Note: This is a continuation of Prologue to Starlight. It is suggested to read that before, so that context is clearer.
Risortto De La Scruze, a resort that was considered one of the finest in the Mediterranean. Known for its exquisite beach and four star hotel, which also sported a pool for those who weren't keen to having dried salt on their bodies. Scenery around the resort was especially revered on a sunny day, since everything on it shined so gracefully. It was also distinctively Mediterranean in style, from architecture to culture.
On the fifth floor, one of the windows were opened by none other than a cephalopod, who went by the name of Squidward. He was noticeable for his passion, which could potentially be realized on the resort and his huge schnoz. He deeply inhaled the fresh air to freshen his lungs and then looked around the resort with delight.
"Ah, what a lovely morning!" praised Squidward at the sight of a seemingly beautiful day. He was soon joined by another opened window. It was a royal penguin by the name of King Dedede, who was once an annoyance to him, but after a fight with three adversaries from the not-so faraway land, who were out for their blood, on the resort, they have decided to become unusual colleagues.
"Morning there, Squiddo!" greeted King Dedede in a friendly manner, waving at his squid amigo from the third floor of the hotel.
"Oh, look who we have here. If it isn't Dedede. What do you have in plan for today, friend?" joked Squidward before he asked him a question for the day.
"Eh eh eh! Imma be chilling outside today like a slothful sloth! Also gonna get some resort's finest food!" laughed King Dedede in such a way that only he could laugh. Needless to say, it seemed like productivity levels of his were quite significantly low.
"Well, I plan to go for a nice stroll in the park. Perhaps I'll stop in it to express my artistic talent to the world. After that, I'll play my clarinet." Squidward shared his own plan to him, expressing the similar vibes except his levels of productivity were much higher.
"That sounds pretty nice, I must admit. Just make sure you play it good!" complimented King Dedede, giving him a thumbs up.
"Of course I will! I am a gifted musician after all!" declared Squidward in a sense of pride that he could express at the resort.
"That's the spirit! Hope you have a nice day, Squiddo boyo." said King Dedede before he closed the window.
"You too, you monarch of decibels!" joked Squidward before he laughed at his own jest. "Haha, get it?"
However, Dedede didn't hear his joke.
After they departed from looking out of windows, both of them went inside and picked the stuff they needed for the day. After they had everything they needed, they decided to go outside. Squidward walked out of the hotel first, holding an art stand along with canvas and palette. He also had acrylic paint with him. With each step of his making some kind of "plonk" noise, he gratefully went forth towards the park.
After some time, he arrived to the park. Seagulls were squawking all over the place, but the Mediterranean feel of the it made for a quite relaxing atmosphere. Following the stone paved path, he was surrounded by various local flora. Sometimes, a tiny lizard or two would cross the path. Trees were occupied by cicadas, which rustled around every day.
"La da di la da do la da dam." sang Squidward to himself amid the symphony of cicadas as he strolled down the path with his squeaky footsteps. He traversed through the park until he found a single bench, where he sat down and placed the art stand in front of him. Placing canvas on the stand, he then prepared his palette with acrylic colors. After dipping his brush in acrylic paint, he started painting the scenery. Squidward decided that he would paint landscape of the resort. With each stroke of a brush he did on canvas, a new form was made on it. Slowly but surely, simple forms of color got crafted into something greater.
After hours of hard work, he finished his artwork of landscape. He took care of every detail to make it as life-like as possible. The colors used were nearly identical to the real thing with lighting replicating the entire day.
"Hmm, this painting needs just one touch…" commented Squidward after noticing that the painting, despite all details, still needed a special touch. It was something that his painting truly needed: a figure of himself inserted in.
"Perfect!" approved Squidward after he has inserted himself in his own painting, feeling that his own artwork was not only done, but could also be considered a true masterpiece. Suddenly, a mustached passerby walked down the path, only to witness Squidward's artwork. He leaned towards the painting, observing it with a perceptive yet cautious eye.
"Such color! Such composition! This is a well crafted work!" praised mustached passerby, being especially impressed by Squidward's usage of lighting, shadows and golden ratio in regards to his own figure he inserted himself into.
"Why, thank you! It's always nice to meet people with good taste in art!" complimented Squidward, bowing down to him like a true artist or a performer after an excellent performance.
"Keep going with your art. One day, you could become world famous." advised passerby before he ventured forth, following where his nose pointed.
