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 Naruto: Crimson Petals and Stinging Thorns

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Join date : 2010-02-18
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PostSubject: Naruto: Crimson Petals and Stinging Thorns    Naruto: Crimson Petals and Stinging Thorns  I_icon_minitimeFri Mar 20, 2015 12:14 am

Chapter One: Celebrities Spotted, Chaos Ensues In The Big City

The season of Summer has officially arrived in the Mushroom Kingdom. Aromatic flowers have fully bloomed, all of the trees have produced foliage, the temperature is a toasty 85 degrees, the days have grown longer, the amount of days where the sun is out has significantly increased... though there is one thing I'm not looking forward to with the change in season, the Mushroom Kingdom becoming inundated with tourists originating from the other Nintendo lands. For instance, Mushroom City, the Mushroom Kingdom's largest and most populated metropolis, is an utter sardine can. I mean it's so inundated that every direction Toad and I turn in a tourist obstructs our path, causing us become annoyed, but we manage to remain patient as we continue to navigate through the horrendous crowds. The reason why Toad and I are in Mushroom City is because the Mario Brothers embarked on another adventure abruptly a few days ago... again, leaving us with the responsibility of keeping their house and property organized, therefore we grew incredibly bored and wanted to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather, even if that means dealing with obnoxious tourists and disobeying the Mario Brothers. "We'd appreciate it if you guys cut the lawn and regularly tend to the garden," the Mario Brothers said. "Also, the house is in need of a thorough cleaning. We'd appreciate it if we returned to a house that will pass the white glove test." Honestly, I hate cleaning. It's so boring and makes you feel dirty, what with dust getting kicked up in your face and all, yuck! At least today we're choosing not to do those chores. After all the crazy adventures Toad and I have embarked on ourselves over the past several months, we deserve to have some relaxation and fun in between, and today will be spent shopping in the city. Soon, Toad and I approach one of the most heavily travelled intersections in the center part of the city where there appears to be no gap between the vehicle and foot traffic.

"Aww man, it's gonna take forever to get across this intersection. I highly doubt anyone will be generous enough to create a gap for us to get through." Toad said crossing his arms impatiently.

"Ugh, seriously? I don't feel like waiting several minutes for a gap in the traffic to appear. I have to get to the item shop before all the weather orbs are sold out!" I expressed desperately. "We'll have to be aggressive if we are going to get through this insane amount of traffic." I added, smirking daringly.

"But we could get hit by a vehicle or trampled. Lets not do anything reckless here and just patiently wait for a gap to appea---" Toad is cut off when I manage to squeeze myself between a blue Yoshi and a Goron from Hyrule, whom are probably reacting to my act of rudeness with displeasure right about now.

"What the hell!" I heard Toad holler disapprovingly. "W-wait for me!" He worriedly added.

Upon stepping out into the center of the intersection, a mushroom shaped car enters my right peripheral vision, causing me to turn and notice the distance between myself and the vehicle is rapidly decreasing, putting me in grave danger of being struck. At this moment, anyone would've been rendered immobile by a sense of horror, knowing they'd have no time to completely avoid being struck, but I maintained a sense of composure, positioning my body in a partially crouched posture with my left hand placed on the pavement, prepared to react in a swift fashion at just the right moment. Within fifteen feet of me, the driver applies the breaks. I could see the expression of horror formed upon the Mushroomer's visage and their hands gripped firmly on the steering wheel through the windshield as their vehicle screeches within five feet of me. Now! Now's the time to react! it'll be interesting to witness how the public reacts to this. Using my left hand and feet, I propel myself several feet into the air at a slight forward angle, performed a couple of aerial flips over the car, then landed on the roof of a car that was following the car I just jumped over, creating a large indentation and shattering the side windows upon impact, no doubt horrifying the driver, whom I discover to be a Koopa Troopa when they enter the center of my vision upon bending down to check on their physical welfare through the window. A bit mortified, I swiftly avert my hazel orbs from the driver and put the palm of my left hand against my face, a gesture people would refer to today as facepalming.

Emitting a groan of shame, I thought, Congratulations, Liz. You no doubt just infuriated a driver in the process of showing off. Reckless fool! At least I've accomplished amazing the public with my jumping prowess, though. A smug smirk spreads across my visage as I gaze at the crowd, whom are gawking at the scene before them.  

"Oh my Star Spirits, Liz! Please tell me you didn't just get hit by a car! Liz! Liz!" Erupted Toad's panicked voice from the amazed crowd, which causes me to shift my orbs in different directions and try to visually locate my separated comrade.

The sound of tires screeching across the asphalt reverberate through the air at the same time as the public exchange a variety of reactions to witnessing my phenomenal jumping skills. One amazed Mushroomer even takes a picture of the scene with his phone. I avert my hazel orbs from the amazed crowd and returned an inverted gaze at the koopa troopa, giggling apologetically.

"Errr, heh, s-sorry I totaled your car, dude. I'd be glad to pay for all the damages I recklessly caused, hell, I'll even buy you a new car if that's how you want me to repay you." I kindly offered as I leapt off the roof of the car. "It could be any car you desire, as long as you don't plan to go kung fu Koopa on me as act of retribution."

The Koopa Troopa's cobalt orbs followed my movements through his open window, his mouth agape in astonishment at what he just witnessed. Suddenly, his pupils dilate and a grin of ecstasy spreads across his visage.

