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An Artist, a Thief, and a Villain - Chapter 3

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An Artist, a Thief, and… a Villain?

Chapter 3 (Finale)
Reclamation of the Heart


Summary: For all intents and purposes, Dark Meta Knight was content to ruminate alone, away from all the obvious sycophants. This is an alliance of convenience, he justified to himself; there’s no reason for me to interact with these peasants any more than necessary.

Adeleine and Ribbon didn’t share his vaunted opinion, however.


[Adeleine]

Jambastion
Eastern Wall – Entrance

“There he is, Addie,” Ribbon whispered.

There he was, indeed.

Dark Meta Knight—the ‘evil bad guy’, the hostile Dream Friend, the current nadir of our group-that-really-needs-to-get-a-name-sooner-or-later—was sitting with his back to a nearby wall, while everybody else was huddled elsewhere and interacting with each other.

Really. He’s just… sitting there, completely alone. Grumpily simmering in his own misery.

…he really stands out like that.

“Yeah,” I whispered back. “I see him.”

There was practically an aura of ‘go away, I’m perfectly fine without you around’ coming from his entire body, with only the occasional fidgeting here and there indicating anything otherwise.

It… must be uncomfortable for him, having no one on his side – and no courage to try and change that.

I’d know… I was kinda the same way, about twenty years ago.

“What do you think he’s thinking about?” my best friend asked me, wings fluttering semi-loudly. “He’s been like that since we opened the Gatehouse Road. A-Actually, he’s been like that pretty much since he was summoned…” She bit her lip. “He should be having fun, not… not treating this like a chore.”

I let the paintbrush in my hand spin. “I guess it’s up to us to work our magic on him, like we’ve always done!”

It’s been a heck of a ride, going on another adventure with Kirby and Dedede and Dee. We’re having a lotta fun, actually! Sure, there’s the whole having to ‘make our planet not-crazy again’ (Dedede’s words, not mine), but that’s not anything we can’t deal with at this point. And true to form, we’ve even got new allies to party with us!

Well, new for us. Kirby knows literally every person here, and we’ve also got old ones like Gooey. But then there’s Marx and Daroach – and they’re really interesting!

Marx is… he’s a special person, I’ll say. Before this adventure, I hadn’t ever heard of him – primarily because I came to Pop Star after his villainy thing failed… probably. I—I mean, it’s the only thing that makes sense. His face is a hard one to miss.

Despite what we’ve been told about him… he’s been cool. He’s a jokester and he likes riling people up, but he genuinely seems to enjoy being with us. I think part of that’s ‘cause I can paint good food, but the other part is… him being happy. Happy and carefree. I like seeing him smile, whenever he hangs around us – it reminds me a little of Gooey’s happy nature.

I wonder if he’ll be able to show that smile to everyone else someday, too.

Oh yeah—and we can’t forget about Daroach. He’s cooler than almost anyone I’ve ever seen, and that’s not a joke!—though don’t tell Marx I said that. Treasure hunting’s his main game, and being all suave and awesome’s his pastime! Just look at him! He’s so stylish!

A-A-Ahem! Anyway, he’s so cool, he’s got his own squad of companions joining us! There’s Spinni and Doc and Storo and look, they’re all cute (and colorful, and good for fighting) in their own special way! Is it any wonder they—and Daroach—have caught even Marx’s interest?

“Gee, he’s certainly trying his hardest to be the edgiest of all edge lords, eh?”

Speaking of Marx and Daroach…

Ribbon and I turned around – and there were our two newest friends, staring at Dark Meta Knight alongside us. Marx had a decidedly annoyed expression on his face, while Daroach wore more of an interested look, putting his claws to his chin.

“Like, seriously!” the jester continued to mock him, absolutely unsympathetic. “It’s as if he thinks he can win sympathy points from us by being all ‘Boo-hoo, I’m all alone and I don’t like it’?” He narrowed his eyes. “Well, it’s not going to work.”

“Isn’t that a little harsh, coming from you?” Daroach asked, an eyebrow raised. “You were a villain once as well.”

“At least I’m trying to be different!” Marx justified. “I didn’t blindly start attacking anybody when I came back! What’s this guy’s excuse? You agree with me, right Adeleine?” I was too focused on Dark Meta Knight to respond. “…Adeleine?”

