A Day Away
"Think fast!" Kevin exclaimed. "Hey, I don't think!" Daniel retorted while catching the bag Kevin tossed him. "It'll be nice to get away for awhile, won't it?" Lana asked nobody in particular. "And it will be nice you could join us too, Daniel." It seemed only seconds had passed since Daniel arrived in Videoland, when in reality it had been several days. He had come from Earth just as Kevin, more commonly know as Captain N: The Game Master. Daniel and Kevin's skill were practically equal. Daniel had even been supplemented with a Game pad and Zapper as Kevin was. Some other members of the N-Team, who consisted of Kevin, Princess Lana, Mega Man, Simon Belmont, and Kid Icarus, wondered who would be the leader now. But Daniel stepped down, for he knew that Kevin had more experience than himself, and he didn't want to anger the Game Master with impeachment. Not smart to make enemies when you had only been in a place for less than an hour. It happened while Daniel was playing his Nintendo in his room. He was deciding whether to play a Mega Man game, or a Zelda game. Before he could make his choice, a swirling blue light opened in his TV. Daniel froze, knowing the Power was off. The strange field sucked him up, and Daniel landed at the foot of a huge mountain. All around him were sparkling lakes, barren deserts, murky swamps, spectacular forests, an amazing white castle, and of course a huge mountain behind him. Daniel stood and dusted himself, not knowing what to do or where to go. So, he went along the side of the mountain, headed for the castle. On the way, he noticed something lightly padding his side and waist. He looked down and was amazed to note he had a controller-looking device and a gun of some sort. He pulled out his gun and examined it. It looked a lot like one of the toys that was compatible with the Nintendo he had. He decided to try it, of course. Before he knew what was happening, and Octorok popped out of no where and was dashing Daniel. Daniel jumped, but composed himself quickly enough to retaliate. I am using a Zapper on an Octorok...What am I doing? That last thought was not considered before he pulled the trigger, and the enemy was destroyed. Daniel fell down, not because he was expecting a kick, which he wasn't, but because the blue laser shot out his Zapper and even defeated the Octorok. Daniel looked at the weapon in disbelief, and decided...he didn't know what was going on. Daniel gathered himself and stood, continuing his treck. When his adrenaline was about calmed, he felt two blue claws grab reach around his head and clamp on is mouth, and he was pushed into a small circle of blue light-much like the one his TV sucked him through. When he opened his eyes after landing on a rough stone floor, he saw he was in a cave of some sort, but only the floors deceived this fact, for there were cool white blocks of marble on the walls and ceiling. There was a throne to his right, a dark red rug going from the throne to the outside of the room, torches mounted on the walls, and a strange glowing golden triangle behind the throne. Daniel looked puzzled and approached it. He couldn't get past the throne, however, and pushed against the clear force holding him back. Obviously not glass, because he shot it with his Zapper and nothing happened. "Don't bother trying to get to it, there is a force field only I can remove." A voice sneered from nowhere. "Tell me how you arrived on Death Mountain, boy." "Death Mountain?" Daniel said glancing around the room. "That place doesn't exist! It was made up!" "Oh? Where do you think you landed? The moon?" The voice sounded angry. After a slight pause it continued with an easier voice. "Look at the jar next to my royal chair." It urged. Daniel turned with a look of anger and confusion. There sat a small bottle with an odd creature in it. "The Octorok?" Daniel asked, taking a step back. "Indeed. You are no ordinary boy, are you?" Daniel crossed his arms and raised his Zapper. "I like to think not." He said. "Who are you?" A swirl of purple smoke came up between Daniel and the door, and it had small pinpricks of purple-gold light flash in a circular pattern around it. The figure materialized into a hideous creature with a red shirt that didn't go across his chest and purple pants. It had the face of a boar, but it was blue and had no hair, and the yellow beaded necklace hardly accented the bone pitchfork with a skull on it. "My name is Ganondorf Dragmire, but all my enemies know me as Ganon." It said, narrowing its pink, pupiless eyes. "Ganon?" Daniel asked with a trickle of fear rising in his spine. "What is going on here?" "That is what you will tell me." Ganon growled. "You are obviously some sort of mage, or else you couldn't have popped up on my heavily guarded Death Mountain without being detected by my monsters." "Mage?" Daniel was taken aback. "You must be joking!" Daniel eased his hand toward his Zapper. "I never joke." Ganon said silently, furrowing his brow. Ganon started for Daniel slowly with his pitchfork ready. "L..Look, maybe we got off on the wrong foo..er, paw." Daniel replied with his eyes locked on the weapon. "I'm Daniel, and you're Ganon, right? Well, you have nice taste in decoration, 'cause these are the best torches I have ever seen!" "SILENCE!" Ganon boomed. "Tell me how you can travel between worlds, boy, or I will destroy you with a simple motion of thought!" "Look, I DON'T KNOW!" Daniel said, instantly infuriated. "Keep a low tone with me, child, or I will demonstrate my power on you." Ganon countered. "KEEP THIS!" Daniel shouted, his Zapper blazing