Meanwhile, I still sat on the cool blue grass on one of the outer
rings, feeling like I did that day. It grew very late, and my eyes grew tired.
In the distance coming from the planet, an Air Ride Machine landed next to me,
it was Aaron with his Shadow Star.
“Found anything?” he greeted. I shook my head.
“Of course not. But I’m just glad my shift is over. Your
enthusiastic brother kicked me out extra early.” He dismounted and lazily lied
on his back, yawning. I joined him feeling faintly weak. But that was a bad
idea. Out of the corner of my eye, a small red light twinkled. At first, I paid
no attention to it, as I believed I was just seeing things. But it happened
again, and this time, I sat up.
“What?” Aaron asked.
“I think, I just saw…” I broke off, staring carefully. It happened
again. “Wait! Did you see that?”
“What are you talking about?” Then there was an explosion where the
light was and a loud trumpet-like siren blew. We were the only ones patrolling
the farthest outer ring, and were the only ones who heard it. The immense sound
waves shook the thin ring and nearly blew us away. “What is that?!” I didn’t
reply, I just sprinted towards the small control tower that was seldom used. I
could see Aaron speeding away towards the noise on his Shadow Star through the
thick blurry glass window.
I pulled the switch to alert the ring second closest to the planet.
The second ring had been a very popular vacation resort with all the smooth pink
beaches, but I expect that the number of tourists had been thinning down since
the war. However there were still a lot of patrolmen and inhabitants so it would
be the most suitable place to reach. A voice came through the intercom.
“Hello? Who is it that pulled the alert switch?” It happened to be
“It’s me, Leras. Get as many Star Warriors as you can to the Outer
Ring in five minutes.”
“I’m not sure what just happened, but something exploded, and I
think it could be a sign of Nightmare.” There was a brief silence. Sir Collin
was 2594 years old and his voice sounded firm and prepared.
“Okay. I’ll see you soon.” The intercom shut off with a click. Then
I rushed outside to check on what Aaron was doing. I saw him beginning to attack
some air ride machines far out. I shook my head. Aaron was never really good at
flying. I mounted my Jet Star and chased after him. It had been such a long time
that I headed out to space with my Jet Star, but I still loved the experience
even at the present situation. The fleeting icy coolness would awake you firmly,
but somewhat gently and was pleasing at the touch.
“Aaron!” I shouted. He didn’t hear me. “Draw back! There will be
more coming! Dra-“ I stopped abruptly, for tens of thousands of more air ride
machines and ships from the Holy Nightmare Empire (HNE) arrived at full speed. I
hovered there, gazing at the army Nightmare had assembled in horror. Then Aaron
retreated and flew to where I was.
“Look at this. We didn’t see it coming at all,” he said.
“Yes we did, didn’t we?”
“We didn’t expect the Second Legion.” He stared in dismay as
Nightmare’s huge black and silver ship arrived. It was so much bigger than we
ever imagined. Of course it been repaired and improved, but to the largest
extent anyone would ever see. More and more ships appeared with their new
weapons. The Second Legion of the HNE was the largest, the most powerful and not
to forget the most feared. My head already grew weary.
“We need to call for better defenses,” I stated.
“What did you get?”
“I told Collin to get as many Star Warriors as possible in five
“Well that’s something, at least,” Aaron sighed.
“That’s nothing! Come on, we’ve gazed at them for too long. We have
to go back.” We both glided quickly back and landed on the outer ring, where we
saw about 80 Star Warriors on air ride machines.
“What’s going on?” Collin asked.
“The Second Legion is here, more violent than ever,” Aaron reported
distraughtly. I looked down at the ground. Terrified murmurs arose from the
group around us. We were doomed.
“Look, in all of the history of Aetastar, something this dreadful
has had to have happened before,” Aaron said. “Sir Meta Knight departed with the
‘Son of the Scroll’ two days ago. Kirby is perfectly safe with him. At least we
don’t have to worry about that.”
“We have the entire planet to worry about!” my brother scoffed.
