pops just before her, a plate with a chocolate cake on his claw. "Here is some cake. You have been at it for hours."

Twilight looks at the cake before sighing. "You are right... I won't mind a piece." She materializes a knife and pokes the cake with it, intending to cut a piece, when it suddenly explode like a balloon, because it has been a balloon! The explosion surprises Twilight, causing her to jump in shock before falling on her back, under Discord's laughter. She groans. "Discord..."

"Oh come on. This is just a little prank to lift your spirit. Pinkie would do the same."

She can't help but smile. "Right... Thanks." She gets up. "But I'm sure you haven't come just for that. You have some news about Sweetie?"

"Yes! Sadly, I have opened the window a little too late and missed her lattest adventure, arriving just at the final battle. But what a battle! However, I wouldn't have liked to be at Sweetie's place. Fighting someone that love spamming Teleport? No thanks! But wait! I haven't told you the best part!"

"Then tell me."

"She reformed her first villain!"

"Really?!" shouts Twilight, smiling widely.

"Yesterday, they were fighting each other to the death. This morning, they were laughing together! If I didn't know better, I would think she was your apprentice."

"And how did she reform that villain?"

"She first had to almost kill him by sending him colliding with a planet-sized robot cat comet, making it explode. Then once he crashed back in Popstar half dead in the middle of the night, she talked to him, learned that he pretty much wanted to be like I was before, so she told him my tale, and choose to do like you and gave him another chance. And this morning, she has reminded him that he loves making people smile, and so she sang to him one of Pinkie's songs, about making ponies smile making her happy. And now they are friend!" He materialises a Sweetie plushie with a mortarboards and a diploma with written on it 'friendship', letting a tear fall from his left eye while looking at it. "They grow so fast."

"I'm so glad to hear this. Rarity will be so happy too. Maybe I will make her my protégée once we bring her back. Wait..." She looks at Discord in disbelief. "What was it about a planet-sizet robot cat comet? And sending the villain colliding with it, almost killing him?"

"I have not seen this adventure, but I heard her recounting it to that king penguin, and I'm not sure you are ready to hear it. Your brain would just shutdown. Trust me, you are not ready to hear that they had to stop the living sun and moon from fighting each other by invoking that giant cat robot that could grant a wish by exploring seven differents planets, only for the villain to come and wish to conquer Popstar. Oopsie! Did I say that? Twilight? Twilight?"

Chapter 26: The Calm Before the Dark Storm

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They have stayed together talking, joking, having good laugh for a whole hour before Marx has told them that he wanted to go back to his house to get some more rest, still feeling tired, before thanking them. Sweetie Belle then decides that she should too return to the castle. And so, the three friends have bid each other goodbye before separating.

Rather than taking the Warp Star, she decides to walk back. The castle is not that far and she knows the way. When she reaches the castle, she takes the way to the throne room, expecting Dedede to be there. The king not being here once she enters, she then goes to the boxing room, where he is probably training. And yes he is, clobbering dozens of dummies, trying to perfect his skills.

"King Dedede!" she shouts to gain his attention.

"Mmh? Oh, that's you Sweetie Belle. Where were you? Nobody was able to find you this morning."

"Sorry your majesty. I couldn't sleep so I got out in the middle of the night to take some fresh air. Then... an incident happened and I ended up sleeping in Kirby's house. NOT TOGETHER!!!" she screams the last part at seeing the smirk on Dedede's face.

"Yeah sure. Anyway, what was that incident?"

"I found someone hurt, and Kirby's house was the closest. But this doesn't matter. I have been able to think, and while I don't like the idea of killing, I understand that to save Popstar, I may be forced to do it, and I accept it. However, I will only do it as a last resort if there are no other ways to stop the villain."

Dedede smiles warmly at her. "I understand. So what now? Remember that I gave you free day today. You can do whatever you want."

"And I know what I will do!"


"So you are saying that you beat my two cousins in Floria?" says Whispy Woods, with many burns on his bark and trying to stop crying.

"Eeyup. I knew they must have been related to you somehow. They had your face," says Sweetie, sitting against the tree while eating an apple. "However, their apples weren't as delicious as yours. You should tell them your secret recipe, just in case I decide to visit them someday. I know that I will probably come back in this world, it was nice, and we made some good friends. By the way, next time we battle, you should ask them to help you. This way, you may have a chance to beat me. Sorry Whispy, but you are starting to get too easy."


She dives under Orange Ocean, finally having her first view of how it is under the ocean. Considering she doesn't need to hold her breath, she can explore it as much as she wants, and she is doing well! By Celestia, this is beautiful! She slowly swims beside a shoal of Blippers, following them as they pass between two rocks with some Glunks on them. At the other side, she can see a group of Squishies going up and down in their way, and further beyond, another shoar of Blippers.

The ocean gets more profound the more she swims away of the coast, columns of rocks start to appear left and right, some of them going beyond the surface to form islands. She can see a cliff further at her right where it goes more profound, and after some more swimming, passing by a tunnel with many Glunks, she find a fissure in the ground. Smiling at the idea of exploring it, she goes inside, discovering the fissure to be the home of many faunas and floras, some of them reflecting the light of the sun, illuminating the dark.

If only she could show this to everypony.


"WIIIIIII!!!"

Sweetie is using the bark of a dead tree (not one of Whispy's family) as a snowboard, going down the slope of a high, snowy mountain. Going slightly to the left, she barely avoid a Rocky in the way, then goes right to avoid a tree. She sees a cliff approaching before her, but rather than slowing down, she braces herself. Jumping the cliff, she does multiple 360°, laughing loudly, until she sees a tree getting closer in her way. And nope, she will not pass above it.

"Horsea-" BAM! "Arg!" Crack! "Ouch!" Crack! "Eep!" Vlan! "Ow! Aaaaah!" Scrunch!

And she falls head first into the snow at the bottom of the tree, only her hind hooves, butt and tail sticking out of it, the tree bark falling at her left. A few seconds later, she extracts the rest of her body, and shakes the snow out of it, before rubbing her head.

"Owie... I'm not doing this again anytime soon," she groans, before giggling. That was still fun.


She is sitting at her picnic place, under the tree beside the lake, sighing in contentment, having just finished her lunch constituted of various food she has found around, including a strawberry shortcake, bread, an ice cream, a banana, and a few cookies with some milk. Not the more healthy and usual lunch, but she doesn't care, it was delicious, and she can't pass something like cookies, cake or ice cream.

Maybe she should take a nap. Yeah... A nap sound good...

"Googoo!" she suddenly hears.

"Uh?" She opens her eyes and look around, until she spots the origin of the voice approaching, making her smile widely. "Gooey! Long time no see! Where were you?"

Gooey waves around with his tongue.

"You were exploring around?"

"Goo!" He nods.

"Exploring Popstar?"

"Googoo!"

She giggles. "This sure explains the time you took. Lucky you, I have not yet explored beyond Dreamland. The farther I have gone is Rainbow Resort, with the Fountain of Dream. But now that I have a Warp Star, one day, I will explore Popstar too. But you know what? I got to explore other worlds!"

"Goo?"

"Let me tell you, you will not believe what happened to me and Kirby."


"And now, Marx is our friend again! At least, I hope this is for good this time, and that he isn't faking it. He still seems to be a little crazy and sadistic..."

"Goo!" shouts Gooey, doing some punching with his tongue. "Goo!"

Sweetie giggles. "It's nice that we can count on you to help us if he betrays us again." She then looks at the lake, seeing a Blipper swim at the surface for a few seconds before going back in the water. Her smile diminishes. "I have a question Gooey."

"Goo?"

"Could... Could we have spared Dark Matter?"

Gooey looks at her in surprise. "Goo?!"

Sweetie then points at him. "You were like him, right?"

Gooey looks at her in silence, getting sad, before nodding. "Gooey... Dark Matter..."

"Thought so... And yet, somehow, you became kind. But good feelings hurt Dark Matter, so how did you become... you? Why aren't you hurt anymore by good feelings?"

Gooey looks pensively at the ground for a whole minute. He then takes a stick, and starts to draw something in the earth. After a moment, Sweetie identifies the drawing as Dark Matter in his last form, a black ball of darkness with an eye and smaller orbs behind him. Once he is done with Dark Matter, he then draws beside him a small heart, before crossing it. After that, he draws an arrow coming from the crossed heart to Dark Matter.

"Dark Matter can't love," guesses Sweetie from the drawing.

Gooey nods, and draws below the heart a smiling face, and crosses it, yet again drawing an arrow going from it to Dark Matter.

"Dark Matter can't be happy, or feel joy."

Another nod, before he draws a fire with a swirl in it, crosses it, and draws an arrow from it to Dark Matter.

"Fire?"

Gooey shakes is head, and points at Sweetie's chest. Could this be...?

"The soul?"

He nods.

"Dark Matter... doesn't have a soul?"

He nods again, then draws a small star, and like the previous times, crosses it and draws an arrow from it to Dark Matter.

This one is harder. What does the star represents? "I don't understand. What is the star?"

Gooey mimics someone sleeping.

"Sleeping? Wait..." What does someone do when they sleep? "Dreaming?" It would seem so. After all, the artefact that helps spreading dreams is a wand with a star.

Gooey nods, confirming her conclusion.

So the star is a symbol of dreams? So, does that mean that Popstar is the world of dreams? No, not just Popstar. When she was exploring the other worlds, stars were everywhere. It's as if all those worlds were made of dreams. This also means... Well, she has been starting to have a doubt, but now... Could she be in an universe made of dreams? A different dimension? This would explain the crazy logics. Food popping everywhere, breathing in water, walking on clouds. Those are dreams come true!

But this also means that she can't go home with just a spaceship...

Focus Sweetie. I will think about it later. Right now, I'm talking with Gooey. "So... Dark Matter can't dream?"

Gooey nods. Then, he goes to another place and starts a new drawing. Before long, he has drawn what she recognizes as the Fountain of Dreams, but without the Star Rod, and so, not working. He points at the fountain with the stick. "Goo!"

"The Fountain of Dreams when Nightmare was corrupting it."

He nods again, then draws above the fountain a smaller Dark Matter. But then, Gooey points at the Dark Matter, before pointing at himself. "Goo! Goo! Dark Matter!"

"That's... you? I mean, it was you? You were here?"

He nods, before restarting drawing something on the fountain. He draws the Star Rod, and the fountain starts working again. He then draws a circle of stars around the fountain, and draws around the stars arrows showing them spreading everywhere, making sure to point at the Dark Matter Gooey.

"So... The Fountain of Dreams working again, it spread the dreams back all over Popstar, and with you being here, you were affected. Let me guess, it gave you dreams?"

"Goo!" He nods, smiling. He then draws a small star beside the Dark Matter Gooey. After that, he draws an arrow from it to elsewhere, and at the end of the arrows, he draws a heart, a smiling face, and a soul.

"Dreams gave you a soul and the possibility to love and feel happiness!"

"Googoo!" He draws a circle around the Dark Matter, the star, the heart, the soul, and the face, then links it to another arrow. At the end of the arrow, he draws himself, like he is actually.

"So, the 'Nightmare Incident' led to you gaining dreams and feelings!" she shouts excited.

"Googoo!"

Her smile then disappears. "That means... We couldn't have saved Dark Matter. Unless another being like Nightmare forced the 'Nightmare Incident' to happen again, nothing could be done..."

"Goo..." confirms Gooey with a nod. He then starts to think about something, and after a few minutes, draws something new. He draws himself, then beside him, Dark Matter. Sweetie nods to confirm that she is following. Gooey then draws another Dark Matter, then another, then another. At each new Dark Matter drawn, Sweetie gets more and more shocked. A few minutes later, he has drawn twenty Dark Matters in total, without counting himself.

She gulps. "There are more of you out there?"

He nods, and starts to draw one last thing behind all the Dark Matters. One big circle, at least ten times their sizes, and in the circle, one single eye. Nothing else.

Whoever, whatever that thing is, it fills Sweetie Belle with dreads. "Who... is this?"

Gooey looks at what he has drawn in pure fear, shaking and sweating. Silent.

"Father..."


"Evil..."


"Hate..."




"Zero."


In the depth of space, the beautiful little stars are floating everywhere, giving light to the dark and filling the emptyness.

However, there is something else that is filling that emptyness. Moving with a destination in mind, a giant cloud of Darkness progresses between the stars, engulfing some of them, leaving nothing behind. Some small eyes can be seen poking out of the cloud everynow and then, before disappearing back in. However, there is a constant feature to that cloud. An eye, red like blood, giant, never disappearing, always looking in the same direction, the same one that the cloud is moving to. Its black pupil is fixed in a single point, far, far away. But each days, that point becomes a little bigger.

A star.

Chapter 27: The Darkness Returns

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Sweetie Belle has immediately told Gooey to go warn Kirby in case this Zero decides to visit Popstar. It's even almost certain that he is coming, Dark Matter's actions can be better explained this way. He destroyed the Rainbow Bridges which are a source of good emotions in Popstar, and spread terror and despair in the world, this way, Popstar would have been more vulnerable to an assault of the Dark Matters and their leader. They stopped Dark Matter, and Gooey has been turned good, but now, how long they have before Zero comes? This has been over a month since Dark Matter's defeat, so he could come any day now.

And the day he will come, it will be ugly. But now that Kirby knows about Zero's existence, he can start to prepare. However, they first have had to find a solution to fight Zero. Use the Star Rod? No... It would be too risky to take it and stop the fountain, the inhabitants will need to keep dreaming to keep hope. Recreate the Rainbow Sword? It may not be enough. The sword represents the good emotions of Popstar in general. Good emotions hurt the Dark Matters, but they would need the strongest of them to have all their chances against Zero.

Love.

Having passed the night thinking about this, she has made sure to tell that to Kirby the next day, and just after that, Kirby has taken his Warp Star before flying in the direction of Rainbow Resort. Yeah, maybe the Fountain of Dreams can do something about that. Hopefully.

Before that, she has told Dedede everything Gooey told her, and also about her fear. In answer, Dedede has told her that they would go inside their secret fortress in Iceberg so they could hide from the Dark Matters and hopefully not being possessed.

"There is a secret fortress in Iceberg?" said Sweetie Belle at learning about its existence.

"Of course!" answered the king. "In the middle of the ice, and with the blizzards, it's a good hiding spot in time of crisis."

"But shouldn't we try to help Kirby?"

"We can't do anything to the Dark Matters, unless you can somehow shoot love beams from your horn. The better way to help him will be to make sure we don't become his enemies too. I don't know how many Dark Matters there will be, but I doubt I would be the only one being possessed this time. All we can do is hide... and hope."

Sweetie hasn't liked it, but he is right. The risk of being possessed would be too big. And so, the next day, after Sweetie has told Kirby about her idea of using love to fight Zero, and he has gone to the fountain, everyone living in the castle has departed to Iceberg, and rapidly, they have reached the island's secret fortress, which is nothing more than a big round tower large at the bottom and smaller at the top, blue with a yellow horizontal band in the middle, and surrounded by a red wall with yellow rims.

And now, one day later, Sweetie is at the top of the tower, on the roof, alongside Dedede, looking at the icy island all around the fortress with dread, knowing that anytime, Zero can come. She hopes that Dedede is right and that this fortress will hide them from the Dark Matters, but she can't help herself but fear the worse. She doesn't think that this fortress is hidden enough. Also, a giant tower is not what she would call a well hidden fortress... A fortress carved in the ice would have been better. And the colors clash with the ice and the snow around them. Curse Dedede's ego!

"What is that?" suddenly says the penguin, looking at the sky.

Looking up in the sky in the same direction as him, she can see that something black has appeared, and each seconds, it's becoming bigger, or rather, it's coming closer. Before long, she can identify a giant red eye in the middle of the black, and she gulps, understanding what it is.

It's him.

So I was right... I hope that Kirby is ready.

When the black thing, which they identify as a cloud of pure darkness, reaches the space above Popstar, they can see how big it is. It must be about half the size of Nova! And then, it does something unbelievable: it breaks the rings around Popstar! As if they have been made of glasses! Following that, the cloud starts to spread all over the world, looking like a giant octopus, and one of the giant 'tentacles' is coming right toward them!

She can hear Dedede gulps. "M-maybe I should have made this fortress less visible from the sky."

"No, really?!" shouts Sweetie Belle.

The cloud rapidly reaches the sky above the islands, and before long, countless of Dark Matters appear out of it and fly to the surface, some of them coming in their direction.

"Run..." says Dedede, stepping back, taking his hammer. "Run!" he shouts.

"No need to tell me this twice!" shouts back Sweetie as she leaves the roof, entering the tower followed by Dedede.

"Alert!" screams the king at his soldiers. "They are coming! We must escape!"

"Dedede! Behind us!" yells Sweetie.

The Dark Matters have already reached the tower, and they have entered by the roof, chasing them. They can see them approaching, at least a dozen, covering everything in darkness.

"My king!" shouts a Waddle Dee coming in front of them. "They are coming from the front door too!"

This stops everyone in their escape attempt, Dedede saying "So we are trapped..." He then turns around and prepares his hammer. Just as one of the Dark Matters reaches them, he swings his hammer and hits the ball of darkness, sending it into a wall, forming a shadow on it. One second later, the ball reforms from the shadow, with no harm caused to it.

Sweetie shoots a beam to another Dark Matter, sending it flying back before it comes back.

It's no use... They seem weaker than the one I fought last time, but they are still invincible to our attacks. "What do we do Dedede?" asks Sweetie Belle in fear.

"We fight, and we try to pass them. Go on my head," he says swinging his hammer again, sending another Dark Matter into a wall. After Sweetie climbs on Dedede's head, they resume their escape alongside the soldiers that join them, while others remain behind in the hope of gaining them time.

It doesn't work...

Sweetie shoots at the many Dark Matters still following them. If one of them get too close, then she warns Dedede who turns around and hits it with his hammer, or the soldiers use what they have to try to stop it. Sometime, one of them end up possessed, either because of a Dark Matter charging at them, or they jump in the way of a Dark Matter about to possess Dedede.

After going down a few floor, they find themselves facing more Dark Matters coming from before them, the ones that have entered the fortress by the front door. They are followed by some of the possessed servants and soldiers, readying whatever they use to attack.

Dedede prepares his hammer, and charges, swinging it left and right, knocking away possessed minions and Dark Matters alike. The remaining unpossessed however are falling one after another, until by the time they reach the next floor, there are only Dedede and Sweetie Belle remaining, totally surrounded.

Dedede jumps to avoid a charging Dark Matter, swings his hammer to knock another away, crushes a possessed Waddle Doo, and kicks a possessed Broom Hatter. Sweetie shoots beams by dozens, and cracks her whip everywhere. She shoots a Dark Matter coming from before, a Bronto Burt coming from the left, another Dark Matter from before, hits a third one with her whip, and hits the bomb of a Poppy, making it explode and hurting a few enemies with the explosion.

They are fighting with everything they have, each meters gained with great difficulty. But just as Dedede is hitting a Blade Knight, and Sweetie shoots at beam at a Dark Matter, another one is able to approach, and hit Dedede from the back, making him fall on his belly and causing Sweetie to roll of his head. The Dark Matter disappears into the penguin, and he immediately gets back up, looking as if he is sleeping.

Like last time.

Sweetie tries to run away, scared to tears, only to see another Dark Matter charging at her...

And everything becomes black.


They are back on the roof of the fortress, now a giant red eye paint on it at the top, a few hours later, looking at their master, waiting. The Incarnation is coming, with the Traitor, and they have already purged the majority of this world of their influence, stopping the master from turning this world of Dream into a world of Dark.

They look down, and here they are, passing the front door with those animals, and that cursed wand gathering love.

For the master.

For darkness.

They will kill them.


Angel is waiting in the last room before the roof for Kirby and the others to bring her her feathers. Those dreadful beasts of darkness have plucked them out of her wing to make her miserable, but soon, she will get them back. Suddenly, something wraps around her from behind, and she is dragged at the hooves of one of her persecutor. She looks at her eyes in fear, the eyes looking back at her, full of hate.

She should have followed Kirby...


They have gone everywhere they could, fighting many creatures possessed by the Dark Matters, including some friends. They have helped all the unpossessed beings they have found, using the wand given by the Fountain of Dreams to collect their love. With its help, the Dark Matters have almost been chased from Popstar, only one place remaining. And after climbing that tower, fighting many enemies, collecting Angel's feathers, they finally reach the top floor, just before the roof.

Kirby and Gooey, respectively using the Needle ability and the Fire ability, followed by Rick, Coo, Kine, a pink octopus with a red bow named ChuChu, a big white cat with orange fur on his head, back, and tail, and with brown ears and some more brown on his back named Nago, and a small green bird with a white belly named Pitch, expect to see Angel to give her her feathers, only to stop in shock at what they are seeing.

Angel is here, but she is now heavily hurt, injured all over her body with some burns and frostbites, back against a cracked wall. The responsible of her state is just in front of them, blocking the way. A grey furred filly with a mane and a tail made of dark purple and dark pink hairs, looking at them with an expression promising suffering, and a whip floating at her right, ready to hit.

Kirby easily recognize her, his fear getting true.

Sweetie Belle.

So she has been possessed too... But not any longer! Kirby takes a determined step forward, ready to fight his friend to save her. Gooey comes at his right, puffing some fire. The animals are behind them, ChuChu jumping on Rick's head, and Coo and Pitch flying toward the ceiling.

Kirby then charges at Sweetie Belle, and the filly answers by shooting a fireball at him. He jumps his left, avoiding the fireball that almost hit Nago, only for the cat lowering his head at the last second. Rick takes Gooey, and throws him at her, the blob ready to headbutt her, only for Sweetie to put a shield around her, stopping him. The blob stopped, she makes the shield disappear while he is sliding down on it, and she hits him with a punch from above, crushing him between her hoof and the floor.

Kirby then comes from her right, and is able to hurt her with his needles, followed by Coo and Pitch approaching her, Coo attacking her with his claws while the smaller bird use his beak to poke her horn, understanding that it may be a weak point. Sweetie hits Pitch with her hoof as if he was a fly, causing him to be sent toward a wall, only for Nago to catch him with a jump that would make a goalkeeper proud. Gooey takes the opening to breath fire at Sweetie's face, making her step back and freeing him, before he slaps her a few time with his tongue until he is hit by a shockwave sent from one of her hoof, knocking him on his back.

Kirby hurts her again with his needle, only for him to be wrapped in her magic and being sent flying toward Coo, his needle hurting the owl. She is suddenly punched from her left by a pink tentacle from ChuChu, the octopus still being on Rick's head. The hamster has approached the filly from the left while she has been busy fighting the others, and they have taken the opportunity to attack. ChuChu unleashes a storm of punches at Sweetie followed by Rick charging at her, knocking her on her back. He is about to stomp on her belly, only to be hit by a beam that forces him to take a step back.

Getting back up, Sweetie unleashes on them her Vulcan Jab followed by a Smash Punch, a powerful forward punch releasing a shockwave that sends Rick and ChuChu hitting a wall. Nago suddenly falls right on her, crushing her under his weight, before taking her left hind hoof and using it to slam her on the floor one, two, three times. At the third time, he is stopped by a kick in the face from Sweetie's right hind hoof, stopping her in midair where she is sent into a wall by a flaming comet that is actually Gooey. Kine uses it to slap her with his tail a few time before jumping away, only for Sweetie materializing a shield under him, before sending it up, crushing the fish between it and the ceiling. She then send another shield to fend off an approaching Gooey.

Coo, Kirby in his claws, releases the puffball above Sweetie Belle, letting him fall head first on her, where he hits her back with his needles, poking her through her cape. Still upside down on her back, Kirby kicks the back of her head before jumping away, only to be bucked, and as he flies away because of the hit, the whip wraps itself around him, and he finds himself used as a wrecking ball on his friends, hitting Nago, Kine, Coo, before knocking ChuChu out of Rick's head. He is saved by Rick taking the whip and stopping it, freeing him. Kirby then releases the Needle ability and eats the whip, getting an ability he has never gotten until now: the Whip ability, gaining a whip similar to Sweetie's alongside a red stetson hat with blue stars all around it. He approaches Sweetie as she is busy...

Wait, is she about to put Pitch in her mouth?

"Poyooo!" shouts Kirby in panic, running to get closer before wrapping his whip around the bird, saving him just in time. Releasing Pitch, he then wraps the whip around Sweetie's neck, and uses it to make her flying around him for a few loops before throwing her in the path of Gooey charging again like a comet. Violently hit by the attack, she crashes head first into a wall, cracking it.

She doesn't move after that.

This is not the end, Kirby knows it. The Dark Matter is still in her, and if she wakes up, hurt or not, she will restart the fight. They must purge the Dark Matter out of her, but for that, they still need to fight Dedede -it's obvious it's him waiting for them on the roof-, and they must not forget Angel.

Speaking of Angel, they must heal her.

Kirby waves at Coo and shouts "Poyo!"

"Coo?"

Kirby points at Angel, then at the door from where they entered the room. "Poyo poyo!"

"Coo!" shouts back the owl, saluting before passing the door.

Not even a minute later, he comes back with two bottles of energy drink in his claws, and gives them to Kirby who nods at him in thanks. Kirby then approaches Angel and slowly move her, hoping to wake her, not wanting to force her to drink while she is unconscious. Angel's eyes open not long after, and she looks at Kirby, the puffball smiling and giving her a bottle.

Drinking the bottle, then the other, is enough to heal her. Once done, Kirby gives her the feathers, and soon, her wings are back like they were before.

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" she shouts, flying around in happiness.

Smiling, Kirby then takes the wand given to him by the Fountain of Dream, a cone with yellow and red parallels lines. Something suddenly gets out of Angel, shaping back and forth between a star and a heart. The Heart Star flies at the wand, making it flash.

Hopefully, it will be enough to fight Zero, but before, they must get the Dark Matters out of this area. Looking back one last time at Sweetie Belle, Kirby and the others bid Angel farewell before taking the exit door leading to the roof, ready to fight the possessed king, again.


Consciousness comes back to Sweetie Belle, her body hurting. Why is it hurting? She can't remem- No, wait, that's right. Zero and his Dark Matters have come conquering the world or whatever, then she has gottten possessed by one of them alongside Dedede and everybody else in the fortress. She... She could only look then, as the Dark Matter in her has been doing horrible things with her body, hurting innocent people, destroying things...

Oh Celestia, what she has done to that angel...

And then, she has fought Kirby, Gooey, Rick, Coo, Kine, and three other animals, and... SHE HAS ALMOST EATEN THE BIRD ALIVE! Oh Celestia... It makes her sick just thinking about it.

That's when she feels that she is in someone's arms, against their chest. She slowly opens her eyes, and sees that the person is actually the big cat that she has fought earlier, transporting her to the roof of the fortress. The cat sees her opening her eyes and smiles warmly at her.

And she understands that she is free.

Just then, they reach the roof, and she hears a familiar voice asking "Are you alright?"

Turning her head, she sees Dedede looking at her worried. She can see that he has been badly hurt too, probably fighting Kirby and the others, but he doesn't seem to mind that much. This shows how much stronger than her he is.

And he is free too.

And the sky is not covered in darkness anymore.

And minions are starting to get on the roof too, bringing healing items, mainly bottles of energy drink.

They are free too.

They are all free.

Tears appear in her eyes, both of relief, but also of pain. Seeing this, Dedede's expression becomes uncertain, before he sighs, and takes Sweetie Belle in his arms, pressing her against his chest and petting her head. In return, Sweetie hugs him, putting her hooves around his neck, and her head under his chin making sure to not poke him with her horn.

They remain like that for one minute, before someone says "Excuse me..." When they look, they see a Waddle Dee, Sweetie's friend, approaching with two bottles of energy drink. They can see that he is also a little hurt, but not as badly as them. "Here are bottles to heal."

Dedede drops Sweetie on the floor, before taking one of the bottles, the filly taking the others, healing them, but not completely. At least it doesn't hurt that much anymore.

"Thank you Waddle Dee," says Sweetie Belle. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah don't worry, I got punched a couple of time, nothing more. Still, that cat has one heck of a punch."

Speaking of the cat, he is still watching them, sitting and chuckling a little at Waddle Dee's comment. That's when Sweetie sees that Kirby, still with the Whip ability, Gooey, and the other animals are also there. When she sees him, Kirby immediately hugs her, happy to see her alright. He is followed by Gooey, Rick, Coo, and Kine, before being joined by the last three even if they don't know her, and not wanting to be left out, Waddle Dee also joins them, leaving her in the middle of a giant group hug, making her giggle.

When the hug ends, Kirby presents the three new animals to her. When he says Pitch's name, she just have to says something.

"Sorry for almost eating you."

Pitch waves his left wing, as if to say "That's ok."

"Nice meeting you three."

"I think we should stop right there with the presentations," then says Dedede, looking at the sky. "Kirby has a job to finish and he has rested enough."

Sweetie follows his eyes, and sees that there is still a giant dark cloud far in the sky. It's smaller than before, but she can see it growing back little by little.

"So Zero is still up there?" she asks, frowning, grinding her teeth.

"Yes," answers Dedede. "And he is not giving up. Kirby must somehow go up there and beat him to end this once and for all."

"But how will he go into that cloud?" asks Waddle Dee.

At this, Kirby takes the wand and shows it at them.

"What is this wand?" asks Sweetie.

Kirby points at her.

"Me? Wait, that's right. After I told you about trying to find a way to use love to beat Zero, you went to the Fountain of Dreams to see if it could help. Is it a gift of the fountain?"

"Poyo!" Kirby confirms with a nods. He then turns in the direction of the cloud with a determined expression and brandishes the wand toward the sky. From the wand, dozens of Heart Stars get out of it, float around, before fusing with the wand, now giving it a yellow heart at the top, on the biggest part of the cone.

Gooey goes beside Kirby, and the two of theme nod, ready to go.

"Wait!" shouts Sweetie Belle, approaching them. "Let me come with you! Like last time!"

"Are you sure Sweetie Belle?" says Dedede. "You aren't fully recovered from... that whole experience."

Sweetie sighs. "I know but..." She looks at Dedede in anger. "I wanna help Kirby, and fight Zero. This will make me feel better. Beside..." She smiles at him. "Don't you want someone to save the world in your name?"

Dedede looks at her with doubt, before putting his hand between his eyes, rubbing and sighing. "Alright... Go on... Just... Be careful."

"I will," she says, before turning back to Kirby and Gooey. "So, I can come?"

"Poyo," says Kirby, nodding, before jumping on Sweetie's back. This causes Sweetie's coat to turn pink, and the color of her mane and tail to turn... like princess Cadance's? And now she has wings too.

Sweetie facehoofs. Off course the wand made of love would turn her into a filly version of the Princess of Love. She doesn't have her Cutie Mark however. Bummer. The best part however is that the transformation has healed her entirely.

Kirby then brandishes the wand in the direction of the dark cloud, and Gooey wraps his tongue around him, before the wand makes them flying toward the cloud, and their enemy.


After a few minutes of flying, they finally reach the cloud, and enter it, the wand opening a small tunnel to let them pass. At the heart of the cloud, they are in a pocket of emptiness totally surrounded by darkness, with oval-shaped agglomerations of darkness flying all around them in a maelstrom. They are really in the eye of the cyclone, but where is Zero?

Darkness suddenly conglomerates before them, forming a Dark Matter bigger than the others that possessed them, about the same size as the first one they have fought above Dark Castle. The newly formed Dark Matter doesn't lose time and attacks them by shooting the now familiar dark lightning, that Sweetie blocks with her shield. Kirby and Gooey both counter attack at the same time, Kirby using the wand to throw heart-shaped projectiles that seems to heavily damage the Dark Matter.

"It works!" shouts Sweetie Belle in happiness. Thanks to this wand, this redoubtable enemy is now nothing more than a slightly more powerful minion of the same level than Dedede's lieutenants. But this doesn't mean the Dark Matter is weak, so they must keep their guard up.

As for Gooey, making sure to keep contact with Kirby and the wand, he shoots star-shaped projectiles, probably filled with the love of the wand, hurting the Dark Matter as much as the heart-shaped projectiles.

The Dark Matter charges at them, and Sweetie flies away to avoid being rammed, using more shields to protect themselves of more dark lightning. Eventually, the Dark Matter stops and throws his small orbs toward them. Remembering that those orbs are explosive, Sweetie create another shield and expand it like a balloon, forcing the orbs to explode before coming too close, but causing the shield to be damaged before she makes it disappear. Not minding the slight aching in her horn, she shoots back at the Dark Matter her own heart-shaped beams, before flying away from another charge.

The Dark Matter still charging at her, shooting dark beams that Sweetie dodges with more or less success, she decides to stop, turn around, and prepares a jab that she fills with her energy. The energy itself being filled with the love of the wand, the resulting punch sends the Dark Matter flying back, hurting him a lot, probably doubled by the fact that she has hit him in the eye. More projectiles from Kirby and Gooey eventually finish him, the Dark Matter exploding like the first one, expelling darkness all around him with a big screech of pain.

This fight has definitely been far more easier than the first Dark Matter. Either this one has been less powerful, or the wand is too powerful.

Suddenly, the cloud flashes, forcing Sweetie, kirby, and Gooey to close their eyes. When they open them after the flashes, they finally see him.

A giant white sphere, with a single big eye in the color of blood, and a big, black pupil.

He stares at them, they stare back, Sweetie grinding her teeth. Here he is, the responsible of so much suffering in all Popstar. Because of him, she has been forced to hurt innocents, and fight her friends, almost killing someone. The leader of the Dark Matters in person.

Zero.

The fight starts with them throwing what they have at Zero, the giant ball not even flinching at taking them as he starts to charge at them at great speed despite his size. Sweetie doesn't have time to get out of the way and takes the full force of the charge, sending her flying in the darkness before she comes back, Kirby and Gooey still on her back. Keeping her distance, they bombard Zero again without stopping. He ripostes by creating from his body a dozen of small Dark Matters that immediately fly toward them.

So he can create Dark Matters? Well... This sucks...

Sweetie flies away from the Dark Matters chasing her, Kirby and Gooey shooting at them to destroy them, then barely avoid Zero charging at her again, taking the occasion that she is so close to him to punch him, which doesn't seems to do much. She immediately goes away from him before he rams her again, and has to avoid more small Dark Matter flying around her, more and more numerous, to the point that she has to attack a few of them to diminue their number alongside Kirby and Gooey.

She sees Zero sending from holes in his body projectiles made of liquid red like his eye, and uses a shield to stop them, recognizing, to her disgust, what the projectiles are made of.

"B-b-blood?! He is shooting his blood at us?! What the buck?!"

Because of the blood on her shield, she doesn't see Zero approaching, and finds herself hit by another charge destroying the shield, causing Gooey to be thrown out of her back, where he takes his Dark Matter form and starts to attack the other Dark Matters around him with his own lightning, much less effective than love. Zero is still creating more of them from his body, the Dark Matters flying everywhere in chaos. Before she is able to recover from being rammed by Zero, Sweetie is rammed by one of the Dark Matters, sending her flying into another one, then another one, before being saved by Kirby destroying the next Dark Matter about to charge her.

Sweetie uses this to form a spheric shield filled with love around her body, before expanding it, hitting and destroying dozens of the Dark Matters, clearing the area, before charging right toward Zero's eye, punching it with her right hoof filled with love energy, making the eye bleed. Kirby takes this occasion to shoot the heart-shaped projectiles into it, hurting Zero more. The white ball decides to fly away in the darkness, and they can see him at the edge of the area, barely visible behind the agglomerations of darkness, where he shoots his blood at them. Sweetie is able to avoid them, flying around the projectiles while shooting love beams back at Zero, the leader of the Dark Matter being able to dodge some of them thanks to the distance.

Gooey comes back on her back, and immediately starts to use the love of the wand to destroy the Dark Matters that are coming back, helped by Kirby and Sweetie, until Zero comes back, charging at them from above. Sweetie flies away at max speed, the giant white ball missing her from an inch. Looking at Zero, Sweetie flies a few more meters before doing a U-turn, charging at him, surrounding herself with another love filled shield, hitting Zero from the side like a comet. She flies away, and starts another charge, but Zero does the same, and the two collide. Zero being far stronger and bigger, Sweetie is the one losing the clash, and she is sent away, only for Zero to continue his charge and ram her, getting the filly lying on his head with his speed.

Rather than letting herself being sent into the darkness again, Sweetie runs on Zero, shooting love beams all the while, and jumps from his back before turning around, shooting again her love beams alongside Kirby and Gooey. When Zero turns around to look at them, he shoots more of his blood alongside creating more Dark Matters, still not giving up despite all the attacks he has taken. Sweetie creates another shield around her, and charges again at Zero, passing through blood and Dark Matter, until hitting him right in his eye, where she follows with a charged love beam at it. Then, she does a love filled Vulcan Jab, heavily hurting the eye which bleed even more, cracks forming in the white around it. Zero tries to fly back to stop the filly from attacking his eye, but Sweetie doesn't let him go, too determined to kill this monster there and then.

He shoots his blood at her, but despite being hit, Sweetie doesn't give up her attacks, only focusing in the eye with more jabs and beams, without interrupting, more and more cracks appearing around the eye. The Black Matters around are however getting closer and more numerous, despite Kirby and Gooey attacking them to keep them away.

"Poyo!" shouts Kirby.

Sweetie looks back at all the Dark Matters, and goes a little away from Zero. She creates another shield around her, and like earlier, expands it, hitting both Zero and the Dark Matters, destroying all the black balls. The shield hitting Zero causes the cracks to grow even more, before the eye suddenly gets out of the white body in a big explosion of blood, leaving behind a big bloody hole. As the eyeball continues to float, stopping bleeding, the white body eventually disappears in the darkness. The eyeball then looks at them, much to Sweetie's surprise.

Sweetie gulps back some bile, before saying "He is still alive?"

The eyeball charges at them, not giving up the fight, and rams Sweetie in the belly, throwing her back. Clenching her teeth, she creates a new shield around her and charges back at the eyeball, hitting it with force, making it bleed. She flies away, and comes back, hitting it with another charge, then another, then another, not letting the eye any respite, because he must pay, for everything!

Who know how many worlds he has destroyed or plunged into darkness?

BAM!

Who know how many has died because of him?

BAM!

He only knows hate, anger and pain.

BAM!

And with his Dark Matters, he spreads them in the universe, causing untold suffering, like they have done to her, and forced her to do.

BAM!

Never again!

This! BAM! Must! BAM! End! BAM! NOW!

She gives one last charge, sharping her shield as much as she can at the front, like a spear.

And she pierces him.

The eyeball starts to spiral, totally losing control. Blood is spewing of it in quantity far greater than it should possess for its size. And finally...

It explodes.

