“Looks like I’ll have to deal with you guys myself,” Kamek said in a sneering tone. Luigi and Yoshi could tell that he wasn’t going to try any of his tricks anytime soon.
“Tired of your games?” Luigi taunted, though he wasn’t sure if it really was a taunt. Given the way Kamek sneered and his abrupt shift of tone compared to when he’d summoned his shadow underlings, he wasn’t sure if his response to Bowser’s right-hand man—who, even Luigi himself has to admit, was a powerful magician in his own right—was a taunt or a bluff.
“Don’t worry—Lord Bowser won’t even have to be bothered with the ghastly sight that you two are!” Kamek’s tone made it seem that he regarded the two as nothing but garbage. That was exactly it, though—with his fury, he could actually be capable of getting sadistic and finishing them off before Bowser even could, whilst suffering a slow and torturous course.
“We’ll see about that!” Luigi turned in shock to hear that Yoshi had followed in with his “bluff.”
“Now that’s what I like about you WORMS! Even when you two know you’re just gonna lose, you two are still up and ready to fight. Fine then! This whole thing is just bound to be interesting!”
And without wasting even a fraction of a second, Kamek waved his wand around, summoning a dangerous whirl of clouds. Both the green plumber and the dinosaur could tell things were starting to really get ugly around here.
“Wow, I don’t see how any of this can just get any worse before we would have to face Bowser,” Yoshi gulped. And here I thought that I’ve seen worse—you’d think that throughout everything we’ve been through, we’d get used to—”
Powerful rays of plasma struck from the vortex of clouds to the ground, so much so that if Yoshi hadn’t moved less than an inch away he would’ve practically been anything worse than just a fried dinosaur.
“Damn it, Kamek,” Luigi spat. “You just don’t even do halfway, do you?”
“Halfway my fucking ASS!” Kamek cussed in rage.
“Looks like someone had just rage-quitted,” Yoshi murmured in a quiet aside as he scrambled to steady himself. He was surprised that Kamek could actually have a psychotic side.
“I’m absolutely THROUGH with you two showing up! I think it’s about FUCKING TIME you two learned how to stay in your deathbeds where you two BELONG!” And with that, more rounds of plasma bolts zapped toward the two, which they tried to dodge. It wasn’t easy, though—despite the fact they’d gotten practice from fighting Lakithunder, it was actually harder—Kamek’s bolts were faster.
“Is that the best you can do?” Luigi huffed in spite of himself. Yoshi gave him a disbelieving look from the corner of his eye—he didn’t need the Koopa mage to put an end to them anytime sooner.
Kamek smiled to the plumber’s challenge—the two wondered how such a right-hand man of Bowser would hide a psychopath inside of him when they least expected it.
“Oh, I can do much worse,” Kamek grinned like those serial killers did. With another wave of his wand, cracks formed on the ground, separating the earth where they stood into small lands of their own.
“If you two don’t get fried, you can go and get crushed instead!” Kamek snapped.
“That’s not gonna happen, either,” Luigi called out despite the deafening sound of the rumbling earth.
“Well, this is!” Kamek waved his wand the third time, and now a storm of tiny spikes rained upon them. The two flinched at the pain.
Before either of the two could respond to any of his attacks, he waved his wand for yet a fourth time, and to that lethal flames erupted from the cracks, ready to char them until not even their bones would likely survive—the flames weren’t like the standard ones they see everyday.
Luigi was silent—he knew any word of sound he’d make would only goad him to stir up more trouble, which was something they didn’t need.
Better keep that mouth a-shut, Luigi snapped at himself before he would act impulsively and yap on.
But of course, that was exactly it—Kamek had clearly lost his head, now his temper was getting the best (or the worst) of him. His head was shrouded with rage; Luigi doubted Kamek could be capable of thinking clearly.
“Hey, Kamek,” Luigi called out.
“What do you WANT?” he practically growled.
“Is that the best you can actually do?” the green plumber taunted, for real this time.
Yoshi gave Luigi a look that clearly said, You’re not making this any easier.
Kamek grinned evilly the way Bowser always had. “Oh, you wanna see me do much worse? Fine—be it that way!”
And Kamek waved his wand twice, making all the plasma within the clouds he’d conjured concentrate on one point—which was where Luigi and Yoshi stood. The way the clouds had opened up made it look like the radius of the upcoming bolt was going to be so massive running away wouldn’t be enough. And if not that, it wasn’t like Kamek wouldn’t make the bolt “follow” them with his magic.
“Thanks so much, pal,” Yoshi said sarcastically, glaring at the thin Mario brother.
Luigi winked; it fumed the green dinosaur further. “Anytime.”
Crackling sounds were heard from the opening of the clouds; Kamek howled with laughter at the duo’s inevitable demise. The Koopa mage yelled at the top of his lungs, “Goodbye, nice knowing you two assholes!”
