It was a beautiful summer day in Giant Land, though summer was starting to show it's end, as the weather wasn't as hot as before, and some slightly cold winds were picking up from time to time. Princess Apple, the princess of Giant Land, was sitting in her throne in Giant Castle, listening to what some of her Toad advisors were saying about some things going on around Giant Land and a few surrounding areas. Apple knew this was part of her royal duties, and she wasn't neglecting them at all, keeping a warm smile on her face. She was in her usual outfit of her red tiara with a golden seed in it on her head, with her lush brown hair pulled up into a ponytail in the back, red dress, and her pair of golden sandals. Leaning down a little to hear her advisors better, she listened in closely.
"So you see, your highness..." said one Toad with a large mustache, "We've had shortages of vegetables lately in the royal garden, and we suspect Monty Moles behind it."
Apple nodded, "So, isn't there anything you can do about it?" she asked.
The advisor shook his head, "That's the problem, your majesty...since this is Giant Land, those Monty Moles are giant-sized! There's no way we could possibly get them out!"
Apple sighed, "So it's up to me again, huh?"
"I'm sorry to have to ask this of you, your highness...but with Prince Hugo not here and at a summit with the king of Pipe Land and Ice Land for the next 3 days, you are the only one here that's good to do it. Besides, it's---"
"It's my duty as a Princess to help my people in need, I know....I know." Apple said, interrupting her advisor, "Okay, I'll go out to the garden and check it out. You all carry on with your own duties, please."
The advisors bowed and soon left the room. When they were gone, Apple slumped back in her throne, giving off a somewhat exhausting sigh. "I know it's my duty to help everyone here...but couldn't I have a break once in awhile? And just because I'm this size doesn't mean I have to handle everything here..."
Standing up, Apple started to walk towards the royal gardens, going down some hallways and through some corridors until she finally came there. She immediately saw that there had been some damage to the gardens already, with mole holes dotting the area. To her, they looked normal, but if it were anyone else, those holes would be almost like a miniature crater. Sighing again, she walked over, cracked her knuckles and reached down into one of the holes, shuffling her hand around. She was used to getting a bit dirty, since she had to take care of this garden anyways. Soon, she got ahold of something. Smiling, she hoisted it up, and it turned out to be none other than a king-sized Monty Mole, though to her it looked normal size, about up to her knees.
"Yaaagh! Hey, missy! What're you doin'?!" said the Monty Mole in a somewhat scratchy voice.
"Don't "missy" me, bub. You're messing up my garden, and thus also making my kingdom have food shortages." said Apple. She had a no-nonsense look on her face.
"Eh? Kindgom...So what're you, some kinda princess or somefin'?" the Mole asked.
"I am indeed. Princess Apple of Giant Land." she said.
"Whoa-whoa-whoa!" the Mole suddenly had a change of tone, "Princess, I'm so sorry! If I had'a known it was your garden I was in, I would've left earlier!"
"Well, I'm glad you have a sense of reasoning, Mr...um..." Apple responded.
"Th' name's Donny...Donny D. Mole." said Donny.
"Yes, thank you. Donny, I'll be willing to overlook this if you head off somewhere else, please." said Apple, a smile coming to her face.
"M'pleasure, Princess...but...there's one little problem...I still gots'ta eat somefin' once in awhile..." said Donny.
Apple thought for a moment, rubbing her chin with her free hand. A few moments later, she smiled and had an idea. "Well...I know there's a section in Grass Land that's full of vegetation. It may not be as big as the turnips or anything I grow here, but it should keep you satisfied. I can get a ferry to take you there by tomorrow if you'd like."
Donny's sunglassed eyes beamed. "Really? Hot diggity-dog, you're as kind an' sweet as they say you are, princess! Much obliged!"
Apple giggled slightly as she set Donny back down on the ground. "Hehe...you're pretty nice for a mole."
"We're vastly misunderstood creatures, princess...vastly misunderstood." replied Donny.
Apple nodded. "Well, then, I'll give you a nice spot down in my basement, since I know moles prefer the dark. You can wait there for awhile until I get the ferry ready and write a note to the King of Grass Land about your arrival."
Donny nodded and smiled. "Again, I thank ya, Princess Apple. Oh, here...a little token of me gratitude for ya..." With saying that, Donny leaped back in the hole he was pulled out of and began to fill the remaining holes back up. Being a mole, this didn't take him very long, roughly only about 5 minutes or so. Soon, he popped back up and filled in the remaining hole.
Apple's face beamed. "Why, thank you Donny! You probably just saved me lots of work!"
"Ah, don't sweat it...it's the least I could'a done for all the trouble I caused yer garden." Donny said.
Apple smiled. "You're very sweet, Donny. Now come with me and I'll take you to my cellar."
"Sure thing, princess!" said Donny, and the two walked through Apple's castle down into the basement.
Along the way, a couple of Toad guards saw the monster mole with Apple. One spoke up. "Princess, what's this mole doing here?"
Princess Apple looked down at the guard. "This mole is a guest of mine...I expect him to be treated as such. He is to stay here in the cellar until I can get a ferry to Grass Land ready for him, understood?"
The Toad guard was a little unsure, but saluted. "Y-Yes, Princess, I understand."
Donny smiled. "Don't worry, lil' guy...I only eat veggies."
Apple giggled. "Okay, Donny, you wait here." she said as she began walking back to her throne room.
A little later on that night, Apple came out of her bathroom wearing red slippers and matching red pajama bottoms and top, feeling refreshed after a nice warm bath. She had her hair down, a rare sight since she usually kept it in her traditional ponytail often, though she usually let it down only while she slept. Apple lied down on her bed with a gentle flop, giving an exhausting sigh. "Whew...what a day..." she said to herself. Indeed, it had been a long day for her. She had been successful in sending Donny off to Grass Land, and she was happy she could help him, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. Over the day, she also had to weed out some giant Piranha Plants in a nearby village, not to mention help a merchant re-capture some rare P-Wings that had suddenly flown out of his merchandise. Looking out the window next to her bed, the starry night sky was glittered with stars, and she swore she even saw a precious 3-up Moon go by.
Smiling, Princess Apple got under her covers, but she didn't fall asleep immediately. Instead, she looked up at her ceiling, some thoughts running through her head. One in particular sprung up, and she found herself talking to herself. "I wonder...it's been over six years since I moved away from Jewel Town..." Of course, Princess Apple was referring to her hometown, which was now under the name of Diamond City, "...Six whole years...all that time cramped up in here. I mean, I can't complain really, since I'm with the love of my life, and I'm also a well-loved princess, but...I do wonder...how things have changed over these past six years...and not just back at my old home...but everywhere?"
These thoughts and a few more raced through Apple's mind as she just lay there in her bed, staring up to the ceiling. She then sat up in her bed, crossing her arms over her chest. "I want to find out...how much has developed in the places around the world. I mean, I know it's my duty as a Princess to stay here while Hugo's away and monitor things, but...I just have this itching feeling to go out and explore for awhile!" She giggled a bit, "Tee-hee...! Listen to me, I almost sound like Peach...Still..."
Princess Apple looked out her window again, the stars twinkling in the sky, but something caught her eye. A tiny shimmering light was coming right to her window. Apple gasped slightly and watched as the tiny light came into her window, and tiny it was. It was just a flicker to Apple's eyes! Apple leaned in closer to see what it was, her curiosity aroused. She then heard a very tiny voice.
"Whoa! You're huge!" said the voice.
Apple gasped. "Wh-wha? Who said that?"
"Oh! I did! Right here!" came the voice again.
Apple squinted at the small flicker of light, and she just barely made out a star shape. Upon seeing that, she gave a light gasp. "Wh...what are you?"
"Oh, sorry! Let me introduce myself! My name's Twink! I'm a Star Child from Star Summit!" said Twink.
Apple thought for a moment. "Star Summit....oh! That's right, Peach told me about that place!"
"Hehe! Cool, I see you've heard about it!" replied Twink, "I once helped out Peach and Mario way back when!"
"Yes, I remember Peach telling me about that once when I visited her! It was an amazing story!" Apple replied, smiling, but then she had a curious look on her face, "But...Twink what brings you here?"
"Oh, that! Well, the mighty Star Spirits heard your desire to go out and look around, so they want to grant your wish!" replied Twink.
"Oh! Well, that's great, but...." Apple then looked a bit sad.
"What's wrong?" asked Twink.
"Well...it's true I do want to go out and look around for awhile, but...I can't leave my kingdom alone without Prince Hugo here to watch over things...If I leave without saying anything, the kingdom might get in trouble!" explained Apple.
Twink thought for a bit, then had an idea. "I think I have an idea for that! Just a sec..." said Twink, and he flew out of Apple's window.
Apple didn't know what was on Twink's mind, but she patiently waited for Twink's return. A bit later, Twink flew back into Apple's room. "I'm back, Princess Apple!"
Apple smiled. "Good of you to return, Twink...so, what was this idea you had?"
Twink spun around a few times, then there was a flash of light next to Apple. Apple shielded her eyes momentarily until the light weakened. When she saw what caused it, she saw what looked to be an hourglass, filled with tiny grains of sparkling sand. She lifted it up with her hands. "What's this...hourglass?" she asked.
"It's the Star Hourglass, Princess Apple! With this, when you turn it over, time will stop in the general area you're in." Twink explained.
Apple didn't know how this would've helped at first, but then a look of realization came to her face and she smiled brightly. "I get it! If I use this, everything in Giant Land will freeze in place, and I won't have to worry about anything, right?"
Twink nodded. "That's right! As an added effect, the area that is affected by it will be protected from outside forces. The Star Spirits made this especially for you!"
Apple smiled, a slight tear in her eye. "I...I don't know what to say, Twink...thank you! Oh...I suppose I should ask how long the hourglass lasts, shouldn't I?"
"Oh, right, I almost forgot! The Star Hourglass's power lasts for a total of 48 hours. The only thing that isn't affected by the hourglass is the sky, so time will still pass here, but nothing here will." Twink explained.
Apple looked at the hourglass. "Only two days, huh? Well...it doesn't seem like much, but..."
"Sorry, Princess...it was all the Star Spirits would allow." Twink said.
Apple giggled. "No, no! It's perfectly fine! I understand there are limitations, but two days is a lot of time, especially since I can get pretty far just by walking!"
Twink smiled, seeing that Apple was happy. "Well, then, I hope you enjoy your wish, Princess Apple! I have to get going, though...there's many more wishes needing to be granted to nice people such as yourself!"
Apple blushed slightly. "Hehe, it's okay, I understand Twink! Thank you very much for this, and tell the Star Spirits I said thank you as well!"
With a wink and a twinkle, Twink flew out of Apple's window, darting off into the star-filled sky. Waving to Twink as he left her sight, Apple then turned her head to the Star Hourglass. "...48 hours...well, it may not seem like much, but I'm very happy that the Star Spirits granted me this time. I won't let it go to waste!" she said with a determined look, "But...I guess I should get some sleep first...don't want to leave exhausted...but I'll wake up very early so I can sneak out without anyone seeing."
With saying that, Apple set the hourglass on her nightstand next to her and turned off her light. She curled up under her covers, smiling at the thought that after a few hours of sleep, she'll be able to leave the castle without any worry...and get to see the world around her that she hadn't seen in six years time.
The sun was just peeking over the horizon when Apple awoke in the morning. Despite the fact she felt well-rested, she had a very cheerful and even somewhat giddy smile on her face. She had every right to, what with being able to go out and look around the various places around the world. Being as quiet as she could about it, which wasn't easy due to her size, Apple quickly got dressed in her usual attire and then looked at the Star Hourglass on her nightstand. "Well...it's now or never. If I go now, I'll be able to leave without waking anybody else up..." she said quietly to herself.
With saying that, Apple walked over to her nightstand, took a deep breath, then turned the Star Hourlgass over...
The instant the Star Hourglass was turned over, everything around Apple, besides herself and the hourglass, went monochrome, as if her land looked like something out of an old black and white movie or even an old Game Boy game. Apple looked around, then stared outside. Everything was silent. She even saw birds stuck motionless in the sky in mid-flight. As Twink had mentioned, the only thing that seemed to me moving was the rest of the world around Giant Land, as she saw clouds still moving in the sky. Apple smiled with reassurance. "I'll admit it's a bit weird to see everything frozen like this, but...I know that everyone'll be safe while I'm gone. Twink said so, after all." she said, putting a hand to her chest. She then got a bright smile, "Well...better get going! I only got so much time!"
With saying that, Princess Apple raced downstairs, keeping an eye out for anyone that may have been awake as well. Even then, if anyone was, it would be definite they were frozen in time due to the Star Hourglass's influence. Seeing nobody around, Apple went out of the castle gates, but then stopped suddenly. "Uh-oh...I almost forgot...how am I going to get anywhere? Giant Land is mostly surrounded by water...Oh! That's right, there's an inlet that is accessable by day when the tide's out! I can use that!"
Watching her steps as she went through the time-frozen Giant Land, Apple soon came to what she mentioned. In front of her was indeed an inlet surrounded by water and connecting to it was the mainland. Smiling, she happy walked across it, and halfway through, the monochome area around her brightened up and showed full colors again. She turned around and looked back at Giant Land and smiled, "I'll be back...don't worry everyone." she said quietly as she continued across.
Reaching the mainland Apple stretched her arms way up into the air. "Mmm-mmm! Wow, it feels great to just get out of the castle and stretch!" she said happily, "Hmm...but where to go first? I could always visit Peach and the Mario Brothers...but then again, Peach probably would wonder why I'm there and not back home supervising...Hmm...what to do, what to do?" Apple paced back and forth along the coast, leaving large, sandal-shaped footprints in the sand as she did.
She then had an idea. "I know! I haven't seen Daisy in awhile...so I'll go to Sarasaland!" she happily replied, "But...which way is it? Aww...I wish I had a map or something..." Apple was beginning to think she should have planned this more carefully now. After being cooped up for six years, you do have a tendancy to not remember where things are.
As if on cue, a large piece of paper flew and hit against Apple's leg. "Hm? What's this here?" she said as she picked it up. Opening it up, it turned out to be just what she needed...a map of the Mushroom Kingdom and surrounding areas! "Wh-what?! Hey, this is it! Wow...it's like I have good luck all around today!" she exclaimed happily. She then saw some writing on the lower-right corner. Squinting a bit, she read this:
"Dear Princess Apple, Sorry I forgot to give you this! I knew you would need it, but I totally forgot! Please, enjoy your trip! Signed, Twink."