"Oh. My. Star Spirits! I know who you are. You're Elizabeth Wagner, a member of the Mario Crew! Man, you're agility was kick-ass, girl!" The Koopa Troopa complimented with his fists clenched and grinning with admiration.

Initially, I was a bit surprised at his ecstatic reaction. I seriously thought that he was going to be pissed at me for damaging his car, but instead, he's exalted. Then again, Toad and I have become quite famous in the Mushroom Kingdom since accompanying the Mario Crew on adventures. We've appeared on the news several times recently, so it's not totally surprising that someone happens to recognize us.  

"Heh, thanks." I replied, adjusting the left side of my glasses as a way of expressing being flattered. "Took me months to master leaping that high." I added, grinning proudly.


Upon hearing the familiar voice shout jubilantly, I avert my hazel orbs from the Koopa Troopa and turn to see Toad running directly at me with his arms spread out, my body jostling from the rough impact as my overly joyed best friend embraces the lower part of my torso.

"Oh, thank Heavens you aren't injured. When I heard the sound of a vehicle making impact with something, I seriously thought it was you. I would've been devastated if you had been critically injured, or worse." Toad said emotionally, applying pressure around my torso, causing me to emit a grunt of discomfort. "Oh, thank you Fate for sparing the welfare of my bestie!" He praised ecstatically, pressing his head against my stomach and slightly increasing the amount of pressure around my torso, making it difficult for me to exhale.

"Toad, please... stop... hugging me. You're affecting... my ability to... breathe." I said sounding strained.

"Oh, sorry, Lizzy." Toad replied in a jolly manner upon relinquishing me.

The Koopa Troopa I was conversing with a couple moments ago and several individuals still captivated by the scene before them emit amused chuckles at witnessing the comical moment between me and Toad. A moment later, the sound of a vehicle's door being shut reverberates through the air, causing me, Toad and the Koopa Troopa to turn in the direction it came from simultaneously; it's the owner of the car I had jumped over earlier, though he doesn't appear to be infuriated. In fact, an ecstatic expression is formed upon his visage and his fists are clenched, having recognized who we are and is about to express his admiration toward what he witnessed from me earlier.

"That. Was. Awesome!!!" Cheered the Mushroomer as he approached Toad and I flailing his arms as a way of applauding. "I... I can't believe it. Elizabeth Wagner and Toad Mushroom are actually standing before me! Man, it is a tremendous honor to meet you guys in person. I see reports of your acts of altruism and heroism all the time on the news and have heard so much about your skill levels, but man, what a rush it was to witness the courageous Elizabeth Wagner in action" He added grinning with admiration.

"Whoa, wh-what exactly did I miss here...?" Toad inquired confused as he gazes at the Koopa Troopa's damaged car, stopped traffic and gawking onlookers muttering words of amazement and taking pictures.

"Well, when I saw Elizabeth step out from the crowd into the middle of the street, I applied the breaks, terrified I was about to strike her, but at the last minute, she swiftly leaped over my car. I mean, she was so fast, I couldn't believe it." The Mushroomer explains, still amazed.

"Then she landed on the roof of my car, and as you can see, damaged it in the process, but it's really no big deal." nonchalantly responded the Koopa Troopa. "What matters most, however, is none of us got injured and my vehicle is still operable. Imma keep it as a memory of a demonstration of your awesome power, Elizabeth." He added clenching his fists and eyes glistening with admiration.

"Hee hee, you can consider it an autograph from me." I replied with a flattered giggle.

"Shitake mushrooms..." Toad replied in disbelief. "Unfortunate about your car, dude, but indeed, thank Heavens nobody was injured in the process of this pandemonium. Damn it, Liz, you need to be more careful or the next time you perform a reckless act could result in fatal consequences." Toad scolded.

"Eheh, understood." I replied, twirling a string of hair around my left index finger shamefully.

"Hey, mind if I get a picture with you guys to add to my collection of awesome memories?" Asked the Mushroomer

"Yeah, me too, but mine will be taken in front of my "autographed" car." Said the Koopa Troopa, chuckling humorously.

"Sure." I replied permissibly.

"Yeah, that'd be fun." Toad said, nodding his assent.

"Sweetness!" Exclaimed the Mushroomer ecstatically with his fists clenched and grinning broadly.

The Mushroomer and Koopa Troopa pull their phones out of their pant pockets simultaneously and the Mushroomer stands between Toad and I, holding his phone high enough so that all three of our mugs fit into the image. While the Mushroomer just grins ecstatically, Toad and I strike a thumbs up pose as the Mushroomer takes the picture.

"Awesome! Aw, man, my friends are gonna be so jelly once they see this picture!" Boasted the Mushroomer as he rapidly taps the phone screen with his thumbs, probably downloading the image to Facebook.

"Yaaay! Now my turn!" Cheers the Koopa Troopa as he grasped the collar of my shirt with his right hand while grasping Toad's vest with his left hand and roughly yanking us towards his car, causing us to emit a grunt of discomfort.

As we stopped at approximately one foot from the damaged vehicle, the Koopa Troopa again pulls his phone out from his right pant pocket and raises it in the air to where the three of us and the car would fit in the image. Like in the previous picture, Toad and I strike a thumbs up pose while the Koopa Troopa grins ecstatically as he takes the picture.

