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Three No More

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"But Francisca! Where do you even want to go!? Why can't we just stay in the castle?"


Francisca twitched one of her eyes in annoyance. "Because, Ms. Zan-" The mage said frostily. "You haven't allowed us to leave the castle. All I ask for is a change of scenery, but YOU-" She pointed a finger into the face of the equally annoyed lightning general. "-won't even let us go out for a day without you!"


Zan's gold hair began to bristle with electricity. "That's because you two can't agree on a place where we can go together!"


Flamberge gave Francisca a quick glance before looking back at the golden haired mage. "What are you talking about? Me and Fran have agreed on where we want to go." Flamberge then pointed her hand at Zan Partizanne as well. "It's YOU who has been disagreeing with us!" The fire mage puffed up her reddened cheeks. "Maybe me and Fran should just go somewhere without you!"


Zan shifted back. "W-what? Why? Ladies, please, at times like this, we've got to stick together-"


Suddenly, Flamberge's red hair erupted in flames as she furiously flapped her hands. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?" The fire mage flew up to Zan's face. "What do you mean 'at times like this'!? This has been the least perilous our lives have ever been! We live on Popstar now! The World of Miracles! Under the protection of the Star Allies! WHAT POSSIBLE DANGER COULD THERE BE!?"


Zan clenched her fists. "Listen, I just think that with Lord Hyness still recovering-"


Francisca crossed her arms and huffed. "Oh, I see. So this your problem, then."


The lightning mage glared at the blue-haired mage. "'My problem'? What do you mean MY PROBLEM!? AFTER EVERYTHING LORD HYNESS DID FOR US-"


Flamberge turned to Francisca. "That's it, I've had enough. C'mon Fran! Let's go!" The fire mage glared at Zan. "-without her."


Flamberge took one of Francisca's hands and the two pushed aside the door to their room before storming off.


Zan drifted to the doorway and outstretched a hand towards her two fellow mages as she saw them disappear behind the corner of the castle's hallways. "HEY! Where are you two going!? Francisca! Flamberge! Get back here!"


Zan kept trying to yell out to them when she heard the sound of heavy footsteps approach her from behind.


"Uh, Zan Partizanne?"


Zan spun around to see the owner of the castle, Dreamland's kind and one of the Star Allies core members, King Dedede, looking at her with confusion and concern.


"What just happened? I heard yelling come from you and your sisterhood's room." The king's eyes widened as he realized that Francisca and Flamberge were no where to be found. "Where's Francisca and Flamberge?"


Zan gripped her black dress, her hands sending jolts of lightning up the fabric, as she let out a snarl. "They left."


Dedede blinked in surprise. "Left? Without you?"


The lightning mage tensed up as the realization of what had just occurred began to set in. "...Yes, Your Majesty." Zan glared at the penguin-folk. "I'm afraid they've forsaken your gratitude just as well as mine."


---


"Ah! Feel that sunlight, Franny!" Flamberge said joyfully as she outstretched her hands, basking in the sunlight as she and her companion arrived at Waddleville at the base of Mt. Dedede. "'Bout time we got out of that stuffy castle!" Flamberge turned to a waddle dee guard that was on their way to their post at the castle. "Uh, no offense."


The waddle dee simply raised an eyebrow to her as they continued on their way to work.


Francisca giggled. "I'm certain that I'd appreciate it more if I had your tolerance for heat, Ms. Flamberge."


The fire mage jumped. Shoot! I didn't mean to touch up on a sore subject! "S-sorry Fran! I didn't mean any offense!"


The ice mage simply giggled once more. "It's fine. But back to the matter at hand - what do you want to do?"


"Right now?" Flamberge blinked. "Well, right now I just want to go for a stroll!" Flamberge outstretched her hands once more and let out a yawn. "Yep! I just want to take in the sunlight before Zan drags us back to the castle. What about you?"


Francisca brought a hand up to her chin and hummed. "I'd like to explore Dreamland. I would love to go check out the Dreamstalk or the Prism Plains. Take in all the sights, you know?"


"I mean, that sounds great and all Fran-" Flamberge started. "But we already got to see the Dreamstalk from the Jambastion, remember?"


Francisca placed her hands on her hips. "We didn't get to see it up close. What do you want to see?"


"Me?" The fire mage drifted back in surprise. "I was thinking of finding the other Star Allies and hanging out with them! No offense, but you only sit through so many of King Dedede's jokes before you want to stab him!" OK, maybe that's a bit extreme.


Francisca stared at her, looking disappointed. "That's fine, but I really want to go sight seeing." The mage sighed. "Maybe we should split up as well."


"What!? NO!" Flamberge leaped in front of her, frantically flailing her arms. "You and I haven't had a chance to hang out since the Jambastion Invasion! The entire reason we were trying to leave the castle was because Zan wouldn't let us do anything fun! Why should we split up too!?"


Francisca sighed once more, frost forming in the air in front of her collar. "Listen Flamberge, I understand, but-" The mage began to fidget with her long blue hair. "Back in Jambandra, everything we ever did, we only did it together. I'm just ready to try something on my own."