Apple giggled. "Oh, Twink...thanks for everything."
Looking over the map, Apple finally pinpointed Sarasaland's location. She also saw there happened to be a warp pipe that led there, but she figured that most warp pipes weren't exactly suited for people of her size. "Well, I think I can walk there...it doesn't seem too far away to my standards..." she mentioned to herself. Rolling up the map, she then began walking towards Sarasaland and it's castle, where hopefully she would find Daisy waiting there.
Sarasaland, Daisy's Castle
In the grand castle of Sarasaland, Princess Daisy sat in her room, combing her brown hair with a brush. She smiled as she looked at herself in the vanity. She looked the same as she always did, dressed in her usual garb of her sun yellow dress with a daisy-shaped brooch on the chest area. Even though Daisy was considered by many as a tomboyish princess, even she had a few feminine qualities such as taking care of her hair. Putting the brush down and putting her crown back atop her head, she smiled. "There we go! Gotta keep my hair nice and combed...it gets so dusty out here sometimes." she said to herself.
Walking over to her bedroom window, she opened it up and smiled. For many miles around, she saw the neighboring kingdoms of Sarasaland. Each one had their own unique culture, which made Sarasaland one of the most diverse places in all of the world. Breathing in the fresh air, Daisy smiled as she looked around her kindgom from the view her bedroom had to offer.
As she was, Daisy suddenly heard a faint rumble. Getting a confused look Daisy looked around. "Huh? What's that? I honestly hope nothing's going wrong..." she said to herself.
The rumblings continued to grow louder and louder, and the ground began to shake. "Waa-waa-waa!!! What's g-g-going on-n-n?!" Daisy stuttered as the ground shook.
The rumbles soon ceased, and Daisy, readjusting the crown on her head, looked around again. She then yelped and jumped back from her window when a large, green object came into view suddenly. "Waaah! What in the name of...?!" she yelled.
"Daisy? Is that you?" came a loud, but calm voice.
Daisy suddenly went from shocked to surprised. "Wait a sec...Heeeey! Apple, is that you?" she said, a smile coming to her face.
It was indeed. Standing just outside, bending down slightly and looking into the window was none other than Princess Apple. She smiled and backed away slightly so Daisy could see her face. "Hehe, yep! It's me!"
Daisy got back to her feet and went back to the window. "Hey! What's up? I haven't seen you in like...forever!"
Apple smiled back. "Yeah, it has been a long time, hasn't it? I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I'd drop by and say hello!"
Daisy snickered. "You sure you weren't just trying to give me a heart attack?"
Apple blushed a little. "Uh...sorry, did I scare you on my sudden appearence?"
Daisy waved her hand. "Nah...just shook me up a little. Still, I'm glad to see you!"
Apple smiled with relief. "It's great to see you too, Daisy. How are things here in Sarasaland?"
Daisy shrugged her shoulders. "Oh, same old, same old...my kingdom's been left at peace while Peach's gets all the attention with Bowser's constant raids and whatnot..."
Apple looked confused. "Are you saying you want to be kidnapped by Bowser?!"
Daisy just laughed out loud. "No, silly! I just want a bit more excitement, that's all!"
Apple giggled. "I know, I know...anyhow, I came here to see you and look around for a bit."
Daisy then looked a bit confused. "Well, it's nice an' all you came to visit, but...wasn't Prince Hugo out of Giant Land for awhile?"
Apple's smiled turned into a shameful look. "Uh...well..."
Daisy gave a sarcastic smile. "So ya snuck out, huh?"
Apple nodded. "Well, yes...but not without reason!"
"Go on...I'm listening." said Daisy.
Apple explained to Daisy her desire to go out and see the world a bit, and how her wish was granted by the Star Spirits via the Star Hourglass. A little after hearing all this, Daisy giggled. "Wow! That's so neat how the Star Spirits granted that wish for you! So...basically Giant Land's frozen in time?"
Apple nodded. "Yes, and it's protected from all outside forces, so I won't have to worry about Bowser or something else invading it while I am out."
Daisy nodded. "I believe ya, no worries."
Apple smiled. "Thank you, Daisy!"
Daisy smiled back. "So, then...since you're here and don't have a lot of time, how about I give you a tour of Sarasaland?"
Apple's face beamed. "That would be great!"
Daisy motioned for Apple. "Alright then! Um...could ya give me a lift?"
Nodding, Apple placed her open hand outside the windowsill. Daisy hopped down onto Apple's palm, landing gently. Apple smiled and stood back up to her normal height, keeping her tiny passenger intact. "So, where to first?" she asked.
"Well, first we'll tour this area. The place you're in is known as the Birabuto Kingdom." explained Daisy.
"Birabuto? That's an odd name..." Apple replied.
"I know, but it's been the kingdom's name for generations. Don't ask me why..." Daisy said, shrugging her shoulders, "Anyways, this place is basically a desert. If ya look around, you can see pyramids and other desert-like things around."
Apple looked around from her vantage point. Indeed, the place looked very much like a desert, remenicent of what we in the real world would call Egypt. Using her free hand, Apple wiped a little sweat off her brow. "Whew...I see what you mean...it is a little hot out here." Apple began walking around away from Daisy's castle, "I don't see why you stationed your castle in this dusty area..."
Daisy shrugged again, "Actually...Hmm, did I tell you of the time I was kidnapped?
Apple shook her head a bit. "No, I don't believe so. Care to share?"
Daisy nodded and told Apple of how Mario saved her from an evil alien named Tatanga a long time ago. She also told her how her original castle was stationed in the Chai Kingdom here in Sarasaland, but when Tatanga invaded, he took over that castle. When Mario defeated him, the castle blew to bits, thus she had to relocate to here.
Apple listened closely to all of this. "Oh, wow...so that's why your new castle is here."
Daisy nodded. "Yeah...it gets pretty hot here, but hey...look on the bright side: It's great for working on your tan!"
Apple giggled. She always admired how Daisy stayed optimistic. As Apple walked along with Daisy in her hand, the two passed by several pyramids, each with sphinxes guarding them. Apple looked that these sphinxes. "Daisy, what are those staues in front of the pyramids?"
"Oh, those? They're called Gaos. They're supposed to be the guardians of these pyramids. Sadly, they fell under Tatanga's influence when he was here, but nowadays they're just stautes." Daisy explained.
"Guardians, huh? Wow..." Apple looked amazed.
Daisy giggled. "Wow...you really haven't gotten out much, huh?"
Apple nodded. "Yes, it's true...it's been so long..."
"Must not be cool to not get out a lot, huh?" asked Daisy.
"No, it doesn't really...but hey, I'm not here to mope!" Apple said, getting a cheerful face again.
Daisy nodded in agreement. "Yeah, you're right! C'mon, I'll show you the Easton Kingdom next!"
"There's more than one kingdom here?" asked Apple.
"Yep! Sarasaland is split into four seperate kingdoms: Birabuto, Muda, Easton, and Chai." Daisy explained, "Each kindgom has it's own diverse culture too."
"Really? That's amazing! Well, let's not waste any time!" said Apple.
Daisy gave a thumbs-up to Apple and Apple continued walking.
Sarasaland, Muda Kingdom
After a brief walk, Apple, along with Daisy now riding on Apple's shoulder, the duo of princesses came to a more lush area of Sarasaland. Almost instantly, the dry, dusty desert area of the Birabuto Kingdom vanished. Apple looked around curiously, being careful to not have her ponytail swipe Daisy off her shoulder. All around her was a lot of water and marshy areas, with many samll islands around. "Is this another of Sarasaland's kingdoms, Daisy?" Apple asked.
"Yep. This here's the Muda Kingdom. It's mainly water and marshes, with some sparse caves here and there." Daisy replied.
"Wow...I'd love to explore some of those caves...well, if I was normal that is..." Apple sighed.
Daisy giggled. "Hey, just because you're a giantess, that doesn't mean you can feel left out of the fun, right? Besides, there's something of mine that I keep here that I think you'd enjoy seeing."
Apple looked intrigued. "Really? What may that be?"
Daisy pointed to the east, and where she pointed looked to be a harbor of sorts. "Just head over there."
Not arguing, Apple began to walk across the watery areas of the Muda Kingdom, but not even a few steps later, there was a loud *SQUISH* sound from below. Apple gasped and looked down, hoping she didn't step on someone. Strangely enough, she didn't...but rather she had stepped in a very marshy area, which to her looked like a common mud hole. Apple gave a disgusted look, "EEEWWW! Aw, phooey...I just cleaned my sandals..." she said in disgust, wiggling the excess mud and water from her foot. Despite that, some of the mud stuck to her toes, some even between them.
Daisy looked just as disgusted. "Ugh...not the best place to wear sandals, I guess...sorry, Apple."
Apple nodded. "It's all right. I'll clean it off when we get to the harbor." With saying that, Apple continued onward for awhile longer, her long strides making it a little easier to get through the remaining marshes. Finally, the two arrived at the harbor, and stationed there was a large cruiser of sorts, one with Daisy's face embedded on the side of it. Apple gasped, "Daisy...is...this what you wanted to show me?"
Daisy smiled, nodded, then while Apple was leaning over, she slid down Apple's arm and onto the cruiser's deck. She spun around and faced Apple. "Apple, welcome to the Daisy Cruiser!" she giggled.
Apple smiled and looked the cruiser over. It was a beautiful sight, and very well-kept as well. "Amazing...this boat is all yours?"
Daisy gave a thumbs-up. "Yep! Built it shortly before the Double Dash Grand Prix. I was planning on taking a vacation on it myself, but we eventually turned it into a racetrack too."
While Daisy was saying this, Apple was still looking over the boat. If Apple was to lie down beside the Daisy Cruiser, it would almost be as long as Apple was tall, if not a bit more. Upon hearing about the racetrack bit, Apple looked to Daisy on the deck. "A racetrack?" she questioned.
Daisy nodded. "You got it. ...Wait, have you even heard of the Mario Kart Grand Prix?"
Apple shook her head some. "Not really...you forget I've been cooped up in Giant Land for about six years."
Daisy sighed, but smiled. "Well...ya see...pretty much ever since anyone in the Mushroom Kingdom has remembered, there's been kart races all over the place. Everywhere from Dinosaur Island, Donkey Kong's jungle, to even Bowser's Castle. There's a series of races every so often that are piled together, and that is what we call the Mario Kart Grand Prix. The most recent one was done not too long ago, and even a new princess named Rosalina took part in it."
Apple listened closely. "So could just about anyone enter these races?"
Daisy nodded. "Yeah, pretty much...why?"
Apple sighed and got on her knees next to the cruiser. "I...haven't even been in one yet..."
Daisy looked a bit sad. "Oh...well, hey, it's never too late to try, right? If you can get a working kart going, maybe you could--"
Apple interrupted, "Except...I'm probably too big to be in one. I'd put everyone at a disadvantage."
Daisy shook her head. "Hey! Nobody said you couldn't race, did they?"
Apple looked to Daisy. "Well...no."
Daisy smiled. "Well, then...I don't remember anything in the official MKGP Rulebook that states citizens of Giant Land weren't eligable! Trust me, I've read the entire thing!"
Apple's spirits began to lift. "R-Really? So there is a chance I could try sometime?"
Daisy gave another thumbs up. "As much of a chance that I'm the princess of Sarasaland...which I am!"
Apple giggled and stood back up, then gently picked up Daisy with both hands, bringing her to a hug against her. "Thanks, Daisy!" she giggled.
Daisy giggled as well. "Hey, no problem! Y'know, while we're on the subject, why don't I show you my personal racetrack? It's just nearby."
Apple nodded, "I'd love to see it!" she beamed, and holding onto Daisy, she walked to Daisy's directions over to a bright city, and in the middle of it were two large, gold statues, one of Daisy, and one of Luigi. Apple gasped in amazement. "Wow..."
Daisy smiled while still in Apple's calm, yet secure grip. "Yep...this of town is home to my racetrack, the Daisy Circuit."
Apple smiled, though she looked down to see pedestrians staring back up at her, and cars had stopped only to have the passengers stare up in awe or confusion at Apple's stature. Apple began to feel a tad uncomfortable with everyone staring at her like that, though it couldn't be avoided given how she is. Daisy saw this and tapped on Apple's hand. Looking to Daisy, Apple saw her gesture to come closer. Putting her ear to Daisy, Apple listened carefully to Daisy's whispers, which she could hear perfectly, strange as it may sound. After a few moments, Apple nodded and set Daisy down onto the ground.
Daisy raised her arms to calm everyone down. "Hey, it's okay everyone! This is Princess Apple, from Giant Land. She's a very close friend of mine, and she was just paying a visit. Everyone can calm down...she's not going to hurt anyone or anything, okay?"
There were murmurs about the crowd, but a little later, someone spoke up. It was a little girl toad, probably not more than 4 or 5 years old. "Well...if Pwincess Daisy said she nice...I bewieve Daisy!"
Daisy giggled and patted the girl toad's head. "Hehe, you got smarts, kid...I like that."
Everyone eventually agreed with Daisy and the toad child, and hearing all of this made Apple smile. She leaned down a bit and greeted the crowd below. "It's wonderful to meet you all!" she said with a smile befitting a princess. Everyone greeted her back warmly.
After a little bit of small talk, Apple decided it was time to go. "Well, it was nice meeting you all, but I have other places I need to be with Princess Daisy." she explained. Daisy nodded in agreement. "Yeah...oh, hey, could you all be kind as to clear a path for her? I wouldn't want her to be responsible for wrecking anything."
Hearing that, Apple scooped up Daisy in her hand, and the pedestrians below began moving out of Apple's path, parking thier cars either off the road or as close to it as possible. Thankfully, the road was then wide enough that Apple could walk through it unscathed. Smiling and holding Daisy in her right hand, Apple began walking through the streets, taking in the sights of the town as she passed by. She smiled as she saw how everyone waved farewell to her as she exited the city limits. "They were all very nice people, despite they were doubting me a bit when they first saw me..." Apple said to Daisy.
"Yeah, I don't blame them. Not every day we get visitors like yourself." Daisy replied with a nod.
Apple smile, but then noticed her muddy sandals and feet. "Ugh...I almost forgot I needed to clean that..." she said as she walked over to a nearby beach along the coast. Setting Daisy down a little bit aways from her, she sat down on the sand and removed her sandals, dipping her feet in the water. It felt nice and cool, not to mention refreshing. "Ahhh...that's wonderful..." she sighed in relief.