"Of course I will! I shall not give up on my dreams...now that I have a perfect opportunity and not being a cashier at that place…" promised Squidward while thinking about how resort basically have him another chance to unleash his passions on the world. Bikini Bottom gave him anything but genuine happiness (with some exceptions), but he was grateful that the resort was more consistent about it at least, even if it meant encountering some oddities.
Meanwhile, Dedede was strolling down the beach, holding a deckchair as he looked for the place to relax. After some search, he found a spot
"Ah, this looks like a perfect place for chilling!" announced King Dedede before he smacked down the deckchair, opened it and then laid on it. He put V-gesture shaped sunglasses on as he started to fully relax, bathed by the sunlight itself.
"Nothing better than being fried on the beach by the good ol' sun." delightfully commented King Dedede. Just when he thought that all he could do for that day was to lie all day, his stomach started to growl.
"I'm a bit hungry now. Time to get some feast!" declared King Dedede after he tapped his belly. After figuring it out, he went towards the resort's market, which was dominated by fruit stands. He took a great amount of interest in a stand that offered watermelons, which was owned by an old lady.
"Hey, old woman! Can I have some of that watermelon there?" asked King Dedede as he pointed at the particularly round watermelon.
"Of course. It is homegrown. That's be two euros and fifty cents, please." approved old lady as she gave him the watermelon.
"Eh eh eh! Now that is a killer deal! Here ya go!" cheered King Dedede, giving her two euros and fifty cents just like she said before he took the watermelon from her. Usually, stands in Europe give far higher prices for fruit and such, especially around the northern, western and central parts of it.
"Thank you very much, good sir. I hope you enjoy it." said old lady, waving at him with a smile on her face as they departed. After taking a closer look at the fresh looking watermelon, he took a bite of it to see how it tasted.
"Yum! This melon's delicious, just as expected!"cheered King Dedede while the delicious taste of the watermelon melted on his tongue. It was like if the personification of bliss arrived personally to him. When he finished consuming the watermelon, he returned to his deckchair and continued doing what he planned to do for that day.
"Now, back to relaxing! Yeah!" said King Dedede as he laid on the deckchair for the rest of the day.
The sun was about to set, yet Dedede kept relaxing in his deckchair without even making a move. He was suddenly joined by Squidward, who brought his own deckchair. Just like the stout penguin did it before, cephalopod man with a schnoz put down the thing and started chilling as well while enjoying the view of a sunset.
"Nothing better than to indulge yourself in pleasure while watching a sunset." said Squidward.
"You got that right, Squiddo!" agreed King Dedede before they continued enjoying the sunset together while doing absolutely nothing but leisure in laziness.
The sun hid beneath the horizon, allowing night to take over. The beautifully blue sea became nearly pitch black with waves still gently combing the coast. Both of them have decided to return to the hotel to get some shuteye.
"Well, it's time to get some nice sleep time. Good night." said Squidward to him.
"Wishing ya a good night as well, boyo! Eh eh eh!" affirmed King Dedede before both of them entered hotel and went to their rooms. After going to his room, Squidward put on his Pajamas and laid in bed, finally entering the land of slumber. However, after twenty minutes of his sleep, he heard a loud, continuous droning noise, which disrupted his sleep.
"Huh? What was that? Probably some inconsiderate buffoon not knowing when to sleep. Eh…" grumbled Squidward before the droning noise suddenly disappeared. After not figuring out the cause of the noise, he went back to sleeping. No such similar noises happened through out the night.
Next day arrived, sporting a similar weather as the previous one. Just like before, Squidward and Dedede opened their windows and observed the surroundings with delight.
"Ah, another lovely morning, I see." smiled Squidward at the sight of a beautiful day.
"There's nothing better than getting morning breeze in your face! Time to do exactly the same things as yesterday!" said King Dedede before both of them closed the windows and prepared their stuff for the day. Just like before, Squidward went for another stroll in a park, preparing to paint another painting.
After arriving to the same bench he did a day before, he sat down on it and started the procedure of painting. That time, he chose to do a more abstract painting, which used a technique known as cubism. Of course, he has inserted himself in the painting because at that point, that was his trademark thing to do. When he was halfway done, he got a visit from a mustached passerby, just like the day before.