But this is not the end. Even with Zero beaten, there is still the cloud of darkness around them. While Sweetie recuperates her breath, Kirby brandishes the wand, and focusing on it, spreads a giant wave of love all around them, destroying the whole cloud, ending the threat of the Dark Matters. They can see the wave spreading to the whole planet, reforming the destroyed rings, giving back the beauty of Popstar.

The world is saved.

But Sweetie doesn't think about that. She is too busy looking at her hooves.

Her hooves covered in blood.

Chapter 28: After the Dark Storm

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They return to the fortress of Iceberg, victorious. When they land, the wand, like the Rainbow Sword, disappears, not needed anymore, giving Sweetie her normal appearance, her white coat now however drenched by Zero's blood. Kirby and Gooey also have some blood on them, but not as much as the filly, who tries to shake it off in disgust. Knowing that this blood comes from something she has killed, for real this time, doesn't help. It makes her look like a murderer, when she has simply done what has been expected: ending the threat, and for this, Zero has had to be killed. She has accepted that she would have to kill a bad guy to save Popstar, and she has prepared herself for such an eventuality. However, she can't deny the fact that deep down, she has really wanted to kill Zero, for everything he has done, and what he has forced her through.

She has killed him by duty, but she has also killed him for her own reason. Vengeance, anger and hate.

Does that still make it right? Or does that make her no better than him?

She tries not to think about this as everyone is gathering around her, Kirby, and Gooey to congrat them in saving Popstar. She turns toward Dedede, and salutes at him, forcing a smile.

"Zero is dead, king Dedede. You should be happy to learn that I am the one who gave the finishing blow."

"Seeing the blood, I'm not surprised. I didn't even know they could bleed," says Dedede.

She laughs sheepishly. "One of Zero's attacks consisted in shooting his own blood at us, and his eye was literally made of blood so when it exploded... it was messy."

"This doesn't matter," replies Dedede, lifting Sweetie Belle of the floor so they can be face to face. "I'm proud of you. Even if it must have been hard, you have done it." He smiles widely at her. "I didn't wait any less from my trump card."

Sweetie giggles at his compliment. "Thank you." But soon, she stops giggling, and looks at herself, at her bloody coat, and remembers. Her attacking Zero's eye like a raged beast. The eye bleeding so much. The eye being expulsed of the body in even more blood. The red hole in the body. The eye exploding with yet again more blood. Blood. Blood. All that blood. Caused by her own hooves.

Dedede sees her starting shaking, and immediately puts her against his chest, before running toward the stairs to enter the fortress, shouting "I must go! She needs a bath! Nago, you come with me! She will need a plushy, and you are like an oversized one!"

"Meow!" replies the cat, following the king.

Kirby looks as they take the stairs to enter the tower, understanding what is going on. Even him is a little... perturbed by what has happened up there. It's also his first time seeing blood in such a great quantity. But it must be worth for Sweetie. She has not been as prepared as him for so much violence.

He looks at his friends, Gooey and the animals, and says "Poyo," before pointing at the stairs.

They all understand and nod, ChuChu wanting nothing more than to hug the filly. She has not seen the fight, but seeing the blood and hearing what Sweetie has said earlier, the poor dear will need all the comfort in the world.

They shouldn't have let her fight. She has already not been so good mentally after being possessed and forced to hurt innocents, Zero has only worsened it.

"You are going after Sweetie Belle?" they hear someone ask. When they look, they see that it's a Waddle Dee alongside a familiar Broom Hatter with sunglasses and a Knuckle Joe. "Let us come with you. We also want to help her."

Kirby smiles at them, and nod. And together, they enter the tower.


A few minutes later, they find Sweetie on a big bed, in Dedede's personal chamber in the fortress, without her cape, kerchief, and headband, her coat without blood anymore, and her eyes closed, but not from sleeping. Right now, she is curled against Nago's belly, the cat putting as much of his small tail as he can around her, which is not much. Dedede is beside the bed, petting the filly.

ChuChu rapidly jumps on the bed to hug Sweetie, her motherly instinct taking over, and she is soon followed by all the others trying to give her some comfort one way or another, Broom Sunglasses taking off his sunglasses and hat before getting on the bed, not saying anything for once. Before long, Sweetie finds herself in the middle of a pile, hugged from all sides. Dedede decides to just sit down beside the wall and watch.

Then Sweetie talks, not opening her eyes.

"Thank you, everyone..."

"You can count on us to be there for you!" says Knuckle Joe.

"Was it really that horrible?" asks Waddle Dee.

Gooey and Kirby nod.

"You can't get out of a bloody fight without being disturbed if you aren't used to it," says Broom Sunglasses.

They can hear Sweetie sighs. "The blood is not the only reason why I'm like that..."

"It's because of the fact that you are the one that killed Zero?" asks Dedede. "Despite you telling me that you had accepted this, it must still be hard, knowing that you have killed."

"There is that..." answers Sweetie. "It's... I feel like a murderer..." At this, she can feel the hugs getting stronger.

Dedede shakes his head. "You aren't a murderer. Are soldiers considered as murderers? They do their duty, like you have done yours."

"He is right, Sweetie," says Waddle Dee. "You saved Popstar."

"Was there anyway to spare Zero?" asks Broom Sunglasses.

"No... If he could have been given the capacity to dream, like Gooey, then maybe. But there was no ways to do this right now."

"Then that's okay. Killing Zero was the only way to save everyone. If it wasn't you who finished him, then it would have been Kirby, or Gooey."

"It's just... I... I have not just killed Zero because I had to..."

Kirby looks at Sweetie, understanding what she means, seeing how she has been violent against Zero in the fight.

Surprisingly, Dedede is the one nailing it. "You let your feelings get the best of you? You killed Zero in anger?"

Sweetie nods slowly, tears appearing in her eyes. "I hated him... I... I wanted to kill him... I wanted to make him pay... Because of him... I... I..."

"I wanted to kill him too," suddenly says Dedede, stopping her, the filly looking at him in surprise. "You aren't the only one that wanted to tear him apart. Remember, I got the same treatment than you because of him, twice. If I could have gone up there and fight him, then I would have done everything to make him suffer. And I'm speaking about me, but I'm sure the majority of my army wanted the same thing, right you three?" he asks to Waddle Dee, Broom Sunglasses, and Knuckle Joe.

They nod.

"See, Sweetie? Don't feel bad about letting your feelings talk for you. In this situation, it was only natural. We will not look down on you because of this. We would have done the same in your place."

"Because we aren't robots," she suddenly hears coming from the entrance. When she looks, she sees that it's Cape Knight who has joined them. "Only someone with a great mental training would have been able to fight Zero without losing control of their feelings after what happened. And you have only started fighting for a few months. You weren't prepared. At least..." He looks at Sweetie Belle in the eyes. "you can now use this fight to learn and get better. Telling yourself 'never again'."

"Never again..." Sweetie Belle repeats, closing her eyes. "Yes... Never again." She then feels someone pet her head. Opening her eyes again, she sees that it's Kirby, smiling at her.

"Poyo."

"Like Kirby says, you can count on us to help you," says Broom Sunglasses.

"That's right," continues Cape Knight, now sitting beside Dedede. "You will probably encounter other villains, and some of them may be even more horrible than Zero. Their action will probably anger you again, and you will want to make them pay. Again, this is natural, and that's ok if this happens. However, remember that you have friends at your side that can help you keep your emotions in check, and not do something you may personally regret, like what happened just now."

"Yes..." says Sweetie. "I'm so happy... to have you all. Thank you."

Dedede smiles warmly at her. "Also, even if you have killed Zero by vengeance, you still killed him to save the world, right?"

"Yes."

"Then it's okay! You still have done the job of a hero! You just put some personal feelings in the matter, that's all. I'm sure Kirby also wanted a piece of Zero for forcing him to fight some of his friends."

"Poyo!"

"See? Even Kirby! So stop feeling guilty about that. It makes everyone sad when you are sad."

Broom Sunglasses then talk. "You could say..." He takes his sunglasses and puts them on. "our moral is at zero."

...

ChuChu hits him at the back of the head.

"That was bad and you should feel bad!" adds Knuckle Joe.

But then, they hear Sweetie Belle starting laughing.

Seeing this, Broom Sunglasses says "No. I actually feel good."


They all pass the night in the chamber, sleeping together in the bed, excepted Dedede and Cape Knight who have slept against the wall. The next day, Dedede says to everyone that it's time for him to return in the castle with the army. At this, with signs and poyos, Kirby propose that they all take a picnic together tomorrow, to relax and let those events in the past, and everyone accept, Dedede with reluctance, but seeing Sweetie happy at the idea, he couldn't say no. Beside, he can put his grudge against Kirby aside to pass some good time. He needs that after the drama from the previous day.

They will just have to bring a LOT of food.

At that, the animals return to their homes, and soon, everyone else return in the mainland, Kirby taking a Warp Star to fly around Dreamland, probably to bring more friends to the picnic. As for Gooey, he has just decided to wait the next day in the castle with Sweetie Belle.

While waiting for the picnic, Sweetie has decided to test some... new skills that she has picked up from the Dark Matter possessing her. And so, accompanied by Dedede, Waddle Dee, Broom Sunglasses, Cape Knight, Knuckle Joe, and Gooey, she goes on the boxing ring.

"I'm surprised you want to return training so soon," says the king.

"I wouldn't call it training," replies Sweetie. "It's more like 'testing'. You see, the Dark Matter possessing me used my shields in a way that I didn't think before. And it gave me an idea to use them to... 'fly', so I don't have to always go on Kirby's back to pass path that can't be passed on hooves, or feet. I think it would be a good alternative until I can self-levitate."

"You can already levitate stuff, why can't you self-levitate?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Probably too heavy. Maybe she should stop the cakes," says Broom Sunglasses.

The hatter suddenly finds himself levitated, before being thrown above one of the stands, and they can hear him hit a pile of stuffs, and for some reason, they hear a cat. Everyone raises a sign with a number at this:
Dedede: 9
Waddle Dee: 10
Cape Knight: 7
Knuckle Joe: 100!!! ("WOOOO!!!" he screams)
Gooey : 10 (he lifts the sign upside down, making it look like 01)

This makes Sweetie giggle, before she says "I'm definitely not too heavy. Thanks to my training, I could now levitate another filly or colt my size. It's just that it's harder to focus in levitating our own body."

"But you will be able to do it! I know it!" shouts Knuckle Joe.

"Of course I will do it! I will train hard for this! But until then, I may have found another solution with my shields."

"Now I'm curious to see how you can use shields to fly," says Dedede.

"Well, see?" She materialises a flat shield on the floor, and makes it go up. "The Dark Matter used this to..." She rubs her head sheepishly. "to crush Kine against the ceiling. And with this, I understood two things. I can use my shields to attack, and I can use my shields as platforms for someone or something to go on."

"I think I see where you are going with this," says Cape Knight.

Sweetie makes the flat shield disappear, before she materialises another one a few inches above the floor, a little bigger than her, and she jumps on it. With her on it, she then makes the shield slowly go up, successfully lifting her. "It works!"

Everyone applauds her, including Broom Sunglasses who has come back with some scratches on his head.

"That's impressive, Sweetie Belle! I'm so jealous!" shouts Waddle Dee!

"I can lift you too, you know?"

At this, she materialises another shield in front of Waddle Dee. He screams in joy before jumping on it, the shield lifting him up. However, they can see that the filly is starting sweating.

"Seems like lifting two persons at the same time is a little too much for you," says Cape Knight. "You should go back on the floor before the shield disappears under your hooves."

"Yeah... Urg... Twilight could probably lift all of us at the same time..."


The rest of the day, wanting to remain beside her in case, Dedede decides to play some chess with Sweetie until dinner, where he orders his chef to cook for the filly their best Maxi Tomato Pie. Because of this, it's a very stuffed Sweetie Belle that goes to sleep that night, letting Gooey sleep with her.

The next day, she, with Dedede, Waddle Dee, Broom Sunglasses, Cape Knight, Knuckle Joe, and Gooey, joins the emplacement that has been decided for the picnic, at lunchtime. The place is none other than her picnic spot, with the tree and the lake, the blanket just beside the water, and she can see that they are the last to come, and is surprised by some of the friends that Kirby has invited.

She easily recognizes Whispy Woods and Adeleine, but she also sees a bipedal pudgy raccoon, a bipedal yellow fox, and in the lake beside them an orca. She also sees beside Rick a female hamster that look like him, but with pink fur where he possesses brown fur, and she wears a red bow on her head. Beside Nago is a cat like him, but all white. With ChuChu is a similar yellow octopus with a white sailor hat with a pink band around it. Pitch is under the wing of a bird that looks like him, but is bigger, and pink instead of green. And in the lake, she can see a pink fish beside Kine. After the greetings, it's Adeleine who presents the new ones.

"The pink hamster is Pick, and the white cat is Shiro, they are Rick and Nago's girlfriend. And Mine, the pink fish, is Kine's wife." She points at the yellow octopus. "This is Nyupun, ChuChu's best friend. And the bird is Pitch's mom, Twitch. The orca is Acro, the raccoon is Pon, and the fox is Con."

"Hello, nice to meet you all," says the filly. She suddenly finds herself in a bear hug by the white cat, while she is surrounded by all the other females, excluding Adeleine and ChuChu, awwing at her. ChuChu goes beside Nyupun and bumps her while giggling.

Told you she was adorable, she says in her animal talk.

You were right! I just want to pinch those little cheeks! replies Nyupun.

Sweetie is able to get out of Shiro's hug, only to be tickled in the belly by Pick, her laugh making all the females awwing again.

To think that she helped save the world! exclaims Twitch.

I know right? It's hard to believe that such an adorable little thing has done so much! says Mine.

Pick then takes her bow. I will put it on her mane! She will be even more adorable!

Ooh! Before, I wanna put my hat on her! says Nyupun.

Shiro takes a brush. Girl time with the cutie!

"Help! Someone!" shouts Sweetie.

Dedede guffaws. "Sorry Sweetie Belle! You are alone this time! The women must sate their thirst of cuteness!"

"Why aren't they after Kirby?! He is as adorable as me!"

"They have already done it!" says Adeleine, showing Kirby who has his back turned, sweating. "Actually... Let me join you girls! I wanna brush her mane!"

"NOOOOOOO!!!"

Waddle Dee can only watch the scene sweating. "Being adorable can be a benediction... but it also can be a curse..." he says.

"No... truer... words..." says Broom Sunglasses, back on the floor, all red, with steam getting out of him, with Knuckle Joe waving a fan at him.


Sweetie Belle is now sitting close beside Dedede, a sailor hat on her head, a red bow attached to her tail, and eyes going from girl to girl, ready to bolt if one starts to approach her with THAT look. At least, Adeleine looks at her with an expression that says "Sorry, I couldn't resist."

"Eventually, the Dark Matter in me got angry, and I found myself chasing Kirby trying to eat him," she then hears Whispy Woods say.

"Wow, you too?" says Dedede.

Kirby, Gooey, and the animals get goosebumps at what they are saying.

"Wait, you two tried to eat Kirby?" asks Sweetie. "I tried to eat Pitch!"

"Tweeeeet?!" shouts Twitch in horror.

"Well... This is one way like any other to get rid of an enemy..." says Waddle Dee. "Kirby does it all the time."

"Excepted that when he eats someone, they just reappear elsewhere not far. I don't think the same thing would have happened here..." says Broom Sunglasses.

"Eheh... It would have been ironic for Kirby to be eaten," says Cape Knight.

Dedede laughs. "The eater eaten! This is hilarious!"

"Poyo!" exclaims the puffball outraged. This makes some of the others shuckles.

"There is something that I don't understand," says Knuckle Joe. "Gooey told Sweetie about Zero's existence, but..." He turns to Gooey. "Why didn't you tell us earlier that he was coming?"

"Goo..." says Gooey, doing a shrug with his tongue.

"You didn't know?" asks Sweetie Belle.

He nods.

"How could you not know?" asks Dedede.

"Goo... Scout."

"I think I see," says Cape Knight. "You were going from world to world, trying to find targets?"

"Goo!" He nods.

"But what about the Dark Matter that possessed me the first time?" asks Dedede. "Surely he was a sign."

"Dark Matter... powerful... alone..."

"A Dark Matter powerful enough can attack a world by themself?" says Waddle Dee.

Gooey nods.

"it's true that this Dark Matter was more powerful than the ones we fought in that dark cloud," says Sweetie Belle. "So you thought that he was just a lonely attacker, rather than a soldier sent to weaken Popstar for an invasion?"

He nods.

They all sigh at this. Nothing could have been done...

"I... have one last question, Gooey," then says Sweetie. "When we were possessed, the Dark Matters were calling Kirby 'the Incarnation'..."

"Poyo?"

"Oh right..." says Dedede. "They named him that when they were talking about you and how you were pushing them back."

"Yes, I remember," says Whispy Wood. "The Dark Matter in me was warned that 'the Incarnation was coming'."

"Same," says Adeleine.

Acro, Pon, and Con confirm it too with a nod.

Gooey only answer with a shrug of his tongue. "Zero old... Knew things... Gooey not told."

"He probably recognized Kirby as something and told the Dark Matters that were with him," says Dedede.

"So Kirby is the incarnation of something?" asks Sweetie Belle. "Now I wonder what."

"Probably gluttony," says Broom Sunglasses.

This makes Pitch roll in laughter and Dedede guffaw, soon followed by giggles from all the others, even Kirby.

And so, the picnic continues, with more laugh, some games, and a really good ambience overall. They learn that Acro will go live in another world somehow, Sweetie recounts some of her crusadings, they swim a little in the lake, Adeleine makes some drawing of everyone...

Sweetie really regrets that her friends and family from Equestria aren't there.

But one day... One day, she will be with them again, and she will have another picnic, this time really with everyone.
And it will be the best day ever.

But right now, she is glad to be with so many good friends. Already, it's almost like the events with the Dark Matters have never happened.

Almost...

Chapter 29: A Gift for the King

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Sweetie Belle finishes to put Adeleine's drawings in a drawer in her recently acquired desk. Recently, as in a few days before the incident with Marx. Dedede hates paperwork as much as any normal person, so he hasn't thought that she would need a desk, but she has argued that she may need one to stow stuff, or if she needs to write something, so he has reluctantly accepted to give her one. Right now, the desk is rather empty, with just a few books, a pen (why hasn't there something like that in Equestria?) and a pile of blank paper in one of the drawers. And now she can add Adeleine's drawings, which will make good souvenirs of this day with her friends.

She has also gotten to keep the sailor hat and the red bow, Pick and Nyupun refusing to take them back. So she has put them in her closet, not sure if she will use them one day. Well, she may actually use the sailor hat, thinking about trying to obtain a Cutie Mark in being a sailor. She would need to borrow one of Dedede's ships, and a few minions to be the crew.

Why not do it tomorrow?


"You are lucky that Cape Knight knows how to command a ship, or else, it would have ended very badly," says Dedede.

"I'm sorry..."

"You know, before trying something else to obtain your Cutie Mark, you should first learn how to do it. It doesn't matter to try to be a sailor, if you don't even know what is larboard or starboard."

Sweetie chuckles embarrassingly at that. Yeah, it's pretty stupid now that she thinks about this. Wait...

"You don't know either what it means!"

"And that's why I let someone that know how to command a ship do the job at my place. I'm not a sailor, I'm a king. I say to the captain where I want to go, and he makes sure that the ship leads me where I want by ordering the crew, because I don't know anything about being a sailor. If I want to lead a ship, then I will have to learn first."

She giggles. "You? Learning? Impossible!"

"Exactly!" says Dedede, guffawing.

"So... Am I grounded?"

"Grounded? Why would I ground you?"

"Well... I almost destroyed one of your ships."

"I never grounded you until now, not even when you flooded half of the castle, I will not ground you now, especially with you being now my second in command. This castle has seen worst. As long as you don't destroy the whole castle, you can try anything you want. Just don't forget to ask for someone to help you in the future."

"Ok. Thank you, your majesty."


It's not in Equestria that this kind of thing could have happened. If she does something wrong, then she is grounded, end of the story. But there, no matter what she does, Dedede lets it pass. Well, sometime he gets angry, but even then, no 'No dessert at dinner!' or 'go to your room and don't get out!'. At worst, he lectures her, and that's all.

That's nice, but somehow, it makes her feel even more guilty. Dedede has been so nice to her, so when she screws something and make him upset, only for him to let her go, it almost makes her want to cry.

And so, she decides that she must do something for him.

But the problem is... What can she do for him?


"So, do you have any idea?" she asks to Waddle Dee and Cape Knight.

"Sorry Sweetie, but I have no idea," answers Waddle Dee. "He is a king, he can already have everything he wants."

"Not really everything," says Cape Knight. "Remember, if he goes too far, he will just have his butt kicked by Kirby again."

"Oh right... Well, the best thing we could do for him would be to beat Kirby, but..."

"I can't even expect yet to beat Dedede in a duel, so Kirby? No chance," says Sweetie Belle.

"Sorry Sweetie Belle," then says Cape Knight. "If you want to thank the king, you will have to find by yourself what you think will please him based on what you know of him. It will be the best way to show your gratitude."

"Mmh... I know! He loves to eat ! i will make him the best cake ever!"

"Aren't you still banished from the kitchen?" asks Cape Knight.

"Then I will ask the cooks!"


"NO!" screams the Cook Waddle Dee in front of the door.

"But please! I just want to cook something for king Dedede!"

"You would kill him!"

"I'm... I'm not that bad, right?"

The Waddle Dee just glares at her without saying anything.

"Then... Maybe you can help me learn?" she says, insure.

"What?" asks the Waddle Dee, slightly surprised.

"Dedede told me that when I try something new, I should learn with the help of others. And, well..." She rubs her left foreleg with her right hoove. "He is right. I tried cooking by myself, and... this didn't work well, as you know. But with your help, maybe I can do at least something that can be eaten."

The Waddle Dee stares at her for a moment, before his expression brightens.

"Then come!" he says, waving his arm to sign her to enter.

"Yay!" she shouts in happiness, bouncing once, before entering the kitchen.


"So, what do you want to bake for the king?" asks the cook Waddle Dee.

"I don't know..." answers Sweetie Belle. "He loves cakes, and he loves fruits too. So... a cake with some fruits?" She then gasps. "I think that I know what I will do!" And she says what she is thinking to the cook.

"That's a beautiful idea!" says the cook, clapping his tubby arms. "Alright, so we will need the basics, like eggs, milk, sugar, or flour, but we will also need strawberries, blueberries, and apples."

"Okay. Can I still try to do the cake by myself as much as possible? You will help me by telling me when I'm doing something wrong."

The cook sighs. "Very well," he says before calling a few other cooks. "We will keep a close eye on you, and make sure that you don't put the kitchen on fire."


Sweetie Belle looks at her creation with some doubts. Even with the help of the cooks telling her when she was starting to do something wrong, she has still made a few small mistakes here and there. A little too much sugar, or getting the cake a little overcooked for exemple. The cake is also not fully uniform, being slightly smaller at one side than at the other. Finally, she has tried to form Dedede's face with the fruits, blueberries for the blue head, strawberries for the red hat, apples peeled and cut in cubes to form the beak and the golden rim of the hat, and white chocolate for the pompom on the hat and for the eyes, alongside a single blackberry for each pupils. At least, she has done this right, but it's not perfect. One eye is a little bigger than the other, and the beak and the hat aren't symmetrical.

At least, it seems edible. But...

"Maybe I should do something else..."

"I don't know," says Cape Knight behind her. "You have done the best that you could to bake that cake, I'm sure he would like it."

"I still want to try to do something else that I could do better. Like... Like... I know! Dedede has a big ego, so I could do something about it!"

"And what will you do?" asks Cape Knight.

"I will create a small statuette of him!"

"Do you even know how to do?"

"No... But I can still try!"


Sweetie asks around the castle for someone to help her. After a few minutes, she is directed to a group of Waddle Dees, and when she meets them, she finds out that it's a group specialised in creating objects using clay.

"So you will help me?" she asks them after telling them what she wants to do.

"Of course!" answers one of them. "We will help you learn how to use clay to create that statuette! However, we must warn you, it's messy, and it takes time."

"I don't mind getting messy, I will just take a bath after, and I'm ready to take the whole day if I have to."

"Good! Then take some clay, and we will start."


Sweetie looks at her new creation now beside the cake. She has followed the instructions to the letters, but she has learned that molding clay is definitely not as easy as she has thought. She has wanted to do a statuette of Dedede making a peace sign, his symbole, and at least she has been able to give it the shape she has wanted. However, his beak looks like the fusion of his beak and the one of a duck, and the right foot is a little bigger and rounder than the left. The pompom is a little too big too. And of course, she has missed the arm and the hand doing the peace sign. The right arm looks more like a small noodle with the head of a rabbit at the end. At least, she has been able to paint it more or less correctly, even if she has spilled the paint a little everywhere, so the white rims have a little red or blue here and there, for exemple.

At least it looks like Dedede. But...

"No..."

"Maybe you should try to do something that you know how to do, rather than doing something that you don't know anything about," says Cape Knight.

"Yeah... Maybe... The problem is, I'm not sure about what I am good at. I don't know what is my special talent yet, and everything I have tried until now has ended in failure." She sighs, then looks at the painted statuette. "Maybe... drawing? Yes... I like drawing, and it's not something that I should mess too badly. But it may be a little too childish..."

"You are a child," says Cape Knight. "If it's from you, it will not be too childish."

Sweetie giggles. "You are right. I will draw, then."


Using some colored pencils and a blank paper from her drawer in her desk, she starts drawing, cake and statuette at her left and right, not knowing what to do with them. She already has an idea of what she wants to draw, and so, it doesn't take her long to end her drawing.

"You wanted to see me?" she suddenly hears behind her. Recognizing the voice, she turns around to see king Dedede at the entrance of her chamber.

"Dedede?! What are you doing here?" she asks in surprise.

The king raises an eyebrow at her question. "Waddle Dee told me that you needed me."

"What? But I never asked him to go find you."

A vein appears on Dedede's forehead. "Really? Then why did he..." He suddenly stops his rent when he sees what is on the deck. Again, he raises an eyebrow and asks "Is that statuette representing me? And is that my head on that cake?"

At this, Sweetie's cheeks become red. "W-well..." She sighs. "They are gift that I created for you but... erh... Like you see, they aren't as good as I wanted them to be..."

"Gifts?"

"Yes..." she answers him, before taking her drawing in her magic, and giving it to him.

Dedede looks at the drawing. It's a drawing of him doing the peace sign with his right hand, a fierce look on his face, rather well done, but not perfect. His left arm is against his chest, Sweetie Belle sitting on it holding a scepter with Dedede's symbole at the top while giving the same fierce look than the king. Her cape is also wrapped around her, making sure to show the symbol on it.

Above the two of them, in big, red, yellow rimmed letters, is written "THANK YOU! BEST KING!"

Sweetie Belle then talks again. "I wanted to thank you for being so kind to me. I tried to do a cake with the help of the cooks, but I messed it a little. I then tried to do a statuette of you but..." Laughing sheepishly, she shows the statuette with a wave of her hoof. "I messed it too a little. And so, I decided to just do something that i know I'm rather good at: drawing." She then looks at him with hopeful eyes. "I... I hope that you like it. I understand if you find it a little too childish, but Cape Knight told me that from me, it would be alright."

Dedede smiles warmly at her. "Of course it is alright. It's even really good! Look at that! It's a great pose!" He then takes Sweetie Belle and sits her on his left arm against his chest, before doing the peace sign with his right hand, like in the drawing. "Yeah! I look awesome like this! WE look awesome like this! Just... wrap your cape like in the drawing, to see..."

"Like that?" she asks, wrapping her like around her, making sure that the symbol is showing.

"Yes! Like that! Now all we miss is the scepter, but as we are right now, we already look like the perfect duo! The best king and his wonderful second!"

She laughs. "Yay! We are... the Dededestroyers!"

"That's it!" he shouts, pointing at her, before guffawing. He then looks at the cake, takes it, and eats it whole, to Sweetie's surprise. After swallowing it, he says "Not bad. You may actually become a good cook in the future."

"Really?!"

"If I say it! As for the statuette..." He takes it and looks around it. "Even if it's not perfect, I will still keep it. It's a statuette of me after all. Perfect or not, it would be a waste to throw it. It will make my chamber a little more livelier. The drawing too." He suddenly feels Sweetie's hooves around his neck. Recognizing the now familiar hug, he puts the statuette back on the desk, before petting the filly.

Cape Knight and Waddle Dee watch the scene from the entrance, happy.

Chapter 30: It's Raining Crystals

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Dinner time, the same day.

Sweetie Belle looks at her food, thoughtful. She hasn't eaten anything yet, and Dedede finally remarks this.

"Is there a problem?" he asks.

Sweetie looks at him, before she sighs, and finally asks "Do... Do you know of any way to go into another dimension?"

Dedede raises an eyebrow. "Why the sudden interest?"

"Well... it's because..." She sighs again. "I think that I'm not just coming from another world, but from another dimension."

"Another dimension? Really?"

"I have been having doubts after exploring all those worlds in our quest to stop the sun and moon from fighting each other. And then, thanks to Gooey, the day before we went to hide in Iceberg, I learned that the stars symbolise the dreams. and they are everywhere! Heck, Popstar is a giant star-shaped planet! It's a literal world of dreams, and all those other worlds had the same logics as Popstar. But my world... There are none of that. In my world, stuffs like breathing underwater exist only in dreams or using magic. No black doors that transport you to a different place. No food popping in random in the wild. No stars representing dreams. Nothing... My world is so different from all the ones that I visited that I'm thinking that I'm not from this universe. This universe is a universe where dreams are real. Not in my world..."

"I see your point..." says Dedede while crossing his arms, before sighing. "Sorry to say, but there is only one thing that I know which can transport you in another dimension."

"Really?!"

"Let me finish. We call that thing the Dimensional Mirror, and it can be found somewhere in the sky of Dreamland. However... It only transport to a mirror version of Popstar."

"Oh... Does this means... that I will never go home?"

"Don't say that. I only know of the mirror, this doesn't mean that there are no other ways out there in the universe. Like you say, in our universe, dreams are real, and this means that somewhere out there, dimensional travels are real. It will just be really hard to find..."

"Nova probably could have helped me. Too bad I had to destroy him to save the world."

Dedede doesn't say anything to that, only watching Sweetie as she finally starts eating slowly. After some thinking, he then says "Nova was only one way. There will be others, and sooner or later, you will return to your home. Until then..." He makes the peace sign. "enjoy basking in my sublime presence!"

She laughs.


The next week, Sweetie Belle runs toward Adeleine, the girl busy painting two rainbows crossing each other from the top of a hill. She has been searching her for a few days now, but it's like searching a needle in a haystack.

"Adeleine!" she shouts to get her attention.

Adeleine hears her and stops her painting before looking in her direction. Seeing her approaching, she smiles before saying "Sweetie Belle! It's nice to see you! You want something?"

Sweetie stops beside the girl and says "Yes. With your painting, can you create a portal to another dimension?"

"Eeeeh?!" Adeleine screams. "A dimensional portal? I-I can't! It's too much for me! Well, I probably could try, but the portal would probably transport you in a random place! The chances for you to end up somewhere dangerous are too high!"

At this, Sweetie stops smiling before sitting and sighing in sadness. "I see... Thank you Adeleine..."

"Hey..." says Adeleine, petting Sweetie to comfort her. "I'm sorry. Why do you want me to create a portal?"

"To go back home..."

"Oh..." Adeleine hugs the filly, before saying. "I understand. I'm sorry that I can't help you."

"It's alright Adeleine. I will just continue to search."

"Well then..." Adeleine stops the hug, before looking at her paint. "Do you want to paint something alongside me?"

This makes Sweetie smile. "Yes!"

Her painting, of Rarity, is not as good as Adeleine's paintings, but she still puts it on one of her wall in her chamber. She should do more painting, it's really relaxing.


Two days later.

"So you can't open portals with your powers?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"Sorry Sweetie Belle. This is too much even for me," replies Marx.

Sweetie Belle and Marx are sitting on a log beside a path. Sweetie has found him sitting on it and took the occasion to ask him if he can open portals with his powers, only to be answered by a no.

She sighs, before saying to him "Ok... Thank you Marx. So... do you want to go pranking with me? I have seen Kirby sleeping in the way."

"Oooooh! Ohohohoh! This is perfect!"

They quickly find Kirby sleeping under a tree not far of a river, and Marx is already trying to hold his laughter.

"So, any idea Master Prankster?" asks Sweetie.

At this, Marx gets out of... nowhere a jar full of red peppers. "He likes eating everything. Then let's see how he endures peppers."

It's now Sweetie's turn to hold her laughter. "Wow! There are so much he could breath fire!"

"I know, right?!"

The two pranksters then slowly approach the sleeping puffball. Once they are just in front of him, they wait until Kirby yawns before Marx drops the whole jar in his mouth because it closes. Immediately, Kirby wakes up, turns red, and puts his arms before his mouth, his cheeks bloating and sweat appearing everywhere on his head. But then, before Marx and Sweetie can start to laugh, Kirby spits fire right at them, before he starts running toward the river, spitting even more fire all the way.

He is quickly followed by the two pranksters now on fire, screaming, before they all jump in the river almost at the same time, Kirby rapidly drinking as much water as he can, creating a whirlpool in front of him. Sweetie and Marx find themselves caught in it, and before long, despite trying to swim away, they find themselves stuck inside Kirby who is full of water, the puffball not swallowing them. Two seconds later, he spits them back, at the bottom of the river, Sweetie finding herself on Marx, the two of them with swirly eyes.

"Well... This didn't go as planned..." says Marx.

"You don't say..." replies Sweetie.

Just as they recover their senses, they then hear Kirby starting laughing. They look at him, rolling on the floor, before they look at each other, before they start laughing too.


The next day, not having any more idea of what or who could create a portal, Sweetie comes back at her initial idea: becoming powerful enough in magic to one day be able to create a portal to go back home, doubling her magical training. For the following month, she passes hours lifting bigger and bigger weights with her magic, or shooting various projectiles at dummies.

To help her train, Dedede would often join her to fight each other, this time in real fights until one of them can't move anymore (Of course, it's always Sweetie Belle), improving their skills. Dedede reveals that he is starting working in the creation of a new hammer that 'will definitely clobber that Kirby!' But it may take a few more months before it is achieved. Now Sweetie is curious to see this hammer.

She is also starting to work on a new offensive spell based on the thing she loves: singing. She remembers the way the Walkys, those walking microphones, attacks by sending musical notes to their enemies, and she would like to reproduce something similar. The problem is that contrary to fire, ice, or lightning, she hasn't experienced what it's like to shoot music notes from her horn, so it is far harder and longer to learn. She will have to ask Kirby to eat one of those Walkys before jumping on her back, to see if it will help.

Right now, she is in front of Dedede with all the soldiers and servants in the castle in the main hall, the king having something to say. He seems angry.

"Alright everyone!" he starts. "I just learned that this group of thieves, the Squeak Squad, has yet again stollen some treasures in one of my fortresses!"

"Them again?!" shouts Sweetie.

"Yes! This is a fortress a little further that I had kinda forgotten. So, what I'm gonna do is that I will go to that fortress to reinforce it, so I will not be present for a few days."

"Can I come?" asks the filly.

"No need," answers the king. "There is not much you will be able to do there. Instead, as my second, you will take my place in the castle until my return."

Sweetie gulps. "You are sure?"

"Hey! Don't worry Sweetie!" she suddenly hears. Looking in the direction of the voice, she sees that it's Waddle Dee. "Remember, you can count on me and Cape Knight to help you! Well... mostly Cape Knight..."

"Right..." replies Sweetie Belle, still insure.

"I'm sure you will have no problems," says Dedede. "Remember, it's only for a few days."


Surprisingly, Dedede has been right. With the minions already knowing their work, she doesn't have much to do, meaning that she can continue training without problems. That is, until the night after Dedede's departure, where her sleep is interrupted by a Waddle Dee shouting her name.

"What...?" she asks sleepy.

"There is something going on in the sky. Come look outside the castle."

Rubbing her eyes to get rid of the sleep, she says "Okay, i'm following you," before they go on the roof of the castle, where Sweetie looks at the sky alongside the guards on the walls. She sees two things. One: the sun is almost rising, the sky getting clearer at the horizon. Two: there are... not meteors or shooting stars, but things falling of the sky here and there. It's hard to see what they are, but it's clearly not natural. Something is happening, and it may be bad. She sees one of the things falling not too far of the castle, and says "I'm going to see what they are. Can one of you go waking up Waddle Dee and Cape Knight?"

Two Waddle Dees salute. "Yes madam!"


"Okay you two," speaks Sweetie to Waddle Dee and Cape Knight. "A few minutes ago, unknown things have fallen from the sky, and it may be bad. I saw one of them falling not far, and I'm going to see what it is. Waddle Dee, you are coming with me."

"What? Why me? If it's bad, then Cape Knight may be more useful!"

"Because he will take my place until I come back. He is better than you at leading the guards and the servants, so he will know what to do if something happens while I'm away dealing with whatever it is."

"I can't say anything against that..." says Waddle Dee, dropping his arms in resignation. "But wait... Why do I even need to come?"

At this, Sweetie smiles. "You may know what to do once we find whatever has fallen from the sky. And also, because we haven't spent much time together since almost two months."

Despite not having a mouth, she can swear she sees him smile. "Ok then."

Cape Knight then speaks. "Go on you two, leave the castle to me."

They nod, before leaving.


It doesn't take them long to find whatever has fallen from the sky, in the middle of a small field surrounded by wooded barriers. They find out that it's some sort of small glowing crystal.

"That's it? A crystal?" says Waddle Dee.

"It's beautiful. But we must be careful, crystals can have nasty things in them."

Courageously, but carefully, Waddle Dee pokes the crystal, only for nothing happening. Seeing this, he takes the crystal, looking closely at it. "There doesn't seem to be anything." He doesn't see however the shadow appearing behind him.
However, Sweetie sees it, seeing a familiar black ball with a single eye popping out of it. Shouting "Watch out!" she immediately grabs Waddle Dee before pulling him at her side.

Waddle Dee sees the ball, and yells in surprise "A Dark Matter?!"

At this, the Dark Matter ascend to the sky, before flying right at Sweetie Belle at great speed, using the light of the sun to blind her. Seeing this, Waddle Dee screams "No!" before jumping in the path of the dark ball just before he reaches her, the Dark Matter disappearing instead inside him.

"Waddle Dee!"

"Poyo!" she hears a very familiar voice behind her.

