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“…terrible tragedy in the southern country of Dreamland yesterday as the now universal threat called the Dark matter invaded the land and threatened the inhabitants of the island. Reports and witnesses say that the Dark matter made their way in through the land’s castle, but our reporters have yet to speak with Dreamland’s monarch, King Dedede. Unfortunately, there has been a victim from this invasion, the Star Warrior known as Sir Meta Knight. From the information we currently have in hand, Sir Meta Knight might have had a larger role in the fight against the Dark matter, presumably having defended the whole planet for as many as five years or more. Our reporters have spoken to many of the locals, and-”

Tokkori pressed a claw on the remote’s mute button, silencing the news report from another country. The little bird looked behind from his perch on the edge of the bed, at Kirby who was laying on his side under the covers. Tokkori for once didn’t talk and turned back to the images of the villagers talking about what had happened the day before. He wasn’t usually good with words, he liked to say what he was thinking, but even now, he didn’t know what to think. Kirby had destroyed hundreds of demon-beasts in the past, but now, this was a… a real death, a sentient person, Sir Meta Knight no less! Was this a murder? Or a simple accident? Of course it’s an accident, he thought angrily. Tokkori didn’t know much about Meta Knight, but he did knew that Kirby had looked up to him. After all, the bird thought, the guy was the only one from the same species as the pink puffball on this whole planet. It was no wonder they’d be friends eventually!
However now… The bird turned once more to look at him, opening his beak as if to say something, but stopped. He wanted so much to just peck him until he said something, until he moved, but he had never seen Kirby like this and, frankly, after seeing him covered in blood the day before, he didn’t know what he would do to him. Finally, Tokkori decided to speak.

“Oy. Kirby.”

Silence answered him, but he expected it.

“Are you really going to stay in bed?”

Silence.

“You haven’t even eaten anything today. You’re gonna be sick, pal, unless you already are. Are you?”



“Maybe you’re just dead and I’m talking to a corpse. That’s a morbid thought.”

“Shut up, Tokkori.”

The bird flapped his wings and tapped his claws on the wooden end of the bed.

“The mute speaks!” he laughed for a short moment, even though he knew it wasn’t even funny.

As Kirby groaned, as if having just woken up, the bird flew over his head and perched on the bed’s other end, close enough to peck him if need be.

“Hey, listen Kirb… I’m sorry I’ve always been a, uh, jerk and all… I mean, yeah, you stole my nest, but you basically saved us a thousand times. I don’t know why I’m like that, I’ve always been like that. Guess I wasn’t used to living with somebody else. You listenin’?”

There was a silence, but Kirby nodded his head, surprising Tokkori. Was it the lack of sleep that made him honest, or was it some sort of guilt of seeing the guy he always called dumb and stupid sprawled on the bed in grief? Nevertheless, considering that this Arthur guy said Kirby would come with them to the Agency, he thought it was a good enough time to say these things.

“So… Yeah. Sorry ‘bout everything.”

“…Thanks, Tok… Really.”

Tokkori couldn’t help but smile, but it quickly vanished when someone knocked on the door. Squinting his eyes, he turned to the entrance.

“Who is it?” he called, annoyed.

“A friend of Kirby’s! I was told he was here. You in there, Kirby?”

Kirby stirred, his eyes widening. This voice… He jumped out of bed, almost pushing the bird back with the covers, and ran over to the door to push it open. There stood his old friend, whom he had not seen in such a long time he barely recognized him.

“Joe!”


Blade sighed silently as he looked through Sir Meta Knight’s things. Sword wouldn’t do it; his brother took it harder, with more anger than sadness. Blade was better to hold himself back, especially when he needed to look here. He found many documents and papers on the desk where he used to work. He had spent so many nights here when they were building the Halberd, designing and thinking. Blade never found the blueprints he knew his lord had kept, but he didn’t care much about it now. Among these documents were many unsent letters, each to many people… both dead and alive. Some of these names Blade didn’t recognize, others he knew had been friends of his lord in the war, and the rest were either here or away, he and his brother, Sir Arthur, Fumu, Kirby, so many letters… On top of the pile of envelops, there was a note written in neat curved lines.

Memories of times past, messages for the future, for all those who cared. Let these words reach their destinations when I return to the stars.

Blade rubbed his tired eyes before taking the pile of letters and bringing them out of the room and into the main apartment. These had probably been written during the last weeks or even days. Sir Meta Knight had seen his death… This simple thought brought shivers up his spine but still he walked up to the table and set them so all the names could be seen. Some of the envelops definitely contained small objects, giving them larger sizes, but it was hard to say what some of these were. Even the one adressed to him and his brother contained something. Even if he wanted to see for himself, he decided against it and waited for Sword to come back from wherever he had gone to. As the words from the note repeated themselves in his mind, Sir Arthur walked into the apartment. He had been to have a nice talk with King Dedede, and Blade didn’t doubt that his words had been harsh. He stood up from his chair and saluted him, Arthur nodding back before noticing all the envelops on the table.

“What is all this?” he asked as he walked up to look at them himself.

“I found those letters on his desk, Sir. There was this note with them,” he answered, handing him the piece of paper. “He must’ve written them some time ago, or maybe over the years. It’s the first time I see them.”

Sir Arthur looked through them all, freezing on some names he remembered and nodding his head.

“I see. Knuckle Joe has arrived, at least. He has a letter as well.”


Sword was sitting by the sea, in complete silence. He looked out and listened to the calm waves, trying to relax. But alas, it was in vain, for he could only think of the day before. Azure was laying on the grass next to him, head in his lap. Sword was scratching his neck near his collar in an almost mechanical manner; the Wolfwrath had howled at the sea all night, calling out to its lost master in vain. If Sword had not been convinced at first that a demon-beast could be… loving like this, toward someone else, now he was. Maybe that Wolfwrath had been like he and Blade; maybe it had seen Meta Knight as a father, as someone it could rely on and someone that would care when others were gone. As far as Sword knew, the wolf was an orphan. Neither its mother or anything like it had been seen around the village or even in the forest. But if Sir Meta Knight didn’t bother with the questions, neither would he. And that was why Sword wasn’t against keeping the pup with them. After all, it was one living thing that his lord had held dear, even for a short time.
The Wolfwrath lifted its head a bit when someone approached and Sword recognized those steps as Blade’s. His brother sat down next to him, sighing deeply.

“Here.”

Sword turned his head when his little brother put something in his hand; an envelop.

“What is that?” he asked, letting Azure sniff the letter curiously.

“It’s from Sir Meta Knight. It’s for both of us it seems. I figured you should open it, considering I found it,” Blade answered as his elder brother eyed their names written in that familiar writing. “There were a whole bunch of letters, Sir Arthur said he would bring the rest to the others.”

And thus, in a common agreement, Blade watched as Sword carefully opened the envelop. Before the papers containing the message could be taken out, a small object fell out of it into his hand; a key. Handing it to Blade who looked at it closer, Sword went back to the letter and unfolded it, clearing his throat to read it outloud.

My fellow companions, Sword and Blade,
I have been thinking too much lately, and thoughts of my possible death have occurred to me more than once. As I taught you, a man should trust his instincts, and thus here I am, writing this letter which I did not think I would be writing so soon. I will not say that I hope you never read this, for if you do, it means that I have fulfilled my destiny as a Star Warrior. These times are hard. Even as I write, the Dark matter are chanting in my mind, the same tune I never want you to hear. Whatever happens, there is one thing I must ask of you both. Remain together.

Sword paused here, feeling his throat blocking with a burning lump. Swallowing it down with a grimace, he continued reading, under Blade’s silent gaze and open ears.

It is together that you two have survived in the past, and it is together that you will survive the future. There is simply so much you can do as a team, and I have seen firsthand what you already did. You two have grown from hungry robbers into honorable warriors skilled in the arts of chivalry. I will not lie; suddenly finding myself with two growing teens like you was at first the weirdest experience in my life. Even Jecra’s demon soup with mashed mushrooms was less weird than that.

Blade chuckled, and Sword saw him rub his eyes with his sleeve. Himself could not help that smile from sticking to his face. Even Azure’s bright eyes were fixed on him, as if understanding the words he was reading.

But, I came to see it as the happiest days of my existence. After I had lost all of my friends and family to this war that took so much from me, your arrival into my life that I had thought to be meaningless had brought a spark of light that shines even brighter today. Words are not enough to thank  you properly. I will place a key with this letter. There is a box in the nightstand next to my bed. What you will find inside, you may do with as you please. You may accept it or refuse it, but they are yours. To see you two come this far, I am not ashamed to say I feel like a father looking at his two maturing sons. Sir Sword Knight… and Sir Blade Knight…

The two brothers stared at each other for the longest time, their glances going back and forth from the key to the letter.

“S… Sir? Does that mean…?”

“I… I don’t know…”

Sir Sword Knight and Sir Blade Knight. By this letter, let it be known that you both are, officially, Knights in your own rights. You are not bound to any leader unless you choose one, and you will have full responsibility of the apprentices you take, such as Bun. I have no doubt that you have been waiting for this to happen, and I apologize if this comes at such a time. I should have given them to you sooner. Please accept the contents of the box as tokens of my appreciation for all that you did. I owe you my life, in more ways than you imagine.
I will watch over you from my place among the stars.
Sir Meta Knight

Sword felt his arms go numb as they plumped back down with the letter, blinking those silent tears out of his eyes. Next to him, Blade looked at the key.

“Knights…,” he whispered. “We’re knights… We’re not apprentices anymore…”

“L… Let’s go open that box.”

They both stood up, but as Sword was folding the letter and putting it back in the envelop, Blade spoke.

“Sword…”

The knight only had to look at him to know. They pulled each other in a brotherly hug that they both needed, and Sword felt once again his eyes water as he patted his brother on the back. Letting go, they gathered their wits and left toward the castle, to find what Sir Meta Knight had left for them.


Kirby stared blankly at the letter Sir Arthur had just given him. There was his name, in cursive writing. The emerald-skinned knight stood in front of him, with a rather taller Knuckle Joe next to him, both waiting for him to open it. Swallowing the lump in his mouth, he carefully tore it open. His eyes weren’t used to the curved alphabet, but after a few words the sentences flew past like a stream’s flow.

My dear friend Kirby,
There are many things that I have never said, and some things will surely be left unsaid, for a single letter is not enough to say all that needs to be said. I know I do not have long to live anymore. No matter the way I leave, I want to make sure you are ready to face what the world will put in your way.
When I was young, I was already called the universe’s last hope. Because people thought I was the last Star Warrior to have been born with Copy abilities, much like yours, the very same in fact. I once had the same abilities you have today. This is why I decided to train you, because I knew just what each ability needed to activate. I once had the burden to carry these abilities until I was ready to face Nightmare. But, it seems fate had something else in store for me, and my abilities were taken from me in a most gruesome manner I will not bother to describe to you. I thought I had wasted this one chance. I thought I had failed as a Star Warrior. And then, you arrived. When I first saw you, in this stinky hut near the sheep’s pens, I thought I was having hallucinations. I watched you grow, I tested you, I tried to protect you. There are so many things I would like to apologize about. Some would say that I often acted cold-hearted with you or the villagers whenever something happened. I know I did, and I would like to first apologize about this. I tried to be like this so I wouldn’t get attached to either you or anyone else. That was foolish on my part, and I realize it more and more as you grow.
Despite all my efforts, you came to me by yourself, and I found how much you reminded me of myself when I was your age, of what I used to be. And I thank you for it all. Remember, Kirby, that there are things or persons in life that will make you believe you are not worth anything. It is up to you to step above it all, to do what I couldn’t. I know for a fact that you have this strength in you. Of course, if you are reading this, then it means that I am gone. Like I said before, it doesn’t matter the way I leave. I am happy with the life I lived, and most of all, I am happy that I was able to see you grow into the young man you have already become. There was no greater honor than to be your teacher and friend, Kirby. I have no doubt that you will prevail against all the events and trials that fate will place in your path.
There is only so much I can do to help you. All I can do is name you the new wielder of Galaxia. With the natural skills you have with the sword, she will be of great use to you. I would also like you to have something that is most precious for me. I have hidden it, a very long time ago, inside Kabu. Search for a hidden space near the pedestal where your Warp Star rests. Take good care of it for me, and it will accept you. Consider this my heritage.
Do not stay alone, Kirby. Whatever you may think, no matter the number of enemies you may face, your allies will be your best defence in these times. I am certain that one day, we will meet again, Kirby of the Stars.
Live happily, my friend.
Sir Meta Knight

It took him a long time to look away from the letter, and he only realized he had been crying when he saw Arthur hand him a handkerchief. The chief wasn’t wearing the bottom half of his helmet, and Kirby could see a sympathetic smile on his face. He took it, muttering a thank you, and he dried his tears tiredly before folding the letter. He looked up at his friend and saw that Joe was holding an envelop too, but it was still closed. He gestured toward it.

“You’re… not reading yours?”

Knuckle Joe shook his head, fingers playing with the paper.

“Nah, I’ll read it later. It’s the kind of stuff I want to read by myself, if you know what I mean. Did he tell you anything particularly incomprehensible? He’s pretty good at that.”

“Well, not really incomprehensible, but…” He looked up at Sir Arthur with a confused look. “He said that I’m Galaxia’s new owner, but…”

Arthur blinked and nodded his head slowly, placing a hand on his hip.

“Ah, I see… I am afraid there isn’t much we can do about that. Unless we find his body, we may not find Galaxia ever again.”

Kirby dropped his head for a few seconds, breathing in to keep a calm attitude even though his heart was aching like hell.

“There’s also…,” he started, before looking up. “He said something about a thing for me that was hidden inside Kabu… I don’t know what it was.”