Daisy smiled and sat on a rock next to Apple. "I don't blame ya...Sarasaland is said to have some of the finer beaches in all the world, mainly due to the crystal-clean water."
Apple smiled. "I can surely agree to that, Daisy...the water is so clear...I can see myself." Apple smiled as she looked in the water, seeing a very clean reflection of herself in it, though it was a little wobbly due to the waves. Smiling, Apple picked up her sandals and dipped them in the water, displacing some as she did. The water didn't reach Daisy, due to her being on that rock, but it came up a bit around it. When Apple took her sandals out of the water, they nearly glistened in the sun. Her eyes looked dazzled, "Wow...they almost look brand new now..."
Daisy giggled, but then a few drops of water fell to her head. "Ah! Hey!"
Apple looked down, seeing the drops of water hit Daisy. She gasped and set them down. "I..I'm sorry...I didn't mean to!"
Daisy wrung her hair out and smiled. "Eh, it's okay...things like this happen when you're around someone like yourself. Don't let it bug ya."
Apple sighed, but shook off the worry from her mind. Standing back up, she slipped her sandals on and hoisted Daisy up again in her hand. "Well, in any case...shall we continue the tour?"
Daisy nodded. "Yep, and good timing too. We're near the next kingdom...the Easton Kingdom." she said, pointing to the east.
Smiling, Apple began walking east. As she did, she looked across the coastline, watching seagulls fly by, some even flying just a little around her height. Pretty soon after, Apple entered in another vast area, and odd statues occupied the place here and there. Bending down to look at them, she looked puzzled. The statues resembled the Moai Statues of Easter Island. "What are these?" she asked Daisy.
Daisy shivered a bit. "Well...we're in the Easton Kingdom all right...as for those...well...They've been here, like...forever. Kinda creepy if you ask me."
"Really? I find them interesting..." said Apple. She then saw more of them out of the corner of her eye and smiled, Oh, hey! There's more over there!" she said, turning her head quickly.
However, that was a bit of a rushed move, as Apple's ponytail of hair swished onto the cliff above the Moai statues. Chunks of rock fell from the top, and they landed right on the statues below. This gave Daisy a bit of a scare, as she huddled up into a ball in Apple's hand. Hearing the commotion, Apple yelped and stepped back on instinct...only to have her sandaled foot fall onto another statue behind her. Apple kept still after that, and when all the commotion was over, she sighed in relief that both her and Daisy were okay. But there was some damage done.
"Oh, no...Daisy, I'm so sorry..." Apple sighed with a sad tone.
Daisy looked at the wreckage that Apple accidently caused. "Oh..." Daisy looked up at Apple, seeing that Apple was surely sorry for what she did. Strangely enough, Daisy just gave a giggle.
That giggle confused Apple. "...Daisy? Is something funny?"
"Hehe...actually, it's okay. I was just so surprised that your hair was that strong! You gotta tell me what hair gel you use!" Daisy smiled.
Apple smiled back. "Hehe...so...you're not mad?"
"Nah, don't worry about it. Besides, like I said, they kinda creeped me out. Not like anyone's gonna know." Daisy replied.
Apple smiled. She always knew Daisy, despite her nature, was always a forgiving princess at heart. "Well, in that case, maybe we should move on? Don't want there to be any witnesses, hm?" Apple gave a sly wink.
Daisy nodded. "Yep...no witnesses!"
With saying that, Apple began walking through the Easton Kingdom, being careful where she stepped this time.
Sarasaland, border of the Chai Kingdom
As Apple, with Daisy on her shoulder continued walking through the Easton Kingdom, being sure to not knock over any more statues, she soon came to yet another natural borderline of Sarasland. "Daisy, are we in a new kingdom again?" Apple asked out loud.
Daisy nodded in agreement. "Yep. This here is the Chai Kingdom, a kingdom well-known for it's martial arts and ancient past." This could clearly be seen, as there were houses all around that resembled Oriental-style houses in the real world. As Apple treaded lightly through the streets, she noticed that the inhabitants were still going about thier daily businesses, not even making a fuss that someone many times their normal size was around, unlike the people back at the Daisy Circuit track.
This got Apple a little confused. "Um...Daisy? I know I'm not really scary or anything, but how come everyone's acting as if I'm....well....normal?"
Before Daisy could answer, Apple felt a tap on her foot below. "Huh?" Apple wondered as she looked down to see what looked to be an old man with a long twisted beard. Apple kneeled down and looked at the old man. "Um...yes, can I help you, sir?" she asked.
The old man chuckled. "Well, young lady...I couldn't help but overhear what you just said. Allow me to answer your question for you."
Apple was a bit surprised at this, as was Daisy, but Apple nodded and listened closely to the old man's words. "You see, young lady...here in the Chai Kingdom, we do not differentiate others by their apperance or any other form of differentiality. We see everyone as equals, and we rightly treat them as such. So while you may be surprised that we are not curious as to why you are as tall as some of our highest buildings, please know that we are not ignoring you."
Apple smiled and nodded. "I understand, sir. Thank you for clearing that up! It's nice to see a place with people that think like that."
The old man chuckled again, then he looked to Daisy on Apple's shoulder. "Ah...Princess, it has been a long time."
Daisy then gasped and looked surprised. "...Heeey...wait, I know you! Mortimer, is that you?"
The old man chuckled once again, "Oh, your eyes are as sharp as ever, Princess."
Daisy giggled. "Hehe, yeah, it has been awhile, old man."
Apple smiled. "So you two know each other?"
Mortimer nodded. "Why yes. In fact, you could almost say I'm Daisy's grandfather."
Daisy blushed, "Oh, stop...that was way back when I was a baby. You know that."
Mortimer chuckled, "Hohoho...Well, I suppose you're right. See, I was Daisy's caretaker for quite some time when she was but a young lass...but after that dreadful invasion by Tatanga, I was forced to flee to a more remote area for some time while the Chai Kingdom recovered after Tatanga's defeat."
"Ah, I see...that's what you meant by saying you're like her grandfather..." Apple nodded.
"Hehe...well, as much as I'd love to stay and catch up, Mortimer, I'm showing Apple around the kingdoms, and this one was her last stop." Daisy said.
"Oh, is that so? Well, in that case, I may be able to assist in that matter." Mortimer replied, stroking his beard.
"Really? How so?" asked Apple.
"Ah, well...there happens to be a martial arts tournament going on right now near Chai National Arena...I would think a spunky young girl like yourself would be interested in seeing it." Mortimer explained.
Apple seemed interested enough. "That sounds like fun to see! So, where is the arena?"
Mortimer pointed to his left. "If you head down that road a few blocks, it'll be to your right. You cannot miss it."
Apple nodded. "Thank you very much, Mr. Mortimer. It was very nice meeting you."
"Hohoho...likewise, Princesses." Mortimer chuckled.
With that friendly conversation ending, Apple stood back up and headed in the direction Mortimer had shown. As she walked down the streets, she suddenly had something on her mind. "...Wait a moment...I never told him I was a princess...How did he...?"
Daisy nearly laughed out loud. "Hehe...he has a sort of sixth sense, Apple. He knows these things."
Apple smiled and gave a slight giggle. Soon, the duo of princesses came upon a large round arena. There were many people there, cheering on for the fighters down below. Apple peered over the crowd, which was no hassle to her given her size. She was amazed to see the fighters in such good condition, and how each gave it their all. Even in defeat, the fighters honored each other's prowess. Apple smiled. "This reminds me so much about my sister..."
Daisy looked at Apple curiously from her perch. "Your sister?"
Apple nodded. "Yes...her name was Aska. She was a born fighter, and my older sister. She left to fulfill her destiny at a planet called Earth. She was 19 when she left...and I was only 14 at the time. She was the best sister someone like me could want...she was kind, caring, and very headstrong in the ways of justice."
"Wow...sounds like quite the girl." Daisy smiled, "Have you heard from her recently?"
Apple shook her head. "Sadly I have not...I suppose it must be hard to communicate across other worlds. But I still remember her last wish before she left..."
Daisy looked intrigued. "Really? What did she wish for?"
Apple smiled and looked to the sky. "She said...'I want you to learn to be a princess well, because I feel someday...whether it's this kingdom or somewhere else, you will be an important influence. Maybe even the biggest influence!' "
Daisy giggled slightly. "Hehe...well, it seems her wish came true...a little more than she expected!"
Apple nodded in agreement. "Yes!" she smiled as she looked to the sky. She then saw that the sun had already started up towards the middle of the sky. This reminded her of her limited time away from Giant Land, "Oh, dear...I was having so much fun looking around Sarasaland that I had nearly forgotten that I'm on a time limit away from home...!"
Daisy patted her shoulder. "Hey, no worries...you still got time left. Where are you gonna head off to next?"
Apple put her finger to her chin. "Umm...well, I suppose this would be a good time to go visit my hometown, Diamond City."
Daisy looked concerned. "Diamond City? The place that creep Wario lives in with his little microgames stuff?"
Apple nodded. "Yes, I have heard he took residence there...but that town was a lot different in years past. When I lived there with my mom and dad, it was known as Jewel Town."
"Oh, I see...I would've liked to see it back then." said Daisy.
"It was a grand place, I'll give you that." Apple replied.
"Well, if you say so. The quickest way there would be via a warp pipe I know back in the Easton Kingdom, but I think that would be a bit of a tight fit for you...and Diamond City's across the sea, too." Daisy explained.
"Hmm...I suppose I'll have to swim, then." said Apple.
Daisy nodded. "I guess there's no other way. I'd let you ride my cruiser, but I think you'd probably smash it to pieces if you sat on it."
Apple giggled. "I suppose you're right...okay, swimming it is then! If anything, this will be some nice excersise for me!" She smiled, but then looked a bit worried, "But...then again, this dress I'm wearing is the only clothes I have on me...if I get them wet, I'll be a mess..."
Daisy thought for a moment, but then had an idea. "Hey, I just remembered! The Chai Kingdom also has an extensive marketplace. Maybe there's something we can find there to help you!"
Apple smiled. "You always were the bright one, Daisy. Okay, let's go!"
With having that decided, Apple carried Daisy to the west, and sure enough, the two came across a bustling marketplace, and a rather crowded one at that. Even if she was careful, there'd be no way Apple could venture through this place without causing some sort of damage. "Oh, dear...this is a predicament..." Apple sighed.
Daisy waved her hand. "Hey, no worries. I'll head in and get something for ya!"
"Are you sure?" asked Apple. She saw Daisy give a thumbs-up and smiled, "Well...all right. But do watch yourself." she said as she set Daisy on the outskirts of the market.
Daisy waved reassuringly and set out into the market, getting through the crowds as best as she could, trying to find something that could help Apple traverse the seas. Time seemed to pass forever, but Daisy soon came upon a small stand that had a frog-like motif about it. Daisy came up to the stand, seeing a Toad with a goatee behind it. The Toad smiled. "Heya, darling. Come 'ere for my merchandise?" he asked.
"Um...yeah. Just seeing what you're selling." Daisy replied. She was being cautious, since she knew that swindlers even existed in the Chai Market.
"Well, then...have a lookie at this here." the Toad replied, pulling out a small treasure chest from below the counter.
"Um...what's inside?" asked Daisy.
"Not even I know that, darling. All I know is I found it in the seas of Water Land long ago, but I could never get it open. Tell ya what...for 30 coins, I'll let you have it, and if ya can open it, you keep what's inside." the Toad explained.
Daisy eyed the chest wearily. There was a bit of truth to what the Toad said however, as the chest looked as if it had been in the water for a long time, as the wood was beginning to rot from overexposure to water. Daisy shrugged and handed 30 coins to the Toad. "All right...but if this is a trick, I'll be looking for you, got that?"
The Toad took the money and nodded. "Ah, rest assured, hon...I be an honest seller. If the contents of the box ain't to yer liking, I'll give ya a full refund."
"I'll hold you to that." said Daisy as she examined the chest. There was a lock on it, but it was rusted beyond imagining. Being the tough girl she was, Daisy set the box on the ground and gave a sharp kick with the heel of her slipper, causing the lock to fall right off. "Hehe...piece 'o cake." she chuckled as she bent down and opened the box.
As Daisy opened it, her eyes widened as she saw a large green suit, and much like the store, it had a froggish look to it. Daisy pulled it out and looked at it a bit before she realized what she was holding. "It's a....a Frog Suit!" she said out loud.
"Well by gum...so it is." said the Toad, equally amazed.
Daisy then remembered what she had come to the market for, and her smile widened. "Hey, you know what? This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks a lot!"
The Toad chuckled. "Hey, always a pleasure, hon."
Daisy thanked the Toad again, then rushed back to where Apple was sitting, which was still on the outskirts of the market. Upon getting to her, Daisy called up to her. "Hey! Apple! I think I got something!"
Hearing her, Apple looked down to see Daisy safe and sound. "I'm glad you got back safely. So what did you find?"
Smiling, Daisy held up the Frog Suit. Apple had to bend down to see it more clearly. "Um...what's this?" she asked.
"It's a Frog Suit. I remember Mario and Luigi using them one time. It's supposed to make the wearer a very good swimmer!" Daisy explained.
Apple seemed intrigued. "Oh! Yes, I think I remember Prince Hugo telling me about them one time...I've never tried one myself, though."
"Well, first time for everything! C'mon, let's head back to the beach and I'll see you off." said Daisy.
Nodding and picking up Daisy again, Apple left the Chai Kingdom and headed for a nearby beach on it's outskirts. It was a bit of a long walk, even for Apple, and she still had that time limit. She eventually made it and set Daisy down. "Well...it seems it's time for me to go then. Thank you so much for the great time, Daisy, even if it was kind of short-lived."
"Aw, hey, no problem! You're always welcome for another visit! In fact, you should visit more often." Daisy replied with a giggle.
Apple giggled as well, then slowly reached down and plucked the Frog Suit from Daisy's hands. She examined it closely. It looked to be meant to fit a person Daisy's size. She sighed a little. "One thing...how am I going to get this to fit me?"
Daisy scratched her head some. "Uh...well, most power-ups activate if you just touch them. Try doing that."