"Kirby!" she shouts, turning around, seeing the puffball approaching with an adorable little winged human girl with long pink hairs, a red dress with white rims at the arms and two golden buttons, a red ribbon in her hair, a white collar, and brown shoes. The girl is holding a crystal similar than the one they found, but a little bigger. "Watch out! A Dark Matter took possession of Waddle Dee!"

"Oh no!" shouts the girl in a childlike voice.

"Poyo!" shouts Kirby, looking at the fallen Waddle Dee who starts to wake up, Sweetie running beside him before looking at her possessed friend.

Waddle Dee wakes up, his arms hiding his eyes.

And then...

He turns into a Waddle Doo.

...

"What?"

Chapter 31: Heroes Versus Dark Matters, Round 3!

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Sweetie Belle looks at her friend in confusion. Getting possessed has turned Waddle Dee into a Waddle Doo. She turns to Kirby, remarking that he is wearing the familiar cone-shaped hat indicating that he is actually using the bomb ability, and asks him "Did this happen before?"

Kirby shakes his head, a little confused too, before he points to Waddle Dee... Doo, indicating to her to focus.

When she looks back at their enemy, she sees that he is charging at them, and she readies her whip, grinding her teeth and silently apologizing to Waddle Dee. However, the charge is halted by Kirby rolling a bomb right at Waddle Doo's feet, the explosion sending him flying before he crashes on his head. He big, round bump appears on his head as Waddle Doo falls on his back, his eye becoming swirly.

Yeah... Possessed or not, Waddle Dee is still Waddle Dee... Easy to knock out. This would have been different if the Dark Matter was possessing her like he has been about to do before Waddle Dee jumped in his way. Rest now to find a way to force the Dark Matter out of him.

The little girl then approaches him, and points the crystal at his body, shouting "Get out of him, you monster!" Following this, the crystal shoots a laser at Waddle Dee, and not long after, the Dark Matter is forced out of him.

Sweetie stares in awe at this, before she sees the Dark Matter charging at her. "Nope! Not this time!" she screams, hitting the Dark Matter by throwing a shield at him, knocking him back. Of course, this does nothing to the Dark Matter who charges at her again, only for the girl to fly between him and Sweetie, crystal pointed at the black ball. The crystal then shoots a few crystalised projectiles, hitting the Dark Matter in the eye. After taking three projectiles in rapid succession, the Dark Matter explodes.

Again, Sweetie is awed at this, until the girl talks to her, asking "Are you alright?" in worry.

"Yes, I'm alright," answers the filly, before looking in the direction of the still unconscious Waddle Dee, back to normal. "But we should help him."

"Aah! Right!" shouts the girl in panic, before flying toward Waddle dee. "What can we do?!"

But then, Waddle Dee starts to wake up, groaning and rubbing his bump, before he sits, his eyes opening. Sweetie immediately hugs him, almost knocking him on his back again, shouting "Waddle Dee! Are you alright?!"

"Woah!" he shouts, trying to not fall. Once stable, he pats Sweetie on the back of the head, answering her. "Yes, I'm alright. My head hurt a little, and I can still feel the burns from the bomb, but it's not too bad."

Sweetie releases him before stepping back, sighing in relief. "I'm glad..." she says, before turning to the little girl. "Thank you for getting rid of this Dark Matter."

The girl smiles at her. "You are welcome. I'm glad he is alright," she says. She then puts her right hand on her chest. "My name is Ribbon, nice meeting you."

"Nice meeting you too, Ribbon, my name is Sweetie Belle, and this is Waddle Dee," replies the filly, pointing at herself, then at Waddle Dee. She then turns to Kirby; "So, what is happening? I thought that we had eliminated the Dark Matters by killing Zero."

Kirby only shrugs at her, not knowing how they can be back.

"You killed Zero?!" asks Ribbon in surprise. "That's incredible! He was like one of the oldest evil beings in the universe! Created from the darkness of the Dark God himself!" She turns to Kirby. "Now I know that I can count on you to save my world and my people! If you have been able to eliminate Zero, then you can eliminate whatever is now controlling the Dark Matters!"

Putting her question about this Dark God in the back of her head, Sweetie asks to her "You are from another world that is attacked by the Dark Matters?"

"Yes," responds Ribbon. "I come from a world named Ripple Star, the world of the fairies."

Sweetie gasps at this. Fairies?! She then shakes her head. Focus Sweetie! It's not the time!

Meanwhile, Ribbon sighs. "We were suddenly attacked by the Dark Matters. Our queen quickly understood that they may be after the Crystal, which may be the most powerful weapon against them, and asked me to take it and escape Ripple Star to protect it. However, I was pursued by three Dark Matters, and they destroyed the Crystal, shattering it into many shards that scattered in space."

"And now, we must find those crystal shards to reform that Crystal, and save your world," continues Sweetie Belle. She then takes the crystal that has fallen from Waddle Dee's arm in her magic and levitates it to the fairy. "It's one?"
"Yes!" shouts Ribbon in joy. She then touches the crystal with her bigger crystal, getting the two to fuse into a slightly bigger crystal. "Thank you, Sweetie Belle! Wait, you said 'we', you want to join us?"

"Of course! I fought the Dark Matters alongside Kirby two times, so I'm ready for a third!" She then shows her whip. "You can count on me to help you!"

"Poyo!" shouts Kirby in joy.

Waddle Dee looks at Sweetie Belle, then at Ribbon. He closes his eyes, and after some time, takes a big breath, and says "I'm coming too!"

"What? Really?" asks Sweetie in surprise.

"Yes! I'm not a fighter like you or Kirby but at least, I have the occasion to do something, and I want to help! M-maybe I can be useful."

Sweetie smiles at him, and says "It will be nice to have you with us Waddle Dee." She then turns to Kirby. "You will not mind?"

Kirby shakes his head, smiling, before he starts walking, waving at everyone to follow him.

And so, Sweetie starts a new adventure alongside Kirby, this time with her friend Waddle Dee, and a fairy named Ribbon. But before long, she stops, and shouts "Wait a minute! How are we gonna find the shards? They can be everywhere in Popstar!"

"Oh! Don't worry," replies Ribbon, showing the crystal to her. "The crystal can guide us to the closest shard. Here, look." She then points the crystal toward the sky, and a small light appears at the surface, pointing at a direction, a little at the left.

Seeing this, Sweetie and Waddle Dee sigh in relief, glad that they will not have to search each bushes and behind each rocks of Popstar.


Following the light, they reach a forest that seems to be in the middle of Autumn, the leaves of the trees being red, orange, or yellow. After knocking out some of the locals attacking them for some reason, they end up entering a rather big tree with an entry at the bottom. In the tree, they have to climb a few wooden platforms, Kirby however being surprised in the way by a bunch of Pupas, tear shaped insects with a black face and red and yellow stripes, not seeing them before he touches one, making it explode like a Scarfy.

They reach a wooden bridge inside the tree leading to an exit. Outside the tree, they find themselves on an extension, where they see a wooden lift linking the tree to another one. When they get on the lift, Ribbon sees that the light on the crystal is pointing a little down.

"Poyo!" shouts Kirby, pointing slightly down under the path of the lift.

Waddle Dee comes at his left and puts an arm above his eyes to have a better look. "Yes! I see a shard floating a little further down."

"I see it! I'm gonna get it!" says Ribbon, flying to the floating shard.

"How can it float?" asks Sweetie, confused.

"It's a magical crystal. Do you have to ask?" says Waddle Dee.

"Right..."

At this moment, Ribbon comes back, and points at the other tree linked by the lift. "The crystal says that the next shard is this way."

"Well then, let's use this lift."

Once he finishes talking, Waddle Dee jumps on the log on the cables connected to the platform of the lift, and starts walking on it, making the lift advance.

Sweetie uses this moment of calm to ask something. "Ribbon. Earlier, you said something about a Dark God, and Zero being created from his darkness. Who is this Dark God?"

"I don't know that much about this God. All I know is that he comes from the origin of the universe, and that he is responsible of the creation of the Darkness, including Zero. I think he also created or helped create a few other stuffs, but I don't remember. There was also something about an ancient civilization, but I never really was interested by this, you would have to ask the queen."

"Ok."

Not long after, they reach the other tree, where they enter it, and find a strawberry shortcake that Kirby eats to heal his burn from the Pupa. This makes Sweetie remember that she didn't have breakfast today. Well lucky her, after some rather long jump toward the bottom of the tree, they find a Maxi Tomato that Kirby happily lets Sweetie take. The filly however cut it in two, giving the second half to Waddle Dee who hasn't eaten too this morning. The Maxi Tomato eaten, they jump in a hole in the middle of the floor.

This leads them to a room with a giant Bouncy guarding the exit door. However, even if she's a giant, she's still just a Bouncy, and so, with some cracks of Sweetie's whip and some of Kirby's bombs, it doesn't take them long to knock her out. This makes her release a crystal shard that Ribbon immediately takes, before they pass the door.

Following the light to the next shard, they follow a small path until they find someone unexpected. Lying down tree stump is Adeleine, her easel at her feet. As they approach, they see that she has a crystal shard in her right hand.

"Adeleine!" shouts Sweetie Belle to get her attention.

The girl gets up and turn toward them, eyes closed, making them stop in confusion. And then, she opens her eyes, and seeing how she looks at them, something is definitely wrong. She then turns to her canvas and starts painting on it, forming some black rounded creature with two pointed black ears, two black dots as eyes, and two white feet. Once finished, the black thing jumps from the canvas and charges at them, only to be destroyed by one of Kirby's bombs.

"She must be possessed by a Dark Matter," says Ribbon.

"Then I'm gonna watch the fight from over there. Good luck," says Waddle Dee before receding just as Adeleine finishes painting a Bronto Burt that gets destroyed by a beam from Sweetie.

Adeleine then paints a big, black spider with long legs and two white eyes, quickly followed by a Mumbies, the floating creepy mummy head, only for the two of them to be destroyed by another bomb and another beam.

"Does this Dark Matter really think that he can beat us by throwing those small fries ?" asks Sweetie.

As she talks, Adeleine paints... something that is easily destroyed too. Seems like the Dark matter is losing patience, and Sweetie's comment probably hasn't helped, because Adeleine then paints nothing else than the Ice Dragon that they have fought in Iceberg.

This may be a little harder to beat.

Once out of the canvas, the dragon immediately uses his tail as a propeller to get closer to them while he breath his ice, trying to freeze them, while they see Adeleine hiding behind the easel, shouting at the dragon to kill them. Sweetie and Kirby avoid the ice breath by running in opposite directions, forcing the dragon to choose who will be his target. At the same time, the two starts attacking him, Sweetie using fireballs alongside her whip. The dragon then jumps in her direction, only for a last fireball making him explode in midair, surprising Sweetie.

"Already? Seems like Adeleine's creations aren't as strong as the real ones."

The destruction of the dragon causes Adeleine to make a tantrum before she starts to paint something else on her canvas, the something being a Dark Matter.

A Dark Matter painting a Dark Matter to attack them. He must really be getting desperate.

Once out of the canvas, the Dark Matter shouts his dark lightning at them, only for Sweetie to use a shield to stop the projectiles while she and Kirby counter attack with actual lightning and bombs. The Dark Matter then charges at them, but they easily dodge him, before he is destroyed by a bomb.

This is the last straw for Adeleine, who makes another tantrum before jumping from the stump and charging at Kirby, swinging her brush in fury, eyes closed. Kirby exchange a look with Sweetie, not even moving, before the filly sighs and shoots a beam at Adeleine's back, knocking her on her belly, the girl stopping moving after that.

Knowing it's her cue, Ribbon approaches Adeleine and shoots a small laser from the crystal at the girl, forcing the Dark Matter out of her. Before the dark Matter can go far, sweetie traps him in a shield, letting an opening for Ribbon to shoot the crystal projectiles to destroy him.

The fight finished, Waddle Dee comes back, saying "Maybe I could have helped for that one."

"Yeah, you probably could have," says Sweetie.

Adeleine then wakes up, groaning, before they can hear her say "Again..."

Sweetie approaches her. "Are you alright?"

"Yes. I'm alright," answers Adeleine as she sits up. "I thought that the Dark Matters were destroyed."

"We all thought, but they are apparently stubborn," says Waddle Dee.

Adeleine giggles. "So, back again to save the world?" she asks to Sweetie and Kirby.

"For once, it's not Popstar that must be saved," says Sweetie, pointing at Ribbon. "but her world. Her name is Ribbon, and the Dark Matters are invading her world."

"And we need those crystals like the one that you have," adds Waddle Dee.

Adeleine takes the crystal shard and shows it. "You means this one?"

They nod.

"Then take it," she says, as she tends the crystal for Ribbon to take, the fairy thanking her. "Say, can I come with you in your adventure? I have enough of those Dark Matters, and I want to do something to help get rid of them once and for all."

"Of course!" shouts Ribbon. "Any help is welcome!"

"And I'm sure that your painting will greatly help us in our journey!" says Sweetie Belle.

"Poyo!"

"Thanks! You will see, you will not regret taking me with you!"

Ribbon then takes the crystal and looks at the light. "The next shard is this way. Let's go, everyone."

"Yeah/Poyo!"


The light leads them beyond the forest, approaching an imposing structure composed of three circular levels, the superior levels smaller than the inferiors. The walls are made of stone brick with parts made of smooth grey stone protruding at regular interval. On the wall of the second level, they can see entrances placed above the grey stone parts of the first level.

"What is this?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"It's one of the king's fortresses !" answers Waddle Dee happily.

"So there are shards inside it?" asks Adeleine.

Ribbons looks at the light on the crystal, before answering. "Maybe. It could simply be in the way. We will have to go around it to verify."

"We are not in front of the entrance," says Waddle Dee. "so we will have the occasion while we look for it."

"Wait, I see something," says Sweetie, looking at the path around the fortress. On the path, among other creatures, like living white rockets with a red top named Skuds or Bronto Burts, she sees one of those black things like Adeleine has painted in their fight. She points at it. "What is this? I have never seen a creature like this one in Dreamland before."

"Yes, I remember painting it at our fight," says Adeleine. "I think it's some sort of minion of the Dark Matters."

"That's it," confirms Ribbon. "When the Dark Matters invaded Ripple Star, I saw some of them drop those things. I'm not sure what they are, but I think they are created from their darkness. The ones following me probably created them to help them find the crystal shards."

"Then let's get rid of it! Tayooo!" shouts Waddle Dee, charging at the black creature. Reaching it, he uses the momentum to give a powerful punch that knock the creature on it's back, before it poof into a small cloud of darkness. At this, Waddle Dee raises his arms, yelling "Victory!"

Sweetie giggles, but before she is able to congrats Waddle Dee, she hears someone shouts "What is going on here?" When they look at who has talked, they see a Sir kibble approaching.

Understanding that he's a soldier of Dedede's army, probably patrolling around the fortress, she approaches him and talk to him. "Sorry for the trouble, Waddle Dee was beating an enemy minion that had gotten too close of the fortress."

the Sir Kibble salutes at her. "Supreme Commander Sweetie Belle! we didn't expect you to come!" he shouts.

"Hey now, no need saluting," Sweetie says, gesturing him to stop with an embarrassed smile. "We are here because we are in search of crystal shards, and we were led there. We need them to stop the Dark Matters."

The Sir Kibble steps back in shock. "They are back?!"

"Yes."

"Then we must warn the king! Follow me!"

This surprises Sweetie Belle. "He is in the fortress?" she asks. "This fortress is the one that has been raided by the Squeak Squad?"

"Urh... Yes."

"Oh my gosh!" she shouts in joy before she turns to the others. "You hear that everyone? Dedede is here! I'm sure he will help us!" She turns back to the Sir Kibble. "Where is he?"

"Last I heard, on the roof."

"Then let's go!"

At this, she starts running, quickly followed by the others, with Adeleine yelling "Wait for us!", leaving a sweating Sir Kibble behind. Following the path around the castle, they find the entrance, with a lowered drawbridge as a door. Inside, the entrance hall is a giant room with a red carpet starting from the entrance and going on a stair right in front. The stairs lead to a passage all around the room with doors. Sweetie is then stopped at seeing the first soldier in the way, or rather, at seeing what he is: an one eyed smiling ghost with a lance and a shield.

She looks at him. He looks back.

...

"We have ghosts in our army?" she eventually asks with a raised eyebrow.

The ghost bows at her at this, laughing.

She shrugs, saying "Well, alright then. Can you show us the quickest way to the roof? We want to see king Dedede."

The ghost answers her by turning around, pointing his lance at a door just at the top of the stairs.

"Thank you."

She passes the ghost, waving at him, before climbing the stairs followed by the others, with Sweetie thinking Talk to a ghost, check! In the next room, they follow the path passing by their left, passing beside stained glasses, before reaching the exit, leading at a small vertical room with floating platforms to go up. Gordos are in the way, but once they see Sweetie, they get out of it, letting them pass.

It's so good to be the second of the king!

At the top of the room, they pass a hole in the ceiling, which leads them outside the castle, on the walls of the first level, revelling that the earlier room has been one of those sections made of smooth grey stone. Walking on the wall, they find themselves back at the entrance of the castle, where the drawbridge has been raised, helping them to reach the other side.

They then hear Ribbon says "I think there is a shard close! The light is pointing down slightly at the left! Right inside this tower!" before she points at one of the sections of the wall made of smooth stone. They can see a hole on the roof of it, leading inside."

"Sweet!" shouts the filly in joy, jumping in the hole followed by the fairy. The rest of the group remains on the wall, waiting. Soon, they hear her again. "Found it! There is also a door there, and Ribbon says that there is another shard in the same direction!"

Adeleine rubs her head. "Does this leads us at least to the roof where is the king?"

"We will find out," replies Waddle Dee, before he jumps.

Adeleine sighs, before she says "I don't understand this fortress... Why are we even on the wall?"

"Poyo," Kirby answers her with a shrug before jumping too, followed by the girl.

Once everyone is at the bottom of the tower, they pass the door, traverse a small empty room, and eventually reach a big room with a spiral staircase made of really big stairs. In the middle of the room is a beautiful fountain. Ribbon then looks at the light of the crystal, turns around, and looks ut above the entrance by where they come. And here it is, a crystal shard that she immediately takes.

After that, they take the stairs until they reach a dead end with a chain linking the staircase to the ceiling. They see that above they is a circular passage with more chains leading to the ceiling, with one of them passing through a hole in the ceiling.

"Oh no... Don't tell me we have to climb those chains..." complains Adeleine.

"I... I never learned how to climb ropes, or chains..." says Sweetie.

"Oh don't worry, it's not that hard!" claims Waddle Dee, approaching the chain. "Look at me." At this, he grabs the chain, before putting a foot on one of the links. He raises the other foot, puts one of his arms higher, making him go up a little, before he puts the foot on a second link, and repeats the process with the first foot. "See?"

After he has climbed the chain enough, Kirby jumps on it and starts to climb it too, having no problems. Sweetie gulps before approaching the chain and starts to do like Waddle Dee has shown, successfully climbing it, followed by an insure Adeleine, while Ribbon simply flies beside them. Once they reach the circular path, they go to the chain leading to the hole, and climb it the same way.

The hole leads them on the roof of the fortress, where as they were said, they find Dedede actually looking at one of the crystal shards that he is holding in his left hand.

"Dedede!"

"My king!"

"Mmh?" Dedede raises his head and sees the group approaching, getting confused. "Sweetie Belle? Waddle Dee? Kirby? Adeleine? What are you doing here?"

Kirby then tries to take the crystal, only for Dedede raising it out of his reach.

"Hey! Hands off! It's mine!"

"Dedede, we need this crystal," pleads Sweetie beside him.

The king raises an eyebrow at her, and asks "Why?"

"Well you see-"

But before she can say more, something fall from the sky between them, throwing them away, shocking Adeleine and Ribbon. Just as Sweetie, Kirby, and Dedede get back up and look at what has thrown them, the thing, which is actually a Dark Matter, charges at the king before they can do anything to stop him. The next instant, Dedede finds himself possessed, getting back into his sleepwalking state, and turn toward the group, readying his hammer.

"Oh come on! Again?!"

"Poyo..."

"Quick Adeleine! Let's go away of there to let them fight!"

"Uh... Yeah..."

As Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and Ribbon go away, Kirby and Sweetie Belle ready themselves to fight the possessed king, the filly cursing the Dark Matter for forcing her to fight Dedede.

They will pay so much for that.

Dedede charges at them, hammer raised above his head, and Sweetie answers by charging at him. She dodges the hammer and get around him, getting behind him where she shoots a beam. With great speed, Dedede turns around and swing his hammer, forcing the filly to jump back, only to be jabbed by the hammer, throwing her a few meters. Behind him, Kirby throws at him his bombs, getting his attention. After being hit by the first few bombs, Dedede then swing his hammer to send them away, eventually sending one back at Kirby to his surprise, the bomb exploding on the puffball before he can do anything.

That's when Sweetie Belle jumps on Dedede's back, clinging to his head, before she punches him again and again and again, until he grabs her. Knowing it would happen, Sweetie shoots a big fireball at his face, causing him to release her as he steps back. Rapidly, Kirby comes back and runs around him, dropping bombs all around him before he runs away with Sweetie Belle. Just as Dedede stops rubbing his face, the bombs explode, heavily hurting him. Angry, he then jumps to try to crush them under his weight, only for them to dodge. However, he is able to grab Kirby before throwing him at Sweetie Belle, causing them to roll a few meters. He follows this by another jump, this time successfully falling on them.

Hurt, Sweetie turns her head and shoots fire at him from under, forcing him to jump away. As they get up however, Dedede charges back at them, and they are forced to run, Kirby dropping a bomb in the way, only for Dedede to use his hammer like a mallet of croquet, throwing the ball at the puffball, only for Sweetie to use a shield to make it bounce back toward the king where it explodes. Kirby then changes direction and starts to run around Dedede, throwing bombs at him all the way while Sweetie finally decides to use her whip to attack Dedede once he has his back turned.

That's when Dedede drops his hammer and lower his arms, as if losing consciousness, only for him to start floating without even inhaling air. Sweetie quickly joins Kirby in front of the Kirby before she asks "What is going on?"

"Poyo..." says Kirby while taking a step back.

Then, Dedede's belly opens, letting appear the Dark Matter, his eye looking at them. Sweetie's fur somehow becomes more white at this. She can see Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and Ribbon becoming pale too.

The Dark Matter then throws dark projectiles homing at them, and they are forced to run to avoid them until they stop purchasing them, Sweetie shooting a few beams at the king.

But then, the eye closes, and let place to a giant mouth with sharp teeth. And now, Dedede charges at them, the belly mouth opening and closing back and forth. And now, Kirby and Sweetie are running away again, shouting "POYOOOOOOOO!!!" and "HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!! NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!"

The spectators look at the chase with both horror and fascination.

"I don't know if I must find Dedede's belly chasing Kirby and Sweetie to eat them horrifying, or amusing..." comments Waddle Dee.

"Why not both?" says Adeleine.

That's when the Dark Matter stops chasing Sweetie and Kirby, only to turn toward Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and Ribbon, to their horror.

And he charges at them.

"WAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!"

They run (or fly) away from the apparently hungry Dark Matter, Waddle Dee shouting "WHY UUUUUS?!"

"SHUT UP AND RUN!"

"I DON'T WANNA BE EATEN!"

Sweetie and Kirby remark that the Dark Matter is now purchasing the others, and Sweetie shouts "Oh no! We must help them!" She follows this by shooting beams at the flying penguin, while Kirby runs toward them so he can throws his bombs.

Adeleine sees the bomb in Kirby's hands as he approaches and get an idea. While still running, she takes a blank paper and her brush and quickly paints a Bomber. When the Bomber jumps out of the paper, Adeleine takes it, and throws it right into the mouth in Dedede's belly. When the Dark Matter chomps on the Bomber, it explodes inside him, stopping the penguin from chasing them as smoke escape from the belly and from Dedede's beak. Kirby finally get close enough to throw his bombs, and Sweetie also starts shooting explosive balls, eventually causing the king to fall on the floor, the belly getting back to normal.

Ribbon then uses the crystal to force the Dark Matter out. Like last time, Sweetie traps him with her shield, letting Ribbon kills him with the crystal. After that, everyone sit down, taking back their breath.

"Is it what Dedede meant when he said that he tried to eat you?" Sweetie asks Kirby.

"Poyo..." confirms Kirby.

"Some warning could have been nice," says Adeleine.

"That was so scary," comments Ribbon.

At this moment, Dedede starts to wake up, Waddle Dee quickly helping him to get back on his feet.

"Urg... This is starting to become an habit..." says the king.

"Are you alright Dedede?" asks Sweetie.

"I will be better once I eat something..."

"I can help with this!" shouts Adeleine. Soon enough, she has used her painting skills to create enough food for all of them, meats for the king, a strawberry shortcake for Kirby, an onigiri for Waddle Dee, a chocolate ice cream for Sweetie, an apple for Ribbon, and a sandwich for herself.

As they start eating, Dedede says "So the Dark Matters are back?"

"Yes, this is what I was about to say. They survived Zero's death, and they are invading Ribbon's world," says Sweetie.

"Ribbon is the fairy, by the way," adds Waddle Dee.

"Hi!"

"Mmh. And what does the crystal have to do in all this?"

"It's a powerful relic of my world that can destroy the Dark Matters, but it has been shattered by them."

"And now, we are looking everywhere for the shards to reform the crystal," continues Sweetie.

"Well, if it's to destroy those cursed Dark Matters, then I suppose that I can give this crystal. Here." At this, Dedede tosses the shard at the fairy, who fuses it with her crystal.

Sweetie, once her ice cream finished, approaches Dedede and sits beside him, rubbing her head at his side. "Thank you Dedede."

The penguin looks at her, smiles, and pets her gently.

"My king," says then Waddle Dee. "We were wondering if you would accept to join us."

"Join you?" At this, he looks at Kirby. "Join him?"

"Please Dedede, it will be so fun to have an adventure together," pleads Sweetie, giving him puppy dog eyes.

Dedede crosses his arms, and after a moment, he sighs. "Alright. I'm coming. Besides, I'm starting to get tired of being possessed by those Dark Matter. Time to make them pay."

"Yay!" shouts Sweetie in joy, hugging him. "Welcome to the team!"

"Poyo!" says Kirby while raising an arm to welcome him.

"Don't push it, you oversized living chewing gum!"


Later, as they walk.

"So, how much of those shards do we have to find?" asks Dedede.

"I don't know," answers Ribbon. "We will just follow the light until the crystal is back to its normal size. It's all I can think that we can do."

"And I think that I see where is the next one," says Sweetie Belle, pointing before her. "Look."

It turns out that following the light has lead them to Whispy Woods, a crystal visible in his branches.

"Yes!" shouts Adeleine, before she starts running toward the tree followed by Kirby, Ribbon, and Waddle Dee. However, when Whispy sees them approaching, he starts shaking his branches.

"Ah no!" yells Sweetie. She then materializes a shield as a platform and jumps on it, before making it fly with her on it to the tree. She stops herself just in front of his eyes. "Don't think about this Whispy! We have no time for a fight!"

"What? Why?" asks the tree in confusion.

"Because the Dark Matters are back, and we must stop them!"

"Really?"

"Yes. Long story short..." she points to Ribbon. "This poor girl's world is attacked by the Dark Matters, and we need the crystal in your branches to destroy them."

Whispy frowns. "Then let me give it to you." After saying that, he shakes his branches, making the crystal fall, Sweetie catching it. "I hope that this time, those monsters will be exterminated for good. I'm still angry just thinking about getting possessed by them."

"Thank you Whispy. Don't worry, I don't know how they came back, but we will eliminate them. And if they come back again, then we will eliminate them again, and again, until they stop coming back."

"Poyo!" confirms Kirby behind her.

As Whispy nods to them, Sweetie jumps down from her shield before giving the crystal to Ribbon who fuses it. The fairy then looks at it to see where they have to go next, only for the crystal to start floating, to everyone's surprise.

"What now?" asks Dedede.

"I don't know!" answer Ribbon, looking at the crystal in worry.

The crystal flies away from them before it starts glowing brighter and brighter. Soon after, at the emplacement of the crystal, a star-shaped portal opens, and they can see that it's leading to another world. The portal gives them a view from space of the world in question, which seems to be a world made entirely of rocks. A particularity of this world is that it's in pieces that are constantly pulled together and pushed apart by gravity.

"This world seems bad news..." comments Dedede.

"So this means that we have found all the shards of Popstar?" asks Adeleine.

"It looks like it," answers Waddle Dee. "And that means that this world is our next destination. But I don't know, this world is destroyed. Look at the pieces."

"But we have to go," replies Ribbon. "We have to get the shards in this world." At this, she flies into the portal, disappearing in it.

"She is right," says Sweetie Belle. "Beside, me and Kirby have visited much more dangerous worlds back in our journey to invoke Nova. Come on everyone!"

After that, the members of the group look at each other, nod with determination, Waddle Dee still gulping, before they jump into the portal, which closes behind them.

Chapter 32: A Dying World

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The star-shaped portal opens on the new world, showing Popstar in the other side. A couple seconds later, Ribbon flies out of it, followed soon by the others. The portal then disappears, and the crystal reappears, Ribbon quickly taking it. After that, the group looks around at the new world, finding out that they are actually on a flat rock surrounded by an immense desert lithered with cactus made of rounded parts, more rocks, and the ever presents stars. The sun hits hard, already making them sweat, and there is not a single cloud visible in the sky.

"Alright, this world already sucks. Let's hurry to find those shards before I melt," says Dedede while he wipes his forehead from the sweat.

Ribbon lets herself fall on the head of the closest group member, Adeleine, not feeling like flying under the heat. The human girl takes the fairy, then her red beret, before she puts Ribbon on her head, and the beret on Ribbon, partially hiding her under it.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome. Now can you tell us the direction we must take to find the shards ?"

"Of course," replies Ribbon, looking at her crystal. She then points at a direction, and says "This way."

Looking at the directions she points, they can see further a big structure where the front looks like a giant Kabu, partly hidden by rocks in the way.

Sweetie sighs in relief. "Thank Celestia, it's not far."

"Hopefully, it will be cooler inside," says Waddle Dee as he starts walking toward the structure, quicly followed by the rest of the group.

With no real obstacles in the way to stop them beside some of this world's inhabitants, it doesn't takes long for them to reach their destination, Kirby giving up the bombs in the way to eat a Bobo, a walking fireball with eyes, to gain the fire hability, giving him better resistance to the sun's heat. Following that, he jumps on Sweetie's back to partage the ability and the resistance to the heat with her, the filly thanking him. This makes both Dedede and Waddle Dee jealous to not have such an ability.

And then, before entering the structure, they hear someone drinking something through a straw, and discover that it's Adeleine and Ribbon, in the back, both of them drinking some cold fruit juice. The girls see that they are being stared, and Adeleine asks "What?"

Dedede points at the glass of fruit juice in her hand and asks "Did you create this from your painting?"

"Yes."

A vein becomes visible on his temple. "And why haven't you created more for us ?"

Adeleine giggles before answering "Because you didn't ask." She then sticks out her tongue mockingly. "You know about my ability, so you have no excuses."

Dedede opens his mouth, closes it, opens it, closes it, before letting his tamper get the better and starting chasing Adeleine in anger, his arms stretched before him to try to grab her, followed by Waddle Dee, the girls laughing all the while.

Sweetie and Kirby both giggle too, before the filly says to the pink ball "Let's wait them inside."

"Poyo."

So they pass the entrance, finding that the structure is a giant ruin. seeing this, Sweetie smiles, and shouts "Cutie Mark Crusader Archeologist, yeah!" before she starts running in the ruins, Kirby still on her back. When she reaches a strange green floating bloc with an eye that is under another bloc, this time metallic with moons and stars motifs, she slowly approaches it until the bloc suddenly falls, almost crushing her and Kirby, before the bloc floats back up to fall again. She just decides to walk around it.

Kirby then shouts "Poyo!" and points up toward the ceiling, above a second metalli bloc with another one of those green bloc under it. When Sweetie looks, she sees a crystal shard floating there. Smiling in joy, she uses her magic to levitate it back to them, and Kirby takes it in his arms.

They continue their way until reaching the end of the room, the only way to continue being a hole in the ceiling with sand falling from it. Using a shield as a platform, she flies up to it with Kirby still on her back, and they both enter the next room, only to have a bad surprise, the closing behind them. They don't have time to be alarmed by this, because they are then assaulted by those plus-shaped cactus like enemies, including a bigger one garding the room on top of a pile of sand.

Kirby jumps from Sweetie's back and cover himself in flame before charging at the big cactus, letting Sweetie deal with the small ones. Between Kirby burning the big cactus, and Sweetie rapidly knocking out the small ones, the fight doesn't last long, and the big cactus release another shard that Kirby takes. Beating the big cactus also open a door in the wall on top of the pile of sand.

"What do we do," then asks Sweetie Belle. "Should we wait for them?"

Kirby answers by shaking his head before pointing at the now open passage.

"We should exit the ruins to find them?"

He nods.

"Well, I suppose you are right. It should be more quick this way."

At this, they enter the next room, the door closing behind them, finding themselves in a giant vertical room with many Kabu-like head poking out of the walls. The closest to them then starts to pour sand out of its mouth, slowly filling the room with it. As they look everywhere, even up at the, for now, far ceiling, they find out that there are no exits.

This room is a trap with simingly no escape.

"Kirby, please, tell me that you have an idea to get us out of there."

Rapidly, Kirby covers himself in flame and charges at the still visible door, but he is not able to destroy it. Sweetie shoots an explosive ball at the head pourring sand, hoping to make it stop, but they reveal themselves to be more solid that she thought. Before long, the doors disappears under the sand, and a second head starts to pour more.

They gulp.


A few minutes earlier.

The second part of the group composed of Dedede, Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and Ribbon enter the ruins, only to see Kirby and Sweetie Belle disappears into a hole in the ceiling at the end of the room. As they start following them, the hole closes, blocking the way.

"Great!" shouts Dedede. "What now?"

"Maybe we should try to find another entrance," proposes Waddle Dee.

"I think they have a shard," says Ribbon. "I see the light in the crystal move in the direction they took. So we will know where they are."

"At least there is that," says Dedede.

They exit the ruins from where they come, and start to walk around it, Ribbon keeping an eye on the light of the crystal. So far, no new entrance, not even a window. Ribbon then sees the light change direction and says "I think we are going near another shard, the light is not pointing to Kirby and Sweetie Belle anymore."

"Then let's quickly find it so it show them to us again," says Dedede.

Not long after, they reach the other side of the ruin, where they find a sphinx with a Kabu-like head like the entrance of the ruin, half burried in the sand, with the light pointing at its nose.

"So we have to destroy the nose?" asks Adeleine.

"How will we do it?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Leave it to me," says Dedede, taking his hammer. He takes some steps back, then charges at the nose, destroying it with a big swing of his hammer, freeing the shard that Ribbon immediately takes.

The fairy then looks at the light of the crystal and says "Yes! It shows them again! And they are going up!"

"Of course! Maybe there is an exit by the roof!" shouts Waddle Dee.

"But it's too high to jump..." says Adeleine.

At this, Dedede sighs. "Just go on my back, I will lift you up."

Waddle Dee and Adeleine do so while Dedede inhale air to inflate. Soon, thanks to his ability to fly this way, they reach the roof, only to find that there are no exit.

"They are just bellow us," says Ribbon.

"But how will they go out?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Easy. If there are no exits, we will create one," answers Dedede. Yet again, he takes his hammer, and readies it above his head.


They are almost at the ceiling, and still no exit. Sweetie has been able to slow the sand by blocking the mouths of the head with her shield, but now, the end seems near. Right now, they are holding each other in comfort, the filly scared of the impending doom.

But then, something smashes the ceiling above them, creating a big hole. They then can see Waddle Dee poking his head before yelling "They are there! And... Oh my gosh! Is this room being filled with sand? Seems like we are right in time!"

"Waddle Dee!" shouts Sweetie in relief and joy. "I'm so happy to see you!"

"Poyo poyo poyo!" shouts Kirby as he bounces in joy.

As the room continues to fill with sand, Sweetie and Kirby place themselves under the hole, waiting to reach it thanks to the sand. Soon, they pass it, the sand stopping filling more. They see that the rest of the group is there, looking at them in relief, and Sweetie immediately jumps in Dedede's arms to hug him.

The king shuckles while petting her. "Maybe in the futur, you should wait for everyone before exploring unknown ruins."

"I will!"


"Twiliiiight! I bear some news! Mmh?" shouts Discord as he opens a door in a wall while waving a newspaper, only to stop in curiosity at seeing that Twilight is not alone, but is currantly having a tea party with her five friends, Spike, and most surprising of all, Celestia and Luna. As everypony turn to look at him, he crosses his arms and pouts, saying "You are all having a tea party, and I wasn't invited? Oh! Unless the postsmare got lost in my chaotic dimension! If that's the case, then I will gladly join you!"

"Sorry Discord," then says Celestia. "We are having this tea party as a thanks for Twilight and her friends helping Luna with her guilt and stopping her rampaging creation to bring nightmares to everypony. I didn't think to invit you."

"That you weren't there to help didn't arrange," says Luna.

Discord looks at Luna for a couple seconds with a raised eyebrow before saying "Remind me to remind you to tell me this story. Seems interesting."

"You will love it," says Fluttershy.

"Yeah, the moment where princess Luna merged the dreams of everypony in Ponyville into a single dreamscape will totally be in your tastes! That was crazy!" shouts Pinkie.

"Oooh! Now I definitively want to hear it!"

"Anyway Discord, you were saying about having news for me?" asks Twilight, only to get the newspaper on her face

"Here it is ! Read the frontline!"

Twilight looks at Discord in annoyance with the newspaper in her hooves before reading "'Sweetie Belle almost killed in a deathtrap.' Wait what?!"

"WHAT?!" yells her friends, especially Rarity, who takes the newspaper from Twilight's hooves with her magic and reads it. "'The young filly named Sweetie Belle and her friend Kirby were exploring some ruins in a vast desert when they got themselves trapped in a room that was slowly filling with sand. They were saved at the last minute by their friends creating a hole in the ceiling'?!" She then glares at Discord. "I hope that you had your paw or claw ready to snap to save her!"

"Of course!"

"And how did this happens?!"

"I'm not sure, they were already in this room half filled with sand when I opened the portal. I should really put some alarm to tell me when she starts something interesting."

"So you think she is in another adventure?" asks Applejack.

"Seeing as she was with Kirby, very probably. Or else, they were just exploring some ruins for the fun. You know, children."

"Knowing the Crusaders, I wouldn't be surprised," says Rainbow Dash. "Still! Escaping a deathtrap in a ruin! This makes me think of Daring Do! Again, she is the one having all the fun!"

