Now, this is where we really get into the thick of things! Let's find out what Manky's got in store …
Two menace-looking Kongs walked up from behind Manky and stopped right in front of the group of heroes.
The first minion was a young gorilla, with brown fur, whom looked pretty strong for his age, as if he was a miniature version of Donkey Kong, with the exception that he was very unfriendly and selfish, and that he did not wear a necktie.
The second minion was an orangutan, like Manky, albeit smaller in stature, and he had light brown fur and average muscles.
Both minions towered over Diddy by a small size difference.
Manky looked around and put a suspicious look on his face.
"I thought there was one more," said Manky, "Where is he?"
"Our squirrel monkey partner decided not to come," said the young gorilla.
"She was in no mood for this," added the young orangutan, "Thought it was a waste of time."
"Well, in that case, two is just fine, yes!" said Manky.
The villains turned back to the Kongs and gave them evil looks.
"Well, well, who do we have here?" teased the evil gorilla, "A mad scientist."
Cranky simply humphed at the gorilla's comment, ignoring the insult.
"A pathetic ape," the orangutan teased DK.
The so-called "Future Ruler" simply crossed his arms and looked away.
However, once the bullies turned to Diddy, they were immediately ready to throw the worst insults at him.
"And, of course, we have the stupid weakling who can't even use his body for anything!" teased the gorilla.
Not wanting to look like a coward again, Diddy glared angrily at his enemies and shouted, "Whatever!"
"So you're admitting you're too weak to even lift a feather!" shouted the orangutan.
The two bullies laughed harshly and pointed their fingers at Diddy, as the young spider monkey grew into a rage after being insulted like that, even in front of DK and Cranky.
"I am not admitting that I'm too weak to lift a feather!" shouted Diddy.
"Perhaps because you don't want to look so stupid as you were on your adventure with that big buddy of yours!" the gorilla shot back.
"You mind as well just start acting like a cowardly crybaby, because that's exactly what you are!" added the orangutan.
"SHUT UP!" screamed Diddy.
"Why should we? We all know that you're such a scaredy cat that you can't even fight against a tiny insect!" teased the gorilla.
"ENOOOOUUUUGH!" screamed Cranky, and he walked in between the two groups and signaled for the bullies to stop the laughter, "BREAK IT UP, WILL YA!?"
The Kongs all grew wide-eyed from Cranky's sudden actions, then the old ape rejoined DK and Diddy.
"Now what do ya want, and why are these troublemakers here!?" asked Cranky angrily.
"Well, that's a good question, Cranky!" replied Manky, "I was originally going to just break in and snatch the Crystal Coconut, but then I met these young boys. Then, once we discovered what we have in common, we've decided to form an alliance and fight for the Coconut in a more clever kind of way."
"What kind of way?" asked DK, "You'll just prove yourselves wimps regardless!"
"This will not involve anything like that!" shouted Manky, much to the disbelief of the heroes.
"Then, what does it involve!?" asked Diddy.
"You see, knowing what we could do to gain an easy advantage over you pathetic apes, we have come to offer you a challenge," said Manky.
"What kind of challenge? This had better be something that can be done in a snap!" said Cranky.
"It's nothing that can be done in a snap," said Manky.
"We're challenging you to a series of tasks," said the young orangutan.
"Three tasks that will wipe you out of this island!" added the young gorilla.
"Three?" said DK and Diddy together.
"That's right; three!" said Manky, holding up three fingers, "It's a best-of-three contest! The winner shall be rewarded with the most powerful source in all of Kongo Bongo."
"That bright and shiny-" began the gorilla bully.
"-Crystal Coconut!" finished the orangutan bully.
"Give all that to DK and you'll be sorry you ever challenged us!" said Cranky.
"WE'RE NOT CHALLENGING DONKEY KONG!" shouted the villains together.
"WHAT!?" the heroes yelled together in complete disbelief.
"That's right!" said the gorilla bully, "I won't be standing up against a big, lazy wimp like you!"
"Neither will I!" added the orangutan bully, "You're just a big pile of brown fur!"
"Why, you little, INS-" DK began to yell, but Cranky and Diddy put a grip on his sides to calm him down.
"Easy!" said Cranky, "It's okay, DK. I've had these moments before, too."
DK sighed and quickly regained his composure.
"Well, if you're not challenging DK, then you are you challenging?" asked Diddy.