You know… when you’re on an adventure with Kirby, there’s always something good to look out for, some new friends to make along the way. And I’m happy to say that Marx and Daroach have become some pretty good friends of mine. They’ve been surprises, sure, but I know Kirby wouldn’t have brought them in if they weren’t nice guys inside.

I know the same applies to Dark Meta Knight, deep down inside of his heart – even if nobody else can see it yet.

They’re right to be worried about him, but…

Sometimes, you just gotta take a chance and jump on in, y’know?

Kirby would do the same. So I’m gonna try and live up to that, as best as I can!

I gathered up all my courage, and… “We should go talk to him,” I proclaimed aloud.

“WHAT!?” Marx shouted, his voice barely subdued. “You, you, you—you can’t do that! He’ll eat you two alive!”

“Hey, he can’t be all that bad… hopefully!” I reassured him… though admittedly, I didn’t feel entirely reassured myself. (Eh heh heh…) “Besides, everyone here should like each other! We can’t be a team if we’re all divided!”

“You said it, Addie!” Ribbon agreed, nodding her head. “C’mon, let’s do it all together! We’ll make friends with him whether he likes it or not!”

“You have got to be kidding me,” he groaned. “Daroach, talk some sense into them! We can’t let this joke continue!”

“Actually…” Daroach interjected, much to Marx’s horror. “I don’t see it as a joke. All our other companions—aside from Kirby—are hesitant to approach our aloof, aggressive ally, so why shouldn’t we be the ones to test the waters ourselves?” He lifted his top hat, a smirk reaching his cheeks. “There’s no harm in giving it a shot, wouldn’t you say?”

“Thanks, Daroach,” I said. “Look, Marx, I get you’re a little scared of him—” (“Scared? What makes you say that? I’m not scared, no way!”) “—but it’s not like he’s going anywhere! And he can’t hurt us, either. Kirby showed us that!” I gave him the warmest smile I could. “We all accepted you, so we should try to accept him, too. Offer him a warm welcome, ‘cuz I think he really could use one. What do you say?”

Our former villain of villains seemed to blank out, as if the gears turning in his brain had to calculate what the best choice to our request was. (Ugh, why did I use that analogy? It reminds me of the Robobot invasion…) Finally, he sighed – which was quite out-of-character for him! – and told us, “Alright, alright… I’ll join. But if I get so annoyed I end up slamming several cream pies into his face, you’re in charge of bringing me back through the Dream Rod!”

I nervously laughed. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary, but I’ll keep that in mind.”

And so, the four of us walked over to Dark Meta Knight as casually as we could be, given the circumstances. He was sullenly staring at the ground, disregarding the whole world and—again—stewing in his own thoughts. I could tell it would take a while for him to notice us – and even then, he probably wouldn’t willingly take the initiative. Sooooo…

“Hi there!” I greeted him loudly, waving my hand widely in the air. “I’m Adeleine! And these are my friends, Ribbon—” Ribbon waved hello, too, from her place near my shoulder.

“—Marx—” Marx summoned a beach ball from beneath him, a toothy grin hiding whatever animosity he may have had.

“—and Daroach!” Daroach brought out his magic wand and swayed it like a conductor’s baton, looking as confident as always. “It’s nice to greet you—” Wrong phrase, wrong phrase! “—I—I mean, meet you!”

Dark Meta Knight’s eyes flitted upward to us briefly. He grunted and went back to… looking like he was reading a book?

…well, he responded, somewhat! That’s already progress!

“How have you been doing?” I continued. “You looked kind of lonely, doing nothing all the way over here, so I wanted to come and say hello! You don’t mind that, right?”

…nothing. No reply whatsoever—not even a retort. He—He isn’t secretly sleeping, is he? Dark Matter reacted more than this guy, and Dark Matter was this weird collective amalgamation with basically no emotion…

I prodded the knight with my paintbrush, dyeing his mask a little thanks to the fact that I still had some leftover paint from when I was drawing everyone else earlier. (What can I say, I’m an easily-inspired artist, especially when it comes to my friends!) “Hey, don’t be quiet! You can speak up; we won’t take offense!”