"Oh, greetings there! Have you come to enjoy my next masterpiece?" greeted Squidward, but he didn't notice that the mustached passerby had a furious expression on his face along with clenching fists. For some reason, the mustached passerby was also shaking from anger.
"Fuck you!" mustached passerby suddenly flipped him off, completely startling the squid man in the process. Squidward quickly regained his composure, but returned to his grumpy self out of bafflement.
"Huh? When did hostilities appear out of you?" asked Squidward in an annoyed tone.
"You must be busted!" declared mustached passerby, shaking his fist at him. It was with that gesture that Squidward knew that he was in danger.
"Wait, wait, wait, we can do this another way-" Squidward attempted to negotiate with him, but not only did the mustached passerby charge at him, moments away from digging his fist right in his face, but two random men suddenly jumped out of bushes and started chasing him as well.
"Gotta make a run for it!" knowing that he was completely outmatched and that he lacked a colleague on his side, Squidward evaded the punch from a passerby and ran away from them. The squeaking from his footsteps followed rapid frequency as the chasers were closer, inch by inch. Squidward then went full overdrive and ran as fast as he could, hoping that the chasers would lose visual contact with him. Yet, they followed.
Meanwhile, Dedede was chilling on the beach. In a similar fashion like before, he got hungry once again. He went to the market in order to get some food. King Dedede still felt like tasting something delicious and fruity.
"Hmmm, what to get today? I've already got that tasty watermelon, maybe I could try grapes today...yeah!" thought King Dedede to himself before finally deciding on the desired fruit. He went towards the food stand with grapes, also owned by an old lady, who had watermelons in her possession.
"Hey there! Mind if I get some those grapes?" asked King Dedede as he pointed at grapes, some colored green and some colored purple. However, he neglected to notice that the old lady was quietly, but furiously glaring at him.
"You fool! You must pay!" threatened old lady as she pointed at him with menacing look in her eyes.
"Wha? What are blabbering about? I've paid that watermelon yesterday, fair and square!" King denounced Dedede while defending his position as a law abiding monarch.
"What you must pay for is beyond monetary! My wisdom will only make beating you up even greater!" boastfully elaborated old lady as she slowly approached him, prepared to unleash fistful full of fist barrage.
"EH EH EH! Ya sure boast a lot, for someone in the range of my hammer!" jeered King Dedede, bringing up his own hammer to deter her from doing any odd moves. Suddenly, a gang of late teenage boys arrived to the scene, with the similar intent of beating deded
"Oi, you! Get over there, so you get some whooping!" taunted boys while they juggled with their fingers, gaining attention for the penguin monarch.
"The only one that's gonna get whooped is you, if you come any closer!" snarled King Dedede as he swung around his hammer for a demonstration of force. However, not only his moves failed to deter both the boys and the old lady, but more people of various kind arrived to the scene.
"Get that bastard over there!" shouted all the people around him. It was that moment when Dedede knew he hosed up.
"Uhh…" slurred King Dedede, looking around all the people that were there to get him.
"Heck! I'm outnumbered! I've gotta ru-make a strategic retreat now!" improvised King Dedede in his mind to make his escape. If he stood in the middle of the circle of angry peeps any longer, all of them could jump at him and deliver punches directly to his face.
"Eh eh eh…eh.." laughed King Dedede with uncertainty in his tone before he dashed towards the gang of boys by himself, hitting them sideways with his hammer. The boys were sent flying away from the market by the impact of hammer, allowing Dedede to escape. Some of the people tried to grab him, but he sneaked out of the circle without being captured. However, as soon as he sprinted away from them, the people started chasing him. Lucky for him, he was fast enough that the stampede of chasers lagged quite behind him.
After some running, Dedede managed to lose sight of the stampede, yet he kept sprinting, just in case. Suddenly, he was soon followed by Squidward, who also lost the sight of chasers. The squid man joined the penguin king as both of them ran in the same direction.
"They're hunting you down too?!" asked King Dedede amid the dashing sprint.
"Yeah, this is just like Bikini Bottom on a bad day!" answered Squidward with all huffs and puffs in his voice.
"Ya been in situations like these before?" piqued King Dedede, wondering about how the squid man managed to get in such situations. Only thing that came to his mind was if Squidward intentionally played his clarinet bad to the point it would have been considered a crime.
"More than I'm willing to admit." somehow, Squidward managed to grumble amid their running.
