Once upon a time there was a ball of moss named Marimo who spent her days floating peacefully in a quiet, little lake that was wonderfully clean. Life was easygoing and uneventful, but Marimo was content. There was a gentle stream, which connected the lake to someplace unknown, yet she never felt inclined to leave and find out where it led.
As she floated about in relaxation one day, Marimo became aware of a noise and curiously poked her head above the water. She was fascinated at the sight of a group of people approaching who wore interesting costumes. One of them was held aloft a banner emblazoned with bright letters. Gradually, a crowd gathered, and from listening in on the chattering, Marimo discovered that the people were traveling performers. Their costumes were so amazing that she was in awe.
Presently, one of the performers wearing a bright yellow mask came forward and introduced the skit. Then as she turned away, music began to play, and the crowd started to cheer. It was a catchy tune with fun lyrics that Marimo had trouble hearing at certain parts because of the crowd’s noise. When the last notes had died away the crowd gave their thunderous applause. Marimo was positively delighted at the performance and wanted very much to tell the group of travelers how wonderful it had been to watch.
She attempted to make her way forward, but it was impossible to push past the audience, being as small as she was. With a little squeak, she fell back into the water to avoid getting stepped on by someone. By the time she clambered back up onto the bank, the performers had packed up and left. Marimo hopped around for signs of them. All that was left were some flyers scattered about the ground. She looked at the name of the performers: No Weenies? Glancing down the cast list, she raised a brow in confusion at the group leader’s name. “What’s a ‘sporkbot’?” she wondered. “Oh well, I’ve heard of far stranger names than that anyway.” Then she went around the lake and asked where she could find the performers. Nobody could give her a satisfactory answer, and she was quite frustrated, for she truly desired to simply congratulate the performers both for their costumes and skit.
A good number of weeks passed by, and still she had no luck. As she paced back and forth on the lake bed, she would occasionally pop up and stare longingly, pretending they were still there. She frowned, unable to simply forget about it. Then she paused and slowly turned to look at the stream which wound off lazily into the horizon. Without even sparing another glance at the lake that she had called her home, Marimo made her way to the stream.
Every day, she’d always passed by this stream and had never really spared it a second thought. Yet, in this moment, she made a decision. It was a decision that would change her life forever. Marimo did not realize it at the time, but she was about to embark on an adventure that she had never before experienced in her sheltered life. Swimming down the stream, she set off, brimming with curiosity and determination to find the traveling performers who had enchanted her with their song.
It was hard to keep track of how many days passed since she had set off, but along the way, Marimo observed a variety of people on land who were also performers of varying degrees of skill. Some were mediocre, and some were amazing. By a stroke of curious serendipity, Marimo noticed a certain monk walking along. He was a rather large man with weathered, wrinkled skin. The two distinguishing features on this man, however, were a huge grin upon his face and a pair of pure white wings on his back.
She blinked and wondered if they were real, and indeed, if they were not
real, they were the most well made wings she had ever seen. He was known as the mad monk Urouge, and he had made such wonderful creations that made her jaw drop. They were brilliantly crafted, emotional, and entertaining. She swam after him. Without warning, he vanished from sight one day. As it turned out, there was a decree that had been issued by the stupid kingdom of U Tube. Fun, unique creations were not allowed, so the monk was prevented from making any more things. Many other creative people were harmed by the unfair laws that were being enacted.
Now there were two people she sought: the traveling performers and the monk. While it seemed hopeless, Marimo was quite determined to find them. Eventually she arrived at the end of the stream.
“Oooh!!” Marimo exclaimed. For at the end of the stream, there was such a sight before her that nothing could compare. It was the ocean. A glorious, sparkling mass of water that seemed to stretch on endlessly. She had never seen so much water before. Seagulls flew about with many a raucous caw. The white sands of the beach were peppered with colorful seashells. The waves crashed against the rocky shores, and a strong, salty smell pervaded the air. The sun, which had always been rather hidden by the trees where Marimo had lived, now shone with such blinding brilliance that it took several minutes for her eyesight to adjust. She spent that day taking in all the sights and sounds of this brand new world.
The next day, she dove down into the salty waves of the ocean and found herself in a marvelous world full of schools of fish, jellyfish, and even otters that were diving for kelp on the ocean floor. There were lobsters and crabs, squid and octopuses, coral reefs and sea anemones. She had read about these animals to be sure, but here was something that no book had taught her. It was a glorious feeling that she couldn’t define.
Glancing every which way, she spotted larger movements. Squinting to see more clearly, she gasped upon realizing that the shapes were the traveling performers who she had long sought. They were a ways off, but she grinned and followed them all the same. Deeper and deeper they went. How they were able to withstand the air pressure was a mystery, much less how their oxygen tanks were lasting so long.
At the bottom of the ocean floor was a sight that took Marimo’s breath away. Looming over everything was a massive structure that seemed to glow brightly, even from a distance. As incredible as it seemed, what lay before her now was an underwater city, the only one of its kind in the entire world. For surely there was nothing as breathtaking as this. She saw the performers go inside and was determined to follow. Marimo stood before the great, golden gates of the city and stared up at the iron letters emblazoned across the top which spelled out the name of the place: Arlong Park Forums.