The path to the airport was bustling with people of various shapes, sizes, and species. Popple quietly adjusted the straps of his hooded disguise as he trudged through the crowd. Making sure not to bump into a toad, or run in front of a passing masked jester and his cat friend. He took a short pause to look at the two quizzically. Managing to hear a small bit of their conversation in the loud noises all around him.
"Shen, you really need to forget about him. For your own sake…" the cat said quietly, his voice trailing off and blending into the crowds chattering when they were too far away from the Shadow Thief to hear.
Popple had a bad urge to follow them, but shook his head and quickly resumed his pace. They weren't his problem. He had to get to that rabbit-person, and that Shen guy probably just had a bad breakup or something.
He had -finally- managed to check into the airport terminal, when he was suddenly tackled by a mint green blur, he reflexively tried to flee, only to realize that it was the rabbit-person he saw earlier. Right, kingdom in trouble thing.
"You actually came!" They said in a much more hopeful tone than Popple expected.
"Er… yeah," he replied dumbly, looking outside and at the planes, he really didn't know what to do at this moment, "so, where’n the world are we going?"
"The lunaire kingdom!" They said, hopping over to the other end of the terminal. Guiding popple along the way.
"The...what kingdom?" He asked, tilting his head slightly as they passed by the gate, and exited out and into the outside air.
"The lunaire kingdom," they repeated, stopping near a small dark purple plane with various Moon and star patterns on it. "It's… actually I'll just tell you about it when we depart, it'll pass the time faster!"
Popple nodded hesitantly, a small amount of worry starting to build up inside him. Is this normal for those Mario brothers? Why did he have to-
"Come on, We need to go!" They said, quickly shoving him up the stairs and into the plane before he could even finish his thoughts, making him trip on the carpeted floor and Accidentally drop the used-to-be hiding Fawful.
"Wh-what is that thing?!" They screeched, jumping to the back of the plane, a wave of fear showing across their face.
Popple sighed; scooping up the currently dazed Fawful and looking over to them with annoyance. well, might as well tell him before this escalates- "this is… my brother-"
"Your… what?" They replied, struggling to understand what the Shadow Thief said. "But he doesn't even look like you."
"It's a long story, see?" Popple interjected, "let's just say that dark magic is not a thing ya should be playin’ around with, i didn’t wanna leave him back at the house we were... *ahem* staying at, so he’s comin’ with us,"
He ignored the glare that Fawful gave him. Continuing to look over to the dumbfounded lunairen. Who, after a few seconds staring back and forth between the two, sighed and relaxed themself.
"O-ok…" they stuttered awkwardly, before going over to the pilot cabin and talking to the person inside for a bit, then sitting down on one of the blue colored airplane seats. "We'll be leaving soon, strap in!"
Popple nodded, putting Fawful down on a seat and sitting on the one next to him, then put the seatbelt on hastily once he heard the telltale sign of the plane starting up. the Shadow Thief really didn’t like airplanes, but seeing as this was the only thing the kid asked him to go on, he figured the place was not that easy to get to.
“So, what’s the lunaria kingdom, again?” He started, remembering what they said earlier.
“It’s lunaire, not lunara.” they corrected, then breathed in deeply and began telling the tale.
"Lunaire kingdom is-, well was. A kingdom that primarily lived by the moon, some say we were even descended from star rabbits themselves!"
"our first king, Polaris, founded our kingdom after discovering our island over a thousand years ago, after starting what would be our castle town he himself decided to make a beautiful moondial to commemorate the completion-"
"-we don't need your whole kingdom's stinking story! just tell 'why the place's busted!" Popple interjected, just wanting them to get to the point already.
The mint green lunairen glared at him for a few moments, before exhaling and continuing "fine, Anyway, one day. When we were just minding our business. An odd man with metal arms came along."
"We didn't really pay him much attention. Mostly due to the fact that (other than his weird ability to mimic every voice he hears) he seemed to be pretty nice. We allowed him to explore."
"While we were asleep though, something bad happened to our old celestial moondial. Eight of the jewels that were affixed to it just seemed to disappear. Overnight."
"We originally thought to find the odd man. Since he had came here and was last seen near the thing. But. We found nothing, not even any traces that he even stayed at the hotel there!"
"What's worse, is that ever since we found the moon dial in its state, we have been under a very dark and never-ending eclipse, along with seeing very mangled monsters appearing in the jerbled forest, outside the castle town, and even in a few scattered villages, to the point where most people can't even leave their houses!"
"At my wit's end, I decided to get some help. I hopped on this plane, and everything up to now you basically know. Right?"
Popple nodded absent-mindedly, starting to fall asleep from all...that. He didn’t really care about the problems the Lunairen was talking about, but since they were the only guide to this kingdom right now he, like his actual identity to them, held it back.
"Oh, we're almost there!" They said, pointing outside the window. And toward a shadowy island.
From what the shadow thief could see, the place was primarily forest, with a huge moon-shaped mountain to the northeast, and a very small desert opposite to it. The center of the island however. Seemed to be completely impossible to see. A slight feeling of fear inexplicably came over him when he looked at it. He didn't know why, but it felt like Something was very wrong there.
He glanced over to the lunairen to see a look of complete terror on their face. They ran over to the pilot with a speed he had never seen from them. He had managed to overhear the them say simply;
"Something's wrong with Star Lake!"