It had been three years since the disappearance of Racku. After he had been thrown into the torture chamber of King Koopa no one had ever found him. They assumed he was dead. After all, what man would just disappear leaving his wife, the most desired woman in the range of five kingdoms, behind?
Two years after his disappearance, a strange contractor was hired to build an add-on to the castle. A new Opera House. The Koopas had been warned that they would regret ever becoming tyrants by the contractor who spread whispers and rumors of a ghost that would haunt this new wing of the castle.
Not long after the widow of Racku Kasara-Chiri was captured in order to force her to become the Opera Diva. This idea was rejected when the Soprano Diva and daughter of Bowser, Wendy Koopa, threw a tantrum and Peach was put into the choir.
Kamek cracked the door to the Opera house and was half frightened as an angry pale face with fire trailing from it floated toward him. He backed away and closed his eyes only momentarily. When he opened them, it was gone. It was the Opera Ghost that had been haunting since Queen Peach had arrived.
Briefly the old Magi-Koopa recalled his own escapade of the sorts and how he had met Celeste. He sighed having recalled how all the Magi-Koopa had had their pay docked and that being the reason for his fury.
"I would appreciate that you tell your Master, the Pathetic King of Koopas, a message from I, the Opera Ghost... If he wishes to remain master of the realm... He would do best to reserve a private box for me... Box Five... As well as paying me a salary of 200,000 Golden Koopa Coins a month." The voice echoed in the room.
"That's outrageous! He'll have to dock the Goombas and Paratroopas! You can't demand that!" Kamek cried.
"I may demand whatever I wish! Go now, Kamek!"
Kamek was stunned at the ghost's knowledge of his name. "How do you know my name?"
"I know many things! Now leave! Depart before I become angry!"
Kamek opened the large wooden doors and walked out, allowing them to shut behind him. Hardly recognizing where he was going, he sped to the throne room and told King Koopa of the outrageous demand. There was a heated dispute and Bowser agreed to let this 'Opera Ghost' occupy Box Five for the night's performance.
At that moment Ludwig dragged in a crying Wendy. Wendy opened her mouth as if to speak but nothing came out. "King Dad, sir... The Diva has lost her voice..." Ludwig informed him.
"Is everything to go wrong for me today?!" Bowser bellowed, then he put a clawed hand under his daughter's chin. "You must rest... Your strong and powerful Koopa voice shall rise again to fill the hearts of a full house..." he looked at Ludwig, "Peach shall take Wendy's place."
" Think of me... Think of me fondly when we've said goodbye... Remember me, once in a while... Please promise me you'll try... When you find that once again you long to take your heart back and be free... If you ever find a moment, spare a thought for me..." Peach suddenly feels a burst of confidence surround her and her voice takes on an unearthly quality, as if she were an angel straight from heaven. " We never said our love was evergreen, or as unchanging as the sea, but if you can still remember, stop and think of me... Think of all the things we've shared and seen, don't think about the things which might have been... Think of me, think of me waking silent and resigned... Imagine me trying to hard to put you from my mind... Recall those days, look back on all those times... Think of the things we'll never do... There will never be a day when I won't think of you! We never said our love was evergreen or as unchanging as the sea... But please promise me sometimes you will think of me! "
As the cheering began, from box five a voice echoed. "Bravi, Bravi, Bravisimo..."
" Where in the world have you been hiding?! Really you were perfect! I only wish I knew your secret... Who is this new tutor ?" Susan demanded of Peach. Susan was one of the ballet girls and she had befriended the widowed queen. Not long ago Susan had been told by the queen that the she was under new instruction.
" Racku once spoke of an angel... I use to dream he'd appear... Now as I sing I can sense him... And I know he's here! Here in this room he calls me softly! Somewhere inside hiding! Somehow I know he's always with me, he the unseen genius! " Peach responded.
" Peach, you must have been dreaming... Stories like this can't come true... Peach, you're talking in riddles... And it's not like you..."
" Angel of Music, guide and guardian! Prove to me your glory! Angel of Music hide no longer! Secret and strange Angel! " they sang together.
" He's with me even now... " Peach's face went pale.
" Your hands are cold... "
" All Around... "
" Your face, Peach, It's white!"
" It frightens me... "
" Don't be frightened! " Susan hugged Peach to comfort her.
"Leave me... I need rest... I won't be down for dinner..." Peach said.
"Alright..." Susan left quickly.
" Childish girl, the young ballet star, she questions when she mustn't... What an ignorant fool, that little child, trying to steal our secrets..." the voice rang out.