Apple nodded and touched the Frog Suit with her other hand. Soon, there was a bright flash, followed by the standard sound one would hear upon getting a Mario-based power-up. When it ended, Apple looked around. "...That's odd...I don't feel any different..."
Daisy on the other hand, saw the change almost immediately. "Then maybe you should look down!"
Curious about Daisy's statement, Apple looked down and gasped in shock. Instead of seeing her feet in her standard golden sandals, she saw that her entire lower half of her body had been replaced with what seemed to be a fish's body! Her red dress was gone, though her chest was still covered by a red tanktop. This both confused and amazed Apple. "Wh...what in the world...?"
"Wow! Apple, you're a mermaid!" Daisy exclaimed in a giddy voice.
"A...mermaid?" Apple wondered. She tried to move some, ending up in her tail fins wagging. She giggled at the sight of that. "Oh, wow! This is...amazing!"
"Yeah! I'm actually a bit jealous. I've always dreamed of being one!" Daisy got a sly smirk, "I gotta find me one of those Frog Suits..."
Remembering the suit, Apple looked at the suit still in her hand. It was still there, unlike most power-ups which vanish after they are acquired. Apple thought it'd be best to hold onto it in case, but she knew she didn't have any pockets to keep it in. Apple then smiled and stuck the suit in her tanktop, knowing very well it'd be safe there. "Well...as amazing as this is, I'd best get going, Daisy. Time is of the essence, you know."
Daisy nodded. "Yeah, I gotcha. Thanks for stopping by, Apple, and I hope you come again soon!"
"I shall, Daisy...sometime." she said. With that, Apple did a giant leap into the waters, coming down into it with a huge *SPLASH!* that caused a wave to hit the beach. Daisy backed off when she saw it coming, then waved to Apple as she saw her swim off into the distance.
In the vast ocean (40 hours remain)
Apple had been swimming for almost three hours, and although the power of the frog suit transforming Princess Apple into a mermaid made the swim pleasent, she did start to tire out after swimming for that long. "Whew... I hope I find Diamond City soon. My mermaid tail can't take much more of this..." Apple said to herself. It wasn't necessarily a boring trip, however. She watched as many creatures of the water jumped out in front of Apple, such as bloobers and cheep-cheeps. Apple smiled over seeing these creatures.
"Ahhh... such serene sealife. It's nice to see bloobers and cheep-cheeps even this far away from home." Apple said, catching her breath once more from all the swimming. She had to find a place to stop soon, whether that was Diamond City or not. Eventually, she caught sight of another island out in the distance.
"Whew... finally some land! I thought I'd never see it. But that doesn't look like Diamond City." Apple said. Indeed, rather than a large city, Apple looked to be coming up to a small town, surrounded by water and docks.
"Well, might as well see where I've ended up. Maybe someone there knows where Diamond City is." Apple said as she swam towards this island. It was a slow swim as she finally started feeling some cramps in her legs...well...fins, actually.
Rogueport, at the docks
At the docks of Rogueport, things were kinda quiet with just a couple Toads as well as pirate Bob-Ombs walking around. The Bob-Ombs, in particular, were just trying to make conversation while they waited for their captain. "And so that's when I told him, 'Man, you've really blown your top this time!' " the red Bob-Omb said. The other two Bob-Ombs, colored blue and green, laughed.
"Aye, that be a good one, lad." the blue Bob-Omb said.
"Oy, would ya lookit that..." the green Bob-Omb said, telling the other Bob-Ombs to look out towards the main port. That's when the object they noticed was a giant head. Of course, this was Princess Apple, and she revealed more of her body, namely the red tank top she was now wearing. Behind her was that mermaid tail of hers.
"Whoa!" the red Bob-Omb said, his eyes going all googly-wide upon seeing the beached princess.
Meanwhile, Apple used her powerful arms to hoist herself up onto the main dock, which luckily was strong enough to hold her, given that it was made of stone and concrete. She started squeezing her hair, especially the ponytail, wringing out the sea water she had accumulated during her swim, making sure the majority of the water went back into the sea. "Now I know how the queen of Water Land must feel every day!" Apple said.
As the Bob-Ombs (as well as the Toads) continued to stare up at the giantess, they didn't notice their captain, Admiral Bobbery, approaching. He wasn't too keen on seeing the backs of his shipmates, so he lit up his fuse, the easiest sign to tell that he was upset. "Alright, you scurvy sea biscuits! At-ten-tion!" Bobbery shouted.
"Oh, sorry, Admiral! Sir!" the red Bob-Omb said.
"Forgive us, kind sir! But something caught our eye!" the blue Bob-Omb said.
"Oh, and what may that be, sailor? A tub full of Chuckola Cola?" Bobbery said.
"Oh, it's much bigger than that, sir! Just look out yonder!" the red Bob-Omb said. Indeed, standing on the steps that led out to the main dock, he didn't have to look far to see the spectacle that was Princess Apple as a mermaid.
"Great googly moogly ghosts of Ariel! It be a giant mermaid!" Bobbery shouted.
"But where did it come from?" the blue Bob-Omb said.
"Come men. We should look deeper into this here mystery of the sea." Bobbery said.
"It could be dangerous, sir! She is pretty big, after all..." the green Bob-Omb said.
"Come on, sailor, get your fuse out of your blowhole! Besides, she looks like a mighty fine sea lass to me." Bobbery said. Stepping down the stairs, the other Bob-Ombs followed behind.
Apple had just finished getting as much sea water as she could out of her hair. She even shook a little bit out, with some drops nailing the Bob-Ombs down below.
"Ow! She should watch where she's spraying!" the green Bob-Omb said.
Apple quickly turned her head upon hearing the voice below, her ponytail nearly swiping at them. "Oops! I'm sorry...hey, you're Bob-Ombs! But you look...different." Apple said.
"Aye, and it be a pleasure to meet you too. I be Admiral Bobbery, high time sailor of the seven seas. These be my compatriots." Bobbery said.
"Admiral Bobbery, I see. Can you tell me where I am?" Apple asked.
"Why, by Blabberton's beard, you be in Rogueport, the finest sea town on the outskirts of the Mushroom Kingdom." Bobbery said.
"Rogueport? Hmmm... that sounds familiar for some reason..." Apple replied, rubbing her chin for a moment before her memory remembered what she wanted, "I think Mario and Princess Peach may have told me about this place..."
"Well, blow me down! You are a friend of Mario!?" Bobbery said.
"Yes, I am!" Apple said with a kind smile and a nod.
"Ha ha! Any friend of Mario is a friend of me! It's a pleasure to meet you, mighty fine mermaid." Bobbery said.
"Thank you! But... I should tell you that I'm not a real mermaid." Apple said, looking back to her mermaid tail.
"Huh? You're not?" replied the red Bob-Omb, a little befuddled.
"No. This is only from touching a frog suit a few hours back. I only needed it to swim away from Sarasaland." Apple replied.
"Hmmm...I've sailed every corner of the ocean with my good friend, Cortez, but I haven't heard of this Sarasaland." Bobbery said.
"Oh, you'd love it, especially the princess of that land, Daisy. She's quite the lady." Apple said, smiling, "Though...she is a little tomboy-ish, but that's what makes her unique."
"Very well, giant mermaid! I shall take your word for it!" Bobbery said with a grin.
"Now how am I going to get back to my normal self?" Apple said, looking over her mermaid tail once again.
"Hmmm...if you say a suit did this to you... Okay, boys, blow your top for this fine lady!" Bobbery said, moving out of the way.
"Aye aye, sir!" all three Bob-Ombs shouted.
The three walked as close as they could to Apple, and then they lit up their fuses. A few seconds later, they all exploded, sending them skyward for the time being. Apple could definitely feel the force behind those explosions, each one feeling like someone gave her a light punch on her waist. "OUCH!" Apple shouted, and right when she said that, like in any Mario game, Apple began to revert back to her normal self, the traditional sound of losing a power-up sounding off. Bobbery ruffled his mustache slightly, "Aye, I always be wonderin' where that there sound be coming from..."
After the sound faded, Apple looked down and right away she could see her two legs (with the golden sandals) once again, along with the beautiful red dress she was known for. "Whew... that's better." Apple said with a calm sigh.
"Huh? It didn't work as well as I thought...you still be one giant lass!" Bobbery said.
"Hm? Oh...I'm stuck like this. It's a long story, but basically I am the princess of Giant Land. My name is Princess Apple." she replied, giving a slight curtsey.
"Giant Land? Aye, another strange one...my wife would brain me if she ever found out I actually missed sailing to some lands!" Bobbery said.
As if coming to find out what caused the explosions, a couple more familiar faces joined in as Professor Frankly and Goombella came running down from the steps leading to Rogueport Plaza.
"I say, what was that loud explosion!?" Frankly said. Both goombas eventually joined up with the Bob-Ombs.
"Admiral Bobbery, what's going on here?" Goombella said.
"Well, me mates and I thought we had made the discovery of all discoveries, a giant mermaid! But it turned out to be this pretty woman from some place called Giant Land." Bobbery said.
"Huh? Giant Land? All the way out in Mushroom World?" Frankly said. While he was chatting with the Bob-Ombs, Goombella was looking all over Princess Apple, who continued to sit on the main docks.
"Wait! Aren't you Princess Apple?" Goombella said.
Princess Apple looked down to see the small female Goomba, "Well, yes, I am!" Apple replied.
"Ohmigosh!!! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!!!" Goombella said, jumping up and down with glee so much that her helmet nearly fell off her head.
"Knew what? Goodness, child, you're acting like a kindergartener!" Frankly said.
"I've heard about you, Princess Apple. I just didn't think it was true that there was a giant princess in Giant Land..." Goombella said.
"Well, the rumors are true!" Apple said with a smile.
"So, young lady, what brings you all the way out here to Rogueport?" Frankly asked.
"Ah, yes...I am on vacation from Giant Land, so I thought I'd roam around the Mushroom Kingdom and it's neighboring areas." Apple explained in the shortest and easiest way possible.
"Ah, ye be exploring, eh lassie?" Bobbery chuckled, "Well, ya've come to the right place if it's adventuring you want!"
"Yeah! Rogueport may be a little on the salty side, but there are some good qualities to it." said Goombella with a reassuring nod.
"That's wonderful to hear...but I only really stopped here to rest my legs...I swam all the way here after all." Apple replied, rubbing her left leg slightly from the cramps it was giving, "I also stopped here wondering if anyone knew about how to get to a place called Diamond City from here."
"Diamond City, you say?" Frankly wondered, "I've never been there myself, but I hear that greedy no-gooder Wario pretty much runs the place."
"I've heard that too..." Apple replied a little somberly, "I mainly wanted to go there so I can re-visit my home town."
"Wait...your home town was Diamond City?" asked Goombella.
"Well, sort of...It wasn't always called by that name. Back when I lived there, it was known as Jewel Town."
"Jewel Town, ya say?" Bobbery replied suddenly, "Aye...I believe Cortez told me of a place by that name that he ventured ta long ago."
"If that's true, it must've been before I was born, because I don't remember anybody by the name of Cortez...well, besides what Mario told me about him on his adventure here." Apple replied.
Upon hearing the name "Mario", Goombella and Frankly almost did a double-take. "You know Mario?!" they both said in unison.
Apple blushed slightly. "Wow...does everyone react this way when Mario's heard of here?" she joked.
Everyone chuckled at that for a short time, until Apple finally seemed to regain her legs enough to stand up. Taking a large step over the gap between the dock and the rest of the ground there, Apple stood in front of the steps leading to Rogueport Plaza, stetching her arms into the air. Doing this caused many in the plaza to see her. Some were alarmed enough to run into their houses, afraid. Others just stared at her, amazed at such a sight. Not knowing anyone else saw her, Apple looked down at the group below her and smiled. "Well, I suppose while I'm here, I guess I can look around for a bit and take in some sights."
Frankly nodded. "Yes, yes...well, just do be careful where you step, princess."
Apple nodded assuringly. "Don't worry, professor, I always do."
"Hey, Apple! Would you mind if I went with you?" asked Goombella.
"Certainly! I could use someone who knows this place well enough." replied Apple, holding her hand down for the little Goomba girl. With a slight cheer, Goombella hopped onto Apple's palm. Seeing her new little friend secure, Apple gently hoisted Goombella up, then looked down at Bobbery and his crew, "And what will you be doing, Admiral?"
"Aye, me an' my mates were about to cast off. I've decided that we should be sailin' to this Sarasaland you spoke of." Bobbery replied.
"Yup! We be sailin' right away...well, just as soon as the next ship be comin' in." said the red Bob-Omb.
"Was a pleasure meetin' you!" said the blue Bob-Omb.
Apple smiled and waved to the salty crew with her free hand. "It was nice meeting you all as well."
With that, Apple stepped over the small wall that led into Rogueport Plaza, being careful not to rattle her new passenger as well as watching where she stepped, as she had promised Frankly.
Meanwhile, however, behind some crates, two pairs of shifty eyes watched as the princess made on her way...
"Squeak! You see that, Joe?" came one voice.
"Yeah! That crown on her head must be worth a fortune, Moe!" said the other.
"Whaddya say we swipe it when she's not lookin'?" said the one named Moe.
"You know it! Think of all the cheese we'll get off that!" said the other named Joe.
With that, the shifty eyes slinked off into the shadows.
As Princess Apple walked through Rogueport, with having to step over the barrier between Rogueport Plaza and Eastern Rogueport, she saw all the various citizens there staring up at her in awe, though some were just fleeing from her out of instinct. Apple paid no mind to the ones fleeing, as she had come to expect this from a place that probably hasn't ever seen one of her size before. Still in tow with her was Goombella, now atop Apple's left shoulder. Apple came to rest right next to the Pianta Parlor, sitting down. She was thankful there was anough room for her to sit down, providing she kept her knees up. The buildings around Rogueport were roughly the same size as her, if not just slightly taller or shorter, so she didn't feel so cramped up knowing that the buildings didn't escalate to extreme heights, like the ones in Mushroom City. Apple then looked to Goombella on her shoulder. "So...Goombella...what can you tell me about this place?" she asked.
"Well...it's not exactly the best vacation spot, since Rogueport's a place to many ruffians and tough folk, but there are still some upstanding citizens here." Goombella answered, "Still, I'd keep your crown on, if I were you. You never know if someone may slip it right off your head."
Apple smiled. "I appreciate your concern, Goombella, but I think someone would have to be pretty stupid to try and steal from me..."
