Copyright 2016 by Sara Wilson– All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, scanning, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This unofficial Minecraft novel is an original work of Sara Wilson which is not sanctioned nor approved by the makers of Minecraft. Minecraft is a registered trademark of, and owned by, Mojang AB, and its respective owners, which do not sponsor, authorize, or endorse this book. All characters, names, places, and other aspects of the game described herein are trademarked and owned by their respective owners.
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This morning, I found the perfect place to build my fortress. I’d been exploring the forest for a few days after leaving town, hiding out in little dirt huts at night to avoid the monsters that come out to hunt, and I was getting worried that I wouldn’t find a good place to stay and build. Nowhere screamed ‘This is the place!’ to me. Today, though, I climbed an impressive looking mountain and as I finally reached the top, I realized that this was it. The perfect spot.
From the top of the mountain, I can see the ocean to the north, the forest to the south, and plains all around me. This is fantastic. I can build a huge fortress here and I’ll be able to see everything for miles around. No more hiding in dirt huts for me!
I’ve already laid all the foundations, and I’m excited about how this is going to turn out. Tomorrow I should have the main building done, as well as the defense towers. When they’re done, I should be able to shoot zombies and other nasties from miles away; they’ll never get anywhere near me!
Anyway, got to go. Need to finish the outside walls before nightfall, I don’t want to have to sleep outdoors and wake up with a spider in my face.
My fortress is nearly done! All the walls are up, and the towers are nearly done. I need to put chests in the storage room and set up my library, but for now I’ve got a home base that puts a big stone wall between me and the monsters, so I’m happy.
Once I’ve finished this, I need to go exploring. I’m hoping there’s a village nearby, they might have some goodies I can ‘borrow’. The Testificates never mind, at least I think they don’t. They never say anything about it, anyway. I’ve got some emeralds I scavenged from a recent explore, so maybe I can even do some trading.
I’m excited to start mapping this area out. I could do so much with this land. Block enough of it off and I’ll have the most peaceful haven for miles around. I can’t wait.
Had a nasty run in with a creeper last night. I was just about to turn in, and I heard that ‘hssssssssssss’ coming from behind me. I turned around, and it was already about to explode! I ran as fast as I could and climbed up a nearby tree, trying to get him away from the fortress, as I didn’t like the idea of having to rebuild an outside wall just because I’d stayed out too late.
He followed me, of course. Creepers never stop until they’ve blown you up, along with half of the surrounding countryside. Once it was on its way, I pulled out my bow and started firing. All my arrows hit home, but it didn’t stop until I beat it for good and it disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Phew. That was a close one.
The fortress is complete!
I’m so pleased with it, it’s probably the best thing I’ve built to date. There was that home base I built in the old town, before I came looking this way, but it was nothing like this. The fortress is huge, I won’t outgrow it for a long time, possibly never. I’ve got so much room!
It’s lit up like Christmas, so nothing should spawn anywhere near me, at least not if I’ve got anything to say about it. The defense towers are up and ready, with handy archer’s windows so I can lean out and shoot at anything nasty without getting hit back (skeletons are the worst for it).
There’s still some things I’d like to do to improve it, though. I want to dig a basement for more storage, just in case. Hey, you find some cool stuff when you’re mining. Plus, I want to put a moat around the building. It should keep any nasties out, and also look cool. Who doesn’t like a moat?
Anyway, I’m off to bed. I’m going mining in the morning, there’s an interesting looking ravine off to the east and I want to check it out. Goodnight.
So, this was weird.
I went and checked out that ravine, and while I was in there, I came across a group of zombies hanging out in the dark. That’s not all that unusual, and I pulled my sword out, ready for a fight. I have to admit I was kind of worried, I only have an iron sword and it’s on its last legs. Part of the reason I went mining was to try and find some diamond, as I knew I’d have a much better sword once I managed to get hold of some. How many zombies could I hold off with my half broken iron sword?
I snuck up as close as I could, hoping they wouldn’t hear the gravel crunching under my shoes. As I got closer, one of the herd spotted me and started advancing, holding his arms out and groaning. I backed away slightly, holding sword out in front of me. Zombies are dangerous, but they’re also, well, gross, aren’t they? Their smell is really… unique, shall we say?
Anyway, I was backing away, and by then the whole crowd had spotted me and were on their way to chomp on my head. I swung and took out the leader. He puffed into dust and the rest of them carried on, not worrying about their friend who’d just been destroyed. I took out a few more, but then the worst happened. My sword broke.
I threw the pieces away and backed into a corner. I was trapped! There were at least ten zombies coming towards me, looking for a tasty snack. I picked up a bit of stone and threw it at them, but they didn’t even flinch. This was it. I was a goner for sure!
Just as I was wondering what would happen to my colored clay block collection, I heard this almighty growl from somewhere deeper in the cave. I looked up to try and find the source, and amazingly, the zombies did too. They stopped shuffling towards me, and I took the opportunity to slowly side step out of my corner. As I did so, that growling noise came again. The walls shook, and stone rained down on us. A huge chunk hit me on the shoulder, but I didn’t dare make a sound.
The zombies looked around in the direction of the growls, groaning. One zombie, which apparently had appointed himself their new leader, began shuffling away in the opposite direction. Soon, all the others had followed him, having all but forgotten about me.
I’ve never run so fast in my life. What on earth is living in that cave?
I’ve been looking through my library all morning trying to find out what that creature was yesterday. I couldn’t see it, but I knew it was BIG. Nothing I know of can roar like that. Why haven’t I ever seen it before?
The library looked like someone had set some TNT off in there when I was done, but I was still none the wiser. No one seems to have ever run across something huge living in the caves before. The closest thing I could find was the Ender Dragon, but I’m almost positive it isn’t that. I don’t live anywhere near The End, I made sure of that. Too much trouble, too many wandering explorers coming past and tempting monsters nearby.
Let’s be honest here (and why not? It’s my diary). I don’t want to know what’s down there. I don’t want to be some grand adventurer like others do, at least not any more. I just want to hang out in my fortress away from all the danger. There’s too many creatures out there who’d like to have a good chomp on me for my liking, and whatever that creature was could probably swallow me in one gulp. No thank you, I think I’ll just avoid those caves from now on and stay tucked up here.