"That's where the big advantage comes in!" said Manky.
The heroes each got a lump in their throats. They could tell that Manky was not giving them an easy victory guarantee.
"We will be challenging … -" Manky began.
Then, the three villains all pointed their fingers at Diddy and shouted, "YOU!"
"DIDDY KONG, THE COWARDLY WEAKLING; THE PRIME TARGET!" screamed the two bullies.
Diddy gasped in shock. He could not believe what he had just heard or seen.
Cranky's heart almost stopped, while DK's eyes grew wide with worry.
"M-m-m-me!?" trembled Diddy in fear.
"That's right, ya little pesky monkey!" replied the gorilla bully, "We wanna see if you can really be as brave as you claim to be, or if you really are the little wimp you've proven yourself to be!"
"How could you challenge Diddy, you numbskulls!?" roared Cranky.
"Hey! It's our choice, so you stay out of it, ya lazy old man!" shouted the orangutan bully.
Cranky was furious after receiving an insult like that, but he knew it was best not to retaliate.
"Diddy Kong!" Manky began, "You shall be facing against these two enemies of yours … alone!"
Diddy gulped as DK wrapped an arm around his back to comfort him.
"Best of three tasks!" continued Manky, "The first to win two tasks wins all!"
"Just you wait and see, Manky! You have no idea what my little buddy's capable of!" said DK, then he turned to the bullies, "And neither do you, ya little pests!"
"Maybe we haven't, but will we?" taunted Manky before continuing his challenge description, "It's two-on-one! Diddy versus my new allies … in three dangerous tasks! If you win, then you can all keep your shiny glory, and you'll never have to see me again. However, if you fail, the Crystal Coconut … and all of Kongo Bongo … will be mine!"
The villainous orangutan finished with an evil laugh.
Diddy's heart was pounding so fast. He could feel his lack of bravery getting the best of him, but he knew that if he gave up then his clan would probably lose the Crystal Coconut immediately.
"So, Diddy Kong, … are you in … or are you out?" asked Manky.
Diddy felt something tap his left shoulder. He looked to his left and noticed Cranky trying to get his attention.
"Go on. Say 'yes'," whispered Cranky, looking very desperate, "Say 'you're in'."
"If you don't answer within the next ten seconds, I will take it as a 'no', and the Coconut will be mine," said Manky with a threatening look on his face.
"Do it, little buddy," whispered DK in Diddy's right ear, "Do this for all of Kongo Bongo. Do this for us."
With all the encouragement he was receiving from DK and Cranky, Diddy felt his courage sink into his heart, and he finally felt brave enough to accept Manky's challenge.
With one last deep breath, the little monkey walked up to Manky and stopped right in front of him.
"I'm in, Manky!" he said, trying to look intimidating.
However, his angry eyes and gritting teeth never did anything to scare anyone.
The bullies simply smirked at him, and Manky flashed an evil grin.
"Very well," said Manky in a deep voice, "You will be facing my two sidekicks in three life-threatening tasks. Meet us at the beach on Monday morning, and DON'T arrive late, because if you do then you forfeit, and Kongo Bongo is yours no more."
Diddy tried his best to stay brave in the face of the villains as they gave him one final menacing look in an effort to scare him. The monkey pretended not to be frightened as the three villains finally turned around and walked away, laughing menacingly.
"Until then, … farewell!" said Manky with another frightening laugh.
The bullies began singing a song to insult Diddy even further …
"Diddy Kong's a weakling; Diddy Kong's a coward! Diddy Kong is useless, and Diddy Kong's a LOSER!"
Diddy's eyes began to leak tears as he heard his enemies denigrate him with their horrible song.
As soon as the three villains were finally out of sight, Diddy immediately started to throw a tantrum.
"UGH! I CAN'T BELIEVE THOSE FOOLS WOULD DO THAT TO ME! WHY ME!? WWWHHHYYY!?" he screamed in a mixture of anger, sadness and lack of courage, "WHY AM I ALWAYS THE ONE WHO'S TARGETED AS AN IDIOT!?"
DK and Cranky looked at each other briefly with concerned faces. They felt bad for Diddy, even though they knew that he still had his flaws that frequently rendered him weak and cowardly.
The two apes walked up to Diddy, then DK sat down and pulled his little buddy onto his lap.
"Hey, take it easy, little buddy!" said DK, squeezing Diddy in a bear hug, "Let's not just start throwing tantrums and knocking ourselves out."