" Angel I hear you, speak I listen... Stay by my side... Guide me... Angel my soul was weak, forgive me... Enter at last, Master... "
" Flattering child, you shall know me... See why in shadow I hide... Look at your face in the mirror... I am there inside!"
" Angel of Music, guide and guardian! Prove to me your glory! Angel of Music hide no longer! Come to me, strange Angel! "
" I am your Angel of Music... Come to the Angel of Music... I am your Angel of Music... Come to the Angel of Music "
Under the spell of the phantom, Peach began walking toward the mirror, and then she was gone by someway and the room was empty. The mirror reflected nothing.
Peach came back to her senses on a boat in the lake in one of the many cellars and dungeons of the castle. " In sleep he sang to me... In dreams he came... That voice which calls to me... And speaks my name... And do I dream again? For now I find... The Phantom of the Opera is there inside my mind! "
" Sing once again with me, our strange duet... My power over you... Grows stronger yet... And though you turn from me... To glance behind.... The Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind... "
" We've never seen your face... Yet it brings fear ... Take off that mask you wear! "
" You'll only hear... "
" Your spirit and my voice... in one combined the Phantom of the Opera is there... Inside my mind... " She sang.
" My spirit and your voice... in one combined the Phantom of the Opera is there... Inside your mind... " the phantom sang simultaneously. The he began a new line. " In all your fantasy... You always knew... That man and mystery... "
" Were both in you... " Then, yet again they were singing simultaneously. " And in this labyrinth... Where night is blind... The Phantom of the Opera is there... Inside my mind... "
" And in this labyrinth... Where night is blind... The Phantom of the Opera is there... Inside your mind... " Even as he sang, the phantom continued to row the boat. " Sing... My Angel of Music... "
" He's there! The Phantom of the Opera! Beware the Phantom of the Opera! " And her voice began to rise in strange vocal ah's. After the final note, she fainted again, for as they had arrived at the shore, the Phantom had touched her, as if to pick her up and take her in his arms and in that way had put some sort of strange sleep spell upon her.
She awoke in a strangely well lit room. It was all such a shock as she saw the masked face leaning over her. The pale strange face she knew was fake glimmered and shined from the light.
"You are awake... Good..." He helped her up.
" I remember there was mist... Swirling mist upon a vast glassy lake... There were candles all around... And on the lake there was a boat... And in the boat there was a man... Who was that shape in the shadows? Whose is the face in the mask? " she reached her hand out and pulled off the mask and was surprised.
"Yes... It is I..." he leaned closer and their lips met in a sweet kiss. He pulled away from her. "Don't be frightened... I am not the apparition I make myself out to be..." He grabbed her hand and ran it over his face.
"Racku... It was you all along? You are the Angel of Music?"
"Yes... I am the one who has been secretly helping you... If you sing well enough... I may soon be able to escape this dark dungeon while he is distracted by your sweet voice... Then once again things will be as they once were... I am dead to the world until I return from the walls of this prison... You mustn't tell anyone... Not even your friend Susan... Please... Try to act as if you are frightened by this nonsense of a phantom... It will throw them away from the thought of anything being my fault..."
"I... I didn't even know you could sing... Let alone with such heavenly brilliance..."
"Singing... How I use to loathe to sing..." He trembled with anger, recalling days long gone. " I was given lessons for the amusement of my step-mother... As I progressed, my instructors were marveled... Before they had come along, I was known to charm with my voice... Odera was terribly jealous for I would only sing for my friend, the Princess Annabelle... She hired the finest of teachers and tutors... Entered me in many contests... Yet still I was not as good as I was when I sang for Annabelle... Whenever my wicked Stepmother heard me sing for Annabelle... She left feeling like she'd heard an angel upon earth..."
"You are an angel on earth..."
"It was one of the many things that made her hate me so... Now I sing only for you..."
"And I for you..."
"One day I shall reveal myself... One day soon... You must go now... Bowser will be missing you.."
Susan was frightened as she saw the Phantom. "A note for the tyrant." He slid the white parchment to the ballet girl, who was half out of her wits.
Bowser was fuming. First Wendy lost her voice, then Peach disappeared. That was when Susan entered.
"Mrs Ka'Chiri has returned..." Susan looked very pale.
"I trust her midnight oil is well and truly burned! Where precisely is she now?" Bowser asked.
"I thought it best that she went home... She needed rest..."
"May I see her?" Kamek questioned.
" No sir, she will see no one!"