I stayed in the fortress yesterday, just to be safe, but today I really needed to get out and stretch my legs. I knew there was a village south west of here, so I struck out to find it.
It was a pleasant walk, all told. It was across plains, so I could see for miles ahead of me and the only creatures I encountered were the odd sheep or cow wandering around, munching on the grass. As I walked, I found I became more relaxed about the incident in the cave. So what if there was something down there? I never saw it, and it only sounded scary. It was probably nothing. I’d probably never hear about it again.
In the distance, I could see the village coming up to greet me. It was a fairly large one, by the looks of things. The Testificates had built high walls around the perimeter, as was standard for them, but as I got closer I realized something seemed off. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. I carried on walking, and soon I spotted what was different.
In most villages, there is a big archway visitors walk through to begin trading with the locals. There wasn’t too much danger where they settled, so it wasn’t normally a problem. Today, however, the locals had lowered the gate into the village, and two Testificates were standing menacingly behind it.
This could not be good.
I’d come all this way, though, so I decided I’d push on. Surely they’d let me in, they could see I’m not a threat. I neared the gates, and the Testificates stared at me. This wasn’t starting well.
“Hello!” I called to them. Nothing.
“Hi… can I come in?”
They looked at each other for a moment, then back at me, arms folded. I knew my negotiation skills were rusty, but surely they weren’t that bad?
“I’ve come to trade with you! Can I come in, please?” I was a bit desperate now. I couldn’t just turn around and walk all the way home! How embarrassing would that be?
Just as it looked like I would have to do exactly that, another figure emerged from a nearby house.
“Let him in, boys, he’s harmless.”
The figure came closer, and I realized he was another person, just like me. I thought I’d moved away from civilization, but clearly I hadn’t moved far enough away. This guy was wearing rather tattered clothes that sported many burn marks and stains.
“It’s your sword,” he said, looking at me. “It’s making them nervous.”
“Well, what can I do about it?”
“Leave it with them. They’ll look after it until you’re ready to leave.” He motioned to them, and they moved forward.
My sword? I’d just made this, what if I never got it back? They looked very insistent though, so I reluctantly handed it over. Once it was safely stowed away in one of the Testificate’s belts, the gate was opened for me.
“Hi,” he said. “Come on in! Let me show you around.”
I followed him into the village, the guards still watching me in case I made any sudden moves. I glanced around, and at first the village seemed normal. Testificates were milling around, chatting to each other in their strange, garbled language that I’d never quite been able to translate. Nearby, some children were chasing a stray chicken around, laughing. The chicken squawked and tried to jump over a fence into a nearby garden, but with no luck. The children neared, and it took off again. I could hear doors opening and shutting as villagers visited each other and milled in and out of each other’s homes.
As normal as this was, I could see that something wasn’t right. Everybody looked warily at me, as if I was going to suddenly explode. The children skirted around me, and their parents, I noticed, were keeping a much closer eye on them than usual. I followed the guy into his house, which was the biggest in the village. Inside, it was a mess of empty potion bottles and spell books. A cauldron bubbled away ominously in one corner, while an unmade bed sat in another under a pile of yet more books.
He turned to me and held his hand out. “I’m Saunders,” he said. “Pleased to meet you. I didn’t know anyone else lived this far out.”
I shook his hand. “Neither did I. I’m Steve, by the way.”
“Here, help me move these books.” Saunders began shifting piles of books from a nearby table and tumbling them to the floor. I joined in, and before long, all that was left on the table was a long scroll, slightly flattened from sitting under all that junk. Saunders picked it up and unrolled it on the table’s surface, holding down the edges with a few bottles.
“Is the stuff in those bottles safe?” I asked. The one nearest me was full of a murky purple liquid that intermittently gave off puffs of green smoke.
“They’re fine, that one won’t hurt you. I think.”
“Is this what you do for a living?”
“Yeah, I’m a potion master. Can brew you up almost anything, especially if you’re into battle potions. Ever go monster hunting? You look like the type.”
“Oh? Er, no, not anymore.”
He smoothed the scroll out. “Well, that’s a shame. Here, look at this.”
I looked over his shoulder. The scroll was a large sketch of what looked like a person at first, but when I looked at it closely I realized it wasn’t, not really. The artist had drawn in deep lines under the person’s eyes, as if they were deeply old, and they’d colored his skin a sickly shade of green.
“Is this meant to be a zombie?” I asked. “I mean, it’s a great picture and all, but I don’t get it.”
“Look closer,” said Saunders.
I did, and soon I noticed that what set this ‘zombie’ apart from others was its scale. The artist had drawn in a small scene by the zombie’s feet. A sheep was cropping grass next to a small hut. The hut only came up to the zombie’s shins.
“That’s a giant. One of the villagers drew this the other day. One of his sheep went missing, so he went out to bring it home. When he came home, he was babbling about something, I couldn’t understand what, but he was terrified. I couldn’t get any sense out of him, so I asked him to draw what he saw. He drew this.”
I stepped back and rubbed my eyes. Whatever Saunders was telling me couldn’t be true. Giants didn’t exist; they were stories people told to scare each other senseless. There were plenty of stories, but no one had actually seen one in real life.
I couldn’t think of what to say for a long time. In the end, I settled on, “There’s no such thing as giants!”
“There’s stories, and stories don’t come from nowhere.” Saunders rolled up the scroll, and wedged it between two bottles on a nearby shelf. “There’s been other things happening too. Animals going missing. Huge holes in the ground appearing overnight. Buildings getting damaged in the night. If we don’t do something soon, this whole village could be flattened.”
Excuse me? “We?”
“Yeah, ‘we’. The giant needs to be stopped, and I need help. I noticed that fancy sword you had on you, I’m guessing you’re a good fighter. I bet no monster messes with you. I need your help, Steve.” Saunders looked at me almost pleadingly. “I really like living here. It’s not much, but it’s home. The Testificates are my friends. Won’t you help me?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know… I mean, a giant? How do you fight a giant?” I was backing away towards the door. “Maybe someone else will help you…”
Saunders looked out of the window. “Hey, it’s getting dark.” I looked too, and I could see the sun going down. I hadn’t meant to stay so long! I’d never get back home before nightfall.
