Ever since the opening "smash" events, life around the Smash Facility had settled down. The fighters tended to themselves, hanging about with their companions. Even more folk had come to this event, forcing the facilities to their limits. However, most were glad to be with one another, glad for such an opportunity.
The facility also had a separate area to house the various others present. They weren't full fledged fighters, but rather assorted "Assists" and "Spirits". Most didn't reside in the facility permanently, as they were "summoned" there by chance. The "Assist" characters were more likely to be encountered, given their nature.
They were made to appear in battle, helping out proper fighters then. Nikki was among them, being among the many "newcomers". Hers had been a quieter life, based around art and travel. However, she knew such origins didn't limit her, as seen with the Villager and his assistant, Isabelle. Just about anyone could take part in their battles.
As such, Nikki grew to know the proper fighters, be it through battle or otherwise. Of them, one caught her attention the most. She hadn't met him yet, only glimpsing him from afar. However, he intrigued her so, making her heart grow light. Nikki held the thought close to her, even on the day of a grand battle.
It'd been the talk around the facility, drawing the intrigue of all. All had begun as an inside joke among the proper fighters. Aware of the many sword users among them, some wondered who the "best" one was. Though some thought on it in jest, many others took it seriously. Their talk grew frenzied, leading up to the day's main event.
That afternoon, their ilk were to "settle" it in smash, such as it was. Eight prominent sword wielders were selected, made to represent their given lands. Theirs would be an eight fighter battle, pushing them to their limits. Nikki was among those excited to see their fight, seeking out her beloved. He'd be there, alongside the other fighters.
Of them, Marth and Link were the more "classic" sword fighters, given their seniority. Ike and Ganondorf served as variants on that theme, albeit more forceful. Shulk and Cloud offered a more "advanced" spin on the notion, given their massive swords. That left Meta Knight and the Mii Swordfighter in a class of their own, their skills unique.
Despite their differences, all were eager to fight one another then. They held confidence in themselves, as well as their weapons. It'd be a spectacle for the ages either way, they believed. As all prepared themselves on their stage, many other fighters watched them in awe. Mario stood among them to officiate their battle, given his own seniority.
"Now, today's match will be on-a Final Destination," Mario announced. "To ensure fairness and balance here. And to offer a great view, of course! Fox can't-a be here today, but items will and-" As he spoke on, the crowd peered below, curious to what would be. It could very well be anyone's match, given how all was laid out.
The sword fighters shared their sentiment, eager to battle. However, they were bound to Mario, who spoke on. Once done, the crowd clapped as Mario vanished, revealing the battlefield. Their fighters stood upon it, brimming with vigor. At the announcer's call, their battle began with all watching intently.
The "Assists" had come as well, many within their audience. Nikki was among them, seated by Princess Peach. Though she tried to chat with Nikki, she kept her sight on the battle. She only gave Peach the barest replies, her voice wistful. Though Peach eased away, Nikki grew aware of her. She shook her head and apologized for herself.
Peach shook it off, saying it was fine. She remained curious to Nikki's focus, asking her about it. "I was just thinking about him," she said with a breathy lilt. "That gorgeous blond swordsman-" Peach nodded back, well aware of such men. It seemed like their current roster was lousy with their ilk. Even she held one close to her heart.
"Link, right?" Peach asked of her. Her own dreamy smile emerged, flustered by the very thought. Even with Zelda's warnings otherwise, she couldn't help but gaze upon him. As Peach met the other's gaze, she paused. Nikki shook her head, seemingly puzzled then. "Oh, Cloud?" She shook her head again, her mouth stiff. "Shulk, it'd have to be him!"
Nikki's eyes widened, taken back by her suggestions. "Well, who is it, then?" she asked back. "Who could it be?" Nikki took a quick breath, only to turn back to the battlefield. Her eyes gleamed, joined by a wanting smile. She pointed to the Mii Swordfighter, who ran about. He summoned a tornado from his blade then, sending Marth into the air.