“It’s polite to talk to people who want to talk to you, buddy,” Marx sardonically said, bouncing on his ball and looking ready to mercilessly jump on the guy. Repeatedly. (Please don’t.) “Laugh or cry or something! Here I thought you were a big bad destroyer of heroes, but you’re basically just a glorified living statue! I should call Birdon in to ‘do her thing’, if you know what I mean!” he darkly sniggered.

Ribbon facepalmed. “Marx!” she hissed, exasperated. “That’s not gonna help us befriend him!”

“Well, what do you expect me to do? I’ve literally seen castles with more life than him!”

I sighed, and looked back to Dark Meta Knight. He’s… doing and saying absolutely nothing.

…okay, this is getting awkward…

“Perhaps we should simply stay by his side for now,” Daroach suggested. “If he wants to discuss anything with us, I’m certain he will pipe up eventually. We are taking a break before we continue onward, so we can afford to relax a little; Kirby will alert us to anything that should crop up. So—shall we?”

Man, I’m still surprised how calm and composed he can be! He’s got an answer for almost anything you can come up with—he’s like that cool uncle you like to visit a lot! Not that I would really know what that feels like… Does, uh—Does Dedede count…?

In any case, it wasn’t like there was any harm to his idea. “Sure!” Ribbon and I agreed.

Marx, meanwhile, decided, “Eh, you guys are more interesting than everybody else. What’s the harm?”

Translation: he cares about us! Awwwwwww~

We plopped down around Dark Meta Knight, forming a group circle and ignoring his still-existent aura of repulsion. Ribbon and I was on his left, Marx was on his right, and Daroach was directly across from him.

From the outside looking in, I bet it’d make a pretty picture. I wish I could see it now, actually; I’m better at painting with a reference than from my memory alone. (But I’m certain they’ll be other chances to draw something similarly spectacular, so… I can wait!)

Speaking of painting, I went ahead and set up my trusty canvas off to my side, painting a hot dog – an ordinary hot dog, that’s it! – and giving it to Dark Meta Knight. “Here,” I said, handing it out to him. “Try this!”

He eyed the food suspiciously. He kind of looked like he was analyzing it for… poisons or something? I dunno; it’s food! You shouldn’t need to do anything like that! “…what is this?” he finally asked (“Oh wow, Mr. Uptight finally deigns to speak to us!” Marx crowed. “What an honor!”). He turned it all sorts of directions, and I don’t have to be Gooey to see he was more confused than Dee at a Crystal Shard puzzle. “Pray tell, what exactly is the purpose of this… soft construct?”

…wha? H-Has he not…? “It’s a hot dog,” I answered. “It’s food! You eat it for nutrition—or because it’s yummy! C’mon—you’ll like it!”

“It’s Kirby-approved, so you don’t have to worry about it!” Ribbon added. “It’s also Dedede-approved, if that helps!”

“If you don’t wanna eat it,” Marx chimed in, “I can always eat it for you~! Just a suggestion!”

He kept staring at it. Has he, uh, ever had a good breakfast in his life? Or a good lunch, or good dinner—or even a good nap, for that matter? That’d explain why he became an evil bad guy to begin with. Anyone would go crazy from lack of good food—or more likely, getting their good food stolen. Us Dream Landers still remember Kirby getting mad over his strawberry shortcake.

That was terrifying, seriously!

After several moments of him weirdly being all ‘dot dot dot’, Dark Meta Knight put a hand on his mask, and—oh, look! He’s got the cute Kirby face that Meta Knight has! I couldn’t see it for very long—he quickly shoved the hot dog into his mouth and put his mask back on immediately afterward—but it’s there! He took a few more seconds to chew it. “…this is adequate,” he curtly complimented. “Better than expected.”

“Heyyyyyyyyy~!” Marx jumped in, practically hovering over our not-quite-a-friend-yet. “You do have actual emotion in you!” He shoved a wing where Dark Meta Knight’s cheek would be. “Mmm, you might be worth my time, if this is how you’re gonna be! I think I’m getting a better idea of who you are—you’re merely a regular ‘ol scary mirror guy, aren’t you?” Wh-What the heck is that even supposed to mean, Marx…?

‘Scary mirror guy’ proceeded to silently glare at Marx, bluntly shoving him out of the way with a gauntlet-covered hand. “Don’t touch me,” he grumbled beneath his breath.