“Look, there’s an empty house across the way. Why don’t you stay the night and think it over? If you still don’t want to help, that’s fine, you can go home and I won’t ask you again. But, hopefully, you’ll join us and we can get rid of this thing for good.”
I thought about it. It was true, I couldn’t get home tonight, and staying in the safety of the village sounded a good deal better than going back to hiding out in dirt huts. Besides, I could still say no in the morning.
“Ok, that sounds good. Thank you.”
“No problem, I mean, what are friends for?” Saunders opened the door. “Here, I’ll show you to the house.” With that, he took me to my bed for the night and said his goodbyes.
Why do these things keep happening to me?
After I wrote yesterday’s entry, I thought about what I was going to do. I felt sorry for Saunders and his friends, really. Whatever was going on, it was obviously scaring them all. The guards at the gates and the worried looking villagers made much more sense now.
Did I believe it was a giant doing these awful things, though? Of course not. Giants didn’t exist, as simple as that. No one had ever seen one, so they couldn’t possibly be a threat to the village.
That one Testificate saw one, though.
I shook the thought away. He thought he saw one, that’s all. It’s not unusual to be scared and imagine things when it’s getting dark outside. It’s scary enough out there, it’d be easy to imagine there was a new, scarier threat to contend with alongside the creepers and zombies.
At the end of the day, all I wanted was a quiet life. I may, in the past, have gone monster hunting, but I was done with that now. Too many close encounters with too many baddies had turned me off of being the hero. All I wanted now was to stay home and watch the world go by. Saunders seemed like a nice guy, and was clearly capable of mixing up some noxious looking potions. Whatever was scaring this village, I was sure he could handle it himself.
Tomorrow, I’d thank him for his hospitality but decline his invitation to hunt a nonexistent giant. He’d understand, right?
With that thought, I climbed into bed and fell asleep.
Sometime later, I was woken up by the shouts of the villagers. Again, I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but they sounded panicked. As I sat up, rubbing my eyes, someone started banging at the door.
I stumbled out of bed and went to open the door. With one eye open, I saw a Testificate staring back at me. His eyes were wide, and he kept looking around as if something were after him.
“What? What is it?”
He held out his hands, and I saw that he was holding my sword. He pushed it at me, then pointed off into the distance. He wanted me to go fight something.
I paused in the doorway, but he wasn’t taking no for an answer. He grabbed my arm and pulled me roughly out of the house. Villagers were running around everywhere I looked, and at least one building had been knocked down. Not even knocked down, but stomped down. I could see the shape of a footprint in the remains of the nearest building.
“Steve! Steve!” Saunders came running towards me, pulling on some leather armor. “It’s here! It’s attacking us!”
“What is?” I asked, even though I already knew. This couldn’t be happening, I thought.
“It’s the giant! It’s here! We need to drive it off!” He grabbed me, and soon we were running towards all the commotion. Villagers ran past us, looking at us as if we were mad. I felt as if we were. What were we getting ourselves into?
We turned a corner and there it was.
A zombie almost 30 feet tall was blocking our path. He was roaring, holding a chunk of rock in one hand and waving the other around in a fist, looking to hit something. He stomped his feet, and the ground trembled beneath us.
“How are we going to defeat that?” I whimpered.
“I’ll throw some potions at it, you do what you can with your sword!” Saunders began pulling bottles out of his pockets and hurling them at the giant. I stood rooted to the ground. Do what I could with my sword? I could stick it hilt deep in its foot and it wouldn’t even feel it.
The potions Saunders was throwing didn’t seem to have any effect on him, he didn’t even seem to notice what was happening. Instead, he spotted a small Testificate child that had been trying to run away with his family. He’d gotten separated from them somehow, and I saw he was pulling a dog along with him. He’d probably gone back to save the family pet. The giant got him in its sights and held its huge mighty fist up, ready to pound him into the dirt.
“NO!” I ran forward, sword in hand. I waved it madly in front of me, trying to attack as much of the giant as was possible within my reach. I got behind it, and saw my chance. With all my strength, I plunged my sword deep into its heel.
The giant stopped what it was doing and howled. The sound was unearthly.
I yanked the sword back out, and saw it was dripping with green ooze. The giant turned and looked down at me.
“Oh no,” I whispered. This was it. I was done for.
Instead of turning me into mash, the giant stared at me, then started limping away from the village. Its foot leaked more of that green ooze, leaving a trail as it made its escape. Everybody held their breath as it disappeared over the horizon. Was it coming back? Was it going to bring reinforcements?
After a while, it seemed that no, it was gone, at least for now. The whole village breathed a collective sigh of relief.
I’m back home now. After the fight with the giant, I decided that was a great time to get my stuff and get going, very quickly. I was nearly at the gates when Saunders caught up with me.
“Hey, Steve, where are you going?”
“I’m going home.” I strapped my sword to my back. “Thank you for putting me up for the night, but I really have to leave.”
“Wait! You can’t just leave us now! Not now that you know that the giant exists! Won’t you help us?”
My stomach knotted itself. “It’s not that I don’t want to, but I don’t know what I can do to help. I don’t have anything powerful enough to keep it from hurting your village.” I turned to leave again.
Saunders pulled me back round by the shoulder. “Please, Steve! It was you who got it to leave! I don’t know what you did, but he left as soon as you attacked him!”
I shrugged. “I don’t know, Saunders. I just stuck my sword in his foot, it was nothing special. I’m looking for a quiet life, I’m done with monster hunting. I’m sure you guys can defend yourselves just fine.”
Saunders looked crestfallen. “Really? You won’t help us?”
“I’m sorry. I’m pleased I met you, but I really don’t want to get involved in fighting anymore.” With that, I turned and left.
I feel bad, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want to leave them at the mercy of a giant. But who am I against that thing? I’ve never fought one before in my life, and I certainly don’t ever want to again. There’s no way I could ever beat it, is there? Better to stay safe at home, where it can’t get me. Where nothing can get me.
I hope the village can be rebuilt soon.
This morning there was a knock on the gates outside the fortress.
“Steve! Steve, we know you’re in there!”