Peach grinned at her, glad for her own joy. Before she could talk further, Nikki found herself easing away. In the midst of their battle, an "Assist" was summoned, forcing her presence. As she appeared on stage, Nikki waved to the crowd. They seemed as eager as she was, to her glee. Soon, she doodled her given images, aiding the fighters.
As Bullet Bills emerged to attack them, Nikki peered at the Mii Swordfighter. He'd noticed them, ready to run away. However, she shook her head, motioning to a safe spot. He stared in confusion, wondering why she'd singled him out. However, he nodded to Nikki, glad for her aid. As the Swordfighter ran to it, the other fighters followed suit.
In the process, some of them were blasted by other images. The Swordfighter managed to save himself, watching as his brethren fell. Selfish as it was, he took his advantage. Nikki continued to draw, releasing her images with abandon. Their battle's thrill gripped her, curious to its end. Those who'd fallen picked themselves up, ready to fight again.
Despite her creations, the sword wielders fought on, attacking one another. In turn, they forced her images away, calling for her disappearance. Though Nikki was to leave soon, she relished the moment. She was just glad to be near the Mii Swordfighter, aiding him so. He continued to fight, swiftly passing by his brethren.
Ganondorf stepped in to stop him, knocking the Swordfighter down. He collapsed, only able to watch as Link swooped in to attack Ganondorf. He retaliated by grabbing Link and bombarding him with a burst of dark energy. As Link fell besides the Swordfighter, Cloud ran towards Ganondorf. He suddenly slashed the air, releasing a blue shockwave.
As Ganondorf recoiled in surprise, Ike slipped behind him and lifted Ragnell into the air. In an instant, he forced it into the ground, summoning his own burst of energy. It sent Ganondorf flying with its force, knocking him into Cloud. They fell beside Link and the Mii Swordfighter as Ike ran towards Marth.
Meanwhile, the crowd and Nikki watched them all with awe. Neither of them could guess who'd reign over their fellow sword wielders. However, it'd been a treat to see them fight for it. They'd given it their all, pushed to their limits. Even other spawned "Assists" were ignored in favor of their own skills.
Ike and Marth countered each other with their swords, knocking them together. Before either could hit the other, Meta Knight sped towards them, caught in his crafted tornado. It knocked them off their feet, sending them away. Marth fared worse, given his lighter weight. He rose into the air, only to be greeted by Shulk.
He'd activated his "Jump" art, allowing him to meet Marth's height. He slammed the Monado on Marth with his might, forcing him down. As he fell, Meta Knight spun in his tornado, dragging Shulk into it. However, its power soon waned, to which he lost control. As he lay helpless, Shulk fell atop him in a daze.
While Link and the Mii Swordfighter managed to get up, their brethren weren't as lucky. Ganondorf and Cloud remained on the ground, easing themselves up. Ike lay face down on it, joined by Marth. As they wriggled about, Shulk shook his head, trying to regain his focus. Meta Knight pried him away, shaking himself off in turn.
Though all retained one stock, they were worn from their battle. All had been so sudden that their crowd couldn't believe it. Even Nikki was shocked, knowing that she should've left sooner. A brief intermission was called for, to recover the fighters' spirits.
As they adjusted themselves, Isabelle came on stage to their aid. She handed out Rice Lunch Trays and Sushi, allowing them to recover their health. While all dove into their contents, another Isabelle emerged besides the original one.
Shulk eyed her warily, recalling a warning he'd gotten earlier. With some tea in hand, he approached "their" Isabelle. Shulk asked of the other's presence, to which she grinned. "She's my assistant," Isabelle said of her replica. "She'll clean up once you're done!"
Though puzzled, Shulk understood the reason for it. Absurd as it was, they'd have much litter anyway. Some of it dirtied the stage, in the form of upswept debris and muck. Their meal would only add to that, requiring assistance. Shulk nodded to her, his warning sent to the back of his mind.
So long as the Isabelles kept to their ways, he need not worry about them. As the fighters finished their meal, Isabelle went to collect their dishes. Her replica walked about, collecting litter from the field. All had gotten word the match would start again, leading them to prepare. The Isabelles continued to roam, still cleaning up.