Flamberge sniffled as embers began to form around her eyes. "B-but-"


"Ms. Flamberge." Francisca placed a hand on the fire mage's shoulder. "Think about it. This is the first time in our lives in which we're free to do what we want without asking Hyness or Zan Partizanne for permission. I just think that we should try to different things for once."


Jamblasted! How can she be so proper while she's telling me this!? Flamberge's face warmed. "B-but I don't like the idea of doing something alone!" The mage brought her hands to her chest. "I'm scawed!" She squeaked, trying to deflect the seriousness of the conversation by acting silly.


"You'll be fine, Flamberge." Francisca replied. "This isn't a permanent thing. I just-" The ice mage sighed. "I want to see what I'm capable of on my own. Don't you?"


Flamberge glanced down at the ground. "Yeah, I do." She glanced up to her blue-haired companion. "I just thought we could do it together!"


"We can later." The ice mage replied gently. "But for now, I'm ready to strike it out on my own. What about you?"


The fire mage sighed. Is it wrong that I'm scared? Everything I knew about Jambandra was a lie...Is it wrong for me to be hesitant? Flamberge shut her eyes. But Fran's not wrong. Sure, we work together as a team just fine but I don't really have any friends outside of Fran and Zan right now. Flamberge's mind flashed back to the memory of Kirby, the pink puffball who seemed capable of becoming friends with almost anyone. I wouldn't mind having other friends.


The red-haired mage opened her eyes. "Nah, you're right." Per usual. "I understand."


Francisca smiled. "Thank you." The ice mage gave Flamberge a chilly, yet refreshing hug. "I'll tell you what, for every land mark I go visit, I'll bring you back a souvenir. How does that sound?"


Flamberge hummed. "Well, If you manage to find some cool-looking sword, I wouldn't mind adding it my collection."


Francisca laughed. "That's what I thought you would say!" The ice mage drifted back. "Well, I guess I'll be off then. Jambuh-bye, Ms. Flamberge." The mage said cheerfully as she waved goodbye to her companion.


"Jambuh-bye..." Flamberge echoed with slightly less enthusiasm that her fellow mage as the two began to go their separate ways.


---


Zan grumbled as she flipped through another book in the Castle Dedede library. Francisca and Flamberge will be back before too long. We're a team. We can't just splinter apart like that.


The lightning mage paused her absent-minded page flipping as she heard two somewhat-familiar voices echo from the other side of the library.


"She's still here?"


"Yeah, but Francisca and Flamberge are gone. The waddle dee guards said that Francisca was heading over to the Dreamstalk and Flamberge was hanging around in Waddleville."


"Leave them be. I don't think they're up to anything wrong."


"I didn't say anything about them being up to no good, MK. It's just that those three usually go everywhere together!"


At this point, Zan gripped onto the edge of the desk where she was reading and jolted her head around to see the two newcomers. One of them was King Dedede once more, and he was joined by Meta Knight, another core member of the Star Allies and seemed to have been the guardian of the Star Allies' leader, Kirby.


"Lady Partizanne. A word?" The masked knight said as he strode his way over to the mage.


"Oh, What? Like you weren't speaking about me earlier?" Zan snapped.


"Yeesh." Dedede replied. "Are you trying to break that table?"


Zan glanced down and saw where he hand had lightly scorched the table with lightning magic. "Of course not." The former general grumbled.


"But of course." Meta Knight replied, just as unphased and stoic as ever. "No, I'm here to ask how long do you plan on staying at the castle?"


The lightning mage blinked. "W-what do you mean? King Dedede said I could stay here for as long as I like!"


"Yeah, I did say that." The king crossed his arms. "However, most of our reformed villains have only needed to stay here for several weeks. You and your sisters on the other hand have been staying here for several months!"


"Not to mention I've been receiving complaints from the waddle dees about your attitude, Partizanne." Meta Knight continued.


Zan felt a spark of electricity jolt through one of her hands. "What are you trying to say?"


The mage's question recieved an answer as she found herself getting hurried out the castle's front gate.


"You can't kick me out!" Zan cried as she found herself getting lead out of the Castle Dedede's front door.


"Listen, I don't want to have to do this either!" Dedede replied. "But you can't just keep hiding in the castle all the time! It's bad for your health!"


"That's ridiculous-" Zan paused her retort as she saw the blinding sun glaring at her and attempted to shield her eyes. "Gah! When did the sun get so bright!?"


Meta Knight sighed. "Partizanne, please, I implore you to stay out of the castle for a little while and try to acquaint yourself with the rest of Dreamland. You are always welcome at the castle, but for your health, I encourage you to get some fresh air. It may help you clear your head."


Zan Partizanne raised her hand, hoping to come up with a clever argument, but found that she was incapable of making a proper retort.


"I hope that means you're done arguing." Dedede replied. "If I were you, I'd recommend hanging out around Waddleville and acquainting yourself with the locals. Better that than intimidating any more of my soldiers."


Zan grumbled once more before twirling around. "Fine then! Have it your way, 'Star Allies'! 'World of Miracles'? Yeah right!" The mage continued to rant and ramble to herself as she angrily strode down the mountain, away from the castle's King and and Dreamland's greatest warrior who silently watched on as the Lightning Mage General departed from the castle for the first time since she came to this planet.