“Inside Kabu?” the leader repeated. “Is this where your Warp Star is?”

Kirby nodded, but turned his head when he heard knuckles cracking.

“What are we waiting for, then?” Knuckle Joe said, already turning to go on the road. “Let’s go see what it is!”

Kirby and the elder Star Warrior followed close behind, and it was only a matter of time before they arrived into the canyon. As they approached the giant stone, they saw the familiar shape of Fumu, sitting on one of the producing blocks scattered around the place. With her elbows on her knees, chin in her palms, she was staring ahead at practically nothing. Kirby walked ahead of the others and came up to her, still holding the envelop close. The young woman looked up and smiled at him, straightening up.

“Hey Fumu,” he greeted. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh, nothing, really. Just thinking, is all,” she answered softly, looking up at Knuckle Joe and Sir Arthur in surprise. “Joe! So you’re heard then…”

Kirby immediately detached himself from the conversation and turned to the silent stone guardian. He walked up the steps that led beyond the fiery altar and didn’t hesitate to slide in through the opening. The moment he set his eyes on the Warp Star, resting on its pedestal, he somehow felt better, warmer. As he walked down the stairs, the closer he came to his star, the warmer he felt, and when he put his hand on it, it felt like he was touching his own heart. For a moment, he stayed there, thinking that if he kept the star with him, he may go through his grief better. He was brought back to the present when the others came inside the chamber.

“Aah, your Warp Star,” Arthur sighed as he walked up to it to look at it with a soft smile. “It has been so long since I have seen one in such good shape.”

“Are there many Warp Stars out there?” he asked curiously.

“No, not at all. Only Star Warriors with your powers are born with them.”

Before Kirby could think this through, Knuckle Joe spoke up, his voice echoing in the chamber loudly:

“Oy, did Meta Knight say where he hid the thing? There isn’t much space to look around, it’s just one room.”

Kirby had to agree to that…

“No, he didn’t… He just said he hid it here a long time ago, near the pedestal, but….”

It was at this moment that Kabu’s booming voice echoed much louder than the fighter’s own voice, taking them by surprise.

“Kabu remembers. Kabu allowed Sir Meta Knight to hide an object here. It was the day he arrived on this star.”

“Do you know where he hid it?” Fumu asked to the omnipresent entity, who took a moment to answer.

“Sir Meta Knight hid it under the altar of the Warp Star. He asked me to keep it here, and Kabu has protected it.”

“Under the altar…?”

Fumu looked down at the others, and both Sir Arthur and Knuckle Joe went to work. There was one stone between the supporting blocks, and by tearing away some vines and moss that had grown there, they were able to find a small space on both sides of the stone, as if to squeeze a finger through. By doing that, they each pulled their own side, and with some force, were able to pull off the stone slab that was surprisingly thinner than expected. As they set it aside, Kirby and Fumu leaned in to take a look inside. In the center of a small space filled with dust and old cobwebs was a small, blue box that seemed so familiar it hurt.

“Is that…?” Fumu started, unable to finish.

Kirby stepped closer and whisked at the cobwebs, scaring away whatever insects might have been crawling in there, and leaned in to take the box from its socket. He held in his hand so all could see and Arthur smiled brightly.

“Ah, I knew that was what he wanted to give you.”

Without more questions, Kirby opened it. He thought he was hallucinating at first, but it really was it. It was a Warp Star, blue in color, soft in shade and bright in light. Mouth open in shock, Kirby took it out to look at it from other angles, his eyes reflecting the blue star’s light.

“Holy-! A Warp Star! Now that’s fancy!” Knuckle Joe exclaimed, bringing back the smile on Kirby’s face. “Two Warp Stars for one Star Warrior? Imagine all the power!”

“B-but I can’t use it, can I? I mean, it’s not mine…”

He looked up at Sir Arthur, hoping he had the answer, but the knight shook his head.

“I only know so much about Warp Stars, Kirby. If Meta Knight really cared about you, his Warp Star might listen to you, like yours listens to Miss Fumu.”

Kirby looked down again at the blue star in his hand; it was warm, like his was, and had so much energy flowing through its surface it tingled his hands. Maybe, just maybe, it was true…


That night, Kirby sat on the balcony of the Parm family’s apartment. Bun was sitting not far from him, lost in his mind. Their things were already packed and ready; all they needed to do now was wait. Kirby was holding the blue star in his hands, but he was staring at the sky. Since the Dark matter clouds had dispersed, the stars were visible once again, thousands of tiny dots of light on a beautiful deep blue sky. Not a cloud in sight. Out here, on the balcony, they both could hear a tune coming from another open balcony, from the Knights’ tower. It was a music they both knew well, some classic orchestra with opera singing in an unknown tongue. Kirby had heard it a few times in his life when he had walked into their apartment to see the blue knight. He remembered the old gramophone, sitting in a corner, with enchanting songs coming out of it from time to time. It was the same for Bun, who had got to spend a lot of time in that apartment of theirs as well. They knew that the two knights now living alone there were playing these songs as a tribute; wherever the dead went, the concerned would certainly enjoy his favorite songs.
As they rested and mentally prepared themselves for the long journey ahead, the doors of the balcony behind them opened and the tingling sound of glass tapping filled the air. They both turned to Galacta Knight, who walked up to them with three glasses of wine in his hands. He handed one to Bun, then one to Kirby, who hesitated.

“Nah, for you Fumu gave me grape juice. You don’t stand alcohol too well, apparently?” he said nonchalantly as Kirby took the glass.

“Not really,” he answered, watching him go sit on the balcony’s edge. “The taste isn’t my cup of tea either anyway. Too bitter.”

“You probably got some cheap wine, then. If you could taste the wine from my home, ha! Now that is some good stuff! The wine’s not bad here too, that Samo guy knows his stuff. What do you think Bun?”

“M-well, I think Samo is better in cocktails. He knows a whole bunch of awesome recipes. I admit the wine Kirby drank wasn’t all that good, it did have a weird taste. You hear that, Kirby?”

“Meh, maybe I’ll try again some other time. Grape juice’s just fine right now.”

“Your call, kiddo,” Galacta said to conclude this conversation.

There was a moment of comfortable silence between the three men, which was filled with the distant music from the tower next to them. Eventually, Galacta shifted his wings and chuckled.

“I didn’t know he liked this stuff,” he commented, referring to the music. “Although I’m not surprised.”

“Why?” Bun asked.

“When we were kids, Meta was always the silent kid in the corner lost in his thoughts, floating on his own little cloud. I don’t picture him listening to another kind of music. Fits him.”

“You two really grew up together?” Kirby asked this time, simply curious to hear more.

“Yup,” the knight answered nodding his head. “Knew him since he was just a wee lad. His mother is my aunt, and our family was kinda important because of its size and its not-dead members of a rather young age. It goes without saying that Meta was important by himself, what with his Copy abilities and all.”

“How did he lose them?”

Galacta paused here, before rubbing his nose.

“Go on, Galacta,” said a new voice from above, making them all raise their head.

On the tower next to theirs, Knuckle Joe was leaning over the railing, his own glass of alcohol in hand. The music was still playing from behind him, and Azure’s head was poking out of the railing to look at them, but the fighter had good enough ears to hear what they were talking about. The winged knight grunted, looking away.

“Come on,” the fighter said. “It’ll make you feel better.”

“I don’t think so, but it seems you’re not going to let go of me about it.”

“Does it have anything to do with Meta Knight holding a grudge against you?” Bun brought up, making the knight turn with a questioning look.

“Was it really that obvious that he hated me…?”

“Well, from what I’ve heard from Sword and Blade, it was weird. But yeah, he wasn’t hiding it apparently.”

Galacta Knight sighed deeply.

“Ain’t that just swell. Good thing I made up for it in the end…”

“So, what happened?” came Knuckle Joe’s voice from above.

“Oh, for stars’ sakes, just shut it! I’m thinking ‘bout where to start!”

Kirby couldn’t stop that chuckle as his friend up there raised his arms in an innocent way. Finally, Galacta sighed.

“It happened during a particularly heated battle on a shitty planet that for some reason that doesn’t concern me was important for the GSA to take back. I was doing my job, killing one demon-beast after another, but the bastards just kept coming. I saw a group of particularly large demons out the corner of my eye, and I decided to be smart and throw a grenade at them. Thing is, I’m just a stupid asshole that didn’t take the time to look properly and thus didn’t see that my only cousin that I held so dear was just standing there, about to inhale a special ability that I’m sure would’ve gotten rid of all of them. You know how inhaling works. Everything that comes in front gets sucked in, and a grenade is light. And then, uh…”

He paused here, taking a deep breath. Kirby saw his hands shake as he took a few gulps from his glass.

“The grenade exploded before it got inhaled. In his face. Or even in his mouth I think.”

He paused again, letting it all sink in, more for him than the others, and he sighed again.

“It was an accident, but I still held myself responsible for all its consequences. I had watched him bleeding in the mud, his face torn in impossible ways. Even when he was brought at the hospital at the HQ, the medics were saying he was beyond saving his wounds were so great. He was blinded, he couldn’t eat, couldn’t talk, couldn’t move, and I’m not talking about all the blood he lost. All thanks to this asshole here. And what did I do, thinking I was the cause of the death of the universe’s last hope to defeat Nightmare? I ran away like a stupid coward and thus started my happy mercenary days of flying across space in hopes of finding food and money for weird jobs. Hurray.”

Without waiting for any sort of answer, the knight stood up on the railing, and Kirby feared he would fall off, for he didn’t seem to be balanced on his feet. He didn’t know how many cups of wine he had drank before coming to them after all… Galacta Knight turned to him and pointed to the star in his hands.

“That thing, I remember him holding onto it like it was his life. You’d better do the same, you hear me?”

Kirby nodded, assuring that he would. He knew he would, without anyone having to tell him that.

“You two are coming to the Agency, right?” Knuckle Joe asked from up there, directing his question to Bun and Kirby.

“Yeah,” Bun answered, “our things are packed and ready. We’re leaving tomorrow with you guys.”

“Well then,” Galacta said, holding up his glass. “One last toast! To my cousin! To our freedom!”

“To our freedom!”

All raised their glasses, and drank.
Kirby looked down at the blue star in hand. Words appeared in his mind when he looked at it, as if it spoke to him in complete silence.

“To this new age.”
A New Age chap 11
This might be the last one for a while. I recommend reading this on my ffn page, I feel it reads better there than here, especially since I understand more how text works on ffn. I don't know, it feels weird here. Hope you enjoy!

www.fanfiction.net/u/2458442/W…

(copy and paste)
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Meta Knight was already standing in front of the throne room’s doors. His mind was set. Should it fail, he knew what to do. It was a high risk, but he was willing to do it, for there was no other possible way. He was already basking in the darkness; all there was next to do was to drown in it… but not yet. Not. Yet. Not before at least Dreamland was secure. The Dark matter wanted this place, this light, this happiness, so badly it hurt… It was with this in mind that he silently approached the doors and creaked one open, just enough to take a look inside. The throne room was empty; not even the Waddle Dees wanted, or dared, to go in here. Meta Knight had stopped altogether, for the king didn’t want his reports on anything anymore other than how much his guard dog had improved, and now that the doors were open, he could feel a sinister air about this room, like there was something pushing him back. He squinted his eyes. The lights of the room were closed, surprisingly. They usually were closed only at night, then again, only when the king was asleep, which would be rare lately…
Meta Knight, on his guard, quickly slid inside the room and went to hide in the shadows behind the columns. He knew he wasn’t alone here, there was this presence, on his left, on his right, behind, above, below… He remained perfectly calm however, for it was made to unnerve him, to make him panic. The Dark matter were cunning in their own art of manipulating the mind, but he was a Star Warrior! He wouldn’t fall to such trickery from cowardly foes. Wrapped in his comforting cape, he walked along the right wall of the room toward the throne, his eyes focused on all the details that might seem off. The silence was total, almost unnatural. Once he was in front of the large golden chair with crimson cushions, he observed the buttons on its side and clicked on a particular one. While he almost expected it to do nothing, as usual since many years now, there was a sound that took him by surprise and he whirled around to stare at the ground as the delivery system of Holy Nightmare Corporation opened before his eyes. The floor opened in a large circle as both the screens thought to be broken appeared from behind the walls on both sides of the throne, and the circular machine rose up from the ground. Meta Knight’s heart stopped for a few seconds. This was a brand new machine, it even seemed different from the previous model, improved in both design and probably efficiency.
The knight walked toward the machine, his right hand silently moving to Galaxia’s hilt. Even though he had to admit he wondered where this machine would take him should he find the way to activate it, it had to be destroyed before anything came out of it. However, before he could even slide Galaxia out of her sheath, he looked up, beyond the machine. The doors had opened and the light of the hallway poured in the throne room. Walking to the side of the machine, finding no more reason to hide, Meta Knight faced Dedede, whose red eyes shone brightly on a face darkened by the windows behind him. He was holding his large hammer against a shoulder, and while the real Dedede would have had a smug grin, content with his plan, the beings controlling him now placed a scowl across his zig-zaging beak. His feet were heavy as they slowly walked forward on the red carpet, slowly shortening the distance between them one step at a time.

“So,” the possessed king spoke with a voice deeper and darker than he remembered. “T’was about time you caught up, but we ain’t complainin’, considerin’ you gave us the time to finish.”

“You won’t summon any more Dark matter here, demons,” were Meta Knight’s harsh words. “Whatever you want from Dreamland, you will not take it.”

“Oh, but we’re almost done taking what we want!” Dedede smiled widely. “It’s a waste of precious time to go against us, Meta Knight. Why not finally letting yourself go? We know you’re waiting for that to happen.”

