Sword’s eyes slowly flickered open, the light piercing his eyelids and bringing his body to awakening. Strangely enough, it wasn’t the sun that had woken him. Someone was knocking at the door of their apartment, so loudly that he could even hear it from his room. Surely somebody would get it… But, the knocks persisted, and the knight rolled on his back with a sigh. What time was it exactly? He looked outside at first, at the gray and raining sky, then at the clock stuck to the wall. Past ten o’clock. Oh my! He had overslept! The knocks persisted again, and as he sprung up from the bed to go put on his clothes, Sword heard the king’s voice.
“Hey! I ain’t paying you lot for nothing! One of you, open that door! Meta Knight!”
Why wasn’t anyone responding? Most of all, why hadn’t anyone woken him up? Sword quickly opened his door to the main apartment and saw no one. The banging was so loud it would have woken up the whole castle had it been earlier in the morning!
“If that door doesn’t open in three seconds, I’ll bust it open!”
Without questioning more, Sword quickly rushed to the door and opened it to see His Majesty, holding his hammer, as if about to hit something. The penguin king breathed out and set his hammer down, saying:
He harshly pushed the knight aside and walked in, still holding the hammer. The large king looked around and asked:
“Where’s Meta Knight? I got a task for ‘im!”
Sword was about to answer that his lord was probably out, but Blade’s door opened at that time to a sleepy Blade scratching his head, just as confused. Before either of them could speak, the last bedroom door opened, and Meta Knight appeared. He looked like he had just put on his mask, as it was still kind of loose, and he just wore his cape and his shoes. He blinked as the king exclaimed:
“There you are! As I was saying, I’m not paying you guys so you can sleep all day! What nonsense is that!”
Meta Knight nodded, muttering:
“You guys are always lazing about! Just walking around all day, not even dealing with the important stuff I always ask you to do!”
“No ‘yes, Sire’ today, Meta Knight! You’ll listen to what I say for once and I don’t want to hear anything! Understand?”
“Y… As you wish, Your Majesty.”
“Good,” Dedede finally calmed a bit, leaning against the hilt of his hammer. “So, as I was saying, I have a task for you today, and I want it started today. You followin’ me?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. What must I do?”
Sword couldn’t help but notice how… monotone his voice was. It barely sounded like a question at all, more like an obligation to answer something. Meta Knight usually was more subtle than that… He was probably just as tired as they were.
“I want you to go out there and spy on Kirby.”
In silenced surprise, Sword looked at Blade, who looked back at him with the same look of astonishment. Spy on Kirby? Meta Knight’s monotone voice asked:
“May I inquire as to why you wish to spy on Kirby?”
The king straightened up and looked more serious than ever, making Sword sweat with some sort of sudden worry. He hadn’t forgotten the box of demon-making serum… Moreover, the said box was in Sir Meta Knight’s room. He hoped the king couldn’t see it from where he was standing.
“No, you can’t inquire anything, Meta Knight!” Dedede almost shouted, his temper quite explosive today. “Just go out there and give me reports on absolutely everything he does right down to the detail! Understand?”
Sword looked at his lord, pretty shocked at this sudden order. However, Meta Knight didn’t flinch. He simply nodded his head and slightly bowed down.
“As you wish, Sire. It will be done.”
“Good! Now get dressed or something, you look too much like Kirby.”
On that word, Dedede spun around and left with a sudden lightness in his large feet. The door slammed shut behind him, and silence replaced his loud and obnoxious voice. Sword looked at Blade, who asked:
“Sir? What do we do?”
Meta Knight didn’t answer for a long moment. He slowly blinked, reached a hand up to his eyes and rubbed them, breathing out:
“Just make some coffee…”
He took two steps back and shut his door as well, leaving his companions to questions and silence. Sword looked at Blade questioningly, but his brother only shrugged his shoulders, heading to the kitchen area to make coffee for all of them. But then, a gasp, followed by the sound of furniture falling to the ground caught them both off guard and made them jump. They ran over to their lord’s room.