at the evil one. "Argh! That was a mistake, you fool! Prepare to be obliterated!" Ganon howled. Ganon spun his pitchfork in the air, and threw it at Daniel, who ducked and fired back. While Ganon's pitchfork was returning, he shot a thunderbolt, which struck the floor in front of Daniel, knocking him to the ground with an additional few extra meters between him and his foe. "Ohhhh...?" Daniel said, suddenly wondering what the controller on his belt was for. "Here goes nothing, and probably me along with it!" Daniel said to himself as he pressed the UP arrow on the directional pad. "YAHHHHHHH!" Daniel said as he was hurled straight up, but he was glad he did it, because the area where he was seconds ago was engulfed with flames from the fireball Ganon launched. Daniel shot his Zapper on his decent, and landed on his feet right in front of Ganon. Ganon fell backwards from the unexpected onslaught, and Daniel picked up his pitchfork. "Now, now. If you don't play nice..." Daniel raised the pitchfork high into the air. "....THEN NEITHER WILL I!" He shouted, bringing the pitchfork into the cavern floor as hard as he could, shattering it. Ganon growled and teleported behind Daniel, and jumped up, landing so hard he shook the entire room. "Your life will end now, boy!" Ganon yelled, raising a fist encased in a purple light. Chapter Two
Before either could say anything more, Ganon was shot with two arrows, both in his wrist. "ARRGGHHHH!" he wailed. "Good shot Zelda! You too, Kid Icarus!" Daniel saw a group of people rush into the battle, two of which had just helped him, the ones with bows. The others were supplementing their own attacks. "HAHAHA! Nice try, princess!" Ganon said, pulling out the arrows with his good hand. There weren't any wounds! "But you and I both know these aren't the arrows to use against me!" Ganon sneered, raising the arrows high and snapping them in half. Another member, dressed in green clothes, travel boots, and a floppy garb on his head, ran by and slashed at Ganon with an amazing sword. "Yahhhh!" Ganon sounded, suddenly shaking. He had a large cut on his chest, with a white light seeping from it. "No, but these are!" the blonde girl who Ganon referred to as 'princess' said as she armed her bow with another arrow, a silvery colored one. "Until another time boy! And then you, Link and Zelda!" Ganon shouted, teleporting out, along with the strange golden triangle in the back of the room. "Aw, he got away!" Another said, who was dressed in a yellow shirt and jeans, and an unzipped red jacket with a big black N on it. "Uh, thanks. That guy was too much for me." Daniel said, offering a hand to the one who slashed Ganon. "I'm Daniel. You?" The other smiled and took the proffered hand. "My name is Link. And this is Princess Zelda." "Princess?" Daniel said. "Yes. I rule Hyrule." Zelda said. "Hyrule?" Daniel said. "This is NOT possible! Ganon, Death Mountain, this is all in a game! It was made up!" Daniel staggered back. "Hey, did you say a game?" The boy with the red jacket said. "My name is Kevin, Kevin Keene." "Where are you from? Castlevania?" Daniel said with a laugh. "No, actually, that would be me." Another said. He was a tall guy, blonde, and had a whip and a traveler's backpack. "I am Simon Belmont, vampire slayer from Castlevania." "Simon Belmont?" Daniel slapped his forehead. "This...this can't be!" "Mega hi!" another still said. A small package, his suit alternated between dark and light blue trimmings, and one of his arms was formed to look like a cannon. "My name is Rock!" "Rock?" Daniel repeated. "Mega Man? Is that you?" "Who else?" Mega Man said with a grin, deforming his arm cannon. Link stepped by Daniel. "And this is Kid Icarus." "Kid Icarus." Daniel repeated, staring at the small flying boy, smaller even than Mega Man. He had a bow and quiver of arrows strapped to his back, and a white toga tied at the waist. But the most distinguishing feature was his velvety-white wings. "That's me-icus!" Kid Icarus said. "But my real name is Pit." Kid Icarus glid down and landed next to Daniel. "And this is Princess Lana." "Hello Daniel." She said. Her outfit consisted of pink clothes simply wrapped around her body, with white and purple trimmings. She had long brown hair and green eyes. Daniel sat down. "What's going on here?" He said for lack of something better to say. "You guys, for the most part," he said, looking Lana and Kevin over, "Are just characters from some games! How is all this happening?" "I was getting to that." Kevin said. "You from Earth?" Kevin asked. "Yeah. I was playing a game, and this odd portal sucked me up, and next thing I know..." Daniel shifted. "Death Mountain." He said the words like they were sour. "The same thing happened to me!" Kevin said, kneeling down and taking a seat as well. "I ended up on Central Island, though." Before he could continue, a big earthquake shook the mountain. "Whoa. We better get out of here, and fast!" Link said, pointing to the door. Just as they all got out of the room, another tremor powered through the mountain, and the room they were in collapsed. The dust that rose made everyone hack and cough. "Ugh. Come on, lets keep going. This whole mountain could be next." Kevin said, waving some dust away. The group began to run down the hall, and after a small series of turns, they emerged into daylight. The party worked their way off Death Mountain and continued for the castle. "So, I suppose that's North Castle down there, right?" "You got it." Link replied. "That is where we keep the Triforce. Well, part of it anyway. Ganon has the other." Daniel turned. "Is