Without a word, Galaxia was unsheathed and her holy light pierced the darkness of the throne room for a few seconds as she formed her sharp blade, whose end lifted toward Dedede menacingly. The Dark matter controlling the king lost their smile at this gesture and they responded by leaking their dark aura around their host, as if to show how much of a mistake it was to challenge them. Meta Knight didn’t let that impress him and stood in a battle stance, both hands holding his sacred weapon.

“So you’ve made your decision, Meta Knight,” spoke a new voice that took him by surprise.

He whirled his head around and looked at the screen in the wall, where he had seen the Customer Service from Nightmare’s company so many times he almost expected to see him. But instead, there was the same description of the person Escargon spoke about and, like him, he couldn’t see who it was except for two glowing yellow eyes and gloved hands joined in front of him. The person’s voice was more lively than he had thought.

“So be it,” the voice said. “Dark matter! Now’s the time. Take your new body!”

Meta Knight turned again when his instincts saw movement to his side and he jumped back just in time to dodge the hammer as it landed where he had stood. How fast! Of course, he told himself as he stood once more ready to defend himself, the Dark matter had strengthened the king’s skills. He would certainly be a worthy foe!
Dedede did not hesitate to swing his hammer again and Meta Knight could only jumped to the side ducking and keep dodging. His attacks were surprisingly quick as the penguin rammed and hit. Each time the hammer slammed and missed its shot, it broke the floor under it and ruined the throne room even more. Meta Knight ducked under one horizontal swing and the missed shot sent the hammer too far to the side, leaving an opening the knight used without hesitating. He slashed Galaxia at the shadows erupting around the king and her light made him flinch and jump back, leaving a distance between them. They stood in front of each other again for a few seconds before Dedede attempted a new attack, growling in anger. Already the shadows around him were dwindling and Meta Knight continued evading each attack as best as his tired mind could.
All it took was one hit. Meta Knight jumped high enough to dodge the hammer, which landed directly below him, and he used it to jump again, this time toward Dedede. The king screamed when Galaxia’s light slashed across the darkness possessing him, shredding a part of his robes, but Meta Knight didn’t pierce his flesh. The aura disappeared in a second when the smaller knight landed a foot behind him, but the Dark matter’s anger was great. It took them a brief instant to spin around with the hammer; this time, this one hit reached its destination. The hammer collided with the knight directly in the face and a cracking sound was heard as he was sent flying back. However, as the knight flew across the room at tremendous speed, his body limp, there was a sudden flash of light and static as he passed above the delivery system. In this brief moment, even the king had to shield his eyes. And in an instant, the light was gone, and so was Meta Knight.
In the screen, the two glowing yellow eyes were shining with delight.

“Perfect! Magnificent! You did wonderfully!”

It was at this moment that a large group of Waddle Dees stormed in through the doors, but they all stopped and rammed into each other when they saw Dedede surrounded by this aura, however smaller it had become. Even they were scared of their king, but they couldn’t have ignored the cries of war coming from the throne room. Captain Waddle Doo pushed his way through the crowd and stood in front of his soldiers, sword drawn.

“Your Majesty!” he called with his squeaky voice. “We heard all the noise and… Is that Sir Meta Knight’s cape?”

The said cloth had been detached from the missing Captain of the royal guard, and now laid teared up on the ground near the transporter. They had seen this color so many times for so long that they could only recognize it when they saw it. The king slowly turned to look at them, and the Waddle Dees all backed away again when his red eyes stared at them.

“Y… Your Majesty?” Waddle Doo squeaked, a cold sweat running down his face. “Are you alright…?”

“He’s up and ready to blow!” called a happy voice from the screen farther behind their king. “It’s a metaphor. He’s not going to, you know, blow up… Ahrem. I’m sending him back, be quick about it and join the others.”

The lights from the machine went on again and flashed brightly, scaring the Waddle Dees who expected to see a huge demon-beast come out at any given moment. The only thing that stood there when the lights left however, was Meta Knight.

“Sir Meta Knight!” Waddle Doo called out to him. “What’s happening here! What are our orders?!”

The round Captain of the guard stood there for the longest time, letting the static around his body calm and eventually disappear. His eyes were closed, his head forward as if limp, and the darkness of the room only allowed to see so much. However, there was clearly a rather large crack in his mask, going all across the metal armor. Then, his breathing came to them, raspy and sudden, as if he had been holding his breath. His eyes opened, golden and bright, and they lifted to them.

“G… Go the village… Protect everyone, not only the king, but also… the villagers, the residents… of the castle, all of them… Am I clear?...”

“Y-yes Sir!” Waddle Doo saluted. “Are we to follow you into battle?”

“No… Not anymore… I’m afraid… I am sorry… truly…”

What happened next caught the captain of the dees by surprise and made him drop his sword. King Dedede gasped suddenly and his body became stiff as a stick. A large cloud of pure blackness suddenly erupted from inside him, like a huge entity leaving a puppet. The king fell on his backside and on his back, while the darkness formed into a lone misty ball. A large eye suddenly opened on the ball and blinked at them, before turning to Meta Knight and making a straight line for him. The knight didn’t even fight back; the shadow merged in him and pushed him back a few staggering steps, choking his breath again.
Waddle Doo looked down at his king when he lifted himself on his elbows, groaning like he usually did.

“Ugh, my head… What the…? Meta Knight? H-hey!”

“Your Majesty!” the small captain called, running up to him while his soldiers spread out around him to protect him like a small barrier. “We have to leave immediately! Those are Sir Meta Knight’s orders!”

“Hey, wait a moment!” Dedede protested as he stood back up on his large feet. “Meta Knight! You ain’t possessed by those things, right?! You’re supposed to fight them back, right?”

His royal knight didn’t answer him, facing the side with his eyes closed and invisible, and for once, Dedede understood the silent message and expressed his dread as he backed away slowly.

“Uh,” he hesitated, headed for the door, “we’re gonna leave now. Uh… Good luck with that!”

Grabbing his hammer, King Dedede left the throne room with his small army of Waddle Dees, leaving Meta Knight alone, in the darkness, his eyes switching colors between freed golden and imprisoned red…


Kirby inhaled his whole plate, feeling more hungry than ever. The others sitting at the table around him kept talking and talking about his new ability and those that would follow, having their own fun in imagining what they would be like. Even though he had no idea what this ability was called, he was sure he would find it out sooner or later. After all, Meta Knight did say that he would find more and more abilities from now on. There could be thousands of abilities hidden in all objects and combinations! What a blast!

“So, Kirby,” Iroo started when the other’s voices had calmed, yet still excited. “Are you still going to train today?”

“Maybe you’ll find another ability!” Honey added, always agreeing with the young cappy.

“I guess I could go for more,” he answered, eating a cookie whole in one bite. “There’s still time I think… What time is it?”

“About five,” Hohhe answered after a quick look at the clock. “There’s definitively still time before dinner.”

“Then let’s go!” Bun stood up quickly, almost making his chair fall backward. “Besides, my break’s almost over. Gotta go find the others.”

Before they could even leave the money for Kawasaki, they heard noise outside, and they weren’t the only ones; everyone present in the restaurant looked up and turned to the exit, where some people even gathered to take a curious look. There were howls and yapping barks outside, followed by many people asking questions and talking among themselves, like a large crowd was forming. Bun was the first to head to the door, followed by Kirby and his friends, and they all went outside, pushing their way through the crowd. What was happening was that Escargon had ran down from the castle’s hill to the village non-stop, escorted by Azure no less. The snail was now panting in the central square at the end of the main street, surrounded by a crowd of quite confused cappies as to why he was here in this state.

“Where…,” Escargon breathed, looking up. “Where’s Galacta Knight?”

As people looked around and tried to spot the winged knight, Kirby did not say a word and his eyes traveled to the castle. For some reason he couldn’t put his hand on, he felt strange, almost scared. His heartbeat quickened and he felt light headed for a few seconds. As a habit when he felt this way, he looked around for Fumu, but saw her in front of the crowd talking to Escargon, trying to get answers.

“We can’t hear anything from here,” Iroo muttered, close enough so Kirby could hear it.

“Let’s get closer then,” was Bun’s response as he started pushing his way again.

They followed suite behind him and slowly crept closer, but the closeness of people in the middle of the crowd almost made Kirby sick. Luckily, they reached the front of the crowd in a minute and Kirby could finally stand with Fumu’s reassuring presence. She turned her gaze to him and blinked, worry stretching across her face.

“Is everything alright?” she whispered to him, to which he only shook his head.

“It’s okay. I’m sure it’s nothing,” he said. “What’s going on?”

“Escargon says there’s something going wrong in the castle, but he has to talk to Sir Galacta. He’d better be here soon…”

As if her words had echoed far off, the familiar shadow of the knight passed before them and the crowd looked up to see him land not too far away. The cappies made way for him to pass as all murmurs ceased so all could hear.

“What’s going on here, Mister Escargon?” he asked with his loud voice as he walked forward, his stance high and proud as usual when he was among the center of attention.

“Finally you’re here!” the snail exclaimed, now more annoyed than tired. “Listen, I, uh, just had a, let’s say, important discussion with Sir Meta Knight, and he told me to come and say the same things to you.” He paused here and looked around at all the curious faces around him and sighed. “I guess it doesn’t matter if everyone knows now, does it?”

“Knows what?” Fumu asked, to which Escargon frowned.

“Just tell us what you told him,” Galacta Knight said harshly, making the snail look back at him.

And Kirby listened intently as Escargon began using the same words he spoke to Sir Meta Knight earlier, getting more and more attention drawn to him as the story went on to how a possessed Dedede tried to poison him with demon-maker serum. Kirby’s heartbeat accelerated as Escargon’s voice became more desperate when saying that he tried to stop him but couldn’t.

“Poison Kirby, you say?” Galacta repeated, acting as the calm one in the middle of panicking cappies.

“Yes, with wine at the New Year’s eve.”

Those words hurt Kirby in more ways than people would have guessed. The protests from his friends around him were dulled down to murmurs, to distant voices echoing in foreign languages. The New Year’s eve, with a cup of wine…

“That’s ridiculous! Kirby doesn’t drink wine, everyone knows that.”

“Yeah! The last time he did, it didn’t end well. Right Kirby?”

“Kirby?”

“You… didn’t drink the wine, right…?”

“I…”

The Star Warrior struggled to find his words, for they couldn’t even form in his mind. The scene repeated itself again in his head, with the voices and the emotions of the past, one month ago.

‘Would you like to have it? As some sort of thanks for all your help these past years. I just realized I never got to thank you properly, so…’

‘Yeah, he’s right.’

‘Don’t mind if I do. Happy New Year, Kirby.’

Kirby was pulled out from his reverie when Fumu took his hand; her gaze was worried, scared, she couldn’t remember if he had drank it or not, she didn’t remember and she had been there…

“I gave it to Sir Meta Knight.”

It felt like everything stopped. Like words didn’t mean anything. Like he had stopped the flow of time with a rock too big for the stream. A cappy in his line of vision exclaimed something about a demon-beast, causing everyone around them to panic and yell. Kirby felt cold.

“It’s my fault…,” he murmured, his voice once again belonging to a child lost in a crowd. “It’s my fault…”

Galacta Knight suddenly flapped his wings, the gusts of wind bringing the cappies back to attention.

“There is no reason to panic!” he called out loudly so all could hear. “I’m sure we can sort this o-”

“Wait a minute!” Fumu interrupted him suddenly. “It doesn’t even affect you, it seems. You knew?”

Galacta stared at her, ruby eyes shining seriously.

“Meta Knight told me this very afternoon. And I believe you had your doubts as well, Miss Fumu.”

“Well, er, I mean…,” she stuttered, before her eyes caught something else. “Sword! Blade! You knew as well, didn’t you?”

The whole crowd seemed like a lone entity as it spun around to face the apprentices, who stood a few feet away from them. They didn’t say anything, except a small, almost shy nod from Blade. Next to her, Bun coughed lightly and his sister turned her eyes to him.

“So…  you too, then. That was what I saw… You were freeing Meta Knight from the trap…”

“We swore to protect our lord,” spoke Sword Knight in a booming voice the cappies didn’t remember him having until now, “while he swore to protect you.”

“Because of the serum,” said Blade, “he was heavily weakened. That’s when the Dark matter were able to give everyone those nightmares. While also protecting our lord, we were also protecting you all from him. As per his own orders.”

Galacta Knight scoffed, interrupting anyone who might have had something to say.

“Well then, Sir Arthur’ll have one hell of a surprise when he’ll be here.”

This one sentence also caused a ripple of murmurs and whispers among the villagers.

“Sir Arthur?!”

“The leader of the GSA himself?!”

“Yup,” the winged knight answered. “He should be here sooner or later, considering he travels in hyper space.”

“And why is Sir Arthur coming here?” Sword asked above the crowd.

“Because when Meta Knight told me about his… predicament, he asked me to contact our leader. Sir Arthur was very keen on coming here after I told him, and I figured his help would be more than welcome. I guess I did good this time around!”

The two apprentices shared a look, silently speaking to each other, and suddenly Kirby’s hopes rose up. He walked forward, bringing the winged hunter’s attention.

“Will Sir Arthur be able to help Sir Meta Knight?”

Galacta Knight hesitated before answering and Kirby grew impatient.

“He’s a Star Warrior,” he answered calmly. “I don’t know much about an individual’s powers, but I think he might be able to help deal with the Dark matter here. I can’t say about Meta Knight being a… well, a demon-beast.”

The knight turned to Escargon, who was pushing back Azure who seemed to think of him as food.

“Has there ever been a cure for this serum?” he asked the assistant, who looked up at him.