" Will she sing?! Will she sing?!" Wendy cried.
" Here I have a note..." Susan handed the note to Bowser.
" Let me see it!" Wendy and Kamek shouted at the same time.
" Please!" Bowser took it. " 'Bowser... I have given you many warning of a most amiable nature on how to run MY Opera House... You have not followed my instructions... I shall give you one last chance... Peach Ka'chiri has returned to you... and I am anxious her career should progress... In the new production of Il Muto you shall therefore cast Wendy as the pageboy... And put Mrs. Ka'Chiri in the role of countess... The role which Mrs Ka'Chiri plays calls for charm and appeal... The part of the pageboy is silent... Which makes my casting in a word... Ideal... I shall watch the performance from my seat in box five, which will be kept empty for me. Should these commands be ignored, a disaster beyond imagination shall occur... I remain, Bowser, Your faithful servant... O. G.'"
" Peach! It's all a ploy to help Peach! I know who sent this! The plumber, her lover!"
" Indeed, can you believe this?!" Kamek looked at the note.
" Wendy, this changes nothing! I assure this man is mad! I don't take orders! Mrs. Ka'Chiri will be playing the pageboy, the silent role! Wendy will be playing the lead!" Bowser shouted.
" It's useless trying to appease me... You're only saying this to please me..."
" Wendy, I beseech you!"
" Would you not rather have your little ingenue?"
" Wendy, no... The world wants you... Prima Donna, first lady of the stage... Your devotees... Are on their knees to implore you... Can you bow out when they're shouting your name? Think of how they all adore you! Prima Donna enchant us once again... Think of your muse..."
" And the queues round the theatre! Can you deny us the triumph in store? Sing, Prima Donna, once more!" Ludwig encouraged.
" Peach spoke of an angel..." Kamek
" Prima Donna, your song shall live again!" Wendy smiled delighted.
" Think of your public!" Bowser continued.
" You took a snub but there's a public that needs you..." Wendy hugged Ludwig.
So it was that Box Five was sold out, bluntly ignoring orders, and Wendy was to play the lead for the sake of Bowser's pride.
Wendy stood on stage in the part of the countess with 'servants' performing chores all around her. " Poor fool, he makes me laugh! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! While he's away I try to get the better, better half!"
The servants joined in, " Poor fool he doesn't know, ho ho ho ho! If he knew the truth he'd never ever go!"
"Did I not instruct for Box Five to be left empty?!" The voice boomed.
"I knew it! It's him!" Peach shrieked. Inwardly she felt like laughing.
"Your part is silent, little toad!" Wendy cried at Peach.
"A toad, Madame? Perhaps it is you who are a toad!" The voice shouted. Angrily, Wendy continued her part. " Seraphino, away with this pretense... You cannot speak but kiss me in my..." Her voice made a strange croaking sound that was accompanied by maniacal laughter from the voice. She began again. " Poor fool, he makes me laugh... Ha ha ha ha ha... " Her voice croaked again and she burst into tears and fell to her knees.
"She's singing to bring down the chandelier!" The voice laughed again. At that moment, the chandelier crashed down.
Bowser and Ludwig rushed onto the stage. "Wendy, are you alright? Can you go on?"
"No! No! I cannot..." Wendy cried.
Ludwig turned to address the audience. "Ladies and Gentleman... In ten minutes time, the performance will continues with Mrs Peach Kasara-Chiri playing the role of the countess."
Peach was pulled away up a flight of stairs by unseen hands. No one noticed her missing. "Why have you brought me here?" She ran her hands over the white mask that glimmered in the starlight.
"Don't remove it... We're within the sight of the public..."
"It's dark and cold in the castle... I'm frightened for I am but a slave at the mercy of that horrible king..."
" No more talk of darkness... Forget these wide eyed fears... I'm here, nothing can harm you... My words will warm and calm you... Let me be your freedom, let daylight dry your tears... I'm here, with you, beside you... To guard you and to guide you..."
" Say you love me every waking moment... Turn my head with talk of summertime... Say you need me with you now and always... Promise me that all you say is true... That's all I ask of you..."
" Let me be your shelter... Let me be your light... You're safe, no one will find you... Your fears are far behind you... "
" All I want is freedom, a world with no more night... And you always beside me... To hold me and to hide me..."
" Then say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime... Let me lead you from your solitude... Say you need me with you here beside you... Anywhere you go, let me go too... Peach, that's all I ask of you..."