Goombella momentarily forgot she was speaking to a giant princess. If she had hands, she probably would've slapped her forehead in embarassment. "Hehe...oh, yeah...right. Yeah, someone would have to be PRETTY stupid to try and steal form you. You'd probably spot them a mile away!"
Apple nodded. "Regardless, let's not think about that. I'm sure this island has some other places that are more noteworthy."
"Oh yeah! I mean...there're lots of places here on Rogueport...there's Petal Meadows, which houses a nice Koopa Troopa tribe." Goombella explained, "And then there's Poshley Heights, where many of the more....well, rich people live. I think you'd probably fit in well there.
Apple giggled a bit. "That sounds like a nice place...but I'm not really rich or anything. But I can see why you said that, since I'm royalty and all."
"Well, yeah...oh, and there's this nice woman there named Toodles...she's very pretty and kind." Goombella replied.
Apple smiled and listened in on Goombella's words. Goombella went on to tell Apple about her adventures with Mario while he was here, and how they visted all sort of interesting locations, fought dozens of weird creatures, and eventually saved Princess Peach from the clutches of the Shadow Queen. This went on for awhile, but during that time, Apple's attention was so diverted at Goombella's tale, that she didn't notice two small figures atop her head...
"Hehe! This is too easy!" came a small squeaky voice, which was promptly hushed by another.
"SSHHH!" the other voice came, quieting his voice to a whisper, "You numbskull! You wanna get caught?"
"S-Sorry Moe...it's just that this is the biggest heist we've ever done, and quite literally!" said Joe, now also in a whisper.
"I know...but keep your voice down for cheese's sake! Now help me lift!" said Moe.
Now able to be seen, the voices belonged to a pair of mice that had bandit masks on. Despite thier stubby arms and hands, the two lifted Apple's crown straight off her head and began to scamper off. However, the feeling of this caught Apple's attention, and she reached her hand up to scratch her head. Upon seeing Apple's dainty, yet massive, hand hovering hover them, the two dropped the crown and scampered off Apple's head and along the rooftops. Apple procceded to scratch her head a little, and felt her crown was a little off on her head.
"Hey, you okay, Apple? Got an itch or something?" asked Goombella.
"I'm not sure...it was like I felt something on my head, but it's not there anymore." replied Apple, re-adjusting the crown on her head to it's rightful position.
"Maybe some seagulls landed there?" wondered Goombella.
"Perhaps." replied Apple, both girls completely unaware that Apple's crown was nearly stolen, "In any case, that was a wonderful tale, Goombella. I recall Mario telling me about his adventure here, but it's always nice to hear another person's side of the story."
Goombella smiled. "So, now that you've rested your legs a bit, anything you wanna do?"
Apple stroked her chin slightly, thinking about what she could possibly do here. "Hm...I'd want to visit that place called Glitzville, but I don't think I'd fit in the blimp...so...how about we visit that Poshley Heights place?"
Goombella thought for a moment. "Hm...well, it's possible, but a standard train ride there is about 3 days...and even if you were to just walk there, given your size and if I calculate your walking stride...it'd still take about a day tops if you take a break now and then."
Apple was both somewhat somber about that, yet also impressed at Goombella's genius. "I see...well, I only have about a day and a half left away from home."
"Why's that?" asked Goombella.
Apple told Goombella a short tale about how Giant Land is now frozen in time so that nobody would know she was gone, and why Apple did such a thing. Goombella was now the impressed one, as it could easily be seen by her astonished expression. "Wow...so the Star Spirits let you leave home without much worry...Guess you don't get out much, huh?"
Apple nodded. "Yes...it's been a very good while since I had been out of Giant Land, so the Star Spirits gave me a 2-day break, and I'm trying to make the most out of it."
"Then why're you sitting here?" Goombella giggled.
Apple smiled and carefully got to her feet, being careful to not knock over anything or knock Goombella off her perch. "You're absolutely right, Goombella...I shouldn't be just sitting here...but still, where can I go? I think I'm spooking some of the locals here...."
Goombella thought for a moment, but then had an idea. "Well...it's not the most colorful of spots, but maybe we can head to Boggly Woods."
"Boggly Woods? ...Oh, yes...that place you said that had a large tree, right?" asked Apple.
"That's right! It's just up north of Rogueport, and at your walking speed, it shouldn't take more than ten minutes!" Goombella answered.
"Boggly Woods it is, then." Apple replied, "Lead me on, my guide."
Goombella felt a tad embarassed being called that, but she paid no mind to it. With some careful maneuvering, Apple made it out of Rogueport safely, passing by the Cheep-Cheep Blimp that was the skyway to Glitzville. Apple still wished she could see that place, but it'd be very difficult to get there without proper ways to do so. Hearing about the area's main attraction, the Glitz Pit, reminded her again of her sister, Aska. As the two headed further northward, Apple saw that the area around her was starting to look different. The trees were turning black and white, and the ground had interesting vivid colors and odd patterns on it. That was the signal indeed that the two were entering Boggly Woods. After about another 10 minutes of walking, Apple finally came to rest near the warp pipe that led back to Rogueport Sewers. She looked around at her surroundings. "Wow...so is this Boggly Woods?"
Goombella nodded. "Yup, this is the place all right."
"It has such a unique beauty..." Apple replied, looking over the trees. She happened to spot one tree in the distance that was even bigger than she was, "Oh! Is that the tree you were referring to?" she asked Goombella, pointing out in the distance to it.
"Good eye, princess. That there is the Great Boggly Tree." Goombella answered.
"Oh, I have to see this up close!" Apple said, a little excited as she made her way towards it.
Goombella sure was lucky she had a good sense of balance, else she had fallen off from Apple's sudden start. "W-Wait...! Apple, you need to be careful around the tree!"
Apple didn't seem to catch that, as she was too excited in wanting to see the tree up close. Within another 20 minutes or so, Apple was standing right in front of the Great Tree. Apple didn't even come up to half of the tree's height, so it made her feel a little small again. "Wow...." she said, her eyes wide in amazement, "It's...so huge! I never would've thought anything this big resided outside of Giant Land..."
Goombella was breathing a little heavily from the bumpy ride. "Y-Yeah...well...the world's full of mysteries, I guess..."
Apple then felt a tired feeling come over her. She gave a slight yawn, though it was loud enough that anyone within her vicinity could hear it. "Oh, my...I guess all this running around has made me more tired that I thought....Maybe....I should....take a little...nap...." Apple's eyes blinked several times, and she slowly went into a sitting position against the tree. Despite her size, the tree didn't budge or groan from her lying against it. Apple's eyes blinked several times more, and then her eyes fully closed, "Just....need.....a little.....sleep....." she mumbled before she finally zonked out, sleeping peacefully against the tree.
Goombella smiled and hopped off Apple's shoulder to a sturdy branch nearby. "Wow...what an amazing girl." Goombella decided it was best for her to get a few quick winks as well, so she lied against the tree as well and shut her eyes, taking a small nap...
While Apple and Goombella slept, something very small came out of the Great Tree. The tiny creature was very small and had a greyish skin, an oval body, and tiny, stubby legs. It also had a small antennae on it's head with a small green orb on it's end. This was none other than Punio, part of one of the races that lived in the Great Tree, the Punies. Punio was just out for a liesurely walk. "Mmm....it's a nice day today." he said to himself as he walked onwards, but his walk was abruptly stopped when he came across a golden wall. "Huh? Hey, what's this? This wasn't here before..."
Punio looked up to see the gigantic Princess Apple, still sound asleep against the Great Tree. Punio's eyes nearly spun at the sight, despite he barely could see above her massive knees. "S-Sweet mother of Puni...it...it's GIGANTIC!" he screamed, running back inside the Great Tree.
However, he didn't stay inside long. Pretty soon, the entire Puni population scurried outside, all 102 of them. (Yes, I know there's 101, but this is including the Elder). Punio led the to the golden wall that was the base of Apple's sandal. "S-See? Just look up!" Punio gasped.
Petuni, Punio's younger sister, squeaked slightly. "W-Wow, big brother! It's so HUGE!"
"My, my...this is quite an interesting predicament." replied the Puni Elder, "Hrrmmmm....Well, little Punio, I suppose this is a test of your task to be the Puni Elder later on...so what do you suggest we do now?"
"Huh? M-Me...? Uh....um...." Punio sweated, not knowing what to do, but he decided to try his best with it, "W...Well...okay....everyone follow me!"
Soon, Punio and the other Punies, minus the Elder, who was slowly shuffling her way back inside, were making thier way up along Apple's sandal, and onto her toes themselves. Punio felt the ground around him. "Wow...it's soft..."
Up above, Apple felt a slight tickiling sensation on her foot. Her eyes blinked open and she snorted slightly, as if stifiling a giggle. "Mm...he...hehe...hehehe!"
Goombella awoke to Apple's sudden giggle. "Huhwha...? Apple, is something wrong?"
Apple continued to giggle slightly. "I....hehe....something....something's tickiling my foot....haha!"
"Huh? Tickiling...?" Goombella looked down off the perch of her branch to Apple's foot. She saw from her perspective small gray-colored dots crawling all over her foot. Goombella immediately knew what they were, "Omigosh! Apple, whatever you do, don't move!" Goombella shouted to her as she began her way down the tree.
"I'll...teehee...try not to..." Apple replied, still giggling.
Goombella soon was down at Apple's feet, and just like she saw, the Punies were all around on top of it. Goombella could hear Apple up above trying to stifle herself from laughing out loud. Seeing a familiar face with Punio, Goombella hopped up and spoke to him. "Uh...hey, Punio."
Punio turned around to see Goombella. "Huh? Oh, hey! What brings you here? Did you come to investigate this huge thing here?" he asked.
Goombella shook her head. "Um...actually, this is my friend you're standing on, and you guys are standing on her foot."
"Huh?! You mean...this huge thing is your friend?" asked Petuni, who was right next to Punio.
"Er...yeah...I'll try to explain this, but you gotta get everyone to stop moving. My friend seems to be tickilish..." Goombella replied.
Punio and the other Punies were a bit confused, but they did trust Goombella. After all, it was thanks to her help and Mario's that the Great Boggly Tree was saved from the X-Nauts some time ago. All the Punies scurried off of Apple's foot, and Goombella was relieved to hear Apple calm down from being tickled there. Punio looked up at Apple's huge stature. "So...you said this huge thing is your friend?" he asked again.
"Yeah, she is. Her name is Princess Apple, and she's the princess of a far away place called Giant Land, where pretty much everything is huge." Goombella responded.
The Punies murmured amongst each other, wondering if such a place existed. Up above, Apple finally fully calmed down, and she looked at Goombella down below, barely even noticing the Punies at her feet. "Goombella? Is everything all right down there?" she asked.
Goombella turned around to face Apple. "Um....yeah, eveything's fine. Just seeing some old friends."
Apple looked confused. "Friends? I don't see anyone else here..."
"Er...try looking closer. Goombella replied.
This was both a good and somewhat bad idea. As Apple shifted her body, what was just a rumble to Goombella was like a tremor to the Punies. Some ran back inside the Great Boggly Tree, afraid for their lives, but some remained behind Goombella in fright. Soon, Apple took a calm position on her stomach, her head now down to the point where pretty much all Goombella saw was her face, and the Punies saw two large, green eyes staring at them. Apple then saw the Punies near Goombella. "Oh! My goodness, they're so tiny...I...I hope I didn't hurt any of them..."
Goombella smiled. "Nah, they're all fine...some of them are a little scared, but nobody's hurt. Apple, these guys are the Punies, the inhabitants of the Great Boggly Tree.
Apple smiled. "It's nice to meet all of you...I'm sorry if my size frightens you, but I promise I mean no harm."
Punio was the first to step forward. "W...Wow...I haven't seen anything this huge since that big scaly monster came into the Great Boggly Tree." he replied. Of course, he was referring to the time Bowser stopped by during Mario's time here, only to have been silenced by the Puni Elder.
Apple kept her smile. "And who may you be?"
"Um...my name's Punio...I'm kinda the next in line to lead the Punies....yeah." he replied.
"Ah, I see...I have to say, I'm just as amazed to see you as you probably are to see me...I never knew such small creatures lived in this world..." Apple replied.
Punio smiled. "Same can be said for me in knowing something this huge exists too!" Punio turned to the other Punies, "Okay, guys, let's give this princess the official Puni welcome!"
Apple was curious as to what Punio meant, but she watched on as the Punies began to gather in a formation in front of her. Soon, the shape they were in was clear...they formed the shape of a hand giving a peace sign. "Welcome, Princess Apple!" they all cheered.
Apple giggled a bit. "Aw, that's so cute! Thanks everyone!" she said to them. She then noticed the sun was starting to set, "Oh dear...is it night already?"
Goombella looked on to the horizon. "Yeah, guess it is...maybe we should find someplace for you to rest?"
Apple nodded in agreement. "That would be the best thing to do...but where in Rogueport can I rest?
Her answer came from Punio. "Well...why not here? You got a huge tree to shelter you and everything, and we don't mind, right everyone?" The other Punies cheered in agreement.
Apple just couldn't stop smiling. "You're all so sweet...Is there any way I can repay you for your hospitality?"
"Hey, our tree is your tree." Petuni replied.
"Thank you all very much...I've always wanted to camp outside." Apple smiled.
The night had come, and Apple, Goombella, and a fair share of the Punies were all outside, huddled around a small campfire Goombella had made. Of course, to Apple, the campfire was just like a little ember, but she didn't mind. Everyone had discussed things about their life, such as how the Punies lived, how Apple ran Giant Land, and so forth. Pretty soon, the Punies said good night to Princess Apple and all headed inside the Great Boggly Tree for the night. Now only with Goombella, Apple lied down on the ground, staring up into the beautiful night sky. It was pretty clear, aside from a stray cloud here and there, and the stars twinkled in the sky like little diamonds. Apple just stared into the night sky, being reminded that she now pretty much only had a day left from out of Giant Land, and the stars themselves reminded her of meeting with Twink the night before, and how the Star Spirits gave her this opportunity. Too lost in thought, Apple was suddenly brought out of her thinking trance by Goombella. "Hey....you okay?" she asked from atop Apple's nose.
Apple's eyes fixated on Goombella and her unusual position. "Oh...um...yes, I'm fine. Thank you, Goombella."
"Thinking about stuff, huh?" Goombella asked, being able to see through Apple's little ruse.