“Let’s hope Nightmare won’t attack all corners of Aetastar.”
“Come then, if He will, then we must alert every district and
Ring,” an old Star Warrior (at least 4000 years old) suggested.
“I agree, let’s follow Sir Warren’s plan,” Sir Collin confirmed.
“All right, you ten (he pointed) notify the other Six Rings. Get all the shields
up.” At this point ten obedient Star Warriors left followed out the command.
“The rest of us will split up and warn the planet. That is all I am able to
think of. Quickly, we must move.” The other half of us zipped off on their
Machines to the other end of Aetastar. The rest of us (35 Royal Star Warriors)
mounted and flew worriedly towards the Capital. We all had wished Sir Meta
could be here, as our government currently lacked a Head Star Warrior, but
nevertheless he couldn’t be in two places at once. Sir Meta Knight allowed that
in his absence, an alternate Head Star Warrior could be elected, but we didn’t
have the time to select one. We hurried even though they were shooting at us.
Soon enough, the Capital came into view. We landed at the Palace
and without a word, set up the force-shields and cannons. When the citizens
realized what was going on, they began to evacuate. They didn’t scream and
didn’t seem to be panicking because there were many drills during these days,
but I could tell in their eyes that they were terrified. The cannons began
firing at the ships, while 50 Star Warriors including me and my companions went
to battle on our air ride machines. The Second Legion’s machines were merely
copies of ours but had lasers built in. At first, we were caught off guard with
the guns, as on Aetastar, guns were thought vulgar and shameful as opposed to
swords, but we were all trained well in piloting our machines and attacked the
enemy with our skills that saved us from death.
The hooded soldiers showed no fear or weariness, contrary to us,
when Nightmare’s ship had broken through the atmosphere. It seemed even larger
than out in space, as its shadow cast out the sunlight on the beloved Capital
and all anyone could see was the blinding intimidating silhouette. As far as we
knew, Nightmare obviously chose to attack strongest here, as this was Kirby’s
birthplace. As soon as it appeared, his army stopped shooting and hovered
motionless. We were confused. What was Nightmare planning to do? Apparently, the
large ship released smaller ships that contained hooded foot soldiers. The small
ships landed on the fields outside the city and the hooded soldiers entered the
“What in the-“ Aaron began.
“Quick. We have to dismount before they get to the Capital,” I
said. Aaron nodded in fast agreement and beckoned the rest of the Star Warriors
“No!” the old Star Warrior, Sir Warren cried. “The others can
handle them. There is a mother ship to be dealt with.” He was absolutely right,
although I could not see why then, especially with his ancient Bulk Star.
“Are you mad? It only takes one of those foot soldiers to disable
our shields!” Aaron declared. “Come on, Leras, we have to go and stop them.” I
nodded to no one in particular and followed my friend, though I felt
reprehensible for immediately disagreeing with the old warrior. He hovered there
silently, disappointed, but left at once to do what he thought was right. When
we nearly landed on the outer landing docks, HNE’s soldiers had already begun to
fire at us. It was a tough land, as it was delayed but luckily Aaron had his
crossbow out and we eventually landed, somewhat. The left front end of my Jet
Star was slightly bashed in, and Aaron’s Shadow Star no longer gave off smoke
instead of its healthy deep violet glow.
“Quick, we’ll have to move towards the shield generators,” Aaron
“Right,” I agreed. “I just hope the civilians have made it
underground.” A few hundred years ago, a small underground city was built in
case of an emergency. It was rarely used, and it wasn’t exactly pleasant looking
either, but it was hidden well beneath the floor, at least hopefully hidden well
enough from the HNE.
We rushed towards the large generators, getting into violent
quarrels with the cloaked soldiers that raced against us. We were relieved to
find that the generator had not been touched yet. Half of the ten Star-Warriors
that were guarding this post managed the cannons, while the rest of us guarded.
