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I guess my comfort zone is "eccentric side character."

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Sorry about the long absence everybody.

"Nah man, don't be. It was pretty cool." Luna said as Gou caught up and bowed his head to the agent in introduction. He used a particular word to describe the man though, one that made Luna quirk her eyebrow. Cultivator, cultivator, where had she heard that before? In the time it took Gou to impale one muffin and Lorenzo to gun down another the word filtered down through her memory before, like a I Tetris block, it slotted in next to the other terminology and techniques Gou and Yuri had used and obliterated the stack.

"Yo, cultivator!" She said, more to herself than anyone before turning to Gou. "That's you! You're the squares?"

As though for emphasis the soufflés that had been quietly growing burst, sending Lorenzo tumbling and popping open a hole in his line of shadows. From behind she could hear obscured laughter. "That's got to be the boss." She said as Lorenzo laid out their mission plan. Beat the boss before he lost concentration on these shadow things and they were buried in baking. Any questions she had could be saved for afterwards. "Leave it to us." She said, twirling her oar as she sprinted forward toward the hole. A pair of freed up Muffin men appeared to block her way, tossing a couple of those explosive soufflés at her. Luna dove toward something on the ground, scooping up a discarded candy cane staff. Spinning once to gain momentum she whirled the thing at them. It slammed into the soufflés, beginning their inflation process. He way was still blocked, but Luna slammed the end of her oar onto the ground and jumped. She semi-pole vaulted over the baking bombs.

From her vantage point she could see the new alien, and also that the alien wasn't alone. "HEY YURI! Wavebreaker Style: Right Whale!" She called out from above as she started descending toward them. She was coming down slightly behind them, and as she landed she slapped the pavement with the flat side of the paddle. As she did there was a splashing sound, and the water circling her oar seemed to burst out in all directions like an explosion. With the amount of water she poured on it the explosion wasn't all that powerful, more of a forceful shove than even a punch, but the water sprayed everywhere and moistened everything in its path.

Standing up she took up a fighting pose as she faced the alien. She was defiantly much more pleasing on the eyes than the last alien, even if she did have a nasty drooling problem. "I'd listen to my friend, shortcake, unless you want to end up like the gingerbread man. Your stuff's actually not half bad, you'd make a killer confectionary if you'd just chill out."

Word Count: 192

Level 5 - (57/50) + 1

Location: The Bottomless Sea ~ The Maw

The good time Link had been making came to an end as the drumbeat of the hanging monster caused the junk sea to get choppy. He and the little monster that had taken him hostage were forced to hunker down and hold on for deal life whenever the shockwaves moving through the junk passed through them. After a few cycles he added it to the rhythm: BAM, BAM, lift, place, BAM, hop. When the thing turned its hateful orange eye toward them Link spun around and held on tight, the kite of his back completely obscuring both their forms, but this only took up more time that they could spend getting somewhere more stable.

The little monster, too, was getting very twitchy. It had obviously believed that they would reach somewhere else in a timely manner and had never expected to be subject to conditions like this. It made its displeasure about their pace known by bopping its hostage on the head with the bomb every time they had to stop. Sakura's manner of encouragement was far more appreciated as he continued fighting against the waves and hiding from the monster looking to crush them flat. She was going faster that him now, though whether that was from a rekindled confidence pushing her forward or because of his passenger he wasn't sure.

He just had to hope the others came up with some way to distract the creature from these shockwaves and then double time it to the sofa when that opportunity presented itself.

Word Count: 856

Level 5 - (55/50) + 2

Location: The Bottomless Sea ~ The Maw

Lift, place, hop.

Lift, place, hop.

Lift, place, hop.

Noise, crash, hide.

Listen, for, screams.


... ...

... ... ...

No screams.

Start, breathing, again.

Lift, place, hop.

Link had gotten what he had started referring to as The Sakura method down to an exact rhythm. He was making good time with it, owing mostly in a sense of self-assured confidence in his own athleticism. He had traversed the most difficult possible terrain Hyrule could throw at a person, up and downhill, through rain, snow, and fire. On Death Mountain the floor really was lava. If he could handle that he could handle jumping between some pillows where, at the very least, he had a few seconds to clamber back onto the pillow if he missed before the floor monster devoured him whole.