“A cure?” he repeated. “I made the serum, but never made a cure. It was made to imitate the evil energy Nightmare put in his demon-beasts. The heavier the dose, the more devastative the effects. And, let’s be honest here, Meta Knight drank a whole glass of it… For the few times we were able to use it, Kirby only beat the crap out of the demons, but I can’t say it cured anything really.”

“How swell,” was the sarcastic and harsh response. “I sure can’t wait to beat the crap out of the pride of the Galaxy Soldier Army who’s also the best swordsman I know of and could also turn bloodthirsty at any given time.”

Galacta Knight sighed and rubbed his face tiredly, groaning as he walked around, pacing and thinking.

“Where’s Meta Knight now? Is he dealing with your stupid king?”

“I don’t know what he was planning on doing but I think he went to see the delivery system,” Escargon answered quickly.

Galacta Knight looked up at the castle up on the hill and squinted his eyes. Kirby walked up to stand next to him and followed his gaze.

“Can I come with you?” he asked him. “I need to make it up to him! It’s my fault it happened.”

The winged knight looked at him and his eyes softened, before turning to face him and placing his hands on his shoulders.

“Listen, Kirby,” he said, “you will not approach the castle. If there’s Dark matter in there right now, I’m pretty sure Meta Knight would kill me if he finds out I let you in there. I may not look it, but I want to live a bit longer, so I must ask you to stay out here and wait for Sir Arthur to arri-”

“What is that?!” a voice in the crowd interrupted him suddenly.

“A storm?”

“It’s coming from the castle!”

“Mommy, I’m scared!”

The two warriors both turned toward the hill, only to face a most frightening sight. A large, blackened mist was erupting from the castle, out of the windows and all entrances, and reforming together in the sky above the palace, spreading more and more like a gigantic cloud. Kirby gasped and backed away. These clouds! He had seen them so many times in his dreams! Galacta Knight cursed and stood there, eyes large.

“Fuck! Damn it! Meta Knight, you stupid piece of-”

He stopped when he noticed what Kirby had already seen; running down the hill, surrounded by his Waddle Dees, was King Dedede. Galacta drew his spear and opened his wings, flying up to the front of the crowd facing the main street and waited there, hovering, for Dedede to arrive. Once the king was nearing them, they heard him exclaim:

“Hey! You there, the hunter!”

He had to stop suddenly when Galacta pointed his weapon at him, making him gasp and causing the Waddle Dees to point their small spears at him in return. Dedede looked offended personally and puffed his chest proudly, growling:

“What’s the meaning of this! I’m not possessed anymore, I swear!”

“Uh,” Escargon said behind the knight. “He seems natural here.”

“He’s telling the truth!” squeaked Captain Waddle Doo as he hurried over, placing himself between his king and the hunter. “We saw the Dark matter leave him to take Sir Meta Knight instead!”

“Oh now that’s just-!” Galacta Knight almost yelled in anger, dropping his weapon in growing frustration.

Kirby looked beyond the village and back to the giant clouds of darkness growing more and more around the castle. So this is what the Dark matter truly looked like… Just complete darkness, like poisonous mist… Then, he saw it… A smaller shadow, surprisingly quicker than everything else, leaving through the castle’s roof and flying up to the highest pole of the palace, one bearing Dreamland’s banner. The form was too far away to be seen properly, but he could make out two large veils on either side of it as it stood, completely balanced, at the tip of the pole, the closest to the clouds one could ever be. The Dark matter then spread out even faster, soon hiding the sun and making everything seem like night had fallen.

“Kirby, did you see that?” Fumu asked, and he could only nod. “Do you think this is…”

He didn’t want to say it for her, because he knew it could only be. Kirby shook, simply so cold, and rubbed his hands together, his mind refusing to come together to think properly. Galacta Knight must have noticed the shadow as well for he hovered higher so he could be seen by everyone and called:

“Everyone, go and hide! Take anything you have to defend yourself, help each other out and be prepared to run if necessary! Meta Knight’s coming down here, leave him to me.”

The whole crowd was easy to disperse, and all the villagers didn’t hesitate to hide in the nearest houses, calling to each other. Soon, there was an eery silence, not even the Dark matter made any sound whatsoever. It even seemed like the whole village had stopped breathing. Galacta Knight looked down at Kirby and Fumu, then at Bun, Sword and Blade, but didn’t say anything and turned back to the castle. Kirby stood to the side of the road with Fumu, allowing her to hold his hand worriedly. He didn’t know what to think of what he was seeing…
It happened in one second. The shadow perched atop the castle started its descent, faster and faster, soon heading toward the village like a torpedo. The force surrounding it was so strong, the ground under it was pushed apart like nothing, stones breaking into dust and dirt disintegrating completely. As it came closer and as Galacta Knight held his position, ready to receive the demon-beast, it seemed for Kirby that everything slowed down to a heartbeat. Meta Knight, eyes as red as molten lava, with a pair of large ungodly wings spread out on either side of him, a shining Galaxia in hand… It was all Kirby saw before the two knights collided into a clash of swords and armor so loud it almost deafened them. The area around them was split apart under the aura surrounding Meta Knight the second they collided, and the next thing Kirby heard among the lifting dust of the ground were slashes and grunts. With one final slash in this short confrontation, both the winged knights were sent apart on either side of the destroyed path, Meta Knight toward the main plaza. His demonic wings similar to those of a bat kept him hovering, his back turned to them, for a moment before slowly descending to the ground. Galacta Knight was already on the ground turned toward his enemy; he was wounded on the arm, but nothing that seemed to bother him.

“Meta Knight!” he called harshly, trying to reach the knight’s true self under the corruption. “I thought you were stronger than that! What the hell you thinking, letting those damned Dark matter take over like that!”

The blue Star Warrior didn’t move, his wings slowly closing in around his sides, and Kirby walked forward, escaping Fumu’s grip as she called him back. Kirby didn’t listen and simply walked toward him, convinced that Meta Knight could be reasoned with.

“Kirby! Stay back!” Galacta Knight called to deaf ears.

“Kirby, wait!” Sword called as well, he and his brother also running over.

“Sir Meta Knight…?” the young Star Warrior tried at first, already a few feet from the immobile knight. “Do you hear me?”

There was only silence for a moment, and as Kirby listened carefully he heard his breathing, raspy and pained. The wings twitched with a sudden muscular spasm and he gasped like he had just woken up from a dream. It took another moment, but slowly, he stepped sideways, his eyes turning to look at him. Kirby didn’t back away and stood frozen, staring at these eyes as they switched constantly between red and golden. The mask, broken and cracked heavily, had a small stream of blood leaking from the middle, leaving behind a small, clear trail.

“I…”

That voice took Kirby by surprise. Meta Knight was struggling to speak normally, struggling to take the upper hand.

“I… apologize… I will not… hold long… More Dark matter are coming… Please… Go to safety…”

He groaned, closing his eyes as he dropped Galaxia to hold his head in pain. Sword and Blade both ran over and didn’t hesitate to hold him back from falling over, and Meta Knight didn’t stop them, instead remained calm in their helping hands. It was at this moment that a large shadow flew overhead and everyone, including the Dark matter hidden in Meta Knight, looked up. It was a large starship, very much like the one Galacta Knight came here into, shaped like an elongated star, but slightly bigger and impressive than his was. The starship made a long turn over the central plaza before quickly stopping in mid-air. It began its descent soon after and landed not too far from the great tree of the plaza. The ship’s arrival had drawn the attention of the villagers, who now thought that it was safe to poke their heads out of their hiding holes. As soon as the glass hatch opened on its top, the Star Warrior inside came out and stood tall on top of his ship, in full golden armor. His soft yet harsh purple gaze spread everywhere around him to take in his surroundings, and his eyes stopped immediately when he saw Meta Knight. With a clear sigh, the leader of the Agency jumped down from atop his ship and walked toward him as Sir Galacta Knight flapped his wings to approach as well, seeing that Meta Knight had a small control for the moment.

“Sir Arthur!” he called, saluting his leader.

Arthur saluted back, but looked back at the pride of the Galaxy Soldier Army.

“How many Dark matter are inside you, Meta Knight?” he asked with a serious tone to his already deep voice.

“M… Too many to count… Sir…”

Meta Knight swallowed, backing away to keep a safe distance between him and everyone else. Even he knew he was a danger…

“There is not much time,” he continued, this time addressing everyone around him. “I will go up there… and take care of the Dark matter… I was the one to allow them here. I will not…gr… allow them to go… any further…”

“But it’s suicide!” Galacta Knight cried out, unable to believe what he was hearing. “In your state you’re just going to bring them all together! That’s just stupid!”

“This is exactly what I want to do,” was Meta Knight’s calm answer.

There was a silence for a short moment, and Kirby’s heart skipped a beat when his mentor looked at him; his eyes had been golden for a good few seconds now…

“When it will be done… I can’t say… I will be able to fight them myself… And this is why…”

Marking a pause here, he picked up Galaxia from the ground and walked toward him. Kirby couldn’t say a word as his mentor gently put the sword’s hilt in his hand, holding it in both of his own hands like something fragile. He tapped his hand a few times, nodding his head slightly.

“Kirby,” he spoke more clearly, letting go of his hand and Galaxia. “I believe it has been a while since our last duel. Allow me to challenge you, Kirby of the Stars, whenever I come down from the cloud above us.”

“A… A duel?!” Kirby repeated. “B-but! You won’t be yourself! I can’t fight you like this, I can’t-”

“Kirby.”

He turned to look at Sir Arthur, who had put his hand on his shoulder.

“If you could defeat Nightmare,” he said, “then there might be a chance to free him from the Dark matter. But for now, I believe Sir Meta Knight knows what he is doing.”

Meta Knight could no longer listen and focus. Without a single warning or goodbye, he spread his wings and flew off in a single heartbeat, surprising all those around him. He never heard Kirby call out to him as he flew upward, higher and higher. He never would have thought that this day would come. He had lost everything that made him a Star Warrior the day he put on this mask, and now, he was getting it all back, while corrupting his own mind, willingly. Although he didn’t hear Kirby, he did hear the echoing howl of Azure, as if trying to scare the clouds away back into space, back to the darkness from which they came. As he neared them, the eyes of the Dark matter opened by tens, by hundreds, thousands…
It was with a cry of war that Meta Knight flapped his wings and entered the clouds of Dark matter, under their icy and laughing gazes.


The silence was long. It was driving Kirby crazy. By now, all the villagers came out and in respected, hoping silence were looking up at the sky, parents holding their children, husbands their wives and brothers their sisters. In the giant cloud above the land, there was one speck of light, only one, like a distant star, and nothing had moved since it had appeared. Many minutes passed and Kirby couldn’t feel his hands as he clenched Galaxia tightly. The holy sword still gleamed in this darkened time, still found a way to shine despite its holder’s feelings of dread, hopelessness and suppressed anger. How could Meta Knight hope for him to defeat him now? If he even did succeed in dispersing the clouds, he would still be a much more dangerous threat…
It only took a few seconds. The small speck of light suddenly became larger and brighter, but was suddenly engulfed completely by the clouds as they closed in on it. However, the Dark matter were all slowly absorbed on themselves where the speck had been, like they were being drained by a host. The sun pierced through the darkness like a thousand spears, almost blinding all those who had been looking, and the cloud eventually disappeared on itself. All that was left… was a small falling shadow. Kirby’s heart skipped a beat and he immediately thought about calling the Warpstar to go help him but decided against it when the shadow opened its two large wings and spun in mid-air to retrieve its bearings. It remained hovering there for a moment, almost immobile with only the movement of its wings, before turning and heading for the sea. Kirby could barely breathe and he was holding Galaxia so tightly the sword was shaking with him. Fumu’s hands were soon on his and he looked up in her eyes, trying to find the comfort that was usually there. It was present and it leaked on him like calming honey.

“Kirby,” Sir Arthur said, making him turn to face him.

The older knight detached the lower part of his helmet and showed his face; despite the one scar that barred an eye, he had a gentle smile and Kirby understood why he was the leader.

“I’ll… have to go fight him… right?” he spoke first, trying to calm his shakiness.

“Know that if anything should go wrong, we will interfere immediately. You cannot fall, and neither can him.”

“How… How am I supposed to free him then?” he asked almost desperate for an easy answer.

“I am afraid… The only way to do so is to either force the Dark matter out, or eradicate them from the inside. You are stronger than you think, Kirby, and the Dark matter will try to take you away from your true power. You cannot let them, you hear me? Only that power will allow you to free him.”

The younger Star Warrior breathed in deeply and shakily, but nodded his head all the same. He didn’t have the heart to speak, but said:

“Let… Let’s go to the sea. Let’s get this over with…”

Strangely, many villagers followed them on their way to the cliffs where the shadow had flown to. Even King Dedede and Escargon followed, and Azure walked up to Kirby to walk by his side, faster than him to be at the front. He could probably sniff out his master’s location or even see the heat signatures he radiated. It was surrounded by this whole group that Kirby walked toward the sea. Somehow he felt better knowing that so many people cared. It didn’t take them long to find Meta Knight. He was sitting on the edge of a grassy cliff, facing the sea. The sun was already down on the horizon, yet wasn’t close to setting completely. Seeing him unnerved Kirby, even at a distance. There was an aura emanating from every fiber of his being, erupting like flames here and then, as if the Dark matter were too many for this body. The wings, barely closed, fanned out on the ground on either side of him and Kirby took a moment to look at them. He had to admit that they were somehow pretty; the light, thin membrane between the joints looked soft, even if the claw at the thumb was sharp and shiny.
Kirby looked at Sir Arthur, who nodded that it was time to act, then looked behind him at everyone else. In the crowd, he saw Sword and Blade, both stiff as sticks, and could only give them a sympathetic look. He would get him back, he thought as he looked back and walked alone toward his possessed friend. His voice made him jump, so sudden a sound.