"Same here. Mob chasing has been a common occurrence in my life!" concurred King Dedede, referring to all the incidents that happened in Dream Land with him.
"No surprise why." sassed Squidward, just to poke fun at him.
"No time to chat, to the hotel we go!" declared King Dedede as they ran even faster than before. Luckily for them, hotel was just right in front of their faces. They bum rushed inside of it without severely damaging the front doors, but the receptionist quickly noticed them.
"Hahahaha! Consider your journey to be over, as I have you in my grasp!"cackled receptionist before he jumped out of his seat and started rushing directly for them, ready to punch them in the face.
"No, you ain't!" denied King Dedede as he swung his hammer, striking him sideways and sending him right towards the wall. After that interruption, they sprinted towards the stairs because they thought anyone could come out of the elevator and get them. They also decided to go to Squidward's room on the fifth floor to give them more time to plan.
After sprinting at maximum speed they could achieve during their journey through stairs, they have finally arrived to Squidward's room and entered it as quickly as possible. Squidward then locked the door and Dedede placed some chairs near the door just for extra protection.
"Did ya lock everything?" asked King Dedede, to which Squidward gave him a thumbs up (with a tentacle of his). For the time being, it seemed like they were safe from the mob.
"We should be safe from the mob now. Now, what even gave them an idea to personally hunt me and you down? What kind of a practical joke is this?" complained Squidward with every right he had. Being prevented to just have a relaxing vacation at the resort was especially annoying him, considering that his life in Bikini Bottom was anything but relaxing.
"A sick one, I say! Yesterday, they all seemed so chill. What's their beef with us now?" King Dedede shared his frustration with him, but were soon surprised when the television in Squidward's room turned on by itself. All it was displayed was the endless stream of static on the display. Squidward and Dedede tuned in out of curiosity, to see what was that all about. Since they forgot to turn on the lights in his room, television's output was especially glaring.
"MWAHAHAHAHA!" suddenly, a laugh came out of the television, startling both of them in the process.
"H-huh?" stuttered Squidward, being completely thrown off guard by the malicious cackle from the telly.
"Oh...I know that voice…" squinted King Dedede after the initial shock vanished. Suddenly, the static disappeared from the screen, transitioning into a figure with horns. The silhouette of the figure seemed like a logo, considering there was text beneath it that said "Nightmare Enterprises". All of that seemed incredibly familiar towards the penguin monarch as he clenched his teeth and fists when he saw the logo. Once the initial presentation was done, the screen transitioned in a live feed of a salesman looking fella with orange colored sunglasses and a huge chin appeared on the screen. He sported a smug smile on his face, being prepared to give them a welcome for his viewers.
"Wassup, D-man? It's been a long time since we saw each other face to face!" greeted salesman looking fella like if they were friends. However, for Dedede, they were anything but friends.
"YOU!" yelled King Dedede in anger, angrily shaking his fist at him, but the smug smile on businessman's face remained, as if he was telling him that the penguin monarch was powerless against him.
"Who is this shady dealer looking guy here and do you know about him?" sneered Squidward at the sight of the business man, just by appearance alone and the way he presented himself was enough to make him quite wary of him.
"Why, it's your neighborhood friendly NME Sales Guy here and I came here to tell you-" introduced NME Sales Guy to them, but he was suddenly interrupted by one thing.
"HEY, I'M WATCHING FOOTBALL OVER HERE!" furiously shouted random guy from another room, catching the NME Sales Guy in surprise.
"Oh, apologies about that, we will bring you back the program as you wish. We truly need only two people to discuss about anyway." apologized NME Sales Guy after he fiddled with some of the panels beneath him to allow the random guy to watch the football match in peace.
"Get outta here! There's no need for chumps like you!" fumed King Dedede as he prepared his hammer to smash the television.
"Hah, as if your words currently matter. What I meant to say is that we have some unfinished business with you, my dear former customer." taunted NME Sales Guy while warning him with the smug yet polite tone in his voice. Dedede's anger levels rose when he was just moments away from smashing television, much to Squidward's dismay.
"You can destroy the TV if you want." provoked NME Sales Guy before he demonstrated that his voice could be heard outside of television by hijacking hotel's speakers as well. "But we can always find a way to communicate directly at you!"
King Dedede, after realizing that currently, there could be nothing done, lowered his hammer.
