Part 7: Ness + Paula + Mole = Fun
Part 6: Ness + Paula + Mole = Fun
I clamped a hand over my mouth to avoid any future screams of terror. Oddly enough, the swaying mass of blue-hooded psychopaths didn't even turn in my direction. They simply stood in place, their chanting filling the air with a dull murmur of "Blue, blue".
I began to navigate the sea of cultists.
A couple of times, I had to put bat to skull, but once again, they didn't seem to notice or care.
Finally, on the opposite side of the room, I came to a doorway, which led me up a tall staircase. At the top of it...
There stood Carpainter. Behind him, a sinister golden statue glittered. It filled me with apprehension, but somehow seemed familiar. Carpainter stood there with a satisfied smile on his face. I walked up to him determined to wipe it off.
: "I need your assistance to help make the world blue and change it into a happy and peaceful society. Will you be my right-hand man?"
: "Are you kidding? No way!"
: "If you don't want to be my right hand, my left would be just fine...Haha, just kidding. Your existence is a problem for me and my religion. Oppose me, and I'll end your pitiful game!"
Carpainter's face twisted into a furious scowl and he pointed his finger at me. A bolt of lightning shot out and headed for me!
The Franklin Badge pinned to my chest seemed to attract the lightning, and then suddenly it was reflected right back at Carpainter.
Boss Battle: Carpainter
Google Video / Backup
Carpainter fell off the stairs and lay sizzling on the floor below. I stood over him, bat at the ready, and he began to speak again.
: "...Do you see the Mani-Mani statue behind me...Ever since I got the statue, I have been doing peculiar things...P-please, forgive me if you can. I just wanted to have a peaceful life. I apologize to everyone. Here, this is the key to the mountain cabin where Paula is being held. Take it...I'll get rid of the statue now, and the village will go back to normal."
He handed me the key and collapsed on the ground. I left without saying anything.
Downstairs, in the huge room, the spell seemed to have broken already. There were only three people left, standing around looking rather confused in their blue robes and hoods. And once I made it outside, I hadn't gone two steps when I heard Pokey's sniveling voice over my shoulder.
: "Please answer me. I promise to be good. Uh...okay?"
He took a few steps away as my hand tensed around my bat. I didn't trust Pokey for a second.
: "Hah! I lied! See you, sucker!"
And with that he took off as fast as his fat little legs could carry him. Whatever, I thought. I had bigger things to worry about than Pokey. I rushed off to the cabin to let Paula out.
: "Carpainter's hold over the village has broken. It seems like a weird statue was influencing his mind."
: "A statue? I heard that a treasure hunter in Onett had unearthed a strange statue recently. I wonder if they're related?"
: "Onett? I'm from Onett! Actually, that creepy old guy who lives on the mountain did tell me he had something to show me...But I never went back to look before I got ran out of town."
: "You got run out of town?!"
: "It's a long story. I'll explain on the way back."
Paula shouldered a large handbag, and grabbed an extremely beat-up teddy bear from the corner of her cell.
: "Um, what's with that bear?"
: "I've noticed if you carry something like this teddy bear around, sometimes the monsters get confused and will attack the bear instead of you. I do feel kind of bad letting the bear get burned and beat up and stuff, but it's better than us getting hurt, right?"
I couldn't argue with that. We headed out of the cabin, and on the walk back, I told Paula my story so far-Buzz Buzz's prophecy, the Sound Stone missions, and getting chased out of Onett by the cops.
: "What an amazing story. I knew you were the real thing the moment I saw you."
Paula had this knack for saying things that made me unable to form complete sentences for a few moments.
: "Uh...yeah, well, I...that is..."
: "So you're seeking out these eight Sanctuary locations, huh? I overheard Carpainter and his goons talking about a strange place near Happy Happy Village that they couldn't turn blue. They called it Lilliput Steps. I think we ought to check it out before we head back to Twoson."
: "Ah...good idea."
Back in Happy Happy Village, people seemed to have come to their senses and were busy cleaning up. Someone was even washing the blue paint off of the cow. Paula led me to a cave entrance to the east of the village. This was the way to Lilliput Steps.
The cave was dimly lit, and the sound of softly running water greeted our ears.
: "There's sure to be some mad animals in here, but with the two of us, we shouldn't have any problems."
She pulled a large, slightly dented frying pan out of her handbag and held it at the ready. I nodded and gripped my trusty bat.
We hadn't gone very far when we saw a pair of beady, glowing eyes glitter at us from the darkness. A tiny mole skittered out, its teeth bared, growling at us. I was about to swing at it when I noticed more eyes glinting to my right, and then to the left...
: "How many of these things ARE there?"
: "...I dunno. They're just moles, though, let's get 'em!"
She lunged forward, and with a reverberating clang, sent one of the moles flying like a tennis ball. That was my cue, I guess.
Once enough of their buddies had been launched into the darkness, the remainder of the moles scuttled away into the cave and we continued on.