“It’s hopeless,” I heard someone say. “What can we do against that
mother ship?” I felt that he was right, but thinking of what Sir Meta Knight
would do, I tried to not let that bother me, and I stayed on task, watching out
for HNE’s soldiers. But then I turned around, noticing that the ship’s shadow
grew larger and darker, and it shot out a thick electric beam at the generator
next to ours, and it exploded. We all stopped to watch at the impact; no one
near that explosion survived. What we realized was worse, was that our shield
had now vanished, and had evaporated into thin air.
“Oh no…” someone had muttered.
“Quickly,” Aaron began. “We’ll get on our Air Ride Machines.”
“No,” another said. “Then they’ll only get to the civilians
“But we can do more damage to them in the air!”
“That’s not the problem! Oh, what would Sir Meta Knight do in this
“I’m quite sure Sir Meta Knight would have averted this situation,”
someone else declared.
“Forget that! Let’s split up before their next attack,” another
cried. A loud argument began, but soon enough, the mother ship landed outside
the Capital, appearing to not to want to hurt us. We had just discovered that
the only attack coming from the mother ship was to destroy that generator. All
of us were dead silent, watching the large hatch open. It was quite far away,
and we could see seven black figures walk calmly from the ship. Six of them
disappeared. We jolted back, astounded of where they went, until shortly one
appeared behind us with an enormous puff of black steam. We turned to him
immediately, staying alert; some of us clenched our weapon(s). The figure before
us was thin and slightly taller than us, and wore a large black cape, with black
and silver clothing on him. He had long spiky silver hair, and wore a smooth
white mask with two eyeholes. We could not see his eyes. His arms were crossed,
as he stared at us. He then he opened his arms, and began to clap loudly and
“What a warm welcome, Star Warriors of Aetastar,” he said. His
voice was soft and smooth, but his tone seemed insulting. He then took a small
“I am Col. Xerukon, one of the Seven Head Officials of the Holy
“And what business do you have here, colonel?” I asked.
“Aetastar will soon become an important part of the HNE.”
“This is not an example of the simple concept of Veni Vedi Vici, if
that is what you were looking for,” a Star-Warrior explained.
“Well, not quite,” Xerukon remarked. “Anyway, I have come to help
summon all the Royal Star-Warriors to His ship.”
“For what purpose?” Aaron asked.
“Well,” Xerukon began, folding his arms again. “We only wanted to
invite your King and our good friend Sir Meta Knight to come and have a talk. But
since we found out that he is presently not here, we had decided on inviting all
of the Royal Star-Warriors instead.” There was a pause.
“I sense a trap,” Aaron had whispered to me.
“It is no trap, good knight. He does not prefer to work that
way, leastways with Aetastar. So if you do not decide to come, that will be at
your own loss,” the dark colonel said. We exchanged looks at each other, unsure
whether this colonel was being truthful. An old Star-Warrior behind me stepped
aside to face the colonel, until they were face-to-face.
“I shall go. It is not like we have any business with your empire
anyway,” he said confidently. Xerukon only smirked. He then slowly opened his
“Very well, anyone else?” Us, the Royal Star-Warriors looked at
each other, agreeing silently, noticing that the non-royal warriors seemed a
little irritated about being left out. We then came forth and nodded at the
cloaked colonel. His hand clasped onto his mask, slightly bending forward. We
did not know what he was doing, but soon enough when he made a small waving
motion with his other hand, the ground beneath us didn’t feel like the ground
anymore. A soft black transporting apparatus had appeared under our feet. Some
of us were extremely in awe that the colonel could do such a task with just a
wave of a hand. Thankful that Sir Meta Knight told me ‘magic’ wasn’t what it
seemed, I refused to believe that he had a great skill. I turned towards the
other Star-Warriors, who seemed to be somewhat interested, though they decided
not to show it with their goaded faces.
“And it’s to the Mother Ship from here,” Xerukon said. Another wave
of his hand had the apparatuses suck us in violently though the experience was
incredibly quick. From there I was just standing in darkness with a headache,
and a light from above violently sucked me up. There I joined my comrades in
what seemed like a well cared-for lobby. There were about sixty of us here.