Still, where was he making his way toward. He'd been following Sakura, but she had clambered up into some kind of machine to avoid the gaze of their ceiling lurking friend. He figured, eventually, they were going to have to climb one of these junk mountains to get at the vent Peach had seen. He kept an eye at each of the spires he passed along the way, looking for rope or a dart gun like Mirage had found. Something to make that climb easier when the time came. Occasionally he'd spot movement upon them, angular white shapes ducking out of sight as he approached.

It was while he was studying one of these nearby trash islands that he laid eyes upon something interesting. He diverted course for a moment, angling the pillows to bring him to a modestly sized island composed of interlacing surfboards. A forest of beach umbrellas stuck out from between them, far too big to carry with him even if their covers hadn't been torn to shreds ages ago leaving only the skeletal branches of them sticking out. Those hadn't been what had drawn his attention, however. He carefully stepped onto one of the boards, testing his weight to make sure climbing up wouldn't lead to a sudden shift that would noisily alert the ceiling lurker to where he was, and picked his was past what looked like dead deflated version of that ringed creature they had spotted back at the lagoon until he came upon what looked like a glider.

At least, he thought it was a glider. It was big enough to be one, between his small size and the fact that everything was big around here, but as he picked it up he noticed a few things. One as that it was very light, far lighter than his regular paragliders despite its size. The part that was usually cloth was glossy and was colored in a wavy light blue, and as he picked it up a handle connected to it by a string come unwedged from the bones and tumbled down toward the island. It took only one heart racing second for Link's hand to flash and and snatch the handle out of the air before it clattered to the floor and spelled his doom.

More importantly, something had been hiding under it.

A small creature, slightly smaller than Link, looked up at him with big bulging eyes. It's body was entirely white, and simplistic like clay that had been shaped into a vaguely humanoid form. It's head was pointed, triangular almost, with a long snout like a horse and what looked like hair was actually, upon closer inspection, quills. It blinked up at him for a moment, then its eye shifted to the ceiling dweller. Link realized that it must have been taking shelter under the glider until the beast stopped hunting. "Sorry." He mouthed, and went to put the glider back. He stopped, however, when the thing pulled out a bomb.

It wasn't like any bomb Link had ever seen but the general shape and the way the creature menaced him with it by miming a toss made it easily recognizable. Link held very still as the thing walked its way around him and, to his horror, started making its way toward the pillows Link had used to get over here without taking its eyes off him. He started after the thing, compelling it to shake the bomb at him harder, but Link just shook his head. He pointed at the bomb, pointed at the monster of the ceiling, then mimed the thing slamming its hands together. The message was clear: throw that and we both get crushed.

The thing considered this for a moment, then held up the bomb even more vigorously and pointed to one of the larger nearby junk piles.

"You want to move to a better hiding place?" Link asked, and the little monster nodded. “Well, I will take you there.”

The thing didn’t put down the bomb, but it stopped being quite so threatening with it. It hopped down onto the pillow and patted the other with its free hand insistently. Link followed after it, kite now strapped to his back and working diligently toward the base of one of the taller mountains near where Peach had indicated.

Word Count: 408

Level 5 - (54/50) + 1

Location: The Bottomless Sea ~ The Maw

@Dark Cloud

Link let himself down from the top of the cupboard, climbing down the shelves while keeping his feet as close to the interior wall as possible. Every individual creak from the old wood made his heart skip a beat as he watched the eye scan around for more intruders to crush. He landed softly on the edge of a suitcase, keeping in mind the enemy that lurked below along with the on lurking above.

He made a series of short hops along the solid furniture lining the path to the bed, going from an end table to a white bust of a stern looking old man, then across an ironing board to the pile of cushions beside the bed. Link had decided to stay up where he was an act as a makeshift lookout as the others had started making their journeys across the room, evaluating each strategy as he watched. Of everything he had seen Sakura's idea, though the slowest, seemed to be the safest and least attention grabbing way of making their way across the room. Now though, with that big monster on the search, it left her woefully isolated.

Still, she was at least moving. There were some that hadn't even started yet, though from apprehension or indecision about the best route he didn't know. In particular a green haired boy whose general hopelessness was pretty familiar by this point. "Glenn?" He urgently whispered as he approached. He was reasonably sure, considering his headcount. The only other person this could be was Geralt but, well, this boy was green. "We can't just hang around here, we've got to start moving. If you don't think you can make these jumps, follow Sakura." He said, digging in the cushions to find two big lumpy looking ones. He shoved a faded green one into the boys arms and carefully dropped the other over the side. "Watch the eye. If it starts looking your way, sandwich yourself between the cushions. Go!"

