Copyright 2016 Mark Mulle
Published by Mark Mulle at Shakespir
Shakespir Edition License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Shakespir.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This short story is for your reading pleasure. The characters in this “Minecraft Adventure Series” such as Steve, Endermen or Herobrine…etc are based on the Minecraft Game coming from Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch
Table of Contents
It is way too early to be awake. I want to crawl back into bed but Josh would be upset if I blew off training this morning. I stayed up too late last night helping Gareth with some things and now I am paying the price.
Josh has gotten it into his head that morning runs are just the great pre-training trick. I pointed out we live in the End and therefore ‘morning’ doesn’t technically occur but he didn’t want to hear it.
So, here I am, trying to wake up. I have some time to write in this journal before I have to go. There isn’t enough coffee in the world to wake me up.
Josh has taken training very seriously since everything unfolded a year ago. I being chosen to go to the Over World, meeting Ellie and her brother, John, dealing with Marketh wanting to take over the Over World – all of it had been crazy. Josh had been in the End City the entire time, holding down the fort. He had fought just as hard as I did, just down below whereas I was up in the Over World.
Now, Gareth is in control of the End City. Liam still rules the Over World. Gareth hired myself and Josh as part of his advisor team. In our spare time, we train in archery and sword fighting – just in case anything was to happen again.
There hadn’t been any signs of Ender Men since Marketh had been arrested. I hadn’t even seen him since the arrest. I know Liam has him in the Over World, somewhere in his castle. That’s good enough for me. I could go my entire life and not see him again and be just perfectly happy.
Even though everyone can come and go as they please now between the End and the Over World, I haven’t really spent much time back in the Over World. I guess it is because even though all sorts of crazy stuff happened here, the End City is still home, you know? Ultimately, my place is here and I want to protect the people living here.
Even so, I still wish I could go back to bed.
Later that day
Josh was wide awake when I met up with him at our usual spot. In the past year, he had gotten really buff. He was fantastic at fencing now and if you gave him a sword, he could beat almost anyone in the city in hand to hand combat. He also had gotten into crafting a lot. He had made a wonderful diamond sword for himself. I kept bothering him to make me a diamond bow.
“Ready for a jog?” He said to me as he was warming up.
“No.” I said through a yawn.
“Come on, Lana,” Josh replied, “It’s good for us to get these jogs in.”
“I have nothing against running. I just don’t know why we have to do it so early.”
“Everyone does their runs in the morning.”
I gestured around us, “There is no morning down here.”
Our home had gone through a lot of rebuilding in the past year. When Marketh had let the Ender Men roll through our city, it had ruined a lot of sections. Now it was mostly rebuilt. Even so, we were still in the End. That meant everything was mostly grey and gloomy looking. There was no sun shining down on us for our morning run.
“It is morning even if there isn’t a sun,” Josh said, brushing my whining off.
Seeing no way out of it, I started to stretch as well. Maybe once I started to run, I wouldn’t be so tired. After a few minutes of warming up, we started our jog. For a little bit, Josh stayed near me. But I finally told him to go on ahead. He was a faster runner than I was and I didn’t want him holding me back because I was too tired to run.
As Josh took off ahead of me, the rest of the city was slowly starting to wake up. I could see everyone opening their shops and the smell of freshly baked bread filled the air. Now that there was no worry about Ender Men attacking the city, everything was back on schedule.
As I turned a corner, watching Josh grow smaller and smaller, someone else was jogging up to me. Startled, I stopped and tried to catch my breath. It was a messenger from the Over World.
After Gareth and King Liam opened the portals so anyone could travel between the two worlds, messengers were frequently seen down here. A lot of people had left for the Over World when the portals were open and liked to send messages to family.
I got messages sometime. Mostly from John. Sometimes Ellie would scrawl something at the bottom. Even though we got along, Ellie and I still butted heads sometimes.
I hadn’t actually seen John or Ellie once everything got wrapped up. They returned to their lives and I was so busy down here in the End City that I just hadn’t returned to visit them.
Even so, for the messenger to come up to me while I was running and not go to my house meant this had to be important.
“Lana? This message was marked as extremely urgent for you.” The messenger said as he handed me the letter, “I’m supposed to wait here for a response.”
“Oh, okay…that’s new.” I said in between gasps for air.
I tore open the letter and read it. To my surprise, it was from Ellie and it read:
“J is missing. Come to surface ASAP. Need to see you.”
That was all it said. I re-read it twice as if the words would clear my questions up. Did she mean that John was missing? I looked up at the messenger.
“This is it? Nothing else?”
“No, ma’am. What is your reply?”
I looked back down at the letter. If John was missing or Ellie was in trouble, there was no real decision to be made here. I looked back up at the messenger.
“Tell her I’ll be there tonight.”
Josh protested the entire time I was packing a bag for the Over World.
“You can’t tell me that I can’t come with you.” He was angry with me for leaving.
I looked over at him, “You know Gareth needs one of us here to help out. We can’t both run to the Over World. I already spoke to Gareth this afternoon and told him I had to go. He needs you here, Josh.”
“I don’t like this,” Josh was shaking his head, “Going back up to the Over World because John is missing – what if it is a trap?”
“Ellie wrote the letter. It was her handwriting. This isn’t a trap. Who would be trapping me?”
“Oh no, not this again.” I sighed.
Ever since everything had unfolded, Josh was convinced that we hadn’t seen the last of Marketh. Even though he was in a dungeon somewhere, Josh thought he was still plotting and planning.
“Yes, this again. Have you forgotten that John and Ellie are his kids?”
“No. As if I could forget that. I know Marketh is their father. So, what? You think that he is going to try to get them back? Wouldn’t matter. Ellie can’t stand Marketh and John feels no connection to him. They were smuggled out of here as babies,” I replied, “Not as adults.”