As Yoshi turned to give the plumber one more glare for ruining things (which he feared was possibly his last), he saw something he had not anticipated—a glint in Luigi’s eyes.
And he sped off.
“Wha—? Luigi, where the heck are you going?!” Yoshi sputtered.
“Don’t a-worry, pal, I’ve got a plan! I know it’ll work—I just have to get to Kamek!” Luigi shouted out despite the noise of the massive bolt that was coming.
Yoshi could only stand, aghast, as he watched his friend run toward the insanely raging Koopa magician, risking what little safety he could have, and even his life.
Luigi ran on, not wasting even a second to stop and take a breath or to look around. If the green dinosaur were to call to him, it wouldn’t make him stop or slow his pace down. He spurred on as if he were a machine. He would only jump to surpass the growing gaps of the crumbling earth, and move on.
Just then on his focus to get to Kamek he hadn’t noticed the gap had increased massively as he jumped—he’d overestimated the size that he began to fall toward the depths of the earth….
Just then something—or someone—took hold of him and set him on top of it. Luigi, who had gasped and shut his eyes as he felt that he was finally falling to his doom, looked around to see that Yoshi had rushed to save him, took him on top of his saddle, and covered the distance of the crack by a flutter kick.
Luigi hadn’t started talking until he and Yoshi had landed to the other side. “Yoshi…”
“Damn you, Luigi,” Yoshi spat. He then spun around hastily, throwing the green plumber off his saddle.
Luigi flinched at the pain his bottom received when he fell, but otherwise didn’t talk. He wondered to himself why his friend was acting that way.
“Have you forgotten?” Yoshi demanded. He didn’t continue after a while, so it seemed that he was waiting for Luigi’s response.
Luigi cleared his throat. “Forgotten…what?”
“Who were you with when we began this journey? Who came with you to Yoshi’s Island and fought those key-eyes? Who snapped you out of your dreamland and fought Lakithunder? Who fought side-by-side with you against King Boo? Who went with you all the way back to Bowser’s Castle, only to receive the same amount of tricks again? And who is still standing here with you even in the midst of this course of utter destruction?”
Luigi gulped. “You.”
“Exactly,” Yoshi snapped. “And whether you like it or not, we’re in this together, so I would really appreciate it if you would stop rushing head-on toward danger thinking you’re all alone. We began this journey to rescue your brother and the others together, and we’re ending this journey together! So snap out of it!”
Yoshi’s words had Luigi blinking several times in surprise. And then the green plumber laughed. “You know, pal, you’re right. I kinda forgot about that along the way. All those rough times I’ve been though, and you, of all people, slipped off my mind? It’s unforgivable!” He shook his head, and grinned at the green dinosaur. “Thanks for putting me back in the ball.”
“Anytime,” Yoshi replied with a smile.
And with that, Luigi rode back onto Yoshi’s saddle, and they made their way toward Kamek. They knew they had only seconds left to spare as the clouds grew darker and darker, and the glow of the bolt to come grew more and more prominent within the clouds. Luigi narrowed his eyes as they neared their goal; Yoshi huffed with each jump they had to make.
It was a close call, but without a doubt they made it. Luigi tensed on Yoshi.
“I need a lift up, pal,” he said.
Yoshi nodded, and as Luigi lowered his head and prepared to jump, Yoshi flipped the plumber upward, and Luigi added to that with a jump of his own, and he prayed that, if it wasn’t as impressive as his brother’s, it would at least be high enough for him to reach Kamek on his broomstick.
“It’s time,” Kamek seethed. Holding the wand, his arm began to move, ready to bring the huge plasma bolt down and bring the end to Luigi and Yoshi.
Just then someone caught hold of Kamek’s arm, preventing it from moving any lower. Kamek’s eyes practically bulged to the point that it was seen even underneath his glasses.
“Who in the…?”
“It’s a-me, Luigi,” the thin Mario brother said, smiling in satisfaction as he saw that he had caught the Bowser’s right-hand man completely off guard. Without wasting even a half-second, he disarmed Kamek of his wand and kicked him off his broomstick.
“No! YOU JACKASS! I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!” Kamek shrieked as he fell toward the ground.
Luigi, who was now the one riding the broomstick, looked down at him with a glare. “Sorry, but it’s game over for you, buddy.”
“And you’re done for, pal,” Yoshi said as he greeted the Koopa with a sucker-punch just inches before he touched the crumbled earth. The green dinosaur’s punch was swift, but with his fury it was enough to knock Kamek out cold.
Now that the wand was out of Kamek’s control, all the spells he’d casted had all began to fade—the ground stopped separating from each other, the spikes had stopped falling from the clouds, and now the same clouds that also shot plasma have began to dissipate slowly into nothing.
Luigi flew down toward Yoshi and the knocked-out Koopa mage and hopped out of the broomstick. He was alarmed when he saw his partner taking deep breaths.
“Whoa, are you okay, pal?” Luigi asked.