Another transporting apparatus was under my feet and the headache stopped. I
looked around the tall room, where the apparatuses lined the sides and some
grand stairs were at one end. I couldn’t see the roof, as it was covered in
black clouds. I thought it was just an odd decoration, for now. But quickly our
eyes turned to the seven cloaked colonels at the top of the steps, Xerukon being
on the right hand side of the one in the middle. We assumed that the one in the
middle was of higher rank, seeing as he was dressed in a fancier manner. A young
comrade next to me clenched the hilt of his sword. He seemed extremely tense
though there was no danger. I figured it was because we were trapped inside. We
had no idea how to operate their apparatuses to get out.
“Don’t let them intimidate you,” an old Star-Warrior next to him
whispered. “That’s just what they want. Look calm.” The young one unclenched his
sword, but and tried to look calm like he instructed, but tiny beads of sweat
could be seen. I nodded at them, and I turned to the seven figures at the top of
the stairs. What did they want? They had been oddly silent for some time now.
The centered one began to clap slowly, just how Col. Xerukon had. We remained
quiet, though this awkward applause aggravated us.
“Welcome, followers of the great Sir Meta Knight,” he said. His
voice was a very deep and confident one. He continued.
“You, as an alternate of Sir Meta Knight have been invited to come
and discuss the addition of your planet to the Holy Nightmare Empire here, in
the finest Mother Ship of the Second Legion. If you’ll follow us…” The figures
turned in unison and began slowly walking to the large double-doors at the top
of the stairs. We followed hesitantly; disgusted that they’d believe we’d
surrender Aetastar to them. But what bothered me most was why they referred to
Sir Meta Knight as someone who they treated as a friend. My mentor would never
have relations like such with anyone under Nightmare. I tried not to let it
bother me, as I assumed they were trying to patronize us.
In three lines, we continued through the doors, remaining calm but
highly suspicious of their ‘hospitality.’ As we passed through the different
rooms, we felt like we were in some grand castle. Each room seemed more
decorated with relics and dark tapestries. It was a long march; eventually the
ship appeared bigger from the inside than the outside.
Soon, we came to another pair of large double doors of black
engraved wood. The seven officials stood in front of it; they had been waiting
for us quietly. We stopped, and ended up waiting for several minutes, getting
“Are you prepared?” the head official asked.
“Prepared for what?” someone retorted.
“Why, to meet Him of course.” There was an odd silence. We were all
in deep thought. We at first were taken aback, somewhat irritated about the fact
that they regarded their evil spirit of darkness as a god. But then, the thought
struck us. They asked us if we were prepared to meet him. Was he frightening?
Could he kill us with a mere look? Something must have been highly unexpected of
his appearance if they asked us if we were prepared. No one had a chance to back
out in fear, as another official said,
“Very well.” With a slow wave of his hand, the doors opened,
completely silent. All we could see was a vast darkness within. It looked as if
it would eat anyone near it on the spot. “Please proceed,” he continued. “Your
king and He wait inside.” The seven officials then immediately faded into the
“They have His Honor?!” someone cried out. We gathered various
thoughts in frustration.
“Of course,” and old star-warrior began. “They have him as hostage.
How cruelly manipulative of them.” We still stood there, as none of us were
courageous enough to enter. The whole day had seemed like a disaster. We felt
completely lost and ashamed without Sir Meta Knight. I cleared my throat
abruptly, letting everyone that I was about to enter.
“Sir Leras, wait!” Aaron called after me. I simply turned, with a
“Hurry up already. Star-warriors are not meant to be late.” The
last I saw of my comrades were confused looks among them. As I entered blindly,
I felt the cool forming of a wall of darkness behind me. I decided not to look
back though, taking a deep breath and continuing forward. Soon, I saw the dim
silhouette of His Honor. He seemed perfectly fine, and my nerves loosened
somewhat. More cold walls of darkness closed in on me when I came to a large
round table with dozens of seats for us. On the other side sat the Seven
Officials and the King.