"OMG, I'm trembling with ecstasy right now! Thanks so much you guys. I shall download this picture onto my computer, print it out and cherish it forever and ever!" The Koopa Troopa cheers, grasping his phone in both of his hands and holding it against his chest cherishingly.  

"Anyway, I was en route to work before I encountered you guys, so I'd better get going. I'm already ten minutes late." The Koopa Troopa reported upon glancing down at a watch on his left wrist.

"Oh, heh, sorry. Had no idea you were en route to your job. If I hadn't been so reckless, you would've made it on time" I responded, wrapping a strand of my hair around my left index finger in an apologetic fashion.

"Nah, don't worry about it. I'm immensely pleased to have gotten the opportunity to meet you guys in person. A lot more exciting than worrying about making it to work on time. Man, what an honor. My coworkers will no doubt be jealous when they hear about this." He grins smugly.

"Yeah, I'd better get going too. I was en route to meeting my girlfriend at a restaurant. I'd imagine she's worried about me right now." The Mushroomer said.

"Awww" Toad and I replied in unison with adoration.

"Anyway, again, it was a tremendous honor becoming acquainted with you, miss Elizabeth and sir Toad." The Mushroomer said, offering me, then Toad a polite handshake.

"It was a pleasure becoming acquainted with you as well, sir." Replied Toad, returning the handshake. "Say, what are your names?" He inquired.

"Ah, right, totally forgot to introduce ourselves from the start, heh heh, my name's Kyle." The Mushroomer nodded in salutation.

"Whoops, heh heh, our sense of ecstasy obscured our sense of formality, I'm Dale" Greets the Koopa Troopa while waving the fingers on his right hand in an embarrassed fashion.

"Well, it's been a pleasure becoming acquainted with you, Kyle and Dale. We must get moving ourselves. There's a kickass item at the item shop that I wanna buy before it gets sold out." I said, fidgeting my fingers as I start to grow a bit impatient.

"Ah, well whatever that awesome item may be, hopefully it's still in stock when you get there. Also, good luck on your future adventures. We really appreciate your endeavors in keeping Princess Peach and the Kingdom safe" Saluted Dale as he entered the driver's side of his car.

"Thanks." Toad and I said in unison as we nodded appreciatively. "Hope to see you again someday." We added in unison, waving a farewell simultaneously.

"Hell yeah, that'd be awesome. Anyway, see ya!" Dale said, bidding us a farewell wave with his right hand.

Soon, Dale ignites the engine of his dilapidated but still functional vehicle and steers through a part of the intersection not being obstructed by the scene I caused. Most of the public have averted their attention from the scene, but a few are still cemented to their spots, staring as if they've witnessed a Yoshi yield an enormous egg from its rear end.

"Hopefully our paths shall cross again someday. I'd love to witness you two in action." Kyle said, smiling eagerly with his fists clenched. "Until then, good luck in your future endeavors. I'll be praying that Fate brings you and the Kingdom good fortunes." He added, bidding us a farewell wave as he returned to his car.

"Thanks, man. Have fun on your date!" Toad replied as a polite farewell.

"Yeah, appreciate it." I replied, bidding him farewell wave with my left hand. "Hope to see you again in the future as well!" I added as he ignited his vehicle's engine.

"Thanks, I sure will. See ya around, guys." Kyle said, waving out the driver's side window.

My hazel orbs follow the motion of Kyle's vehicle through the unobstructed portion of the intersection until it vanishes from my field of vision behind a building, my thoughts shifting back to wanting to purchase a weather orb from the item shop before they become sold out.

"The weather orbs... C'mon, Toad, we've gotta get to the item shop posthaste!" I exclaimed urgently, grasping his right wrist with my right hand and roughly yanking him along, causing him to emit a startled yell.

Upon stepping up onto the sidewalk, I relinquish Toad and began moving at a brisk pace, no longer paying any mind to the prospect that people could still be gawking adoringly at us, maybe even escalated to stalking us to try to bombard us with requests to take pictures with them or to ask us to perform a fighting technique. At the moment, I'm merely focused on navigating as quickly as possible through the horrendous crowd. Soon, another four way intersection enters my field of vision through a gap between the crowd, and to my annoyance, the words on the digital pedestrian crossing sign alter from "WALK" to "DON'T WALK", forcing me to pause as a queue of people form, waiting to be permitted to cross the busy street.

"Ugh! Seriously? C'mon! Just let me get to the damn item shop without any further interruptions already. I want to purchase a weather orb so badly right now!" I implored, clenching my fists in frustration.

"Hey, Liz, where'd ya go?! You're moving so fast I lost sight of ya! Please, slow down and wait for me!" Toad's voice reverberated from the crowd, causing me to avert my eyes from the intersection and turn to see Toad stepping out from behind a couple people.

"Eheh, sorry for leaving you behind back there like that, buddy. Guess I am a bit impatient. I'll travel at a slower pace from this point on." I apologize, grinning guiltily while fidgeting with my glasses.

"Man, Liz, you've become quite exuberant and agile lately. It's getting more and more difficult to keep up with you anymore." Stated Toad, panting.

"Hmm, must be a side effect of all the chocolate I've been purchasing and consuming lately. I just can't get enough of it!" I said grinning and clenching my fists with delight.