it a big golden triangle?" he asked. "Yes." Zelda answered. Daniel looked ashamed. "Damn. I saw the part of it Ganon had. I couldn't get to it, though. He cast a Barrier over it." "Don't worry about it." Lana soothed. "We will get it sometime. Then Ganon won't stand a chance." They got to the Castle, and Link and Zelda went inside with a wave goodbye. Then the N-Team and Daniel went into another warp, with a slight hesitation from Daniel, and they all arrived in the Palace of Power. "So...Tell me something about yourself, Daniel." Kevin said, pulling up a chair and sitting in it backwards. "Well, I turned 16 not that long ago, and I, uh, like games!" Daniel said with spunk. "Me too. That's why they call me the Game Master." Kevin said with pride. "Care for a game?" Kevin said, drawing his Zapper. "This should be fun." Daniel followed Kevin back outside, where there were Kevin set up some small burlap targets on a log. "OK. Here is a simple game of aim." Kevin grinned. "Heh. I'm a poet and don't know it!" Daniel followed it. "You'll make a rhyme every time!" Kevin gave him a noogie. They were becoming fast friends. "Anyway, all you gotta do is aim..." Kevin lined up his target. "...and fire!" Kevin blew two away at once, leaving three for Daniel. "Here ya go. Blow 'em away!" Kevin said, offering his Zapper to Daniel. "Aw, that's OK, Kevin." Daniel said gesturing an open hand at the Game Master. "I've got my own!" Daniel whipped out his Zapper and eliminated two, missing the third on the last shot. "Figures." Daniel said with a look of disgust. Kevin was still staring at Daniel's Zapper. "Da...Daniel, where did you get that?" Daniel shrugged. "I had it when I got here. Pretty cool, but no big deal, right?" Kevin grabbed Daniel by the wrist and dragged him back inside at a dead sprint. "LANA! EVERYBODY! Get in here, NOW!" In a few seconds, all of the N-Team was there, including Duke. "What is it? Mother Brain?" Lana asked with worry. "No! Good news!" Kevin walked up to the group and leaned into it, facing Daniel and pointing his thumb. "We have another Game Master!" Kevin said giddily. Chapter Three
"What?" Simon asked with his mouth open. Lana walked up to Daniel and noticed his Zapper for the first time. "Daniel! The Ultimate Warp Zone must have given you these!" She said looking the weapon over. "Ultimate Warp Zone?" Daniel asked, drawing out his Zapper and handing it to her. "Yeah. I guess we didn't explain how all that happened." Mega Man said. "That's what brought Kevin here in the first place, and mega gave him his Zapper and Power Pad." "Yeah. Do you have a Power Pad to-icus?" Kid Icarus asked. "Oh, this ol' thing?" Daniel said with a girlish southern accent. He pulled up his shirt so everyone could see it. The belt it was strapped to went over his shirt, but the shirt was pulled up some, and loosely draped over it, so you probably wouldn't see it unless you were looking for it. "Yeah!" Kevin replied. "That is almost as important as your Zapper." Lana elaborated. "Hmm. I tried it once, but I don't know a lot. What else makes it special?" Daniel said, running his fingers over the buttons. "Well, it can make you jump super-high, as you tried, and dash in any direction at incredible speed!" Kevin said. "Look. I'll demonstrate." Kevin pressed a button on the directional pad, and zoomed around the room several times and was back where he began in seconds. "Wow!" Daniel said, looking over his with a new respect. "And, there is one other feature." Kevin said with a grin. "PAUSE!" Kevin walked around the frozen people. Daniel turned over his arms and hands. "Guess I'm not affected." Daniel said. "Probably not, since you have the Pause capability too." Lana said, holding completely still. Kevin turned. "Those affected by Pause can still talk, just not move." Kevin said. Daniel had a mischievous grin. "So, I could put a curling iron to Simon's hair, huh?" "I would not recommend it!" Simon returned. Everyone burst out laughing, and Kevin unpaused them. "Be careful, though, because Pause is one of the biggest strains on the Power Pad's energy." "What energy?" Daniel said again with curiosity. "This energy is what lets your Zapper and Power Pad do all those nifty things. See that green section of lights on top of your Pad?" Lana pointed out. Daniel gazed at it. "It's about two-thirds full." he said. "Yeah. For every beam you fire, second you dash, and time you pause, it uses energy. But don't worry. We can refill it using the Sunstone." Kevin said with knowledge. "Sunstone?" Daniel asked anybody willing to reply. "That's what powers the Palace and the force field outside. We didn't have to pass through it, because we warped here from Hyrule." Lana remarked. "Ah." Daniel pulled out his Zapper and examined it. "Anything else I should know?" "It had a fire and ice setting." Mega Man said. "See the switch on the side?" Daniel looked at it and clicked it over one notch, back to the other setting, and onto normal again. "That will be handy." Daniel said holstering the item. "You know..." Lana trailed off and on, "...technically, if the Ultimate Warp Zone chose Daniel, the he..." Lana smiled and handed the rest over to someone else to finish. "Then he should be on the N-Team-icus!" Kid Icarus finished. Kevin tightened his lips and approached Daniel. "Would you be willing to join us, Daniel?" the Game Master offered an open hand. "You have already proven your skill by standing up against Ganon the way you did!"
Daniel looked at it, then all of the hopeful faces of the other members of the N-Team. Daniel grinned and took the hand. "I accept."