“You took your time, Kirby of the Stars. We were almost waiting.”

How strange to the ear… It was Meta Knight’s voice, but it wasn’t him talking! The knight stood up, slowly, and his wings stretched a few times before he turned to look at him. His eyes were pure red, and there was no switching colors now. Many small clouds of Dark matter erupted from his arm and gathered in his right hand, first forming a solid hilt which he clenched, as the point elongated to form the blade of a sword.

“We believe our host promised you a fight,” the Dark matter spoke. “We will see if you really hold your title of Star Warrior, Kirby of the Stars!”

Spreading his wings, Meta Knight flew straight at him at tremendous speed, so quick Kirby had to dodge by rolling to the side. The knight continued forward and flew high up, making a loop before heading straight back at him from above. Kirby had just the time to hold Galaxia above his head and block the blow, the clashing of swords deafening him as Meta Knight jumped back to the ground a few feet away. Kirby took these few precious seconds to inhale Galaxia; with a bright light that blinded the Dark matter, he donned the Sword hat proudly and stood in a fighting pose as Galaxia shone brightly with him. Meta Knight had a good chuckle as he slowly brought his sword before him, sliding his hand across it as he said:

“Now this is more than interesting…”

Once more he attacked first, but this time Kirby ran forward and they both locked swords for many seconds, but the Dark matter pulled a nasty trick and used a wing to hit him in the face, weakening his grip long enough to hit him again with an elbow. Kirby cried out as he backed away, and though his first reflex was to hold his nose, the natural abilities that came with the Sword hat made him block a forward hit that would have been fatal to him. Galaxia’s point forced the darkened sword to plant in the earth next to Kirby’s foot, making the other knight growl in sudden anger. Kirby took this very instant to grab Galaxia with both hands and slash upward. Even the Dark matter had been too slow to stop this slash. And Kirby’s eyes slowly grew large when he realized what the hit had done.
Meta Knight only had time to back away one step during the hit, far enough to not be torn in half, but still too close. His mask flew up in the air, split into two perfect halves, and it was as they fell down, like time had stopped, that Kirby saw the blood ooze out from a perfectly straight line up and down Meta Knight’s surprised face. Kirby blinked, and the knight had already jumped a few feet behind, both hands on the sensitive cut as he yelled his anger loudly for everyone to hear. Unlike the villagers, it wasn’t the first time Kirby saw his mentor’s face, but it was the first time he was seeing it in broad daylight, all the details he couldn’t see in the dark, now visible for all to see. And he understood why Meta Knight had hidden his face. He was horribly scarred on the integrity of his visage, like he had suffered massive burns and his flesh never replaced itself naturally. The flesh around his eyes was dark and melted like wax, and his mouth, a straight line, was cracked like dry skin. And yet, on his cheeks, persisted two little blush marks quite similar to his own…

“How dare you!” roared the Dark matter as the sword reformed in his hand and he slashed to the side in his anger. “We’re not playing anymore.”

He took to the skies again, but now his sword began glowing with an eery red glow, and Kirby didn’t have to wonder what would happen for long. With each slash, a Sword Beam was sent his way and Kirby could only gasp and dodge them as best as he could. The beams cut deep into the ground and went far behind him as Kirby heard the others talk to him.

“Kirby!” Sir Arhtur called. “You need to be in the air, now!”

“Fumu! The Warpstar!”

“I’m on it!”

Kirby rolled to the side, evading one last beam, and he looked up to see Meta Knight going straight at him, spinning like a drill, sword in front. He brought Galaxia up to block, but the force of the blow pushed him back and he was hit by the sword across the cheek. He fell to the ground on his back and quickly opened his eyes, seeing his enemy fly up again, higher. His eyes traveled to the side where, in the distance, he saw and felt the presence of his dear star as it flew over the forest, canyon and village straight toward him. Only seeing it gave Kirby the will to stand back up despite the pain in his torn cheek and he waited patiently for the right moment. As soon as the Warpstar was close enough, he jumped and landed on it, perfectly balanced as it flew right back up under the villager’s cheers of encouragement. Kirby flew right past a surprised Meta Knight and stood ready to face him higher in the air. The knight, smirking, flapped his wings with strength and they stood there, a few feet separating them, hovering in mid-air with the waves crashing against the cliff under them.
Meta Knight was the first to attack again as the Dark matter were getting more and more aggressive as the battle went on. Tilting his Warpstar forward, Kirby went to his own high speed and they locked swords once more. Their battle lasted for many minutes. With his Warpstar, Kirby was faster than ever and he flew all around the battle area to evade hits and place his own. Their swords kept slashing, but their strength was nearly on the same level of power and they could hardly place any hits. Whenever Kirby found himself close enough, he could feel the radiation of Dark matter echoing all around the knight, as if trying to sip at his own strength. Kirby could only try and focus on the battle, and now they stood hovering at a good distance, each out of breath. Meta Knight was pointing his sword at him, panting, with blood still painting his scarred and distorted face. The sun was setting now, but Kirby could barely feel its warmth.
They both flew at each other again, each blocking the other’s attacks easily; their battle looked more like a choreography than a duel, like each move was planned out in synch with the other. As Kirby evaded a drill attack, Meta Knight was sent farther away but quickly turned and flew straight back at him. It was like everything had slowed down, for this very moment.
Kirby didn’t have the time to evade again; he would only get a wound on his back. He held up his sword, Galaxia’s point facing the knight. Meta Knight didn’t even swing his sword. He only hurled himself at his prey, locking Kirby in with his wing and sending them both off the Warpstar; his face suddenly froze in a panicked expression. As they both fell, a large cloud of Dark matter suddenly erupted from the knight’s back, screeching like banshees as they flew upward and eventually, simply disappeared into nothing. Only one of them continued flying up and escaped.
As the villagers called for them in panic, the Warpstar immediately reacted and flew down at tremendous speed and scooped them up, still a few meters away from the waves of the sea underneath. Kirby was frozen. He couldn’t hear the villagers’ cheers; only the quick and raspy breath of his mentor, leaning against him. His wings were limp on either side of them and Kirby, for a moment, felt their comforting warmth… until a warmer liquid of sort started dripping on his face, between his hands and under his feet. He suddenly tried to back away to look, but a wing wrapped around him and held him in place; Meta Knight’s face was right to the side, he could see an eye… a bright, silver eye, half-closed and tired. The knight breathed in, but suddenly coughed and more blood splashed on his arm.

“You did… You did well… Kirby…”

The younger Star Warrior’s hands were frozen on Galaxia’s hilt, shaking and trembling, but they stopped when the knight’s hands settled on his, as if to calm him.

“You will sleep… tonight… I promise... Let go… Kirby…”

Despite himself, Kirby started crying; he couldn’t let go of the sword, he wouldn’t. He could barely hear the others call for them, call for him to bring them both back down. He slightly shook his head. The knight’s hands lightly tapped on his own as his body suddenly got heavier; his strength was leaving him… he was dying… And yet, Kirby could only look above his shoulder, held in a limp hug, he could only look at the setting sun…

“Let go… of the sword, Kirby… I’m proud of you… Let go…”

And slowly, or perhaps normally, Meta Knight pried his hands off, and backed away. Kirby only had a short glance at his face; bloody, scarred, with his own holy sword piercing his chest under his cheek, but gentle and smiling, as if he was going to bed after a long day of work. And he fell. It took a second for Kirby to react.

“No!”

His Warpstar understood his immediate desire and flew straight down after the falling knight. Drops of blood dropped on his face but he didn’t slow down. And yet, he had been too late. With his silver eyes still looking at him, with the smile still on his face, Meta Knight was engulfed in the mouth of the waves, and the foam closed in on him like teeth. The Warpstar stopped above the water, but Kirby didn’t hesitate and dived straight down into the water. He had to bring him back out, he would drown! Kirby swam in the darkening waters, trying to keep the light of his friend’s eyes in sight, he continued swimming down and down, even if his lungs were burning and his eyes were blurring. He continued swimming after his friend even when the eyes disappeared and even when the blood was gone. He…was not… gone… Kirby choked and brought his hands to his face in pain, before the last bubbles of air in his lungs escaped though his mouth in a silent gasp…
As he remained there, floating and unmoving, he felt a hand grab him by the foot and pull him upward. Suddenly, he was out of the water and was hurled back on his Warpstar, gasping and coughing as the salty water left his lungs. He only had the time to turn and see Sir Galacta Knight before he plunged back into the waters, wings acting like paddles as he swam much faster than he. Kirby remained lying there on his stomach, still coughing here and then, and more water came out of his eyes, still salty and warm on his freezing cheeks.

“Kirby!”

Shakily, he looked up toward the shore, toward the cliff, and he saw the villagers, his friends, family, he saw Fumu, waving at him desperately.

“Come back, Kirby! Please!”

He didn’t even think about moving, but the Warpstar did it for him. Slowly, it flew up and away from the waves that had taken his friend. It flew above the cliff and the villagers, who backed away to give him space. Even when it landed softly on the grassy hill, Kirby didn’t move and continued crying. Only now did he realize he was sobbing, his breath catching in his burning lungs and making it hard to breathe. His cuts were burning like acid. Fumu was the first he saw correctly as she quickly kneeled in front of the star and held out her hands to pick him up. She wanted to settle him on the grass, but he jumped into her arms and sobbed more, as realization struck him like lightning.

“I k… I…! hic! I k-killed him! I killed him! Oh stars, I killed him!”

Fumu rubbed his back gently, crying her own silent tears.

“Shh… Shh… It’s okay… It’s okay…”

“Is there a doctor in this village?” Sir Arthur asked. “Kirby’s injured!”

“Doctor Yabui!”

“Where is he?”

“I’m right here! Let me pass, I’m coming!”

Kirby was gently pulled away from Fumu’s shirt, but he had no strength anymore. He simply sat there, staring at the ground as he let the doctor clean his wounds, especially the one on his cheek.

“That one will leave a mark I’m afraid,” he heard the doctor say, but he didn’t answer.

He couldn’t care less. It was at this moment that Galacta Knight sprung out of the water, taking everyone by surprise. He gasped and hovered in mid-air, shaking the water out of his wings, but all that Kirby noticed… was that he was empty-handed. He hadn’t found him. And it broke his heart even more.
The knight flew back toward the cliff, but the moment he landed he tore his mask off and threw it at the ground, yelling out in anger. His scream reverberated in the field, and the deadly news it spread brought dread and sadness to all. Meta Knight was gone. Kirby lowered his head more and his tears doubled.
It was then that the silence of the mourning was broken when somebody shouted out:

“A Dark matter! Look!”

Kirby’s heart stopped and it was the only thing that made him look up and away from his sadness. Something new grew in him when he saw the large ball of shadow descend from the sky at high speed. He stood up with a sudden bit of strength, but he and all the others had to back away when the Dark matter landed on the grass of the cliff. Sir Arthur, Galacta Knight, Sword and Blade all stood as a barrier in front of everyone, swords drawn, but the Dark matter did nothing to attack. Instead, it felt like gravity was being pulled toward it, and suddenly the two halves of Meta Knight’s mask came together in front of it. The mask then started melting, the top disappeared and only left a V-shaped visor that placed itself in front of the Dark matter, which started growing in size and proportions. A dark floating cape formed itself from its darkness and surrounded the being as fire-like matter erupted from the top of the mask, like fiery hair. The being opened one, single eye through the visor, and its black pupil stared at all of them in silence.

“Dreamland is not ours yet,” spoke the being with its raspy voice that felt like nails scratching on a blackboard. “But this was more than worth it. We thank you for the new friend you gave us, for the new powers we received. Kirby of the Stars. You are a worthy foe. We leave for now. Grieve your dead in peace.”

The being surrounded itself in its long cape and suddenly vanishes, as if warping in another dimension. Slowly, the warriors calmed, but Sword suddenly threw his weapon at the ground and spun around, pushing all through the crowd to leave. Blade remained behind, and Kirby only then realized he was crying. His shoulders were shaking when Sir Arthur put his hand on them; the leader took his helmet off in due respect and looked at the sky, placing a hand on his heart.

“May you rest in peace, old friend. The stars know you deserve your place among them.”

And the sun slowly disappeared below the horizon, bringing with it the sadness of grief and loss.
A New Age chap 10
www.fanfiction.net/u/2458442/W…

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Sword yawned. He was sitting under a tree, with his helmet off, to take a small break from Bun’s and Kirby’s training. The sun was beating hard today, and though he quite welcomed such good weather in these times, it was tiring him faster than he would have expected. Having started this morning, Blade offered to take his place and train Bun by himself instead. Now he was feeling more exhausted by the minute and he put his head back against the tree, trying to enjoy the coolness of the shade. So many… responsibilities. So many things he had to think about, to worry about. Staring at the blue sky, his eyes got heavier as each second ticked by. The few dusty clouds there was melted together and formed nameless shapes, lulling him toward what he needed most at the moment.
He blinked. The sky was no longer blue, but a dark tone, like an ominous veil had draped around the world. Thousands of dark orbs were floating down toward the earth, blinking their unique eye like fading stars. In a sudden panic, Sword stood up and searched around, only to find he was alone… or almost. Standing where the others had been training, in a field now empty of life where the grass was dry and black, was his lord… with black veils erupting from his back. He was holding his head, but let it go as soon as Sword let his presence known with a gasp.

“S… Sir…?”

Slowly, Meta Knight turned to face him. Sword couldn’t look away, for these bloodshot eyes were dragging him into a world where a thousand eyes stared at him, never blinking. His skin started itching like each eye had planted a needle in his bones, but still Sword couldn’t look away. He saw his master unleash a silent darkness, and couldn’t… do… any… thing…

“Sword? Hey, wake up. Come on.”