Kirby had stayed at the castle that night, from an invitation from his friends. Upon waking up this morning, however, he found the sky gray and sad, the rain pouring down on the land, quite the opposite from the previous night. The clouds must have drawn in early before dawn. Now, they were all pretty much stuck inside, waiting for the rain to stop. While Bun was sitting on the couch, staring into space, the young Star Warrior was staring out the window, face glued to the glass. It was fresh against his skin, but it did nothing to relieve his boredom. Was this rain ever going to stop? There was only the sound of the TV to entertain them, but Kirby wasn’t interested in the slightest.
“What are you two doing?” asked Fumu’s voice as she came out of her room.
“Nothin’” Bun answered in a bored voice.
“Can’t go out today,” Kirby added, gluing his face to the glass even more. “I’m glad I slept here or I would have been stuck with Tokkori.”
“I’m sure there’s something else you can do,” she continued, heading on to the kitchen area. “Like helping me bake a cake for Honey’s birthday tomorrow?”
With a heavy sigh, Bun jumped off the couch and turned the TV off.
“Better than anything,” he said as he joined his sister in the kitchen. “Coming, Kirby?”
“I think I’ll go out for a walk,” he answered, taking his face off the glass. “I need some fresh air…”
He stood up in silence and slowly walked out of the appartment, ignoring their confused gaze. The thought of a cake excited a part of him of course, but the boredom killed the rest. He was somewhat sad, because the night before, Meta Knight had promised that he would help him refine his training exercices to be more effective, and Kirby had been delighted, but now, with all this rain… Maybe Meta Knight was still up for it? In silence, Kirby wandered the hallways, walking through groups of confused Waddle Dees that scattered around him to let him pass. The halls stretched on and on, as if without any sort of ending to them, and Kirby felt as if it was the first time he noticed how empty these halls were, with only the same small creatures running around, doing there chores, no children, not even a single visit from the outside. Nobody else, not even him, was allowed in these halls. They were doomed to silence… Kirby stopped dead in his tracks for a moment to rub his eyes. He had no need to think like that. It only made him feel miserable!
He resumed his trek in the halls and soon made a turn in the Knight Wing. With a relieved sigh, he walked up to the knights’ appartment door and knocked three times. It wasn’t long for the door to open to Sword, who appeared surprised to see him.
“Oh, Kirby!” he said. “Hello there. Ooh! that’s right, you were supposed to meet with Sir Meta Knight today!”
Kirby arched an eyebrow as Sword took a quick look back inside, his tone almost worried.
“Is there… something wrong?” he asked worriedly.
“Let him in, Sword,” a voice called weakly from farther back inside. “I’m not dying.”
Sword scratched the back of his head and stepped back, allowing Kirby to walk in, greatly confused. At first, things seemed normal in here. Everything was in place, it even smelled of coffee and pancakes. Sword and Blade were there, the latter in the kitchen area. However, with a quick look around the appartment, something was clearly wrong. Doctor Yabui was there, near a table where he was putting away some of his examination equipment in a suitcase.
“Hello Kirby,” the doctor saluted with a wave of his hand, to which Kirby responded with his own little wave.
His eyes continued to scan the place up to Sir Meta Knight’s room door. It was half-open, and as such he could barely see the end of the bed inside and some furniture in the darkened room.
“What’s happening here?” he asked confusingly as he continued to look around.
Blade came out of the kitchen area with a plate full of pancakes topped with syrup and walked over to the half-open door, saying:
“Sir Meta Knight wasn’t feeling well this morning, so we called the doctor for a check-up.”
As he disappeared in the room, doctor Yabui put on his rain coat and was preparing to leave. Sword shook his hand gratefully.
“Thank you for your help,” he said.
“Well, you’re welcome!” the doctor smiled. “If he passes out again, just call me. And make sure he eats, he’ll be pretty hungry with that medicine I gave him so don’t stop him from eating, and make sure he also sleeps. It’s good to be a Star Warrior and all, but that doesn’t mean he’s allowed to treat his health baddly!”
Sword nodded and agreed to keep an eye on his lord. As the knight lead Yabui over to the exit, Kirby stood alone in the middle of the appartment, staring at the half-open door in silence. Sir Meta Knight, sick? Passed out? He knew that his mentor had a problem with insomnia, but to lead up to being sick… Maybe it would have been more noticeable without the mask. Kirby had seen the face behind it only once up until now, and he remembered how easily the emotions showed on it, pretty much how it did on his own. Blade soon walked out of the room, looked at him and gestured behind him.
