Yes, it was a luncheon in the Luncheon Kingdom. Bowsette was enthralled by the scalding-hot baking seas around them, keeping the weather fiery and everyone sweating, but the whole scene was still crazy. A dozen princesses and queens and other female royals from all over the world were gathered here to eat together and gossip about everything.
Bowsette was not even a real subject of the conversation; while Daisy took a few moments to adjust to the fact that the girl who kicked her butt a few months ago was now going to be eating with her, the rest didn’t even seem to care. She guessed they just had more important things to worry about, then. Even Princess Shokora, a half-ghost who hadn’t been in civilization for eons, was here and paying no mind to her existence.
This was a much less tense situation than the meeting with the Mario Bros. earlier this week!
Speaking of them, they were still preparing everything for the trip tomorrow. The trip was going to be tough and seeing how powerful Merlon was, if he had really wanted to escape from the rest of the world, it was not going to be easy to get through whatever barriers he had placed. They had done some more research and discovered that the hut Goombella was referring to was likely at the Quiver Cliffs, far to the West past even Diamond City. Getting there was not that difficult, bt surviving may have been.
So to spend the time, Peach decided to... introducer her newest... friend... to all her fellow royals.
Gourmet Guy was here personally catering everything for them, and the food was delicious. Bowsette had never had cake this good before! Seriously!
But... she still felt extremely awkward about being here, like this, with these women.
From the people she recognized, there were a lot of celebrities here at the table:
- Princess Peach, of course, sitting next to Bowsetter, their chairs so close that their shoulders were touching.
- Princess Daisy of Sarasaland, sporty and flames in her eyes almost eternally.
- Princess Shokora, a Royal Without a Land. Nobody was quite sure where she came from, but it was clear she was just the same as the rest of them, so she was apparently accepted as a member of the crew.
- Princess Eclair of the Waffle Kingdom, a plain but delightfully tasty-looking woman made of the energy of pastries.
- Honey Queen, a giant bee from all the way over in the Honeybloom Galaxy, taking up an extremely large portion of the luncheon table that shook every time she went “Tee-hee!”
- Queen Merelda, a denizen of the mysterious Shake Dimension and unusually sprightly. Bowsette didn’t know much about her.
- Holly Mackerel, a mermaid with extremely beautiful scales, but because of her gills she was forced to sit there in a water tank and watch while the others ate.
- Emi, a violet-haired former pro tennis player who had recently married Prince Peasley of the Beanbean Kingdom and entered into the Royal Family there.
- And finally, Lady Bow, the daughter of King Boo who openly rebelled against her father’s villainous nature. She was regal and refined, but extremely prone to slapping. She, too, was not eating, but only because ghosts didn’t eat.
Everyone here was fun and having a good time, but...
Bowsette was weary of all of this.
For all the strength and energy in her spirit, her determination to succeed where she had failed so many times before, she still felt... sad. Sad like she was a fake among all these real girls, that underneath this crown she was just another ugly giant lizard. Sad like these real girls had made the world a better place, and Bowsette had only ruined it due to her own greed and ignorance.
Peach, sitting next to her still and eating a piece of chocolate souffle, noticed Bowsette’s dour emotions. Without a word, she slipped her free hand down under the table and grabbed Bowsette’s own hand.
Bowsette blushed briefly, but when nobody else seemed to notice, it was all okay. She felt something very warm inside of her, like as if the fire in her blood was going to suddenly roar back to life and she could shoot flames into the air with ease. But instead, it just set her heart ablaze, making it flutter like a kite in a hurricane.
With all the effort she could make, she was going to fix all the mistakes she had caused in her life. She already knew that. But what she still wasn’t sure about was the reason WHY. And while she came no closer at this luncheon, she still had a good time with all these princesses and queens and ladies consort and the like.
Maybe she could become one of them after all.