Yoshi nodded, and as he faced Luigi, smiled despite himself. “It’s done. Kamek’s dealt with, and now we can finally face Bowser and rescue them.”
Luigi grinned and nodded as well. “I can see why you’re exhausted. You know, when Bowser finally gets his ass kicked and Mario and everyone else gets rescued, I think I’ll a-go off to a nice, relaxing vacation at the spa—a nice, long vacation.”
Yoshi laughed. “I’d like that—I think I’ll join you. Now let’s go, Luigi, Kamek’s out, and now it’s Bowser to go.”
“Oh, don’t think you can brush me off that easily—I may be down but I’m NOT OUT.”
Luigi and Yoshi spun to see that Kamek had somehow regained consciousness and had managed to get hold of his wand. The psycho grin returned at the Koopa’s face as he pointed it toward Luigi.
“Don’t worry—your brother will join you soon…in HELL!”
It was a long, silent second as the events turned. It felt like forever, but it wasn’t enough for Luigi to register what had just happened. All he properly remembered was the thin but deadly ray that emerged from Kamek’s wand the exact moment he’d finished speaking, but then he could’ve sworn he saw a shadow—something that had appeared to stand in Luigi’s way to intercept that attack, to take it on himself…
And when Luigi’s head finally cleared after that long second had passed, the next thing he saw was his partner on the ground.
“YOSHI!” Luigi screamed.
“Damn it,” Kamek hissed. “That was supposed to knock you out, not your fucking steed!”
“YOSHI IS NOT JUST A STEED!” Luigi ran toward Kamek and whacked him at the head, with enough force to knock him out yet again, likely longer this time. Caught in a moment of nothing but pure rage, he snatched the wand from the Koopa’s hand and snapped in half, then threw both pieces as far as he could.
Luigi exhaled sharply, then when he remembered what had happened to the green dinosaur all that rage disappeared just as quickly as it had come. He turned around and ran toward his friend, who was still on the ground.
“Yoshi,” Luigi called. “Yoshi, buddy, wake up!”
There was no response; his eyes didn’t open.
“Yoshi!” Luigi repeated. “Come on! Please, get up!”
Finally, Yoshi’s eyes fluttered open; Luigi sighed in relief. Yoshi opened his mouth to speak, and the words that came out sounded as weak as he felt right now.
“You have to go, Luigi.”
Luigi’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets when they reached his ears. If Yoshi had meant it was time for them to fight Bowser, wouldn’t that he have meant that they—he and Yoshi—should be going? Why had his friend suddenly used the singular in his sentence?
“Go,” Yoshi repeated in a hoarse voice.
“I…I don’t understand,” Luigi said. He wasn’t sure what to feel, since the dinosaur’s words had somehow made him numb in the inside.
“Rescue your brother, and everyone else....Do it for me—for us….I can’t…go any further….”
“No, remember what you said?” Luigi said in a critical tone, though his voice was shaky, making the combination sound odd. “We’re in this together. I started this with you, and I’m finishing this with you.”
“I don’t think I have enough energy to go on….” Yoshi laughed weakly. “Give it at Bowser with all you’ve got in my behalf, okay?”
“I-I’m not doing this without you,” Luigi said; he felt tears coming, he blinked hard to keep them from betraying him. “You…Y-You shouldn’t have done that—Kamek should’ve hit me. You wouldn’t end up like this—”
Yoshi gave a worn smile. “Everyone’s waiting, above all Mario’s there. He hasn’t given up—he doesn’t have a reason to—and neither should you. Be the hero, Luigi. You came this far to take Bowser down, and now…it’s your fight.”
Now Luigi’s tears completely betrayed him, but this time he didn’t fight it. He let the emotion consume him for just this moment. Despite it, he put a little effort to smile back at his partner. “You’re right, Yoshi. I’ll save them. I’ll defeat Bowser. I’ll put an end to this. I’ll do this for us…and for them.” Luigi sighed. “I did it again, didn’t I? I got caught up in the moment I didn’t know what to do…and I messed everything up. And now here I was, panicking over you. You helped me get back in the game. Thank you…for everything.” He smiled again. “Now go and rest—I’ll wake you up when this is over, okay buddy? Rest as long as you want.”
Yoshi nodded, and his eyelids drooped down slowly until it was completely closed; his arm, that had lifted just a little to grip on Luigi’s sleeve, dropped to the ground beside him.
Luigi just stood there, seeing his pal rest for a whole minute. Then he took a deep breath, nodded at his knocked-out pal, and turned around. Now that the effects of Kamek’s spells were gone, a door formed on one of the rocks of the battlefield. It was a simple door, but Luigi knew the fight that was set to happen behind it would be anything but simple per se.
“It’s time. Mario and the others are relying on me, Birdo and everyone in Yoshi’s Island gave us the chance to get in the castle, and now Yoshi took Kamek’s blow for me to buy me this chance. And I’m not wasting any of it. Now…it’s my fight.”
And Luigi opened the door and made his way inside.