“Okay!” I spoke up, beaming as brightly as possible. “Let’s get to know each other a little better, Dark Meta Knight!” He’s a bit quiet now, but I’m sure that’ll change as we go on! “There’s a lotta ground to cover if we’re gonna be friends, after all!”

Ribbon continued, “Yeah! I’ve got a lot of inquiries to make, as Her Majesty would say!” She fluttered over the newest Dream Friend’s head excitedly. “Like… How are you today? What do you like doing in your spare time? Have you ever ridden a Warp Star? Am—Am I asking too many questions, or—?”

“…why are you four here?”

Ribbon and I both blinked. “Huh?” we said dumbly.

Tiredly, he turned his attention toward us. “You know who I am. You were there for my introduction. Tell me this, peasant—” His voice suddenly got all deep. “—what purpose do you have in trying to change anything here?” Those angry yellow eyes of his seemed to peer directly into my soul—Brrrrrrrrr…! B-But… I’ve seen scarier things before—like, much scarier—so… I—I have to stand my ground!

“It’s—It’s because…” I breathed in… and out. In… and out. “It’s because you shouldn’t be alone, even if you made a… not-actually-all-that-great first impression.” Nailed it! “You’re a part of our crew now – and Kirby doesn’t let really, really evil bad guys come aboard. Is—Is it wrong to try and reach out toward someone who could use a helping hand?”

“Hmph. It is, if you believe cooperation with that portly penguin and those petulant puffballs is possible. We are utterly incompatible with each other. That is a fact any simpleton than decipher upon first glance. And you peasants—” Does he just really like that word, or is it just me…? “—insult me with your naïve beliefs to the contrary.” He harrumphed. “I don’t need your ‘helping hand’, anyway. It would only erode my stalwart resolve—and that is an affront I would never be able to tolerate.”

“Hey, it’s not naïve!” Ribbon protested. “And it’s definitely not wrong, either! Just because we’re all pretty different and dysfunctional doesn’t mean we can’t be friends! Besides—friendship makes people stronger, not weaker! That’s how Kirby helps everyone! We wouldn’t be here otherwise!”

“So what?” Dark Meta Knight scoffed. “He appears altruistic, but I’ve found that such a personality has proven to be primarily nonexistent.” He looked down at the floor. “‘Help’ isn’t a factor you can rely on—only your own strength matters in determining the direction of your life, in relation to yourself and others. Anything else—is a lie.”

…w-wow, th-that’s…

That’s dark.

I’m—I’m not even joking about that.

What kind of life has he led, in that ‘mirror world’ he supposedly comes from…?

(…and why does his backstory remind me—if even a little bit—of Dark Matter?)

Ribbon and I stared at each other as we tried to digest this… rather uncomfortable explanation. Marx seemed to be having problems too; he had this strange mix of concern and detachment going on, and he looked like he didn’t know which one to settle on. Daroach, however…

“I see,” he suddenly said, peering straight at Dark Meta Knight, undaunted by the latter’s penetrating glower. “That’s why you’re so guarded. You’ve been spurned so many times, presumably by individuals of various dispositions, that you’ve created a stone barrier around your heart to combat your own fears of rejection. Not a common outlook to witness within the boundaries of our dimension, but unfortunate nevertheless.”

Meta Knight’s mirror counterpart flinched.

I pursed my lips. “Right on the nose with that one, huh…?”

“Congratulations,” Dark Meta Knight venomously drawled, probably trying to cover up his little reaction, “you’re smarter than you look. And now you should comprehend precisely what I would prefer you simpletons to do: leave. Me. Be. I’m perfectly fine on my own.”

“Is that correct?” But Daroach wasn’t done. “Then why have you allowed us to even interact with you in the first place?”

His silence spoke wonders.

The gentleman thief crossed his eyes and closed his eyes. “I suspect that beneath your rough exterior lies a softer, warmer soul – and likely, one that’s even subconsciously seeking amicable interactions with others. You simply don’t know how to show it. Or, perhaps more accurately… you’re too scared to.”

(Marx’s eyes suddenly widened. I could tell this was getting the gears in his brain to turn again… why, I couldn’t tell you.)

“I won’t lie and say that I personally understand your plight. But you should at least know this: the four of us—Adeleine, Ribbon, Marx, and I—are more than willing to support you, in whatever way you may need it. The rest of our allies, given enough time, won’t hesitate to be just as welcoming as well.” Daroach signaled to me to continue.