"Terrific, you've developed a chocolate addiction. Just what I need, your chocolate fueled hyperactivity to drive me crazy the rest of the day. Listen, just don't do any more foolish acts like you did back there. I'd rather we not garner further attention. I don't want to deal with any calamities and potential nuisances." Toad advised sternly.

"Understood, my friend." I nodded obediently.

Frankly, I don't want people following us around like the paparazzi either, violating our space and hindering us from reaching the item shop. That'd be utterly annoying. I just wanna purchase a weather orb as soon as possible and return to the Mario Brothers house to try it out. I just pray that when I do use it, damage to the house and Toad Town doesn't occur. Upon turning around, a chocolate shop enters the center of my vision, which sends a sense of delight through my system.

"Oooh, look, chocolate!" I exclaimed excitedly, running over and gazing through the glass yearningly at the variety of delectable looking chocolates.

"Nope!" Protested Toad as I felt him grasp my shirt and roughly yank me along, causing me emit a grunt.

"Weather orb, Liz. That was your original interest. Stay focused on that." Toad instructed.  

"Right!" I exclaimed with determination as we crossed the street.

After walking for approximately ten minutes, maneuvering through the shoulder to shoulder crowd, crossing a couple streets while evading the crazy city traffic, Toad and I arrive at the item shop, which is a small yellow building shaped like a mushroom and has a red and white striped metal awning above the entrance.

"Yaaay! Finally, we're here!" I cheered ecstatically, clenching my fists.

Upon entering the apparently deserted item shop, I notice a majority of the shelves are clear of items, reminding me that during the summer the tourists buy out the stores, often leaving crappy items behind. No wonder why this place is empty.

"Ah, poop, that's right. I totally forgot. The tourists inundate places like this and buy out the store the moment they restock. I don't see any weather orbs either. Damn it, we're already too late, man I'm so disappointed now." I complain, crossing my arms and frowning.

"Ah, well if it isn't the extraordinary Elizabeth and Toad. Welcome back, been a while since I've physically seen you two." I heard a voice a little deeper than Toad's say hospitably.

Toad and I gaze in the direction the voice came from and make visual contact with an emerald eyed Mushroomer donning a blue vest, yellow pants, cobalt shoes and has four large blue circles on his mushroom cap. It's Moldy, the cashier and owner of the item shop. We've patronized his store in the past a few times with the Mario Crew to purchase some rare items we needed before embarking on perilous adventures, even thwarted a burglar from committing thievery here once.

"Moldy!" Toad greeted cheerfully. "Yeah, I know, man. We've been crazy busy lately, no doubt the news told ya so, heh heh."

"It's very gallant and altruistic of you two to regularly put your lives in jeopardy along side the Mario Crew to keep our Kingdom safe. It's absolutely admirable. I don't think I could ever do such an incredibly perilous thing, mehp." Moldy says, trembling a bit.

"Heh heh, thanks, but you're quite gallant yourself, fearlessly confronting that burglar a while back and assisting in subduing him. I'd be too paranoid to resume running a store if that happened to me." I said, shaking my head and lowly waving my hands in decline.

"Well, I put a tremendous amount of endeavor in to starting this business. No way in Lethal Lava Land am I giving up, no matter how fierce a future potential burglar may be. Without any hesitation, I'd die defending my business." Vowed Moldy with a fierce sense of devotion.

"Ha, wow, now that's some fierce dedication there, bro. I love it!" Toad exclaimed, clenching his right fist in cheer.

"That's right, I shall keep this business running until the day my spirit departs this planet." Moldy pledges with determination. "Anyway, you two were interested in purchasing a weather orb?" He inquires.

"Yup, yup, but I see they're gone already." I replied in a disappointed tone, the upper part of my body slouched in a sulking fashion.

"Don't worry. Another batch of them shall be getting delivered to the store in approximately two weeks." Informed Moldy.

"Yaaaaaay! That's so awesome!" I cheered ecstatically, clapping my hands. "Then we shall be back in two weeks."

"Excellent. You two have a great rest of the day, then. After dealing with a chaotic crowd earlier, I've gotta reorganize my shop." Moldy said a bit overwhelmed as he headed toward the back of the store.

"Thanks, you too, man." Toad replied, waving a farewell with his right hand. "So, Liz, whatdya wanna do now?" He asked.

"I suppose we could head over to Tranquility Park and walk around, or we could go to Adrenaline Heights Amusement Park and try that new roller coaster they opened this past spring, Rocketing Fireball." I suggested, a pleading grin spreading across my visage.

"Um, no. I don't feel like spewing my guts all over the place like I did the last time we went." Toad quickly objected, which sends a sense of disappointment through my system.

"Aw, alright. Then to Tranquility Park it is." I replied with a disappointed tone.

