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You have to do some trial-and-error, as there are a few paths that aren't the main one, but also don't take you back to the beginning. Wipe out a couple enemies to clear the path, and then start trying to find the piece!
If you go to the big branch-off area (that splits into 5 paths or so), you've gone too far.
My Kirby/Smash comics: www.brawlinthefamily.com Mother 3 = Game of the Year 2006