Apple smiled. "Hehe...you're a sharp little Goomba. ...Yes, I was just thinking about how nice it is to finally get out and do things again. Ever since I ate the Ultra Mushroom that made me like this...my life's changed so much. Mostly for the better, sure....but even so, everything comes with a downside."
Goombella looked confused. "Well, I guess everything has hardships and benefits....but I still don't see what's so bad about being you. Honestly, if I was more human like you, I'd love to be as big as you. Nobody would pick on you, you make a great authoritive figure...."
Apple couldn't help but interrupt, "Goombella..." she sighed some, "....Being big...well, you're right, it has it's ups and downs...but it's not all ups either. For one...I can't go inside anywhere besides my castle....I always have to watch my step....and....then there was that issue with my parents..."
"Your parents?" asked Goombella, "Did...something happen between them?"
Apple looked a little somber, but looking at the stars in the sky seemed to relax her enough to tell Goombella what was on her mind. "...When I grew to this size, things between my parents got a little...rusty, so to say. It was hard for me to live back at my home because I had to eat and drink a lot more than everyone else did. Eventually, the townsfolk began to hate it and kept complaining about it to my father...which in turn really burned him up, so to say. He got so angry, he even struck my mother...After that, things got sorted out thanks to my mother and Princess Peach, and my father....well, he eventually passed away from heartache....I miss him a lot, and I still love him, even if things went astray."
Goombella almost felt like crying after hearing of Apple's tale. "I...had no idea, Princess...I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked."
Apple smiled and fixated her eyes on the little Goomba again. "It's perfectly all right, Goombella. It's a part of my past, sure, but I've come to accept myself for who I am, and not see myself as a bother to people."
"Well, yeah..." Goombella replied, feeling a little better that her question didn't emotionally hurt Apple, "Besides, look at you now...Princess of Giant Land, of all things!"
"That's right. Just goes to show that if you put your mind to it, you can do and become anything." Apple replied happily, "Speaking of which...what do you plan on doing eventually in life, Goombella?"
"Me?" Goombella wondered, "Hmm...well, to be honest, I never really gave it much thought. I mean, I've learned a lot from Professor Frankly, and I did go on that awesome adventure with Mario...I dunno...I may just become an explorer like the famous Kolorado. I've always liked learning about ancient cultures and stuff like that."
"It sounds like a fantastic job, especially for one as bright and spunky as you are." Apple replied.
Goombella couldn't help but blush a bit. "Aw, I'm flattered...thanks, Princess."
Apple smiled back, then looked to the stars again. "Well...should we get a little rest, Goombella? I do have other places to be tomorrow..."
Goombella nodded and slid off of Apple's nose and to the ground. "Yeah, you're right. Sleep tight, princess....and try not to roll around a lot."
Apple giggled a bit. "I don't think you'll need to worry....I sleep pretty soundly."
Goombella gave one last smile as she covered herself in a blanket made of leaves and lied against the Great Boggly Tree. Soon, Goombella was sleeping soundly. However, Apple didn't fall asleep that easily. As she looked up into the night sky, she still had her mother on her mind. "....Mother...I miss you...." she whispered to herself as Apple's eyes closed slowly and she began to sleep. The Boggly Woods then fell silent, only the light sounds of Apple's breathing and some of the forest's wildlife breaking that silence. And so ended Apple's first day out of Giant Land, and when she would wake up...she would have another 24 hours to explore, and her grand tour would continue.
The Next Day, 20 hours remain..
The sun rose up in the Boggly Woods, covering a sleeping Princess Apple in a soft warmth of sunlight. The sunlight soon hit her eyes, and she fluttered them open. Sitting up, she stretched her arms high into the air, giving off a loud, sonorous yawn, one that woke up Goombella down below. Goombella looked up, seeing the giant princess rise and shine so quickly. "Morning, Apple!" she called from below.
Apple smiled and looked down, rubbing some of the sleep from her eyes. "Good morning, Goombella." she replied kindly, "Did you sleep well?"
Goombella nodded. "Yeah, sure did...though I gotta admit, you make a good alarm clock!"
Apple giggled slightly. "Ehehe...sorry if I woke you up abruptly."
"Nah, don't sweat it..." Goombella replied, but then looked at the sun's position, "Hm...if I'm right with sun alignments, I'd say it's about 7 am or so."
Apple seemed surprised, not only at Goombella's knowledge, but also at the time. "Oh, dear...that means I don't have very much time left away from home...I guess I should be making my way back there...well, visiting Diamond City hopefully on the way of course."
"Aww...do you hafta' go already?" Goombella replied, seeming a little sad, "I was hoping you could stay a little longer, but...hey, I guess I can't disagree with you. If you can't stay, I won't make you...not like I could anyway." she said, joking slighty at the end.
Apple smiled and picked up the small Goomba, patting her golden ponytail slightly. "Thank you for the wonderful adventure, Goombella. I really enjoyed it here, and I promise I'll come back sometime, cross my giant heart." Apple then did the "cross my heart" motion across her chest with her free hand.
Goombella smiled and jumpe dup and down a little. "Yeah! I know I'll see you again, and next time, I'll be sure Bobbery gives you a sailor's welcome! Oh, and I'll have to introduce you to some of the others Mario met here, like Koops and Madame Flurrie!"
Apple nodded and set Goombella down. "I'd like that, thank you." she replied, but then she remembered something, "Hm...one problem though...how do I get to Diamond City from here anyway...it's not like I have a--" She cut herself off when she just remembered the map she had. She giggled a bit before continuing, "Hehe...silly me, I forgot I had a map!" she said, searching for it on her body, "Now where did I put it.....ummm...." Apple searched her entire being, only coming across the Frog Suit she used to get where she was now. Apple looked a little sad, "I....think I lost it....oh, no...how am I going to get back home...?"
Goombella could tell this was a dilemma. "Uh....well, geez, I'm not sure, really...why don't we head back to Rogueport Plaza and think things over?"
Apple sighed, but nodded. "I suppose that would be the best action to take." she replied, scooping up Goombella and starting to head back to the plaza. As she left, she took one last look back at the Great Boggly Tree and smiled before continuing on.
Within an hour, Apple had returned to the plaza. Nobody else was awake yet, so she could travel the streets without much worry. However, Apple's expression remained the same. She still looked somber that she lost the map Twink had given her, so she had no way to know how to get back home, much less tto Diamond City. Sitting down in the harbor, Apple sighed, thinking if there was any way she could get a second wish from the Star Spirits or something. However, she soon heard a familiar voice. "By Blabberton's beard, what's got ya down, lass?" came Bobbery's voice from the harbor exit into town.
Apple turned her head around, smiling when she saw a familiar face. "Oh...hello captain." she replied, "I'm sorry, it's just...I lost the map I had."
"A map, ya say?" Bobbery wondered, "Forgive me, lass, but if it was a map suited to your stature, it'd be a hard one to lose, wouldn't ya say?"
Apple nodded. "Yes, I know...maybe I lost it in the sea when I swam here...But without that map, I won't know how to get home, or to Diamond City."
Bobbery ruffled his mustache a bit. "Hrrrmmm....Lass, by my word as captain, I promise ya I'll find yer map, even if takes me down to Davy Jone's Locker itself!"
Apple smiled. "I appreciate your help, Captain Bobbery, but--" Apple however was interrupted when one of Bobbery's crew members came up to him, "Cap'n! We found something along the shoreline!"
Bobbery turned to his crewmate. "What sorta' somethin'?"
The bob-omb replied, "It's a giant bottle...and it's got a note inside. We've been trying to open it, but the cork's in pretty tight!"
Bobbery turned back to Apple. "Lass, if I may ask..."
Apple smiled and stood up, Goombella in her hand, "No need to ask, Captain. I'd be glad to help." she replied.
"That's the spirit, lass! Alright, lead the way." said Bobbery to his crew member. With that, the single bob-omb led Bobbery and the rest to a nearby beach that was apart from Rogueport. Sure enough, sitting on the beach was a large galss bottle, one that would probably look normal-sized to Apple, and true to the bob-omnb's word, there was a large piece of paper inside it. "Alright ya scatterbrains, stand aside and let this fine lass open this here bottle fer us!" Bobbery called out.
The bob-ombs surrounding the bottle stood aside as Apple set Goombella on the ground, then picked the bottle up out of the sand. Grabbing ahold of the cork, she gave it a slight twist, then pulled, the cork coming out with a loud POP. Taking out the bottle's contents, Apple opened the paper up and her eyes went wide with excitement. "I....it....this is it! The map I lost!" she exclaimed joyfully.
"By the stench of seawater! Are you sure, lass?" asked Bobbery.
"There's no doubt about it, captain. This is the very same one I had...and it looks brand-new!" Apple replied with a smile, but then she noticed a traced path on the map that wasn't there before, " ....Hey, hold on. There's something different about it..." she mumbled to herself, even though at her size, everyone could still somewhat make out what she said. She put her finger on the line's starting location, which was Rogueport, her current locale. Following the line with her finger along the map, the line ended at Diamond City. Apple seemed confused, yet happy...it was like the map had somehow returned and was showing her the way. Rolling up the map and safely securing it under her arm, Apple smiled to Bobbery, Goombella, and Bobbery's crew, "I guess this means I should get going everyone...I thank you all for the hospitality and good times."
Goombella smiled. "Just don't be losing the map again, okay? I dunno if it'll come back twice." she joked.
Bobbery turned to his shipmates. "Lads! Let's be givin' the lass a bob-omb's farewell! Ready......now!" As soon as Bobbery said "now", the bob-omb crew lit thier fuses, and each blew up in succession, with Bobbery giving the biggest blast last.
Apple smiled. "Thank you all again. Farewell!" she said, taking out the Frog Suit she had stored away. Giving it a slight press, the power-up noise issued again, and Apple transformed back into a mermaid. Rolling into the waves, and keeping a firm grip on her map (which somehow was water-proof), she turned to wave good-bye to Rogueport and the people she met there one last time, then dove underwater, swimming eleganty, yet a little hasty, towards her next destination.
Near Diamond City (18 hours remain)
Swimming along through the seas, Apple was carefully following the path that was set for her on her map. She was a little eager to visit her previous hometown, and to see how it had changed over time. Taking a breather near an underwater coral reef, she looked at the map again. "Hmm...well, according to this...I should be pretty close..." she said to herself, all the while subconsiously happy that the Frog Suit's abilities also made her able to speak and breathe underwater with no troubles. Rolling up the map again, she kept right on swimming.
Diamond City Docks
Diamond City was in much hustle and bustle as always. Buildings of all kinds were littered about, some small, some tall, including a certain building of a certain greedy individal. Near the lab of the esteemed Dr. Crygor, the water at the dock began to displace as Apple poked her head above it. Immediately, her eyes were fixed on the buildings that were within her sight. "....This...this is my home?" she wondered as she sat down on one of the docks. The dock creaked and groaned under her weight, yet still managed to stay sturdy. Wringing out her hair of the loose seawater and plucking some seaweed out of it that decided to hitch a ride, Apple looked at her mermaid fins once again. "Hmm...I need to lose this somehow..." she said to herself.
Unbeknowest to Apple, she wasn't just taking up the dock from where she sat. In fact, she was actually sitting right on the road, with her lower half on the dock itself. This proved to be a slight problem as a red motor scooter came charging down the street. A teenage girl was riding it, looking like she had seen a ghost. "Oh, gosh! I'm so going to be late!" she exclaimed, but in her haste, she didn't catch sight of Apple's massive rump in the road as she turned the corner until it was too late. The scooter and the teenager crashed right into it, and this didn't go unnoticed by Apple.
Feeling the crash, Apple shuddered a bit. "OUCH!" she yelped, and in true Mario-like fashion, her mermaid fins vanished, along with the power-down noise following. Apple stood up on the solid pavement, "Well...that solved that...but what hit me?" she wondered, rubbing her behind slightly. Looking down, she saw a little smoke coming from a crashed vehicle, and the young teenager near it was near it, rubbing her head. "Owww....good thing I had a helmet..." she moaned to herself.
It didn't take long for Apple to put two and two together. She gasped and bent down to see if the girl was hurt. "I...I'm so sorry! Are you all right?" she asked, her voice slightly booming in the other girl's ears.
This caused her to literally jump in place from surprise. "Whoa! Hey, easy on the bass!" she yelled as she looked to see who was addressing her. But that caused the girl to not look forward, but rather to look up. Her pupils shrunk in slight fear, "....Guh...wh-what the...?" The girl wanted to move, but she was too frightened.
Apple could see that the girl was scared of her, so she tried her best to calm her down. "Please...don't be scared." she said in a quieter tone, "I'm very sorry about your vehicle...I didn't know I was sitting in the road..."
The girl wondered why this giant of a lady wasn't going all Koopzilla on her. "Uh...um...i...it's okay...I can just have Dr. Crygor fix it...." she replied.
"That's good to know...still, I am sorry." Apple replied, "Is this Diamond City, by chance?"
The girl nodded. "Y-Yeah...why do you ask?"
Apple smiled warmly. "So I made it...this is my hometown..."
This got the girl more confused now rather than scared. She stood up and brushed herself off. "Uh...wait, this is your hometown? Because if it is, then I don't think anyone here has met you yet..."
Apple looked around a bit, wondering why she wasn't averting any attention. "Um...well, it's a bit of a long story..."
The girl put her hands to her hips. "Well...how about the short version then?" she asked.
Apple nodded, taking a seat where she was before. "Well...put simply, I lived here back when this place was known as Jewel Town. I was the princess of my father and mother, King Askew and Queen Pineapple."
The girl's eyes widened. "Wait...you're serious?" she asked. Apple nodded in return. It was at this time that she finally got a decent look at the girl she was talking too. The girl looked to be about in her teenage years. She wore red boots, a red skirt, and a red top that showed her stomach. She also wore a nice white coat that went all the way to her feet. Finally, as the girl might've mentioned, she also wore a helmet, which also sported goggles. The girl herself had a decent figure, pretty blue eyes, and middle-long orange hair that parted on each side. If it isn't obvious enough by now on who this was, it was none other than Diamond City's own Mona.
Mona literally jumped up and down a bit. "Whoa! I can't believe this...Here I thought all of that stuff I heard about a royal family being here was just gossip!"
Apple tilted her head slightly. "Gossip? So...wait, does that mean nobody here knows about me?"
