Chapter 5 – The Plan
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The sun had come out, and it was a surprise to the whole band of ladies, as well as Waluigi. They all looked around to see what may have caused the change of weather, but nothing seemed to point to any clues. All they saw were toads, koopas, and others packing up their stuff, ready to head home. Daisy noticed that Riba wasn't very surprised, and became suspicious. She kept this to herself for now, though.

"How did it become so sunny," Shortcake asked, looking to the other adults for answers. Daisy was snapped back from her suspicions and looked at Shortcake, but Pauline was the one to answer her question.

"I'm not sure, honestly. But I think if we all work together, we'll figure it out. I'll have to inform my city that I'll be away for a while."

Pauline then headed off to the nearest payphone so she could contact her staff.

Birdo sighed through the hole in her nose and put a reassuring hand on Shortcake's shoulder (somehow). Shortcake looked up only to see a big diamond in her face, and her eyes were like stars. Rose laughed nervously as she saw the desire within her friend's eyes. Rose hadn't showered Shortcake in jewels and riches, so it was no surprise that she might become starstruck by a simple diamond ring.

Finally, Riba spoke up, "I suppose if what Daisy had claimed is true, it's not out of the picture that the mysterious metal man may have power of the weather," he suggested, "after all, metal attracts lightning, and lightning is most common in storms such as the one that had been brought to the race." The ladies looked at him with surprise.

"I think you're onto something," Birdo said, "why don't we all discuss our next steps over dinner?"

"That'd be delightful," Shortcake agreed, while all the others, aside from Daisy, nodded in agreement and said simple words like, "yeah," or "sure," to back up their interest. The ladies all headed with Riba to find someplace fancy to dine at, but Daisy lingered behind, as did Waluigi.

"I don't trust that man," Daisy said to herself, unaware that Waluigi had stayed behind.

"WHY NOT," Waluigi asked, nearly scaring the princess half to death.

"Dude, you cannot shout like that, it scares people," Daisy said once she calmed down, "and because, didn't you notice how he didn't seem surprised by the change of weather when we discussed it?"


"You hardly partook in the conversation, so you must've been observing-"

Waluigi had already lost interest in Daisy's words, and was busy picking earwax out of his ear. Daisy looked furious, and with a loud groan, she walked off to find Pauline and-or Rose so she could have a real conversation. He eventually realized that he was alone, and with a loud and questionable, "WAH," he ran in the direction that he felt everyone had gone in.

He eventually found the princesses at a cafe, while Birdo and Shortcake were getting her kart fixed up at the Toad pit crew shop. He'd sit down at the table next to Pauline, getting a sharp glare from Daisy immediately.

"Like I was saying," the orange-dressed princess said, indicating to Waluigi that he was rudely disrupting the conversation at hand, "Haven't you guys noticed anything weird about Riba?"

"Not really," Pauline said, "he seems fine to me."

"What about you, Rose?" Daisy asked.

Rose just shrugged, not really having an opinion.

Groaning, Daisy looked to Waluigi for reassurance on the situation at hand. Of course, he didn't provide any either, with his answer of, "Nah,  Riba seems too goody-goody! Are you blind??"

Daisy rolled her eyes before bringing up her defense for the concern.

"Did none of you notice how he seemed so calm amidst the storm?"

"YOU DUMB PRINCESS," Waluigi shouted, "He was probably just calm for OUR sake! It was SCARY!! AND NOTHING SCARES WALUIGI!!!"

"But he didn't seem shocked by when the storm abruptly stopped either! He, is EVIL!"

Just as Daisy shouted this, Birdo and Shortcake made their return, with the toad saying, "There is NO way that Riba is evil. He is absolutely charming and perfect."

Rose looked a little uncomfortable with this reasoning for Shortcake's opinion, and Waluigi took notice. For some reason he wasn't too fond of seeing Princess Rose look uncomfortable. Was this because he didn't crush all the bones in her body when he shook her hand? It must be that, for he couldn't even begin to think of another reason why he might feel upset.

"Has anyone even SEEN him since this morning," Daisy snapped at Shortcake.

"YES???" Shortcake snapped back.

"Okay, WHERE IS HE?"

" ................ " Shortcake was silent. She was called out on her bluff, making Daisy smug; but before Daisy could make a snotty comeback, Birdo chimed in and said, "Our goal isn't related to Riba. It's that Metal Man. We need to find out why he's creating dangerous hazards and stop him before more people get hurt... they finally found Pianta and Ms Mouz." Daisy immediately became quiet.

"Are they okay?" Rose asked, perhaps the first time she's spoken in front of all of the others at once. This shocked Shortcake, as she always spoke for her princess.

"Well, Pianta is in critical condition. Ms Mouz is lucky she got just a concussion since she was so small..."

The fury within Rose's eyes was something fierce. As she stood up, Daisy did as well.

"Rose, let's go shopping before we leave okay?" Daisy offered, knowing that it was something that would calm the other flower-themed princess down. Daisy knew everyone needed to be level headed in order to make some decent progress. With a huff, Rose nodded in agreement. The green and orange princesses walked out of the cafe together to do some shopping, leaving the rest of their friends in the dust, jaws agape.

--{ 🌹 }--

When the two returned, they had new outfits for their travels. Ones better equipped for long travel. For Daisy, it was a pair of overalls and an orange flannel shirt. In her hair was tied up with a farmer's ribbon to keep her hair out of the way. Rose on the other hand stayed in her usual princess gown, but had the option to change later if she wanted once they got to their destination. Both women had a bag with them, containing a different outfit ; probably if the ones they had now were too hot or in some way not appropriate for where they'd be traveling.

" WAH HAH HAH HAH!!" Waluigi points at Daisy, laughing, "YOU LOOK SO-A DUMB!!"

The purple man got a nasty glare from both women, which ceased his laughter and shut him up.

"We need to get going," Pauline stated as she, Birdo, and Shortcake all approached the two princesses. "The next Mario Kart tournament is taking place in Paris. Assuming he's going after the competitors of the races, we should follow lead of the Grand Prix. We need to pass through Cheeseland, Wario's Gold Mine, and then Yoshi Valley." Pauline pointed to each location on her map as she said the names. And perfect timing, Riba entered the cafe.

"So sorry about my absence," he said to the ladies ( and Waluigi ), "I had some things to take care of." Daisy squinted at the man. He gave her a somewhat dashing grin. She could tell he was putting up some kind of front. He was completely charming Shortcake's socks off, which infuriated the orange princess.

"We've got no time to lose," Birdo exclaimed, "let's saddle up!"

With that, everyone headed out. Daisy got in her Flowery Bad Wagon, Birdo got in one of her sports coupes, Pauline got in her Red Taxi, and Rose got into the pink hummer alongside Shortcake and Riba. The gang drove out, headed towards Paris.