This cave was much bigger than the one in Onett was. All the same, I don't think any size cave would have prepared us to see a huge, hairy bear lurch out of the darkness, fangs bared, roaring threateningly at us.
: "Waaagh! A...a bear!"
: "Paula! Get behind me!"
: "That won't be necessary."
Paula stood resolute before the bristling bear. Suddenly I felt a cold wind whip past me, and saw Paula point in the bears' direction. Shards of ice materialized and began pelting the bear, clustering on its fur and smacking it in the face. Howling, the bear lumbered away into the darkness of the cave to thaw out.
: "...That was amazing!"
: "What? Oh...Thanks!"
: "How did you control it like that? I mean, mine can make a shield, or it beats people up, that's about all it can do..."
: "You just recently discovered your psychic power. It takes time before you can refine it into elements like fire and ice. I also find it's easier if you give them names, that way you can just think about the name, and with practice, your mind will use the effect on its own."
A name, huh? My power was basically a bunch of flashing colors and strobe lights that just kinda rocked the faces off anything that got in its way. How was I supposed to come up with a name for that? I figured I would just think on it for a little bit. We kept walking and after fifteen minutes or so, came to a flickering light that reminded me of Giant Steps' guardian.
: "The last time I saw this, there was a huge ant, so...be careful."
Paula nodded, and I stepped closer to the light. I immediately heard a familiar, booming voice.
: "This is the second "Your Sanctuary" location. But it's mine now. Take it from me, if you dare..."
As the voice faded, a low rumbling began to come from under our feet. The cave began to shake as it grew louder and louder. Cracks appeared in the cave floor. Suddenly, with a loud roar, a large shape erupted out of the ground. Amid clattering rubble, when the dust cleared, a huge mole, easily three feet taller than the bear we had just chased off, stood there, its eyes glowing red.
: "That...certainly is a large mole."
: "I...it is, isn't it?"
The mole brandished yellowed claws and charged us. We dove out of the way in opposite directions, and the mole turned to pursue Paula. Seizing the opportunity, I ran and leapt as high as I could to hit the mole in the head with my bat. Unfortunately, as high as I could jump didn't quite equal the mole's head, and so my bat hit the dirty matted hair on its back with a dull thwack. Undaunted, I swung over and over, beating the mole in the kidney area. I succeeded in getting its attention, as it turned away from Paula and swiped its razor-sharp talons at me. I leapt backwards, narrowly avoiding losing a chunk of my torso to the mole. I was preparing my strongest psychic-face-rock-off attack when suddenly the mole screeched and reared up in pain.
Paula had hit it with a blast of psychic fire and set its back alight. As it toppled around I unleashed my attack, the strobing beams buffeting the mole about. It fell to the floor, breathing weakly, but staggered to its feet again. Seemed like it still had some fight left in it. Dazed, it turned again on Paula, who shrieked as the mole raised its threatening claws and swung. I heard a horrible ripping noise and my heart sank into my stomach. I couldn't see what was happening, as the bulk of the mole's body was blocking Paula from my view.
Enraged, I ran at the mole, and climbing up its charred back, finally connected my bat with its head. I hit it two or three times before it collapsed in a heap and moved no more.
Boss Battle: Mondo Mole
Google Video / Backup
Panting, I ran back over to Paula. She was holding the slashed remains of the teddy bear.
: "You...you're not hurt?"
: "No...I told you, these bears are lifesavers."
I gave a weak chuckle and collapsed on the ground.
: "I'm sorry, Ness...I know I've been a lot of trouble so far. But...You were amazing in that battle. I'm sure that the two of us together can overcome anything in our journey!"
I nodded and pulled myself to my feet. Together, we walked through the door behind the mole, and into Lilliput Steps.
It was every bit as peaceful as Giant Step had been, but was more or less the exact opposite of it. Instead of one huge, deep footprint, dozens of tiny footprints were imprinted delicately on the lush grass, forming a path from tree to tree. The worry of battle and soreness of my body seemed to vanish, and the air was humming peacefully.
Again, it was as if a memory I hadn't thought of in ages came rushing back unbidden.
I suddenly felt myself blushing and wondered if Paula had seen that as well. I looked over at her. If she had, she gave no indication. She was digging a small grave and burying the bear who had taken the mole's final attack.
: "This bear will be known as a hero who gave his life valiantly at the Battle of Lilliput Steps."
: "Rest in peace, bear."
After lingering for a little bit in Lilliput Steps, we made our way back to the village. It was late, so we decided to stay the night in the now-sane Happy-Happy Village.
: "I'll uh, sleep on the floor. You....you can have the bed."
: "Right...um, thanks. Goodnight!"
That could have been less awkward, I thought, as I laid my head on my backpack and stretched out on the floor. There was no time to worry about that now, though, as I fell asleep the moment my eyes were closed.
Next time: Ness gets funky with the Runaway Five! Also, a horrible legion of undead! Don't miss it!