He didn't take his eye off the ceiling monster as he spoke, clutching a big throw billow in his arms. If that thing swept over to the bed he was going to push Glenn and anyone else nearby that was spacing out under the pillow before throwing himself over the side onto the one he had already tossed onto the floor. Hopefully he could disappear over the edge of the bed before he was spotted in the case.

Luna slowed to a stop as she came upon the oddest sight she had ever experienced. The muffin men she had expected. The shadow zombies were something she was completely unprepared for. The two factions were locked in the throes of fierce, tonally noncongruent violence with one another in the streets that led to the Seashell Bakery. Their way was completely blocked, at least if they still wanted to ride.

Gou had hopped out of the sidecar to get a better shot of the conflict and had backed up out of view, but Luna quickly turned when she heard a cut off yelp thinking that a muffin or shadow might have snuck up behind them but it wasn't wither of those. It was a...well...if Luna had to put a word to it the word would be "Pokemon." A beautiful bird-lizard with brown and white feathers that, as Gou ran back to the scooter, quickly descended on another of the muffin monsters.

Gou was saying something about how the dragon-moth-bird seemed to be keeping the city safe, but she had to shake her head back into the present to pay attention. "Wha? Yeah, yeah, looks like it. Sorry I'm I woke up this morning I didn't live in a world of cosmic fantasy." She said, watching the thing rip a muffin man out of a shadows arm and bite a chunk out of its chest.

At the mention of finding Yuri and Grizzly she was brought back to considering the battle in front of them as a problem instead of a spectacle. "They're probably smart enough to head in the direction we're going. I'm surprised we haven't heard Grizz already, honestly. Maybe-"

He thoughts were interrupted as an orb of light shot up into the sky and exploded right near where the bakery was. "Looks like the beat us to it. No way we're getting through there on this. Time to run." She said, hopping off the scooter and grabbing her oar and a bottle of water from the sidecar. She popped the cap and doused the paddle to get a good layer of water started, then ran forward and jumped into the battle. Literally.

Luna took a flying leap and managed to land right on a shadows shoulders, bouncing off and onto the back of the dragon before sliding off its back and onto the street. Most of the muffin men and shadows seemed preoccupied by one another, but there were a couple of muffins that didn't have dance partners and one of those ran at woman with a raised rock-candy club. It brought the club down as Luna dove under it, the force of the blow shattering the asphalt of the street. It began to turn, but Luna had already swung her oar back. The whirling waters sliced through the muffin mans leg like a river through gingerbread and sent the man tumbling onto the street where it was an easy target for its shadowy opponents. Strangely enough the shadow men didn't seem too interested in living flesh though whether that was because the were friendly or their chosen prey was just tastier she couldn't know. Nevertheless, she kept an eye on them as she moved forward trusting Gou to keep up.

It was a relatively quick run, weaving between combatants and dealing with whatever muffin broke away to try its luck against them, until they turned a corner and stepped into a pile of moist muffiny sludge that made Luna regret that she wore sandals everywhere.

The whole street was like that though, covered in what could only be taken as muffin man viscera. Candy weapons lay in the street where they fell, and from out of the various buildings that lined the street fearful faces could be seen peeking out through the windows and glass doors. "Somebody was busy." Luna mused, impressed. She looked up the street and saw, at the end of it, a deep dark blob. That was the way to the bakery, so she pressed on in that direction.

As they approached the sounds of battle grew ever more loud and Luna realized that the dark blob was more of those shadow men. If what they had passed through to get here was a battle than this was full on war, a tide of shadows and muffins crashing against one another. In the middle of it, hard to make out from the rest due to his dark suit, seemed to be a man. Seemed to be, only because he had on a equally dark gas mask and looked to be commanding the shadows. "Yooooo!" Luna called as she began to run towards him and the battle he was evidently winning.
I'll see what I can do!

@Gentlemanvaultboy I'll be writing about them already reaching there if that's alright

Yeah, go ahead.
Luna threw the phone over to Gou as she dashed toward the other one, tilting her oar forward and driving it into the earth before using it to launch herself at the Muffin man. It looked cocky for a moment. Luna wasn't doing a flying kick or anything. In fact, she had her arms spread wide as though she intended to grapple it. She wasn't even flying towards it, she was too high. If the dessert monster did nothing she would just pass right over him, but why would it waste the opportunity to bat his opponent out of the air? It reared back with its candy cane lie it was pinch hitter about to knock one into the stratosphere.