I ran up the nearest tower and peered out from one of the windows, where my ‘guests’ wouldn’t be able to see me. To my dismay, I saw it was Saunders, with a friend tagging along with him. The friend was wearing criss-crossing belts, from which was hanging a huge array of various building tools.
“Steve! Come out, we’ve got to tell you about this!”
It looked like they weren’t going to leave anytime soon, so I walked down to the doors and opened one a crack.
“Saunders? Why are you here?”
“Steve! Please, come out and talk to us. We need you.”
“What’s going on?”
“Come on, please. Just hear us out.”
“Who’s that?” I asked, gesturing at his friend.
“Oh, yes, where are my manners? This here is Simon,” he said, pushing the guy forward. Simon looked as though he didn’t really want to be there. I looked at him more closely; he looked somewhat familiar.
“Have we met before, Simon?” I asked.
“We haven’t met, but I know about you,” he said, sheepishly. He looked down at the ground as he said it.
Still talking from the crack in the door, I said, “No. I don’t want to hear about it. I’m not coming out. Goodbye.”
With that, I closed the door. I headed back up the tower, and I saw them both slink away dejectedly. Simon said he knew me. How could he know me? There’s no one who knows me anymore…
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Saunders came back today, alone. He hammered on the doors, but I wasn’t listening to him. He stayed for a while, imploring me to open up, but eventually he gave up and left.
Why won’t he leave me alone?
Today Saunders came back yet again, but this time I didn’t even hear him. He must not have bothered banging on the doors, but he did slip a note under them:
I know you don’t want to talk to me, and I know that the giant isn’t really your problem. However, I can’t fight it on my own, and from what Simon says you really are a great fighter. I saw that the night we were attacked.
I don’t know what your reasons are for not wanting to be involved, and I don’t need to know if you don’t want to tell me. However, we really do need help, so I’m asking you to please reconsider.
If you’re willing to talk to me, come back to the village and ask for me. I just want you to hear me out.
Why, why did Simon have to get involved? No one knew about my past. Why did he have to go and blab about it? I didn’t even know him!
I tore the note up and threw it away. No. I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t! I’d put it all behind me, I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not the person I used to be.
I haven’t left the fortress since the giant attack. I have to admit, I’m getting a bit restless. I thought I wanted the home life, but it’s somewhat trying looking at the same four walls day in, day out. I’ve taken to picking off monsters with my bow and arrows from the towers at night, but it’s not the same. There’s no challenge.
Saunders’ letter is bugging me. I know I should go back, as they’ll need everyone they can get to fight the giant. But the thing is, if I’ve never fought one before, how am I supposed to know how to help? I might just mess it all up, just like I did last time.
I am going to have to get out, though. I’m going stir crazy in here.
Simon came back today, alone.
I opened the door and he was stood there, on the defensive, as if I were about to attack him.
“Please don’t be mad at me, just hear me out!”
I was nonplussed. “Why would I be mad at you for being here?”
“Because I told Saunders about what you used to do? Because I’m here to ask you to help us?”
I sighed. “You best come in,” I said.
I took him to my grand hall and offered him a seat in front of the roaring fireplace. I’d been particularly proud of the fireplace when I’d built the fortress, I thought it made it all feel a bit more cozy. Simon looked all around him and sat down.
“Did you build this place yourself?” he asked
“Yup. Biggest building I ever did. I don’t intend to move from here now.” I sat in the other chair. “Why are you here, Simon?”
“Like I said, I wanted to convince you to come help.”
“No, I mean, why are you here? So far away from home?”
Simon shuffled in his seat, and avoided my eye. “You know, I wanted to travel. Get away from home, see the world a bit.”
I raised an eyebrow. “I don’t believe it for a second, Simon. Also, how do you know me? I don’t know you.”
He brightened up at that. “Oh, I know all about you! Read about you in books, I did!”
I started at that. “I’m in books?”
“Oh yes. 1001 Greatest Adventurers, Greatest Monster Hunters of the Five Kingdoms, I’ve read them all. You’re in all of them.’
My heart sank. “People thought I was worth writing about?”
“Of course! You’ve single-handedly slain so many monsters, huge parts of the world are safe now because of you! I’ve looked up to you since I was little!” He stared at his shoes again. “Of course, I’ll never be as good as you, but I don’t think anyone can be.”
Slightly thrown by this, I decided to change tack. “How do you know Saunders?”
“Oh, I’m helping him rebuild the village. I’m a builder by trade, see. I’ve always been good at building. Built my entire family’s house when I was five. It had six floors and a fountain on the top.” He smiled fondly. “My mum made me take the indoor swimming pool out of my bedroom though.”
“And you got talking about the attack, so he told you about me?”
“Yeah, and when I realized it was you, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I’d hoped that I might run into you, but no one knew where you were, so I didn’t know if I ever would. I couldn’t believe my luck when Saunders asked me to come with him here.”
I leaned back in my chair and rubbed my eyes. “So, now you’re here to ask me to come fight the giant.”
He nodded. “You’re the best,” he said simply.
“Simon, I don’t fight anymore. The giant attack was a fluke, I was there, he was going to squash a kid… I couldn’t let that happen. But no, I can’t get involved in other people’s fights anymore.”
His face fell. “But they’re counting on you. They can’t fight him alone.”
“They can, and they will. I just swing a sword around. They can learn to do that, too. I can’t be fighting other people’s battles for them anymore. I’ve retired.”
Quietly, Simon asked, “And you’re sure about that, are you?”
“Yes. I’m sorry.”
“Fine.” Simon got up. “There’s no need to see me out. I know the way.”
With that, he left. I remained by the fireplace, wondering if I’d made the right decision.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, worrying about what Simon had said. He called me ‘the best’. He’d probably told the village that too. No wonder they were ‘counting on’ me. Saunders had wanted me there, and the worst thing was, he wouldn’t push it. If I didn’t help, it was all my own fault.
I didn’t want the village to be in danger, but what was I in the face of a giant? What could I do? I couldn’t destroy it, not by a long shot. I’d driven it away last time, but that had been a fluke. Surely everybody knew that?