As we stepped out onto the sidewalk, we're greeted by approximately two dozen people holding out notebooks, pieces of paper and even cellphones, no doubt wanting our autographs and numbers. They're all ecstatically speaking over each other simultaneously, making it difficult for Toad and I to completely understand what any one of them is saying. Toad and I exchange looks of disbelief, not expecting our situation would escalate to this. I mean, we're in the Mushroom Kingdom's most chaotic city. Whether you're famous or not, if you've involved in a chaotic situation, the attention of the public quickly shifts to the next crazy event transpiring, it's that crazy here most days, especially during the summer. Suddenly, I feel someone's hand grasp my left wrist, applying enough pressure to cause a bit of discomfort as they roughly yanked me toward them, causing a grunt to erupt from my maw. As I made eye contact with the audacious individual, I immediately recognize them to be a male dark blue Yoshi with hazel irises, a tuft of brown hair at the top of his cranium and purple shoes. He pulls his cellphone out of his right skin pocket and grins imploringly at me.

"Can I please have you're number, Liz? Please, please please?" He asks pleadingly.

Suddenly, I feel another individual grasp my right wrist and roughly yank me towards them, nearly throwing me off balance. Upon making aggravated eye contact with them, I recognize the individual to be a light blue eyed male Doogan (a Yoshi/dog looking creature) donning a green T-shirt, blue shorts and red shoes.

"No way, man. I'm getting her autograph first." The Doogan insisted.

Ugh, you have got to be freaking kidding me! We've developed a fan base consisting of lunatics! This is absurd! No way in Lethal Lava Land I'm gonna tolerate this insanity the rest of the day. Time to get out of this crazy city before somebody tries to abduct us or something. I thought as I'm being roughly tugged back and fourth between the dark blue Yoshi and Doogan.

"Gyaaack! Back off you creeps! Don't make me have to resort to physical force!" I heard Toad warn fiercely.

Oh no, Toad! I exclaimed mentally, a sense of anxiety permeating my system as I thought someone was attempting to abduct him.

Suddenly, I felt another individual grasp the collar of my shirt from behind and yank me back roughly, causing me to cough as the front part of my collar applied discomforting pressure to my trachea. At this point, the crowd of people swarming Toad and I are communicating argumentatively simultaneously, further fueling my rage, indicated by a furious growl that emits from my mouth, which, to my frustration, no one pays attention to. Fed up with being grabbed and roughly yanked in all directions by a bunch of strangers, with an enraged caterwaul, I raised my arms, lifting the dark blue Yoshi and Doogan, whom are still latched onto my wrists, off the ground.

ENOUGH!!! I bellowed ferociously as I slammed the two against the cement, creating a crater and kicking up stone debris and a plume of dust upon impact.

The force of the impact renders the dark blue Yoshi and Doogan unconscious, though the resulting plume of dust expands, engulfing me, Toad and the crowd, sending a burning sensation through my nasal passages down to my lungs, causing an incessant series of coughs to erupt from my throat. Approximately two minutes later, the plume of dust dissipates, alleviating the burning sensation in my respiratory system and revealing the results of my phenomenal strength to the public. Their eyes widen and their mouths go agape, utterly amazed. Some whisper to each other while a few others take pictures of the scene on their phones.

"Ugh, now that I can breathe again, let this be a lesson to you people. If you're audacious enough to violate our space and make physical contact with us without our consent.... "WE'LL PUMMEL YOU MERCILESSLY!!" I bellowed furiously, brandishing an infuriated left fist at the alarmed crowd.

"Too bad the Yoshi and Doogan had to learn the hard way though. If they didn't act like such fools, their physical welfare would've been spared." Toad scoffed, crossing his arms and shaking his head shamefully.

Instead of making a hasty retreat, our followers just stood there, eyes still wide and mouths still agape in alarm, not one of them moving a single muscle. This lasts for approximately a moment, then they abruptly erupt into cheers of admiration, causing me to narrow my eyes and drop my jaw in disbelief.

"Are you freaking serious right now?! These people are crazy!" I exclaimed, clenching my fists, enraged at the fact that my attack only provoked more excitement from them.

"Strike me next! I want to gain a permanent scar as a memory of your awesome strength." Requested a red shy guy as he embraced Toad fondly, irritating him.

"Get off me you sadistic moron!" Demanded Toad as he harshly shoved the red shy guy away from him. "Liz, lets bolt posthaste before this situation escalates to us getting smothered to death by these psychos." He suggested disconcertedly.

"Right! I'm so done with putting up with obnoxious fans. Time to get the hell out of this insane section of the city before one us totally loses it and commits murder." I said, turning my back to the fan group in preparation to sprint down the block.

Without further delay, Toad and I began running down the block, praying we won't be followed by our crazy admirers.

"No, come back, Liz! I want a piece of your hair to use as a book mark!" Cried out one of the male fans pleadingly.

"Marry me, Toad!" Requested a female fan, causing Toad and I to gag in disgust simultaneously.

Hearing the sound of a stampede behind us, I glance over my right shoulder to see that our fans are pursuing us, officially perturbing me as I notice the deranged grins formed upon their visages.

"Daaargh, seriously?! Can we please just have a tranquil rest of the afternoon browsing through the city without our privacy being violated?" I groaned with frustration.

"This is absurd! We've gotta lose these psychos somehow." Toad said desperately.

As the entrance to an ally enters my left peripheral vision, I abruptly skid to a halt, kicking up dust in the process. Grasping Toad by his left wrist as he skids to a halt beside me in confusion, I pivot to the left and sprinted through the ally as fast as my legs would permit me to go without buckling while pulling a screaming Toad along with me.

"No doubt we lost them now, Toad." I snickered slyly. "I'm too fast. There's no way they'll be able to catch up to us and continue to harass us."

