BECOME HER SERVANT
Chapter Seven: Her Highness Recruits a Dupe


by Victar (vctr113062@aol.com)
http://www.victarfanfics.com


GPS LOG: Pit of 100 Trials, level 100
Year 20XX, Day ?4
11:31 p.m.

[warping noise]

LUIGI: AAAH-!

PRINCESS DAISY: Easy, there. It's just a pile of dragon bones.

L: Suh-sorry. It suh-suh-scared me!

D: We're in luck. I thought something horrific would be waiting for us.

Could you please shine your flashlight around? We need to find that box.

L: I'll turn it up from "Fryguy Bright" to "Super Sunshine".

[flashlight switch click]

L: This room sure is bigger than all the others...

D: Look over there. Against the far wall.

L: I-I hate those evil boxes. I hate them.

D: It's what we came for.

[Daisy's footsteps]

D: Oh, no.

L: What?

D: Luigi, stay back. Take one of my boxes. I'm going to get that one myself. Then we'll each have two.

L: What are you-

D: Here.

L: Aaah - [gulp]

D: Got it? Okay. Stay there.

L: But...

[Daisy's footsteps]

D: [background] I have the last box. There's a warp pipe behind you. Go through it. Don't look back.

L: Daisy, why are you acting so weird? What's over there?

D: It's...

[Luigi's footsteps]

D: ...Toadsworth.

L: Wha... huh?

[long silence]

L: Oh... oh, no. Oh, nn-no...!

D: [sadly] I'm sorry. There's nothing we can do for him now.

L: [sniffle] I-I thought he escaped - I thought - how did he get down here? - I thought-

[Luigi sobs loudly]

D: He was near the box. It looks as though something with sharp claws or teeth hurt him badly... I don't know what happened, I just don't.

[Luigi's sobbing continues]

D: Wait... there's a book next to him.

[rustle of turning pages]

I think it's a journal.

[Daisy clears throat]

"...can only pray Master Luigi and Princess Daisy escaped. This old Toad can't run so fast anymore. I refused to serve the Shadow Queen. I expected the monsters to destroy me, but they had other plans, or perhaps other orders. They took me to a crypt within an underground palace - is this what lies behind the Thousand-Year Door?"

[Luigi's sobbing subsides]

[rustle of turning page]

"...faint with terror, but I hold out hope. Master Mario will come to the rescue! He must! He must save our beloved Princess Peach!"

[rustle of turning page]

"...cannot believe it. Princess Peach set me free! But...

There is something wrong with her. So terribly wrong. In her eyes, her voice, she was not the playful, gentle young woman I have watched over since she was a little girl. She was regal.

Confident. Proud. Dignified. Radiating authority. A ruler whose every word must be obeyed.

She was nothing like my beloved Princess.

This was not Princess Peach. This could not be Princess Peach. Yet she told me things only my Princess would know - it was no trickster mimicking her form, but it could not be her!

My Princess, what has happened to you? Why do you call me your 'hero'? This old Toad was hardly a 'hero' when he was a spring spore, let alone now. I'm not a legend like Master Mario and Master Luigi. I'm just an arthritic steward who fails time and again to protect you from kidnappers. Why do you tell me to find enchanted black boxes and carry them to that dreadful crypt?

Why do you silence me when I ask of Master Mario?

The Princess Peach I remember held a special place in her heart for Master Mario. No matter how dire her peril, she would trust him to rescue her. She would never give up on Master Mario, never!

Everything is all so wrong...

Monsters shadow each move I make. They pretend not to see me, and I feign ignorance of them. But they are watching me, and waiting. Waiting for what?"

[rustle of turning page]

"I quickly located the first black box. It was in the ruins underneath Rogueport, precisely where my Princess said it would be.

I can feel the malignancy within this vile thing. It yearns to slay and devour; my Princess warned me it would take my soul if I didn't harden my will against its whispers, but...

...what isn't she telling me?

What has happened to the world? What has happened to Master Mario? What has happened to you, my Princess? Why do you want these nefarious boxes so badly?"

[rustle of turning page]

"I have advised rulers of the Mushroom Kingdom for so long that memory blurs when I think about the passage of time. Often have I doubted my own wisdom, yet neither am I a fool.

My Princess... oh my Princess, I do not know what has happened to you, but I know full well you did not send me on this quest. A fiend using you as its tool did. A fiend who wants this cursed magic box and others like it, more than anything.

I cannot let that demon have its way!

I must hide this box. Hide it in the deepest, most fearsome dungeon, where only a true hero can find it.

The monsters following me are growing restless. I hope they haven't figured out what I'm going to do."

[rustle of turning page]

"Charlieton and the Movers know the secret ways deep inside the Pit of 100 Trials. I fear that by demanding their help, I have doomed them. The monsters that follow me have most likely seized them by now, and there is nothing I can do about it. There is nothing I can do about anything.

I've sequestered the box on the final floor of the Pit, and myself as well. There is a one-way warp pipe out of here, but I am certain it leads to an ambush. Once I emerge without the box, the monsters will know what I've done, and they will no longer be content to hide."

[rustle of turning page]

"I've gone without food or water for too long. I can't get up. Am I hallucinating? I could swear the scattered dragon bones before me are stirring, assembling themselves.

It matters not what becomes of me; I'm satisfied with the life I lived. But my Princess! Oh, my poor, poor Princess... whomsoever should find and read this, I implore you! Please! Save Princess Peac-"

[pause]

That's the last thing he wrote. It cuts off in the middle of Peach's name.

[Luigi sniffles]

D: [worriedly] Something is bothering me. Several things.

[background clattering]

D: The Albaphoenix said that only "heroes" could carry the boxes. That the Shadow Queen needed them brought to her crypt so she could re-absorb their power.

[more clattering]

L: [rushed gasp]

D: Obviously, that's why she tried to trick Toadsworth. But the Albaphoenix gave us a map to where Toadsworth hid the box he found. How could...?

[still more clattering]

L: [nearly voiceless whimpering]

D: And Toadsworth - Toadsworth didn't die of hunger or thirst. Something mauled him. Something big. Something-

L: [frantic, wordless, aspirated noises]

D: There's something really horrible right behind me, isn't there.

L: [gulp]

[rustle]

D: [detachedly] That's the second biggest undead dragon skeleton I have ever seen.

BONETAIL: AROOOOOOOOOOOH!

[crashing, booming]

L: [pure panic] AAAAAAAAH!

D: Luigi! Shine your flashlight on its eyes!

B: RRRRRUUAAAAAAGH!

L: [still panicked] YAAAAAAAAH!

D: The warp out! Head for the warp out!

[Bonetail inhales deeply]

[FWOOOOOOOOOSH]

D: HEART SHIELD-! Nnngh-!

[Daisy coughs and chokes]

L: Look out for its tail!

D: AAAH-!

[heavy SLAM]

[thud]

L: Daisy!

B: AROOOOOOOOOOOH!

L: It's too strong to block! R-r-RUN! RUUUUN!

D: [coughing] C-can't...

...nngh, don't lower the light! K-keep it blinded!

L: WAAAUGH!

[rustle, jump]

[heavy SLAM]

B: RRRRRRRRAAAAAAAGH!

[Bonetail inhales deeply]

L: I got you! Jump with me!

D: [hacking]

[rustle, jump]

[FWOOOOOOOOOSH]

L: Hold on to me - don't let go!

B: RRRRRRUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAAGH!

L: AAAAAAACK!

D: [gagging]

[rustle, jump]

[heavy SLAM]

[warping noise]