"I wouldn't call 'barely escaping a deathtrap' having fun!" shouts harshly Rarity to her friend.

"Excuse me," they all suddenly hear from Celestia. "Isn't Sweetie Belle the filly that has been displaced to another dimension? Is something happening to her?" she asks in worry.

Discord answers her. "After escaping this trap, she is alright. Right now, I'm not sure. Wait a minute."

He then snaps is paw, making a portal appears on one of the walls. The portal shows Sweetie Belle with her mane and tail on fire, Kirby on her back with his head on fire, and the two of them among a group constituted of that penguin named Dedede, that creature named Waddle Dee, and a new one.

"Is that a human?!" shouts Twilight.

"Why is Sweetie's mane and tail on fire?!" shouts Rarity.

"Yes, it's a human, and for the fire, remember when her hooves turned into wheel thanks to Kirby? Same thing there, but with fire," answer Discord.

"She looks awesome!"

"Woah! So this is how a human looks?"

"Hey look! There is a little human poking out of the big human's hat!" shouts Pinkie while pointing at the human's head, showing a smaller human head with pink hair and a red ribbon poking out from under the human's red beret. They can see that she is also carrying some crystal.

"Aww... She looks adorable," comments Fluttershy.

"So they are crossing a desert?" asks Luna, remarking them walking on a vast expanse of sand with round cacti and rocks. The penguin, the big human girl, and the red creature are also carrying parasols to protect them from the sun, but for some reason, the filly and the pink ball on her back don't have one.

"The newspaper did say that they were exploring some ruin in a desert," says Celestia. "Now, we must ask why."

"No idea," answers Discord as they see the group starting to climb a big sand dune. "This is the problem when we miss the start of a story, we have no idea why whatever is happening is happening. That's frustrating. And after seeing her previous adventures, it may be for anything."

"This is not the first time?" she asks in curiosity.

At this, Discord raises an eyebrow and looks at Twilight. "You didn't tell her?"

"I thought it would be irrelevant in our research of a way to bring her back."

And so, Discord looks back at Celestia to answer her, making a list appear in his claw and puting it in front of his eyes. "It definitively is the first time that she explores a ruin in a desert, unless I missed something. But before that, in this order, she has helped destroy a being made of darkness possessing her friend..." At this, Luna recoils. "She destroyed a technologicaly advanced flying battleship. She explored a few worlds before fighting someone who possessed powers more or less at the level of an alicorn and sending him crashing into a planet sized wish granting clockwork comet, making it explode -don't worry, the guy survived, and they are now friend-. And just last month, she fought a literal army of the same beings made of darkness as the first one, and their leader, an abomination in the scale of the universe. In her first adventure, she had to collect objects made of rainbow, and in the most recent one, there was something about collecting love to use it to fight said leader." He throws away the list. "See? Collecting rainbow or love, fighting abominations, destroying a battleship... Like I said it can be anything. But it may have something to do with those crystals that Kirby -the pink puffball on her back- was holding. The same ones that this little human is looking at actually."

"You know, Discord, when you list those exploits, you make us look lame," says Rainbow Dash while she rubs her hoof to the back of her head. "I mean, 'destroying a battleship', 'fighting a galactic abomination and his army of darkness', 'blowing up a thing the size of a planet powerful enough to grant wish'... What is the biggest exploit we have ever made? Shooting a rainbow at you to turn you to stone? Sending Tirek, a centaur that can absorb magic, back to Tartarus?"

This makes Pinkie giggles. "So true. And she only started a few months ago! Oh! And you forgot that she was a ninja!"

Spike continues. "Oh yes, and she turned into Cadance when she fought that abomination. That's what you said Discord?"

"Oh boy! Yes! That was hilarious! Seeing a filly love princess giving the beat down of his life at this thing! So worth it!"

The princesses sisters look at all of them with round eyes. Meanwhile, they can hear Waddle Dee shouting "Everyone! Look! I see grass!"

"Yes, I see it too. So this world isn't fully a desert ?" says Dedede.

"Wait, 'this world'?" asks Applejack. "They are in another world?"

Pinkie gasps. "Oh my gosh!" She takes her chair and places it in front of the portal. "Now I'm definitively not missing this one! Who know what kind of world they are exploring! Maybe they will explore one made of cake!"

"Pinkie, I don't think..." says Twilight before stopping herself. "No, scrap that. Knowing how crazy this dimension is, there may be a world made of cake."

"Good, Twilight! You finally get it! It only took you three meltdowns!" shouts Discord, clapping.

By now, Sweetie's group has reached the grassed area with some patches of sand, pink flowers, and various ruins composed of colomns and walls, while fighting various creatures attacking them, including a flying cute orange creature that suddenly turn into a one eyed monster once it is approached, much to Fluttershy's horror. For some reason, there is also a walking axe, as in a real axe with orange rounded feet, making Luna sputter in confusion. And let's not forget those pink things on spring wearing a red bow... And is this blue thing with a lance and shield a ghost?!

"Eep! g-g-g-ghost!" shouts Fluttershy in fright, hiding behind her chair while most of the others freak out, particularly Twilight at seeing a real ghost. But then the ghost is bonked on the head by the parasol of Waddle Dee, beating it, much to everypony's surprise. How could he hit a ghost?

"That is certainly a curious dimension..." says Celestia, eyeing platforms made of stone floating without reasons apparent. "Now, I'm eager to see where this is going. Why don't we continue our tea party while watching?"

They recoil at seeing Dedede getting hit on the head by a falling living stone as the group approaches a succession of arches. The human girl then makes an easel appear and paints a big cloud with an eye in the center on it and spikes around it, Twilight and her friends recognizing it as one of the enemies that Sweetie has fought the first time and that Discord has shown them. Then, before their eyes, the painting comes to life, flying out of the canvas, and the girl jumps on it. After that, the painted cloud flies up above the arches, and shoots lightning at the living rocks still on them.

"And now we have a human girl that can give life to what she paints..." groans Twilight while rubbing her forehead. "That's not something that I would see in the mirror world. Humans can't use magic, normaly."

"I like that power! All I would have to do is paint cake, and I would have cake for everypony!" says Pinkie.

"And that's pretty over powered," comments Spike. "All she would have to do is paint Discord, and with him, she would be almost invincible."

Now the group has reached a big structure made of five levels supported by columns similar to the ones around in the area, where yet again, Fluttershy, and most of everypony, are freaked out by some floating mummy head with a single eye charging at Waddle Dee, only again for the human girl to deal with it with her cloud. They then go around the structure, the small pink haired human suddenly getting out of the big one's beret, showing that she possesses nearly translucent insect-like wings on her back.

Fluttershy gasps. "A breezie! She is a human breezie!"

"The more exact term would be a fairy, like the flutterponies in our legends," corrects her Celestia.

"After ghosts and mummies, now fairies?" asks Rainbow Dash. "Is there even something that doesn't exist in this dimension?"

As they talk, the fairy approach a crystal on the ground under the structure, and touches it with her own crystal, fusing the two of them before she comes back to the human girl, using in the way the crystal to shoot crystal projectiles to another ghost.

"So that's it," says Discord. "They are collecting those crystals. Now, I wonder why."

"We will see," replies Applejack.

"Nopony comments on the fact that we just saw a human fairy shoot crystals at a ghost?" asks Spike.

"This is certainly not something we see everyday, but at this point, with this dimension, it's almost normal," answers Rarity.

After the structure, the group reaches the entrance of an old building, Sweetie using her magic to take a strawberry shortcake on the arch in front of it before giving it to Dedede, while the human girl jumps from the back of the cloud before it disappears. Dedede eating the shortcake heals the bump that he has gotten from the falling rock. This causes Celestia to raises an eyebrow, but she doesn't ask anything, and Luna just rubs her eyes to reassure herself that she has seen right.

Inside the building, the group ends up in a room with no floor, a giant pit in its place. Instead, there a six rectangular platforms sticking out of the wall in a triangular pattern, forcing them to jump on them to make it to the other side. There are also squarred hole in this same wall from where some round pale ghosts come out to throw some blue and purple fireball at them, only for Sweetie to use a shield to protect them. Finally, there are also five cubic lanterns on this wall in an inversed triangular pattern, the lower lantern just between the two upper platforms.

The fairy flies out to go catch a floating crystal, while the others jump on the platforms, avoiding the fireballs from the ghosts. Sweetie Belle counterattacks by shooting her own fireballs, only stunning them. As they reach the exit, the fairy comes back, and Sweetie uses her magic to take one of those big tomatoes with a M on it, before they get out of this room.

In the next room, as Sweetie shares the tomato with everyone, they see that this is a very large room with a giant pool, with some emerged floor in the center. In this floor, they can see that there are square shaped grey stones, just under similar squared pillars sticking out from the ceiling. Dedede goes first, jumping on floating blocs to get to the floor in the center of the pool, quickly followed by Sweetie and Kirby. Waddle Dee decides to just swim, and the fairy gives her crystal to the human before wraping her arms around her chest as much as she can before flying, lifting her above the water.

"Thank you Ribbon," says the human. "But, am I not too heavy?"

"Don't worry, I may be small, but I can be really strong. I was lifting this crystal while it was about your size. Meanwhile, you can use it to attack anything that come too close."

"Alright."

At the same time, Dedede walks on the grey squared, only for the square to suddenly go up, lifting him to the pillar above him. Acting quickly, he jumps back just before being crushed between the two actual pillars. This makes everyone jump in fright at the close call and the suddenness of the event.

"Oh my gosh!" shouts Sweetie Belle behind the penguin. "Dedede! Are you alright?!"

"My king!" shouts Waddle Dee as he comes beside him in panic.

"Don't worry you two, I have nothing," says Dedede while he puts a hand on his heart. "By the stars, this took me by surprise! I don't know what the guys building those ruins were thinking to put a trap just here!"

"Yeah! This is in the middle of a pool! What the heck?!" shouts Waddle Dee.

"At least, we now know to not walk on the grey squares," says Sweetie.

"I'm with Waddle Dee there. What is this trap?!" shouts Rainbow.

"Easy. Who would suspect a trap in the middle of a pool? And it almost worked," answers Pinkie Pie.

"That's smart, but weird..." comments Twilight.

"At least, they are alright," says Fluttershy.

At the end of the pool, the group sees that the exit is in the height, at the top of a small stair too high to reach by a jump. They could use a crushing pillar under the water beside it, but it would be too risky. The human and Ribbon easily reach it thanks to the fairy, and she says "I can lift all of you too!"

"No need!" says back Dedede before he puts Waddle Dee on his back, inhales air to inflate, and flies up. At the same time, Sweetie uses a shield as a platform to lift both her and Kirby. With this, the whole group reaches the stairs and pass the exit.

"It's an interresting way to use the shields," comments Luna. "I never thought to use them this way."

"You didn't need to," replies Celestia, poking at her sister's wings with a smile.

"I have to tell this to Shiny, he will love it! Why didn't we think of it?" says Twilight.

The exit leads them outside of the ruins, on a big, damaged wall with cannons shooting in the way. Thanks to a matter of timing, they are able to go to the other side of the wall without being hit, and they enter the second part of the ruins, only to reach a small hallway leading to a dead end.

"Uh? Where do we go now?" asks Sweetie.

"The crystal shows that there is a shard above us," says Ribbon.

Kirby then jumps from Sweetie's back, reverting her to her normal appearance, and goes toward the wall at the end of the hallway before pointing at small cracks in it with a "Poyo!"

"Yeah..." confirms Dedede, looking closer. "The wall seems fragile. Maybe I can break it. Step back Kirby."

The puffball does so while Dedede takes his hammer and approaches the wall. Hitting it violently with the hammer, he is able to destroy it, successfuly opening the way and revealling that it has actually been a door looking like a wall, only to show that to continue, they will have to climb a small chain, making Sweetie groan.

"This chain is smaller than the ones in Dedede's fortress, I don't know if I will be able to climb it."

"Then get on my back," says Dedede to her.

With the filly on his back, the penguin climbs the chain, and discover another door-wall to smash in front, and another chain to climb behind. Beyond the second chain, they can see two other ways, one going down with another chain, and one going up with a ladder sculpted from the wall. Smashing the wall, they discover yet another chain to climb, and behind the chain, another door-wall .

"Oh no..." says Sweetie.

"It's a maze..." says Dedede, rubbing between his eyes in annoyance.

"I hate mazes."

"Me too."

Thankfully, with the help of the crystal, they don't take long to find the shard by climbing the second chain, then the ladder, smashing a door-wall at the top, climbing another ladder while avoiding some fire breathing round red lizard, jumping above a hole, and smashing a last door-wall.

Now comes the hardest part: finding the exit. The human decides to help searching the way, using bombs that she paints to explode the door-walls before separating from Sweetie and Dedede, followed by Kirby just in case.

Discord shuckles. "It makes me remember when I 'played' with you in that maze back then," says Discord.

"You mean that time where you brainwashed us?" asks Rarity with a frown at the memories. "Because of this, I'm not really fond of mazes too."

"I don't think anypony like getting in a maze in the middle of an adventure," remarks Applejack. "It only makes us lose time."

"At least, they make great hiding spots for hide and seek!" says Pinkie.

After some minutes of exploring the maze in search of the exit, finding some food, the group finally get out of it.


They finally leave the ruins, only for the crystal to rapidly lead them to a big hole in the ground, the light pointing down.

"So we have to jump in?" asks Adeleine.

"We can't even see the bottom," says Sweetie Belle.

"This is not a problem," says Waddle Dee, showing his parasol. "I can use it to float down, the king can inflate, Kirby too, Sweetie can use a shield, and you can let Ribbon transport you down."

"Eh, you really love that parasol that I painted, right? Why didn't you take one until now?"

"I didn't think about this..." answers Waddle Dee. "Maybe I should try to train using it as a weapon."

"Mmh... Beside bonking enemies on the head and floating down, I don't see many uses with a parasol," says Sweetie Belle. "Maybe you should try another weapon."

"Good point. I wonder which one..."

"You will decide once we return to the castle," says Dedede. "Right now, we have a hole to explore, crystal shards to find, a world to save, and an army of darkness to destroy, again. You can think about this until then." At this, he inflates and jumps in the hole.

"Of course Great King."

"Like this, Waddle Dee, you will be able to fight to save the world with us!" shouts Sweetie Belle in joy. "This will be so wonderful to have you fighting with us!"

"Yes... I wouldn't mind joining you in your adventures, like now."

"Hey!" they hear Dedede shout from the hole. "You can all jump! There is nothing dangerous down there beside some bat skulls!"

"Let's go," says Sweetie Belle, before forming a platform, jumping on it, and getting in the hole, followed by the others.

"One moment, did he just say 'bat skulls'?" asks Adeleine.

"After floating mummy heads and knight ghosts, I'm not surprised anymore," answers Sweetie.

"Poyo," says Kirby, nodding.

The hole leads to an immense cave with metal blocs similar to the ones they have seen before lithered here and there with what seems to be rock trees. However, they can't see too far because of the lack of light, so Sweetie lights her horn to illuminate the way. Thanks to Sweetie's light, and after climbing a nearby dune, they spot the fossil an immense creature whose the head remainds Sweetie of a dragon, and they can see something glowing in its mouth. It's not hard to guess that it's a shard, especially seeing that the light of the crystal leads them to it. After easily taking it, they continue their way, and reach another hole in the sand, the light of the crystal pointing down again.

"I hope we will not fall through the bottom of this part of this world," says Waddle Dee.

"Don"t worry," says Ribbon. "There must be still miles of rocks between us and the bottom."

"Of course," says Dedede. "Even if it's just a floating rock, it's still a giant floating rock. We will not go from top to bottom in just five minutes."

Sweetie then puts a hoof under her chin. "Actually, this makes me wonder. What does happen if we traverse Popstar from top to bottom? Do we fall, or is there an other side where we would walk upside down?"

The others look at her with raised eyebrows, before Kirby also puts an arm under his chin in wonder. "Poyo..."

"That's a good question. Is there an other side to Popstar?" asks Adeleine.

"You live in Popstar, and you don't know it?" asks Sweetie Belle.

At her question, everyone excepted Kirby and Ribbon rub their head in embarrassment.

"Well, why don't you go look with Kirby and your Warp Star once we have dealt with the Dark Matters?"


"Oh... They are fighting those guys again?" asks Discord with a gulp, hoping that this will not be like last time. The others look at him in curiosity.


"Of course! What do you think Kirby?"

The puffball nods at her.

With nothing more to say, the group jumps in the hole, falling in a smaller room of the cave with two other holes. at the left and at the right. Ribbon points at the left hole.

"The crystal says that there is another shard under that hole."

Following her direction, they jump in the hole, only to end in a small room with flying fishbones composed of three triangles, a big red as the head, a smaller orange one behind, and an even smaller yellow one as the tail, including a big one floating just above another closed hole. The fishbones immediately throw their heads at them, new ones appearing in their place, and Waddle Dee find himself hit as he is floating down from the ceiling with his parasol while the others dodge of shield. Fire, whip, and hammer quickly have reason of the big fishbone, opening the hole under it.

The hole leads them to an underground river, to everyone's surprise.

"There are still sources of water in this world?" asks Sweetie.

Ribbon spots a shard behind them and take it, before saying "With the sun not reaching this place, it's not surprising that there is still water underground." She then points at another hole a little further beside the river. "There is another shard down this way."

"It's the only way we can go now anyway," says Dedede.

They jump again in the hole, ending in a bigger room with more water. In the way, they have to either walk around a sand pit or use platforms to pass above it. Dedede decides to use the platforms, only to be almost bitten by a small yellow insect with a big jaw jumping out of the bottom of the pit. The insect is stopped in the middle of the jump by a beam of Sweetie, knocking it out.

Once the pit passed, they also pass another pit full of water with a couple of glunks at the bottom, then a third sand pit with another insect that eat Dedede's hammer in the face. They finally reach a lake with another hole leading to a room with three more sand pits, this time with no platforms to pass above them, forcing them to walk around. Kirby just decides to pass above the pits with his comet charge, gaining time and dealing with the few creatures in this room. A fourth pit, this time full of water, leads them to an underwater tunnel with currents going down.

"There is a shard behind this wall," says Ribbon, pointing at the wall in front of them.

"That means that we have to find a way around it," comments Adeleine.

The way down is full of those fishbones hidden in the wall shooting their heads at them, but it's not a big deal for the group. They eventualy reach a smaller tunnel going forward, leading them to another bigger tunnel with another current going down, and they spot the shard further up, forcing them to swim against the current. Adeleine paints Kine, gives life to it, and use him to help her swim up against the current, Ribbon using the crystal to knock out the fishbones in the way. They however have to avoid in the way fossils falling, carried by the current, including a big one near the shard taking most of the tunnel, forcing them to use the holes of the fishbones in the wall to avoid it. With the fossil gones, Adeleine and Ribbon reach the shard, and wait the others near the exit, before a big fossilised fanged maw. Beyond it, the tunnel goes up and they reach the end of the underwater tunnel, emerging.

Looking around, they see that they are now in an oasis at the surface, with grass all around. Once out of the water, Sweetie asks Ribbon "Are there more shards?"

The fairy looks at the crystal, and answers with a nod before pointing at their right. "This way."

They look in the direction she points, and Dedede asks "Is that a pyramid that I see in the distance?"

"I bet my dinner that it's our destination," says Waddle Dee.

"So we are going to explore a pyramid?" asks Sweetie Belle, bouncing in joy. "This is awesome! Best journey ever! I always dreamed to see a pyramid!"

"You know, pyramids are known to have big mazes," says Adeleine with a smirk.

The filly stops bouncing at this. "Oh... right... Alright, I take it back."


"And now they are going to explore a pyramid..." says Rainbow Dash. "Daring Do would be so jealous." She sighs. "I know I am."

"This pyramid is strange. It's black. I have never heard of a black pyramid before," comments Rarity.

"It's a pyramid in an alien world," says Spike. "Who knows with what they built it."

They see the group approaches the area around the pyramid, area lithered by blue pillars either tilted or fallen, and there are some part of the ground without sand showing a floor sculpted in what seems to be dark stones in a shaped like a checkerboard, clear traces of an old civilisation that seemed different from the ones building the earlier ruins. They also remark that the base of the pyramid seems to be made of an unknown purple material at the arrises. The purples parts are actually smaller pyramids with flat backs disconnected from the big black one, making everypony look in wonder.

And then, after a few more minutes, once the group get close enough of the pyramid, which is at the other side of a crack, the whole structure suddenly starts to rise, revealing that there is more to it under the ground.

This is not a pyramid, it's an octahedron, and the purple pyramids are actually pyramids with five surfaces, the 'flat backs' being actually the bases.

And it's floating.

And they see a similar purple pyramid at the bottom floating down, ready to lift the group inside the structure.

They all look in awe at this, both the group and the spectators, until they hear Sweetie asks "Is... Is that a spaceship?"

"M-m-maybe?" answers Dedede.

Sweetie Belle and Waddle Dee look at each other, starting shaking, before they scream in joy with stars in their eyes. "We are going to explore a spaceship!"

Sweetie then turns to the others. "What are we waiting?! Let's go! Quick!" And after that, the two of them run toward the floating structure that flashes every few seconds, repeating "We are going to explore a spaceship!" all the way, quickly followed by the others shouting vainly at the two to wait them.

"A BUCKING SPACESHIP?!!" suddenly yells Twilight. "Discord! Send me there! I want to explore it too!"

"Twilight, hold yourself. Remember who is there," says Discord, pointing at Celestia and Luna who look at her with amusement.

"You are the one saying that?" asks Applejack.

"Touché."

"I want to go in too! This is like the most awesome thing to explore!" shouts Rainbow Dash.

"Me too!" says Spike.

"Hush! They are about to enter the spaceship!" shouts Pinkie.

"But spaceship!" reply Twilight, Rainbow, and Spike

"Another time," says Rarity. "When you find a way to open a portal to this dimension, you will have the occasion to explore it," she continues to Twilight.

"Aaaww..."

Celestia giggles.


The group jumps on the inversed pyramid that is the platform that will lift them inside the spaceship. As soon as their feet touch it, the pyramid starts to float up, soon entering the structure by a square hole at the bottom, Sweetie Belle and Waddle Dee smiling all the while. Inside, they are however attacked by canons in the walls, probably some system against intruders. Luckily, their projectiles made of energy are rather slow, and so, easy to avoid, the main problem being the number of projectiles and the lack of space for everyone to move out of the way. Sweetie's shield and Dedede's hammer are of great help to protect themselves of the projectiles.

Eventually, the platform reach another squared hole in the ceiling, stopping once entering the next room. There, the group has to climb a serie of red and yellow platforms moving left and right, entering or exiting the walls at different speeds, forcing them to time their jumps to pass through the holes between the platforms. Or they just fly beside them, like Sweetie does with her shield, taking in the way a shard inside a small area between two walls and a floor at the center of the room. In the end, they all decide to follow her exemple, Ribbon lifting Adeleine while Kirby and Dedede inflate, Waddle Dee on the king's back. They still have to watch out at the top of the room for a couple of blue balls protecting themselves inside a shell in a similar shape to the spaceship and shooting electric balls.

Passing through another hole in the ceiling, they are now in a dark room with three black squares on one of the walls. This makes Sweetie remember a room similar in Dark Castle, and lights her horn, making symbols appear on the squares: a star, a crescent moon, and a sun. Adeleine draws them on a blank paper before they pass the exit, entering another room with big buttons with symboles on them. Looking at Adeleine's drawing just in case, Waddle Dee then presses the button with a star, Sweetie presses the one with a crescent moon, and Kirby presses the one with a sun, making appear a shard on a pedestal at the end. After that, they climb a ladder.

They enter an immense space with dozens of floating cubes, some of them forming a path for them to walk on. The walls are formed of... parts that sometime illuminate, showing the sky and the world outside like windows, before going back. They recognize that they are now in the center of the spaceship, and it's beyond anything that Sweetie has imagined. Looking around in awe, they follow the path of the cubes, sometime having to go on a cube that float back and forth to join the next part of it, until there are almost only those cubes to advance. At the end, they reach an octagonal prism that lift them through a hole in the ceiling, entering a room guarded by a bigger version of those blue spheres easily eliminated with its companions, rewarding them with a new shard.

They exit the room by climbing another ladder, finding themselves now in a giant cylindrical room. They are on a plus shaped black walkway protruding of the floor, the walkways going to the walls and going up as columns. Between them, there are four more columns starting the same way from the floor, and they are all flashing like the exterior of the spaceship. All the colomn are joining under the ceiling in the same maner as on the floor, and there are two yellow bar going from the floor to the ceiling, with some purple platform floating between them above their head. walking away from the center of the floor, they spot a hole in the center of the ceiling that was hidden by the platforms. They will have to climb the bars to reach it.

Or fly.

Adeleine still tries to climb the bar, only for some electrical living ball to suddenly appear on it and charge at her, electrifying her and making her fall from the bar. Thankfully, Ribbon has had time to fly away before the hit.

"So, we fly?" asks Waddle Dee.

"We fly," answers Dedede.

"I agree..." says Adeleine after groaning from pain.


Passing the hole, they are now at the base of a spiral black slope leaing them toward a ringed structure around something made of the same purple element as the floating pyramids outside. On the center of the purple thing rises a realy tall pillar going all the way to the top of the spaceship. Suddenly, the pyramid roof of the ship opens and parts of it separate and float up to create various forms like a holed tower, the central pillar gain in size, and the ringed structure starts to rise, a purple forcefield appearing once the purple thing lets place to a hole. Then, just as they reach the top of what remains of the roof before the 'tower', inside the forcefield, a red octahedron appears from the cental pillar. The octahedron puts itself beside the forcefield, and it forms a red laser blade through it, threatening to cut Sweetie and the others while protected behind the field.

"Hey! That's cheating!" yells Dedede, hitting the forcefield with his hammer, without results, before jumping above the laser blade while the others run on the ring to escape it. Sweetie Belle shoots a beam at the blade, only for the beam to pass through it, not damaging the blade at all. She then shoots another beam at the forcefield, without result too.

"Maybe if we continue to attack the forcefield, it will eventually break?" proposes Waddle Dee while hitting the forcefield with the parasol.

"Poyo!" nods Kirby, spitting fire without stopping at the forcefield while jumping above the passing red blade.

That's when a green octahedron appears from the pillar, and joins the other at attacking them with a green laser blade, each one turning around the pillar in opposite side while they also turn on themselves verticaly. Sometime, they suddenly stop advancing before moving the other way, trying to surprise the group with impredictability, and Waddle Dee and Adeleine find themselves slightly cut because of that.

After a moment of jumping and running to avoid the two blades, a blue octahedron suddenly appears from the pillars, form its own blue laser blade, and joins the others in trying to slice them, the three going up and down back and forth in tandem at equal distance from each other. Dedede finds himself almost beheaded by the red blade, lowering himself at the last second, and Sweetie get a cut on one of her legs while jumping because of the octahedrons changing way at the same time. All the while, they attack the forcefield, trying to destroy it, but no matter how much they hit it, it doesn't seems to even start to crack, frustrating everyone.

But then, they reach the top of the pillar, and by the same occasion, the end of the 'holed tower' made of the parts of the ship around them. They are now far up in the sky, but they don't have time to admire the view, because by reaching the end of the pillar, they have also reached the end of the forcefield! And that means that the three octahedrons aren't protected anymore! The octahedrons seems to understand this, because they have stopped attacking and they have grouped together at the top of the pillar. Just then, strange things made of white lines and red, green, or blue balls pop out of the ring, and the three octahedrons come back in the offensive, starting to spin with their blades, each in a different axe : the red spins the blade perpendicularly to the ring from the inside to the outside, the green parallely, making it risky to jump above, and the blue like the red, but following the floor of the ring, making it the most tricky to avoid.

The group quickly learn to avoid the things that have popped out of the ring, the things hurting them in contact as Dedede and Kirby have painfuly learned, but thankfully, they can be easily destroyed by a single attack. Of course, with the three octahedrons not protected anymore by the forcefield, they unleash everything they have on them, Sweetie shooting her beams and cracking her whip, Kirby charging at them with fire, Dedede either using his hammer or inhaling the things and spitting them back, Waddle Dee using the parasol even if it's not really effective, Adeleine painting one of the ninjas from the Rainbow Island and jumping on his head before letting him throws his cutter blades, and Ribbon using the crystal. Sweetie and Kirby team up on the blue, Dedede and Waddle Dee on the red, and this left the green for Adeleine and Ribbon.

The ninja slides under the green blade as it pass above him, Adeleine clinging to him with difficulty while she bonks the octahedron with her brush. Once outside the range of the blade, the ninja jumps, and fall on the octahedron, giving it a powerful kick before bouncing back up. This gets Adeleine close to Ribbon who continues to shoot crystals at it. Having an idea, Adeleine quickly tells it to Ribbon and they both nod. Then, Adeleine takes Ribbon by the arm, and the ninja spins around himself, giving the fairy some momentum, before he jumps and Adeleine throws her to the octahedron at the apex of the jump. Ribbon takes the crystal, and once close enough, rams the octahedron with its point in a great shock, before she shoots projectiles just at this moment, effectively destroying the octahedron, only leaving the still floating arrises. At their victory, Adeleine and Ribbon high five, screaming in joy.

Dedede has to constantly step back to avoid the red blade passing again, and again, and again before him like the hands of a clock, swinging his hammer to attack the octahedron. Waddle Dee is on his back, hitting the white things with colored spheres when they are approaching behind Dedede. Not surprisingly, it doesn't take long for them to destroy the red octahedron, leaving the red arrises.

"Ah! Take that!" shouts Dedede, putting proudly his hammer on his shoulder.

"Wonderful, Great King!"

Sweetie passes under the blue octahedron after the passage of the blade and buck the octahedron, while Kirby charges at it covered in flames. The filly then wraps her whip around Kirby who covers himself in fire again, and like the ball of a flail, Sweetie swings him to the octahedron from the side where the blade doesn't spin. She steps back to avoid the blade, getting her muzzle cut, and turn on herself, swinging Kirby at the octahedron from the opposite side with great force. She then swing up Kirby, releases him, uses a shield to join him, and wrap the two of them in a round shield that they wrap in fire, before finally spinning around each other, falling on the blue octahedron like a comet, the impact creating a big shockwave of fire that and destroying the octahedron, leaving the blue arrises. Once landing, they raise their arm/forehoof in victory.

"Yay/Poyo!"

Defeated, the remains of the three octahedrons starts to spin around each other, getting closer and closer to the center of the ring above the pillar, before finally colliding together, and exploding, releasing a shard that Ribbon catches.

"Ah ah! Advanced technology is nothing against us!" shouts Dedede.

"Yeah!" shouts Sweetie Belle and Waddle Dee.

"Aliens are zeros! We are champions!" continues Waddle Dee.

"Time for some delicious reward," says Adeleine, taking her brush. "We still got hurt, we need towhoaah!"

The ringed structure suddenly starts to fall, alongside the parts of the ship forming the holed tower around them, interrupting her as they fall too. Ribbon quickly catches Adeleine while Waddle Dee opens his parasol to float down. Kirby catches Sweetie before inflating, slowind down their fall, and Dedede do the same too. As they float down and away from the ship, they can see it, below them, falling to the ground and not flashing anymore, first impacting at the point where they have entered the ship, before tilting on its side, the purple pyramids falling separately with the various pieces that have been floating. The ship finally falling with all its weight on the desert causes tons of sand to be displaced around it in a formidable spectacle, leaving only a wreck with a field of remains.

"You know..." then says Sweetie Belle "me and my friends are known in Ponyville for accidentally destroying things. But I never thought that I would accidentally destroy a spaceship." She giggles. "Twilight would be horrified."


Twilight's eye twitches. Discord guffaws.

"Dude..." says Spike. "That was... wow..."

"You said it..." says Rainbow Dash in awe.

Pinkie bounces beside Twilight. "Don't worry Twilight, the ship is still there! It's just a little broken, nothing too bad."

"But whatever was making the ship working doesn't work anymore! It will not be the same thing!"

"Sorry Twilight," then says Celestia. "But from what I could see, this needed to be done to accomplish their quest. Nothing can be done about this."

"Breathe Twilight. At least, there are remains. the ship could have exploded, and nothing could have been left," says Luna.

"So what do the both of you think of this adventure until now?" asks Discord.

"It's entertaining," answers Luna. "I love the action."

"It's nice to see young Sweetie Belle not only alright, but also becoming a hero with her friends. This reminds me of a certain mare," answers Celestia, before smiling at Twilight. "However, I can't help but worry. A filly of her age shouldn't fight life threatening foes like they just fought."

"That was nothing for her, she has fought worse. Trust me," says Discord. He turns to the portal, seeing the group landing as they watch the remains of the spaceship. He gulps. "And who know what she will fight at the end of this journey... It... may be ugly."

They see the crystal float from Ribbon's hands, before forming a star shaped portal showing a rain drop shaped mass of water with a core made of rock floating in space. After eating a quick meal painted by the human, they jump in the portal that close behind, going in their next step in their adventure.

Chapter 33: Waterworld

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The portal drops the group not in water as they thought, but on land, showing that this world is not just made of water. They actually seem to be on a elongated island in the middle of an archipelago. This reminds Sweetie of the water world that she and Kirby have visited to invoke Nova, and she wonders if it's a common type of world in this universe. They can see a big cliff a little farther that they could join if they follow the island, and they already start to think that it's their destination.

"This way Ribbon?" asks Adeleine.

After a quick look at the crystal, the fairy answers with a "Yup!" followed by "For now, no shards in the water around us."

Waddle Dee takes a big breath. "Aah... After this arid world, it's nice to be there. The air is refreshing."

Dedede and Kirby follow his example and take a big breath of fresh air too, Dedede saying "Yeah... It makes me want to just rest here and not do anything."

"As nice as it would be, we can't," says Sweetie Belle before sighing. "We still have to save Ribbon's world." She then smiles at them. "But we can try to come back there once it is over. Thanks to the Warp Star, we can go to other worlds. We will just have to find where this world is..."

This makes the others sigh in disappointment before nodding. And at this, they start walking toward the cliff, rapidly beating some volcano-like creature that has been approaching them with clear bad intentions. They have to jump above of walk around a few hole in the way, with fish that aren't Blippers jumping out of them. After them, Kirby sees one of those duck-like green round enemies with a bald top with a dark green spiked hollow hat around it. Those creatures attack by throwing their hat, trying to cut them with it. Kirby understands that it will give him another ability and decides to gives up the fire, wanting to change, before eating the duck, effectively giving him the cutter ability that should be more useful that the fire.

Soon after Kirby getting the cutter ability, they reach the end of the island, where starts a bridge leading to the island with the cliff while passing by two islets with Glunks on them. At the base of the cliff, they find out that there is a tunnel, and enter it.

The tunnel leads to a big cave where they will have to climb, having no other way to continue , and before them, after battling a Glunk and some red crab, they find some floating, green, living green spheric blob smiling at them without moving. Dedede is about to smash it with his hammer, only for Kirby to get in the way shouting "Poyo! and stopping him.

Dedede raises an eyebrow, but before he can ask anything, Sweetie beats him by asking "This is not an enemy?"

Kirby nods, smiles, and jumps in the blob. The face of the blob then turns up toward a platform, before Kirby is suddenly propulsed toward it.

"So they propulse us like cannons?" asks Waddle Dee.

"At least, this is not as risky. I remember the first cannon that I tried to use blowing up with me and Kirby inside. And the second turned into a rocket. I don't think those blobs will ever explode," says Sweetie Belle, giggling at the end.

"Yeah, I know what you mean..." replies Waddle Dee. "I hate defective cannons. I stopped counting the number of time me and the others complained about this to the Cannonmakers."

"Oh? You mean those cannons aren't there from the start?" asks Sweetie Belle. "i thought that that was just another weird thing of this universe, having cannons everywhere to transport us. With the food popping anywhere, that wouldn't have been surprising."

"Oh no, there are actually people creating those cannons. It's a galactic organisation with many subsidiary companies, including one in Popstar, creating and installing cannons to make travelling easier, because it can be hard, with all those walls and platforms and holes."

Sweetie Belle looks at Waddle Dee for a few seconds, and says "O...kay..."


"Hey! That's not a bad idea! I take it! This will make Equus more fun to travel!" shouts Discord, taking note.

"All of my yes!" shouts Pinkie.

"I think I will keep the normal way," says Twilight.


After using a few of those blobs to climb up, finding a shard in the way, they reach the top of the cavern, only to traverse a small passage leading to an even bigger room, with some bridges passing above a small lake not profound, as they see that the ground is only a few inches below the surface of the water, so they could simply walk through the lake. Anyway, when Kirby decides to pass by the bridges, the first one collapses under him, making him fall in the water, making the others giggles.

Dedede has the glorious idea to simply jump above the bridges, before spotting some meat on star blocs in front of a hole in the wall beside them. Not saying no to some meat, he jumps on them to take it, only for some giant lizard with a frog-like head to pop out of the hole and gobble him before getting back in the hole.

"Dedede!"

"Great King!"

"Poyo!"

Before they have time to rescue him, they hear a loud noise coming from the hole, as if something hitting violently the wall, followed by some Wham! Bam! Paf! Vlan! with some dust coming out of the hole. Not long after the noises end, Dedede gets out of the hole, unscathed, getting rid of some dust on his clothes before eating the meat. He is quickly joined by the others.

"My king! Are you alright?"

"Of course!"

"You scared us!" shouts Sweetie Belle.

"Ha! As if I would let myself eaten by some oversized frog or whatever that would normally end in my plate!"

After this small fright, no incidents happen the rest of the way, excepted Kirby changing his ability from cutter to bomb by eating a Poppy before they enter a small passage. At the other end, Sweetie is almost speared by some human-like creature with red hairs attached by a yellow bow and wearing a brown piece of cloth. The filly barely avoids the spear by jumping back, before Waddle Dee takes the spear and charges at the creature screaming "Yaaaah!". He is able to knock away his, or her spear, before cutting her, then bonking her on the head with the back end of his new weapon, beating her.

"Good job, Waddle Dee," congrats Dedede.

"Thank you, Great King."

"You seem to be good with that spear. You should keep it for now, just in case," says Sweetie Belle.

"This could be the weapon you search," says Adeleine.

Waddle Dee looks at the spear. "Maybe? I wasn't really thinking."

Kirby puts an arm on him and nod to encourage him, with resuming the journey, Ribbon, Adeleine, and Dedede following him. "We will quickly see if you like the spear," says Sweetie Belle beside Waddle Dee. "Let's go." She then follows the others.

After a few more seconds of looking at the spear, Waddle Dee nods while saying "Yes," and follows them.