The apprentice blinked once more, only this time, he was brought back to the world he knew. Blade was looking at him, a hand on his shoulder, worry readable all across his face.

“You okay there?” he asked as his friend rubbed the sweat off his face with his gloves.

“Yeah… It was just a dream. Don’t worry about it.”

He looked behind him; Bun was laying on the grass next to a broken wooden sword, and farther behind was Kirby, under Meta Knight’s watch as he inhaled both a stone and a small dagger at the same time. Each time, there were no transformation, so Kirby only spat them out and tried again. Meta Knight was standing farther to the side, wrapped in his cape, unmoving except for his eyes, which Sword looked at carefully. He half expected them to glow red, but of course they didn’t.

“Did Bun make any progress?” he asked Blade, who smiled and nodded.

“Yeah, you’d be surprised at how quickly he does. I think the thing is, he understands well what we want him to do, and that’s what helps him.”

Sword chuckled.

“Heh. If only we’d been like that at the start, eh?”

“Yeah,” Blade laughed, holding out a hand to help him to his feet. “One would think that after so many years we’d be fully knighted by now.”

They both looked back toward the fields when they heard the distinct sound of Kirby’s transformation, only to see that he had become Stone Kirby. Growling in frustration, Kirby spat everything out and sat down, complaining that he couldn’t do it.

“Now, now, you’re giving up too quickly,” were Meta Knight’s words. “Stand up and try again, it’s the only way you’ll achieve your goal.”

And they watched as Kirby breathed in and did as he was told.

“We weren’t good apprentices,” Sword said softly, with a clear tone of disappointment in himself. “Like idiots, we tried to act like we already knew everything. I don’t think it’s a wonder that we aren’t knights yet.”

“Well, all in due time, like Pa used to say… Besides, we still haven’t paid our dept in full, have we?”

Sword smiled ever so sightly.

“No, we haven’t. And it’s hard to say if we’ll ever pay it.”

“I’m just hoping that he doesn’t see us as… just some kids in the way. You know what I mean? It’s just… We’re not Star Warriors, we can’t help him more than what we’re already doing, and… I don’t know, I feel… useless. Powerless.”

“Don’t worry, Blade,” the elder brother sighed, nodding his head. “I’ve thought about that a lot, but I still can’t find what we could do more. If we just listen to his orders, maybe we’ll get a chance. Who knows what’ll happen now…”

They both turned again when they heard distant calls from the other side of the training area, and they saw a group of people coming up the hill across the field. It was Fumu, with other girls and women from the village, who came to offer drinks and snacks. Needless to say that this got Bun back on his feet in a second, and it made Sword and Blade laugh.

“Just mention food, and it always gets these kids standing,” Blade laughed as they walked over to them to get those welcomed drinks.

Fumu smiled as she handed them one glass each, saying:

“Here! You’ve all been training hard since this morning, and it is pretty hot out here.”

“We thought you’d like some drinks for all your hard work,” Hana, the mayor’s wife, said with her usual soft voice while offering a fresh glass to Sir Meta Knight, who nodded respectfully.

“We appreciate it,” he said calmly. “Thank you.”

Everyone chatted among the snacks and the juices, enjoying this nice pause under the summer sun… except for Kirby. Holding his glass without taking much notice of his thirst, he could only stare at the knife and the stone, sitting on the ground a few feet in front of him. It was just so frustrating, not being able to do what he had in mind! He had the image, he knew by Meta Knight’s words that he could fuse these abilities together to create a new one, but he just couldn’t do it. Was it this complicated? Or was he just not… strong enough? He stared at it more, until his eyes focused only on those two objets, picturing himself later, as an adult, wearing his own armor, with a thousand abilities… If he could just… master even one…
Everyone looked up when a large shadow suddenly cast itself on them for a short instant, only to see a winged knight flying down toward them, wings opened in an arc to slow his descent.

“Please!” he called out as he landed with a clank of his armor. “Tell me you have more of these cold-looking drinks! It’s hot like hell up there, there ain’t even a breeze!”

With a small smile, Fumu walked over to him and handed him a glass, watching as he lifted his mask on his head to drink it whole in a few gulps and sighed in satisfaction.

“Much better,” he said before handing it back. “Is it always hot like this all year long here?”

“We’ve seen hotter days, to be honest,” she said with a chuckle. “But, yeah, pretty much the whole year. Is is a southern country after all.”

“I’ve always been more of a winter guy,” he said with a sigh, beating his wings a bit to cool himself.

Then he looked a bit beyond her, like he had seen something that particularly caught his attention. He pointed a finger, saying:

“Is the kid alright?”

Everyone turned to look at Kirby, who was still sitting there in the grass, staring silently and intently at the objets in front of him. His tired sapphire eyes looked glazed, like he was simply… absent.

“Is he sick?” Honey asked with worry, echoing the thoughts of the others around her.

“No,” was Meta Knight’s simple answer. “I believe he’s focusing. Just wait.”

And wait they did. It wasn’t long before Kirby reacted; the Star Warrior stood up so suddenly it scared the villagers and surprised the others. It was with a look of determination that surprised Fumu that Kirby stood ready before inhaling. The dagger and the stone both flew up from the ground and disappeared in his mouth. Of course, Kirby transformed, and while everyone expected to see either the Stone or the Sword hat appear on his head, it was completely something else that formed when the light vanished. There stood Kirby, his skin toned a light brown with golden hues, with a strange darkened visor shaped like large googles over his eyes. He held his hands up and the transformation continued as a bright light engulfed them, shaping itself into a set of three, long and sharp claws on each hand, attached to a large glove made of a strange metal coloured like copper. The claws were slightly curved and sturdy, like those of a mole.
Around Kirby, everyone gasped and hurried closer to take a better look. The young Star Warrior lifted his googles on his head and looked himself over, looking quite surprised. It didn’t stop that huge smile from forming as Fumu clapped her hands happily.

“You did it, Kirby!”

“You got a new ability!”

“Congratulations, Kirby!”

“We knew you would do it!”

While they were all busy looking at Kirby’s new look and wondering what it would be used for, Galacta Knight subtly looked at Meta Knight, who hadn’t moved from his spot. The winged knight couldn’t help but let his guilt guide his thoughts to the past, and it was no surprise for him to see Meta Knight’s eyes change color. For a short second that he had been lucky to witness, these eyes turned purple, a swirling ocean of negativeness with many hues, ups and downs, before quickly switching to a bright, happy blue, like the lens of a camera. Galacta Knight had grown with him, so he knew very well what these colors meant.

‘Hey, Shorty!’

‘I’m not short! Stop calling me that.’

‘Ha! What’cha gonna do, Shorty? Call your mom again?’

‘I said, stop calling me that!’

‘Short, short, short!’

Galacta Knight sighed at this memory and averted his gaze. If he would be able to slap his younger self, he would do it right then and now. But he remembered Meta’s eyes changing to purple at this moment, before the young Star Warrior ran off crying. Meta Knight had certainly changed as well from when he was young…
His attention went back to Kirby when everyone backed away. The pink soldier lifted his new weapons and suddenly plunged them into the ground where he dug quickly and naturally, like he had done this his whole life. Like a drill, Kirby disappeared into the ground and all they could hear was his claws burrowing all around, even passing under them at a high speed. Kirby suddenly erupted from the earth a few feet behind them, forcing them to spin around, and he flew through the air like a dolphin before plunging back into a hole. With those claws, it felt like everything was made of butter!

“That ability’s awesome!” Bun exclaimed. “Imagine all the foes he could take by surprise with that!”

“Sir Meta Knight, what’s this ability called?” one of the village girls asked toward the knight.

Everyone turned to have the answer, and Kirby even erupted again, only this time he remained half-buried, shaking the dirt off his head and lifting the googles back on his forehead. While everyone waited for a response, Meta Knight only stood there, staring at Kirby with a look literally impossible to read.

“…I don’t know. I have never reached-, um, I mean, these abilities are rare. Like I once said, it’s not like I know everything about it.” He marked a pause there, and Galacta Knight knew that the girl Fumu wanted to say something, but his cousin didn’t leave enough time for her to do so and continued. “You should be proud, Kirby. It’s the first step to being stronger, and I believe you’ll be able to find more abilities from now on. Fuse many objects together, and you could be surprised by those you find. Even polar opposites like fire and ice or spark and water could work together if you work it out.”

“Really?!” Kirby exclaimed, smile never wavering. “That’s so awesome!”

“Hey Kirby!” one of the girls called out, “Let’s go show that ability to everyone else!”

All the young ones agreed and Kirby happily burrowed back into his hole, going in front toward the village, with the others, including Bun who had a small break in today’s training, running behind him. Sword and Blade helped Hana get all the glasses back together with the snacks and followed her back to the village to help bring it all back, on an order from their lord. Fumu stayed behind, and she looked at Meta Knight, who appeared to wonder why she was still here.

“What were you going to say, exactly?” she asked.

“Excuse me?”

Galacta smirked. His cousin loved to play that game, to act like he didn’t know anything while he obviously did. One day, he once told him, it would be his undoing. Fumu seemed to be used to it by now for she crossed her arms and tapped her foot a bit.

“Don’t. You were going to say something else, you’ve never reached… what?”

Meta Knight briskly turned his back on her and started walking away, making her sigh in exasperation.

“I didn’t say anything,” he said as he headed back toward the castle’s hill. “I would keep that in mind if I were you.”

Those words worried Fumu and she couldn’t answer to that, Galacta felt it. He sighed and walked over to her, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t worry about him,” he said calmly. “He hides more than he tells, that at least never changed with him.”

Her tired face looked resigned, and Galacta looked a little deeper into her eyes this time. After the month spent here, he hadn’t spent much time to realize many things about this girl. Some were obvious, others took a little more time to think about. She was acting bossy with everyone around her because she couldn’t stand how they could be easy-going. With a young brother as adventurous as Bun, she had understood the responsibilities of being the elder quite faster than a normal cappy would. This worry she had placed originally on her brother had went farther to everyone else, and in a time of crisis she would think that she was the only one truly seeing the darkness at work. So, he thought, while looking into those emerald eyes, she wasn’t being bossy, but caring. He had heard that she had plans to make a real school in Dreamland when she would be experienced enough, and that only confirmed his thoughts about her. Wether it was all true or not, Galacta Knight didn’t really care. Those green eyes of hers were still quite interesting, and he knew there was much more to know about them, if he just put the time in. He hadn’t spent so much time into one place, it was a nice change for him.

“I’ve guessed that a long time ago, believe me,” she said with a chuckle. “He’s got this habit of telling things at the last minute. It unnerves me, you’ve no idea. Do you… have an idea what he was going to say?”

Aah, Galacta thought to himself, that question. Should he talk about it? Or let his cousin deal with it himself?

“I have my idea,” he said. “But I can’t say it. At least, not now, I think. He’ll say it when he’s ready. For now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to beat the truth out of my cousin!”

With a quick, courteous bow, he backed away, before opening his wings and taking flight. Leaving the young woman behind, he flew after Meta Knight, who was surprisingly already far away, climbing the hill at a fast pace. Galacta Knight sighed as he flew over him. He knew he would regret asking this to him… He just knew it.
His cousin looked up and stopped walking when Galacta landed in a heap of feathers before him, wings opened large. He closed them again against his back and put a hand on his hip, adopting an almost smug look.

“I thought you were wiser than that,” he said calmly, though his heart was pumping.

Meta Knight’s eyes squinted a bit and his grip on his cape tightened.

“If I don’t want to talk about it, then I won’t. Simple as that.”

“And one day, your enemies will use that against you. You should know better, Mety.”

“Don’t… call me that. I won’t say it again.”

“Sorry. But hey, it’s better than Shorty!” Galacta laughed, even though his cousin didn’t. He coughed, trying to get back to a serious mood.

“What do you want from me?”

Galacta paused, before letting out a deep breath he had been holding.

“Are you jealous of Kirby?”

Briefly, Meta Knight’s eyes turned orange, but he didn’t move, except for a small movement from his head. There was a long silence in which each stared at the other, one waiting for an answer, the second lost in thought and feelings. Galacta didn’t force anything on him and remained patient. It came out in a choked breath, yet honest and brief.

“Yes.”

Galacta’s visible face took on a grave look; the shadow of guilt draped itself over his eyes, darkening his traits.

“Listen,” he said quietly, almost in a murmur, like he was afraid someone would hear them. “I tried, over the last month, to apologize, and show you that I regret what happened. You have no idea how I felt when I ran away, no idea what went through my mind during all those damn years. I thought I had killed you, Meta!” He paused there, to take a deep breath and remain calm. He slowly blinked and straightened up. “Now, there’s nothing more I can do. It’s up to you to forgive, or not. I won’t hold it against you if you don’t. Just know that… I’m sorry. Honestly. You should be happy for Kirby, he’s a good kid. Just think about it like he’s following your steps. Your legacy, if you will. If you ever need me, I’ll be there. I’ll leave you to think this through, alright?”

The winged knight turned around and started to leave, heart still heavy. He had been waiting to speak like this for thousands of years now, and he couldn’t really believe that he had actually said all this. It usually wasn’t like him to get emotional, but it was true that the guilt had ravaged him in those years.

“Galacta Knight.”

He stopped and spun around, surprised. Meta Knight wasn’t facing him, but was rather staring at the ground. His back was turned, but he could still see a part of his mask from the side, including one eye, which turned to look at him in his peripheral vision. He averted his gaze, but slowly turned to look at him. The hands holding his cape shook a little, but Galacta’s eyes saw it clearly.