If I didn’t help, though, it’d be on my conscience forever. It’d be the first time I could have helped, but sat back and let those people suffer. What if the entire village was crushed? It’d be my fault!
In the morning, I’d made my decision. I got my things together, then set off back to the village.
It was a long walk, and it helped me think things over. No one knew me here, bar Simon, so the expectation wasn’t so great. If Simon could just keep his mouth shut, it wouldn’t be so bad. I could try, that was the best I could do. I wouldn’t promise that I’d fix everything, but I’d try my best, and hopefully make things better for the village.
I reached the gates, which were still down on what seemed like a futile attempt to keep the giant out. I approached the guards, and their eyes went wide.
“Could you take me to Saunders, please?”
They jumped to raise the gates, and all but dragged me to Saunders’ house. I noticed they didn’t even think to take my sword off me this time. We reached the house and one of them thumped on the door excitedly.
Saunders opened it, and his face lit up. “Steve! You came!”
I waved goodbye to the guards, who took the hint and left us. I stepped inside and Saunders shut the door behind me.
“Does this mean you’ve changed your mind?” he asked.
“It means I’ll help, but I can’t promise anything,” I said. “I don’t know what stories Simon’s been filling your head with, but I’ve never faced off against anything like this before, so I don’t even know if I can win.”
He led me to a chair, which was covered in scrolls and books. He scooped them up and dumped them in the corner before motioning to me to sit down. As I did so, he dragged another chair over to me and sat down himself. “That’s fine. To be honest, I don’t think any of us really know what we’re up against. You haven’t got experience in this kind of situation, but you’re experienced, and that’s what’s important.” He sighed. “I never thought I’d be getting into fights with monsters. I came here to get away from everything.”
“Same here,” I said. “I thought my fighting days were behind me.”
Saunders nodded. “Guess your past has caught up with you.”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said shortly. “What’s the plan?”
Saunders looked slightly taken aback, but then composed himself. “Well,” he said, “first of all, I’d like to track it down and observe it. See if we can find a weakness.”
“Track it down? Are you mad? It could kill us both without even blinking!”
“It’s either that or pick a fight with it blind, and I’d rather know what I’m getting into. Look, remember when you got it with your sword and it bled that green goo? Wherever it trailed that goo, it affected the ground. We could follow that right back where to where it lives!”
I gulped. “What have I got myself into?”
“You’ve agreed to help us. Are you trying to back out now?” Saunders’ face darkened.
“No! No, I would never do that. I hope I’m not going to regret it, though.”
He stood up. “I think we should go first thing in the morning. You, me, and Simon. Hopefully it’ll still be sleeping.” He beckoned me towards the door. “I’ve kept your house ready for you. Get comfortable, and I’ll come get you in the morning.” As I stepped out, he added, “And thank you. Seriously. It means a lot that you came back.”
Earlier than I would have liked the next morning, I was woken up by an insistent tapping on my door. I stumbled out of bed and went to answer it.
“Who’s there?” I mumbled.
“It’s me,” said Simon.
I opened the door. He beamed at me. “You came back! I thought you would never come back!”
“I’m not sure I appreciate the guilt trip, Simon.”
“I’m sorry, but we needed you, and what else could I do? We can do this, Steve!” He was practically hopping with excitement, and I realized that it was because he was about to go on an adventure with me. I don’t know what he thought I was, but he was in for a big disappointment.
“Ok, hang on, let me get my stuff and I’ll be out.”
“Ok, we’ll meet up at the gates. See you in five minutes?”
I nodded and shut the door. I quickly got my things together, which didn’t take long. I had my sword and my trusty bow and arrows. I also had a set of leather armor, courtesy of Saunders. I didn’t know how well it’d hold out against a giant attack, but I felt better having it than going without.
I hurried out to the gates to find Saunders and Simon waiting for me. Saunders was holding a backpack, and Simon had his belts and tools with him. I thought, rather cruelly, that they were a bit pointless. What was he going to do, build a house around the giant to trap him?
“I’m here,” I said.
“Great, let’s get going. I want to follow the trail before the sun’s up properly.” Saunders turned on his heel and headed out, Simon and I hurrying to follow him.
Not ten feet from the gates, Saunders stopped and pointed to a depression in the ground. “Look, here’s where some of the ooze fell.”
The ground all around us was covered in lush grass, but where Saunders was pointing, it had all gone brown and brittle. The ground had caved in a little bit, leaving a depression where the ooze had hit it.
“It killed everything it touched,” breathed Simon.
“It’s probably poisonous,” said Saunders. “We want to be careful that we don’t touch it ourselves.”
We followed the trail of dead grass for a little while, and as the sun began to rise in earnest we found ourselves at the mouth of a cave. I peered in, but I couldn’t see more than a few feet into it until everything was swallowed by darkness.
“This doesn’t bode well,” I said.
“It’s ok.” Saunders dug into his bag and brought out three torches, one for each of us. He handed them out and lit them with his flint and steel. “It’s not much, but it’s better than going in blind,” he said.
I held mine out in front of me, and looked into the cave again. It went deep into the mountainside, and probably went down a fair ways, too. “Are we all ready for this?” I asked.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” said Saunders. Simon simply gulped and nodded.
“I’m not joking,” I said. “If you’re not ready, there’s no shame in turning back now. I won’t judge you. However, this will be dangerous, and I don’t want to be babysitting somebody who’s scared when I’m trying to fight.”
I expected at least one of them to turn and run, but they both looked resolute.
“Ok then. Follow me.”
We made our way into the cave. Before long, all we could see was the small area around us, thanks to the light of the torches. We couldn’t even see the entrance anymore, and I worried that we weren’t going to be able to find our way back out.
Too late to think about that now, I thought.
Saunders piped up, “This path is used quite often, I think. Somebody lives here.”
“How do you know that?” I asked.
“It’s smooth. Have you tripped on anything since we came in?”
“No. Have you, Simon?”
“There you are,” said Saunders. “It’s been used so often that it’s all been worn smooth. Someone’s been using this path for a long time.”
“I hope they’re friendly,” I murmured.
We fell back into silence, and walked farther into the cave. After a while, I realized there was a light at the end of the path. I pointed it out to the others.
“Look. What do you suppose that is?”