"Okay, what sort of stupid shenanigans did you have with them?" grumbled Squidward, wanting to know what sort of history did his penguin colleague with
"Erm...it was nothing much." denied King Dedede any involvement with Nightmare Enterprises.
"Being severely in debt due order so many monster to, I quote, "clobbah dat dere Karbieh" and then turning against the very company that provided you with monster and then assisting the very person you tried to clobber? It's no wonder that we want your head on the platter as the price, but I did forget to mention that we were going to destroy Dream Land with him and have conquered lotta planets, but those are just insignificant trivialities." revealed NME Sales Guy, just to further spite Dedede. However, he talked about last two things he mentioned like it was an average business day for him. When Squidward heard about it, he angrily squinted at
"Okay so….why am I involved here? Can't I have a nice, prolonged vacation for once?" complained Squidward to him, not knowing anything about NME in general. However, NME Sales Guy smirked when he heard Squidward' s complaints, being prepared to drop a bomb of truth on him.
"Oh, Squiddo, my man. You are also on the bounty list." chortled NME Sales Guy as he revealed his plans to him as well.
"Wait WHAT?!" shouted Squidward in total shock when he learned that NME has some business with him as well. It was even worse for him that the reason for being on NME's watch list was separated from Dedede's shenanigans.
"You thought you Krusty Krab boys got a free pass? Oh, no no no! That simply ain't it!" quipped NME Sales Guy, just to rub the salt to the wound.
"For what even?! I don't remember Mr. Krabs or anyone else ordering any monsters! What kind of nonsense is this?!" Squidward defended his position of "innocence" (that word used loosely), but all it did was just amusing NME Sales Guy even further.
"It's a little different reason compared to our man Triple D's, to say at least." hinted NME Sales Guy while still having that smug smile on his face.
"You better tell me now!" demanded Squidward as he pressed his arm towards the screen.
"To make it short, Nightmare Enterprises prefers to have a monopoly over competition." grinned NME Sales Guy, completely baffling the squid man in the process.
"….Are you for real?!" condemned Squidward while shaking his fist at him, due believing that his reasoning is beyond poor.
"Hohoho, absolutely! But it doesn't matter now, what matters now is that we got everyone on Risortto De La Scruze out for you! It only took one night to get them on our side and they don't even know it, hah!" gloated NME Sales Guy right in their faces, basically power tripping at that point.
"You fiend! You can't just do that to the entire populace of the resort!" condemned King Dedede with all the annoyance, anger and frustration he had in his heart.
"What prevents me to? I should warn you that you've got nowhere to hide. Everywhere you go, we will follow! Anyway, it's time for me to go. I've got a conference real soon. Adios and good luck surviving! Mwahahahaha!" taunted NME Sales Guy one more time before he cut the feed and departed from their sight. After the live feed was over, the television shut off. Out of curiosity, Squidward touched the power on button in order to see if it functioned normally. When he pressed the button, the television turned on as intended. It all caused more confusion to how did the NME Sales Guy hijack the telly signal.
"I can't believe this is how we get teamed up….again." grumbled Squidward, reminiscing at that time when three particular individuals attacked them.
"Oh, that boot spitting buffoon ain't gonna just let us have like that! We're gonna strike back!" declared King Dedede with all the resolve he had, being done by NME's shenanigans from the past and at that moment.
"Okay, genius, tell me your master plan." sassed Squidward, feeling like it was a monumental task to tackle a nefarious intergalactic corporation just by themselves.
"We're gonna go to NME and beat them up back! That's what they get for messing with us!" said King Dedede with high amount of resolve and confidence in his voice.
"That sounds like a death warranty." deadpanned Squidward.
"Eh eh eh! Don't worry about it, I've dealt with them before. Just that we don't have Kirby on our side, which could be a lil difficult. But first…" boasted King Dedede before he was interrupted by knocks from the door. Both of them were startled by the knocks of an incoming angry mob outside.
"WE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!" shouted King Dedede in panic as he started sweating from the possibility that the mob could get them.
"But how-" Squidward attempted to ask but soon was grabbed by Dedede and carried like a log. Dedede, out of complete instinct, ran towards the window and opened.
"This is the only way!" said King Dedede while carrying Squidward just before he jumped out of it. Luckily, he landed on his feet and put Squidward down. Then they ran away from the hotel as far as they could, for them to escape the mob was a priority.
And thus how their unwanted adventure started, but where they went next was only known to them.