Mona shrugged. "I dunno...maybe." she replied, "So you say you're the princess of the king and queen that were here, huh? Well...you do look the part, I admit."
Apple smiled. "Well, it's true...I'm Princess Apple, by the way."
"Name's Mona." Mona replied.
"Pleased to meet you, Mona." Apple replied, extending her finger down to Mona for a makeshift handshake, of which Mona gladly did, though she had to use both hands to shake Apple's dainty, but large finger.
"No problem, same here." Mona said back, "So...I take it you haven't been here for awhile, huh? Well...how about I give you a tour then?"
"Would you really? I hope it's not too much trouble." Apple asked, just to be sure.
"Pfft...nah, it's no worries....except..." Mona looked back at the wreckage of her scooter, "Hm...gimmie a sec." she said as she pulled out a cell phone from her pocket. She dialed the number for Mona's Pizza, then went to chattering on it for a bit. Apple couldn't quite make out what she was chattering about, but soon Mona was done and turned back to face Apple, "Well...see, I was on my way to my job over at Mona's Pizza..."
"You own your own business?" Apple asked.
Mona nodded in reply. "Yeah, basically...It's the best pizza you'll ever have...but...as I said, I was on my way to work when I bumped into you, and I'm late already...So if I don't give a good excuse as to why I am, I'm gonna be docked pay!"
Apple thought for a moment, seeing her predicament, but then just smiled. "Well...I say your excuse is pretty evident, don't you think?"
Mona looked confused. "Huh? What do you mean evid---" Mona stopped short of that sentence when she saw Apple again. A look of realization came about her face, followed by a smile, "Duh!" she giggled.
Apple giggled as well. "So...how about you show me to your workplace, and I'll put in a good word for you?"
Mona nodded. "You betcha! If seeing a five-story princess isn't a good enough excuse, I'll eat my helmet!"
"Let's hope it doesn't come to that. Anyways, shall we?" Apple replied, holding her open palm down near Mona to offer her a ride. Mona looked a little hesitant, but Apple reassured her, "It's okay...I just hope you aren't afraid of heights..."
"Who me? Nah!" Mona smiled and hopped on, taking a seat as Apple slowly lifted her up. Mona looked around from her new perspective, "Whoa...Diamond City looks so different up here!"
"It looks different to me entirely..." Apple replied.
"Oh, I'll bet, since you say you haven't been here in awhile. Well, anyway...Mona's Pizza shouldn't be much further from here." Mona pointed to the north, and sure enough, the sign reading Mona's Pizza was within Apple's sight.
Apple smiled and began her first steps into her old hometown. She felt an air of nostalgia come about her, as she remembered all the nice citizens that lived in Jewel Town before, though she did wonder if anyone from Jewel Town still lived here or not. As she walked, the citizens of Diamond City saw her and moved quickly out of the way. Whether it be out of fear or respect, one could only wonder. Someone tried to phone the cops, but another citizen stopped him, knowing that Apple wasn't doing any harm. In a few minutes, Apple found the Mona's PIzza building and set Mona down near it's parking lot.
"Wow! That was better than any scooter! Thanks for the lift!" Mona smiled.
Apple nodded. "I hope your boss doesn't chew you out..."
"Eh, gimmie a minute and I'll show him why I was late, okay?" Mona said as she headed towards the entrance.
Apple smiled and, seeing the parking lot to the place pretty much empty, she decided to have a seat there. Meanwhile, inside Mona's Pizza, Mona entered in, calling out to the manager of the place, Joe. "Hello! Sorry I'm late!"
"Mona! Where've-a you been? You should-a been here minutes ago!" Joe barked. Quite literally too, since Joe was a dog, one sporting a chef hat.
"Yeah, sorry about that...I had a run-in with someone." she replied.
"Doesn't sound like-a good excuse to me..." Joe replied, not sounding quite impressed.
"Oh, don't worry, the person I ran into can vouch for me...she's here right now." said Mona.
"Eh? Really? Well, hopefully she can-a be a paying customer as well." said Joe.
"Actually...um...she's kinda re-visiting this place after a long time. This place was her hometown before it became Diamond City, you see and...well...she asked me to be her tour guide!" Mona replied.
Joe looked a little gruff. "Mona, I can't-a run this place myself..."
"You're not believing me, are you?" Mona replied, looking a bit gruff herself, "Fine, come outside and I'll prove it."
Not seeing any other way, Joe followed Mona outside, and sure enough, still sitting in the parking lot was Princess Apple. Joe nearly wet himself seeing the huge beauty. "Mama mia!" Joe yelped.
"See? Told you." Mona giggled.
"I assume this is your boss, Mona?" asked Apple.
"Um...y-yes, madam!" Joe replied, taking off his hat in courtesy, "Welcome to my fine establishment! I must-a say, I've-a never seen one quite like yourself."
Apple smiled. "It's quite all right...probably not too many others have."
"So, Apple...care to explain to Joe here what happened?" asked Mona, still giggling a bit from Joe's reaction.
"Oh, certainly!" Apple replied, who then told Joe about Mona's little run-in with her, and why she was here.
"Mmm...I see...well, all right, Mona. I think I can run ze joint myself for one day." Joe told Mona, "But you won't get-a any pay for today."
"I think that's fair enough. Thanks, Joe." Mona replied, shaking Joe's hand...well, paw, rather.
Apple smiled, seeing the two agree with each other, and she was glad she would have a tour guide. Just then, Apple's nose caught the scent of something. She sniffled the air lightly and smiled warmly. "Mmm...hey, what's that smell? It smells delicious..."
Mona could already tell what Apple was smelling, and she smiled looking back up to her. "That, my dear princess, is the famous Mona Pizza you smell! Hey, Joe...how about hooking up our VIP with a Mona Special? I'll pay."
"I'll get-a right on it!" Joe replied as he dashed back into the building post-haste.
Apple smiled. "Oh, you really shouldn't have, Mona..."
"Hey, nobody visits Diamond City without trying Mona's Pizza!" Mona smiled, "You'd be stupid not to!"
Apple nodded. "I'll take your word for it, then. It does smell very good...and I haven't had anything to eat since the other night."
"Given how you are, it'd probably take a dozen Mona Specials to satisfy you...Uh...though I'm not implying you're fat or anything...er...that is..." Mona found herself blushing from what she said.
Apple smiled and gently plucked Mona up, setting her on her knee. "It's quite fine, Mona...I do have to eat a lot. Though from where I am, even the food is large."
"No kidding? How about telling me stuff from where you're from while we wait for the pizza?" Mona asked.
"That seems like a good way to pass the time." she smiled. With that, Apple began to tell Mona her story, about how she was born and raised by King Askew and Queen Pineapple in Jewel Town, then how she met Prince Hugo the Huge in Giant Land, how she became big, and how her family broke up.
"Wow...talk about your dramatic story." Mona replied, "But hey, you're basically the queen of Giant Land, and you're with the love of your life, so I guess it's not all that bad, huh?"
"It's had it's benefits, yes...though I still do miss my mother and sister." Apple replied.
"I bet they miss you too." Mona replied assuringly. As she finished saying that, Joe came back out with and extra-large Mona Special.
"Oh, is it ready?" Apple asked, smiling down at Joe.
"Yes madam! Please do enjoy!" Joe replied, holding the pizza up as high as he could.
Apple smiled and gently scooped the pizza up with two fingers. She looked at the pizza, seeing all it's delectible toppings and smelling it's fresh aroma almost made Apple's mouth water slightly. Parting her lips slightly, she took a small nibble of the pizza. The multitude of toppings rolled over her tongue in a delectible manner. Apple's eyes beamed. "Wow! It's delicious! Yum, yum, yum!"
Mona smiled. "Well that's Mona's Pizza for you!"
"Belissima! I'm-a so glad to have another satisfied customer!" Joe replied, his tail wagging happily.
Apple smiled and plopped the remainder of the pizza in her mouth. She happily swallowed it down, satisfied with the taste. "That was some of the best food I've had in a long while...thank you, Mr. Joe."
"Mama mia, it was-a no big deal." Joe replied, but then chuckled, "Or perhaps, in this case it was a big deal!"
All three had a good laugh from that, but soon, Apple stood back up, Mona secure in her hand. "Well, thank you very much, Mr. Joe...the pizza was delicious, but I have more of the town to see. I hope I can stop by again soon."
"I'll pay ya for the pizza on tomorrow's shift!" Mona called down, wavingto Joe.
"I'll-a hold you to that!" Joe replied, waving to the two as Apple's golden sandals passed by the pizzeria and down the street.
As the twosome of Mona and Princess Apple left the vicinity of Mona's Pizza, Apple looked around, seeing all the buildings. She still couldn't believe that all of this used to be her hometown, and how much it had changed. She almost felt a bit uneasy walking through such a new place. Even though the land was familiar, the surroundings still weren't. Still, Apple felt at ease she was able to visit her original hometown, despite it's changes. Her thoughts were interrupted when Mona spoke up in her hand. "So...um...where to first?"
Apple heard her and pondered a moment. "Hmm...I'm not sure..." she said, but then thought of something, "Well...by any chance is my family's old castle still around?"
"Your old home, huh? Hmm..." Mona though as well, but then nodded, "Well, I'm not sure about it being your old home here, but there is an abandoned castle just a little on the outskirts of the city. Maybe that was it?"
"It sounds like it. Which way is it?" asked Apple.
Mona pointed a little to the east beyond a couple blocks of buildings, including the infamous WarioWare Inc. "It's just over that small rise, on an old dirt path."
Apple smiled and turned to head that direction. "I'll bet the place hasn't been used for years..." she said to herself as she began to walk again. She suddenly stopped for a moment at a busy intersection. Waiting patiently, she waited for the traffic to stop due to a red light, then she calmly stepped over the intersection when her light turned green. Mona giggled, "Well, since you can't use the sidewalk, you just gotta make do, huh?"
Apple nodded. "Large I may be, I still obey the law!"
Mona gave Apple a thumbs-up for that remark. As Apple walked on,however, she came up on the WarioWare Inc. building, which was even taller than her. Apple herself only was as high as about the fifth floor, edging towards the sixth. She stopped a moment to look at the building. "Hm...I take it from this building's logo that this is where that creep Wario resides?" she asked Mona.
Mona nodded. "Yeah...he is a bit of a creep, especially considering he hasn't paid me in like...forever."
"You work here as well?" Apple asked.
"Part-time, yeah. I just help him get crazy ideas for his Microgames. Though even though I'm an employee here, the only person that seems to get paid is Wario himself." Mona replied.
"Well, he is pretty greedy from what I heard, so I suppose that's no surprise." Apple sighed, "How do you put up with him?"
Mona shrugged. "Eh, I dunno...I guess without any of my Microgame ideas, his place would lose profit. And to him, losing profit is like losing an extra life."
Apple nodded in agreement, but then she got a sly grin on her face. "Hm...hey, Mona...how often does Wario work here?"
Mona looked a little confused at Apple's question, but answered regardless. "Well...he should be in today. I had the day off from here today, so he's not totally heartless."
"Then how about giving him a harmless spook?" Apple giggled, looking down at the ground below her and seeing a very peculiar flower that she knew of.
"Huh? Well..." Mona thought for a moment, but then grinned, "I suppose it could convince him to give me a paycheck...What do you have in mind?"
Inside WarioWare Inc.
Wario, dressed in his WarioWare outfit (the biker costume, in case those who don't know), was sitting at his personalized desk...which was made of gold of course. He grinned as he was counting the coins on his desk. "998...999...One thousand gold coins. BWA-HAHAHA! I'm-a so filthy rich, that I'd never bathe!" he chuckled, but his greedy laughter was cut off when the intercom on his desk sounded. He grumbled and pushed a button on it, "Whaddya want?".
"Mr. Wario? Your employee Mona wishes to see you." came a secretary's voice over the intercom.
"Eh? What does she want...I thought I gave-a her the day off?" Wario asked with a slight huff, "Ah well...fine, let her in!"
Within a few moments, Mona walked into Wario's office. "Heya, boss."
"Whaddya want, Mona. Can't-a you see I'm-a busy?" Wario huffed.
"Oh, I'll be quick, don't worry." Mona smiled as she noted the window behind Wario was open, which for her was perfect, "You see...I just thought I'd stop by and mention about getting that paycheck I so deserved..."
Upon hearing that word, Wario immediately banged his fist on his desk, causing a few coins to shake. "Not-a this again! How many times-a do I have to tell ya? I'll pay ya when I feel like it!"
Mona sighed. "Yeah, I know...but...you know..." Mona grinned.
"Eh?" Wario wondered as he suddenly felt that someone was behind him. He turned his head to see...Mona? Yep, Mona was standing right next to him...but she was standing in front of Wario too! Wario did a double-take, seeing two Monas in his office!
The Mona next to Wario finished the sentence from before. "...It's not fair to not pay your employees, you know."
"Wh-wh-what's-a goin' on? You never told me you had a twin!" Wario barked.
"Oh, I dunno about twins..." came Mona's voice from Wario's other side.
Wario shivered a bit as he looked to his other side, only to see ANOTHER Mona there! There were now three in his office! "WAH!" Wario yelped, his eyes bugging out.
"So...about that paycheck..." said the first Mona in front of his desk.
Wario gulped. "...F-F-Fine...you'll get it tomorrow. I promise!"
All three Monas stared and pointed at him. "You'd better be right about that, and no skimming it!" they all said in unison. Then, all three exited out of the office.
Wario felt his heart pounding. "Oy...I gotta lay off-a the garlic pizza before bed..." he grumbled.
Outside WarioWare Inc.
All three Monas soon exited out of the WarioWare building. Looking around, they soon went behind the building and just like that, two of the Monas just went *POOF*! The remaining one giggled. "Apple! It worked!"
Princess Apple, sitting there with a smile, giggled as well. "I thought that flower I saw in front of the building looked peculiar...it was a Copy Flower!" she smiled.
"Yeah! Wow, I never knew that such a powerup existed...If I known about it sooner, I would've done that ages ago!" Mona laughed.
Apple smiled, "So how did it go? Did he fall for it?"
Mona nodded. "Hook, line, and stinker! Of course, I couldn't have done it without you hoisting up the clones through his office window."
"Oh, it was no trouble at all." Apple smiled, "Glad to help out a friend."
Mona rubbed the back of her head. "Aw, shucks...first I'm a tour guide and now a friend? You're too much, Apple."
"Speaking of tours, what about that castle you mentioned?" Apple asked.