Saunders squinted into the gloom. “I’ve no idea, but if there’s someone who uses this path, it could be them.”
“Again, I hope they’re friendly.”
We trudged on, and as we got closer we saw that the light was coming from a small house that was carved directly into the cave wall. Whoever lived there had tried to cheer the place up with paintings and decorations, but it all looked very out of place in this dank cave in the middle of the mountain. The door was half open, spilling warm light into the cave path.
I looked at the others. “I’m going in. Somebody may know something about the giant.”
The other two nodded, but Simon looked nervous.
I knocked on the door. “Hello? Anybody home?”
From inside came a scream.
We all rushed in. We found a woman on the floor next to an open book, her hands covering her face.
“Who are you? What do you want?”
Saunders knelt down beside her and pulled her hands away from her face. “I’m sorry, we didn’t mean to frighten you. We were looking for something in these caves, and we saw your light on.” He pulled her up to her feet.
“We didn’t expect to find a house in here,” I commented.
“Yeah, but what a great little home!” Simon was wandering around, inspecting the building work. “You’d think it’d be cold in here, but you’ve done a great job. What did you line the walls with?”
“It’s obsidian, but I didn’t build it,” said the woman. She was still shaking. “Who are you all? Why are you in my house?”
“My apologies, we didn’t introduce ourselves. I’m Saunders, this is Simon, and this here is Steve,” he said, gesturing to me.
Her eyes grew wide. “Steve?” she asked. “The Steve?” She stepped slightly closer to me. “I’ve read all about you. You’re in all the books. What are you doing all the way out here?”
“That’s not important,” I said quickly. “I was hoping you’d be able to help us. We’re tracking a giant, and we think he came through here. Do you know anything about it?”
“Hold on a minute,” Saunders cut in. “You’re interrogating her, and we don’t even know her name.”
“Sara, I’m Sara” she said. “A giant? You’re looking for a giant?”
“That’s right. If it came through here, you must have seen it.”
Sara turned away and began fiddling with some books on a nearby shelf. “I haven’t seen anything. I’m sorry you came all this way, but there’s nothing here.”
I put my hand on her shoulder and turned her back around. “Sara, somehow I don’t think you’re being honest with us.”
She stared at me, then looked at Saunders and Simon, who were also eyeing her curiously. “Please, please go now while you still can,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do. It’ll kill you before you can blink.”
We all looked at each other. What was going on?
Saunders said, “We’ve already fought it once. We’re still alive.”
“You all fought it? Well, I suppose, if you have Steve with you…” she trailed off.
“Look, we just need to know where it is. Won’t you help us?” I asked.
“Of course, of course… maybe you can all help after all.” She made towards the door, and looked back at us. “Come with me, and I’ll show you where it sleeps. You’ve got to be careful, though. One wrong move and you’ll be history.”
I shrugged. “We’ve been careful so far.” With that, we followed her out of the house.
Sara took us down a small hidden path that twisted and turned through the rock. We could only travel single file, and put our torches out so we travelled in almost complete darkness. Before long, we came out on a small outcropping in a much larger cave. The area was enormous, so much so that we couldn’t see the far walls. In the middle of the cave was the giant. It lay on its back, sleeping, giving off huge, rumbling snores that shook the walls.
“There it is,” Sara whispered. “Now what?”
For a moment, none of us could answer her. Could we take it out now, while it was sleeping?
As we watched it, it rolled over and its arm thumped down on the ground, leaving a huge crater in its wake. Taking it out in its sleep would be a bad idea.
“We were hoping to have an idea of how to kill it,” I said. “Now that we’ve followed it here, I’m not so sure.”
“You’re going to kill it? Why? It doesn’t do anything!”
Saunders said, “It nearly destroyed my village. It would have stomped a child if Steve here hadn’t intervened.”
Sara looked at the giant, then back again. “It nearly killed a child? Are you sure? I thought it wouldn’t hurt a fly!”
“You are greatly mistaken” I said. “Plus, you seem to know an awful lot about it. What are you holding back from us?”
“Yeah,” said Saunders, “What do you know that we don’t? That thing is a danger to everybody above ground, and I think you know it.”
Sara shook her head. “I thought I knew all I needed to know about the giant. Look, come back to the house, stay the night. I’ll tell you everything you need to know, I promise. Quite frankly, I’d be glad of the company.”
I nodded. “Ok, that sounds like a plan.”
In silence, we turned back the way we came, as the giant continued to shake the cave with its almighty snores.
Last night, we huddled around the fireplace in Sara’s house, as she added more coal. It would be pleasant above ground, but here in the caves it was positively freezing.
“Why do you live here, Sara?” asked Simon. “You could live anywhere, but you’re here. It can’t be easy.”
“It’s not up to me, it’s up to the person I live with,” she replied, shoveling more coal into the already roaring fire. “I don’t have a say in the matter.”
“Who do you live with?” asked Saunders.
“A witch,” she said. As we all stared at her, she said, “Don’t look at me like that! I’m a librarian, it’s what I do, and she offered me a safe place to live if I could maintain her library for her. She’s got so many spell books that I’ve never even seen before. Honestly, it was such a good deal at the time…”
“Where is she now, Sara?”
“I don’t know. She left a few days ago to go looking for ingredients for potions, and I haven’t seen her since. I’m worried, she’s never gone for this long.”
I said, “Does she know anything about the giant?”
Sara sighed deeply. “She created him. She’s been interested in creating creatures for a while, and she’d been dabbling in smaller things for a while. Silverfish, chickens, that kind of thing. But then she decided she wanted to go for the big guns, and picked something from an old books of myths. She wanted a giant.”
We all fell silent.
“I see she was successful,” said Saunders after a long while.
She nodded. “Yes. It was ok at first, it would just stay in the caves, eating the monsters and not getting in the way.”
“Not getting in the way? It’s huge!” Simon interjected.
“You know what I mean. It was great, for a while. Our very own guard giant. But then it started wandering off. It would always come home, but there was something different about it. Something dangerous. I didn’t dare do anything myself, as I knew the witch would be so angry with me. But I knew, I knew it was only going to get worse.” She shook her head. “Please don’t be angry with me. I didn’t know that it would come to this. It nearly killed a child!”