They pass beside many waterfall before reaching the end of the room, Waddle Dee testing his skills with the spear on the creatures in the way, including another human-like being at the end, and he thinks that this may not be a bad weapon to use. It has a good range and can easily attack the enemies with it, dealing some great damages, unlike the parasol from earlier.

Maybe with some training, he could become a good Spear Waddle Dee.

After the small passage at the end, they end up in a small room guarded by a big Tick, a drop shaped creature with a white body and a red top that can turn into a extending spike with a really big range that can pass through platforms. The group is actually on a bridge linking the two ends of the room, the passages closing once they are all there. The bridge not being large, they are forced to be in a single file with Kirby first, followed by Dedede, Sweetie Belle, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine at the end, Ribbon flying above them.

A red spike suddenly poke out from under Adeleine, poking her on the butt and making her jump in pain toward the ceiling.

"There are other Ticks under the bridge!" shouts Sweetie Belle.

"Then while Kirby and the king deal with the big one, let's deal with them," says Waddle Dee.

At this, the two of them jump from the bridge to eliminate the Ticks under it, just in time to avoid Adeleine being poked again as she falls back. Meanwhile, the teamwork of Kirby's bombs and Dedede's hammer rapidly has reason of the big Tick, opening the exits, and a small hole under the bridge with a shard. Taking it, and after seeing if Adeleine is alright ("I will not be able to sit until I find something to eat!"), they exit the room, and following the passage, they exit the cave.

After another serie of small hole with fishes or those ducks jumping out of them, they get to a big bridge that seems to lead to a wall. The bridge is above a giant waterfall that make it looks like there is a hole in the ocean, an unique spectacle in Sweetie's eyes. At the same time, Ribbon, after shooting some projectiles at an enemy that looks like lightning on a black cloud, looks at the crystal and starts to fly left and right, finding that the wall is actually a big pillar.

She says "There is a shard inside it," pointing at the pillar.

"Seems like it's hammer time!" shouts Dedede.

"No, wait!" shouts back Ribbon, having flown a little further down beside the pillar "There is a hole, and I can see the shard! I can reach it!" She then points under the bridge. "There are other bridges under this one! With a big one made of wooden plank at the bottom passing under the pillar! You can use it to pass! Just watch out! There are many Ticks!"

"Why go under the pillar when we can go around it?" asks Sweetie Belle, making a shield platform and jumping on it with a giggle.

Adeleine takes the occasion to repaint Kracko before jumping on him, and the whole group flies around the pillar, Waddle Dee going on Dedede's back. After the bridge, they have to pass a few more holes with ducks jumping out of them, before taking another bridge that leads them to what seems to be a giant forested island.


After some minutes, they reach a river that they have to follow until entering an old structure, the entrance being a big passage by where pass the river. Not long after entering, they are stopped by a precipice, with what seems to be a very old and unstable bridge made of rock the only way to traverse it. Waddle Dee slowly puts a foot on it, only for the part of the bridge on which he has put it to collapse, but not making the whole thing fall.

After nodding at each other, they jump above the small hole in the bridge and run on it, quickly crossing it before it collapses. Once done, they sigh in relief before continuing, having to jump on an elevated floor where is the exit. This leads to a pyramid-shaped room with a bridge above them, the entrance closing behind them, and Ribbon points up. they jump on the bridge where they get rid of a crab, then on another bridge above it with another crab, and finally on a third bridge with a big crab that doesn't last much longer than the others. Ribbon points at the ceiling above the third bridge, and Kirby throws a bomb at it, blowing it and opening a hole, revealing a shard.

They exit the room through a big crack in the wall, leading them outside of the structure, where there is a pile of logs. Jumping on the logs to get down, they land back in the water of the river, seeing that they are nearing rapids, and find three rafts that look like small square boats. Waddle Dee gasps, and rush to the rafts, before taking one and putting it in the water, waving at Dedede.

"Great King! Let's go!"

"Oh oh! I like your idea!" says Dedede. He jumps in the raft behind Waddle Dee, and the raft starts to advance, quickly gaining speed. "Yeeeeehaaaw!!!"

Watching them go, Sweetie quickly takes the two last rafts, puts them in the water, and jumps in one. "Come on! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!" she shouts excitedly.

Kirby jumps behind her, while Adeleine jumps in the other, Ribbon getting on her laps. Soon, they are gone, hurtling through the rapids with Sweetie yelling "WIIIIIIIIII!!!" and rapidly catching up to Waddle Dee and Dedede, Kirby and Sweetie's raft taking the lead.

"Hey! What do you think you are doing? I was first!" shouts Dedede.

Kirby turns to Dedede, pulls is eyelid, and sticks out his tongue. "Bweeeh!"

"Ah yeah?! This is on! Come on Waddle Dee!"

"Yes! My king!"

"Don't forget about us!" shouts Adeleine while Ribbon laughs.

At this moment, the descent through the rapids become a race between the three rafts, sometime, one of theme having to jump above an obstacle of eliminating a creature in the way, often crabs. Team Dedede gets back the lead, only to be stolen the place by team Adeleine before they reach a big waterfall with a shard floating. Adeleine makes the raft jump and catches the shard, giving it to Ribbon once they land in the water at the bottom. Team Dedede's raft lands behind them, and to everyone's surprise, Team Kirby's raft fall just in front, Sweetie Belle using her tail like a propeller to gain speed.

"Cheater!" shouts Dedede.

"There are no rules!" shouts back Sweetie Belle.

"Oh! So they take it this way?" says Adeleine with a smile, before taking a blank paper and drawing a mast with sail, putting it in the middle of the raft, then drawing a big electric fan, using it on the sail to gain speed, leaving behind Team Dedede.

"Oh no! What do we do my king?" says Waddle Dee in panic.

"Don't worry, I got it!" reassures the king, before turning around, putting the head of his hammer in the water, and making it turn like a propeller. Waddle Dee decides to help him by rowing with his arms, not doing much differences. They are still able to pass adeleine and Ribbon after jumping another waterfall, only for Kirby and Sweetie to put their raft in front of them, not wanting to let them pass. "Waddle Dee! Take my place and use your spear to propel us!"

"Yes, Great King!" shouts Waddle Dee, doing so while Dedede gets in the front of the raft.

Dedede smirks, and says "There are no rules, right? Then it's alright if I do this!" He then puts his head in the water, takes a big breath, inhaling a great quantity, before spitting it right toward Team Kirby, causing Sweetie to stop propelling them.

"Hey!"

"Poyo!"

"AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Did you like it?!" shouts Dedede as they get the lead, only for something to fall in the water in front of his raft, causing a wave to appear. They find themselves pushed by it as they hear Adeleine laugh.

"Did you like it?!" she shouts, a big cannon at the front of her raft, maned by Ribbon. Adeleine now wears a tricorn on her head, and a black eyepatch on her left eye. Ribbon simply wears a red bandana. Adeleine takes her brush, and points at both other teams now side by side in front of their raft, shouting "Fire!"

Ribbon salutes her, shouting back "Yes my captain!" and fires the cannon.

"Poyo!" Kirby takes a bomb, and throws it at the cannonball, destroying it.

"Fire!" shouts again Adeleine.

"Nope!" Dedede swings his hammer at the cannonball, deflecting it back at Adeleine and Ribbon.

The cannonball falls behind their raft, creating a wave that propulse them closer to the two other teams, eventually ending at Team Dedede's right, while Team Kirby is at their left. A problem appear however as they approach another waterfall, a giant one this time. The problem?

"Captain!" shouts Ribbon in panic. "We are sinking!"

"Aaaah! Us too!" shouts Waddle Dee.

"Quick! We must drain the raft!" shouts Dedede, starting to use his hands to get the water out of the raft.

"It's no use! There are hole in all our rafts!" shouts Sweetie Belle.

Kirby waves his arms around in panic, yelling "Poyo!" again and again.

In their panic, they don't see that they reach the waterfall, and the three rafts fall, everyone screaming in fear. They quickly use all the means they have to slow their fall, Ribbon grabbing Adeleine before flying and Dedede grabbing Waddle Dee, the rafts breaking into pieces when they crash at the bottom. They land in the river in the middle of the broken pieces that start to be carried by the current.

They look at each other, before Sweetie and Ribbon start to laugh.

"That was fun!" shouts the fairy. "You make a good pirate Adeleine!"

"Thanks," says Adeleine as she starts laughing with the rest.

"And you!" says Dedede, nogging Sweetie Belle, making her squeal. "You are one sneaky filly, trying to pull a fast one on us using that trick with your tail!"

"We will SO do it again back at Popstar!" shouts Waddle Dee.

"And this time, there will be a winner!" says Dedede.

"We will invite more people, then! It will be even more fun!" proposes Sweetie Belle.

"Of course!" confirms the king. "I can feel that this will be a big competition!"

Kirby jumps in excitement. "Poyo! Poyo!"

They start walk while discussing the details of a potential boat race in Popstar, when they suddenly stop at seeing what is in front of them.

Waddle Dee gasps. "An Invincibility Candy!"

"Poyo!" shouts in joy Kirby, before running to the candy. Before taking it, he watches Sweetie Belle with some doubts.

"Erh... Go on... But I don't know if they know..."

"About what?" asks Adeleine.

"That if we all want to profit of the candy's power, then Kirby must give it through mouth to mouth."

"Oh yes. We know. What is the problem?" asks Dedede.

"Isn't this... weird?"

"No. Why?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Uh... Because this is the case in my world..." she says with an embarrassed smile.

"Ohh... Poyo," says Kirby, bumping his right arm on the left.

"I see..." says Dedede. "Well, flash news for you, this is a common thing in Popstar. Using mouth to mouth to share the healing properties of food, or in this case, the invincibility of the candy, is absolutely not weird." He smirks. "Of course, this explains this scene that I was told about that happened in Grass Land. Your first kiss, right?"

"Eep! P-please! Dedede!" she shouts, her face all red, making Dedede guffaw.

Adeleine giggles, before petting the filly. "So Kirby did some mouth to mouth with you, and you thought of it as your first kiss, right?" she guesses.

She nods.

"Then knowing that this is a normal thing in Popstar, you can now stop thinking of it this way. That was just... a mouth to mouth to heal you."

"M-maybe... This will take time... Besides..." She turns to Dedede, smirking. "You know that this means that you will have to do a mouth to mouth with Kirby?"

Dedede stops laughing, and looks at Kirby in horror, before sighing. "I few months ago, I would have screamed 'no'. But now, I suppose that I can accept it."

Sweetie smiles at this. Yeah, at first, Dedede really hated Kirby, but now, after Kirby saving him two times, after having started to know him, having passed some time with him, having competition with him in the Gourmet Races, and now, teaming up to fight a common foe, this hate has pretty much disappeared to let place to some 'friendly' rivalry. She can sees that Dedede has still a big grudge against Kirby, but not to the point anymore of wanting to murder him. Now, again, it's just rivality, Dedede wanting to best Kirby, one way, or another, while respecting him.

She is then kissed given a mouth to mouth by Kirby, receiving the invincibility of the candy. Once the whole group has been given the invincibility, they rush along the river, ramming everything that gets in the way without being hurt by anything. In the way, they take a shard at the bottom of one of the small waterfalls just when the invincibility disappears. Following the light, they continue further down the river, before leaving it. A few seconds of walking later, they reach another river, walking beside it as they climb a hill. They do well, because this river reveals to be full of spiked logs rolling in it carried by the water, so they don't have to jump to avoid them. After having to climb many small and less small cliffs, they reach the top of the hill, and they continue following the river.


Following the river, they reach a beach in which it starts. This beach is surprisingly full of enemies, including even those yellows insects jumping out of sand pits.

"I wouldn't pass my vacation here," comments Waddle Dee.

Dedede huffs. "Bah! We just eliminate all the pests, and no problems anymore!"

"This wouldn't stop them from coming back," says Ribbon.

"Then we will build a big sand wall, and they will not be able to pass!"

"What about the ones that can dig under the sand?" she asks.

"If I see their head pop out of the sand, then I will just play whack-a-mole. I already have a hammer, and this may actually be fun."

She giggles. "And the flying ones?"

"Target practice for Sweetie Belle."

They all giggle at this just as they reach two small towers made of sand, with small walls starting from them, delimiting a round area behind with the sculpture of an elephant. They exit this area by passing two other towers behind the elephant, reaching a section with Shotzos at the end of the beach, before they have to swim in the water to reach a rock with many corals. Behind the rock is a wooden bridge passing through a small rock mountain, some of the planks being regularly pushed up by geysers. Ribbon flies around the mountain rock, looking both at it and at the light of the crystal.

"There is a shard inside it?" asks Sweetie, screaming a little to be heard.

"Yes!" shouts back Ribbon. "And I see a way to enter it at the top!"

So they all fly to the top of the rock, seeing a hole leading inside it. Jumping in it, they enter a small circular round with a star block in the center, a Maxi Tomato that is quickly gobbled, and some water. Ribbon quickly points at some big rock beside the wall. "Inside it."

"It's a big rock," comments Waddle Dee.

"We just need a big boom," says Dedede.

"Leave that to me!" says Adeleine, taking her blank paper.

"Me too!" says Sweetie Belle, preparing her magic.

"Poyo!" says Kirby, putting a dozen bombs around the rock.

Adeleine draws a Bomber and throws it at the rock, Sweetie Belle shooting a big explosive ball at the same time. All those bombs create a big explosion that effectively destroy the rock, freeing the shard that Ribbon takes. "Good job you three!"

"Okay, now let's fly out of there to continue," says Dedede.

"Wait, I don't think we need to," says Adeleine, approaching the star block in the center. "Something tells me that it is not here for nothing."

"We will see." Waddle Dee destroys the block, and a big rock that was under it start to shakes, with some water coming out. "quick! All on the rock!"

They all come on the rock, Waddle Dee having to jump on Dedede, Sweetie Belle on Kirby, and Ribbon having to go on Adeleine. Almost immediately, the rock is propulsed up by a big geyser, ascending them until they are out of the room, back outside. They rapidly jump from the top, landing back on the bridge at the other side of the rock.

"That was good thinking, Adeleine," says Sweetie Belle.

"That was not hard to guess. A single block in the middle of a room, there had to be something."

"Yeah, it is obvious now that you say it," says Dedede. "I feel stupid not thinking about it."

Kirby giggles and nods with a "Poyo," before starting to continue walking on the bridge. But then, a geyser pushes up the plank on which he is, right into a Gordo, getting him badly poked on the head.

"Those darn Gordos! Always at the wrong place!" shouts Dedede.

"Are you alright, Kirby?" asks Sweetie Belle in worry.

The puffball rubs his head, then nods. "Poyo."

Adeleine paints a strawberry shortcake for him, enough to heal him, before they continue, watching out for the geysers until they reach the end of the bridge, getting back on another rock. However, to continue, they have to swim in the sea for a few minutes to join their next destination, which is another rock at the start of a path composed of big vertical logs with some platforms and other rocks, leading to a tall island that is presumed to contain another shard. But when they jump on the logs, they sink in the floor, so for the ones wanting to continue this way, they have to jump quickly. Thankfully, the logs go back up after a second or two. Sweetie Belle, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine simply decide to swim in the sea to reach the tall island.

Once on top of the island, they jump in a hole leading inside it, in a room guarded by a big version of those green ducks with a few smaller ones. Once the duck beaten, it releases a shard while another hole appears. The hole leads to an underground lake, right into the water. Ribbon rapidly get out of the water before flying up, getting a shard near the ceiling hidden between two walls. Meanwhile, the others jump of a big rock platform made of rock bricks with a spiked wooden log. Jumping on it cause the platform to tilt under their weight, the log starting to roll toward them. They jump above it, the platform not getting back into normal once they reach the other end, and they have to climb some other platforms protruding from a wall.

As Ribbon comes back, the following path is a succession of those platforms made of bricks with logs on them tilting under their weight, and the normal ones protruding of the walls, until they reach the top of the room. they then have to jump above one of the walls, falling back into water, with a hole in another wall just above the surface. The hole gets them outside of the tall island, in front of another one.

"The light points down," says Ribbon. "I think the next shard will be in the ocean."

"I was wondering when we would get under the sea. All we have done until now is swimming at the surface," says Dedede.
Sweetie Belle nods. "Yes. It was obvious that there would be shards in the ocean. That would have been weird if some of them didn't fall in, seeing how the majority of this planet is made of water."

"Well then..." Adeleine paints Kine, the painted fish jumping in the water. Adeleine then jumps in the water after him, gripping the fish. "Time for some underwater exploring!"

The others nod and jump in the water after her. But as they start to go deeper between the two islands, they are attacked all the way by transparent beings using hair-like tentacles, and living green torpedos shooting out of holes in the walls, not giving them any time to take a breath, until they reach the sea floor where there are Glunks shooting their projectiles as they approach. They discover at the bottom of the second island a tunnel going through it, and Ribbon points at it. So they enter the tunnel, and exit it at the other side of the island, finally going into the depth of the ocean, without any islands in the way. Instead, they can see giant corals, big pillars of stone of small mountains, and the sea floor is full of holes glowing in different colors, from blue to pink passing by purple.

"It's beautiful..." says Sweetie Belle in awe. "I will never get tired of exploring the oceans."

Kirby nods. "Poyo."

Dedede looks at the holes. "I wonder what is in th-Bonk! Arg!"

As he has been talking, a rock has suddenly fallen on his head, and they spot a few others falling here and there for some reason.

"It's the second time that I get a rock on the head!" complains angrily the king, smashing the rock with his hammer.

Sweetie shoots an explosive ball at another falling rock, destroying it. "I will keep an eye on them."

"Thank you Sweetie Belle. We will take care of the fishes," says Ribbon as she shoots with the crystal one of the red fish.

After a few minutes of swimming, Sweetie destroying the rocks, they reach a wall with a tunnel near the base. The tunnel leads to a section in the wall full of water with currents going back or forth. To continue, they have to go up, having to choose between many passages that are sometime hard to reach because of the currents, Adeleine being the less annoyed by them thanks to the painted Kine. There is many Gordos in the way, after turning around rocks of going back and forth in some passages, and, again because of the currents, avoiding them is hard, and Waddle Dee gets poked halfway through this section. At the top, another current push them into a tunnel, Adeleine taking a shard just under the ceiling.

The tunnel is full of Glunks with some crabs and explosive fish, and with the current pushing them, they have to constantly be on alert to deal with them. Further in the tunnel, they reach a small room with a pole, a shard being at the bottom corner behind it. Again, Adeleine is the one taking it thanks to paint Kine. In the tunnel after the pole, they encounter fishbones and Gordos, the last ones making the way much harder to pass without getting hurt.

They eventually end in a tunnel going into a circle, the exits closing, with a bigger version of those explosive fish, round, green back, white belly, and yellow fins and tail, swimming in it, its size making avoiding it almost impossible, so they have to swim away purchased by it. There are also Glunks in the way, Ribbon shooting at them so they don't slow them down while Sweetie Belle and Ribbon attack the fish from a distance with beams and crystals. Like all the other fights against the bigger versions of their enemies, it doesn't take long before they knock out the fish, opening the way.

Out of the circled tunnel, they reach another, bigger tunnel with strong currents pushing them from behind, rocks carried by it, threatening to ram them. Again, Sweetie Belle is the one dealing with the rocks with her explosive balls, the others warning her when there are Gordos in the way. Adeleine find a third shard in a small hole in the floor, and not long after it, they reach the end of this section of the tunnel, a small passage without currents above it getting them out of it.


A few minutes of swimming in the passage later, they end up in a large cave with another tunnel going up, where they encounter a familiar orca. The killer whale looks at them in the middle of the cave, not doing anything except raising an eyebrow.

Sweetie Belle and Adeleine gasp once they see him. "Acro, is that you?" asks the filly with a big smile.

"Poyo!" Kirby waves at him.

Acro closes his eyes in happiness, swimming up and down while nodding.

"So this is this world that you moved in?" asks Dedede.

He nods.

"Well now, we have one more reason to come back to this world," says Adeleine.

"Who is he?" asks Ribbon.

"A friend," answers Sweetie Belle, as she hugs Acro, the whale licking her, making her giggle.

"His name is Acro, and he was living in Popstar before he moved away," says Waddle Dee. "We befriended him after the incident with Zero. He... he was one of the possessed."

"Oh..." Ribbon approaches Acro, petting him. "That must have been horrible... I can see that you are a good whale."

Acro nuzzles her.

"Speaking of... Acro, do you have some small crystal like the one that she has?" Dedede says, pointing at Ribbon's crystal.

Acro tilts his head, before spitting a shard, and letting it land on his head.

"Yes! That's it!" shouts Dedede in happiness.

"Acro, is it alright if with take it?" asks Adeleine.

The whale tilts his head again to show his curiosity.

It's Sweetie Belle who answers him. "The Dark Matters are back, and this crystal is our best way to deal with them."

At this, Acro frown, before nodding, and showing the crystal to Ribbon, the fairy taking it. "Thank you. I will try to come back to play with you after we have beaten the Dark Matters."

"And when we will come back to pass some good time in this world, we will invite you," says Sweetie Belle.

He smiles and nods.

At this moment, the crystal flashes and opens a portal to the next world. The new world looks more like a normal planet, round with jungles and volcanoes visible at the surface.

"Volcanoes?" asks the filly, before she sighs. "We will have to go in one of them, right?"

"I hope not," says Waddle Dee. "I don't like the thought of walking surrounded by magma."

"As long as you don't fall in it, you will be alright," says Dedede. "Now come." He then takes Waddle Dee and throws him through the portal, before going in too.

"Goodbye Acro, see you soon!" says Sweetie Belle, waving at Acro with Kirby, Adeleine, and Ribbon, the whale nodding at them. She then crosses the portal with the others, the portal closing behind them.


"The more I hear about the Dark Matters, the less I like them. Why did they possess this poor orca?" asks Fluttershy.

"Weeeell..." says Discord, uncertain. "Dark Matters spread hate and pain to make worlds easier to plunge in darkness... What do you think they could do to make others suffer with an orca?"

Celestia frowns. "An orca is a powerful predator... I can easily guess. Whatever those Dark Matters are, they must be some of the most horrible creatures that I have heard about."

Discords turn to her. "And you haven't seen their leader. Zero was nightmare fuel. Even for me, he was disturbing. I just hope that whatever took his place will not be like that."

Chapter 34: In the Wild World

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The portal opens in a vast jungle, and disappears once everyone has gotten out of it. Sweetie Belle looks around at the new environment, the jungle remembering her of the Everfree Forest, but far less scary. The tree, while tall, are spaced enough to let the light comes, and it's much more colored. Of course, it's a jungle, she knows that there must be many dangers, predators roaming around, toxic plants, maybe even natural traps. At least, she now knows how to defend herself, and she is among powerful fighters, and thanks to the light of the crystal guiding them, they will not get lost. They will just have to avoid suspect plants, and keep an eye on the bushes, weapons always ready. Ribbon still decides to fly closer in the middle of the group, beside Adeleine.

"At least, we are not in a volcano," says Waddle Dee as they start advancing in the direction pointed by Ribbon.

"Don't talk yet. We are starting in a jungle, but something tells me that we will not remain in one too long," replies Dedede.

"Drats..."

"I'm not that scared of going in a volcano," says Sweetie Belle. "After exploring that world full of fire and lava, a volcano sounds lame. And as crazy as it is, the world of fire isn't the most dangerous I have explored. The one with a city covering the whole surface, and the one with the wind and the stars were far more perilous, even if the guardian in the last one was weird. That video game thingy was the most weird fight ever."

Adeleine stares at her. "You fought a video game?"

"Yeah... There was those three windows, and that was all like 'The monster appears', 'Sweetie and Kirby attack', 'Sweetie and Kirby deal whatever how many damages'... There was even a window showing the health points, and the fight was by turns, like it was first us, then the monster, then us again, then the monster again... Really, it was like I was in a video game."


Discord snorts, and whispers "Oh, the irony."

"What have you said?" asks Luna.

"Oh, I was just thinking that it could be fun to have a video game in real life. I could arrange that if anypony want to try."

Pinkie raises her hoof, shouting "Me! Mememememe!"

They then hear Ribbon asks "What is the strongest enemy you have ever fought?"

"I would say... Marx? Maybe Zero. Without counting the beings with godlike powers, clearly Meta Knight, with Dedede being a close second, even if he was possessed. Some other powerful enemies that come to mind and that were impressive to fight are Kracko, both Heavy Lobsters -big mecha lobsters-, and a giant in that world full of caves. I could only see his head in the dark, but he was easily over one hundred time my size. Even his eyes were bigger than me."

Everypony looks at the filly in awe. Then, Discord snaps his paw to make a glass of chocolate milk appears, drinks it, and does a spit-take. "She fought what?!"

"A giant over one hundred time her size," says Celestia. "That is certainly an impressive feat."

Luna looks at Celestia and raises an eyebrow. "'Impressive'? You are kidding, right? Winning a fight against a thing this size would be like winning a fight against an Ursa Major. It's a miracle. Only us, among the ponies, are normally powerful enough to win such a fight." She points at the filly walking around a pit full of spikes. "In the space of a few months, this filly has gone from an innocent, harmless child to a warrior that could give even us a hard time in a duel. And if I understand well the chronology that I have been told, that fight dates from a few months ago. She has probably gotten even stronger since then."

Discord raises a finger. "If I can reassure you, she was very certainly with Kirby, and that puffball is no small fry. And when they work together, they are able to accomplish, to repeat your term, miracles. Like winning a fight against a giant over one hundred time their size. Or a mad jester that gained powers about equal to an alicorn. Or even against both you and Celestia together."

The floor under Waddle Dee suddenly breaks apart, revealing a pitfall, thankfully only a few inches deep and without anything armful. They learn however to watch their steps, because the next pitfall may not be as merciful.

After a minute of watching in worry if they fall in any other trap, Luna talk. "Even so, she has still become stronger than the majority of the Royal Guard, maybe even Shining Armor himself. I don't know how this is possible. Is it this universe? Or is she a prodigy? Or something else?"

"Or fate?" proposes Discord. "You ponies love that fate thing, I'm surprised you didn't propose it."

"Fate?" asks Celestia, as she watches the filly obtain a crystal shard in a pitfall between two tree trunks cut. She smiles. "Maybe..."


Passing a legged axe, they enter a small tunnel in a wall leading them in a cliff, high above a part of the jungle but not at the top, just between the two walls of what seems to be a crack. Ribbon finds another shard further down, before she says "The next shard is up. We have to climb."

"Using those vines?" asks Adeleine.

"Or we fly," says Dedede. "But I don't mind climbing."

So Sweetie climbs on Dedede's back, and he jumps, clinging to a vine before he starts climbing it. Adeleine decides instead to paint Kracko again, and jumps on him, using him to fly up while knocking away all the creatures in the way so the others can climb in peace. Every now and then, they reach the top of a vine, and they have to jump on another to go further up, until they reach a hole in the opposite wall, Ribbon pointing at it.

Passing the hole, they can already see another wall with a tunnel in it. The problem? The wall is far away, nothing separating them but some vegetation with vines hanging from it.

They will have to jump from vine to vine to reach the other wall, a missed jump meaning a big fall right to the jungle below.

Kirby is the first one to go, jumping to a vine, then jumping to another. Waddle Dee follows him, and Adeleine simply continues to fly with the painted Kracko. Dedede wait for Sweetie to go on his shoulder again, then takes a big breath, making a vine go toward them. He takes it, steps back a little, and smiles.

He runs... and jumps.

"OOOOOOOHUOHUOOOOOOHUOHUOOOOOOO!!!!!"

Once everyone has reached the other wall, as Dedede lands, he takes back his breath for a moment, and he guffaws, holding his belly. "I always dreamed of doing that!"

"Darn... I missed an occasion," says Adeleine.

"How could I not think of it?" says Waddle Dee, tears in his eyes.

Kirby looks down in sadness, disappointed too for not having thought of it.

Sweetie jumps from Dedede's shoulder, shaking. "That was scary... But it was so fun! Maybe I should learn to climb ropes so I can do the same?"

Dedede slaps her on the back, knocking her on her belly while still laughing. "I will make sure that one day, you can!"

"Y-yay..."


After fighting a big version of those red reptiles with a white belly and that can breath fire, they reach another cliff at the start of a succession of logs held up by vines, some of them balancing. Thankfully, the logs are big enough so they can walk on them without too much risks of falling, and Adeleine has kept Kracko. However, as Ribbon finds another shard almost hidden by the leaves above them, they discover that there are some logs that fall as they land on them, so they have to hurry on those ones.

Passing another tunnel at the end of the path with the logs, they reach this time a path made of natural pillars, with an Invincibility Candy at the start. A mouth to mouth session later, and they are rushing on the pillars, knocking away blocks and enemies that block their path until the invincibility disappears just before they enter another tunnel.

At the end of a tunnel, they are back in the jungle, only they are now beside a big crack in the ground.

"We have to jump in it," says Ribbon.

Sweetie Belle looks at her, and the crystal, seeing that it is now as big as Kirby. "Is it becoming heavy? It has gotten much bigger thanks to all those shards."

"Don't worry. Like I said, I'm stronger than I look."

"If you say so," say Adeleine. "But remember that if it starts to be heavy, then you can give it to one of us so we can hold it for you."

Ribbon simply nods.

After that, everyone flies down the crack, quickly finding another shard floating in the way, before Ribbon points at another crack in the floor of this place, where they reach a bunch of minecarts, making Sweetie Belle smiles widely. The filly immediately jumps in the minecart at the front, lighting her horn so they can see in the dark, Dedede joining her behind. So Kirby goes in another minecart behind with Waddle Dee, and adeleine and Ribbon go to a third. Sweetie's minecart being the first, she is the first to go, using her magic to push it. When it reaches the start of the slope, the minecart gains speed, making the filly screaming in joy. Waddle and Adeleine have to push their card to start it.

Many creatures have gotten the bad idea to be on the track, and are knocked away by the minecart. Sweetie and Dedede still have to jump above some giant gems or holes, but it doesn't matter much for the laughing filly. In the way, after the railroad splits into two tracks and they have taken the track above, they catch another shard that Dedede firmly grips in his hand so he doesn't accidentally make it fall in the chasm below.

Dedede then says "Oh oh..."

"What?"

The penguin points in front, showing that the railroad suddenly ends just before another hole.

"Oh horsefeather!"

Using her magic on the wheels, Sweetie Belle tries to make the minecart stop. With the sudden brake, it slows down, creating a high pitched noise while making sparks appear behind, until it finally stops just at the end, the front bumping the curved up rail delimiting it.

They sigh in relief.

Only to be collided from behind, the sudden shock making their card bounces, goes upside down, and falls in the hole. Dedede quickly grab Sweetie Belle before inflating his belly, only for the card to fall on him, deflating him and making them fall all the way until they crash on the floor, the minecart on them. A few seconds later, after groaning, Dedede starts to get up, lifting the minecart on him, only for Kirby and Waddle Dee's minecart to fall on it, making his minecart hit his head and knocking him back on the floor, Sweetie Belle crushed under his belly. It's in the middle of more groaning from Sweetie Belle, Dedede, Kirby, and Waddle Dee that Adeleine and Ribbon come, the fairy carrying the human girl.

As they land beside the two minecarts and the four groaning beings, Adeleine shouts "We are sorry! We couldn't stop the cart!"

"Urg... I should say the same thing... Sorry my king. Sorry Sweetie." says Waddle Dee.

"It's okay Waddle Dee... Dedede, can you get up please? You are crushing me."

"I... I don't... wanna get up... mommy... My head hurts..."

"Poyooooo..."


After a few minutes, everyone is back up and back to their senses, Dedede rubbing a big bump on his head. Sweetie lights again her horn and looks around, nothing much to see in the darkness beside some stalagmites and small ponds. They look at Ribbon for a direction, and follow the one that she points, this place having not much obstacles beside a greater quantity of creatures than normal, including those one eyed green blocks from the desert world, those lezard-frog creatures jumping out of holes in a wall to gobble them, Gordos, or even a Shotzos on a star block.

After a small tunnel, the next room reveals to contain a path composed only of rock pillars rising from a chasm, a waterfall falling on all the pillars, with Shotzos and blobs of water with a red core suspending from the ceiling. Normally, jumping from pillar to pillar is nothing new, but between the water slowing them, the blobs of water trying to fall on them to hurt them, and the many Shotzos constantly shooting at them, the difficulty is much higher, and it's only through teamwork, Sweetie, Adeleine on a ninja, and Ribbon shooting the water blobs, Kirby, Dedede, and Waddle Dee using bombs, hammer, and spear to destroy the projectiles of the Shotzos, that they reach the end of this path without being hit.

Another small tunnel, another giant room, only this time, no holes, just a flat floor with stalagmites, a pillar going all the way to the ceiling here and there, and water in some parts lower than the rest. Of course, no obstacles doesn't mean that there is nothing, the various creatures still here to try their luck at stopping them. Actually, after a moment walking in water, they reach a small cliff with a waterfall, revealing that this room is not as flat as they have thought, and there are some small pits, some in the water, others not, some of them with food, others with an enemy.

Another small cliff later, Ribbon suddenly says "Wait!" making everyone stops before she points back at the wall of the cliff they have just jumped. "There is a shard behind that wall!"

"Seems like you are doing well holding the bomb, Kirby," says Dedede.

Kirby nods with a "Poyo," and approaches the wall, placing a pile of bombs in front of it before stepping back. The bombs explode, blowing a big hole in the wall, and revealing the shard. Not long after getting it, they reach a small room where they find themselves face to face with a small army of those water blobs.

Dedede smiles and takes him hammer. "Now they are trying to get us by number? Bring it on!"

However, before they can charge in, Sweetie shoots lightning at the water blobs, the lightning spreading from a blob to another until the whole army is hit, and beaten. As the blobs stop moving and the exit opens, Dedede and the others look at the filly, the penguin crossing his arms in annoyance.

"You could have at least left some for me."

She sticks out her tongue at him. "You will have to be faster." She giggles.

Dedede's frown becomes deeper, before he suddenly starts laughing. "I think I'm rubbing off on you a little too much."

She huffs. "At least, I'm not as hot head as you."

"Yet."

"Never. My friend Scootaloo is already the hot head in my group."

"A group of friend can very well have more than one hot head."

"But then, who will make sure than the hot head doesn't lead us to the hospital with her ideas?"

"After everything you have gone through in the last few months, I'm sure you could handle those ideas."

"You may be right, but I still have to keep a level head to make sure that my friends don't get hurt." She then wraps her cape around her, masking her muzzle and below, and starts talking in a deep voice. "I will be like Meta Knight, strong, but calm, thinking before acting."

"Like Meta Knight, uh? Hopefully, you will not try to conquer Dreamland too."

She smirks. "Well, maybe once I finally surpass you in a duel, I could become queen of Dreamland."

"In your dreams."

"Isn't this universe an universe where dreams can become reality?"

Dedede takes his hammer. "Then you wanna try right now?"

"I would like to, but we have a world to save, remember."

"Are you scared?"

"Not walking in that trap."

He pouts. "You are not funny."

"Sorry. Being fun is not my special talent."

Slap! Slap!

"Alright you two, enough of your bickering. Like said earlier, we have a world to save," says Adeleine, arms crossed, a drawn fan in her right hand, and a penguin and a filly rubbing their head in pain in front of her.

"Sorry..." says Sweetie Belle.

Dedede crosses his arms, grumbling "Next time she uses a fan..."

"How would she use me?" asks Sweetie Belle.

"Wait what?"

...

...

Waddle Dee suddenly facepalms. "Urg... Because she is a fan of Adeleine's drawing... That was horrible Sweetie. Leave the bad jokes to Broom Sunglasses, please." However, he then hears Kirby and Ribbon laughing, and see the two on their back. He raises an eyebrow. "Seriously?"

"I thought you said that being funny wasn't your special talent," says Dedede.

"I can still try to be funny when I want."

"Hum hum!" they then hear, and they see Adeleine slamming the fan on her left palm.

Sweetie Belle suddenly runs toward the exit. "Gotta go!"

Adeleine giggles. "Finally. I thought you two would never stop, even with my fan."

"It has slowly become a thing between us since a few weeks after I have started to test her in real fights. Must be some rival thing. I'm sure that if Kirby could talk, then we would bicker all the time."

"And then I would have to slap you two to get you back on track."

They suddenly hear Sweetie shout "Hey! I found a Maxi Tomato! Hurry up, or I will eat it by myself!"

"Poyo!" In panic, Kirby starts to run to join the filly.

"Wait for me!" shouts Waddle Dee, running after him.

Dedede sighs. "I'm definitely rubbing off on her..."

Adeleine and Ribbon giggle, and the fairy says "I wonder if she is rubbing off on you too."

"I don't know."

"You are more friendly!" says Adeleine. "You are not the same Dedede as the one that stole all the food of Dreamland!"

He huffs, and starts to walk to the exit. "Maybe. Or maybe I am just waiting to be able to beat Kirby."

"Yeah, right." She giggles.


The next room is clearly a different part of the cave. The rocks are not the same, and there are square-shaped pillars coming from the chasm below and the ceiling above everywhere, some of them moving up and down. Those pillars are easily the most dangerous obstacles, before if Sweetie and the others don't watch out, they could end up turned into pancakes.

There is one of those pillars just in front of them, but only a quarter of it is hitting another pillar above it, so at least, this one is not too dangerous. However, there is another pillar just after it, and they will have to time well their passage. Just to be sure, they decide to go one at a time so they have enough place to move without bothering the others. Kirby is the first to go, followed by Dedede.

Sweetie is the third, and she waits for the first pillar to go all the way down before going on it. She makes sure to go on the part where she will not risk to be crushed, and she lets the pillar lift her while she can see the second one go down until half of it hit another pillar below. Once the second pillars starts to get back up, she jumps from the first, run, and stop just before reaching a third pillar that she passes with a jump once it is all the way down. She reaches what seems to be a dead end, only for the pillar above her to go up, revealing the way, and she quickly moves before the pillar goes back down.

She has to wait another pillar to go down before passing it, and she does the same thing for the one following it, jumping above it just as it starts to go back up. The next one is harder to pass, because there are actually two pillars moving and hitting each other, threatening to crush her between the two if she doesn't go at the right time. So she waits for the two pillars to slam into each other, then just as they separate, she jumps on the one going down, and jumps again to the immobile pillar following it. Passing a last pillar, she finally reaches the end of the area, and joins Kirby and Dedede, waiting with them Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and Ribbon. Two minutes later, Waddle Dee reaches them, almost getting crushed between the two pillars before the last one, and Adeleine, Ribbon on her shoulder with the crystal, joins them two more minutes later with some careful jumps.