"Heh heh heh, ownage to those fools." Toad replies snickering. "Anyway, Liz, would you please relinquish me?! You're hurting my wrist!" He demands fiercely.

"Oooh, sorry, bud." I apologized.

Obediently, I reduced my pace to a slow walk while lifting Toad in the air then placing him down on his feet beside me and relinquishing his right wrist, which he rubs with his left hand to alleviate the discomfort my firm grasp must have caused him.

"Man, Liz, you've developed a grip practically as strong as Donkey Kong's. I'd say if you had applied even an ounce more of pressure, you would've crushed my wrist for sure." Toad said in amazement.

"Really? Sorry, dude. Guess I've been training so much that I don't know my own strength anymore." I replied while wrapping a strand of my hair around my right index finger apologetically.

"Heh, it's alright. All that training with the Mario Crew has clearly improved our strength and agility considerably. The next time that vile Bowser and his minions antagonize us, they'll definitely be pummeled beyond recognition!" Toad exclaims, grinning menacingly and raising his clenched right fist in the air confidently.

"Hell yeah, they'll be totally owned!" I grinned in amusement while clenching my left fist confidently as an image of Bowser and his minions laying unconscious on the ground covered in protruding bumps and bruises appears in my mind.

Hearing the sound of a bus's air breaks in close proximity to us, I turn in the direction the noise emitted from and make visual contact with a bus stop where several people have started to board a bus that resembles a wiggler, which is a large caterpillar like creature that is indigenous to the Mushroom Kingdom, sending a sense of paranoia through my system as I realize the portion of a block Toad and I stepped out onto is considerably less crowded than where we were originally walking. Fortunately, none of the people in our vicinity have acknowledged our presence and seem more focus on getting to their destinations posthaste than pausing to gaze at their surroundings, sparing us from being further harassed, for now.

"Thank Heavens we lost those psychos. I thought they were going to rip my arms off." I winced while rubbing my left bicep to alleviate the sore sensation permeating the muscle.

"That one creepy, obsessive chick wanted to marry me. I can only imagine if she had gotten a firm grasp of me, she would've embraced me so tight that she would have literally killed me with passion." Cringed Toad in disturbance.

"We may have lost them, but I have a feeling that we shouldn't hang around here for too long. They could be searching for us at this very moment and if they find us, more chaos could ensue. .... And I'd like to keep my hair intact." I grit my teeth in disconcertion as an imagine of that particular male fan chopping off a large chunk of my hair with an enormous pair of scissors, then guffawing psychotically enters my mind.

"I'm totally disconcerted now. Me thinks it's a good idea to return to the Mario Brothers house. Nobody can harass, grope or do whatever they please to us there." Toad suggests while gazing around in a state of paranoia.

"C'mon, lets make like a flurry and scurry out of here." I urgently said as I grasped Toad's left wrist with my left hand and roughly yanked him along as I began sprinting down the block, causing him to emit a yell of discomfort.

"Ow, not again! Man, this hurts. That's it, I'm considering this friend abuse!" Fiercely declared Toad in indignation.

Remembering I nearly crushed Toad's right wrist the previous time I grabbed him, I skid to an abrupt halt, causing him to yelp in alarm as he suddenly swung forward with discomforting force while I had my left arm raised in the air. Upon placing Toad down on his feet, I relinquish his left wrist, an expression of shame formed upon my visage as I lowered my head apologetically and wrapped a strand of my hair around my left index finger guiltily.

"S-sorry, bud, won't happen again, promise." I vowed, grinning apologetically.

"It better not or I'll torch your butt with a fire flower!" Toad scolded threateningly as he swatted my butt harshly with his left hand in retaliation, causing me to emit a yelp of surprise.

"Ow! 'Ehy, no touchy my butt!" I chided as I cuffed Toad across the top of his head, making him flinch.

"Yeah, well, you deserved it, not only for nearly crushing my wrist. It was also for garnering unwanted attention. I accompanied you to the city expecting us to shop in peace, but nooooo! You just had to be all, 'Look how awesome my physical powers are people! I'm agile, can destroy vehicles and pummel people into the ground with one blow!'" Toad mocks, motioning his body from running in place, to jumping in place and finishing by swinging his arms downward as if throwing someone to the ground. "And as a result of your flamboyant acts, we've gained a fan base comprised of psychos that are intent on pursuing us until they receive whatever they desire from us, even a piece of your hair and my hand in marriage, urgh!" He cringes in disgust and flails his arms frantically.

"I'm so sorry about all this, buddy." I apologized, placing my left hand on Toad's left shoulder comfortingly. "Guess since our many acts of altruism have been being frequently depicted on the news, I've become recklessly exuberant. Whenever we're in public places from now on, I'll try not to act irrational and draw attention to ourselves. Though whether we maintain a low profile or not, people are sure to recognize us where ever we go. Perhaps we should consider investing in some body guards to fend off the crazy people." I suggested, then shook my head remorsefully. "I really don't want to be responsible for any more injuries people may receive for touching me without my permission."

Toad emits a diabolical chuckle, seemingly thrilled about the idea.

"True, true, it's inevitable that people will want to violate our personal space, but when they do, they'll be confronted by a ferocious duo that will for certain send them running in the opposite direction, screaming like terrified little girls." A flagitious grin spreads across Toad's visage, piquing my interest.