" Say you'll share with me one love one lifetime, say the word and I will follow you... Share each day with me, each night, each morning... Say you love me..."
" You know I do..."
" Love me... That's All I ask of you... Anywhere you go let me go too... Love me... That's all I ask of you..." They sang together.
" So it's him who makes her song take wing... Now his love betrays him, by her own sweet kiss... He was bound to appear, when he heard you sing... Peach, Peach..." Kamek put one of his hands on the wall as he peeked past.
" Say you'll share with me one love one lifetime... Say the word and I will follow you... Share each day with me, each night, each morning..." They continued together.
" You will curse the day you did not do all that Bowser asked of you!" Kamek laughed maniacally.
And so it was that the performance went well beyond imagination afterward.
*** 6 Months Later***
The Masquerade was beginning, and everyone backed from the door as an unexpect guest arrived. "The Starian..." they all whispered. The Starian was in fact the young King of Staria, Chimu 'TMS' Kasara-Chiri. He didn't have to lift his mask, they merely knew it was him. He was thin and agile, even in his strange costume. He was dressed as the night and the day.
Someone bothered to question why he'd chosen such a costume. "Why, to celebrate the return of the dead!" He smiled, knowing what they knew not. He knew about Racku. He had been sent a letter with two simple letters scrawled as a return address, 'O.G.'. The message contained nothing more than you'd expect the Opera Ghost to say, but among it was hidden code meant only for TMS's eyes. "What are you gawking for?! Dance! Sing!" and with that, TMS threw them into a song. " Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you! Masquerade! Every face a different shade! Masquerade! Look around, there's another mask behind you!"
"Flash of Mauve, Splash of Puce, Fool and King, Ghoul and Goose, Green and Black, Queen and Priest, Trace of Rouge, Face of Beast... Faces! Take your turn, take your ride On a Merry-Go-Round in an inhuman race!" Everyone else joined. " Thigh of Blue, True is false, who is who? Curl of lips, swirl of gown, ace of hearts, face of clown... Faces! Drink it in, Drink it up till you've drowned in the light, in the sound!"
" But who can name the face..." Ludwig and Susan sang together, pondering the mysterious face behind the mask of the Phantom.
" Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds! Masquerade! Take your fill, let the spectacle astound you! Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads! Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you! Masquerade! Seething shadows burning lies... Masquerade! You can fool any friend who ever knew you... Masquerade! Leering Satyrs, Peering eyes... Masquerade! Run and hide but a face will still pursue you... "
" What a night! What a crowd!" Susan finally joined her uncle and cousin.
" Makes you glad, makes you proud... All the Creme De La Creme... " Ludwig sauntered over toward them.
" Watching us and watching them... And all affairs are in the past..."
" Six months of relief! Of delight! Of Elysian peace!" Bowser cried.
" And we can breathe at last!"
" No More ghost! Here's a health, here's a toast to a prosporous year, to the new Chandelier!"
" And may it's splender never fade! What a joy! What a change! "
" What a blessed release and what a masquerade!"
Peach swirls on to the floor, but at every corner she sees Bowser ,as if some strange spell were put on her. She almost screams as men pass her along for a dance partner, thinking them all to be Bowser.
"It's alright... It's me..." TMS whispered.
"Oh, TMS! I'm so glad..." Peach sighed in relief.
" Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you! Masquerade! Every face a different shade! Masquerade! Look around, there's another mask behind you! Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads! Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you! Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds! Masquerade! Take your fill, let the spectacle astound you!" everyone sang.
In a puff of red smoke, he was there. It was the Phantom dressed in bright red, his face covered by a death's head. A long cape flowed from his back and in large gold letters it read 'Do not touch me! I am the Red Death stalking abroad!' "Why so silent good monsieurs? Did you think that I had left you for good? Have you missed me, good monsieurs? I have written you an opera! Here I bring the finished score! Daun Juan Triumphant! I advise you to comply, my instructions should be clear... Remember there are worse things than a shattered chandelier..." He walked over to Peach, slowly. " Your chains are still mine, you will sing for me!" He tossed the script for the opera to Ludwig, then disappeared as he had come in.
"Ludicrous! Have you seen the score?!" Ludwig stormed in.
" Simply ludicrous!" Bowser shouted.
" It's the final straw!"
" Lunacy! Well you know my views!"
"But we daren't refuse..."
" Not another chandelier!"
" Look my son what we have here!" Bowser handed Ludwig a note.
" Dear Ludwig read my orchestrations... We need another first bassoon... Get a player with tone and that third trombone has to go, the man could not be deafer so please prefer everyone who plays in tune. " Ludwig read.