It had been almost a week since that glorious day. The very next day Daniel's induction into the N-Team was made official, and everyone helped celebrate. Link, Zelda, Dr. Light, Break Man, and of course the N-Team. Daniel recognized Dr. Light and Break Man from Mega Man's world. They were his creator and brother respectively. Daniel was kinda glad to see Break Man show up, knowing his reclusive spirit. He would leave to go exploring for a few days, pop up when you least expected it, and leave before you could even find out about him being there. "Hey, Break Man!" Daniel said, giving the red and white clad robot a slap on the back. "Hey there yourself!" Break Man returned with a winceful look on his face. He was rubbing the area Daniel smacked. "Oh. Sorry about that." Daniel said, removing his shield. "No offense, but I thought you were super strong!" "Sure am, but that doesn't mean I don't have feelings." Break Man said. Daniel shook his head with a look of sorrow. "Oops. I knew that. I know lots about you and Mega Man, like your fascinating condition that makes you alive!" Break Man frowned. "Really? Did Mega Man or Dr. Light describe it?" Break Man asked. "I know most all of it from my world!" Daniel clarified. For the first time since he arrived, he didn't feel inferior about some of the knowledge. Mega Man and Dr. Light joined them. "Wow!" Dr. Light commented. "It took me years to learn about it, and I still haven't figured it all out." "Come on guys! Have some cake!" Link offered. "I already had my fill, Link." Daniel said. "Me too." Dr. Light replied while taking a seat. "Mega Man? Break Man? You can eat some, can't you?" Zelda said, cutting some. "Sure we can, but it wouldn't do us any good with no way to process it." Mega Man said. "Besides," Break Man began, "I don't like chocolate!" Simon and Kevin laughed. "That's ok. This is a time to celebrate happiness." Lana said with a smile. "Not even Mother Brain can take that away."
Through the next few days, Daniel trained more with his Zapper and Power Pad, repowering them when needed. He got a few pointers on each of the worlds in Videoland, such as enemy weaknesses, where warps are located, and generally how to survive. Daniel didn't really need to worry if his Zapper would work, because Kevin had already tested his against most all enemies from those lands, and Daniel's Zapper was exactly like his, so there was almost nothing it wouldn't affect.
Even after a week, a vacation was in order. Besides, Daniel was eager to see some other worlds in Videoland. They were almost set. "Where are we going again, Lana?" Simon asked while safely tucking away his favorite mirror. "The land of Lufia!" Daniel exclaimed with excitement, disregarding who Simon asked. "I can't wait to see some of their weapons!" Link said, packing some of his and Zelda's stuff. "I haven't been there before-icus." Kid Icarus said while flying a quiver of arrows into the warp set to go. "Should be interesting. Where do we stay?" "At the inn of a town called Tanbel." Lana replied while tossing in a bag of some of her stuff. "It is run by a woman named Hilda and her brother, Guy. Everyone is coming." "I remember them." Daniel reminisced with a grin, examining his Zapper. "They destroyed four evil beings known as Sinistrals." Mega Man walked by then. "Well, that everything?" the Blue Bomber asked. Daniel gazed at the pile in his arms. "That's an understatement." Both Mega Man and Break Man were incredibly strong, even in terms of robotics. That was one of their most distinguishing features, aside the fact they were living machines. "Speaking of which," Daniel said as his mind crossed Mega Man's brother, "Where is Break Man?" Mega Man looked around. "I don't know. He was right behind me!" Mega Man said, setting down his load. "Right here." came a voice, causing everyone to whirl. There stood Break Man, pretending to dust off his hands. "That's all of it!" "Will you mega stop that?" Mega Man said with a grin. "Your gonna scare one of us some day." "Some day?" Break Man gave a see-through act like he was sad. It was accented by him poking out his bottom lip. "Thanks for letting me feel needed!" "Oh, you know what I mean." Mega Man said, nudging him through the warp. "All right then. Let's hit it!" Kevin said, jumping through the warp. The rest of the N-Team was soon to follow.
After the blue portal accepted the final member, it closed. The watcher of the shiny mirror smiled with a mouth of hooked teeth. "Excellent."
"Hello Artea!" Daniel said, waving down the blue-haired elf. "Um, hello. Do I know you?" Daniel and Artea conversed while walking down the sidewalk after Daniel put his stuff away at the inn. "Hilda!" Lana greeted, signaling her to come over there. "Hi Lana!" she said, and the two hugged. Hilda picked up a few bags to assist the others as they put away their things. Break Man returned first, amazed at his surroundings. "Wow!" he said, admiring the vast forests and mountains. "This place is..." Break Man trailed off, dashing over to the main square, where two men were in contest with weapons. Break Man normally didn't hold humans to as high regard as Mega Man, but he figured this could be interesting. "Had enough, Dekar?" a blonde man said. "Me? I am winning, Guy!" the other with blue hair replied. Guy was apparently the blonde, who was using a sword. That meant the blue-spiked-haired one was Dekar, who favored an ax. Dekar countered a lunge, and Guy blocked an attack with his ax using his shield. Hilda walked by with Lana and Kid Icarus then. "Don't you two ever get hungry? Dinner is in a few minutes." Dekar and Guy exchanged glances. "Well, I guess sometimes I do have enough..." Dekar said, grinning at Guy. "Yeah." Guy agreed and sheathed his sword. "Oh my!" a small blue haired girl said with amazement. She was sitting next to an older man in a lab coat, who was tinkering with a small device. "You are the princess of Videoland, I presume?" Lana, assuming the girl wanted her attention, walked over and sat down. "Yes. My name is Lana." Simon was the next to come out of the inn, and he came by to sit next to the blue haired girl. He immediately took her hand and kissed it. "I am Simon Belmont, famous vampire hunter from Castlevania. You?" "Tia." she said through a blushed smile, at a loss for words. Kevin and Mega Man were the next to arrive. "Have you met Tia and Lexis?" Lana asked the