Soon, they came upon a stray Assist Trophy. Driven by intrigue, both cast their fishing rods at it. As they awaited its effects, Nikki stood by, wondering which of her brethren would emerge. However, Shulk lunged at Isabelle's copy, forcing her away. "Isabelle, no!" he shouted, aware of the chaos that would befall them.
He'd learned of an issue within the facility regarding how "Assists" spawned. It'd come through a stray Ditto that had fused with their teleportation system. Whenever "Assist" personas went through it, Ditto's being forced multiple copies of themselves. The facility's researchers called Shulk to research it, given his expertise in his homeland.
The glitch emerged if two versions of Isabelle reached for an "Assist". Neither of them knew why it affected her in particular, but their danger was clear. If left unchecked, countless copies of an "Assist" could spawn forth. As the other Isabelle stared at him, Shulk explained their issue.
Within moments, both sprang up, warning the others of what would come. The original Isabelle and her companions armed themselves, only for a figure to emerge. It was Waluigi, seemingly plucked from a game of tennis. He stood holding a racket, his gaze wild. As he dashed towards Isabelle, several copies of himself appeared.
All were as ravenous as their originator, seeking out "vengeance". While the original Waluigi struck Isabelle's clone, his brethren ran to the fighters. They were made to target any "enemy" present. The fighters stared at Waluigi's horde, arming themselves again. They ran towards one another, out for victory.
Shulk fared a bit better against their masses, having activated his "Speed" art. Though weaker, he managed to escape Waluigi and his brethren. Cloud was left to shoulder their burden, swiping through the relentless horde. For every Waluigi he felled, several more took his place. They laughed maniacally, eager to beat down any target.
Ike and Ganondorf followed their lead and dove into their crowd. As Ganondorf used his might to overpower them, Ike swept through them. Cloud continued to fell the Waluigis, causing them to fall and vanish. As Shulk aided him, Meta Knight rose into the air with his cape. He peered at the Waluigi horde, seeking out their "sweet" spot.
Having found it, he soared to it, striking several Waluigis at once. As they dispersed, the others continued to swipe at them. Meta Knight aided them, spinning about to knock more Waluigis away. Meanwhile, Marth and Link fought their horde, struggling to stay upright. They couldn't see much else than Waluigi, feeling his force upon themselves.
Though they tried to avoid their masses, they continued to beat Marth and Link down. Marth managed to evade them, forcing himself out of their crowd. As he struck their rackets with the Falchion's tip, Link ran to him. He'd gotten out his Hylian shield, allowing the Waluigis to ram into it. They'd tire themselves soon enough like that.
Through the fighters' efforts, Waluigi's horde began to lessen. The Mii Swordfighter was greatly exempt from their struggle. He managed to save the original Isabelle and Nikki from their presence. They'd stuck it out, knocking any rogue Waluigis away. When their forces were nearly gone, the Swordfighter studied their battlefield.
His brethren were exhausted, having felled their horde. However, he kept put, sensing Waluigi's presence. True to form, several more of him emerged, swiping at the air. The other Isabelle had perished earlier, leaving his group to their wrath. They peered at the Swordfighter, sensing an uncharted target. They ran to him, spurring him into action.
Driven by panic, Nikki clutched the Swordfighter's hand for support. Though stunned, he held on to it and ran alongside her. Isabelle trailed behind them, firing pellets from her slingshot. Though she now felt his touch, Nikki couldn't enjoy the moment, fearing for her life. The Swordfighter held onto her, silently vowing to protect Nikki.
He'd seen their forces, overwhelming all who dared cross them. Even if he knew not its reason, he knew his ways. The Swordfighter couldn't let her perish as Isabelle's replica had. All had come so senselessly, beating the spirits of all down. So long as he could, the Swordfighter would protect his companions.
Once far enough from the Waluigis, he stopped and released Nikki's hand. She peered at him as he unsheathed his sword. With a determined glint in his eyes, the Swordfighter lunged at them. As he swiped them, Isabelle stepped to Nikki. She gave her a quick nod and got out her slingshot again. Nikki followed her lead, readying herself to draw.
