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A Snowy Rescue

With the Wendigo Flower safely secured, Luigi and Toad began their descent of the mountain. The journey took a few days and there were times the two of them thought going down was even harder than climbing up. They ate and slept when they could, but the harsh storm rarely let up. They tried to pass the time by telling stories of their own heroic deeds, but Luigi's mind kept returning to Daisy, his girlfriend that still needs saving.

At long last, the two heroes found their way to the ground again and began heading back to the Dark Forest. Snow still covered the earth and trees around them, but the cold didn't bother them now that their journey was on flat ground. (Actually, the cold didn't bother Toad because of his magic Ring of Warmth) As they began to enter the forest, Luigi heard grunts of pain and several voices cackling with laughter. The noise seemed to be coming from further into the forest. He held up his hand.

"Listen!" he whispered to Toad.

The halfling paused and tilted his head. He could hear the noises, too. "What should we do?"

"Let's go see what's going on," replied Luigi. Without a word, they both took out their weapons and stepped further into the wood.

They came to a small clearing where they saw an archer surrounded by six goblins. The man had clearly been a victim of an ambush and was desperately trying to defend himself. Although he was doing pretty well, Toad and Luigi agreed he could use a hand. They crept behind a nearby tree and attacked the goblins by surprise.

Luigi called out to the archer. "We're good guys! We're here to help!"

The man swung his shortsword at a nearby goblin, leaving a gaping wound across the creature's chest. "Prove it," he called back, swinging a second time at the goblin, this time with a fatal blow.

The next few moments were filled with flying wrenches, healing spells, soaring arrows, and a powerful plunger. Once all the goblins were taken care of, Toad made sure Luigi and the stranger were properly healed. "Thank you for your help."

"I'm Luigi," said the plumber proudly, holding out his hand.

"I'm Link," the archer replied, shaking Luigi's hand. "I've been trying to track down what's going on with these goblins. They have been attacking travelers more and more frequently." "Really?" asked Toad. "That's terrible."

"Indeed. And what are you two doing out here?"

Luigi slid off his backpack and procured their treasure. "Have you ever heard of the Wendigo Flower?"

Link's eyes widened. "I thought it was only legend!"

Luigi smiled and carefully returned the flower. "Well, we are quite... legendary. This may sound weird to you, but our friend is a talking zebra and she-"

"Zecora?" exclaimed Link, surprised all over again.

"You know her? Well, she asked us to get her this flower and we were on our way to see her now."

"Well I'd be happy to help get you there. I'm quite adept at traveling through the forest. I'll be able to get you there in no time."

"Sounds good to me. My feet are throbbing," grumbled Toad.

The three headed into the Dark Forest and the heroes were pleased to find out Link was right. He was an excellent guide and they found Zecora's hut before sun down. Luigi eagerly knocked on her door. The sound of hooves clicked from the inside and in a few moments, the door opened.

"Well if it isn't Luigi, Toad, and Link.

Please do come in and have a drink!"

"Ugh, not the rhyming again," thought Toad.

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