“It’s only going to get more dangerous” said Saunders. “Either way, we’re going to have to deal with the giant.”
“I know.” Sara looked down at her shoes.
“Does it have a pattern?” I asked. “Does it go out at certain times? When does it come back?”
“It usually goes out at sunset,” said Sara. “I’m not sure how it leaves, but I don’t know the caves nearly as well as the witch does. There’s probably another way out of its cave. It comes back around sunrise, with at least one… snack with it. It’s disgusting,” she shuddered.
“Ok, that’s a start. You understand, Sara, that we’re going to have to kill it? It’s going after animals now, and it’s already tried attacking people. Soon, it’ll succeed, and it’ll be a real danger to everybody who lives here.”
“Ok, it’s time to make a plan. Together, I think we could actually do this.”
This morning, we made our way out of the caves and back into the sunlight. We’d only been underground overnight, but I was delighted to be back out above ground. I didn’t know how Sara could stand it.
We headed back to my fortress, as that would be the best place to attack from. “It’s fortified,” said Saunders, “You’ve designed it to be monster proof, and most of the tools we’ll need will be there.”
I wasn’t overly happy about having everyone in my home, but I realized that what Saunders was saying was right. Reluctantly, I let them all in and showed them around. Soon, we all got to work.
Sara found my library and squealed in delight. “You’ve got even more books than in my own library!” she said. “I can start research right now, if you’d like. There’s got to be some information somewhere on how to dispatch a giant.”
“I looked when I first encountered it,” I said. “I’m not sure you’ll find anything useful.”
“Oh trust me,” she said. “If it’s here, I’ll find it.”
I left her to it. Out in the entry hall, Saunders and Simon were discussing tactics.
“We’ll need to trap it somehow,” said Simon. “It’s too big to follow and attack. It can cover more ground than we ever could.”
Saunders nodded. “Do you think you could put something together that could hold it?”
“Possibly. I’ll need some heavy duty materials, though. Steve, do you have anything?”
“I have a bit of obsidian in my storage room that you’re welcome to. I don’t think it’d be enough for what you’re planning, though.”
Simon nodded. “That’s fine,” he said. “I can build an obsidian farm quite quickly and get going on that now, if you think it’s a good idea.”
“Sounds great,” I said. Simon smiled and hurried off to get started.
I turned to Saunders. “What else do we need to do?”
“Not sure right now. We’ll have to lure the giant into the trap. What we do next is a mystery to me.”
I sat in one of the chairs by the fireplace. “I’ve got an idea, but it’ll probably be dangerous. For me at least.”
“Oh yeah?” Saunders sat down too. “What’s your plan?”
“I’ll tell you when I’ve figured it out properly. For now though, I’m going to let Simon build and Sara research. What are you going to do?”
“I can brew some good potions that could buy us some more time” he said. “Probably some potions of slowness and weakness. There’s poison potions, but I don’t think they’d do much damage. I’m going to have to brew a lot, though. I don’t think one bottle will do much.”
I nodded. “Ok, sounds good.”
“We’re pulling it together, Steve” he said. “Still regret getting involved?”
I shrugged. “I’m doing what I have to. I never planned on monster hunting again.”
“Well, it’s different now,” said Saunders. “This time, you have a team.”
We spent today putting everything into place for our fight with the giant. Early this morning, Sara had bounded into my room, waving a book around.
“Steve! Steve! I’ve got it! I know how to defeat the giant!”
I blinked in the sunlight streaming through the windows.
“What time is it? Did you go to bed, Sara? At all?”
“No, but it’s ok because I found it!” She thrust the book at me. I squinted at the title, 100 Fabulous and Unusual Beasts in Fiction.
“You didn’t find anything because you were looking in nonfiction,” she said breathlessly. “The giant wasn’t real until recently, but how would you know that?”
She had a point. I flicked the book open. “Page 416,” she told me.
I turned to the page and saw a full page illustration of a fictional giant. This giant looked less menacing than ours, but it was the same beast.
The opposite page read:
The giant is a formidable foe. Arrows bounce off it, potions do little to affect it, and swords only anger it. To truly defeat it, you need to employ a much more deadly weapon.
The only thing that can stop a giant in its tracks is a deadly river of lava. This red hot substance is the only thing that can pierce a giant’s tough hide, and banish it for good.
I jumped out of bed. “Of course! This is perfect! Go get the others and meet up in the entry hall in five minutes! We have our plan!”
Sara scurried off and I got ready as quickly as possible. I skidded out of my room and found everybody gathered as I had asked.
“Lava!” I yelled. “The answer’s lava!”
Simon’s eyes lit up. “Of course!” he said. “I can do that! Get it into my trap and I can dump lava on its head!”
Saunders asked, “How do we know this will work?”
I passed him the book. “Look, Sara found it this morning. This has the answer! We can actually do this!”
Saunders’ face broke out into a slow grin. “This is perfect,” he said. “How soon can we do this?”
“I think this can be done by early next morning,” I said. “How about the rest of you? Can you be ready?”
“Ok, I want Simon to build that trap. Make it so secure not even a mouse can get in or out unless we say so. Saunders, brew up as many potions as you can. Even if we have it trapped, the giant will be a deadly foe, and if scared, it’ll probably be even more dangerous. Sara, keep reading. No, go to bed first. Then, read up more and see if there’s anything else we can use.”
“What are you going to do?” asked Simon.
“Me? I’m going to get my armory ready.”
We all sped off in different directions to get ready. I headed to my armory to get all the kit I would need. I probably couldn’t hurt the giant, but I could certainly lead it into a trap. I pulled out my best bow, made as many arrows as I could carry, and mended my diamond sword. Finally, I pulled out some diamond I had been saving for a rainy day, and made myself the best set of armor I had ever made. I wasn’t taking any chances.
The next day, we crept back to the cave just before sunset, in the hope we could catch the giant before it left. We were all decked out in armor and holding as many healing potions as we could carry. Saunders had made as many as he could, and the others felt better for having them, but I wasn’t so sure. What good was a potion if the giant smooshed me into the ground with his fist?
“Is everybody ready?” I whispered. Everybody else nodded.