He took no notice of the oar, or that the water that had been swirling around the paddle had vanished. He didn't see the wet distortion in the sand, the beach soil raising slightly as it did when water travels just under its top layer. It didn't notice when the distortion settled under his own feet. He did notice when it bucked.

There was a wet explosion under the muffin mans feet as the water suddenly rose to the surface and burst with enough force to throw him into the air. He flipped like a table, tumbling backwards with his arms flailing, and as his head looked down at the beach that's when Luna caught him. She wrapped her arms around his torso, held his arms wide with her legs and drove the muffin mans head right into the beach. "Wavebreaker Style: Flounder." She said, letting go and rolling backwards back onto her feet. It didn't feel right saying it after you did the move, but you didn't really have a choice when you were going for a sneak attack.

She turned around and flashed a peace sign to Gou. "And that's a wrap. Good hustle everybody." She said, but something was nagging at her. When she had gotten up close and personal with this thing the smell had been intoxicating. Intoxicating and familiar. She looked back down at the muffing man, still and half buried in the sand, and not caring at all how weird this might look reached down to his muffiny thigh and ripped off a piece before popping in in her mouth and thoughtfully chewing.

"I know this taste!" She declared as the emergency alert on her phone suddenly sounded in Gou's hand. "This is no space muffin, he was baked on earth. Come on, we got to get to the Seashell Bakery." She sprinted back down the beach, grabbing her oar on the way as she headed for her scooter. When Gou followed, they'd zoom off toward the city.

Word Count: 675

Level 5 - (53/50) + 1

Location: The Bottomless Sea ~ The Maw

Link bent down and wrapped his hands around the handle jutting up from the floor, the object hemmed in on all sides by shoes, baggage, and general junk. He pulled with all his might, putting in all the power his small arms and knees had, and after a few seconds the thing dislodged from the floor with enough force to throw shoes into the air and send him tumbling over onto his back.

He looked over his prize, a an badminton racket. Of course, he didn't know what this thing was. What he did know is that Peach hit people with something that looked like this during the tournament.

He stood up, fitting the racket into his belt. He had a belt now. It was part of a very smart looking uniform. A blue and white tabard, some sturdy leather boots and gloves, no actual bits of metal armor but that was fine. It just made it easier to move around in. All in all, a pretty good set of clothing. Too bad it was just too small for him. Well, under normal circumstances it would be.

He looked back down at his tiny, tiny hands and sighed. This was not a trick he had ever expected The Maw to pull on them. They might have been able to avoid it if they had come in careful and quiet, maybe, but that hadn't been an option once that thing had risen up out of the depths. No one had to tell Link to start running, you always got out of dodge when a machines eyes started glowing red. He had half expected it to start laser barraging them as they went. He was so glad Shippy had taken off before that monster had appeared. He hoped she made it back safe.

As everyone had started to wake up and take stock of their predicament Link's first instinct had been to acquire some sort of weapon, even if it probably would do any good against the monsters that had done this to them. Those things had been bigger than them when they were still adults, after all. It was more that he had never felt more naked in his life, even when he had actually been mostly naked. His equipment was gone, his slate was gone, and as he flexed his arms he could feel a loss that, after experiencing it twice before, was excruciatingly familiar.

He pulled out the racket again, giving it a couple of practice swings and doing a few side hops across the uneven ground. "Hya, hyu, hyaaaa! Hup, hup, hup." At the very least he was still a swordsman. A weaker swordsman, but a swordsman all the same. He guessed he had his dad to thank for that, getting him started on it super early. It was a disappointment that this transformation hadn't put any old memories in his head. He would have been thrilled to know what the mans face looked like, at least. What else might he still have access too? "Cia?" He whispered, kind of dreading the idea that the woman would appear still fully grown. Adult or otherwise, though, the woman hadn't appeared.

This wasn't much to work with.

It seemed like he had more to work with than, say, Sakura who seemed convinced that they were all going to be eaten by monster. "Hey, we're not going to be eaten by monsters!" He called over. "Not if we're careful." He gave another confident swing of the racket. "Besides, I'll get 'em with this! I've seen Peach send Bowser flying with one of these."

Speaking of Peach, Link looked around for some kind of vantage point. Spotting an old cupboard sticking out of the debris and jumped up and scrambled up the shelves like a ladder until he reached the top and started looking around for both the others or an exit. "Are we all here?" He called out. "Speak up if you haven't! If you were one of those fat people we're not gonna hurt you."
If it helps all my lore was just stuff I made up on the spot.
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