“Your Honor!” I cried out. He seemed unhurt, but terribly fatigued.
“Where are the others?” he moaned quietly.
“Oh,” I replied, stuttering. “They shall arrive shortly.” I nodded
and took a seat. I noticed that the officials were no longer hooded. They each
wore masks, similar to the one that Col. Xerukon wore. The head official however
didn’t wear his mask, I don’t believe, but one could not see his face, as it was
blocked by a large creamy crystal orb. The others sat at some distance from him.
His bony dark hands that consisted of just three fingers kneaded the orb slowly,
and this disturbed me very much. I felt as if a dark cloud was trying to rain on
all the light and goodness that I knew. And my eyes had not yet met Nightmare,
whom the officials suggested we make ourselves ready for. Would the feeling be
similar to this? Or worse? Soon though, the rest of the star-warriors appeared
behind me, and I felt that the raining of that cloud had reduced itself to an
“Your Honor!” they all cried out, incredibly concerned.
“He is quite all right,” one of the officials assured. “Now please,
take a seat.” My comrades did so, uneasy.
“Are we ready?” the head official hissed hoarsely. His sudden
change of voice startled us. He sounded miserably ill, his tone of voice losing
the young smoothness and confidence that he had before.
“Yes,” another answered. “Please begin, Master Kaorokon.” We then
assumed that the head’s name was Kaorokon, and the hands molded the orb into a
tall cylinder, emitting black and silver fog. The thin wisps then scattered as
quick as lightning around the nebulous room making crackling sounds. The other
officials then stood up, clapping their hands together in unison. Soon the wisps
returned to the orb, in a blinding light. Even though we could tell that the
head official stood up, the light covered his face. The light quickly darkened
into a black light. I didn’t want to look into the evil spell, though I caught
many of us peering deeply into the darkness. Two ruby penetrating eyes appeared
in the darkness, slightly faded. They were beady, and they glowed, spreading a
dark evil about the room and into our hearts. We could see out of the corners of
our eyes that the orb had taken its original form as Kaorokon’s bony hands
“Have You awakened, my Master?” the head official said, in the same
hoarse distorted tone. “We have brought You to Aetastar, home of the Scroll.”
The other officials nodded with their hands still clasped together in a sort of
chant. The eyes began to wander around, and it spoke in a low bewitched, and
murky tone. We could not understand its words, as they were in another tongue.
“Yes, yes of course, my Master. We do anything You ask of us,” the
head official replied loyally. A dark conversation continued, between the red
omniscient eyes of Nightmare and Col. Kaorokon. It stunned us that someone could
so highly regard an evil spirit such as Nightmare, the one and only source of
all that was bad and corrupt in this universe. As the discussion went on between
them, I noticed that many of us had started a slight pant. I then found myself
somewhat struggling to breathe. The dark cloud in my mind had returned, and my
comrades could do nothing to stop it. The hands of the fog of darkness crept
closer to our heart every time another word was spoken. And suddenly, the hands
clenched them forcefully. I tried to shriek out in the pain that the darkness
was trying to conquer us, but the thick darkness prevented me from making any
noise. I looked around desperately and half-consciously that the very words
between the two had shaken them as well. Suddenly a thought struck me. What
about the King? Had darkness taken him? I looked to the other side of the table
where he sat. He looked as if he were peacefully asleep. What was happening to
Soon, the talking had stopped, and the hands of darkness gradually
retreated back into the fading clouds. I fully regained my consciousness, and
saw that the King was awaking. One of the officials however, to my dismay,
immediately placed his gloved hand on the King’s shoulder, as if to show that he
was their prisoner.
“Take your hand off of him!” one of us ordered sternly. No reply
“Now,” Col. Xerukon began. He stood next to the head official. “I
would be silent if I were you, good knight.” He stepped forward. “You don’t want
us to have to put our hostage to an immoral use, now would you?”