Game Master. "No." he said, staring at the thing Lexis was adjusting. "Lexis and Tia, this is Kevin." "Hey everyone!" Kevin said with a small wave. Mega Man looked down. "Hi there." he said offering a hand. "I am Dr. Lexis Shaia. Hello, Mega Man." Lexis said, shaking his hand. "Say, are you the Mega Man?" Lexis asked giddily. Mega Man smiled. "Sure am." Lexis almost dropped the black object. "You are?!? Mega Man, you are literally a scientific miracle!" Mega Man grinned at Lexis's knowledge. "Yeah, bioroids are rare." Mega Man commented. Break Man walked by then, getting Mega Man in a headlock. "But no extinct." Mega Man choked off, motioning at Break Man. The blue bomber finally broke the hold and Break Man continued walking back to the inn. "Do you know Dr. Light?" Mega Man asked. "Yes, he and I are good friends." Lexis smiled. Lexis continued. "But, I have never met you or your brother. Every time I visit, however, Dr. Light tells me that you both are either at the Palace of Power or battling Wily." Lexis said. "Dr. Light has mentioned something about you, I believe." Mega Man replied. He looked down at the small object Lexis was fiddling with a few moments ago. "Hey, is that an interland transitional communicator?" Mega Man asked, pointing at it. "Well, it would be..." Lexis gazed down at it. "But I am having some trouble getting it to function." Lexis rubbed his chin, and you could barely see his mouth through his bushy mustache. "I have one like that, only it isn't powerful enough to bridge lands to communicate. I can only use it in Megaland, most of the time, and sometimes not even there." Dekar came by to join the conversation, but most of the talk was beyond him. "Hey, do you think I could use it as a model?" Lexis said, holding up the black object. Dekar looked at the thing, squinting his eyes as if it would help him understand it. "Well, it uses a pattern similar to this one, only the power grid here has a different junction circuit, and it uses another B radio signal sender here instead of a D." Mega Man said with intellect. Dekar shook his head and stood up to go back to the fighting square. "Wow, Mega Man! I am impressed!" Lexis said with applaud in his voice. Mega Man grinned cockily, though he didn't mean it. "Well, I used to be a repair robot. I could fix almost anything, and use all sorts of tools to do it." Mega Man paused. "Guess some of that knowledge is gone now, but I can remember bits and pieces." "Okay. B sender, you say?" Lexis asked, reaching into one of his lab coat pockets. "Yeah." Mega Man replied. Lexis replaced a couple of wires and inserted it. "Okay, here goes!" Lexis said. He activated the machine, and it made a staticy sound before a familiar voice popped up. "Dr. Light! I got the communication device to work." Lexis said. "With some help." Lexis said, sticking his thumb at Mega Man. "Good job, Lexis!" "Just thought I'd let you know. Maybe you can replace your communicators that Mega Man and Break Man have." Lexis said with intent. "That would be mega nice." Mega Man added. Lana walked by then, joined by Zelda, Simon, Kid Icarus and Guy. "Nice to meet everybody." Lana said good-naturedly. "Too bad Maxim and Selan couldn't be here." Dekar noted with sorrow. He had tears forming in the rims of his eyes, but he angrily wiped them away. Daniel looked at Dekar and felt sorry for his pain, not to mention everyone else's. Even seeing those tears at the brims of Dekar's eyes frightened Daniel. He knew what good friends Maxim and Selan were to them. Tia and Maxim used to be in love, but she couldn't get used to him always in battle. Tia, Dekar, Artea, Lexis, and Guy all knew Maxim and Selan very well before the Battle of Doom Island, where the two lost their lives at the hands of the Sinistrals. "Maxim! You're too far away!" "I will NOT leave Selan!" "Maxim! We can't reach you!" "GO! Get out of here, NOW!" "......" "NOW!" "Let's go, Artea." "But Guy, we can't just..." "Maxim wants us to go. There is nothing we can do to help him now!" "......" "GO, NOW ARTEA!" "Maxim! I promise to tell the world of this victory! WARP!" Daniel thought he was going to cry himself. The Sinistrals had killed several in their attempt to conquer mankind. Many cities had felt the wrath of the destruction they wielded. But they were finally stopped. That was the purpose of the party. To celebrate the Sinistrals defeat. Before another though could be remembered, a terrible explosion wailed through Tanbel. "Aaaaaggggghhhhh!" came a voice who trailed along with a ball of light that was flying northeast. "THE SINISTRALS?" Dekar wheeled to look after the light with an expression of both anger and confusion. Guy dashed into the inn. Part of the guest room was destroyed from the explosion. Guy raced out again with a fiery red anger. "They took Hilda AGAIN!" Guy waved his fists high. "We have to stop them!" he said pulling out his sword. Chapter Five
Daniel and Artea rounded the corner then. "What the hell WAS that?!?" Daniel asked between short breaths. Artea closed his eyes to concentrate. "Sinistrals?" he asked. Daniel came up. "No way! You guys beat them!" "That's what we thought." Tia said. "How can we ever hope to defeat them without Dual Blade?" Daniel asked with concern. "It's thousands of feet under the ocean!" "We have to try..." Dekar said with complete seriousness. He was about to snap his ax's handle. "Yes, but we cannot get to Doom Island without Excerion, which was destroyed with Doom Island as well." Artea said. Lexis frowned. "And without another engine like the one we got in Grassi kingdom, we can't make another." Lexis straightened. "Doom Island obviously hasn't risen from the ocean, or my Kymograph would have told me. So much for Dual Blade." "Hey, what's in that direction the light flew?" Captain N asked, continuing to wonder. "The Ancient Cave." Daniel and Guy said simultaneously. Zelda stood up. "What's that?" Artea scrunched up his face to think. "It is a 99 level maze. Once you get in, you can't get out." Daniel held up a finger. "Not without Providence, anyway." Daniel paused. "And it's filled with monsters guarding it. If we go in, we can't afford to miss it, or we may not be able to get back out." "Well, we can't just leave Hilda." Lana said. "Yeah! I'm up for a challenge!" Simon agreed. "Well let's go then!" Link stood up and shouted. "Okay everyone! Gather around!" Artea called. "WARP!"