“You’ve got a whole new second chance now,” I said, letting my compassionate side rise to the surface. “That’s something no one can take from you, ever. And even if somebody tries—so long as you have somebody behind you, you’ll be fine. I get that you’re scared—and that’s okay. I mean, we’ve all gotta start from somewhere!” I held out a free hand to him, displaying another soft smile. “On that note… why can’t this be our starting point?”

“Addie knows what she’s talking about!” Ribbon nodded. “Erasing doubts is what friendship’s all about! Come on, don’t be shy now—won’t you take our hand?”

Dark Meta Knight stared at my offer, much in the same way he stared at my hot dog earlier. He glanced at all of us—me and Ribbon, then Daroach, then the eerily-silent Marx, and then back to me and Ribbon—before finally deciding to give things a shot. “Don’t think for a single second this is definitive confirmation,” he groused. “I am merely humoring your attempts to approach me. Nothing more.”

Wow, the progress we’ve made today is tremendous! “Great!” I exclaimed. “We’re gonna the best of friends—” (“Or bester, or bestest!” Ribbon chimed in, echoing Marx.) “—before long, trust me!”

“I doubt it,” he replied.

Suddenly…

“Ha!” Ribbon and I jumped into the air, whirling our gazes toward an inexplicably-lively-again Marx. Oh, what’s this about? “Now I understand your whole schtick!” he continued, wearing a wide grin that honestly kinda worried me. “Adeleine and Ribbon probably haven’t noticed—” Huh!? Marx, I don’t—!? “—but I definitely have! You can’t hide anything from me, buddy! For you see—” He pointed a clawed wing at Dark Meta Knight, proudly announcing: “You’re a tsundere, fulllllll stop!”

Several moments passed.

Me, Ribbon, Daroach, Dark Meta Knight—we all blankly looked (or in Daroach’s case, simply raised another eyebrow) at our semi-friendly jester, more than one of us having absolutely no idea what in the name of the Great Crystal he’s talking about.

No, seriously—what?

“Soon-deh-ray…?” Ribbon pronounced. “I—I’ve never heard that term before…”

“Neither have I…” I recalled. “Sounds like something up Dedede’s territory…”

A vein popped up from the target of Marx’s comments. “Are you endeavoring to offend me by using foreign vocabulary…!?” he growled, a hand reaching toward his sheathed sword. “Explain yourself now, before I decide to seek away around this infuriating limitation of my power!”

“Your Mirror World doesn’t have any showbiz? I’ve been out for the past twenty years and even I’ve picked up on it!” You have got to teach me where, then… “Tsundere-ism’s a common trait in the wilderness: hot-headed, grumpy, standoffish on the outside, but perfectly sweet and sappy on the inside! People like that are always denying or downplaying any positivity they may exhibit—but that’s only because they’re secretly in looooooooove~!” And now Dark Meta Knight was openly gawking at Marx, what is this even—!? “Or at least, they’re not as edgy and as dark…y as they want to be portrayed out there. I never thought I’d see the day where someone like that exists within the Gamble Galaxy—but it looks like my days of searching are done!”

I blinked. For some reason, the only response out of my brain from that was…

…I thought you hadn’t been alive long enough to even search for a ‘tsundere’.

Yeah, I’ve really been desensitized to Dream Land weirdness…

(…is that a good thing?)

“An interesting assessment,” Daroach said, a hand beneath his chin. “I wouldn’t have thought to consider Dark Meta Knight in that regard. You are certainly more observant than you delude others into believing.”

“Wha—this—I—your words are—” Dark Meta Knight was reduced to spluttering incoherently at this point. “You—You—You…!” He shook wildly before finally exclaiming, “You are absolutely insufferable!”

“I aim to please,” Marx mock-bowed. “I gotta tell you though, I only take gifts in the form of pranking books, not love letters!”

Okay—I think I’ve hit my limit. This is so bizarre, it wraps back around to being hilarious. At first, I just started to giggle uncontrollably alongside Ribbon. Then that evolved into chuckling lightly—and finally, I just fell onto my back and bellowed out the loudest laughter I could. I can’t help it, everyone’s just so—amazing!