“So you are keeping His Honor as hostage!” my brother cried out,
“We didn’t intend for this to happen to him, if that’s what
you mean,” the colonel sighed. “Our Master highly suggested that we do so.
Anyhow, we would like to start discussing the reason why you are all here.”
There was a moment of an anxious silence.
“So it’s a ransom?” I asked, recalling what the colonel had
mentioned before when we met him. I continued, “In exchange for the safety of
our King, you would have us surrender our home?”
“Perhaps,” another official said. His voice was a cloudy, slightly
Xerukon continued. “You may not have to surrender Aetastar. You
have one of two choices in fact.”
“But we must lose something dear…?” I replied. There was a pause,
and Xerukon sighed once again.
“Well that only depends on how dear the Scroll is to you,” he
explained calmly. It was silent, but soon all of us made a smirk. It had to have
been small, for it was also a matter of respect and honor that we Star-Warriors
could not sneer at our enemy. We could tell that this bothered the colonel, but
he tried to proceed serenely,
“Now if you would ask me, I do not believe there is a latter
between a priceless scroll and a lovely addition to the Empire. But would you
rather give up a scroll, or the home of your people?”
“How about neither?” Sir Aaron asked confidently.
“Oh, then what would happen to your King?” Xerukon replied, looking
towards the official whose hand was on the King’s shoulder. The hand tightened
its grip, and His Honor made a quite groan of discomfort.
“Well,” Aaron began. “By what you have explained to us, you have
made it seem that the Scroll is worth less than our planet.”
“Do you think the contrary?” Xerukon responded. Aaron ignored this.
“The only two that know of the location of the Scroll is Sir
Meta Knight…” he paused for a second, gleefully realizing that he had the nervous
attention of those of the HNE. “and your hostage. If you destroy your hostage,
like you constantly threaten to do, than the Scroll will be lost forever.” I
suddenly struck a small glance at my friend. Did he not know? Or had he
forgotten? He returned the glance with a wry smile. He had not forgotten. There
was one other who knew of the location of the Scroll. And that someone happened
to be me.
We could see though, that the rest of the officials stirred in
bewilderment. Xerukon and Kaorokon remained still. They apparently knew
something the others didn’t.
“Might I remind you, that Sir Meta Knight is being tracked down as
we speak? He is not such a difficult target, I might add. And we know that the
Son of the Scroll is with him.” Our confidence withdrew. Could they get the
location out of Sir Meta Knight? I tried not to fear that scenario. Sir
Meta Knight would not betray us. If he would, we would not have sent him. Xerukon
continued anyway. “So, that just means you have one option. You have been
cornered, Star-Warriors of Aetastar. You must surrender your home planet to the
Empire, or else your King shall be destroyed. Your home is a small price to pay,
right? That’s what this good knight said, is it not?”
“Thanks to the information you have given us, there will no longer
be a latter for us. We can now obtain both the Scroll and Aetastar.” Aaron
immediately sunk in his seat, staring wide-eyed at the cold empty table. I could
tell he felt incredibly foolish. It was not his fault though, I believe. We
would have had to give up something. It was probably a better decision to
forfeit our home to them, then the Scroll of Time. Besides, I had great
confidence in Sir Meta Knight. The HNE would not have such an easy time to
understand my mentor’s mind. The only thing I had to worry about now was myself.
They would likely not suspect me of knowing its location. But I could never be
sure. They had unique sources of acquiring things. After the moments of
reflection, Xerukon concluded.
“I hope you will look forward to becoming a part of the strongest
growing power in the universe,” he said quietly. He nodded at the other
officials, allowing them to unclasp their hands. The eyes of Nightmare
disappeared, taking the dark clouds in our heads with him, and the black fog
returned to the orb. When the light of the orb vanished, we could see the head
official sitting, hooded.
“You have now officially agreed to our terms and laws of the
Empire,” he said.
“You may have your King back,” Xerukon
added. “Let us show you the way out.”