"Well, um...," Luigi fidgeted, "something like a-that might take a lot of explaining to do..."
"Don't worry," Yoshi insisted. "I can handle the long explanation. Besides, it's not like Lakithunder will somehow emerge from the ashes and come back for us, right?"
Luigi gave Yoshi a look that clearly responded to the possibility of Lakithunder rising from the ashes like a phoenix.
Yoshi made a gesture with his fingers that prompted Luigi to explain.
"I'm listening, Luigi."
"A-well, um, you see..." Luigi took a deep breath and exhaled heavily. "When we were back-to-back, all tensed up for Lakithunder's wild lightning...I considered...this a-was sort of like a storm, right?"
"When there's a storm, lightning isn't far behind, and...?"
"In every storm, there's usually lightning along those lines..."
"And what else...?" Yoshi just seemed more confused with all Luigi was talking about.
"There's always the sound that follows after the lightning."
That sentence somehow dawned on Yoshi. "'Sound that follows'? You mean...thunder, right?"
"Yes, exactly a-that! So the moment I realized that there just might be the very possibility that I'd a-hear the sound of thunder roaring right after the lightning, I had to shut my eyes..."
Yoshi blanched. "You said to keep our eyes open—wasn't that kinda dangerous of you to do?"
"Uh, I considered that, too. But with the chances of us being barbequed and all, I decided I was willing to be that insane to test it out."
Yoshi shook his head and gave the green plumber a disapproving look.
"So—back to what I was saying—I shut my eyes and tried this hard to listen for the thunder that I was sure would come after, and when I did, I tried to pinpoint the direction where it'd come from...And I soon realized that it was fast approaching us."
"Then there was a-panic—a mean string of lightning was about to strike where you where, pal."
The green dinosaur cringed from the memory of being partially struck by lightning.
"I had to shout not only as loud as I could, but also as a-fast as I could so you would be able to respond quickly and dodge before it was too late. But I guess I didn't do it fast enough, because...a-well..." Luigi trailed off, looking away from Yoshi and staring off at the clouds with regretful eyes.
Yoshi rubbed Luigi's shoulder sympathetically.
"When you where down on the cloudy floor, I realized a-that it was just a-me and Lakithunder now. I was still holding on to my Spiny egg—while you apparently had already let go of yours and it dropped off—and I was like, 'I'm all alone on this one.' "
"That must be pretty hard."
"Oh, it is—you have no idea. Plus, there a-was the fact that he could conjure lightning. With the Spiny egg still in my hand, it felt like it was all or nothing for me. He laughed and taunted me, and then he said it was time for me to go back to my fantasy forever—"
"—and the whole time he said that, I was just standing there, not wanting to show Lakithunder I was chickening inside, because I was sure that it would give me away. I tried to hold on to my façade as much as I could, all while racking my head for a plan that would help bring about the end of Lakithunder, and I saw the lightning concentrated on his fingers, and I realized it was coming for me."
Yoshi's eyes bulged.
"Somewhere in-between his fits of hysterical laughter, my mind drifted off to my Mario Strikers days, and I decided to put my soccer skills to good use—as a-well as hope that my skills hadn't rusted up."
Yoshi didn't reply at all to Luigi's words, so the latter continued. "The moment he gathered all the lightning from his hand and pit it all on that finger, I tensed myself for carrying out my plan. The moment I saw the first sparks of lightning being discharged from his finger, I suddenly dropped the Spiny egg I was holding."
Luigi stopped and glanced at Yoshi. The green dinosaur didn't reply at all, just eager to have Luigi continue.
And he did. "I saw the entire massive force of lightning a-coming for me—and let me tell you, pal, it was probably enough to bake a million lasagnes—and, crossing my fingers and with as much force as I could possibly give, I kicked the Spiny egg high up, timing it so that it was able to absorb the lightning, causing even a smoke around the area where I was, and when the Spiny egg was able to absorb it all and it was a-fully charged, the smoke slowly began to clear, and I was kinda pleased to see that Lakithunder was shocked at the fact that I wasn't dead at all."
"I can imagine," Yoshi mumbled.
"So now it was my turn to strike. I kicked the charged-up Spiny egg so hard that it went launching off across until it smacked Lakithunder hard on the face and he fell off the storm cloud he was riding on." Luigi laughed a bit from the memory.
"So now a-that temporarily made Lakithunder totally vulnerable. He swayed off, fully off guard from the blow. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of the thunder and realized where it was headed."
"Where Lakithunder was," Yoshi said. It wasn't a guess.
"Yes, that sure was! He didn't realize that it was a-coming for him! It hit him directly from below where he was, and he didn't have time to dodge at all. It obviously roasted him good, 'cause all I saw after the lightning where his ashes."
"So that's the end of Lakithunder."
"Yeah, but then I saw you all injured up. I had to help you out, so I decided to give you the herb I found, hoping it could heal you—and it did."
"Hmm...I was also thinking of that, where did you get that herb you gave me?"
"Oh, I found it back when we were in Yoshi's Island. I saw it from the corner of my eye and it caught my attention. I realized that it was the herb Mario and I used to heal ourselves from poisoning and other status problems back during our Mario & Luigi days. So...I decided to pick it up, thinking we just might need it. And apparently, we did."
"Wow, uh, thanks, Luigi. I'm glad you picked it up. Who knows what would've happened."
"Don't mention it, pal."
Before Yoshi could say more, something caught the duo's attention—the ashes suddenly faded away like they were a part of yet another dream (even though Luigi and Yoshi were clearly sure that what was happening was a reality this time).
In place of the ashes, there was another rolled up piece of parchment.
"Another riddle," Luigi sighed.
"Pretty much, yeah," Yoshi said.
Luigi went toward the parchment and picked it up. He unrolled it to read—and to try to figure out—the next riddle.
"What's it say?" Yoshi asked, approaching Luigi.
Luigi didn't say anything; he just held out the parchment for Yoshi to read.
Yoshi read the words written on the parchment:
Boos, Boo Guys, Ghosts...
They All Welcome You to This Mansion for Your Epic Spookfest.
You're Invited, Luigi and Yoshi. Before you go rescue your friends, drop by
To Scream Like There's No Tomorrow.
Luigi and Yoshi looked at each other.
"That's new—this one didn't rhyme," Yoshi commented.
"Plus, there's no Math involved," Luigi added, grateful.
"In addition to that, this sounds more like an invitation than an actual riddle."
"And we don't a-have to try so hard to figure out where to go this time."
Yoshi nodded, then he and Luigi said at the same time:
"We're off to Luigi's Mansion."
**Original FanFiction Chapter link: link