Level 1 - (8 - > 11/10) EXP (LEVEL UP!) ---> Level 2 - (1/20)
Location: Peach's Castle - Bridge -> Throne Room
Word Count: 927 (+3 EXP)
Power (Equip): Projectile Badge
Kid was surprised to see the Courier respond the way he did to his first use of an umbrella (an idea with which he was unfamiliar); initially with interest and relief, followed swiftly by a sudden onset of frightful aversion. She didn't expect or mean for it to frighten him however it did, but moreso, she was confused as to how this grizzled wastelander, who just got through being blown up twice within the last minute or so, and has no doubt seen a lot prior to that, would be alarmed by something so innocuous as a child's sky blue, star-patterned parasol. Who knows? Maybe some who have seen things always see them. Unable to draw any rational conclusions from inspecting the underside of the simple weathershield and finding nothing, the child dismissively shrugged to herself and stored the device away, taking her leave of the waking Lombax to give him some space while he returned to his senses. She came upon a battleground all but cleared, calmer than when she had left it, save for last ongoing battle between two summoners and an archer that was probably best left uninterrupted, lest anyone be in the way of friend or foe. Anyone , if their newly bolstered ranks were anything to go on, they were all more than capable of taking care of themselves, so those remaining wouldn’t be far behind the rest of the party once they mobilized. Of course, despite having the most stake in it, their objective didn’t seem so urgent to the demonic bull tortoise--their self-appointed leader--that he couldn’t take a moment to bluster about how well his “plan” that he didn’t have worked, no thanks to him. Kid simply rolled her eyes at the boastful remarks and made her way into the castle alongside the others.
They were greeted in the castle foyer by the cacophonous wailing of panicked mushroom men, no taller than Kid (marginally shorter, perhaps), scurrying about in a disorganized fashion; a likely contrast to what was intended for them. Closer inspection would reveal them to be under the same spell (or whatever it was) that afflicted a few of those present mere minutes ago, but the more obvious fact was that they clearly posed no threat to any of them. The group thought the better of wasting any time trying to beat it out of them one by one. Even for those who really wanted to help them, there was a better, if astoundingly more difficult way for them to do that: by dethroning their oppressor. The company pressed on past the agitated servantry and through a set of giant, ornamental doors leading into a lavishly renovated throne room. At its end sat their enemy, Bowser’s more fearsome doppelganger, who wasted little time trading egos with his perceived lesser, pointing to the iron enclosures containing more tranced heroes in need of saving dangling overhead. Bowser (the good one) made the first move (well… command, actually) to free the captives with the intention of adding them to their fighting force, starting with the Herculean simian. This was all the excuse MegaDragonBowser needed to begin the battle proper.
Before anyone else could act, MegaBowser shot a sphere of incendiary breath to the ceiling that exploded on impact, scattering into a hellish rain of embers that set fire to every article of the scenery that could catch it, and threatened to do the same to any careless enough to not heed it. As a share of their number promptly set to rescuing the captives, Kid took off to do the same, keeping her senses about her as she sidestepped several beads of burning hail on her chosen route. She ran as many climbing steps up the wall as she could manage before having to grasp the adjacent drapery and shuffle hand over hand to keep her momentum going into an angular ascent as she lept from one set of curtains and banners to another, repeating this process until one came loose from its bearings from having a substantial portion of its material already burned away. In a moment of startled reflex, she propelled herself of the wall, releasing the falling remains of freshly singed-off fabric as she sailed with an arm outstretched towards the cage containing a stocky ursine and compact avian, and caught a hold of one of the bars by the bottom end.
Her motion carried through with a sudden uptake of force that just about jerked her arm out of socket, causing the cage to both spin and swing in circles. She would attempt to add as much as she could to it with her, frankly, meager strength and weight to build up more inertia until she was satisfied with its trajectory. She dismounted the cell at the height of is swing into a gaining tuck, turned to face the row of cages, whipped out her umbrella, and held it at her side as if ready to joust with it while she lined up her aim with her open hand. Her intention was to shoot the chains from as many cages as she could reach with a single, fully-charged shot, or at least attempt to create some kind of chain reaction (pun not intended) with just the one. While airborne, however, it wasn't entirely guaranteed that she would get even much of a good shot off, but without an otherwise adequately elevated foothold or suspension, it was worth a try. After a three count of energized whirring, Kid thrust her parasol forward, producing a wide torrent of red energy...