" Dear Bowser, for my opera some chorus members must be sacked.... If you could find out which has a sense of pitch... Wisely though, I've managed to assign a rather minor role to those who cannot act!" Bowser read another note he had found addressed to himself.
" OUTRAGE!" Wendy barged in.
" What is it now?!" Bowser growled.
"This whole affair is an outrage!" Wendy angrily shouted.
" Sister, please!" Ludwig gently rubbed his forehead.
"Now what's the matter?" Bowser asked.
" Have you seen the size of my cast?!" Wendy fumed.
" Sister, listen!" Ludwig looked at her.
" It's an insult!" Lemmy burst in.
" Not you as well!" Bowser moaned.
" Just look at this, it's an insult!"
" Please understand!"
" Brother! Sister!" Ludwig looked exasperated.
" The things I have to do for my art!" Wendy sighed.
" If you can call this gibberish art!" Lemmy remarked. Wendy laughed.
Peach entered gracefully. Wendy immediately attacked her with the snide remark " Here's our little flower.."
" Ah... Mrs. Ka'Chiri... Quite the lady of the hour..." Ludwig smiled.
" You have secured the largest role in this 'Daun Jaun'" Bowser remarked.
" Peach Ka'Chiri?! She doesn't have the voice!
" Sister, please!" Ludwig tried to silence her.
" Then I take it you agree!" Lemmy
" She's behind this!" Wendy accused.
"It appears we have no choice..."
"She's the one behind this! Peach Kasara-Chiri!"
" How dare you!" Peach angrily yelled.
" I'm not a fool!"
" You evil woman! How dare you!"
" You think I'm blind!"
" This isn't my fault! I don't want any part in this plot!"
"Mrs. Ka-Chiri, surely!" Ludwig insisted.
" But why not?!"Bowser angrily shouted.
" What does she say?" Lemmy asked.
" It's your decision, but why not?!"
" She's backing out!" Wendy screeched.
" You have a duty!" Ludwig demanded.
" I cannot sing it, duty or not!" Peach shouted back.
"Peach, Peach... You don't have to... We won't make you..." Bowser agreed.
" Please Monsieur, another note... 'Fondest greeting to you all... A few instruction just before rehearsal begins... Wendy must be taught to act, not her normal trick of strutting round the stage... Our Daun Jaun must lose some weight... It's not healthy in a koopa of Lemmy's age... And my managers must learn that their place is in an office not the arts... As for Mrs. Peach Ka-chiri... No doubt she'll do her best... It's true her voice is good, she knows no shame... Should she wish to excel, she has much still to learn if pride will let her return to me, her teacher, her teacher... Your obedient friend and angel...'"
" We have all been blind and yet the answer has been staring us in the face... This could be the chance to ensnare our clever friend..." Ludwig began pacing.
" We're listening, go on!" Bowser urged.
"We shall play his game, perform his work but remember we hold the ace! For if Mrs Ka-Chiri sings he is certain to attend!"
"We make certain the doors are barred, we make certain the men are there!"
"We make certain they are armed! The curtain falls, his reign will end!"
*** After Rehearsal
Peach walks through the Starian graveyard, the last remnant of a once beautiful kingdom. The castle, abandoned long ago, lays in ruins and TMS no longer resides there. However, placed last within the grave yard is the memorial statue of Racku. "You were once my one companion... You were all that mattered... You were once a friend and lover, then my world was shattered... wishing you were somehow here again... Wishing you were somehow near... Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed, somehow you would be here... Wishing I could hear your voice again... Knowing that I never would... Dreaming of you won't help me to do all that oyu dreamed I could... Passing bells and sculpted angels... Cold and monumental... Seem for you the wrong companions.... You were warm and gentle... Too many years fighting back tears... Why can't the past just die? wishing you were somehow here again... Knowing we must say goodbye... Try to forgive, teach me to live... Give me the strength to try! No more memories, no more silent tears, no more gazing across the wasted years... Help me say goodbye..." As she reaches the foot of the statue, she kneels and places flowers at the base. Looking up at the youthful face set in stone, turned in surprise looking over a shoulder with a sword strapped to it somehow made her want to cry though she knew he was still living.
" Wandering Child so lost, so helpless... Yearning for my guidance... " The voice echoed.
" Angel or Lover? Friend or Phantom? Who is it there, staring?"
" Have you forgotten your angel?"
" Angel! Oh speak! What endless longings, echo in these whispers!"