Almost as instantly as the light engulfed everyone, they were in Gruberik. Everyone walked out of the city and almost immediately saw the Cave. "Lana, you should take a Zirco Rod." Artea said, tossing her one. "Now you aren't defenseless." "Thanks." Lana said, looking it over. Most of the Lufia team led the way, and it soon grew silent and dreary and they got closer to the cave. "Any additional tips we should know about?" Break Man asked Daniel quietly on the way. "Well, I can't really offer us a path to use, because the Ancient Cave changes randomly everytime someone enters. The same floor has never been seen twice." Daniel commented with his eyes locked on the entrance. "That's swell." the Red Raider remarked with a ping of annoyance. Soon they were inside. They were all there, arguing with the people who had made a business out of the mysterious cave. "Look! We can't leave our things here! There is a SINISTRAL in this blasted cave!" Guy howled, slamming a fist into the table at the front. "Sir, the only weapons you may take in are the ones you find in blue chests!" the manager said. Lexis shook his head. "Fine. But don't blame us when the world is destroyed by the Sinistrals." A guard outfitted with armor approached. "Look, I don't want any trouble here, and I don't think you want any of the trouble I can give." he said, revealing his face. "Oh really?" Dekar said with anger. He got right up in the guard's face. Dekar was big and strong, and with his hair had nearly a foot advantage on the guard. The guard shook from fear, but he held his ground. "Look, we can't waste any time here, guys!" Kevin said, laying his Zapper on the table. Lana placed her Zirco Rod down as well, and Artea put his bow down the same time Tia put down her whip. "Well, you ain't taking this away!" Dekar growled, drawing out his Sky Sword, an incredibly powerful weapon they found in the Ancient Cave the first time the Sinistrals attacked. The rules permitted him to take that item in with him. "Or this!" Guy followed. He showed them a Black Eye. Despite it's name, it was actually a bracelet, the same one used by the Black Dragon. "That is fine." The keeper said. Guy laid down his sword, Kid Icarus his bow and arrows, and Lexis his Figgoru, which was an odd wrench he used in battle. Simon was pulling things out of his backpack, most useless junk. He was there almost five minutes before the keeper suggested he simply leave it, and his whip as well. Daniel gave them his Zapper, and Zelda laid down her bow as well. "Right through there." the keeper pointed. They all went through a door, and there was a warp. They all entered it, and were instantly on the first floor of the Ancient Cave. The first floor was mainly a tumbled down shrine of some sort. "Some other stuff they didn't see..." Break Man smiled cockily, forming an arm cannon. Mega Man followed suit, and began to charge his plasma. Kevin and Daniel's Power Pad's were overlooked as well. Working their way across the first floor, they encountered minor enemies, but the enemies would get successively stronger as they wound their way through the ancient cave. They opened any chests they came across, which held items and equipment. Dekar slashed a blue jelly with the sky sword, and it was instantly defeated. Guy then disposed of an eagle, and he opened a treasure chest containing a Rainy Ax. "All right! Not a bad haul!" Guy rang out, using it against a Mad Horse. "Here Simon. Take this Black Eye, since I have some defense now." Simon slipped it onto his wrist. "It clashes!" he said with disgust. "That's OK. Our opinion of you isn't that high anyway!" Guy then dashed back before Simon could retaliate. Mega Man walked up to Simon and Guy then. "How does it work?" Mega Man asked, turning his head. "Well, in this world, certain equipment has useful capabilities. We call this IP." Simon cocked his head. "IP is anger that builds during battle when you are attacked. If you don't have enough IP, some equipment's effects can't be unleashed." Guy explained. Artea approached. "Well, this strange thing hit me a few seconds ago. So, I should have some IP now, right?" Simon queried. "Yeah. Try it on those Regal Goblins guarding that door over there. The IP on the Black Eye is Gloomsplash. Simply hold it up and shout that." Artea said. "OK. Here goes." Simon raised his bracelet and shouted, "GLOOMSPLASH!" Suddenly the whole of the room was filled with a bunch of explosions with black tints to them. The booming blackness circled the Regal Goblins, and slowly closed. The second it hit, bolts of dark fire came from nowhere and slammed into the enemies. They were all instantly destroyed. "Hey, not bad!" Kevin exclaimed. Artea elaborated further. "Gloomsplash is a combination of darkness and fire attacks." Kevin walked closer. "Isn't darkness evil in some way?" the Game Master asked. Artea shook his head. "Only the creatures who feed of it. Here in Lufia, it is simply another element. But that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous." Kevin nodded with a shrug, and Daniel entered the other room and strange spear. "I found this in a blue chest. What does it do?" Artea lit up and raced over. "That's a Dragon Spear! It harnesses the power of the Water Dragon!" "Cool! You should use it, though. I have evaluated I can only use certain swords, axes, and bows around here. No staffs, whips, tools, or spears." Daniel pulled out a withered scroll. "And I can't understand this stuff, either." Artea unrolled the scroll. "Daniel! You found the spell Stronger, too! Good Job!" Daniel frowned. "Guess that means I can't cast them, either." "Well, you could, provided you have Magic Point reserves. Even then, I would have to teach you how to read it." Artea handed the scroll over to Tia, who memorized it and passed it to Lexis. "Dekar and Guy can't learn spells, either, since they have no Magic Points. So, don't feel too bad." "Yeah, but I pack a punch!" Dekar remarked, smirking. He held up his Sky Sword. Daniel glanced around. "The staircase to B 11 is in there. Let's go." Chapter Six