"Oh, right! It's not much further from here. Let's go!" Mona replied.
Apple nodded and gently scooped Mona into her hands, carrying her along as she made her way over a hill rise. She seemed to remember this hill, and the way her and Aska would always run and roll down it during the warmer months, and sled down it during the colder months. When she was a child, the hill looked so big to her, but now she could easily scale in just a few strides. And then she saw it. Sitting on a cliffside that was about at Apple's chest height was an old-looking castle. It looked like it hadn't been occupied in years, and it was showing some crumbling in some areas. Apple noticed an old worn and tattered flag hanging from oone of the towers, and she could faintly notice the Jewel Town's old emblem on it. Setting Mona down near the castle's entrance, Apple got to her knees so she was at face-level with the castle.
"There's...no mistaking it." she said quietly, "This...this was me and my parent's castle..."
Mona didn't say anything for a short time as she saw Apple's somewhat depressed, yet nostaligic look on her large face. The wind clamly blew as the silence ensued, but Mona decided she would try to keep Apple's spirits high. "So...um...this was your place back then, huh? I would've loved to see it in it's prime."
Apple, hearing this, smiled a bit. "It was a beautiful place, let me tell you." she said as she pointed to a tower on the left side, "There...that was my room, and my sister was just below me."
"I bet you loved living the high life, didn't you?" Mona asked.
"Well, yes...but I didn't live like many would in my position...I was a real people person. I loved to talk with others, help out the citizens, and even take a small babysitting job when I was about 12." Apple explained.
"Sounded like you had things made for you." Mona replied.
"Yes...at least...until I became how I am now. A lot of people still liked me, but the majority disliked me because I was...well...you know..." Apple sighed.
"Yeah, I guess I can see what you mean...It's okay. Everything turned out fine in the end, and you still have your life back in Giant Land, right?" Mona asked her.
Apple nodded. "I suppose so...I just wonder how things would have been different if my mother didn't seperate from my father...or if I didn't become how I am now."
"Well, I don't know much about stuff like that, but if you ask me, your life would've been great either way you look at it." Mona smiled, giving Apple a thumbs up.
Apple beamed a smile back down to her. "Yes, you're right. I am happy with how I am now, and even if I wasn't how I am, I probably would have been happy anyway." she said as she looked at the castle again, "This is reminding me of the toy castle I had in my room...I would play with knights and princesses...Such good memories."
Mona didn't say anything and just kept a smile as the winds of nostalgia blew across Apple. It was silent for awhile longer, but unknown to either Apple or Mona since they were so absorbed in seeing the old relic of a castle, a strance saucer-like ship was speeding low across the land. It belonged to none other than the one known as Orbulon, who was taking his new spaceship out for a test drive. He rounded the corner, but he didn't take into account the head of Apple as he slammed into it, causing the ship to veer out of control in the opposite direction.
Feeling this sudden jolt, Apple yelped in pain as she held her head. "AAAH! Ow....that....hurt...." she said, but her voice began to feel faint and woozy, as if she was tired. Her eyesight began to blur.
Mona, hearing Apple's cry all too clearly, could only see as the giant princess started to wobble a little side to side, feeling dizzy, until finally, Apple fell to her side with a CRASH to the ground. There she lied, unconsious, but still breathing. "Apple? APPLE!!!" Mona cried as she ran down to console her friend.
The last thing Apple heard before she blacked out was Mona calling her name. "....M...on...a..." she whispered before she fell totally unconsious and her sight blackening out....
Some time later...
"...ple? Apple...oh, come on...please...." came a voice to Apple's ears. Princess Apple's vision gradually regained as it went slowly from a blur to a good image, as if adjusting the focus on a camera. The first thing that she saw was the worried face of Mona, which then became happy to see her eyes open. Mona was leaned over on top of Apple's nose.
"Oh geez...I'm so glad you're okay!" Mona smiled, some tears still evident in her eyes.
"...M...Mona...?" Apple moaned, a throbbing pain still being felt in the back of her head.
Mona nodded. "Yeah, it's me! A...Are you okay?"
"...My head hurts...but...I think I'll be fine..." Apple replied. She tried moving her limbs, thankful to see that they didn't seem hindered. Seeing her starting to move again, Mona slipped off of Apple's face and gave her some room. Apple stood back up, her legs a bit wobbly at first, but she quickly gained her center of balance. She held the back of her head, rubbing it a bit, then looked at her hand. There didn't seem to be any sign of bleeding, but it was a good possibility that she had a bad bruise back there somewhere. She paced around for a moment to be sure that she was able to move, and seeing that, she nodded and looked down to Mona. "Yeah, I think I'll be all right."
Mona sighed with relief. "That's great. Wow, you sure got your walking legs back fast...What's your secret? If I'm knocked out, it usually takes me awhile to get up and going again..."
Apple smiled. "It's all thanks to Wii Fit XL." she giggled, "Even a big girl like me needs to stay in shape!"
Hearing that, Mona only imagined how big the Wii Fit board was to support Apple, and soon giggled at the thought. "Well, in any case, you were out like a light."
"Oh? Um...how long was I out...?" Apple asked, noticing the sun was setting.
"Um...give or take all afternoon." Mona replied.
Apple gasped at that. "Oh dear...I wasted some time..."
"Huh?" Mona wondered, "What do you mean?"
"I only have a certain amount of time away from my home." Apple responded. She then told a breif synopsis to Mona of how Giant Land is frozen in time and protected.
"Huh...so you're pressed for time. How much do you got left?" asked Mona.
"Judging by the sun's position...I would guess only about a few hours." she sighed.
Mona seemed a bit sad to know that Apple had wasted precious time due to an accident. Regardless, she patted Apple's ankle and smiled up to her. "Hey, cheer up! You still got some time...So what say we hit the town and catch some of the early nightlife?"
Apple smiled and picked up her friend and tour guide and put her on her shoulder. "I have always wanted to see what city life at night was like. There aren't any major cities back home, unless you count my castle."
Mona gave a smile of assurance. "If that's the case, you're gonna LOVE Diamond City at night. Let's boogie!"
With that, the two headed back towards downtown Diamond City. Apple took a moment to briefly look back at the ruins of her old home, then climbed over the hills surrounding it. When Apple laid eyes on Diamond City again, she was amazed to see that the city was awash with bright and fancy lights. Her eyes sparkled in amazement. "W...Wow...It's so beautiful...!"
Mona smiled to her gigantic friend. "You'll have to be careful...the traffic's crowded here at night."
Apple gave a reassuring nod. "I've been this size long enough to watch my step." True to her word, Apple carefully navigated the less crowded streets. It wasn't long, however, before a bright light shone in her face. Shielding her eyes with her free hand, Apple could see that a spotlight had been directed at her. She shook slightly, wondering if she would be targeted as some sort of monster or worse. However, her fears were soon put to rest as a single figure stepped up to her from a rooftop that was almost at her head's height. "You there...young lady." came a voice.
"Um...y-yes?" she replied, her eyes squinting to see who it was.
The spotlight focused on the figure on the rooftop, who had an odd helmet on and was wearing a yellow jumpsuit of some sort. It was none other than Diamond City's own Dr. Crygor. Seeing that, Mona waved from Apple's hand. "Oh, hey doc!"
"Ah, Mona, good to see you! And you as well...Princess Apple." he smiled, stroking his mustache a bit.
Apple seemed surprised and a little bewildered. "Um...thank you...But how do you know who I am?"
"Ohoho...of course, please forgive me...It feels like only yesterday you were still a child..." Dr. Crygor replied.
Apple now even seemed more confused, but Dr. Crygor went on with his explanation. "Ah, you see...I was one of Jewel Town's residents that just couldn't leave here, even after it's downfall. I would have thought you remember me...I always did help you--"
"Fix...my toys..!" Apple replied, a look of realization on her face, "Of course! You were Jewel Town's top mechanic! I can't believe I fogrot about you...I'm so sorry..."
"Ah, it's all right, princess...I'm just glad to see you alive and well...not to mention you've still retained your size." Dr. Crygor smiled.
"Yeah...well, not much I can do about it, but I'm managing. It's good to see an old face." Apple smiled, "But...um...why the spotlights?"
"Oh, of course...seeing as how you were originally from here, once I spotted you coming up from the sea earlier today, I decided it would have been nice for you to...come in as a sort of VIP guest and have a little fun!" Crygor explained.
Apple looked around, seeing that a crowd had formed, and yet everyone was awestruck by her. Not to mention a few guys were whistling up at her. Apple blushed a bit. "Um...w...wow...uh...I don't know what to say, except...It's good to be home!" The crowd cheered and applauded in response. Apple felt her heart pounding slightly, but she was very happy.
In a building down below, a young boy peeked out a window. It was Young Cricket, and he was bedazzled by the sight of the giant princess. "Master Mantis! Come quick, you should see this!" he called out to the master of the dojo.
Shuffling forward, Master Mantis looked out the window. "Hrmm...must be one of those...celebrity folk you young ones go on about."
"She's not one that I know..." Young Cricket replied, though his eyes seemed very fixated on her, "...She's pretty..."
Back outside, Apple was waving down to the crowd below, but then there was a sound in the air that even Apple heard...speaker feedback. The feedback quickly quieted everyone, and the spotlight shone up on another building nearby. Soon, disco-style music was playing through the air, which could only mean that the one and only Jimmy T. was around. And around he was, jumping into the spotlight, sporting his usual disco attire and sporting a microphone. "Aw, yeah! Jimmy T. is here!"
Apple felt a little awkward seeing someone like him. "Um...is he a resident here too?" she asked Mona.
"Jimmy T. Yep, he's a resident too...He loves aerobics and goes to so many dance club nights, it's amazing." Mona replied, "I wonder why he's here, though...?"
"I'm not sure...but..." Apple started, feeling a rhythm in the song that was playing, so much so that she found herself tapping her foot, which made some of the crowd back off, unknowing to her, "....Something about this song is...getting be upbeat!" she smiled.
"Oho, someone's got the beat!" Jimmy T. wailed through the microphone. The spotlight turned to Apple again, making her blush, "Go on, girl, show 'em your funky moves!"
"Uh...m-me? But I've never...danced..." Apple shyly replied.
"Aw, don't worry about that, girl! Just let the music move ya!" Jimmy T. replied.
"Move me, huh...?" Apple replied. The rhythm was starting to get to her more, and she could feel her dormant dancing spirit start to awaken inside her. She noticed a clearing in the city about a few step ahead and smiled. She set Mona down on the building with Dr. Crygor, cracked her knuckles, then stepped over the crowd and into the clearing, the spotlight following her. She then struck a pose, putting her hand on her knee and her body slightly bobbing to the rhythm, "Crank it up to 11, Jimmy!" Apple called out as the music started. With that, Apple started to move and groove to the music, staying within the boundries of the clearing that was given to her. Her steps shook the vicinity, causing some car alarms to go off, but little else. Apple was, as Jimmy T. said, letting the music move her, allowing her to do some fancy freestyle steps.
Up on the rooftop with Dr. Crygor, Mona was also getting down and "shaking her thing" so to speak, and even Dr. Crygor himself found himself dancing to the music and the rhythm that it and Apple's footsteps were giving. Inside the dojo, Young Cricket found himself doing a somewhat freestyle ninja-like dance, though Master Mantis was only watching and observing Young Cricket's movements. Above all, Jimmy T. himself was enjoying this the most, seeing Apple get down and get as funky as she could get. In fact, all of Diamond City was in a dancing frenzy, as the crowd cheered on Apple. By the time the music was finished, Apple found herself breathign heavily,and even sweating a bit. Jimmy T. spoke up through the microphone again. "Yeah, baby! That's what I'm talkin' about! You were burning the dance floor!"
Apple smiled and gave a bow to the crowd. "Thank you! Thank you!" she smiled, hearing the roaring cheers from the ground. This was certainly a time she wouldn't forget. But that made her think of something she overlooked...Time. It probably wouldn't have been long until Giant Land returned to normal from the Star Hourglass, and it would take Apple some time to get back. Knowing this, Apple held up her hand to silence the crowd, which they did almost unanimously. "On behalf of myself and of my home...I want to thank you all so much for the fun time. This...this is one moment I'm never going to forget!" Apple then looked into the distance, then down to the crowd again, "...Unfortunately...I must be going back to my homeland now. I...have to get back before nightfall, you see. No, don't worry, I'm not going to turn into a pumpkin!" she giggled, making a little joke, "I hope I can return sometime, though. Thank you all again...especially to Mona for guiding me though the town."
With all that said and done, Apple stepped through the empty streets and was at the docks again. She slipped out the Frog Suit she had on all the time and was about to activate it when a voice interrupted her. "Wait, Apple!" came Mona's voice below.
Apple turned to see Mona at her feet, waving up to her. "Mona...um...I'm sorry for leaving on such short notice, but...you know..."
"I know, Apple, but...I just wanted to say that if you ever wanna come back, just come and see me okay?" Mona called up to her.
Apple smiled and bent down to shake Mona's hand with her finger. "Thank you, Mona. I promise I'll come again sometime...I hope it's soon."
Having said their good-byes, Apple stood back up and gave the Frog Suit in her other hand a pinch. The power-up sound activated and once again, Apple's lower body transformed into that of a mermaid. She leaped into the water, causing a splash to the shoreline, and onto Mona. Apple stuck her head up to look back at the lights of Diamond City once more, gave a smile, then began her swim back to Giant Land, using Tink's map to guide her home.
Giant Land Shores, 5 minutes remain
It seemed to take forever, but Apple finally surfaced at her homeland, which she could easily tell it was that due to the giant flowers, some that even towered over her. She scooted herself onto the sandy shore. She was starting to ponder how she was going to lose her fishy fins, but her thoughts were answered once she heard the power-down noise suddenly. Looking at her lower body, it was back to normal, golden sandals and all. She stood up and smiled, brushing herself off. "Whew...it looks like I made it back in time..." she said to herself as she proceeded towards Giant Castle, seeing everything still in monochrome.
She soon made it up to her room, untouched and just the same as she left it. Apple yawned as she dressed herself in her pajamas. She then looked outside, hearing a faint rumble as the entirety of Giant Land slowly shifted back into color, the night sky above giving off many sparkling stars. She smiled and lied down in her soft bed, giving a content sigh of relief to be home, because as they say, despite seeing all sorts of wonderful things, there's no place like home.