“I need your help…”

Galacta walked closer to listen carefully, for his cousin was talking in murmurs. His voice… was shaking? This was possible?

“Something… terrible happened. I fear it will only get worse. And now, after a month, I must tell you, before… the enemy does.”


Meta Knight entered their apartment and closed the door behind him, after letting Azure in first. The Wolfwrath had been waiting patiently for him back at the castle entrance, and had been rather joyful when he had come back. Now the large wolf was following his master across the apartment obediently, tongue out as if smiling. The Star Warrior walked rather slowly toward his bedroom, whose door he had left locked as always. He stopped in the doorway and looked around in silence, a hand settling on Azure’s head. It felt like such a long time since he had slept in that bed. It looked as comfortable as he knew it was… For a moment there, he was tempted to climb in that bed and sleep for the rest of this life, but he decided against it. He wouldn’t abandon the others like that, even if it was such a simple thing to do. To sleep…
Azure touched his cheek by poking his dry nose through his visor and that brought him back to reality. The knight petted him on the head to thank him and walked toward his personal wardrobe. There weren’t much things in there, for he never liked to own too many things in case something happened, but he knew there were these special things that he wanted to keep, no matter what. After shifting some things out of the way, he pulled out a metal box, not too large but not too small either, one that could carry a good amount of things, and settled it on his bed. Azure sniffed it curiously, tilting his head to the side in confusion, before sneezing from the dust. Meta Knight smiled and chuckled, dusting off the box before opening it.

“It’s been a while since I looked at this,” he said both to himself and the wolf, who lifted his upper body to take a look above his master’s shoulder.

The box seemed to be full of various objets, strange mementos from the past, and many letters and documents. Meta Knight took his time with each object to look at it; some he remembered clearly where he had got it, some he had to think twice to remember.
After lifting some objets, he found some rolled up blueprints, and for a second, wondered what they were for. But after unrolling the first one, he easily recognized the design of the Halberd… Those were the main blueprints, at least those that mattered the most. Now that he was looking at them more closely, he could only see all the mistakes, all the things they could have done better. Maybe they could have preserved this battleship… Maybe… they could build another. As to not forget about this this time, and with the intention of talking about it to Sword and Blade later on, he rolled up the main blueprints and hid them in the hidden pocket of his cape. While doing so, he couldn’t help but shudder as his hand touched his sensitive and twitching back. Then he stopped, hand still in his back… And took out the blueprints to fold them into smaller papers. He slid them inside his gloves, a place he knew they would be safer. He easily pushed it all aside, and resumed what he had been doing.
While rummaging through his old things, he was reminded of many memories, of many stories, too many at the same time, and he had to take a short moment to put things down and sit on the bed. The lack of sleep and energy made him feel more and more light-headed as time went on… He would need to be careful from now on. He breathed in and hesitated a moment, looking up at the opened door; the others were outside, and he knew they wouldn’t come back until tonight. He slowly blinked, and his hands reached behind him to fiddle with the strap of his mask. He needed to breathe correctly, and for the first time in quite some time, he felt like this mask he had held onto for so long was only in the way.
He detached it from his face and looked at the words he had carved inside, words only he could understand. He put it aside, feeling somewhat better with it off his scarred face. Rubbing his tired eyes that could barely close, he looked back at the box without touching it. Azure was the first to put his nose inside and pick something up with his teeth. He handed it to his master, who smiled again and took it to look at it. It was a folded piece of paper, quite old judging by the ripped edges and the yellowed color of the paper. Curious, unable to remember this thing, he unfolded it carefully, trying not to rip it open more… and his breath caught in his throat. It was an awfully old drawing, one clearly done by a child. These colors looked like a representation of himself, a rather large blue and purple circle with a very small mask upside down, with a smaller, pink circle next to him, their hands touching as if holding. Each of them held onto something that he assumed to be lollipops. He remembered this now. Kirby had made this drawing, many years ago, even before Nightmare’s defeat. He could barely remember the circumstances, perhaps it was when he gave him some candy for some reason he couldn’t put his finger on, but if he had kept it for so long, in this box no less, then it had touched a spot.
Meta Knight blinked, now more confused than anything. Was he really jealous of this child? Of this destined hero? Or was it only his resentment against himself that he attributed to Kirby…? What a mistake it was if it was the latter… For a moment there, he found it hard to breathe, for his thoughts swirled in every direction possible, to his past to the future, and, quite suddenly, back to the present. Someone had knocked on the door. While Azure started getting excited and was running over to the door, making strange screeching sounds like an angry cat, Meta Knight quickly slammed his mask back on his face and set the drawing back in the box before standing up. Opening the door at last, he was surprised to see Escargon standing there. The old snail had never looked so… worried, and nervous as well.

“Ah! Good, you’re here, uh…,” the king’s assistant stuttered, looking at both sides of the corridor while nervously playing with his hands.

“Is something wrong, Your Excellency?” Meta Knight asked, hesitant to let him in.

“Uh… I need to talk to you, Meta Knight, about, uh…” He whispered the rest of his sentence. “… the king… Can I come in? I feel like we’re being watched…”

Meta Knight was honestly surprised, but he saw no objection in listening to his warnings, especially if it concerned the king. So the knight stepped aside and allowed the snail inside, closing the door behind him and locking it, just in case. Escargon already seemed to be more relaxed, even when Azure came up to sniff his face excitedly. The snail looked around for a moment, for he almost never came in here in the first place, even after all those years living in the same castle. Without turning to him, his asked this first question.

“Do you, um… have my box of demon-maker serum?”

Meta Knight remained silent for a few seconds, not showing his surprise. He didn’t think he would bring this up, even though he was sure that the king knew the box was here.

“Why do you want to know?”

The assistant turned to look at him, his movements still nervous and quick.

“I know you found it, and I’m grateful that you did.”

Grateful? Now this was getting more interesting…

“His Majesty…,” Escargon started, pausing to try and find the right words. “He’s… not okay. It feels like he’s sick, lately, in the head. It feels like it’s not him talking…”

Meta Knight’s eyes widened and turned orange for a brief second, alarming the snail.

“Did the Dark matter get to him…?” the knight murmured almost to himself.

If it was the case, then it would explain so many things…

“There’s something else,” Escargon said hurriedly, trying to keep his calm. “Yesterday, I heard him talking to someone in the throne room, and I grew curious, so I looked. It was through the screen where he used to talk to the Customer Service from Nightmare’s company! I thought the thing was broken!”

“Did you see who he was talking to?” Meta Knight tried to remain patient with him.

“Not really, I just saw eyes, and an office I think. They were talking about you, Meta Knight, His Majesty was saying that he needed a new body, that yours would fit more nicely, or something like that, and also something about the transporter being repaired soon.”

Meta Knight remained silent, his eyes wandering to the side as he listened carefully. So the Dark matter were possessing the king and using him to get a direct access to Dreamland, to break his mental defences from the inside… They were more clever than he had thought. It was a mistake to underestimate such a strong enemy.

“There’s also… It’s about the demon-maker serum.”

“Go on,” he said with a dark tone, so serious that it encouraged the snail to do the same, his bushy eyebrows crossed.

“The king, or rather what possesses the king, was able to use it before you got your hands on it. I swear, Meta Knight, I tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t listen, and his hammer…” He swallowed and breathed in to remain calm. “He mixed it in with a bottle of wine he used on the night of the New Year, a few weeks ago. His plan was to use it on Kirby and get him weakened, for something I don’t know about… You remember when he asked you after to spy on Kirby? It was to see if it made any effect, if it worked.”

“As you must have seen from my reports to the king, it didn’t,” he said harshly, his anger growing faster and faster. “Because Kirby did not drink the wine he was offered.”

“He… He didn’t?!” Escargon repeated. “W-what did he do with it, then?”

Meta Knight turned his back on him and went to open his door. He looked both sides of the hallway, and seeing it vacant, he turned back to the snail and waved his hand to Azure, who ran up to him obediently.

“Go to the village and find Sir Galacta Knight. Tell him everything you just told me, and keep away from the king. Azure will escort you there. I will go there later.”

With a large wolf growling behind him, Escargon could only slide toward the door, still confused. He turned his head one last time.

“But wait!” he said. “What did Kirby do with the serum? He didn’t give it to someone else, did he?!”

With Azure hiding half of Meta Knight, all he could see of him was one eye and half of his mask. He looked… frightening, more than he remembered. The answer frightened him more.

“I drank it. Now go.”

The knight whistled, and Azure growled while pushing Escargon with his head out the door, which closed behind them. As soon as they were gone, Meta Knight hurried back to his room. So much to do, so little time. He hoped the transporter was not ready yet… for if it was, and whatever had contacted Dedede escaped here, it might very well be the end for them all.
Weeks passed after that, and a month of calm and sleepless nights went by in the blink of an eye. It was as if people were getting used to the dreams by now, but a fear put to silence still lingered in the air, a fear that was felt every time someone mentioned Kabu’s predictions. Just as Meta Knight had said, the young Wolfwrath named Azure was growing quickly, even for a dog. Even though his mane had yet to grow, the gem on his forehead was the first thing to pop out with time, followed by small, rounded spikes on his back that had nothing menacing. Even though people were scared of him at the beginning, the cappies grew used to his presence, mainly because he was always with Sir Meta Knight, who had a tough grip on his new protégé. And with the knight, the cappies had certainly changed their attitude toward him. They already owed him a great deal from when he saved Dreamland from Nightmare’s Destroyers with the sacrificed Halberd, but now that they knew that he was willingly protecting them from a much greater menace, they could only view him as the Star Warrior he originally was. Kirby wasn’t complaining about this change, he was in fact happy to hear the villagers trusted his mentor like this. Plus, it was taking a pressure off his shoulders. The villagers weren’t looking at him whenever someone complained about Zero or the demon-beast.
Galacta Knight was still around, even after all that time. Since the last night he had pursued the demon-beast and failed catching it, it hadn’t made a single reappearance. His traps were still in place, but they had caught nothing for many nights now, and Sir Galacta was comparing this mission to a vacation. Eventually, Kirby learned the truth about what was happening. When the villagers had come back to town after listening to Kabu’s fateful words, the young Star Warrior was immediately told by his friends. In disbelief, he even asked Meta Knight about it, only to receive a painful silence as an answer. Somehow, since that day, Kirby grew closer to him. He helped him almost everyday with Azure and some of his tasks, and doubled the effort put into his training, which Meta Knight continued even though Kirby protested that he had better things to take care of. He didn’t know most of what his mentor was thinking or his plans, but now he understood why, sometimes during the day, Meta Knight would space out and almost fall asleep. Strangely, the knight had specifically asked of everyone to wake him up immediately if he was seen in such a state, for if he slept, by his words, he wouldn’t be able to keep the barrier around Popstar intact. Kirby never said it, but he was in awe. Meta Knight was hiding so much strength and power, it was almost scary. Who knows what he was really able to do when his powers as a Star Warrior were all free… Would he be able to do the same, one day? Silently, he hoped so.

That night, Fumu climbed the stairs up to the castle library, bringing in her arms her beloved telescope. Tonight, there was supposed to be a star shower, visible only in Dreamland. Kirby and her brother were crawling the stairs behind her, both tired from their daily training.

“Come on, you two!” she called back with a smirk. “If you can survive a swordsman’s training, you can probably climb the stairs.”

“It’s not like we’ve been climbing these particular stairs almost everyday like you, sis,” Bun’s voice came up in a groan that made her giggle in amusement.

They soon arrived at the top, and while Bun and Kirby busied themselves opening the lights and lighting the torches around the library, Fumu went to the balcony doors and opened them, taking in a deep breath. The evening breeze brought in a welcomed and fresh salty scent from the ocean, whose waves crashed against the cliff surrounding the castle hill. With a content smile, she installed the telescope on the balcony and took a short moment to calibrate it the way it should be, so she could see the stars correctly. For once, the sky was free of complete blackness that night; its deep canopy was streamed with waves of blue and a thousand white dots. The darkening night would make even more appear… that is, if the Dark Matter surrounding the planet didn’t go in the way. She had noticed quite early on that, at night, the sky was blacker than ink, and that sometimes, it seemed like one was looking at a black, wavering pool. It was completely unnatural, and Meta Knight had approved her sayings.
Now, to be able to look at the stars without anything to hide them, it made her feel relieved, and she could sit down on a bench and wait without worry. Soon after the telescope had been settled, Kirby and Bun joined her on the balcony. Her brother sat down on the rail, while the Star Warrior walked up to the telescope to take a peek through it. Now that he was somehow a little bit taller, he didn’t need a support to reach it, but he was still on his tip-toes.

“When are there gonna be shooting stars?” he asked without looking away.

“When it’s darker I think,” she answered, right before feeling something very warm brush her arm.

She quickly turned her head to meet the bright red eyes of Azure, who was sniffing her arm quite curiously.

“Oh! Hi Azure!”

The Wolfwrath looked up at her and he smiled a dog smile, his tongue hanging out of his mouth as she petted him on the head above his gem, on a spot he particularly liked. Despite still being a juvenile, in size, he was already one foot shorter than her. Apparently that male Wolfwraths could grow unbelievable sizes, according to Sir Galacta, so Fumu expected Azure to grow quite a lot still. As Kirby happily climbed down to welcome the wolf with a hug around his fluffy neck, the Star Warrior noticed that he was wearing a new collar, deep blue in color with a silver badge attached to it. On its smooth surface was a stylized ‘M’ before a sword pointing downward. The last time he had seen this insignia was on the Halberd…

“Hey, that’s a nice collar you got there!” he told him.

The young Wolfwrath raised his head with a proud smirk, clearly happy about his new necklace as well.

“Where’s Sir Meta Knight?” Bun asked to the wolf, finding it rather strange that he wasn’t with him like usual.