" Too long you've wandered in winter..."
Bowser stepped into the graveyard, having followed Peach. " Why is she deceived?"
" Far from my far reaching gaze..."
" When sir can she return?"
" What if my mind fights against it?" Peach took two steps toward the phantom.
" You resist? Let your soul unearth!" Racku, arms open, is ready to embrace her.
" To the arms of her... Angel! Angel of music! The phantom! The grave! Angel, dark seducer! Discontinue strange angel!" Bowser took a step forward.
" I am your angel of music. Come to me, Angel of music."
" Angel of darkness, cease this torment! Peach! Peach, listen to me! Whatever you may believe, this man is not your husband!"
"You're wrong!" Peach insisted.
"You can't make her love you by whisking her away in the pretense that you are Racku!"
"Pretense? Is this all a game of make believe for you, monsieur? Then we shall see who can pretend the best! She will return for the opera tonight!" With that Racku and Peach were gone.
*** That Night's Opera
Lemmy struggled against the cords tying him down and the gag placed in his mouth. His part had been taken away by the phantom and he had been left unable to tell anyone of his predicament. He didn't like that fact that the phantom could sing far better than him, though. As the final scene neared, Lemmy tried to make as much noise as possible, yet no one could hear him over the voices of the actors and actresses.
" You have come here... In pursuit of your deepest urge... In pursuit of that wish till now has been silent... Silent... I have brought you that our passions may fuse and merge... in your mind you've already succumbed to me, dropped all defenses... Completely succumbed to me... Now yo uare here with me, no second thoughts... You've decided, decided... Past the point of no return... No backward glances... Our games of make believe are at an end... Past all thoughts of 'if' or 'when'... No use resisting... Abandon thought and let the dream descend... What raging fires shall flood the soul? What great desire unlocks it's door? What sweet seduction lies before us? Past the point of no return... The final threshold! What warm unspoke secrets will we learn? Beyond the point of no return..." Racku's voice rang out.
" You have brought me to that moment where words run dry, to that moment where speech disappears into silence, silence... I have come here, hardly knowing hte reason why... in my mind I've already imagined our bodies entwining defenseless and silent and now I am here with you, no second htoughts I've decided, decided... Past the point of no return... No going back now... Our passion play has now at last begun... Past the point of no return... One final question? How long should we two wait before we become one? When will the blood begin to race? The sleeping bud burst into to bloom? When will the flames at last consume us?" Peach began.
"Past the point of no return! the final threshold! The bridge is crossed so stand and watch it burn! We've passed the point of no return!" They sang together.
Kamek was already closing in from seeing a flash of red hair under the hood of Racku's costume and knowing Lemmy had no red hair. He was most certainly ready to destroy the monster that was plaquing Bowser once and for all, but he was too late. Racku and Peach both disappeared in a flash.
"Where are you taking me? Racku! Loosen your grip! That hurts!" Peach tried to loosen Racku's grip as she followed him.
"When you have been here as long as I have, you wish to rid yourself of this place as soon as possible!" Racku turned and looked at her, stopping and putting his arms around her. That was when she noticed something strange.
"Racku..." She gently touched his arm where the sleeve had ripped as he ran. "What are these scars from?"
"You don't just disappear from magical restraints. Be thankful that you weren't here BEFORE it healed. I not only dislocated my shoulder and broke that arm, but it was also rather gruesome looking... The fact that Bowser was not at all kind to me as long as I was in the torture device doesn't help. I have scars along my back as well... Don't worry about it, though... The worst is over and we are escaping."
Peach was near tears at the meer idea of all the suffering her husband must have gone through , wander in the passages of this giant castle with a broken arm and so many wounds from numerous torture sessions. She wondered how he had managed to bear it all. 'He's a strong man...' she reassured herself.
"We must go..." Racku began dragging her along again until finally they reached the end, a wall crumbling and full of holes. One large one that seemed to have been dug out by human hands lay within range to crawl through. Racku turned at the sounds of a mob that had formed coming after them. "Hurry!"
Peach quickly crawled into the space and began the long trek into the fresh air of freedom. She felt Racku climb in behind her. It took at least an hour of crawling through the dirty holes to come out on the other side."We did it racku... We're free..." Peach embraced him as they found themselves on a guard-less piece of castle ground.
"Adeui, Purgatory... May you never find another victim..." Racku looked backword as the began the long walk to the small castle between here and home. It would be a long time before they were once again the ruling royales, but they didn't care. The freedom was worth it and so was the love.