“Sir Meta Knight says you can come in.”
Kirby smiled and thanked him, before heading in through the door. It silently closed behind him, and he stood there, watching the blue puffball eating pancakes on a tray in the bed. Sir Meta Knight was maskless and Kirby couldn’t help but stare. Those tall, white eyes looked up from the meal to him and that small, lipless mouth curved up in a tiny smile. Old scars appeared here and there, and as Kirby thought, his eyes told him all about how tired and sleepless he was.
“Good morning, Kirby,” Meta Knight said, voice clear.
“Um, good morning sir,” he answered before clearing his throat. “Are you feeling better?”
Kirby noticed his mask, shoulder plates, shoes and cape on a dresser near the bed, and he would never had thought he would see this attire anywhere else but on his mentor. It didn’t feel that ackward, simply weird, but also funny to see this face which looked so much like his. Sir Meta Knight nodded slightly and his face still expressed the same passiveness it did with the mask on.
“Yes, I am. Thank you for asking. Though I am sorry you have to see me like this… I am afraid we will have to postpone our training for later. I should be out of bed by tomorrow at most.”
“Oh, don’t force yourself, sir. I’m not in a hurry, and you have to take it easy.”
Meta Knight showed him a chair he could sit in and they talked for a long time, surprisingly. Meta Knight seemed to be in a much better mood than he had thought. Kirby was happy that his mentor was willing to speak so freely after being closed off and enigmatic for so long. Maybe it was the mask? They spoke of many things, and while it was mostly Kirby talking, Meta Knight listened intently and answered every question he was asked. But, with time passing and meals being devoured, Meta Knight started dozing off without even noticing, thanks to the doctor’s medicine finally taking effect. So, with a promise to come and see him tomorrow, Kirby left the Knight’s appartment, back in the halls were the only sound was the pouring rain outside. He was still smiling when he made it back to the Parm appartments, even though the weird feeling he had felt for days had not left his thoughts and heart.
The rain stopped during the evening. The winds that blew during this seasonal storm had made quite a mess in the village. Benches were turned upside down, branches of all sizes had fallen from the trees and puddles of mud had formed all around the village and the fields. The young Dyna Baby slowly crept out of the nest under the watchfull eyes of his mother. The growing feathers of his still short wings reflected the setting sun that appeared under the dispersing clouds and the young bird watched the rainbow form over the horizon in wonder. Feeling the wind creep under his feathers, he opened his wings and flapped them a little; at this height in their mountain, the breeze was still strong, strong enough to carry him easily. He cast one last glance at his mother, who nodded her head and settled herself comfortably in the nest. Since he knew how to fly ever since his wings had grown, Dyna Blade gave him more freedom, but he would not leave the nest until he arrived at his maturity, which still waited many decades from here. But he was in no hurry. He had the protection of his mother and the village down below, so he could grow at his own rate.
So, the wind under his wings, he turned to the cliff and let himself fall. Dyna Baby flapped his wings with force and went into a descent down toward the village, carried by the spring breeze. The air was fresh and smelled of rain and grass. Spiraling in the sky, he flew through a patch of low clouds and briefly joined a flock of migrating birds that were headed the same way. He flew above them, trying to keep his wings out and glide effortlessly, but he still needed training in that art, so he resumed flapping his wings so not to lose too much altitude. Finally, when he was over a watermelon field, he descended even further down until he could see some of the cappys coming out of their homes after the rain. The sun was setting, but already they were starting to clean up the mess the winds had made. Such strange creatures they were, those cappys. He finally landed in the central square of the village, in the growing tree on a solid branch. From there, he jumped down on the ground and shuffled his feathers before closing his wings to walk around a bit. It was always fun to be in the village, even in the evening. There was a fresh scent that came up from the sea in the village which he liked quite a lot, but there was also the people. If he was lucky maybe he would see Kirby!