During their battle, Waluigi's horde had proved too much for any of them to bear. Now that it'd lessened, Nikki and Isabelle's shock eased away. They couldn't idly stand by while the Swordfighter fought on. As he spun about wildly, several Waluigis fell in defeat. He seemed able to overwhelm their forces himself, ridding all of his blight.
However, Isabelle and Nikki pelted them with their own ammunition. Through their efforts, Waluigi's horde finally fell apart. As the last Waluigi vanished, the other sword wielders stepped to them. Though exhausted again, they were glad for his sacrifice. Even if their battle was unresolved, it was all they could take then. They needed to rest once more.
As the other fighters cheered him on, the Swordfighter smiled shakily. "There, I think that's the last of 'em-" he rasped out. He slumped down, trying to catch his breath. As his knees buckled, Nikki ran over to support him. She grasped his right arm, easing him up. Their eyes met, their owners aglow with vigor and gratitude.
The Swordfighter fell silent, now awed by Nikki's presence. Even in the midst of their chaos, she held an earnest allure about herself. To peer into her dark eyes was to see desire itself. That, paired with her charming features, was enough to make his heart ache. The Swordfighter thanked her, breaking into a bright grin.
Nikki followed suit, captive to her own longing in turn. Her heart beat faster, now fueled by desire. As the Swordfighter stood up straight, Mario stepped back on stage. He called the day's battle off, on grounds of liability. To repeat their day's incident would provoke their sponsors' wrath. Though stunned, the fighters couldn't argue with him.
"I'm sorry, Mario!" Isabelle said, her voice somber. "I just wasn't thinking straight! Oh, I've ruined everything, haven't I?" Her mouth quaked, only for her to burst into tears. As she tried to cover her face, Shulk went to console her. He patted her on the back, to which she peered at him. "If I'd known, I never would've gone for that 'Assist Trophy'!"
"It's okay, Isabelle," Shulk said to her. "Hey, if I'd known you'd show up, I would've told you before!" She nodded back, feeling her spirits rise again. As he kept petting her, the other fighters surrounded them. They spoke among themselves, still stunned by their day's events. Civility gave way to chaos once more, fueled by their frenzy.
"Um, let's-a try to settle things down-" Mario suggested to the fighters. He stepped to them, his gaze warm. Though most tried to discuss it properly, Ganondorf's ire remained. He seemed ready to attack, his senses on edge. Though Link tried to restrain him, Mario eased closer to Ganondorf. "So, for-a you guys, what did you think of today's battle?"
"Gods alive, it was atrocious!" Ganondorf bellowed, his eyes wide. "Mark my words, this battle has made me despise Waluigi to no end!" Despite Mario's surprise, he shook it off. He wasn't to blame for Waluigi's presence and what it'd wrought. "Endless swarms of those cursed wretches! I was breathing pure Waluigi with every breath!"
As Ganondorf ranted on, Link shook his head and dug around his inventory. In the midst of his talk, Link jabbed him, offering Ganondorf some Lon Lon Milk. He gave Link a quick glare, only to snatch it from his grasp. As he drank it, Mario's focus shifted elsewhere. He walked to the Mii Swordfighter, who still remained by Nikki's side.
She couldn't speak then, stunned by all that she'd seen. However, Mario wasn't subject to such restraints, his curiosity piqued. "And for you, Finn?" he asked the Swordfighter. "How was this 'battle of the swords'?" Though stunned, the Swordfighter spoke of his own experience. He was just glad to battle with his ilk, as chaotic as it'd been.
"Well, that's the 'cut' of it," the Swordfighter noted. "But I wouldn't have it either way. Especially since I met this sweetie here-" He glanced at Nikki, who grinned and blushed at him. She still couldn't believe it, having captured her beloved's attention. All was as she desired, making her heart quiver. Nikki peered at him, unable to break their "spell".
Though Mario soon left them, the Swordfighter kept close to her. "Thanks, Nikki," he said. "Your help means a lot to me. It's been nice to meet you today." She thanked him, only to stumble on her shaky feet. As she fell against him, the Swordfighter drew her close. For that moment, they stood as one, joined by their affection and wonder.