"You've seen those bullies pick on me before, DK! You know all the horrible stuff they do! Whenever they start threatening me with insults and try to beat me up, I can never fight back! All I can do is run away! I'm nothing but just a useless little kid!" yelled Diddy.
"Whoa, Diddy! You've got to stop taking things so hard on yourself," said Cranky, "Even I may not have believed you to have been able to do anything, but DK told me how much of a brave monkey you were when you two fought K. Rool on his ship to reclaim your bananas."
"Diddy, you've got to start showing some more bravery. It's time to get out of that comfort zone," said DK.
"Easy for you to say, guys!" Diddy shot back, "At least you're not as annoying as I am, nor are you so wimpy!"
"You're doing it again, little buddy," said DK, giving Diddy a scolding look.
"Doing what!?" asked Diddy, crossing his arms.
"BEATING YOURSELF UP AGAIN!" DK and Cranky shouted together.
As Diddy heard those words, he began to feel so torn up inside, having once again proven himself to be lacking confidence or courage.
As the monkey pondered those thoughts in his head, he grew so mentally disturbed that he sank his head and burst into tears.
"I'm sorry!" he shouted as he tried to avoid sobbing, "I just can't stop thinking negatively about myself!"
"Aw, don't feel so down, little buddy," said DK in a gentle, comforting tone, "It'll be okay. If it makes you feel any better, we'll help you gain that courage you need."
The ape turned to Cranky.
"Won't we, Cranky?"
"Of course we will," agreed Cranky, "Just you wait and see, little one. Soon, you'll be brave enough to consider yourself a very useful and strong little monkey."
"And in no time, you'll feel strong enough to kick their butts!" added DK.
Diddy looked at DK for a few seconds, then he looked at Cranky. They each gave the little monkey a look of worry. He could tell right away that they were worried for him.
"Are you sure that whatever you have planned out … w-will help me?" asked Diddy as he put in an effort to regain his composure and stop his tears.
"Of course it will, little buddy!" answered DK with a chuckle, "You just wait and see, and soon you'll be out there and knocking them into next year!"
"He's right, you know," agreed Cranky, "Now, let's stop lamenting about your troubles, and turn them upside down."
Diddy felt some encouragement sinking in after hearing those warm words from his mentors. He couldn't help but let out a faint grin.
"Thank you, … both of you," said Diddy softly.
"No problem, little Diddy-buddy," replied DK.
"Just take things easy, and you'll be just fine, as will Kongo Bongo," added Cranky.
"Now, if the challenge begins Monday morning, that means that we have almost forty-eight hours to get you ready for the big event that lies ahead!" said DK.
"Well, then I would suggest that both of you get going and find a place to get warmed up," said Cranky, "It'll take a lot of practice to get you ready to face those numbskulls, Diddy, so you'd better get started right away. DK will be your mentor."
"Really!?" said Diddy in sudden excitement as he heard those last few heartwarming words.
"Yep! It'll be you and me, little pal!" said DK happily, "I'll be giving ya some workouts every now and again, and you'll soon get a big boost in confidence, … and possibly a little boost in strength."
"I hope so," said Diddy.
"Well, what are you two waiting for!? GET GOING!" shouted Cranky.
Diddy quickly jumped off DK's lap and allowed his buddy to stand back up.
"We're on it, Cranky!" the two heroes shouted together, and they immediately turned towards the jungle and ran off.
Once the duo disappeared, Cranky felt a big ache in his chest. Even through the encouragement he had given Diddy, he still felt extremely worried that he would likely fail in such a challenge like this. Who knew if a little monkey as weak as him could stand a chance against two bullies that delighted in nothing but torturing and bullying him around?
The old ape slowly walked back into his Cabin and slammed the door behind him.
"I had better get to work!" he shouted as he walked back to his potion desk and opened his potion book once more.
So, Diddy is the one to be challenged by Manky, and his opponents turn out to be two out of the three bullies who spend their lives bullying the poor kid. It looks like Diddy may have a sticky situation in his hands.
Will DK be able to help Diddy fight off his flaws, weaknesses and his lack of courage? What kind of potion could Cranky possibly have in store now? Could it help Diddy in his challenge against Manky's bullies?
All of the answers will lie in the next few chapters! It's time to wish the Kong duo some luck in their workouts, … for it could be for the good sake of Kongo Bongo!