“Ok. It’ll be out any second, so when it does emerge, get ready to run.”
We’d timed it well. Not long afterwards, we heard the first rumblings of the giant moving about. I pulled my bow from my back and slotted in an arrow. Soon, the rumbling grew louder, and the ground began to shake under our feet.
“Get ready!” I yelled. Saunders began pulling potion bottles out of his bag, and Simon pulled some eggs from his pockets, handling them as if they were about to explode.
“Remember, Steve! It’ll notice you if you keep attacking, but make sure it doesn’t catch up with you!” shouted Sara.
“I’ll try!” I yelled back. In truth, I was worried about my chances against the giant’s speed.
“Look out!” yelled Saunders. The giant had emerged from the cave. Blinking in the dwindling sunlight, it made to step out.
“Now!” I screamed. I began firing arrows into its face, while Saunders threw potion bottles with all his might. The giant blinked again, then looked down to see where all the commotion was coming from. I could see the arrows hadn’t even made a dent in his thick hide.
Seeing us, the giant grew angry. It waved his fists around menacingly and roared into the sky, clearly agitated.
“Now, Simon!” Simon hurled the eggs as far as he could towards the giant. They hit the ground, and up popped a zombie, a skeleton, and a couple of spiders. The monsters began to chase us, and the giant, spotting its first possible meal of the day, began to chase them.
“RUN!’ I yelled. We all began running back to the trap point, and as planned, the giant followed us. It lumbered forward, roaring and bouncing us up and down with every ground-shaking step.
“Slow it down, Saunders!”
“I’m trying!” He threw yet more potions at it, and just as the giant started to gain on us, it had an effect. Its footsteps faltered, and its speed slowed down to an ambling jog rather than a full-on run. I breathed a sigh of relief, and waved my sword at the approaching mobs to keep them at bay.
The trap was in our sights. “Simon, open the gates!”
Simon ran and hit the button to open the trap. Two huge gates creaked open on Simon’s enormous obsidian giant box, which housed a giant-sized bucket at the top. Drops of lava dripped onto the ground, where they sizzled and burned the grass.
“COME AND GET ME!” I yelled, and sprinted into the trap. Saunders grabbed my sword as I ran past, and made short work of the mobs. Now there was only the giant left. It lumbered after me, roaring. I stood at the back wall, waiting for it to catch up. It came in without a backwards glance, probably excited that it had finally cornered me. I wondered if it remembered that I was one the one that had stabbed him in the heel.
It stopped and leered down at me. I saw green drool beginning to gather at the corners of its cavernous mouth.
“SIMON! LET ME OUT!”
Just as the giant leaned down to grab me, a trapdoor opened under my feet and dropped me into a small pit below. As I crawled back out to meet the others, I could hear it screaming in rage, having had me in its grasp.
“Is that it? Do we have it?” asked Simon.
“Yeah, dump the bucket, do it now!”
Simon hit another button on the control panel, and the bucket began to lower. Lava spilled into the trap, and the giant began to roar again.
“I wish it didn’t have to be this way,” said Sara, looking worried.
“It’ll be over in a second. This is what’s best for it. It wasn’t meant to exist,” I said.
“It was only going to become more of a danger if we let it run free,” added Saunders. “It probably can’t even feel it.”
The lava was pouring in earnest now, and the giant was coated in it. It beat on the walls and the gates of the trap, but thanks to Simon’s sturdy building skills, it couldn’t get out. It roared again, and suddenly it blinked out of existence. Where it had been, black smoke poured out of the trap and across the plains. It was gone for good.
I never thought I’d get dragged back into monster hunting, but here we are.
The gang is staying at my place while we get everything cleaned up. Saunders is hard at work getting that patch of the plains to grow back after we singed it to death. Simon has been travelling back and forth between the trap site and the village, finishing up his work there and dismantling the trap. Hopefully, we’ll never need it again. I can’t get Sara to leave the library, she’s too busy reading up on rare creatures and powerful potions; she says we may need to know about these things. I don’t know about that, but I trust her to know what she’s doing.
I left my hometown because I was tired of being the hero. I had to be strong all the time and fix everybody’s problems. If you could swing a sword at it, I was expected to go deal with it. I was exhausted. I just wanted to live my own life.
However, it seems that although you can leave the monster hunting life, the monster hunting life never truly leaves you. Thanks to us, that giant is no longer a threat. Plus, it’s not just ‘me’ anymore. It’s ‘us’.
I quite like being on a team. I’ve never had one before.
Someone just came to the door, and Sara answered. They didn’t talk for long, but when she came back in she looked worried. Not even worried, scared.
“Sara? What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s Marigold Mortem. She knows what we did. She’s mad.” Her voice quavered.
“Who? The witch?” Saunders stood up from his chair. “Was that her? We’ll get rid of her soon enough.”
“No, it was it was my friend Sabrina. She lives in the next village over. Marigold showed up there and someone told her about what happened.” Sara wrung her hands. “She’s going to tear your village apart to punish you for what you did. She’s going to be so angry with me. I don’t know what she’ll do!”
“Well, I suppose we know what we have to do. Gear up, let’s get out there and head her off before she can do any damage.” Everybody jumped up and ran off to get their equipment. I went to the armory to fetch mine.
Yes, I think I like being on a team.
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FREE Gift Inside! Get a Copy of "Diary of a Minecraft Steve" Audiobook for FREE Right Now! Limited Time Only! Diary of a Minecraft Steve: The Amazing Minecraft World Told by a Hero Minecraft Steve (Minecraft Books) All Steve wants is to lead a simple life, away from troublesome neighbours and the monsters that come out at night and cause havoc. He thought he'd put his adventuring days behind him, but instead, thanks to a random encounter in a nearby village, he gets roped into a daring plan to save the inhabitants from a new and never before seen threat. Despite Steve's reluctance to get involved in someone else's fight, he teams up with a new group of friends from his new home, they set off to put a stop to the menace once and for all. Can they save the village and become great adventurers once again? Scroll Up and Click on "buy now" to Download Your Copy Right Now * * * * * * * * * * Tags: diary of a minecraft steve, diary of a minecraft, minecraft books, diary, minecraft steve, jokes for kids, books for kids