"Oh, and these guys are?" I inquired, blinking curiously.

"My cousins, Death Cap and Sparky. They're hired body guards, often travelling to other kingdoms to protect their rulers from rebels and assassins. Death Cap specializes in poison attacks while Sparky specializes in electric attacks. They're ruthless and fearless and won't hesitate to pulverize an opponent to protect valuable individuals. I'll contact them once we return to the Mario Brothers' house." Toad smirked slyly. "I just hope they're available to accompany us for a while."

"They sound fascinating. I'd love to become acquainted with them and witness them in action." I said enthusiastically.

"I have no doubt in my mind that you'll grow to admire them pretty quickly. They inherit kind hearted, extroverted and out-spoken dispositions and are fierce supporters of justice that won't hesitate to defend the oppressed, often inspiring others to perform acts of altruism throughout their travels." Toad said, grinning proudly.

"Amazing. Man, I haven't even met these guys yet and I admire them already. I so can't wait to meet them!" I exclaimed, clenching my fists and grinning ecstatically. "C'mon, bud, lets hurry back to the Mario Brothers' house and contact them!"  

Grasping Toad's left wrist with my left hand on impulse fueled by my immense excitement, I pivoted to the right and harshly yanked Toad off his feet, causing him to emit an alarmed scream as I sprinted down the sidewalk so fast, I can feel him flailing around vigorously in my grasp.

"Dwaahaagaahyaaah, Ow, my poor wrist, my poor spine, my poor everything! That's it! I can't tolerate this abuse any longer! When we return to the Mario Brothers' house your ass is getting scorched by a fire flower, for real!!!" Toad hollered furiously.

The shrill of Toad's voice causes me to wince yet I couldn't resist giggling in amusement at how comical the tone of his voice sounded. Sure, I may look like a sadist at the moment, but Toad is just so adorable whenever he loses his temper. It may be cruel, but sometimes I intentionally antagonize him just so I can dote over his dilated beady eyes, puffy cheeks and squeaky voice. It just gives me the urge to give him a fond squeeze hug every time, but I haven't yet summoned the courage to do so for fear that he'd surely pummel my face with a barrage of punches. Eh, you know what, screw it, Imma give him a hug. Who knows, it may compose him and put him in a state of delight.

"So I'm gonna get my ass scorched, big whoop, but ya know what, it's worth it because you're just so adorable when you're mad." I said delightfully as I swung Toad around upon reducing my pace to stationary, embracing Toad so tight that it causes him to emit a series of gags and grunts.

"Gaaaah! Damn it, Liz, this isn't funny I'm serious! Lemme go this instant!" Toad fiercely demanded, squirming vigorously in my embrace.

Seeing another chocolate shop in my left peripheral vision, I immediately relinquish Toad upon pivoting to the left, dropping him to the ground, my eyes widening with delight as I recognized the shop's title. The shop is called Sweet T's delectable chocolates, a chocolate shop I read about in the newspaper this morning. The article had stated that this shop has the most delicious chocolates in the Mushroom Kingdom. People from all over Nintendo Land come here to indulge in their pleasure inducing sweet flavor. Before we make our departure from the city, I must purchase one of their chocolate products!

"Toad, this chocolate shop, I just read about it in the newspaper this morning. They're known to have the. Best. Chocolate. Ever. I must purchase some!" I exclaimed with desire as I ran over to the window displaying some of their most delectable products.

"Ugh, again with the chocolate?" Toad groaned in exasperation. "At the rate you're consuming it you'll soon be as spherical as Kirby in the midsection." He chuckled teasingly.

"Ha ha, very funny smart ass." I smirked in amusement as I cuffed Toad over the head. Nnngh, man, I really don't feel like taking the train back to Toad Town. Someone might recognize and pester us." I added, groaning.

"Neither do I to be honest. I'm so done with people for today. If I have to deal with one more obnoxious fan I'll drop kick them through a building if they dare to touch me." Toad glared fiercely, raising and clenching his left fist in a threatening manner.

"Oooh, I know a way we can get back to Toad Town without anyone recognizing and pestering us." I grin open mouthed as I'm struck with an idea.

"Yeah? How?" Toad's eyes glistened with interest.

"Several months ago someone told me there's a warp pipe located on the outskirts of the city that can transport one back to Toad Town." I explained.

"Sweetness!" Cheered Toad. "So where exactly is this warp pipe located?"

"Ehhhh..." Yup, I've been struck with the can't remember crap curse again.

"You...don't you?" Toad narrowed his eyes in suspect.

"Yup, the can't remember crap curse has returned." I joked, grinning comically.

"Uggghhhh!" Toad groaned, face palming. "Great, that means we've gotta go on a wild goose chase to find this warp pipe, which means further exposing ourselves to more potentially deranged fans."

"Wait, I think I remembered something." I said as an image of a forest with fire flowers spread across the terrain appears in my mind.

"Oooh, what did you remember?" Toad perks up with interest. "Where is it? Where is it? Where is it?!" He demands inquisitively, tugging at the bottom of my shirt.

"Fire Flower Forest." I announced. "I think....I remember the guy mentioning a forest, though."