The group walked in and went down to the next level, knowing all the time if they missed Providence below level 20, they would be trapped in the Ancient Cave forever, and the Sinistrals could take over the world. Dekar beat a Mad Clay and opened a chest, which contained a Fire Dagger. "Hey Link, you got a weapon?" "Not at the moment." Link said while expertly dodging a Doben. "Try this, then!" Dekar tossed the weapon to Link, who slashed at the Doben twice with it's magical use of fire, and it was beaten. "Pretty good!" the Hyrulian warrior commented. The N-Team and the Lufia members moved down to B 16. Mega Man and Break Man split up to one room, Kid Icarus, Artea and Lexis went to another, and the rest stayed behind in one room to collect chests. Mega Man returned with a strange rock. "Found another blue chest!" he commented. "Here, Lana. Take it." Lana looked the rock over. "Thank you, Mega Man." she said. Dekar checked the stone out. "Hey, you really scored, Mega Man! That's a Camu Jewel!" "What's it do?" Lana asked as Mega Man returned to help Break Man against some Pumpkin Heads. "This will slam all enemies with an intense fire attack!" Dekar said. "Lay off already, will you?!?" Break Man shouted and unloaded his charge on a Pumpkin Head. It was instantly vaporized. Kid Icarus, Artea and Lexis were back with a small ax. "Can you use this, Daniel?" Kid Icarus offered him the weapon. "Maybe. I'll try it." Daniel took the ax and tested it against a Sand Gorem. Daniel brought it down hard on his enemy, but the Sand Gorem was unscathed. "Wha...?" Daniel stuttered. Daniel had an awful truth dawn on him. "This is a Thunder Ax! Sand Gorems are immune to thunder!" Daniel yelled. The Sand Gorem cast a sandstorm on Daniel, who rolled out of the way, but the spell followed him. "Grrr...OOMPH!" Daniel tried to stand up to the spell, but it threw him against a wall. Daniel collapsed, unmoving. Blood trickled from his mouth. "HEY!" Artea yelled, and stabbed the Sand Gorem with his Dragon Spear. It was instantly destroyed. Kevin ran over to Daniel and shook him. "Daniel! Wake up!" Daniel simply laid there. "Oh...Oh my.." Lana sobbed and dashed over to the second Game Master. She picked up his wrist to feel for a heart, but couldn't concentrate with her rattled emotions. "Princess..." Captain N said. He lowered his head. "Lana, I don't think Daniel has perished." Lexis soothed. "How do you know?" she said. "He is only unconscious. We have gone through this a lot. Monsters can only actually kill if we are all battle disabled." Lexis elaborated. "Thank goodness." Lana sighed. Artea motioned for Dekar to come over there. "Come on. We have to keep going." he said. Dekar picked up Daniel and hoisted him over his shoulder. The party then continued to B 20. Chapter Seven
They emerged in a much different environment. It was black and dark blue tiles, and vines everywhere. It looked like a dungeon. "OK. If we want to get Daniel back, we need a Revive formula or a Miracle." Tia said quietly. "I know it sounds kinda cheesy, but a Miracle will totally refresh him." Everyone fanned out into small groups of two or three. They all emerged a few minutes later with all the collected goods. Guy looked the items over. "A War Rapier, a Hi-Magic, Iron Mail, and..." Guy held up a glowing red stick. "...Spark Staff?" Link approached. "Yeah, we found another blue chest. Guy tossed it to Link to give it to Zelda. "OK, the War Rapier is useless, since none of us can use it. We can save the Hi-Magic, and only Dekar or I could use the Iron Mail." Guy studied the items outloud. "You use the armor, Guy." Dekar offered. "You sure?" Guy asked. "Yeah. The Sky Sword raises my defense anyway." Simon looked down. "But no Miracles." he said with a sigh. "Don't worry." Artea said. "We may learn Valor. Then I can cast it to bring him back." As they headed for the staircase, Zelda noticed something odd about the shubery. "What's this?" she asked. Before anybody could offer an answer, she brought the Spark Staff down on the bush, and it burned into nothingness. "A healing tile!" Lexis announced. "Everybody step on it, and it will heal all your wounds." Everybody took turns to walk over it, and after Kid Icarus fluttered off, Mega Man tried it. Nothing happened. "What's going on?" he asked. "You're a robot. It has no wounds to heal." Lexis said. "Well, me and Break Man aren't really hurt anyway, since these enemies have no easy way to our energy reserves." Mega Man said with chipper. The level after that, they emerged in a big room. On the far wall were enemies, on the near wall were enemies, no doors, and in the center of the room stood five red chests and a blue one. "Oh no-icus." Pit groaned. The group was then locked in combat with the new foes, all the time trying to work their way closer to the chests. It finally came down between them and a few Spinners and a Deadly Armor. The Deadly Armor hit Dekar with an Iron Kick. Dekar then jabbed his Sky Sword into it's side, and it was defeated. The Spinners were easily vanquished with use of Artea's Dragon Spear. Once the last was eliminated, they began to walk over to the chests, but a figure teleported in and startled them all into hesitating. "Gades!" Dekar yelled. Chapter Eight