“S-Stop laughing!” Dark Meta Knight shouted, a vibrant red blush poking past his mask. “I’m warning you! I am—I am qualified to annihilate you! And I won’t hesitate in doing so!”

He couldn’t get through to us, and eventually, he just sighed and put his masked face in his gauntlets. “I don’t understand you peasants at all…”

But somehow, despite his own apprehension… I think there was a bond was forming between us. It might take a while for it to fully blossom, but we’ll get there in time.

And when that time comes, I know we’ll be able to face anything head-on.

Until then… I’ll be content, just sitting by his side.


[King Dedede]

“Awwwwww, look at them!” Kirby cooed. “Isn’t this just an absolutely adorable scene?”

It was a sight only a universe of our caliber could pull off: five individuals of completely different appearances and sizes, becoming fast friends in merely a few days… I’d call it unbelievable, but when you live with a friendship-happy, cake-worshiping guy like Kirby on a daily basis, you tend to get used to it – and you really begin to appreciate it.

“It’s nice, yeah, seeing all our companions sit around and speak with their hearts,” I admitted. “They compliment each other surprisingly well.”

The three of us – that includes Dee – were sitting with our backs to another wall, watching four of our friends (and Dark Meta Knight) from afar. Above us, Meta Knight was ‘scouting the scene for any danger’, as he claimed—though honestly, I think he was just keeping track of his identical doppelganger.

Either way, we all had a first-class ticket to watching Mr. Way-Too-Terrifying-For-My-Poor-Heart gradually get reformed. ‘Twas a different method of reformation compared to Magolor and Marx, but it was valid nevertheless.

I heard sniffing from beside me. I turned to Dee, and saw him noticeably tearing up at the view. “It’s—sniff!—It’s so b-b-beautiful…” he squeaked, as overly emotional as ever. “He’s—He’s still really, really scary, b-but… maybe he won’t be as scary a-after this. Maybe just… super scary?” He instinctively shuddered. “N-No, that’s still too much…”

“Trust me, Dee – so long as he focuses his scariness on our enemies, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!” Kirby cheerfully proclaimed, flipping his newly-acquired staff into the air like the way you’d juggle some balls. (He’s always had an affinity for learning new Copy Abilities fairly quickly. It won’t take too many more stages before he fully masters it.) “We’re all allies here, and nothing can change that!”

“Not just allies,” I interjected, “but friends, too.” I grinned at my friend. “C’mon, I thought you would’ve said that first thing.”

“I’m allowed to be creative with my vocabulary every now and then, right?” he cheekily replied. “‘Sides, I’m pretty sure you guys can pick up the slack on that front!”

“G-G-Great King could probably do that, b-but—I… don’t think I can? I guess?” Dee sounded unsure—and he honestly shouldn’t be; he’s a lot better than he gives himself credit for. He shook his head. “I—I mean… sometimes, things just move too fast for me to process…”

“You do your best, Dee,” I said, “and I think that counts for enough.”

“Yeah! You should bake yourself a cake when we’re done with everything. Cake is one of the best ways to reward yourself!”

“We—We can bake it all together, then!” my loyal assistant brightened up. “I wouldn’t like just eating it by myself, a-after all…”

I laughed heartily. “Can do, Dee! Can do.”

Man—I love my best friends. Kirby, Dee, Meta Knight… we’ve really been through a lot of things together over the past two-and-a-half decades, and I’m proud to have them by my side. Even if Kirby can do some rather crazy things that come outta nowhere—I shouldn’t have to remind you of Dark Meta Knight—he always manages to figure out how to make it work. And that’s legitimately amazing.

You know, maybe that’s why seeing Adeleine and Ribbon with their own crew really gets to me. In a way, they’re going through the same thing us four went through, if condensed a fair amount – and they’re also masterfully showcasing why Kirby’s so friendship-happy to begin with. Friendship lifts you up and never lets you down. And knowing how Kirby managed to befriend every single one of us—and especially me… I admit, I think it’s a beautiful scene.

…what can I say, I can be a little sentimental at times.

I wonder if this’ll be the gateway that gets us to come into our own as a squadron of friends. It’s not every day we’re all gathered together like this – and likewise, it’s not every day a group-wide adventure on Pop Star even happens. (The last time Kirby had more than one friend joining him was, what… 2011?) It’s certainly Marx, Dark Meta Knight, and Daroach’s first time doing anything like this, that’s for sure!