As he walked around in the streets of the village, he saw, on the other end of one road, a group of cappys in front of what he recognized as the toy store. They were struggling with a fallen tree that was blocking the road, its branches scattered all around. Dyna Baby tilted his head to the side a bit, watching the cappys pull and push the tree, trying to at least clear the road. Dyna Baby puffed his chest out, ready to come and help the people of this village like his hero Kirby always did, and flew over to the group of people. The first person he saw looking up at him was the one he recognized as the owner of the toy store, and as he flew over the tree to grab one of the branches and pull with the surprised cappys, he heard them say:
“Dyna Blade’s chick!”
“Ah, that will be helpful!”
Bursting with pride, Dyna Baby only flapped his wings with more and more strenght, rustling the leaves with gusts of wind. Eventually, with all this combined force, the tree was moved over to the side of the road, where it wasn’t in anyone’s way. It would be choped for wood later, he heard the cappys say. Once he settled down on the ground, breathless, the cappys surrounded him to thank him for his help, and Dyna Baby could only happily chirp as an answer. His deed done, he didn’t wait for more and simply turned to leave and go further down in the village. The sun disappeared faster than he had thought after that ordeal. Already the darkness of this moonless and cloudy night took hold of the village, and Dyna Baby could only look up at the sky, an habit he had to search for his mother once it was dark. But, he was old now! He could easily get back to the nest without her constant guidance.
He saw the silhouette of the mountain and set off in the streets in that general direction, keeping his eyes up on this tall distant shadow. He was so focused on this mountain that it was almost all he could see. A sudden noise, strong flapping wings, echoed in his ears and he stopped on the spot to look around, suddenly tense. These noises were loud, and came from down this street. He even heard something crash in a tree, leaves and branches rustling and falling. In the darkness, he could only make out so much of what was going on… Carefully, Dyna Baby walked ever so slowly toward where the noise had ended, toward that tree next to these houses. What was that? He usually wasn’t out at night. Were there bats out there? Or maybe some other nocturnal animal? It was probably it. His mother told him many things about animals acting weird during the night. So, with that in mind and now only set toward mere curiosity, Dyna Baby walked up to the tree and looked up at it, blinking to try and get a better view. Whatever was in there was breathing hard, like it was afraid or had flew for hours without stopping. Tilting his head to the side, Dyna Baby chirped out a question: Are you hurt?
The breathing suddenly stopped in a small gasp, and eyes turned to him; eyes red like… like that evil crow that haunted his dreams… Widening his eyes, Dyna Baby backed away, feeling something strange taking hold of his bones. He stood in the middle of the street, shaking as those burning red eyes stared at him from the darkness of the tree. Dyna Baby shook his head and flapped his wings in a frenzy. Whatever it was, he needed to get away!
However, as soon as he was up and flying, the creature leapt out of the tree and those eyes came fast at him. Dyna Baby tried to dodge to the side, but the thing collided with him and they were both sent flying to the ground. In a panic, the bird scratched his talons at anything they could reach in hopes that it would save him, and one of his claws caught something meaty; there was a yelp, and when he looked up, the shadowed creature was flying off in the sky, flapping its large wings noisily. Dyna Baby laid there for the longest time, heart racing and legs shaking. Just what was that thing? A demon-beast? But how? Were there still more out there, even without the Nightmare to create them? His thoughts raced all around the possibilities until he was torn away by many lights from the nearest houses as doors were being opened. Confused cappys came out of their homes to come and see, they were asking many questions and Dyna Baby was as confused as them. The soft hand of a woman lightly touched his back, and they helped him get back on his feet. A wet substance was on his foot and he didn’t like it.
“Are you okay?” the woman asked gently yet worriedly.
“What was that noise just now?” another citizen asked.
“Whose… whose blood is that…?”
Blood? He looked down at the ground, and there he saw a slash of dark red liquid, the same that was on his foot. The shaking came back. A demon-beast. These words echoed in his throat, it was the answer to all these questions. Looking up at the shadow that lurked somewhere in that night sky, he chirped and cried out again, trying to form the words.
“Dreeeeeeeee…! Dreeeeeeee-on! Dreeeeee-on!”
He opened his wings and flapped them to take to the air, intent on going back to the safety of the nest.
Leaving the village behind, the young legendary bird flew faster than he had ever flown before. The adrenaline had not yet revealed to him the injury on his chest, but it would in due time. He had to tell his mother about all this. There were still demon-beasts in Dreamland.