"We defeated you Gades!" Artea shouted. "We KILLED you!" Guy chimed with pure hatred. "Ha! Your pathetic efforts will be rewarded with defeat. Arek the Absolute has brought us back!" Gades's eyes glowed red as he mentioned the last part. The red eyes were only part of his evil features. He had a head, but it was an old yellowed and cracked skull, flowing with a red shock of hair. He was armored everywhere else in dark red and blue metal plates, and had a huge tattered crimson cape with golden trimmings. His shield bore insignia no one could recognize nor read, and his huge sword had the shape of fire for a guard on the handle, while the blade itself sported several small knives taking turns poking out of the double-edge. "How? That is impossible without Erim!" Lexis shouted. "Sorry, but if I were to tell you, I would have to kill you. However, I may do that anyway!" Gades said through jagged teeth. Lexis now had his back to the Sinistral. Link had obviously had enough. "CHARGE HIM!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. Link, Mega Man, Dekar, and Artea dashed at Gades with weapons ready and charged. Gades held up a fist encased in a dark purple light. "DESTRUCTO-WAVE!" the Sinistral of Destruction yelled. Out of his balled up hand flew a dark purple sphere of light, filled with small black blotches in it, and circled with white lines. Then it exploded into dust, and the small band of assailants were brought to their knees. "Now anyone else who tries the same will be totally destroyed! No throw down your weapons!" Gades ordered. "Don't! We can beat him, just don't..... GAH!" Dekar trailed as Gades brought his sword to the champion of Bound Kingdom's throat. Dekar struggled with futility, which only made Gades look more powerful. Everyone obediently tossed down their weapons. "Much better." Gades gloated. But Simon had been saving his IP. He raised his Black Eye and shouted, "GLOOMSPLASH!" The same black fire surrounded and shot Gades. The darkness in it wasn't overly damaging, but he sure didn't like the fire. Gades stumbled back, mildly smoking. The others rolled away, ready to attack. Break Man rose his charged cannon, the soft blue light emitting from it mildy changing the parts if his uniform it touched to a bright violet-whitish color in the red, and a light blue in the white. "Hold it, Gades!" Break Man threatened. Gades slowly rose his head. "Ah, the infamous Protoman! I have heard of your constant habit of switching sides. May I offer an alliance to you with the Sinistrals?" Gades asked with a deep, threatening voice. "NO WAY!" the red and white clad robot announced. "And my name is Break Man!" he snapped, never lowering his plasma cannon. "I wouldn't if I were you!" Gades said, bringing out a form so weak it was limp. "Hilda!" Guy shouted, clasping a hand on Break Man's cannon. Kevin silently reached for his Power Pad, and he warped into the air multiple meters. Gades hardly traced the trail to Kevin before the Game Master's foot came crashing into Gades's face. "OOMPH!" Gades yelled, covering his face with his hands to ward away the pain. Kevin then snatched Hilda up and warped her and himself over to the rest of the group. Everyone immediately picked up their weapons and dashed. Artea threw his Dragon Spear, Link was ready to use the IP of the Fire Dagger, and Break Man fired his still-charged cannon. Gades was hit only by the earliest blows. "First the Mer-people, then the volcano, next Parcelyte, then the WORLD! HAHAHA!" Gades turned then into a ball of dark red light, and teleported out of the Ancient Cave. "Ohhh....Guy..." Hilda tried to say, but was too tired. Kevin lowered her to the loose-dirt floor. "It's OK, Hilda. Try not to talk. You will be back in Tanbel soon enough." The party then proceeded to the chests. The first red contained a Fury Ring, which did no good since nobody could use it. The blue chest contained a Fry Sword, which harnessed the power of light. The second red chest contained Providence, so they could now leave the Ancient Cave. The third chest housed a Miracle. "Yeah!" Kevin shouted. The whole group was so excited they forgot about the remaining chests, but it didn't matter anyway, since it would all be relinquished at the gate. Captain N poured the Miracle's contents into Daniel's mouth. His eyes slowly opened, finding it difficult to focus on anything. Then he remembered the Sand Gorem. "Where...Are you guys okay?" he asked quietly. "Yes, Daniel. You must remember, Sand Gorems are immune to thunder." Lana said, smiling at him. Daniel grinned goofily. "I gathered that a little too late. Hey, what about the Sinistrals?" "We already beat Gades, and we have Providence. We can leave now. Besides, the Sinistrals are probably plotting their next move anyway." Zelda explained. Guy then held up the Providence feather, and in a flash of white light, they were out of the Ancient Cave. Chapter Nine
When they returned to the entrance, they reclaimed all their original weapons and spells, leaving what they had left of the red chest items, and went back to Gruberik. "Man, the Sinistrals back?" Daniel reminded himself and everybody else. He was pacing back and forth, staring at the ground. Finally he punched an open hand. "They have to be stopped, and now! You guys know the carnage they leave!" "Yes we do." Tia said. Lana looked worried. "But the Sinistrals are never satisfied. After this, they may attack all of Videoland!" Artea teleported back to Gruberik then, after he returned Hilda to Tanbel. Lexis approached the group after finishing the conversation he started with Dr. Light at the beginning of the battle. "Xavier and I believe we know how Arek revived the Sinistrals without Erim." Lexis took a breath to steady himself. "The Potion of Power." "NO!" Kevin and Link exclaimed simultaneously. Lexis held up a hand so he could continue. "But, it seems the Potion's liquid energy properties have run out. So, he changed it into a different form of energy to be stored in the Mirror of the Tower of Truth." Zelda was deep in thought. "The Potion of Power once revived Ganon to full strength. All four Sinistrals at total power could..." she trailed off.