In a way, it feels like our entire lives have been leading to this very moment, when we’d all assemble to deal with this ever-escalating extraterrestrial threat. And I feel as if we’ve got a long way to go even after we most likely deal with the atypical True Arena companion piece this year. There’s a lot of things waiting for us – but maybe that’s okay (maybe). They say friends are best forged when you’re out and about, saving the galaxy (okay, that’s just me) – and something tells me this won’t be an exception. Whatever happens from here… Kirby and I both hope there’ll be plenty of friendship to go around.

I do hope our combined group gets a name at some point, though.


High in the air, an orange butterfly—glowing brightly in the air, and bringing with it a trail of yellow dust as it continued to soar—carefully watched the future Star Allies as they rested within the Jambastion.

It fluttered around for a little while longer—and then, seemingly content with what it had witnessed, it took off. Higher and higher it went, ascending farther from the Fortress of Shadows.

And from his relatively high elevation, Meta Knight was there to see it go. His eyes narrowed.

I’ve seen that butterfly many times before, he recalled. As far as I can tell, it’s never left Dream Land… until now.

…interesting.


And so, on that day, during the infiltration of the Jambastion, an unlikely group of friends formed: that of an artist (and her fairy companion), a thief, and a villain… and Marx.

Certainly, they were an unusual combination. To say they were utterly different from one another would be a gross understatement.

But unusual happenings were very much Pop Star’s bread and butter – and each Dream Friend, if you’d ask them later, wouldn’t have had this meet-up go any other way.

Their burdens were eased, their relationships became mutually content, and—in the end—they found things they never could’ve discovered on their own.

And it was all thanks to Kirby and the Dream Palaces.

His willingness to ally with friends and enemies, the Palaces’ power to call upon anyone who could lend or use some assistance… it all came together to create a truly wonderful miracle – one that would shine brightly for a long time, reaching far past the official formation of the Star Allies.

And you know what?

“…that’s fine with us.”

This wouldn’t be their last adventure, they knew. And neither would it be the last time they followed on Kirby’s ideal of making new friends—and letting them rise above their shortcomings. (What else could they do, really?)

The future of the Gamble Galaxy may have been unknown, and the crises and chaos to come could very well cause an upheaval in more ways than one – but so long as the stars could still soar across the sky, Adeleine, Ribbon, Marx, Dark Meta Knight, and Daroach would be there to see things through, all the way to the Rainbow Resort.

For them, they’d make sure there’s no doubt that everyone would make it out okay.

And in their hearts, they’ll seal the deal with three fabled words:

“That’s a promise!”

© 2019 - 2020 FieryExplosion
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Happy one-year anniversary, Make a Friend ‘verse!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, here’s the conclusion to my rewrite of Please Stop Adding Villains, Kirby! This has been a long time coming, and I’m glad to have yet another episode in the greater Make a Friend ‘verse completed (again).

As you can no doubt tell by now, I really—really—like the Wave 2 Dream Friends, Adeleine and Ribbon especially. I truly enjoy writing about them and their friendship, primarily because I think their character dynamics mesh extraordinarily well together (and also because they’re pretty dang interesting in my eyes, moreso than the Wave 1 Dream Friends). Either way, I’m happy to have finally ironed out the official beginning of their friendship, and I’m ready to move on to the rest of my ongoing projects, like Harmony Never Really Dies.

The majority of this chapter focuses on Adeleine’s perspective this time, unsurprisingly. Adeleine has more or less become the de facto leader of the Wave 2 Dream Friends in my fics, so it’s only right that she takes Dedede’s place here – even if most of this fic has been Dedede reacting to whatever weirdness Kirby has been summoning from the Dream Palaces! It’s admittedly a bit of an artifact from the original version of this fic, but I feel like it still fits well enough.

Also, I just really like Adeleine. Sue me.

Well, that’s all for now – see you guys around!

Comments2
anonymous's avatar
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IBrowseHere's avatar
I swear, these get better the more you do them.
They started off great, and now are even better.

Happy 1st Anniversary to your Make A Friend ‘verse!
FieryExplosion's avatar
FieryExplosionHobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! I do my best to improve with every new piece of work I write!