Azure walked up to the rail and stood up on his hind legs, pointing a claw downward. Both Kirby and Bun followed him to take a look, and there they saw the lord, on another balcony, staring at the sky with half-closed eyes. It was always strange to surprise him like this. Physically, he was there, but he would remain silent to everything and everyone and stare at the sky until morning, unless it was very important. It was chilling to try to imagine what he was seeing or hearing…
His master occupied, Azure ended up spending the night with them. Fumu barely noticed anything as she was busy looking at the stars and the constellations, calling out to her brother whenever there were new ones shooting through the sky.

“Hey, sis,” Bun said later on, softly. “Look at that.”

She looked up from the book where she had been looking at notes concerning the constellations and followed the finger he was pointing, right toward the other end of the balcony. She couldn’t stop that large smile from forming on her face. Kirby was sleeping soundly, comfortably sitting with his back against the warm belly of the Wolfwrath, who had his head on the young soldier’s lap, asleep as well. Fumu looked back at her brother and gestured to keep quiet with a smile still on her lips, murmuring:

“Let’s let them sleep.”

“Won’t they have a bad dream like always?” Bun whispered back, setting his back against the wall.

“Maybe, but at least Kirby’s sleeping. And who knows. The skies are clear, the stars are lively, Sir Meta Knight isn’t mumbling, and he’s got his own warming bed. Let’s just see.”

It became sort of a habit to see if the elder Star Warrior was mumbling or making noise when meditating, for if he was, it would mean the dreams would be worse or that the Dark matter around the planet was forcing against his defences. For the moment, he was being silent, which was a good and welcomed sign. As the night moved on and his sister kept staring at the sky, Bun walked up to the rail and looked over the horizon, noticing that, once again, the village was still awake. Usually, at such a late hour, everyone would be in their beds, trying to get some more sleep, but now, they seemed to be getting a night life. Looking down at Meta Knight, Bun hoped it would not last for too long anymore.
However, without him knowing, under the mask, Meta Knight’s scarred face was distorted in silent pain as tears streamed down his cheeks.


Kirby was dreaming. It was so clear, if felt more like a vision than the senseless images of the Dark matter. There were no sounds here, only an ear-piercing silence that filled his head with a strange numbness. He was standing in the middle of a circle of light that blinded him whenever he looked down, a lone bubble in a sea of total blackness. Out there, in this darkness, he was seeing… things. Unseen masses crawling and merging together in silence, creating shapes with no names as if trying to shape his thoughts like confused clouds. Then, he heard it. A whisper, that murmured in his ear and raised goosebumps on his skin. The voice was soft, neither man or woman, but still it creaked in his head and reverberated against his skull. The thumping slowly and painfully crawled its way up to his forehead, until it reached a peak of pain that made him cry out and fall to his knees, holding his head in his small hands. It felt like something was clawing at his skin, stretching the flesh and bending the muscles.
And suddenly, he was looking at himself, like in a mirror. Confused, he could only stare and ask himself…

“Is that… me?”

In the center of the circle of light, there he stood, a young, pink warrior, with shadowy bags under his eyes, his size taller than he remembered him to be. The light emanating from the circle at his feet casted a gloomy shadow on his round body. On his forehead, above his eyebrows… there was an eye. Red, ominous, with a black pupil blinking at him. It was half-closed, half-awake. His true eyes, a faded blue, looked empty of life, devoid of conscience…

“Did I… always have this…? I can’t remember… What is this… It hurts…”

The voice, no man no woman, came back, this time clear enough to make out the words. It echoed all around him as if a snake was crawling in a circle around the light.

“You… You, who has vanquished our servant…”

There was a pause, in which Kirby’s will slipped away, piece by piece like a lost puzzle, far from his weak, spiritual grasp.

“You are strong… Very strong… A Star Warrior, they say… You understand our feelings… You feel them in you… do you… Kirby of the Stars?”

He answered, despite the energy he put into not moving his jaw; the eye on his forehead pulsed like a heart and he felt like vomiting.

“Yes…,” he whispered weakly. “You are alone… aren’t you? Everyone is scared of you, of the power they don’t understand… I… I can be your friend…”

No, I don’t want to be its friend!

“You wouldn’t be alone anymore. I know you’d like that.”

It’ll destroy me, I can’t be its friend! Snap out of it!

“Kirby of the Stars… One with us… Then come, boy… Come to us… You know where to find us…”

Kirby! Wake up!

“Wake up, Kirby! You’re dreaming!”

A sudden pain in his side brought him back into the circle of light with a gasp. The pulsating eye on his head widened as a large, blue and purple form appeared before him, blocking the moving shadows that screamed in the darkness, filling the air with dreadful noises. Two large veils of purple appeared around the form and opened like wings, shielding Kirby from sudden jolts of dark clouds. Numerous eyes appeared all around them, eyeing the newcomer with a growing hate.

“You… The Star Warrior… You again…”

“Kirby,” a calm and soft voice told him, so familiar Kirby forgot any sort of pain that was ravaging his mind. “You have to wake up. You can’t listen to them. Open your eyes, my boy. You can’t-”

The voice gasped in pain, reminding Kirby of where they were, and he looked up at the form again, only to see that the two large wings were melting like hotted wax, falling and disappearing in the dark void under them. Kirby wanted to cry, and it was this feeling of worry for someone else that caused the circle of light to engulf him in a bright cocoon. He was brought back to the world of reality in a gasp.


The first thing he saw, the first thing that appeared as his vision focused, were two glowing golden eyes through a black visor on a metal mask. Kirby barely noticed Fumu, Bun or Azure around him, staring at him with deep worry and relief; he burst into tears, and jumped from the spot where he had dreamt directly against his mentor, taking him by surprise. With his stubby arms around him, he buried his face in his mask and sobbed, unable to hold it back any longer. One gloved hand laid on his head, while the other rubbed his back in respectful silence. Kirby had always wondered, in the back of his mind, what it would feel like to be hugged by Meta Knight; he imagined it uncomfortable, metallic. But… his arms were warm, his breath, alive, came out from the visor without any blocking, and the cape was soft like silk, yet warm like yarn. He remained there until his breath became even once more; once he separated, he felt ashamed and stared down at his own feet. However, Meta Knight’s hand did not leave the top of his head, and his voice was as soft as it had been in the vision; for it had not been a dream, and he knew it.

“Are you okay, Kirby?”

Kirby tried to speak, but his voice left him. He cleared his throat, and nodded, rubbing the tears from his eyes.

“Yeah… I think so. I’m sorry I fell asleep… I was just so tired, I-”

But Meta Knight gently shook his head, closing his eyes.

“No,” he said, taking back his comforting hand. “It is I who must apologize. As I meditated to keep the Dark matter away, I felt your mind falling asleep, so I did everything to keep the nightmares away. I am afraid I failed terribly…”

“Was that… really… Zero? In my dream?”

“I do not know if it was it, but I definitely felt a strong presence in your mind. They’re trying to get to you, but do not worry. Like I did with Nightmare, I swear to keep you safe as long as possible, or until I blow my last breath. You’re not ready to face Zero yet…”

Meta Knight backed away a bit, allowing Fumu to come over and hug Kirby the way only a mother could. It was exactly what Kirby needed, for his mentor’s words placed a heavy doubt and a foreboding feeling in his heart. He was not ready… but he would need to be very soon. Sooner than one would expect.


At the same moment, down in the castle in the throne room, Dedede was sitting, sleepless, in his throne, eating chips while watching the television. At this hour, there were only late and boring movies, but it kept him occupied. He knew what was happening, but he honestly thought it was all nonsense. If there were any Dark matter things, people would have seen them! All he knew, was that he wanted the demon-beast caught, even though that hunter was doing a terrible job at it. He was sure that it was it that was causing the dreams, and not this Dark matter nonsense. At least, his new guard dog was growing fine, he would soon catch that demon-beast with ease! Lost in his thoughts, Dedede didn’t hear the sound of the second screen of the room activating and leaving the wall. He jumped when he heard the distinct screeching noise of the broken device when it opened, and he quickly turned the throne to look. The screen was filled with white noise, like there was no reception or anything working, just like it should.

“What the,” he said to himself, setting the bag of chips down as he stood up. “How’d that thing open up?”

He tried clicking on the buttons on his throne, thinking he had touched one without taking notice, but nothing happened. It was then that the white noise disappeared and showed only a black screen for a few seconds. It switched to a strange image, one of a dark office with a desk up close. Behind the desk, there was someone, but he couldn’t make out much of them, only two smiling yellow eyes.

“Hello, King Dedede.”

“Uh?! Who’re you? I thought that screen was broken!”

“Oh, it was, but we had you repair it. You probably don’t remember it though, so don’t you worry your large self about it. Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to speak to someone else. So make place! Have a good sleep, Your Majesty!”

Before he could say anything or even shape a surprised look, everything blacked out.


Outside the throne room, Escargon was slowly crawling in the corridor, rubbing his eyes. He yawned deeply, quite aware that he wouldn’t sleep that night.

“Maybe His Majesty is sleeping just fine, as always. Or still eating at this hour.”

He sighed as he arrived in front of the two large wooden doors, but stopped when he heard the king’s voice; it was unlike anything he had heard before… It was the same voice, but it only brought hate and fear to his mind. He was talking to someone else, whose voice was quite normal, even cheerful. It was an odd combination, even ominous.

“As you’ve seen,” Dedede said, “everything’ll be completed soon. It’ll be done by tomorrow, for sure.”

As he spoke, Escargon grew too curious for his own good and, swallowing the lump in his throat, he very slightly pushed one of the doors open, just enough to take a peak. He never would have thought that one day he would be spying on his king. If his dear mother could see him! The king was standing by the throne, staring blankly at the once thought broken screen where he had, for numerous times, spoken with the salesman from Nightmare’s company. However, in the company guy’s place was only a shadowed person at a desk. Looking clearly, Escargon could seen two joined gloved hands on the desk under the glowing and cheerful eyes that stared at Dedede with satisfaction.

“That’s perfect! You’ve taken your time, though, I don’t think the others agree with that.”

“Try to work on this thing with that damn knight around!” growled an angry Dedede. “And this king doesn’t have the fittest body around, the knight looks more appealing to us to be honest, especially since the transformation.”

The shadowed person laughed wholeheartedly, like he had said a good joke or something he understood quite clearly.

“Hahaha! You’ll have the body you want when you’re done with your task, others will even join you to help. Is that okay with you?”

“Seems alright with me. I’ll send a contact when the transporter is done, just wait until then.”

Escargon quickly closed the door, trying to remain silent. The screen had shot off immediately and he feared the king would leave. Silently, panicking, he quickly crawled behind the closest pillar against the wall and waited. The scared snail heard the doors creak open, too slowly for his poor heart, and he could only hold his breath as he listened to Dedede’s heavy steps. His panic raised and his heart thumped in his chest when the king walked right in front of him through the corridor. Luckily for him, the large penguin walked right past him without noticing his presence. Still, Escargon remained there for the longest time, waiting for his heart to calm down and the king to be far away. As soon as he thought it was safe to come out, he slid away, with only one thought in mind; to get back to his safe room, and wait for morning. Something horrible was happening, and he, at least, believed Meta Knight’s sayings about the Dark matter. The knight now needed to know.
A New Age chap 8
I should probably post the rest here. Everything posts early on ffn, and I am sorry for that! Here's the link if anyone's interested:

www.fanfiction.net/u/2458442/W…

(just copy and paste, for some reason the link doesn't work)
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Kirby - Fiery Beast by CelestiaDragonKnight
Kirby - Fiery Beast
I... don't think I ever drew a Wolfwrath in my gallery, have I? Strange. I doodle this guy every once in a while, 'cause he's awesome. Welp. There he is! Although this is my character from A New Age, Azure. I always assumed that after Nightmare's defeat in the anime, the remaining demon-beasts acted like normal species and just continued to live, so with that I just thought "why would Nightmare only make one Wolfwrath if he's so strong?" Soooooo, yeah. I like these things' design. Those paws doe. So damn hard to place. It was fun! I started this to relax, since I'm in a bit of a stress lately, but ended up pushing the fur testing farther than what I had in mind.
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deviantID

CelestiaDragonKnight
Canada
Hello everyone, and welcome on this profile. ^_^ I am Luna-the-Wolf 123 from Fanfiction.net.
Do not expect me to draw amazing things, I like to draw but just for fun. My main goal is to write my first series of book. :)
Interests
Hello, strangers. I was gone. I am back. I am trying, and I say trying, to make my portfolio on my other profile, Warriorsofiznugia, but, meh, at the same time, I seem to have started a fanfiction from the Zelda series, to take a break from my original novel. I post it on fanfiction.net, but I suddenly remembered this place, and, meh, I think I'll post it here if people are interested. Thank you!

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:iconnashoba-hostina:
Nashoba-Hostina Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015   General Artist
Oh my stars and moons, thanks so very much for the +watch and everything, I sure do appreciate the interest in my work!
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:iconcelestiadragonknight:
CelestiaDragonKnight Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015
You're very welcome, dear! I love everything about your art :) Keep up the good work!
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:icontatiilange:
tatiilange Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for the watch! :D
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:iconcelestiadragonknight:
You're welcome! Your art is truly amazing!
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:iconziggyj101:
ZiggyJ101 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for the favorite!! :3
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:iconcelestiadragonknight:
You're welcome! :D
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:iconziggyj101:
ZiggyJ101 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the watch! <3
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:iconcelestiadragonknight:
You're welcome! :D Thank you for yours as well!
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:iconziggyj101:
ZiggyJ101 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I think you'll find it's quite deserved ;3
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:iconjessiec92:
jessieC92 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch, much appreciated! :)
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