From there, it's a simple tunnel tilting up, just a big slope that seems to go up, and up, and up forever, until they see light. They exit the tunnel, finally back at the surface, only to look in awe at where they now are. There are mountains everywhere, made of giant columns of rocks of different colors. They are on a narrow path starting from one and passing between them, above the clouds that are like a white sea, hiding everything below. At least, to be above the clouds, they can tell that they are very high.

Waddle Dee places his arms before his mouth, and yells "YODELIHOOOO!!!"

YODELIHOOOO!!!

As Waddle Dee starts to laugh, Sweetie joins him and yells "CUTIE MARK CRUSADER MOUNTAINEER, YEAH!!!"

-SADER MOUNTAINEER, YEAH!!!

"I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!" shouts Dedede.

-KING OF THE WORLD!!!

"POYOOOO!!!"

POYOOOO!!!


"Classic. Too bad the echo isn't answering back, it would be more fun," comments Discord.

Applejack giggles. "Powerful fighters, and yet childish. I'm not surprised that Sweetie Belle would do that, or Kirby, but Dedede?"

Pinkie suddenly pops beside her and wrap a hoof around her. "Silly! It's not because he is a king that he can't have some fun every now and then. Right, princesses?"

"Of course," answers Celestia, giggling. "I remember when I did it the first time. I passed a whole hour yelling silly things."

"One hour, or one day?" asks Luna.

Celestia smirks at her sister. "That was you who passed a whole day yelling at the echo. I remember, you were so young, and you thought that it was somepony else repeating what you said, and you wouldn't give up yelling at them to stop."

Rarity puts a hoof on her mouth to hide a smile. "Oh... That's adorable."

Luna's cheeks become pink. "Celestia!" She then sees Discord wearing a shirt with written on it "Trollestia is best troll!" and blasts him, only for him to opens a hole in the air for the beam to disappear in, the draconeequus smiling smugly at her. She grumbles "One day..."


Sweetie Belle and the others walk on the path, nothing much happening at first excepted the discovering of another shard, but after a moment, things start to become a little harder, with more enemies appearing, and the path sometime breaking up into small platforms, forcing them to jump above bottomless holes. At a moment, the path is nothing more than a succession of very small pillars, only big enough for someone to stand on them, forcing them to carefully jump one at a time until the path return to a more larger way.

Things get more interesting once they encounter one of the human-like creatures with a spear, only this one isn't attacking them, and has the particularity of wearing a blue top hat, for some reason. Instead, she looks at the crystal in Ribbon's hands and says "Wow! Big crystal! Beautiful!"

This surprises everyone, and Ribbon answers "Urh... Thank you."

"Me has gotten small crystal like that. Me has hidden it with puzzle. Me likes puzzle. Me doesn't want losing crystal. You giving big crystal to me?"

"Sorry, but we need this crystal to save my world and the ones I love."

"Oh..."

"And we also need the crystal you got. It's actually a part of this big crystal, and thanks to it, it will be easier to save my world. You don't mind giving it to us?"

"Me giving crystal to you. But you solve puzzle first! You follow me!"

The human-like creature leads them a little further, until they reach a group of star blocks forming a big squared of 7x7 blocs, but there is a block missing in the center.

The creature then points at the blocs and says "Destroy blocks, form object! Form good object, and crystal appears!"

"And which object must we form?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Me not telling you. But you already seeing object needed."

"We already see it?" asks Sweetie Belle. She starts looking up and down at the creature, and quickly gets an idea. She signs the others to approach, and whispers to them "I think it's the top hat."

"Yes, I think so too," replies Adeleine. "She is the only one that we have seen wearing a top hat."

"How did she get her hands on a top hat ?" asks Dedede.

"She probably found it," answers Sweetie Belle. "Now let's destroy those blocks and hope that we are right."

Adeleine nods. "Yes. And to make the right shape, we just have to destroy the blocks of the first and last columns, excepted the ones of the last line. We will have to be careful to not accidentally destroy one we shouldn't. So no bombs!" she says to Kirby.

The puffball looks down in disappointment.

"Let me do it," says Sweetie Belle. "With my beams, I can target the right blocks and destroy them one at a time."

"Then do it," says Dedede to her.

She nods, and turn to the blocks, going in front of them so she can see all of them. She then targets the block at the upper-left corner and destroy it with a beam, before destroying the one below it, and repeating for the four following one under. She then does the same thing at the opposite side, effectively turning the square into a top hat. Once done, the crystal appears in the hole in the center, and Ribbon quickly takes it while the creature congrats them.

"You quick! Impressive! You love puzzles too?"

"I like doing a puzzle sometime," answers Adeleine. "it's so satisfying to solve one."

"If it counts, I play chess," says Dedede. "Otherwise, I'm not too much into puzzles."

"Chess? What is chess?"

"Sorry, it would be too long to explain," says Waddle Dee.

Sweetie comes back at his side. "Puzzles are nice. I could give you some examples of puzzles that I have done. If you tell me where you live, I could come back to tell you."

"Of course!"


Leaving the creature, Barbara, behind, they continue their journey, the path now almost only constituted of pillars more or less big, and there are now floating platforms that fall about one second after someone land on them, sometime forcing the ones left behind to fly. In the way, between two pillars, they find another shard not long before reaching a serie of pillars forming Kirby's name, to the group's confusion.

"How is this possible?" asks Sweetie Belle.

Dedede turns to Kirby. "Anything to say?"

The puffball only shrugs, as confused as the others, before deciding to just forget about this for now and continue, waving at the others to follow.

As they continue to follow the path, they can see that they are nearing a volcano, lava flowing from it. Ribbon looks at the light of the crystal, and says "The light points at the direction of the volcano..."

"Oh stars..." groans Waddle Dee.

They reach the area around the volcano, with lakes and rivers of lava. They follow the path going right into the volcano, some rivers of lava passing through it while it rains small rocks that Sweetie destroys with her beams. The sky is now black with the ash expulsed of the volcano, and the lava gives it a red tint, while the temperature makes the hot days of summer look cold by comparison.

Entering the volcano itself, the cave inside is half full of lava. There are still a floor for the group to walk on, but some of it moves because of the current of the lava, and there are many fire creatures trying to burn them. After a small passage, they enter another room where they can see small hills of rock in the middle of the lava, with cracked pillars at their top, and more pillars after them. They find another shard in one of those pillars, a little before reaching the end of the room, but they have had to take a dangerous path before Dedede could destroy it with his hammer.

In the next room, the only way beside flying is a small suspended path of rock above a big lake of lava, the path having a couple of Gordos in the way. The path is however broken at a few places, so they have to jump more than once before they reach a big rock in the middle of the lake where they can rest a little without risking of falling in the lava. The path restarts at the other side of the rock, Bronto Burts waiting to charge at them on some pillars beside it, and with a small section made of pillars after the Burts. a third section of the path is against a wall expelling streams of lava that they have to jump above, before reaching the small passage leading to the next room, which is just a small room with a cracked rock in the middle. Ribbons points at it, and the rock is easily broken, letting the fairy obtains another shard without touching the lava below it.

They exit the room by another passage, where they have again to follow a path on a lake of lava, thankfully must larger than the previous one. However, not long after entering it, the area starts to shake, and lava suddenly rises behind them, forming a wall a lava advancing toward them, making the group panic.

"I knew something like that would happen!" shouts Waddle Dee.

Kirby starts to run, yelling "Poyo!" rapidly followed by the others.

They run and jump and run and jump, not looking back, not stopping to eat the food or to fight the creatures in the way. Some of the creatures are anyway too busy to run or fly away from the lava too. There are still some parts where they have to take more time, most of the time because it is too narrow. it's especially the case when the path turn into series of small platforms only large enough for one of two of them to jump on. It is worth where there are creatures on said platforms, forcing them to attack them to open the way.

They run through the passage at the end of the room, only to discover that the only way to continue in the next room is up, either flying or jumping on floating platform, while the lava is rising below them. Dedede grabs Waddle Dee and inflates, Kirby doing the same, while Sweetie Belle jump on a shield that she creates and Ribbon grabs Adeleine to lift her. Sweetie spots a shard floating above one of those creatures that look like a Kabu made of sand, and takes it in her magic before making it fuse with the crystal in Adeleine's hands.

The more they go up, the more the room get smaller, and after a moment, they decide to give up flying to simply jump from platforms to platforms, finally leaving the room not long before the lava. They end up in a cave with a big crack in the ceiling, the rock around it red hot. They don't have long however to look around, before soon, they see the lava getting out of the hole where they come from, and they are forced to jump on a bunch of rocks that thankfully float on it. They look around as the lava fills the cave, until it stops.

But when they have started thinking that this is the end, they see lava rises further from them, two black eyes and a big mouth appearing on it. The creature literally made of lava now looks at them, and seems to press himself, causing lava to rise and charge at them. Luckily, there are more floating rocks around, so it is not hard for them to jump on other rocks to avoid them, Sweetie meanwhile shooting ice balls at the creature.

"You know, I'm not that surprised to fight something made of lava. I mean, I fought something made of clouds."

"Yeah... But how are we going to hurt it?" asks Dedede. "It's too far for us to reach ! Only you can attack it! And Ribbon with her crystal!"

The fairy gasps. "Oh right! I'm going!" And so, she goes toward the creature of lava and shoots at it.

At this instant, the creature presses itself again, causing columns of lava to rise beside their platforms. On a hunch, they jump on platforms where there are no columns of lava beside them, just as the columns starts to fall on the platforms they have been.

"Wait..." suddenly says Adeleine. "Is this lava part of its body? If that's the case, then maybe we can attack them to damage it."

"We can try," says Dedede. "But isn't attacking the lava like that a risk to melt our weapons?"

The creature then presses itself again, making more lava to flow toward them, only for it to disappear under their platforms. It's not hard for them to guess that this is bad, and so, they jump on other platforms. One by one, the platform they have been on are then lifted by columns of lava toward the hot ceiling. Just at this instant, Kirby throws a bomb at one of the columns, and they can see the creature flinches.

Kirby turns to the others and nods. "Poyo!"

"So it works," says Waddle Dee. "But can we attack it without burning our weapons?"

Dedede frowns while looking at the creature. "Only one way to know."

The creatures makes columns of lava appears beside their platforms while sending more lava toward them. Because of the columns, they have more difficulties to jump on other platforms, but they still manage to do it. Dedede makes sure to jump on a platform beside one of the columns, and attack it with his hammer. Surprisingly, the hammer doesn't melt, and the creature is hurt.

"We can attack it!"

"Then it's time to get serious!" shouts Waddle Dee in determination, using his spear to attack another column before it disappears.

Sweetie Belle and Ribbon continue to attack the main body without stopping expecting to jump for the filly. Adeleine joins the assault on the columns by painting the Ice Dragon, his ice breath doing big damages to them. At this, the creature multiplies the attacks, giving them more brutality, and making combinations to try to trap them, only for Sweetie to cheat, using shields so they always have a platform to jump on, even when all the others are threatened by lava.

Between this and the now almost constant pain, the creature enters into a great rage, and suddenly goes into the lava, before the whole cave starts shaking, and the creature emerges back beside them, and charges at them. They are forced to run, or rather jump away to escape it, jumping on many platforms all the while avoiding its attacks and attacking back. After a few minutes, they reach the end of the lake of lava, getting on an upper area where there is none of it. The creature still follows them, sliding on the ground outside of the lava, before stopping. Not in its element anymore, the creature changes tactic, and instead breath fire at them.

Dedede get himself in front of the group, and starts inhaling, sucking the fire into his mouth. Once the creature stops breathing fire, Dedede finishes inhaling it, and after a second, spits it back at the creature, surprisingly hurting it. Once Dedede is done, Kirby jumps above him and throws many bombs in the creature's mouth, hurting it even more. Irritated, the creature slams the top of its head to the ceiling, causing rocks to fall on them. Sweetie however uses a shield to protect everyone, the rocks cumuling on it. Once the rocks stop falling, she looks at Adeleine still on the Ice Dragon and nods. The human girl nods back and the dragon readies its tail. Sweetie then drops the rocks around her, and uses her magic to throw one at the Ice Dragon. The ice Dragon then turns around and uses its tail to send the rock toward the creature of lava, the rock hitting it between the eyes. Quickly, Sweetie throws the other rocks one after another at the Ice Dragon, and the big reptile sends them back at the creature thanks to his tail, never missing, until the creature goes into the floor, forming a puddle of lava that charges that them.

They either jump above or run around it, and the creature eventually emerges, only to hit the ceiling again to make more rocks raining, before breathing his fire. While Sweetie and Adeleine use ice on the fire to stop it, Kirby gives up the bomb ability and inhale some of the rocks, gaining the stone ability. Once Dedede and Waddle Dee are done using their weapon to swap the rest of the rocks away, Kirby nods at Dedede, miming him opening his mouth wide. Dedede smirks, and inhales Kirby, and spits him at the creature. While flying, Kirby turns into stone, and crashes right in the forehead of the creature. He bounces up while turning back into normal, goes right above it, and turns back into stone, falling on its head. Dedede then inhales Waddle Dee and spits him above the creature. Waddle Dee lands on Kirby still in his rock form, and prepares his spear.

Adeleine looks at Sweetie Belle, and makes a small movement of the head toward the Ice Dragon. Sweetie nods and readies herself, wrapping herself into a spheric shield. The Ice Dragon then breaths ice at her, turning her into a big ice ball, and use its tail to throws her at the creature's forehead. The impact cause the creature to tilt its head back, making Kirby fall. Before that, Waddle Dee jumps, and Sweetie Belle breaks her ice shield, using it to bounce up beside Waddle Dee. She then shoots ice at Waddle Dee's spear, wrapping it in ice, surprising him, before Waddle Dee nods as he falls back toward the creature. He then points the ice spear down, and impales it in its forehead.

After that, the creature starts to get smaller, and smaller, and also colder, its body turning into stone, and its face disappearing. In the end, the creature looks like the rest of the cave, before crumbling into boulders of different sizes, releasing a shard. At their victory, the members of the group exchange high five and fist bump, screaming in joy, sometime with a hug, and the Ice Dragon gets some petting, to its pleasure.


Everypony look in awe at the fight they have just witnessed, even the princesses.

Rainbow is the first to comment about it. "Okay... That was awesome."

Rarity then takes a big breath. "I can finally breathe. I was so scared that Sweetie would get burned to death by the lava. And when she was used as a projectile wrapped in ice... I... I think that I have gained some white hair."

"Did they have to kill this... living lava?" asks Fluttershy.

Celestia sighs. "This creature could have stopped anytime... It was being hurt, and it could see that it was at a disadvantage. And yet, it continued the fight. And they needed the shard inside it, so they couldn't stop. The outcome could only be this. I'm sorry, Fluttershy, but not every fights can end with the enemy being knocked unconscious. You who love animals, you know that it is often the case."

"Yes... For some species of animals, the males often fight each others for the females, and sometime, it ends with one of the males getting killed, frequently because they refuse to stop before it is too late." She sighs sadly. "Why didn't it stop?"

"We can only guess," says Luna.

They then see that the volcano start to shake violently, and the lava gets up, forcing the group to run. A portal is quickly opened, showing a white, spheric world, with a moon, a real moon, turning around it. They can see shapes at the surface, and Twilight can swear she has seen them before. One by one, they jump in the portal, before it closes just as the lava reaches it.

Twilight quickly teleports to her personal library, takes a book, and teleports back, before opening it, revealing a map. It's a special book, because she has gotten it in the mirror world with a few others, so this map shows nothing on Equus. It's actually a map of the whole mirror world, showing all the continents and the oceans. And the shapes of the continents... They are exactly the sames as the ones in that white world!

This white world, it's not just any world.

It's Earth.

Frozen.

Chapter 35: The Fallen World

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They jump out of the portal, and land on snow, the temperature going from the extreme heat of the volcano to really cold. Barely they take their first step on the snow and they are already shaking, some of them even having their teeth clacking. Dedede and Sweetie Belle are the less affected by the cold, the king thanks to his and cloths and the fact that he is a penguin, and so is naturally resistant to the cold, and the filly thanks to both her fur and her cape, that she still wraps around herself.

Waddle Dee crosses his arms, trying to warm himself. "Brrrr... I don't know what is worst. Almost melting in the heat, or freezing in the cold. Sweetie Belle, can I borrow your fur?"

The filly deadpans at him. "I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny, or if you really think that I can give you my fur just like that. And no, even if I had a mean to shave my fur, I would not give it to you, or to anyone."

"Besides, I don't think I want to see how Sweetie would look without her fur," says Adeleine. "It would probably be no better than seeing a naked Mr Frosty."

"Ugh... Please, don't give us images like that," says Dedede in disgust. "Let's just go and find the shards in this world as quickly as possible, so we can go to a warmer place."

They all nod and look at Ribbon for a direction. Once she gives it, they start to walk, Kirby eating in the way some bird made of ice to gain the ice ability, giving him a greater resistance to the cold, to Waddle Dee's envy. After a small and rather uneventful trek, they reach the base of a small cliff that they can climb with the help of ladders installed on the wall. They just have to watch out for the flying enemies while climbing them, and they find some foods in small holes. At the top, they find something nothing else then bobsleds, all in range, ready to be taken and used to slide!

Adeleine is the first to take one and to start making it slide, Ribbon jumping in it with her. Dedede takes another one and jump in it, Kirby going with him, to his displeasure. This leaves Sweetie and Waddle Dee to take a third one before following the others.

During the ride, while they have fun, they still have to avoid many obstacles, like tree trunks, or holes. At a moment, they even pass through an igloo, and they see Adeleine and Ribbon jump on another where they catch the first crystal shard of this world. Sweetie and Waddle Dee prefer to slide around it, and after a few more holes, they reach the end of the slope, Kirby and Waddle Dee crashing into a big rock while the others are able to avoid it. Kirby finds himself propulsed above the rock and right inside a big igloo that is just behind it, and the others quickly follow him.

Inside the igloo, they discover another shard trapped in ice under the ceiling. However, there is also a big Chilly with a few ice birds that they have to eliminate first, so they can melt the ice in peace. While Sweetie shoots at the birds with fireballs, Kirby, Dedede, and Waddle Dee knock out the Chilly in a few seconds. Once done, Sweetie uses a shield to go closer to the trapped shard and shoots fire at the ice, making it melt. Once the ice has melted enough, the shard falls, and Ribbon catches it, and nods at the filly. The shard obtained, they exit the igloo by a second entrance that the Chilly has been guarding, finding themselves in front of a frozen lake.

Ribbon points at the lake. "I think that the next shard is under the water."

...

"So... Someone will have to jump in this probably extremely cold water?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Seems like it," says Sweetie Belle. "But I'm sure it will be nothing for Kirby thanks to his ice ability."

"And I could go in too. Cold water is nothing to me," says Dedede.

But Kirby decides to go in first. He spots a hole in the ice at the surface and runs toward it before jumping in. Dedede simply huff at this before he decides to continue their journey, thinking that Kirby will rapidly join them. So he goes on the lake, having no problems to walk on it, followed by Sweetie Belle who know how to keep her balance on it. However, Waddle Dee and Adeleine decide to walk around the lake, not wanting to risk a few painful faceplants. As for Ribbon, she flies above the lake, beside Sweetie and Dedede.

After about one minute, Kirby jumps out of another hole in the ice, holding a shard that he gives to Ribbon, and not long after, they reach the other side of the lake, where they wait for Waddle Dee and Adeleine to join them. Once they are all back together, Ribbon looks at the light in the crystal and raises an eyebrow.

"Is there a problem, Ribbon?" asks Waddle Dee.

The fairy looks up. "It says that the next shard is up there, in the sky."

"So, in the clouds, I guess," says Dedede, crossing his arms. "Now, how are we going to get up there?"

Sweetie puts a hoof under her chin. "We can try to fly."

Adeleine nods. "We can try. But... We should try at first to find if there is not a way to get up. We will fly if there is nothing."

"I can search around," proposes Ribbon.

Kirby nods. "Poyo."

At this, Ribbons flies away, scouting in hope of finding something that could help them go to the clouds. She priorities searching in the direction pointed by the light. A few minutes later, she comes back to the group with a big smile, and points in the direction she comes from.

"Over there. I found one of those floating green balls that can propel us like cannons. I asked it if it could propulse us to the clouds and it accepted. Now it is waiting us at the top of that mountain."

"This mountain?" asks Adeleine, pointing at a mountain in the direction shown by Ribbon.

"Yes. However, in the way, we will have to pass a field full of small mount of ice, and there are some small cracks and cliffs too."

Dedede chuckles. "That's nothing new."

This makes Sweetie giggle. "That's true. Let's go, everyone."

As Ribbon has warned, the way is full of small amounts of ice that they either climb or walk around, with a few small cracks and cliffs to jump. The problem with the mounts of ice is that all of them have at the top some sort of green worm with a big head and a yellow horn that push boulders at them if they get too close. In those cases, Dedede is always there to break the boulders with his hammers, so they don't have to jump out of the way constantly.

Soon, they pass the field, and after a small walk, start to climb the mountain. Thankfully, the flank of the mountain is just a big slope, so they just have to walk on it to reach the top, with a few big crystals in the way that are, sadly, not the ones that they search. At the top, they find a hole with the green blob waiting for them inside. Once it sees them, the blob nods, indicating that it is ready.

Ribbon bows her head. "Thank you."

Kirby is the first one to jump in, and they watch him being propulsed toward the sky, until he reaches a hole in the clouds. Sweetie is the next one to jump, joining Kirby on the clouds. She lands just beside him, and remarks that the clouds here have more of those crystals on them, without counting the stars patterned everywhere. She remains beside him to wait the others, just as she sees Dedede come.


"That's strange. They walk on a cloud, and yet, I haven't seen her cast the cloudwalking spell. I don't think she even knows how to cast this spell," says Twilight in confusion.

Discord turns toward her to answer. "They can walk on clouds for the same reason they can breath underwater. It's just a thing in this dimension."

"Is there even something in this dimension that is impossible?" asks Rainbow Dash.

"Good question. Mmh... Surviving a bath of lava, maybe?"

"Yeah, probably. Clearly, they didn't want to fall in it."

"Or maybe they can survive falling in it for a time, but it still hurt," says Pinkie.

"I don't think we will even know unless we see somepony fall in it," says Applejack.

Spike looks unsure. "I don't think I want to see what would happen if Pinkie is wrong... This actually makes me think of all those creatures that were in the volcano when the lava started to rise. The majority of them must be dead now..."

Celestia sighs. "That is the risk with volcanoes. They are deadly. How about we stop thinking about this and we go back to watching Sweetie Belle and her friends? They have started their journey on the clouds, and I think they found another shard."

They all look back at the portal, and can see that Celestia is right. The whole group is now on the clouds, and Ribbon is flying under one, just catching a shard floating under it. At the same time, the rest of the group reach a serie of small flat clouds with strong currents going up, helping them to jump higher and further. After those clouds, they reach a really big cloud with a tunnel going through it. After the tunnel, at the other side of the cloud, they find another one of the green blobs, and one by one, they use it to go up through three clouds toward another green blob, and from there, even more blobs until reaching another cloud, finding a second shard in the way.

Now they are in a very cloudy area of the sky, with some round clouds of different colors like pink or green that shrink and grow back and forth.

This makes Rainbow giggles. "Colored clouds. They must be made of fruit juice."

Pinkie licks her lips. "Fruit juice flavored clouds? This needs to happen! It would be the best thing ever for summer!"

"Hum... I don't think it's possible, unless using magic..." says Fluttershy in a small voice.

Rainbow looks at her. "Actually, it would be possible. We create a normal cloud, and we put in the fruit juice or our choice. It would just have to be a lot of fruit juice for it to propagate to the whole cloud."

"Or I just have to snap my finger and tadaa!" Discord snaps his claw, and makes two colored clouds appear, one yellow, and one purple. "Lemon, or grapes? Unless..." He snaps again, making appear a brown cloud. "you want the classic chocolate milk?"

"Chocolate milk!" shouts Pinkie.

Discord puts a straw in the cloud and gives it to Pinkie. "Maybe I could open a business with that stuff."

"I would be your first customer!"

Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle and her friends have jumped a few small clouds to reach the layer of clouds just above them. On this layer, after a small walk, Waddle dee almost get eaten by a blue enemy constituted of a round body with a big crocodile-like mouth, and an eye on each side. He has been jumping above a hole, when one of those things has suddenly jumped out of it to trap him in his mouth. Sweetie Belle has saved him just in time, shooting a beam at the creature to force it to spit her friend before sending it flying through the clouds to who know where. They encounter some more of those creature, alongside many spherical white beings that jump out of the clouds at the approach of the group, before they reach an entrance leading inside the cloud.

Surprisingly, the inside of the cloud is pink, and they have to fight one of those white balls, but bigger, with those enemies flying thanks to a propeller. Of course, they don't last long against the full power of the heroes, who leave the cloud with a new shard after breaking some big cube that has been trapping it. Outside the cloud, they walk a little before reaching the edge, and everyone has their mouth opening in awe at what they now see beyond the edge, back at the surface : a city. A city with skyscrapers, like Manehattan, and totally covered in snow. And being this high in the sky, they can see that the city is big, very big. Maybe even bigger than Manehattan.

"Wow... So, there is a real civilization in this world?" says Waddle Dee.

"Maybe they have found some of the shards. We can ask the locals, or the guards, or even the mayor of this city," proposes Sweetie Belle.

Adeleine starts to paint something. "But first, we have to go down there, and I think that I know how we will do." She then finishes painting, revealing a balloon carrying a basket. Once it gets out of the canvas, it is actually big enough to carry all of them at the same time. As Adeleine jumps in the basket, she shouts "All aboard!"

At this, they all jump in the basket, and the balloon starts to lift them toward the city.

Rarity turns toward Twilight. "You said that this is Earth. So, does this mean that this is a human city, darling?"

"Yes, I think. But in the mirror world, humans are the only sentient species, and they can't walk on clouds or breath in water. But this world clearly possesses other sentient creatures. So this may be Earth, yes, but a very different Earth where humans aren't alone, and where some of them seem to possess some powers, like Adeleine."

"Uh... Twilight."

"Yes, Pinkie?"

She points at the portal, more exactly, at the streets below the balloon. "Where are the humans?"

"Hey. That's true!" says Applejack. "If this city is like Manehattan, then the streets should be as full as the waiting line at the start of the apple cider season, and yet, I see no humans."

"Maybe they are in their home because of the cold?" proposes Fluttershy.

Rarity shakes her head. "No... Even with the cold, there would be a few of them still out, either going to their job, visiting a friend or a family member, or playing in the snow. The streets shouldn't be empty like they are..."

Twilight nods. "Rarity is right. Humans always wear clothes, and I'm sure they have clothes against the cold." She frowns. "Their absence worry me. Something is going on."

She is not the only one worrying about the absence of sign of life in this city. Sweetie Belle and the others are looking down at the empty streets, not seeing anyone that they could speak to.

"Why don't we see anybody?" asks the filly.

After a moment of silence, Adeleine says "I will get us down, and we will search."

So she makes the balloon go down, and they land in the middle of a snow covered street. They jump out of the basket, and the balloon disappears. Dedede then approaches one of the building and knock at the door.

"Hey! Anybody?!"

But nothing. After a whole minute, he goes to another building to try the same thing, only to have the same result. The rest of the group disperses to help him. Most of them simply decide to do like Dedede, in vain. Ribbon however decides to fly to the windows, trying to see through them if she can spot anyone. But nothing.

Sweetie has the luck to find a door that is not closed, and enters the building. "Hello? Is there anyone?"

But nobody comes...

Despite this, she decides to continue inside the building. She passes the small entrance hall, and see that she can either take the stairs, or an elevator to go up. She decides to take the stairs, so she can search the floors one by one. But before that, she knocks at the doors of the first floor, nobody answering her.

Second floor, same thing.

Third floor, idem. Annoyed, she tries to open one of the door, and to her surprise, she is able to open it!

Rarity raises an eyebrow. "I don't know what surprised me more. That Sweetie would open the door of a stranger's house, or that she has been able to open it. In a big city like that, ponies tend to close their door to avoid the risks of a stranger, or a thief entering."

Sweetie opens the door more, and says "Hello?"

Nobody answers her.

She enters the apartment, entering a small hallway. She then hears something approaching, seemingly on wheels, and soon see a robot with a broom appearing from one of the rooms connecting to the hallway. It is a white, cylindrical robot about the size of sweetie Belle, with two metallics blue arms ending in claws, two round, yellow, glowing eyes, and a rectangular mouth that flashes red when it starts speaking.

"I'm sorry, visitor. The masters aren't home right now. Do you want to leave a message?"

Her brain rebooting from the fact that a robot is talking to her -even if she has seen robots before, it is the first time that she hears one talk-, she asks "Who are you?"

"I am UHA500614913, or as my masters name me, Waly. I am a robot programmed to take care of the master's home."

"Alright. When will your masters come back?"

"Unknown. The masters have been gone for 427 years, 3 months, and 15 days. They haven't precised when they would come back."

Sweetie looks at the robot, insure. "Erh... Why are they gone?"

"The masters have gone in a journey to another world."

"With a spaceship?" she asks with a doubt.

"Affirmative."

She sighs in relief. "So they have just moved to another world. Alright. What about the other inhabitants of this city?"

"I have heard the master says..." The voice of the robot becomes more deep, like the one of an adult stallion. "It's time to go Eva. The spaceship is ready." The voice then become similar to the one of a mare. "Everyone is really going with us? They have really been able to build a spaceship big enough for everyone to go in?" The voice turns back to the deep one, getting excited. "Yes! I have just seen the photos in the computer. It's like a giant flying city! And they built them all over the world! Every single humans on this planet will be able to go!" There is a small silence where the person with a deep voice takes a big breath, then says "It will be a new start for humanity. We will find a better world, and hopefully, not do the same error than our ancestors..." The robot then starts to talk again in its own voice. "End of recording. I conclude that the masters have gone in their journey with everyone in the city, and in the world. Time of their return: unknown."

Sweetie Belle is silent for a few minutes, bitting her lip, looking down, then says "Thank you. I will be going now. But... hum... Do you know how long a human live?"

"Human's average lifepan is of one hundred seven years as stated in the last medical report."

"And you said that your masters have been gone for 427 years, right?"

"Affirmatif."

"Then... Don't you know that your masters will never come back, because they are probably dead of old age by now?"

The robot is silent for a few seconds, then drops the broom. "Confirmed. The time since the masters' departure is superior to the masters' lifespan. Conclusion: they are dead."

"So, what will you do?"

"Without master to serve, I have no purpose. So I will shut down until I have a new master to serve."

"Are... Are there other robots like you, in this city?"

"Affirmatif."

"So they would shutdown too, if they learn that their master won't come back?"

"Some units don't need masters to have a purpose, and will continue to work even if they learn that they have no masters anymore."

"I see... Well, here is a purpose for you, Waly. Go find the other robots, tell them that their masters aren't coming back, and together, you can take humanity's place. Have friends, a home, like, this one, maybe a job if you want, anything you would like to do, not necessarily about taking care of homes. You can even try to find another robot that you like, and together, build a baby bot! Just, go tell what I just said to the other robots, make them spreed the message, and start a new life. You don't have to wait for a master that could never come."

Again, the robot is silent for a few seconds. "Affirmatif. I will spreed the message." It then passes beside Sweetie Belle, and exits the apartment. Just as it passes the door, it stops, and looks at her. "Thank you."

She smiles. "You are welcome. By the way, my name is Sweetie Belle."

"And so..." suddenly says Discord. "Sweetie Belle helped to form a new civilisation. She will be worshiped by those robots like a goddess, forever known as 'The Sweet One'."

Rarity looks at him. "Don't go too far, Discord. They will probably be thankful to her, but they are still robots. I don't think they understand the concept of religion."

"One day, maybe they will."

Twilight looks down at the book from the mirror world still in her hooves. "It's so hard to believe... Those humans were superior in technology than the ones in the mirror world, but they had to abandon Earth because it was starting to freeze for some reason. Is it what will happen to the Earth of the mirror world?"

"You can talk about this to Sunset Shimmer once you have the occasion," says Celestia. " I'm sure that her and her friends would be interested to learn about this other version of their world. And together, you can discuss of the possibility that their version of Earth may freeze too in the future. However, I'm not sure they could do anything to change it if it was the case."

"Yes. I will."

Sweetie Belle exits the building, and finds her friends waiting for her.

"You are right in time. We were thinking of coming to search you," says Dedede. "Have you found anything?"

"Yes. I have found what happened, and even made a new friend. There was a robot, and it told me that the inhabitants of this world left it to go live elsewhere."

"So there is nobody?" asks Ribbon.

"Beside robots and creatures like we encountered wandering around? No. Beside, Adeleine, you will be interested to learn that the ones living in this world were humans."

"Really?"

"Yes. Do you know anything about where the humans of Popstar come from?"

"No, I don't know. I always thought that Popstar was our homeworld."

"it's still possible," says Waddle Dee. "After all, there are Waddle Dees living in Popstar, and there are Waddle Dees also living in other worlds."

"But there are some species that seem to live in only one world," says Dedede. He then points at Ribbon. "Look at her for exemple. Have we encountered any fairies yet beside her in all the worlds that we have visited? There is a possibility that all the humans of Popstar, and the universe, originate from this world."

Adeleine crosses her arms and sighs. "The two are possible. But we aren't there to question my origins, we are there to find the crystal shards. We will go back to this once Ribbon's world is saved."

They all nod.

"But I wanna know..." complains Pinkie.

"Sorry Pinkie. Another time," says Applejack.

Dedede crosses his arms. "But that means that there is nobody to help us find the shards. We will have to find them in this abandoned city by ourselves."

"That's nothing new," says Adeleine. "but it's true that I wouldn't have minded some help."

"If we find robots, we could ask them," says Sweetie Belle.

Waddle Dee rubs his arms against each other. "Hopefully, there aren't robots that will shoot at us with rockets or lasers..."

Sweetie huffs. "Me and Kirby took on the Heavy Lobster, twice. If we end up fighting a robot in this city, we will be more than ready."


The light leads them through the abandoned city toward one of the buildings, where it points slightly up. To enter the building, they pass through what was probably some small park with a path going through it to the building, star-shaped lamps at both sides of it.

Luckily, the door is not closed, so they enter the building without problems. Inside, Sweetie Belle discovers that the building seems to be a giant mall. A mall specializing in toys, if she judges by the toys that she can see being sold everywhere in the first floor. Conveyor belts lead to each floors, each selling even more toys, and they find also a shard above the last one. Surprisingly, or not, many creatures seem to live in this mall, because they have to fight their way through a great diversity of them, from Sir Kibbles to those worms that push rocks from the top of the conveyor belts, passing by Poppys, and even Gordos.

Once at the top, they find an elevator working with a winding key that help them climbing to another floor, in a separate section of the mall. They traverse a first room with what looks like Kabus jumping out of holes hidden under big leaves to spit bubbles at them. Strangely, the holes disappear once they are defeated. In this room are also three basin full of pink, orange, and blue liquids, with small pillars circled by weird-shaped colored rings that look like stars at their center. Whatever is the purpose of those things, they can only guess.

At the end of the room, they enter another elevator with a winding key that lead them to the floor above. Getting out of it, they are now in a room full of giant blocks of various shapes, squares, triangles, cylinders, some of them with holes. Suspicious, Dedede approaches the first of those holes and puts an arm in front of it before rapidly getting out of the way as one of those frog creatures gets its head out of it to gobble him. Dedede crushes it with his hammer before it goes back in the hole, and from there, they make sure to avoid getting in front of those holes.

Another elevator waits them at the other side of the room. Climbing to the next floor, the new room is, this time, full of small pathway above the floor connected to each other and going in all direction, for kids to walk on and work their balance. For the fun, Sweetie decides to walk on them, followed by Kirby and Waddle Dee, while Dedede and Adeleine simple walk around of jump above them.

Another elevator, another floor, another room, this one simply having big tilted pillars, and there are some of those one eyed green blocks that are very easily avoided, along with a few Gordos. the room after the next elevator is more problematic, because while the room just possesses what seem to be round tables, there are Shotzos on some of them that immediately start shooting at them once they enter. By running, jumping, or taking cover behind the tables for the smaller ones, they are able to avoid their projectiles and reach the exit, while making sure to avoid being blown up by the Poppies that are in this room.

After a small hallway, they reach a ring-shaped indoor garden, with a big Pupa hanging above the center, and some little black balls with two white eyes floating around. A good beat down later, and they exit the garden with a new shard. After the garden, they end in a room with a big glass, someone having painted in white on it a couple of Cherries, a Peach, and a Melon. Seeing this, they look at each other and all raise an eyebrow in confusion.

"This smells like another puzzle to obtain a shard," says Waddle Dee.

Sweetie Belle nods. "Probably." She looks at the painted fruits to memorize them, and goes to the next room, followed by the others. In it, they find colored buttons on the ground, the colors. Again, they raise an eyebrow at this.

"I thought that it would be buttons with fruits painted on them," says Dedede.

Adeleine puts a hand under her chin and tilts her head, thinking about what to do. "Let's see... Cherry... Peach... Melon..." She looks at the buttons. "Wait... They are colored buttons. Colors! Of course!" She goes beside the first button, which is colored red, and pushes it. "Cherries are red!" She then pushes a pink button. "Peaches are pink!" And she pushes a green button. "And melons are green!" Once the green button is pushed, a shard appears above it.

Kirby applauds while Sweetie Belle facehoofs. "Of course! That was so obvious!"

"I'm sure you would have found out with some time. It's not hard to guess."

Ribbon takes the shard and looks at the light of the crystal, seeing it pointing down. "I don't know if the next shard is in this building, but I can already tell that we have to go down."

"So, do we continue?" asks Waddle Dee.

Dedede nods. "Just in case there is an elevator going down."

And so they continue. They pass through a room full of plants, some of them trying to eat them ; a second room full of furnitures, some of them threatening to crush on them by falling of them ; a third room where they have to go in a big aquarium with some of those frog-like creatures ; a fourth room full of giant screws and bolts where they have to avoid some enemies that are just a purple sphere with four metal claw surrounded by electric sparks trying to ambush them ; and a fifth room with fridges, televisions, and yellow vertical poles going from the floor or the ceiling with those yellow, electrical round beings like there was in the spaceship on that desert world.

They are now in a dome-shaped room with walls made of glasses. At the center, there is a height pointed hollowed green star floating above the ground, with three Shotzos on three of its points. Shotzos that know how to aim! They perfectly intercept their position, always shooting at the exact place they would be if they don't change direction or speed. Thankfully, there are floating colored glasses that they can use as shields, and Sweetie is of great help to stop the projectiles too. They circle almost the whole room before reaching a new elevator. However, this one goes up instead of down, and they end up on the roof of the building.