"Meh, it's a start I guess. Just hope we find it before dark, otherwise deranged fans will be the least of our concerns." Toad quivers, no doubt thinking of the mischievous boos that like to inundate the city and play pranks on people after dark.

"Urf, yeah I know, gives me the chills just thinking about it." I trembled as I felt a chill ascend my spine. "Okay, so, Fire Flower Forest is to our...southeast?"

"Yup, you are correct." Toad nodded.

"Yaaayz! Okay, off we go to Fire Flower Forest!" I exclaimed cheerfully.

"Oh, Star Spirits, please guide us safely back home." I heard Toad pray behind me as we started crossing an intersection.

After Toad and I make it across the intersection we enter an ally, wanting to minimize our chances of being noticed by more people that could try to take a piece of us home with them or something. Upon rounding a corner, a large, levitating luminous white orb enters my field of vision, causing Toad and I to skid to a halt simultaneously. The muscles throughout my body constrict and my heart rhythm quickens as I suspect a strange phenomenon that has been occurring intermittently throughout the Mushroom Kingdom for a while is about to occur here in mushroom city at this very moment.

"Uh-oh, It's..." I cut myself off with a gasp of alarm as the strange orb suddenly started to slowly drift in our direction.

"Oh, please God no! This can't be happening! Not in a heavily populated metropolis! This could spell disaster!" Toad shouted frantically, pressing the palms of both his hands against the sides of his head, growing panic stricken.

Okay, so I'll explain why Toad and I are totally freaked out about this orb. Not too long ago Bowser's most intelligent Koopaling, Ludwig, had constructed a devise that would simulate the formation of the universe, ya know, like the large hadron collider thingy. When he turned it on something went horribly awry. It exploded, unleashing thousands of particles across the Mushroom Kingdom. Since then strange things have been happening whenever an orb would appear. It'd snow in Desert Land, Ice Land is now a water land, Water Land's lakes and oceans have receded and now experiences dust devils and dust storms, there have been record breaking storms that have caused catastrophic damage to other lands, people have even been vanishing under mysterious circumstances. Who knows what this orb could do. I have a feeling that in a few minutes our situation is about to become dire.

"Urrrgh! This can't happen here! Thousands could perish! If Ludwig were here right now, I'd pummel him to mush!" I growled, gritting my teeth and clenching my fists with rage.

"Ha, found ya!" I heard a voice shout triumphantly behind me.

"Aaack! Not you again!" Toad shouted in disbelief and disgust.

Upon turning around, I make visual contact with a blue eyed Doogan donning a green T-shirt, blue shorts and red shoes, the one I slammed against the cement earlier. My eyes grow wide in disbelief. How the hell did he find us?! And how the hell can he still stand after what I did to him? What is he, some sort of bionic creature thing? Well, it does appear that I did inflict a few cuts and bruises on his face, arms and legs.  

"Good thing you two are the oblivious types. Before you slammed me into the ground, Liz, I planted a tracking device on you." The Doogan informed, a cunning smirk spreading across his face.

"Wh-what. Where? Where?" I panicked, feeling around my body for the tracking device.

"What a total creep." Toad glowered. "Fine! If putting you in the hospital is what it'll take for you to leave us alone, then so be it!"

Emitting a ferocious caterwaul, Toad charges at the Doogan with his right fist pulled back in preparation to send our nuisance fan flying through a building. When Toad gets within five feet of the Doogan, he pulls a remote control out of his left pocket and presses a button. Suddenly Toad is engulfed with electricity, incapacitating him and causing him to skid across the ground, colliding with the Doogan's feet, knocking him back a few inches. The Doogan just smirks sadistically at the unconscious Mushroomer.

"Toad!" I shouted with concern.

"Oh yeah, I planted one on him, too. So if you try anything, Liz, I'll zap you as well." He warned, grinning smugly.

"You cruel jer--hmmm, I wonder..." Remembering the orb, I avert my hazel orbs from the Doogan and turn around, seeing that the orb is now within four feet from me. Considering we're dealing with an insane fan that doesn't intend to leave us alone until he's abducted us, looks like we may have to take a big risk. Recently I read an article in the paper that said a guy claims to have been warped to another world when he jumped into one of these strange orbs. Approximately six months later he somehow returned to the Mushroom Kingdom. My heart rhythm escalates at the prospect of being warped to another world. How exhilarating that'd be, to explore an entirely new environment, encounter strange, new creatures and meet new people. Now I actually want to jump into this orb. I just hope it doesn't end up being a fatal mistake...  

As I turned around, my eyes grow wide, mouth goes agape and I point at the sky with my left index finger, pretending to be freaked out by something that has suddenly "appeared" in the sky to try and distract the Doogan long enough for Toad and I to make an escape.

"Hey, woah, look out!" I shouted, pretending to be alarmed.

"What?" The Doogan turned around, confused.

See ya, fool! I thought to myself as I quickly hoisted the unconscious Toad onto my back.

"Sorry, buddy, but at this rate we have no choice." I apologized to Toad softly as I returned visual contact with the orb.

As I constrict the muscles in my legs in preparation to leap into the orb, my pulse escalates from the adrenaline circulating through my bloodstream. Please, Star Spirits, let this risk I'm about to take be worth it in the end. Just guide us somewhere safe. Without any further hesitation, I leap into the orb, my vision altering from gleaming white to pitch black in an instant.
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