"Well, at least, we are sure that we will not go more up," says Sweetie Belle with a giggle.

Ribbon looks at the crystal. "And now, I know that the next shard is not in this building. The light points over there." She points down over the edge of the roof.

Waddle Dee sighs. "Well, time to go back down." And so, he starts to walk back to the elevator.

"Where are you going?" asks Sweetie Belle.

He looks at the filly and raises an eyebrow in confusion. "Back inside to take the way back to the streets."

Sweetie Belle stares at Waddle Dee, then looks at Dedede and Kirby before the three for them laugh. We don't need to go back inside the building to go down."

"There is another way?"

Dedede suddenly puts him on his back. "Of course!"

Adeleine starts to rub between her eyes in annoyance. "I think that I see what you are talking about. I suppose that this is faster this way."

"Uh?" At this moment, he sees Kirby running toward the edge of the roof... and jumping. "Oh... Of course..."

Sweetie Belle and Dedede then look at each other, nod, and follow Kirby. While falling, Dedede inflates to slow down, and Sweetie Belle wraps her whip around him. Once they land, they look up and spot Adeleine floating down with a parasol, Ribbon flying beside her. Once the human and the fairy have joined them, they follow the direction of the light.


They have to traverse the whole city, the streets starting to fill with robots, much to Sweetie's joy. Soon, they leave the city, anf after a small trek through a field full of fir but without grass or snow, they reach a lonely dome-shaped building surrounded by a small wall that seems to be made of puzzle pieces. There is a chimney spitting smoke at both side of it, and they can see three turning gears and a piston moving up and down some metallic thing shaped like an anchor on the roof.

However, the light doesn't lead them to the building itself, but to a hole in front of it, that look like the entrance to a sewer, with a small wall circling three quarters of it, and a ladder leading down. They look at the hole, nod to each others, and take the ladder one by one. The way down is rather long, and there are a few Gordos going back and forth in the way. They can already see that the place seems childish, because like the wall around the building, the walls and floors here seems to be made of puzzle pieces, but they see also many boxes, and machines lifting them from one place to another. When they reach the end of the ladder, they also spot gears almost everywhere, and there are lamps lighting the place. They can hear the clangs and thumps of more machines, coming in particular from below.

This reminds Sweetie Belle that futuristic world, and she doesn't like it. That world was very dangerous, so who know what kind of dangers there are in there. Well, she still hopes that this place will not be as problematic.

They still go down, jumping from a few platforms while avoiding some kind of blue living rockets or torpedos shooted from canons in the walls. They have to jump from more platforms beside small tunnels, and with Shotzos on them. Following Ribbon's instructions, they go in the first tunnel, only for it to lead to a dead end. Only the last one leads to a boxe that seems to be more fragile than the others. So Dedede destroys it with his hammer, revealing a ladder going up, exactly where Ribbon points. However, there are more boxes in the way, and Sweetie destroys them with explosive balls while Kirby climbs the ladder, until he reaches a shard that he gives to Ribbon.

Now in possession of the shard, they jump from a last platform, and land on a green conveyor belt going in the opposite direction than the one where they have to go. Beside it is another conveyor belt that goes to the right direction, and jump on it to make their journey easier. However, after a small passage, the conveyor belt turns to the left, which doesn't seem to be the right way, because the light show the right. So they go back, much to their annoyance, and take the first one, forcing them to run on it to advance.

After the small passage, they see that this one turns to the right, but has many gates blocking the way, with squeaky hammer machines slamming their hammers on it. So, rather than continuing on the conveyor belt, they jump on the floor under it and go directly to the exit. This lead to a new room with more conveyor belts, red ones going back, and green ones going forth, all the while above a dark gulf, so this time they have no choice but to walk on them. But something disturbing stop them before they even step on the first conveyor belt. At their left, there are many pipes, and they start from some aquarium full of water... with what seems to be a weird pink hippo floating in it. they can see another aquarium a little further, but from where they are, they can't see if there is something in there.

"Why is there an animal trapped in there?" asks Ribbon in shock. "Is it even alive?"

"I-I-I don't know. That... I don't understand," says Sweetie Belle. "But we must save it!"

"But how?" asks Waddle Dee.

He is answered by Sweetie shooting an explosive ball at the glass of the aquarium, only for the glass to remain intact. She frowns, and jumps on a shield to get closer. Once beside it, she accumules energy in one of her hooves, and punches the glass, but this leaves not even the start of a crack. She then throws a Vulcan Jabs, hitting the glass at least a couple dozens of time, only to do have no results. The hippo doesn't even move to acknowledge her existence.

"Come on!" she shouts in anger.

She hears Dedede sighs. "Seems like we will have to find something more powerful to get this animal out of this aquarium."

"But... We can't leave it here..."

She feels someone taps on her shoulder, and looks to see Kirby, inflated, flying behind her with a sad expression.

Then, Dedede talks again. "Actually, seeing all those machines, I wonder if there is not something else behind its presence."

"Like what?" asks Waddle Dee.

Dedede waves around. "We are in a factory. Why would they trap animals in aquarium?"

"Good point," says Adeleine. "You know, with this factory, and this whole world, being technologically advanced, with robots and all, maybe this is a clone."

"A clone?!" shouts Sweetie Belle. "You mean that this factory could be producing clones?!"

"Among other things, I think. Again, this is a theory. But this is the only reason that I see why there is a weird hippo trapped in there. What is in this other aquarium?"

"Uh... I'm gonna look. Wait a minute." Sweetie flies to the other aquarium, and sees in it some white and round creature with a white needle-like beak, blue wings, and a blue tail. "Seems like some bird that look like ones made of fire or ice that we have fought previously, but it's normal, and white! And it's really big! it's a little bigger than Kirby!"

"A hippo and a bird, but different from all the ones that we know..." thinks Dedede. "Were the humans trying to create new species of animals from old ones?"

Waddle Dee rubs his left arm in incertitude. "I... I propose that we continue, and that we think of those animals, or whatever, later. This place gives me the creeps, and we can ask the robots back in the city if they know something."

Sweetie Belle sighs in resignation. "You are right... And I hope that you are right, Adeleine."

Dedede steps on the first conveyor belt, and starts to walk on it, having to lower himself to pass under some big metallic tubes with valves on them. "Urg... I feel that I will hate this room..."

"Don't complain," says Adeleine behind him. "I'm forced to lower myself too."

"Watch out guys!" shouts then Sweetie Belle. "There are Gordos floating up and down between some tubes!"

"Neat!" shouts back Dedede with sarcasm.

They pass beside more aquarium, those ones empty, one of them with a turbine while the others are cylindrical. Midway through the room, they pass under a really big machine with a black section constantly illuminating with colored square lights, prods all around it, and with giant screws under it with the one eyed green blocs between them. After this machine, they pass beside another turbine, and reach a new aquarium with some black cat-like creature the size of Dedede inside it. The cat only has a big head with the ears, the eyes, and the whiskers, an oval body, and a tail, but no legs.

They can clearly see it blink its yellow eyes.

After this one, they reach another aquarium with... an orange cat-like creature in a black cloak with a red bow, only the head and the ears visible, with some blue hairs, and big, round black eyes. This one really makes them question what has been going on in this factory, because this creature, judging by the cloak, isn't, or wasn't, just a simple animal.

That's with big relief that they leave this room, only to end in a big cylindrical room with lava below them. They spot a cage hanging from the ceiling at the center, with a shard in it, and there is a big bird of fire charging at them. While Sweetie flies to the cage and tries to melt the chains suspending it with the hottest fire that she can summon, Kirby freezes the bird with his ice, quickly getting rid of it with the help of Dedede and Waddle Dee. Soon, Sweetie Belle is able to melt the chain, and makes the cage fall on a platform suspended above the lava. At this, Dedede jumps on the platform and hits the cage with his hammer, bending the bars. Some more hits, and he opens a hole big enough for him to put his arm through and catch the shard that he gives to Ribbon.

The next room is just a very long path. The problem? There is a big press going constantly up and down on this path, making it clear what fate it reserves. Thankfully, the press doesn't seem to be shaped like the path, leaving some holes. So like in that cave in the previous world, they go in one by one, starting with Kirby, then Sweetie Belle following him.

She waits for the press to go all the way down, and to start to go back up. Once this is the case, she starts to run, is able to reach the end without needing to stop in one of the holes, only to discover that there is another press, and Shotzos are shooting at her. Like before, she waits for it to start getting back up, using a shield to protect herself against the Shotzos, and run, before stopping just before reaching the end, where there is a hole.

She does the same thing for the following press, but the next one is more problematique. She is forced to stop at the first hole, and rapidly run to reach the end before it go back down. The last press is the more risky, because there is only one small hole toward the end. Sweetie can already imagine Dedede and Adeleine being forced to crawl in this hole because of their size.

She joins Kirby, and wait the others, taking the occasion to look at the machines that look like big heads with sharp teeth, and that seem to be pumping. Pumping what, she doesn't know. And after seeing the animals, or whatever they where, in the previous room, she is not sure that she wants to know. And all those gears... And all those flashing lights... And not a single person to make them work. This factory really creep her out.

Once they are all back together, they continue to the next room, with there are more of those pump machines that look like creepy faces, but smaller, and they are relied to a small machine with a thermometer. Again, she can only guess the meaning. however, this seems to be a dead end, until they see that they can reach the level above by passing through a hole. However, once they are there, some yellow transparent wall lifted by some green big robot star to advance toward them, and they are forced to run.

This goes like this for a few more levels, where they find a shard in the fourth one, at the end. At the fifth level, they have to stop on a small metallic wall in the middle of the hallway, because in addition to the yellow wall chasing them, there is another one coming from before them, and the metallic wall is the only way for them to not be crushed. Once the two yellow walls are against the metallic one, the robots start to step back, giving them the occasion to continue and reach the level above, where there are no walls chasing them this time. beside a few of those lightning creatures on clouds, the only thing in this level is actually another machine that look like the pumps, but the 'sharp teeth' are replaced by a black section with the flashing colored square lights, and it is relied by cables to two other machines that Sweetie guesses are two supercomputers. Things that only exist in sci-fi stories. So the machine at the center must be some generator.

Destroying it would probably stop the factory.

But she decides to do nothing. It may cause the whole building to explode.

So she continues with the others, and after a few more rooms without much obstacles, they reach a big room that seems to be a big hangar with what seem to be white vehicles big enough for all of them to go in. They have the shape of a cone, the top covered in glass, with reactors at the back, and four flat red 'legs' with round ends. At their side are entrances on top of slopes.

Waddle Dee points at one. "Wherever the next shard is, we could use one of those things to go to it faster!"

"And do you know how to use one?" asks Dedede.

"We... can always learn. It must not be hard. Come on, my king, please."

"Please," repeats Sweetie Belle, doing her puppy dog eyes.

Adeleine sighs. "We can try..."

And so, they enter one of the ships. In the cockpit, Dedede, Kirby, and Ribbon sit on the back seats while Adeleine, Waddle Dee, and Sweetie Belle go to the front to see how it works.

The filly raises an eyebrow. "Wait, that's all? I thought that there would have been more buttons. There are only a few ones, a lever, and a wheel."

"Even if there are only a few buttons, we don't know which one to push. I guess that the wheel is to steer the vehicle, and the level may be for the speed, but which button starts it?" asks Adeleine.

"Maybe the big, green one beside the wheel?" proposes Waddle Dee.

Adeleine nods. "Alright, I'll try. Get a sit you two."

They nod and sit on the seats at Adeleine's left and right. Once they are seated, Adeleine sits down on the driver seat and pushes the green button. At the moment she pushes it, the floor around the vehicle starts to rise, and the ceiling above them opens. After a few seconds, they reach the surface, not far of the dome-shaped building, and the vehicle suddenly floats up, the 'legs' turning into wings, with the round ends revealing to be turbines. Adeleine then takes the wheel, and with her right hand, pushes a little the lever, and the ship -because this is clearly a ship- starts to move. She then sees that she can pull or push the wheel. On an intuition, she pulls it, and the ship goes up, flying above the firs, and leaving the factory behind.

"You are actually right Waddle Dee, this is not hard! Which direction Ribbon?"

"Turn to the right."

So she turns the wheel to the right, making the ship turns in the same direction until Ribbon tells her to stop. Once she is sure that this is the right direction, Adeleine smiles widely and pushes the lever a little more, gaining speed.

"That's so cool!" shouts Waddle Dee.

"Poyo!"

"Now I wonder what the other buttons do," says Sweetie Belle. She then pushes a small button below a screen.

Adeleine tries to stop her, but too late. As Sweetie pushes the button, music then starts to play. They all look at where the song comes from, Adeleine quickly looking back at where she is driving to make sure that they don't fly into a mountain, before they all start bobbing their head at the song.

"Hey. I like it," says Waddle Dee.

"At least, the ride will not be boring," says Dedede.

Sweetie Belle laughs. "Rainbow Dash would love this song! Maybe I should write the lyrics so I can sing it once I'm back to Equestria."


"Yeah! That song must come to Equestria!" shouts Rainbow.

Rarity takes a big breath. "I'm so glad they are out of that awful place. If such a thing existed in Equestria, it would definitely close. There are so much dangers that there would be more ponies dying in this place than in the Royal Guard. What were the humans thinking?"

"To be fair," says Spike. "Sweetie Belle and her friends haven't really taken the intended path. Ponies, or people, aren't supposed to go on conveyor belts in those factories. From what I learned, factories like that are everywhere on Earth. Of course, this is the first one that I see producing clones, if their theory is right."

What he says gives her goosebump. "Oh yes. Those clones. Just... why? And how?"

Twilight answers her. "I don't know how this technology works, so I can't answer how. I would have to ask Sunset, she probably knows more about this, or could do some research to find out. As for why... There can be many reasons. My theory is that when this version of Earth started to freeze, many species of animal must have gone extinct. So the humans cloned them in the hope than if Earth goes back to normal one day, then they could put them back. Of course, they gave up the project once they left Earth."

"What we miss is what caused their world to freeze in the first place," says Luna. "When Sweetie Belle spoke to that robot, the recording said something about some error caused by their ancestors. Maybe there had an accident."

Applejack raises an eyebrow. "An accident that could cause a whole planet to freeze?"

"Maybe they had a big winter factory, and it exploded, causing winter to fall everywhere," proposes Pinkie.

"That is not possible Pinkie," says Twilight. "The humans don't control the weather and the seasons like we do. Their whole planet is like the Everfree Forest, so they don't need anything like a winter factory."

Rainbow Dash looks at her with big eyes. "Say what now?"

Discords laughs. "Such a chaotic world. Maybe I should take some vacation on a version of Earth one day. A version where it is not freezing, of course."

Rarity looks back at the portal, seeing Sweetie now singing a song about some 'thriller night' that is not so bad too. However, she remarks something. "Since when has the nightfallen?"

"Oh, since a couple of minutes ago," answers Discord. He then raises a paw and materialises above it a small version of the frozen Earth with the moon. Half of it is covered in shadow. A dotted red line then appears at the surface, starting in the half not in shadow, before ending in the other half. "They have joined the night side of this world."

"That fast?" says Rainbow Dash.

"Yes. Their ship could leave you in the dust."

"What did you say?!"

"Do you mean that you could go in the other side of Equus in a few minutes?" Rainbow opens her mouth to retort, only to say nothing. "Thought so." She crosses her hooves and pouts at this, to his amusement.


They are now above a really giant city, the skyscrapers dwarfing the ones of Manehattan or of the city they have visited previously, and going for miles and miles. However, this city is much more gloomy, and not just because this is the night of because there is not a single living being to see. The buildings are all made of metal, with a few black lines and some red lights the only features that they can spot at their surface, but no apparent windows, or colors. It's just... metal... and empty... and soulless... Among the buildings, they also spot a few metallic roads suspended high above the surface, stretching in straight lines for miles.

Ribbon then starts to speak. "The next shard is somewhere down there, but... but it seems to move. I think that someone, or something, is in possession of it."

Sweetie Belle frowns. "I hope that we will not have to fight something like that living lava back in the volcano."

Adeleine sighs. "Knowing our luck..."

"I'm telling you, this will be a robot!" shouts Waddle Dee.

"If it's a robot, then maybe I could ask it to give the shard to us." says Sweetie Belle.

Suddenly, a yellow laser pierces one of the left wings, causing the ship to start to lose altitude, Adeleine losing control of it, and making the whole group panic.

"Waaaaahhh!!! We will crash!" shouts Adeleine.

Waddle Dee takes a device that looks like a micro and shouts at it. "SOS! SOS!"

"Idiot! There is nobody in this world to save us!" yells Dedede.

Kirby then points at one of the metallic roads. "Poyo!"

"Of course!" says sweetie Belle. "Adeleine, try to land the ship on this road!"

"I will try!"

Hands on the wheel, Adeleine turns it slightly to the right, turning with difficulty the ship so it go above the road. Once close enough, she makes sure that the ship remains above the road while it continue to go down. At the same time, she pulls the wheel so the ship remains as parallel to the road as possible, so it doesn't crash nose first on the road, which could be bad. Another laser piercing one of the right wings almost causes her to spin the ship, but she is able to use it to regain some balance and make the landing easier. After a whole minute, the ship bounces on the road, destroying one of the right wings and forcing everyone to cling to their seats to not be propulsed by the shock. The ship bounces again, and starts gliding on the road, going slightly to the right and threatening to go over the edge of the road. Thankfully, it stops gliding just as a part of it is above the chasm, but is able to remain on the road. But for how long?

Kirby quickly opens the door, and everyone run to exit the vehicle, Adeleine leaving at the last second just as it starts to tilt, and it falls. A few seconds later, they hear an explosion below, illuminating the area for a very short period, before smoke starts to rise.

However, they don't have time to breath. A giant robot appears at the other side of the road, flying and seemingly looking at them. It possesses a cylindrical white body, bigger at the top, and smaller at the bottom, with two yellow diamond-shaped parts that look like eyes, and a red part at the bottom between the two 'eyes' and two reactors that it uses to fly. There are two other reactors behind it, and they have a red triangle drawn on them, and possess a few holes at the top. There is a fifth, cylindrical reactor under the main body that looks like one of the Halberd. It also possesses two white arms that look like paddles, blue at the end, and linked to the main body by black 'shoulders'. The parts main body under the arms are actually black with a green light, revealing that the white part is actually an armor and above it, there is also a cone-shaped black head with a single yellow glowing light.

Ribbon looks at the robot in fear, and then at the crystal. "It... It's the one possessing the crystal."

"And it shot at us," says Dedede angrily, hammer in hands. "Seems like it want a fight."

Sweetie Belle gulps, and starts to speak to the robot, waving at it. "Uh... Hello? You don't need to fight us! We only want the crystal that you possess, and we will be gone!"

The robot 'looks' at her for a few seconds, and raises its left arm, sweeping it across the road and forcing everyone to jump above it to not be slapped.

Dedede smirks. "Well, we have our answer. Let's turn this robot into a pile of scraps."

The reactors suddenly open, shooting missiles at the group, easily dodged. Sweetie Belle is the first to attack by shooting an explosive beam at the robot, only tp cause no damages to it.

She frowns. "That thing is solid, even more than the Heavy Lobster."

"We will have to target parts that are not armored," says Waddle Dee.

Adeleine studies the robot. "So, the head, the parts under the arms, and maybe the blue end of the arms. I wonder if the yellow and red parts are weak points too."

The robot attacks again with another sweep, this time of the right arm. While they jump above it, they take the occasion to attack it with everything they, effectively damaging it. Sweetie then shoots at the yellow and red parts of the main body to test if they are weak points or not, only to do no damages. However, when she shoots at the head, it works. Speaking of the head, it suddenly shoots a laser from the yellow light, sweeping the road with it, forcing them to jump again. It follows by slamming both its arms on the road, trying to crush Kirby and Dedede who run out of the way before attacking them.
Sweetie decides to jump on a shield and fly around the robot, not stopping shooting at the head. She gains its attention, and the robot shoots another laser at her that she dodges. It tries to slap her, then it tries again, and again, and again, the robot totally forgetting the rest of the group. taking the occasion, Dedede grabs Kirby and throws him toward the head of the robot. Kirby clings to it, and starts to breath ice at it. To get itself rid of him, the robot starts to fly around around, turning on itself at great speed, trying to use the centrifugal force to make him fall. Knowing that he can't last, Kirby releases the head and inflates himself to fly away and quickly go back on the road.

While he flies, the robot shoots at him with another laser, only for Sweetie to protect him with the shield, the laser powerful enough to break it, but it has given time for Kirby to get out of the way and land on the road. Not paying Sweetie Belle attention, the robot charges toward the road at the group on it. Seeing it approach, they quickly run away just before it breaks a part of the road by crashing on it. Ribbon counterattack by shooting crystals, only to be slapped like a fly, making her crash into Sweetie Belle as she has been flying toward it.

At this moment, the robot being close enough of the road, Dedede does a big jump, and when he starts to fall toward the robot, he prepares the hammer, and violently hits the head, making the robot tilt. His action accomplished, he jumps again and lands on the road.

The robot seems to have enough, because it suddenly flies above the road, and opens itself from the bottom. The head enter the body, and the two parts fuse back from where it was, changing shape to give the body the shape of a cone similar to the ship they have used to come here. The armor that has been the front of the body has too fused with the one of the back, the red part now above the nose, leaving the front and the nose unprotected. The reactors are still at the bottom, the ones at the front having not followed the armor when the robot has started to split. The black 'shoulders' go down beside the green lights at the side, and the arms turn around, the blue end now beside the 'shoulders', and the white parts splitting open to form claws. The robot then lies down on the road, the black parts that were in the front now at the bottom, nose pointed at the group, and it starts to advance toward them, snipping at them with its claws while firing more missiles, and the road behind it breaks into pieces.

Because of the claws, they are forced to run away from it, and they can't approach to attack the exposed bottom part. frowning, kirby gives up the ice ability and sucks one of the missiles, before spitting it back at the black nose of the robot. At this moment, Sweetie Belle and Ribbon come back, and the filly shoots many explosive balls at the bottom while the fairy shoots crystals from the other side. The robot counterattack by shooting more missiles at them, but they are easily dodged, and it can't shoots its laser anymore in this form.

Whoever has designed this robot wasn't really smart.

A door then opens under it, and out of it come a missile bigger than the others going straight in front of it. Kirby sucks it, only to inhale the top part while the body of the missile is not inhaler and continue its course. Taken by surprise, Kirby is hit, but he doesn't let it stop him and spits the top of the missile back at the robot.

It suddenly flies up in the sky, taking back its first form, and starts to fall back toward them reactors first in a clear attempt to crush them. Kirby then looks at Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine and nods at them, before he opens his mouth and inhale them, to their surprise. Once they are all in him, Kirby looks up toward the approaching robot, and once it is close enough, he spits his friends at its main reactor under the body. The collision throws the robot back up before it crashes on the road a little further, and Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine land back beside Kirby.

Dedede punches Kirby on the top of his head in anger, flattening him. "You could have warned us!"

Kirby rubs the spot where he has been hit. "Po-poyo..." He then spots at his feets a shard, and smiling in joy, he takes it. "Poyo!"

"Yes!" shouts Adeleine. "The robot musts have dropped it after that attack!"

"Speaking of the robot, it has stopped moving," remarks Waddle Dee, staring at the robot.

Sweetie Belle joins them with Ribbon, and while the fairy takes the shard, she say "That's it? No big explosion? When we defeated the Heavy Lobster, it exploded."

A part of the road under the robot then breaks apart, and because of its weight, the robot tilts, and fall in the chasm, disappearing in the darkness. The only thing showing what become of it is a big sound indicating it crashing at the surface, but still no explosion.

Dedede huffs. "It's less fun when they don't explode."


Leaving the breaking road, they fly to the roof of a nearby building, and Ribbon lets the crystal open a portal. Once open, the portal shows a heart-shaped pink world with a face and three smaller hearts around it. there is also a ring with two yellow bows that turn around the big heart. However, they can see darkness spread everywhere at the surface.

Ribbon gasps. "It's Ripple Star! It's my world! It's almost covered in darkness!"

"So it's time," says Sweetie Belle.

"But the crystal is not complete."

"The crystal is leading us to Ripple Star despite not being completed?" ask Dedede. "Then that means that there are shards that have somehow fallen back in this world."

Kirby looks at Ribbon and nods in determination, raising his arm and shouting a fierce "Poyo!"

They all nod, and Adeleine says "This is the last step of our journey, and the more dangerous. But we are ready! We will find the remaining shards, and beat the Dark Matters!"

"Hopefully, this time once and for all!" continues Waddle Dee.

"And nothing will stop us!" shouts Sweetie Belle.

"Now let's go! We have a world to save!" finishes Dedede.

Ribbon looks at all of them, and smiles. "Thank you, everyone. I don't doubt that we will win."

At this, they enter one by one the portal, ready to fight the darkness.

Chapter 36: Final Matter

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They appear at the surface of Ripple Star, only for all of them to raise an eyebrow at what they are seeing. Or rather, what they are not seeing. Rainbow everywhere. Pink hearts and colored rings in the yellow sky. Flowers and ever small rocks of various colors. Bushes with star-shaped leaves. There is even giant flowers with pink petals that open and close all the time, revealing a bulbed purple pistil. But not a single trace of darkness.

It's probably an area not touched by the Dark Matters, they conclude.

Ribbon looks around and says "I recognize this place! We are not far of the castle!" She then points in a direction. "It's this way. And the crystal says that the next shard is this way too!"

"Convenient," Dedede comments. "But remember Ribbon, even if we see your friends, we will not be able to trust them. They may be possessed by the Dark Matters, and we may be forced to fight them."

Ribbon looks down in sadness and resignation. "I know. I hope we will not have to..."

"We will try to not hit too hard," says Waddle Dee.

Sweetie Belle nods. "Just enough to knock them out."

Kirby looks in determination in the direction pointed by Ribbon, and starts to run. In the way, he eats a Plugg, a creature that looks like a blue outlet plug -whence their name- on green feet, and gain the spark ability. The others look at him, nod, and follow him without saying anything.

They quickly find out that the creatures of Ripple Star are all possessed by the Dark Matters, seeing that they are far more violent than usually. Each time they knock one out, Ribbon uses the crystal to force the Dark Matter out and destroy him, hopping so to weaken their forces.

Just before reaching a pond, they find a shard floating in the way, surprisingly with great ease. Just after the pond, they enter a dome-shaped white and pink house with a red turbine above the door. The door seemingly being a wall with a pink star in it, a water wall in front of it, and circled by a yellow octagon, Ribbon has to show them that they can simply pass it by walking through it.

After walking in a tunnel-like yellow hallway, they enter a single room with another turbine in the ceiling, a few colored blocks included of with a heart, and a computer. The hallway closes behind them, and there is another similar hallway in front of them that closes too. At this moment, a big version of those living saw named Sawyer pop out of the ground and charges at them to try to cut them in half, only for Dedede to grab it, pluck it out of the ground, and throw it toward the ceiling, where Kirby sends a big electrical ball at it while Sweetie jumps and punches it in the side with a Vulcan Jab. Meanwhile, Adeleine and Ribbon deal with the few Bronto Burts flying around.

Once they are done with all those enemies, they obtain another shard, and they are able to exit the house. Outside, they pass through what is a garden full of flowers, then enter a river where Dedede destroy a rock to reveal a third shard, before seeing that it is starting to get darker.

"We are approaching," says Ribbon with apprehension.

After eating a Maxi Tomato to heal every injuries they may have gained in the way, they continue their way, the atmosphere starting to change. The sky is now turning blue, with clouds of darkness starting to show. They soon see the castle of Ripple Star, a beautiful, giant round structure circled by smaller triangular structures with green gems in them. Above the castle, separated by pillars, there is a second section shaped like a rounded cone. And the whole thing is surrounded in darkness.

Ribbon can only look in horror at the state of the castle. "My queen... Everyone..."

Dedede rolls up his sleeves. "Welp! Time to bring back some light in this place!"

Ribbon looks at Dedede as he starts to walk in determination toward the castle. "Wait!" She points at a well beside the path. "The crystal says that there is a shard in there. And besides, there is a secret passage that can help us infiltrate the castle without having to fight hundreds of Dark Matters in the way."

"Yeah..." Sweetie Belle says. "I don't think we would be able to fight this many Dark Matters with an incomplete crystal as their only weak point..."

"So, the well?" asks Adeleine to the others.

"The well," they all answer. excepted Kirby who says "Poyo."

So they all jump in the well, where they find yet another shard in another rock at the bottom, under the water. Ribbon then shows a tunnel in one of the walls, and they take it, Dedede with difficulty because he is almost too big to go in. This leads to an underwater cavern that they follow until they reach a point where there is no more water. Jumping out of it, they travel the rest of the cavern on feet, Dedede destroying a boulder blocking the way.

There are still a few enemies, but they are not as many as outside, so they don't have any problems, and thanks to Ribbon's directions, they don't get lost. They have to jump in a few hole to reach another part of the cavern underwater, where they find a shard before jumping out of the water again. After a small trek, they arrive at a wall of star blocs, and destroying them reveal more star blocks. At this moment, the cavern is replaced by a basement, with sculpted walls, stairs, and pillars, with a shard behind one.

After a staircase full of those star blocks, they enter a hallway that leads them to a room with what Ribbon reveals is an elevator yellow at the outside, red at the inside, with a yellow star at the center. When they walk on it, it lifts them to the room above, which seems to be a storeroom full of pink heart blocs, carpets, and jars.

"From there, we just have to pass a few rooms and climb a few staircases to reach the top of the castle," Ribbon informs them.

Sweetie Belle nods. "No doubt they will be well guarded."

"Not well enough," says Dedede with a smirk. "Against us, they have no chance."

They exit the room, and from there, it's like Ribbon has said. They enter a room that is full of enemies, fight all of them, exit it, take a staircase, reach another room full of enemies, and this repeats five time, finding shards in the first, third, and fifth rooms, the second shard hidden under a carpet. The enemies are numerous, but against he full power of the whole group, like Dedede has said, they stand no chance. To Sweetie Belle, they aren't even as well trained as the Meta Knights she has fought with Kirby in the bridge of the Halberd, so their defeat has been assured from the start. The most difficult part is making sure that Ribbon can destroy all the Dark Matters without them being possessed because of their number.
After the last room, they arrive at another staircase under a big cloud of darkness, with a few of those black creatures like Waddle Dee has eliminated in Popstar before entering Dedede's fortress. After eliminating them, they look up at the dark cloud.

"So, what do you think is in there?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Who know. There can be anything," answers Sweetie Belle.

Ribbon looks at the crystal. "The next shard, probably the last one, is in there. We will have to fight whatever is in it."
They pass another few seconds looking at the dark cloud in determination before climbing the staircase, reaching a room directly under the dark cloud. Readying themselves, they fly into it.


They are now inside the cloud of darkness, surrounded by blue and dark void. They immediately spot their enemy floating at the very center, and to Sweetie Belle, it is one of the weirder enemies she has encounter. Weither it is more weird than the video game thingy is up for debate. The thing looks like a white geometrical figure with 21 faces, each face having what looks like a red eye with a black pupil. The thing turns on itself in an erratic pattern, and they absolutly don't know what it has in store for them. The similarities with Zero don't escape Sweetie Belle and Kirby.

Adeleine then starts to speak. "So... Is this thing vulnerable to our attacks, or is Ribbon the only one that can damage it?"

Before anyone can answer, the thing turns into an orange sphere with small spikes around it. Suddenly, the spikes extend everywhere, almost impaling Dedede and Ribbon who move out of the way at the last seconds. The spikes then retract, leaving behind thorns, and after a couple of seconds, it turns back into its normal form.

"Whatever, we have to try!" shouts Sweetie Belle. "We can't remain here just dodging its attacks!" At this, she shoots a beam at this weird Dark Matter, only to do nothing to it.

Kirby nods with a "Poyo!" and attacks too with his spark, only to do nothing too. Dedede jumps and swings his hammer, but it bounces on the Dark Matter's body. Even Ribbon's crystals don't do anything to it, to everyone's surprise.

"Darn it!" yells the penguin. "How do we beat it?!"

The Dark Matter then turns into an eyeball of fire, and starts shooting columns of fire while turning around, each columns leaving behind small fireballs. Watching closely from where the columns start, they are able to avoid them without being burned until the Dark Matter returns to its first form.

While in its fire form, however, the group has discovered something. They have continued attacking it with everything they have. Because it's made of fire at this moment, sweetie Belle has thought that it would be vulnerable to ice. So she has shooted ice at it, only to cause no damages. At this instant, annoyed, she has started to throw her other attacks, starting with lightning, then fire. And surprisingly, the fire has worked ! It's just at this moment that the Dark Matter has turned back to normal, and they can now see that one of the eyes has turned black.

Sweetie Belle smiles in joy. "Yay! We can hurt it! It is vulnerable to fire!" She then shoots a fireball at it, only for the fireball to do nothing. "What the heck?"

"There must be something," says Waddle Dee. "You hurt it with fire, but now you can't."

The Dark Matter then changes form again, this time turning into a ball of electricity, and starts to shoot beams of electricity that bounce from the walls of the dark cloud. The surprising move causes Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and Sweetie Belle to be hit, but thankfully, it doesn't hurt too much. After a moment, the beams turn into electric balls that float around for a time before disappearing. Taking an opening between the beams, Kirby jumps beside the Dark Matter and attacks it with his own electricity, this time hurting it. Seeing it has worked, Kirby jumps again and hurts the Dark Matter a second time just before it turns back into its first form, now having three black eyes.

"Wait a minute!" shouts Sweetie Belle. "It turns into fire, and fire hurts it. It turns into electricity, and electricity hurts it. What if the only thing that can hurt it is the element corresponding to its current form?"

"And those forms are surprisingly like Kirby's abilities," remarks Waddle Dee. "First, the needle ability, then the fire, then the spark." The Dark Matter then turns into a big rock, with four smaller rocks floating around it. "And now the stone ability!" They dodge the falling rocks, then the Dark Matter itself once it starts to roll around to try to crush them. "It's like it exists to counter Kirby's ability to copy!"

Dedede frowns. "The Dark Matters probably created that thing in case they would have to fight Kirby again, hoping that by using Kirby's very own ability against him, they would beat him. That's smart. Too bad for them, now that we understand how to beat it, it will be a piece of cake." He sees Kirby licking his lips and punches him on the top of his head. "Stop thinking about food and do your job! Use its own weapon against it! Use your abilities!"

After rubbing his head, Kirby nods at him and wait for the Dark Matter to transform again. It transforms into a crescent-shaped razor followed by smaller crescents and starts to fly around to try to cut them.

"Cutter!" shouts Sweetie Belle.

Kirby gives up the spark ability and is able to inhale the smaller crescent at the back. Now with the cutter ability, he attacks the Dark Matter. Waddle Dee attacks too, wanting to see if his spear can count, only for it to bounce on the Dark Matter, causing him to be cut by it. Eventually, they hear a small explosion coming from the Dark Matter, and it reverts back to its first form, three more eyes having turned black.

It now takes the needle form, spikes protruding everywhere around it. Again, after dodging a spike, Waddle Dee jumps at it, and this time, is able to use the spear to hurt it. Kirby quickly gives up the cutter ability to inhale one of the thorns left behind by the spikes, and spits it at the Dark Matter. Another attack from Waddle Dee, and they hear another explosion before it goes back to its first form.

The Dark Matter now turns into a giant black bubble, and creates more smaller bubbles that start to bounce around.

"Uh... I'm not sure about this one..." says Sweetie Belle.

Dedede looks at Kirby. "Do you have an ability related to bubbles?"

Kirby only shakes his head, before rubbing it to think which ability would work against this form.

The small bubbles suddenly split in two, doubling their number while making them smaller. Because of their number, one of the bubbles hit Kirby from behind, and the bubble explode, releasing a small explosion that hurt him.

At this, Ribbon and Sweetie gasp. "It's the bomb!" they shout.

The bubbles start to pop, releasing small bombs that remain floating in place. Kirby quickly inhale one to gain the bomb ability and throws bombs at the Dark Matter. At the same time, Adeleine draws bombs and throw them at it too, while Sweetie shoots explosive balls. Among the explosion, another small one is heard inside the Dark Matter, and it goes back to normal.

The next form is the spark one, but a single lightning from Sweetie causes it to revert back to normal before it even attacks, everyone hearing another small explosion from it. Now there are only height red eyes remaining.

The Dark Matter now turns into a big tilted ice cube that float up and down surrounded by shards of ice, the shards threatening to ram them. Kirby gives up the bomb and inhale some of the shards of ice, and rather than getting the ice ability, he decides to spit them back at the Dark Matter. Dedede does the same thing, while Sweetie shoots ice balls. Another explosion is heard from the Dark Matter, and it is back to its first form.

Five eyes remaining.

It takes the fire form, and Sweetie immediately shoots fireballs at it. After dodging a column of fire, Kirby inhale a fireball and spits it at the Dark Matter. It reverts back to its normal form with another explosion.

Three eyes.

The stone form. While they dodge the boulders, Adeleine paints rocks and throws them at Dedede who uses his hammer to send them at the Dark Matter. Kirby then inhale one of the small boulders and spits it, while Sweetie wraps her whip around another boulder and hit the Dark Matter with it. Another explosion is heard, and it goes back to normal, no eyes remaining.

The Dark Matter explodes again, the explosion bigger, before it starts to shrink, and after a couple of seconds, it breaks apart, and the pieces turn into particles that disappear in the darkness while releasing a shard. When Ribbon fuses it with the crystal, it is now about four time her size.

She smiles. "We did it! The crystal is complete!"

"Then what are we waiting?!" shouts Waddle Dee. "Let's use it do destroy the Dark Matters!"

She nods, and lets the crystal float as they regroup around it. The crystal starts to glow, the light getting stronger and stronger, engulfing the whole dark cloud. It rapidly spreads outside the castle, to the whole planet, attacking the darkness and forcing it to back away. As the group reach the balcony between the two sections of the castle, they watch the darkness being chased away by the light full of love released by the crystal. Soon, the darkness is chased out of Ripple Star, is forced to take the shape of a giant ball, and after receding far enough into space, it explodes, the explosion seen from the surface of the planet.

As they start to scream and bounce in joy, exchanging congratulations and hugs, and even dancing, Sweetie and the others are joined on the balcony by other fairies who congratulate them, including a tall fairy that look more like a human. She has freckles on her cheeks, and possesses black hair that form two braids behind her head held together by red ribbons. She wears glasses, a white shirt with a red skirt and a pink collar, a blue tie, a blue bow in the back, and they can see a pink dress under the skirt. The golden crown on her heads easily help identifying who she is.

"My queen!" shouts Ribbon in happiness.

However, as the queen starts to open her mouth, probably to congratulate them, the crystal suddenly starts glowing again, and shoots a beam at the queen, to everyone's shock. Very quickly, a GIANT cloud of darkness is expulsed from the queen, and it quickly flies away from Ripple Star. Despite it now being in space, they can see it expand, forming its own world of darkness just beside Ripple Star.

They all frown. "This is not the end," say Dedede.

"We will have to go in it?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Of course!" answers Sweetie Belle. "We can't let them escape! We must deal with those Dark Matters now, before they come back for another round! Beside, they seem to wait for us to settle this."

Meanwhile, the fairies have gathered around the queen, Ribbon holding her in her arms.

"My queen! Are you alright?!" she shouts in worry.

The queen weakly groan, and almost whisper "Ribbon?" not even opening her eyes.

"Yes. It's me. I found heroes, and together, we have expulsed the Dark Matters out of Ripple Star." She looks up at the giant orb of darkness visible in the sky. "But now, they have formed a dark world. I don't know what is waiting for us."

After some more groans, the queen only says two words.

"Zero Two."

And she falls into unconsciousness.


"Oh boy... This will be ugly..." says Discord.

They can see it, those two words have somehow filled Sweetie Belle and the others with dread, and even Discord seems uncomfortable.

The Dark Matters, so far, have proven themselves to be the most horrible creatures they have ever seen, and that white one with all the red eyes has been really disturbing.

So, what will it be with that Zero Two?

"Zero Two..." says Celestia. She looks at Discord. "Haven't you said that the previous leader of the Dark Matter that Sweetie Belle and Kirby fought was named Zero?"

"Yes. And if this Zero Two is like the first one..." He snaps his fingers, creating a bin in front of each ponies, and dragon. "you may need those. Unless you prefer that I close the portal now, which I recommend."

"It was that horrible?" asks Applejack.

"Maybe you should tell us what happened the first time," says Luna.

"The first time," Discord repeats. He looks at everypony with a big frown. "The first time, they invaded Popstar, and possessed half the population. Dark Matters are beings of darkness and negative emotions. Their only weak point are good emotions, especially love. So they go to a world, spread at its surface, possess its inhabitants, and force them to do everything you can think to make sure that they stop feeling any ounce of positive emotions. Once the inhabitants are hopeless, the world is plunged into darkness and despair forever, and they pass to the next one to repeat. This is what they were about to do to Ripple Star, and this is what they wanted to do to Popstar. To put it simply, their goal is to plunge the whole universe into darkness and despair, exterminating all forms of love, happiness, and whatever. So they did this to Popstar..." He looks at Rarity. "and Sweetie Belle was one of the possessed." They all gasp.

"She has been forced to hurt innocents. She had to fight her friends. She almost killed. By the time she was saved, and she started fighting Zero alongside Kirby and that blue blob named Gooey -remember him?-, she had developed a real hate of the Dark Matters, and in particular Zero because he was the mastermind responsible of everything. You saw how she was the most focused in trapping the Dark Matters so Ribbon could destroy them? It's because she WANTS them dead. No mercy.

Now, Zero. He was nothing more than a giant white orb. A white orb with a single bloody eye. And I mean, BLOODY! And Sweetie Belle absolutely pummeled it. Even going close and personal to beat it like a punching bag. By the time they were done with Zero, Sweetie Belle was almost fully covered in blood, and she passed the next few hours in a pile of friends being comforted. So, I don't know how the fight against this Zero Two will go, I don't know how Sweetie Belle will react against him. A whole month has passed since then, after all, and she had her friends to help her. But just in case, you should keep those bins ready."

He is answered by silence, everypony looking at him. Rarity then starts to cry. "My... My poor Sweetie Belle... Why did this happened to her? Those... MONSTERS! She is just a filly!"

"They don't care," says Discord. "They have no care, and no mercy."

"So, you are telling me that a filly traumatized is about to fight the main reason of her trauma?" asks Luna.

"Not really, I think. I mean, Zero is dead. But if Zero Two looks close enough to the first one, then maybe it counts. All I know is that she seems to be okay with this, seeing how they are approaching that dark thing."

They see that Sweetie Belle and her friends, including Ribbon holding the crystal, are now riding on a big star, about to enter the planet-sized cloud of darkness. They can see that she has a very determined expression, but that she is also grinding her teeth, and sweating. She is not the only one, the others also being in the same state, but Sweetie Belle is the most apparent.

Celestia frowns. "Hopefully, with her friends, she will be able to pass this trial without being hurt."


They enter the giant cloud, the crystal opening a way. After a few seconds, the Warp Star leads them to the start of a way constituted of platforms made of hexagonal colored tiles. All around them, there is only a red void filled with the dark energy of the Dark Matters.

They are very close to each other, looking everywhere, not leaving their weapons. Surprisingly, there are no Dark Matters assaulting them. They only see those black creatures guarding some of the platforms in the way.

Kirby looks at the others and nods at them in determination. "Poyo." He then jumps on the next platform, eating the black creature on it.

Dedede looks at Sweetie Belle, and pets her. "Are you sure?"

She nods. "Zero is dead. This Zero Two is only a substitute. This may not be that bad. Beside, I have all of you with me."

"I don't know about this," says Waddle Dee. "If the fight against Zero Two takes place in the air, like against Zero, not all of us may be able to follow."

She sighs, only to be hugged by Adeleine. "Remember. Even if we aren't here, we will still be with you."

"At least, I will be here," says Ribbon.

"Thank you."

At this, they advance, following Kirby who has already eliminated all the black creatures and is waiting them at the end of the path beside a hole. Jumping in it, they fall to another level where there are no creatures. Further, they see a blue hexagon in the floor, and a green hexagon protruding beside it, looking like a big button. In curiosity, Dedede hits the green hexagon with the hammer, causing the blue one to suddenly rise before going back in the ground.

He looks up, toward the dark center of the cloud above them. "Seems like this is it, guys." He looks at Kirby. "Go on the blue hexagon, and I will hit the green one to propel you up so you can fight Zero Two." When Kirby goes on the blue hexagon, Ribbon lands on his head, clinging to him. Dedede then looks at Sweetie Belle. "Do you still want?"

She nods. "I will use a shield to fly."

He sighs. "Remember. We will not be able to help you, we could do nothing. However, don't forget. Whatever happens up there, we will be there for you, and it will be alright.

She nods again, smiling at him. "Don't worry."

He huffs. "Don't tell me to not worry."

Giggling, she steps on the blue hexagon beside Kirby. Seeing they are ready, Dedede hits the green hexagon with all the strength he possesses, propulsing Sweetie, Kirby, and Ribbon toward the dark center, where Zero Two is waiting for them.

Reaching the very center of the cloud, now surrounded by black... things turning all around above the red void, Ribbon quickly gives the crystal to Kirby before grabbing him to help him fly, Kirby holding the crystal and ready to shoot. Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle creates a shield that she uses like a flying platform to fly.

They quickly spot a giant white orb, but it is not quite like Zero. It is not spheric, looking more bulbous, slightly flat at the bottom with a point like a small tail. He also possesses small white segmented wings, and... a halo above his head? They also spot a big bandage just under it, with a few red cracks protruding around it.

Zero Two then turns around, revealing that he has been back to them, and reveals his face, constituted of two small beady eyes and a big red mouth.

He actually looks more like an angel, which Sweetie find really disturbing, knowing about his true nature.

But then, Zero Two has a small transformation. The mouth opens, the eyes disappear, and the wings expend, with dark red oval-shaped 'feathers' appearing at the end of the fragments, for a total of twelve 'feathers', six at each wings. Then, a pupil appears in the mouth, revealing it to be actually the infamous red eye.

The moment he sees them, Zero Two then closes his eye... and starts to cry bloody tears, surprising the three of them.

But before they can say or ask anything, Zero Two opens back his eye, and shoots energy balls at them from it. They quickly fly out of the way, discovering that the energy balls explode. He continues shooting them, targeting Kirby, while the puffball shoots crystals toward the Zero Two. Again, to their surprise, the crystals don't hurt Zero Two, only the ones hitting the eye seemingly doing something as they make it bleed. So he targets the eye, but targeting it while dodging the explosive energy balls is surprisingly hard.

To help him, Sweetie Belle tries to gain Zero Two's attention by shooting all kind of projectiles at him, but because they do nothing to him, Zero Two doesn't pay attention to her. So, instead, she shoots at the energy balls, making them explode prematurely and giving Kirby and Ribbon some easier time to target the eye.

After a few hits, Zero Two suddenly half closes his eye and seems to be stunned, stopping attacking. So Kirby continues to shoot more crystals at the eye, until Zero Two goes back to his senses and restarts attacking with his energy balls. For some reasons, it is his only attack. No shooting blood. No popping Dark Matters out of his body. He doesn't even try to charge at them.

Kirby stuns him again, and again, Zero Two goes back to his senses after a few seconds. The whole process repeats a few times, until Sweetie groans in annoyance. "Come on! Why is he still alive?! Even the fight against Zero wasn't this long!"

Strangely, at the mention of this, Zero Two closes his eye for a few seconds, then looks toward Sweetie Belle in what seems to be pure hate.

And then, he charges at her.

The filly immediately makes her shield flies away while not stopping to face Zero Two, shooting at his energy balls. After a whole minute of this, having enough, Sweetie Belle surrounds herself in her shield, and charges at him at great speed. While the charge doesn't damage him, it still knocks him away a little. Kirby, who is behind him, takes the occasion to ask Ribbon to fly above him so he can shoot toward the bandage, thinking that it may be a sensitive spot that could hurt him. But instead of directly hitting the bandage, the crystals actually hit the halo, making it turn a different color at each hit. Zero Two rapidly turn around to shoot his energy balls at them, one of them getting its mark, almost making Ribbon drop Kirby.

Still surrounded by a shield, Sweetie Belle charges at the left wing, which forces Zero Two to spin around himself, and giving the occasion for Kirby to hit the halo again, eventually destroying it and hitting the bandage under it. This destroys the bandage, revealing a familiar bloody red hole, and it REALLY hurts Zero Two, making him thrashing around.

Despite their surprise at seeing the hole, they spot that the white point at Zero Two's bottom as turned into a cactus-like tail shooting green gas, disturbing them even more. But they understand that this may be a weak point, so Ribbon quickly flies so Kirby can targets it while dodging the obviously poisoned green gas. The crystals really seem to have an effect on it, so Kirby continue to shoot until it turns back into the white point, and Zero Two turns back to face them, now really pissed off, the hole on his head bleeding heavily, and the halo back above it.

He then close his eye, and starts to spin around himself at great speed, sending the blood flying all around him. While Sweetie is able to not get blood on her thanks to her shield, Kirby however gets blood on his eyes, blinding him.

As Kirby starts to rub his eyes to get rid of the blood, Ribbon looks at it and shouts "That's disgusting!"

"Watch out!" yells Sweetie Belle.

At her yells, Ribbon looks back toward Zero Two, only for both her and Kirby to violently be rammed by him. The shock causes Kirby to release the crystal, throwing it away, and Ribbon to drop Kirby, who starts to fall.

"Oh no!" She looks at the crystal, then at Sweetie Belle. "Take the crystal!" She then flies down to catch Kirby.

Without even nodding at Ribbon to show that she has hear her, Sweetie Belle flies after the crystal, pursued by Zero Two who clearly doesn't want her to get it. He hasn't counted on Sweetie's magic, the filly grabbing the crystal with it. Crystal in magic, she spins around, and shoots at Zero Two's eye a few time before dodging energy balls.

She then starts to talk. "So you are actually Zero, right? Or at least, some reincarnated version of him. We destroyed your eye, but your body survived, and it became what you are now." She shoots more crystals, all the while flying away from Zero Two still pursuing her and shooting his energy balls. She gets on her hind hooves and grab the crystal in her fore hooves, forming a shield to block some of the balls. "So you remember? I'm the one that did this to you. I killed you. This is why you seem to hate me so much, am I right?"

Zero Two glares at her.

She glares back. "I hate you too. Because of you, I almost killed my friends." Her glare loses in intensity. "Gooey told me that you don't have anything in you. No soul. No heart. No dream. You can only feel things like hate, anger, jealousy, sadness, or pain. And you spread them. Because things like happiness, laughter, kindness, or love hurt you."

Zero Two gets stunned by the crystal hitting his eye, and Sweetie takes the occasion to attack the halo. However, she is not able to destroy it in time before Zero Two restarts attacking her.

"I remember the first Dark Matter that I fought. His reaction to me hugging Gooey. Dark Matters are your creation. So they are a part of you, in a sense. So, Zero Two, I suppose that this whole 'spreading pain' has more behind it."

She grits her teeth in pain at one of the balls hitting her. At this, she strengthens her grip on the crystal, and starts to spin around herself. After two turns, she throws the crystal in Zero Two's eye, impaling it. She then surround herself in her shield again and charges at the crystal in his eye, pushing it all the way in, making him violently thrashing around, his eye becoming a geyser of blood. Luckily, she still has her shield around herself.

She then starts shouting "You are jealous of us, right?! You want to know what it is like to have friends, to love, but because it hurts you, you can't! So you decided to make others stop feeling love!" She grabs the crystal in her magic and gets it out of what remains of the eye, and flies up to the halo. "Rather than trying to find a way to make you be able to feel love, or to just let the others alone, you decided that they should suffer, like you suffer!" She shoots at the halo, destroying it, and hits the hole, making the green tail appear. "I have been thinking about this since our first fight! I don't know what I should feel about you anymore! I hate you! But I also pity you! You have caused all this pain, but you are in pain too!" She points the crystal at the tail, takes a big breath, and close her eyes. "And I will end all this pain, right now."

She shoots.

The tail explodes, and light starts to emerge from Zero Two's body. As the area starts to get brighter, she sees Zero Two's face, and sees that he has taken back the form from the start, the eye becoming like a mouth and the two small black 'eyes' reappearing, 'smiling' at her. The effect is kinda ruined by all the bloods pouring from the 'mouth' and on the head.

She then hears a "Poyo!" and turns around, seeing Kirby and Ribbon approach.

"You did it!" shouts the fairy in joy.

"Yes, but we should quickly get out of here, because I'm sure the place is about to explode."

They nod, and a few seconds later, they are escaping on the Warp Star. They quickly join Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine, and they jump on it. They exit the dark cloud just a few seconds before it explodes, and they fly back to Ripple Star.


As Sweetie Belle and her friends return to Ripple Star, the ponies only look in silence at what they have witnessed, excepted Fluttershy, who his hidden behind her chair. Pinkie is also crying.

"I have heard a big explosion. Is it over?" asks the pegasus.

Applejack answers her after a few seconds. "Yes sugarcube, it's over. But darn, Discord. You weren't kidding about the ugly part."

"Of course! But seriously! Did she had to impale the crystal in the eye?! That was totally unnecessary and overkill!"

"Probably to end the fight faster, without having to shoot in the eye for another whole minute to stun him," says Luna.

Rarity takes a big breath and sighs. "I don't know what to think... Seeing my sister killing something..." She looks at Celestia. "Princess... Was it the right thing to do?"

Celestia frowns. "Like Sweetie Belle said, Zero, or Zero Two, choose to make the whole universe suffering like him, rather than accepting his life or trying to find a way to change it. If she had spared him, he would have just come back to restart spreading pain elsewhere, and she had no way to imprison him. It was one of those cases... where death was the only way out. I don't say that killing is right, but Sweetie Belle had no choice. She was quite violent about it, but Discord warned us, and after what she has gone through, I think we can forgive her."

"At least, it wasn't as violent as the first time. An impaled eye is nothing compared to what she had done to him," says Discord.

"It's still so sad!" says Pinkie Pie. "He just wanted to love and be loved! But he couldn't because love hurt him ! And so he was sad and hurt and angry and mean and..."

"But he is not suffering anymore, right?" says Rainbow Dash, insure. "I mean... Sweetie said that she has ended the suffering caused by Zero Two, but she also ended Zero Two's suffering. So that's... nice...?"

"I suppose this is the only good part about Sweetie Belle killing Zero Two, beside definitely stopping him : putting him out of his misery," says Twilight as she hugs Spike. "I could tell that she really wanted him dead, like Discord said. But at least, she hasn't killed Zero Two only by hate and vengeance. There was mercy, and duty. I... I don't know if i would have been better at her place."

"And she has even accepted it," continues Discord. "The first time, she was a mess. But now, she seems only a little disturbed, but nothing to the point of having to be buried under a pile of friends."

"She has really matured..." says Rarity. She looks at her little sister, as her and her friends are given medals with small crystals by the queen of the fairies. She smiles proudly at her. "I so want to hug her..."

Discord then closes the portal. "I think that's it, everypony. End of the journey, the world is saved, blah blah blah. Oh! Before I forget!" He snaps his fingers, and a miniature version of himself appears on his lion paw. "You will watch Sweetie Belle, and warn me once something interesting happens."

The mini Discord salutes him, opens a portal, and steps through it before it closes.

"You think there will be more adventures despite the probable end of the Dark Matters?" asks Luna.

"Yes. The Dark Matters where clearly the main threats until now, with Sweetie Belle fighting them three times, but they aren't the only threat. There was that mad jester, after all." His smiles grows. "Something tells me that what we have just seen may be nothing compared to some of her future battles. After all, new bad guys tend to be stronger than the previous ones."

"Nightmare Moon wasn't a pushover for a first bad guy, and you were probably the biggest threat we had until Tirek," says Twilight. "Your logic is eroned."

"I did say 'tend to be'. This is not a general truth." At this, he disappears.

Not long after, Celestia and Luna have to say goodbye, before they return to Canterlot to do their duties. However, Celestia still asks Twilight to inform her of Sweetie Belle's adventures, that she judges "Pleasant to follow".

The princesses are also very curious to see what there will be after something like Zero Two.

Chapter 37: The Ancients

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After their victory over the Dark Matters, and the ceremony where the queen of the fairies has rewarded them, Sweetie Belle, Kirby, Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine have decided to remain on Ripple Star a day or two to rest. Kirby does what he does best : eating, napping, and walking around, exploring the world and being friendly to the locals. Dedede is not doing much, lazing around and eating the local food, seeing if there is not some recipes that he could give to the cooks. Waddle Dee, surprisingly, has already started training to better use his new weapon, wanting to become an elite soldier for his king as quickly as possible. Adeleine takes the occasion to paint the uniques and beautiful environments of Ripple Star, thinking of bringing the paintings back to Popstar to keep them as memories, and give some of them to her friends. She seems to have gotten really close with Ribbon, because they pass a great amount of time together.

Sweetie Belle, her, has done some exploring alongside Kirby, making friends with the fairies, playing with them, and pretty much putting the fight with Zero Two behind her. While she has accepted it, killing someone, even as horrible as Zero Two, is still hard. And she can't help but be sad for him. Being forced to live like that because of his nature, when he actually wanted the opposite, is probably the most tragic thing she has ever heard. A part of her has really wanted to help him. But it was just too late, far too late. He was too deep in his pain, in his hate. In the end, the best way she could help him has been to kill him, to stop everything.

Right now, she is with the queen of the fairies, named Ripple, after her own planet. For a queen, Ripple is really approachable, and really don't act like a queen. She is clumsy, and tends to lose focus. Sweetie has already stopped counting the number of times she has caused her glasses to fall. But she takes all that with good humor, and now that her world and her subjects aren't in danger, she is always smiling. She is also really curious, because as soon as she has learned that Sweetie comes from another dimension, she has asked her to tell her more, remembering her of Twilight.
Gosh, if those two were to meet, they could talk for days.

And so, Sweetie Belle is telling her about Equestria, about the ponies, the magic, the princesses moving the sun and the moon, the Cutie Marks, the pegasi managing the weather, and many other things that are so different from this dimension. She also tells about her crusadings with her friends, and some of the events that have happened in Ponyville, like the parasprites, or the invasion of the Pinkie clones, many of them making the queen laugh, and others making her shake in fear or in suspense.

If that wasn't for her crown, it would be really hard to believe she is a queen.

After some time, however, she remembers something she has talked with Ribbon in Popstar, and after finishing another tale, she decides to talk to Ripple about it.

"Queen Ripple?"

"Yes?"

"Back in Popstar, Ribbon told me how Zero was created. Something about a Dark God. She told me to ask you for more details. So, can you tell me more about this Dark God? Because he has created Zero, it may be useful to know more about him."

Ripple looks at Sweetie Belle for a time, and nods. "Follow me."

She then leads Sweetie to a library, where she takes a rather small blue book with a pink heart drawn on its cover, titled The Ancients.

Ripple then talks. "I must warn you, many things have been lost. This book is only a compilation of everything that we could find, about this God, and the civilization that was venerating him. A good example is their names. We never found how they were named. So we simply name the civilization the Ancients, and this god by various simple names like The God, the Dark God, the Dark Lord, or the Destructor. Their stories are linked, so to speak to you about the Dark God, I must tell you about the Ancients, and again, their history is full of holes. But at least, the big lines are here."

Sweetie Belle nods. "Whatever you have gathered in that book will be better than nothing."

Ripple nods, and open the book. "We know that this God comes from the start of time, maybe even before that, and is responsible for the creation of the three Great Forces of the universe : the Heart, the Soul, and the Dream. Thanks to this, the main symbol of the God is a heart, but stars are also used sometimes to represent him."

"Right. Stars symbolise dreams."

"Exactly. We sadly don't know what is his appearance, but apparently, it changes with time. We only know that his creations may give an idea of some of his main features."

Sweetie Belle frowns. "So, Zero being one of his creations, does that mean that there are some parts of him that may actually come from this God?"

"Probably. But I can't tell which. Now, eventually, the civilization of the Ancients appeared. Venerating this God, they took his symbols, and using his powers, they created some powerful artefacts, both magical..." At this, she shows a crown with spikes extending from the base, and turning a few pages, she also shows the Star Rod and the Fountain of Dreams, to Sweetie's surprise. "and technological." She then shows a blue and white ship that looks like a normal one, with oars and a mast, but there is too two wings beside engines at the back, and there are stars at the front and at the base of the wings. Turning a few pages, she also shows a mechanical thing shaped like a white cylinder with a black head that looks like a screw and a yellow glass just below it. There are pink lights coursing its cylinder body, with some of them forming a big heart at the front, under the yellow glass, some jagged in the middle making look like it's breaking. It also possesses white wings-like things shaped in an arc at its sides, black at the outer edges, with blue feather-like part protruding from them, making Sweetie think of the red 'feathers' of Zero Two.

Sweetie is awed at all those artefacts, especially at seeing that those Ancients created the Fountain of Dreams, but then, she thinks of something. "Did they create Nova too?"

"Nova?" asks Ripple.

"Some planet sized mechanical comet with the mouth of a cat. He could grant wishes."

"Oh! The Clockwork Stars! You actually saw one?"

"There are more than one?"

"Yes." At this, Ripple turns a few pages and shows a mechanical being like Nova, but red colored, and with different objects around his body. "The Clockwork Stars are probably their greatest creations. For a civilization where dreams had an important place, there was nothing better than creating something that could make dreams come true. You said the one you saw was named Nova?"

"Yes. Sadly, me and Kirby had to destroy him."

Ripple gasps. "Why?!"

"The sun and the moon of Popstar were fighting each other, and someone named Marx told us about Nova, and that he could stop them. So me and Kirby explored a few worlds to use the power of their Fountains of Dreams to summon him. Now that I think of this, 'making dreams come true' explain the link between the Fountains and Nova. Anyway, so we summoned him, only for Marx to come and wish to conquer Popstar, so Nova was starting to help him. To stop him, we had to destroy him."

Ripple sighs. "What a waste... But yes, I suppose that in the wrong hands, some of those artefacts could be used to do bad things. And with the bad influence of the God later, some of them have become corrupted. Like this one..." She shows back the cylinder thing. "It is said that it was actually a prototype of Clockwork Stars, and it could also grant wishes, in a lesser extent. However, now, if someone was ever trying to use it, then it would corrupt them, twisting them. There are also some warnings about 'absolutely not using it without the control device', but we don't know what it would cause."

"Ugh. If I encounter it, I will make sure to destroy it. Something almost as powerful as Nova but corrupted AND corrupting the ones using it? Too dangerous."

Ripple nods. "It would be for the better, but I don't know where it is. Now, the Ancients were mainly divided into two clans: the ones that preferred to use magic, and the ones that preferred to use technology. And this is where it starts to go down. You see, the magic users were much closer to the Gods than the others, basing their magic on some of his powers. However, after some crisis about 'one of the God's children killing almost all the others and destroying many worlds', the technology users started to fear the God. You see, Sweetie, everything has a good, and a bad side. With the Soul, come the Good, and the Evil. With the Heart, come Love, and Hate. With the Dream, come the Nightmare. With Light, come Darkness. And the Ancients just discovered the bad side of the God's creations.

The magic users using The God's powers for their magic, they include those bad sides in their magic, and demonstrated it while fighting the being from the crisis, and so, they were starting to be feared too. It got worse, and worse, until eventually..." She turns the pages of the book, until showing a picture, where Sweetie can see beings with horn-like ears -their only clear feature- facing each other in the opposite sides of it. At the left, the beings are throwing spells toward the right side. At the right, the beings are using weapons and machines shooting lasers at the left side. "war broke out." She sighs. "The technology users won, and exiled the magic users that survived, and the God with them.

The thing is, that during the war, The God absorbed all the negativity resulting from it. So when the magic users, after their exile, so they prayed to the God to avenge them, he started to change. And so, the God attacked, spreading destruction, filling more and more with negativity, until by the end, he was only just that. The Creator... was now the Destructor, and the magic users, now blinded by hate and revenge, continued to follow him, giving him more strength, not caring if it destroyed the universe. It's in that period that the Dark God created Zero, and some other beings, to help him. The Ancients were almost all exterminated in that second act of the war, their civilization ruined. The only thing saving what remained, was a group of four heroes -sorry, we don't know who are those heroes- accomplishing the impossible. They fought the magic users, then the Dark God himself, and using his own powers against him..." She shows a picture with a big purple crystal heart pierced by four pink spears with heart-shaped tops. "They sealed him. And the few remaining magic users were scattered in the universe."

"But he is only sealed... He may come back."

"Yes." She looks at Sweetie Belle. "If this happens, then the only way to fight him, and stop his destruction, would be to use that same power that the heroes used : Heart, Soul, and Dream, and in enough quantity. You would have to assemble a team of friends, also warriors that you can trust, as many as possible, and together, use this power, to either seal him, or kill him. However, he is a God, so he can't really be killed. He would eventually come back, hopefully, losing at least a part of his negativity." She turns the page, showing a new picture. What looks like a heart-shaped white mask, with two small holes for eyes, and its bottom forming a long, sharp point. "Whatever the case, if you end up fighting him, then he will be, definitely, the most powerful and the most dangerous being that you will ever face. Zero, compared to him, would be nothing. So I hope for you, and for everyone, that he will remain sealed in that heart for the rest of time."

Sweetie Belle looks at the heart-shaped mask, sweating. She really hopes that Ripple is right, and that this God will remain trapped. Fighting an actual god, coming from the very origin of the universe, and that could destroy it? He would probably crush her. But again, she has ended up fighting something created, directly or indirectly, from the powers of this god four times now. Nova, the Dark Matters, and Zero. Maybe he even has something to do with Nightmare. And seeing all those artefacts, and knowing that there are more beings like Zero out there, she will probably be facing more of them. So what are the chances that she will have to confront that Dark God?

Maybe she should join Waddle Dee.

Chapter 38: Vacation

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That night, as they are together for dinner, Sweetie Belle tells the others about the Dark God.

"You really think we will one day fight this God?" asks Dedede.

"There is a possibility," she replies. "I mean, in the space of a few months, we have had no less than five crisis concerning artefacts or beings created by this God, or by the Ancients with his help. First, the Fountain of Dream, the Star Rod, and Nightmare. Well, this is not confirmed that Nightmare was created by the God, but there is a big possibility, with the God being the creator of the dreams. Secondly, the Dark Matters, three times. While the God hasn't directly created the Dark Matters, he did create Zero, who himself created the Dark Matters. And then, there was Nova, using the power of dreams, and so the God's power, to grant wishes. So, you see, I really wouldn't be surprised if we do fight the God himself at some point in the future."

Adeleine rubs her head in nervousness. "I see your point. But do you think we would be able to fight something so powerful?"

Sweetie Belle sighs. "I don't know... Queen Ripple said that four heroes were able to seal him, so this shows that he is not invincible. We could do it too. But we will certainly need to get stronger. And having more allies would not be bad too. I know we could count on the animals and Gooey to join us. And..." She smiles sheepishly at Dedede. "there is Marx too."

"What?!" Dedede falls from his chair, and quickly gets back up, looking at Sweetie Belle in disbelief. "He is alive?!"

She nods. "He survived the explosion of Nova, and I convinced him to stop trying to conquer Popstar. Seeing how he hasn't tried anything bad since then, I think we can now count on him."

"And why haven't you told me?" he asks annoyed.

"You were too angry at him. If I had told you, you would have gone to fight him."

He grumbles and crosses his arms while sitting back on his chair. "True..."

Adeleine looks at her plate for a few seconds, then looks at Kirby and Sweetie Belle. "You can count on me too. I will be there if the day come."

"Me too," says Ribbon. "I'm not a great fighter, but I could be of help."

Adeleine smiles at her. "You could lift me, like you did in our adventure."

Ripples nods. "I will also ask the fairies to forge a crystal that you could use to shoot projectiles. It would not be as powerful as the Crystal, but it would still be useful thanks to the Heart energy of our world. We are not much for weapons, in Ripple Star, but against the Dark God, we are willing to do something."

"And of course..." Dedede bumps his chest. "I will be there too! It would be a shame if I, the Great King Dedede, will not help saving the universe when my second in command will do it!"

"Me too!" shouts Waddle Dee.

Sweetie Belle smiles at them. "And I think we can add Meta Knight too. Even if he tried to conquer Dreamland, in the end, he only wants to protect Popstar. He was just... misguided."

Kirby raises an arm. "Poyo!"

Sweetie giggles. "Of course. We already have a big and powerful team ready to fight this God if he shows up."

Dedede smirks. "If he does, he will regret it! With all of us, he will not stand a chance!"

"Poyo/Yeah!"

Queen Ripple smiles at them. "Yes. I believe in you." And after a moment of silence, she adds "I have heard that you wanted to return to that world of water, which, by the way, is named Aqua Star, to pass some vacation. So, how about I guide you to it tomorrow?"

"Yes, please! We don't know where it is exactly!" says Sweetie Belle.


It's a nice day today in Ponyville. Warm with a few clouds here and there, perfect for a small tea time. So it's only natural for Discord and Fluttershy to have one outside the pegasus' house. That, and Discord wants to make sure that his friend doesn't have any... sequels from the violent spectacle from the previous day. Already, the poor dear has been getting agitated at seeing Zero Two, whose appearance has been quite unsettling, so when that thing has started leaking blood from his eyes, she has had a hard time keeping her eyes on the fight. And when the bandage has been destroyed to reveal that big bloody hole in the head, she has passed the rest of the fight hidden behind her chair not looking at it.

He thinks that he should have closed the portal at this moment, or at least, he should have told Fluttershy to not look.

Right now, she seems to be better, probably thanks to her friends, both ponies and animals, and that tea party is probably helping her relaxing too. Or it may be Discord goofing with his magic to make her laugh that actually help.

Right now, he is having a musical number with a bunch of tea-pots, making them expulse steam with different sounds to form a song, Discord himself acting like a conductor.

"No, yellow tea-pot with the pink flower, you must do two short puffs followed by a long one. And blue tea-pot, red tea-pot, and purple tea-pot with pink dots, can you do your 'puff PUFF puff puff' a little faster? Alright, we restart. Three. Two. O..." He is interrupted by a letter popping in front of him. "Oh. Bummer."

"What is it Discord?" asks Fluttershy.

Discord catches the letter and start reading it. "Oh! It's a report from the mini me that I sent to watch Sweetie Belle. Already?"

"I hope she is not in another scary adventure so soon..."

After some more reading, Discord says "No. Nothing like that. She has actually gone in a small vacation with the others and that queen fairy in that waterworld."

Fluttershy sighs in relief. "Thank Celestia..."

"Oh..." suddenly half shout Discord, surprising her.

"What?"

Discord starts sweating. "Well, that's unexpected..."

"What?" repeats Fluttershy.

"Erh... Apparently, Sweetie Belle may, and I say 'may', end up fighting in the future a dark god from the origin of time. As in, Zero's daddy."

Fluttershy cringes. "That monster's father? A dark god?" She gulps. "How bad is it?"

"Really bad," Discord answers. "He is a god... a dark god... and he is named 'The Destructor'. When a dark god is named 'The Destructor', this translates by 'this guy can destroy the whole universe if he is not stopped'. All the villains that you and your friends have faced, me included, would be worms compared to his power. Yes, even Tirek when he possessed all that magic. That bad."

Fluttershy starts to shake. "M-maybe you should bring Sweetie Belle back..."

"I'm thinking this but... this could be her purpose. What if she ended up in that universe to help save it from that god? So what would happen if I bring her back? Would they be able to fight that god without her?"

She looks down thoughtfully. "So this means that if you bring her back, you take the risk of this universe being destroyed?"

"This one, and maybe many others. There is a possibility that this god can open portals to other dimensions."

"Eep!" She half hides herself under the table. "Like, he could come to Equestria?"

"For him to enter our dimension between all the dimensions of the multiverse, there is a really small chance. But yes, there would be a very, very, VERY small possibility." He crosses his arms, and after a moment of silence, he asks "So, should I take the risk?"

"I... I think this is not for us to choose. You should ask Sweetie Belle's family. Rarity and her parents."


In the house of Sweetie Belle's parents...

"We are okay with her remaining in this other universe," says Hondo Flank, Sweetie Belle's father, a white unicorn with a brown mane and tail and possessing a mustache.

Discord raises an eyebrow. "Really? Just like that?"

"Father, are you sure? He just told us that Sweetie may have to fight a being more powerful than anything we can think of!" shouts Rarity

Cookie Crumbles, a pink unicorn with a two-toned purple mane and tail who is Sweetie Belle's mother, nods. "Yes. We trust in her." She giggles. "I still have a hard time believing that Sweetie Belle is now fighting evil and saving worlds in another universe. She may still be a filly, but if your previous tales are to be trusted, then I'm sure that with the help of the friends she made in this universe, she will win her fight against that god if this happens." She turns to her husband and smiles. "And who knows, she may get her Cutie Mark thanks to this. If this is really 'her fate', then I don't see better occasion."

Hondo Flanks puts a hoof under his chin. "So, a Cutie Mark in God Slaying? Oh, I already see it." He then changes his voice, making it lower. "'My daughter's Cutie Mark is a wand! She will be a prodigy in magic! Maybe she could even become princess Celestia's protégée!'" He talks back in his normal voice. "'Oh please! That's nothing! My daughter has a Cutie Mark in God Slaying! Princess Celestia should become HER protégée!'"

"Father!" shouts Rarity horrified. "Watch what you say!"

Discord suddenly rolls in laughter. "I totally have to propose that to Celestia if it happens!"

"But aren't you worried for her?" asks Fluttershy. "I mean, she could die."

"Of course we are worried," answers Cookie Crumbles. "We are worried since the day we learned that she has been sent to that other dimension. But again, we trust in her. And we also trust in her friends to protect her. If we just give in and not let her take some risks, then she may miss opportunities, and it could ruin her life. Until now, she has won all her fights against foes both powerful and dangerous, so I have no reason to believe that she can't win against this god." She turns to Discord. "But if things come to worse, then I'm sure that you will be here to stop her from being killed. You always watch her, right?"

"Now that I have sent a mini me to keep an eye and warn me once things start to get interesting, yes, I will always be there to assure that she will not be killed."

"Speaking of this... Can... Can you open a portal so we can see her?" she asks.

"Of course!"

At this, Discord snaps his fingers and a portal opens on one of the walls. Quickly, it shows a beach, where they can see Sweetie Belle in the water with Waddle Dee, Adeleine, Ribbon, the queen of the fairies, and an orca, probably Acro, playing with a beach ball. Kirby and Dedede are napping on the sand of the beach, bathing in the warm sun. At a moment, some orange mole-like creature with a round body digs out of the sand beside Dedede, only to be crushed by his hammer, the penguin still sleeping. But then, the ball is sent too far by Queen Ripple, and it hits Dedede on the head, waking him up with a surprise bounce.

"What? What? What? What hit me? What happened?"

"Sorry Dedede!" shouts Sweetie Belle while the fairy queen hides her eyes behind her hands, head half in the water in embarrassment. "Queen Ripple has hit the ball too hard! Can you send it back, please?"

He huffs, and take the ball. "Alright, I will send it back to you." He smirks. "But I still have to make you pay for waking me up, so..." He takes his hammer, and tosses up the ball. "TRY TO CATCH IT!" He hits the ball with his hammer, sending it toward the group in the water like a cannonball.

"It's too fast!" yells Waddle Dee in panic.

However, Sweetie simply puts herself in the path of the ball and readies her right hoof with a grin. The next second, when the ball is about to hit her in the face, she uppercuts it with her hoof now enveloped with energy, sending the ball flying high towards the sky. She then shouts at Dedede "Thank you!"

The king grumbles and sits back on the sand, his arms crossed.

Once the ball goes back down, the game restarts as if this event has never happened.

"That's my girl!" shouts Hondo Flanks. "Have you seen it? She has intercepted that cannonball as if it was nothing! I'm so putting her in Ponyville's hoofball team once she comes back! She will wreck all the others and make us champions!"

"We have a hoofball team?" asks Rarity.

"Erh... no. But I'm sure that we will be able to form one once I show Sweetie Belle's skills!"

"Honey. If Sweetie becomes a God Slayer, don't you think she will have better things to do than playing hoofball?"

"Darn, that's right."

Discord looks at both parents, then bends toward Rarity, whispering "They see their daughter punching to the sky a beach ball charging at her like a cannonball, and that's all the effect it gives them? You, I understand, you are now used to it, but them?"

She sighs. "That's my parents for you. If a cyborg from the future suddenly appeared in the middle of the living room, they would just ask him to join them for dinner, and father would probably ask him to join a hoofball team. So Sweetie Belle punching a cannonball is nothing outside of making them even more proud of her. And her eventually becoming a God Slayer? They will accept it as if it is something like becoming Captain of the Royal Guard."

"So they are the opposite of you? You over dramatise everything, while they under dramatise?"

She glares at him. "You can resume it this way..." she says with a growl.

Fluttershy hides her chuckles behind her hoof.

In the end, they continue watching Sweetie Belle playing with her friends or exploring under the ocean for a whole hour, before they decide to close