“Yeah, but they are still kids to Marketh. Just…be careful, alright? If John is really missing, that means something is going on.”
I didn’t like to think about John going missing. There was definitely something going on if he had just vanished.
“I’ll be careful.” I told Josh.
He walked me to the portal. It was in the evening and there was no one else waiting to use it. Ever since the first time I used a portal, where Marketh had messed with it and I went spilling into the ocean, I hated using them.
“Alright. This is your stop,” Josh said to me as I stepped in front of the portal.
I looked over my shoulder. I had a bad feeling about this – about all of this – for reasons that I couldn’t fully explain.
“Hold the fort down here, okay?” I said to him.
He nodded and waved good-bye at me. Holding my breath, I stepped into the portal. There was a humming that filled my ears and I felt as if I was swooping through the void. I closed my eyes tightly and thought about which portal I wanted to exit through. It was very important to have that in your mind as you went through the portals. Otherwise, it could spit you out in another portal somewhere in the Over World.
Then I was toppling forward. Most people, like Josh, could come out of a portal graceful as ever. Not me. I was always paranoid I was going to fall into water or something. That always threw me off. I landed practically face first into the dirt.
Spitting out dirt as I got to my feet, I looked around. I had assumed Ellie would be waiting for me here. I was outside their village. It was just over the hill. Yet no one was here.
The bad feeling just grew as I got to my feet and brushed the dirt off my pants. I hurried over the hill and looked down at the village.
The entire village was on fire and swarming with what appeared to be wither skeletons. I gasped in alarm. What in the world was going on here? How was this place under attack?
I was glad I had brought my weapons. I pulled out my bow, wishing again that I had convinced Josh to make me a diamond one even though he had said he was too busy, and took off at a run down the hill towards the village.
The village was covered in flames that licked the sky. Wither skeletons had knocked down most of the walls that protected the village. I hadn’t been here since the night I had met both Ellie and John. To see it now, on fire and under siege, was scary.
I swallowed hard and shoved the fear down. I had to find Ellie and see if anyone needed help. As I ducked through a hole in the wall, a wither skeleton came out of the flames and lunged at me. I barely had time to roll out of the way, skittering out of the way of the flames.
The wither skeleton turned to face me. It was on fire and was staring me down. Wonderful. Just what I wanted to run into today. Flaming wither skeletons.
I turned around and took off in a run. I didn’t want to get bogged down in attacking wither skeletons. The most important thing was Ellie and the other villagers. I rounded a corner and saw a small child cornered as a wither skeleton headed towards him.
He was crying. In one swift motion, I notched an arrow in my bow and let it fly. It smacked into the wither skeleton, knocking it off balance. Instantly, I fired another arrow and it sent the wither skeleton to its feet before turning into a pile of ash.
I hurried over to the child and scooped him up in one arm. Okay. So now I had a kid with me. Even better, I joked to myself as I took off jogging down the street.
Maybe Josh had been right about going running in the morning. It was paying off now, for sure.
I was almost near Ellie’s place. As I got closer to the center of the village, there were people here. Some were fighting. Others were trying to get people inside the mayor’s house for protection.
A crying woman ran up to me and the child screamed for his mother. I let the kid go, relieved at not having to carry him anymore. He was sort of heavy!
“Have you seen Ellie?” I asked the woman but she shook her head and ran off with her child towards the mayor’s house.
There was no way that Ellie would be hiding out in the mayor’s house. I knew her too well for that. She would be neck deep in the battle. Knowing this, I turned around, and headed back into the middle of the village.
Here the fighting was the worst. The soldiers were trying to push back against the wither skeletons. All around us, the village was up in flames. I was searching for Ellie when one of the skeletons leapt out of the flames at me.
Alarmed, I reached for my bow but I was too slow. A second too slow. The skeleton pushed me back with its bony arms. Its fingertips pressed against the fabric of my shirt. I lurched backward before my shirt could be lit on fire.
The wither skeleton was grabbing its sword. I was too close to try to shoot it with my bow. As I fumbled for my sword, an arrow flew through the flames and knocked the wither skeleton down. It turned to ash in front of me and I let out a sigh of relief.
I looked around to see who had saved me. Out of the darkness came a figure. Their bow was shining from the flames.
“You used to move faster. A year in the cushy End City make you soft?”
“Ellie!” I exclaimed, going over to her.
I hadn’t seen her in a year. Now, she looked as if she had clearly been in a battle. She was covered in soot from the fires and her hair was a mess. There was dirt on her face and she was holding her bow, ready to fire at any moment.
“You came just in time. Thought you weren’t going to show up.”
“You said John went missing. Of course I was going to show up.”
“He is missing. Went missing this morning. I’ve been looking around in the hills for him. But I think someone took him. The same person who has currently filled my village full of wither skeletons.”
“We have to drive them out of here. Then we can talk about your brother.”
Ellie nodded, “There are only a few small groups left. Come with me. We need all the help we can get.”
I nodded and together we headed off towards where the fighting sounded the loudest. Working with the soldiers, the two of us pushed back the wither skeletons that were still around the village. It took a long time. By the end of the battle, I was exhausted. I hadn’t been expecting any sort of fight today.
After we patrolled and made sure there were no more wither skeletons, the soldiers worked on putting out the fires. As they did that, Ellie dragged me to the mayor’s house.
“Come on,” She said to me, “We need to talk about everything going on.”
The mayor’s house was full of the villagers. Some were patching each other up while others were trying to sleep. The mayor himself was trying to organize everyone in the middle. Ellie yanked me up the stairs, past the Do Not Enter sign.
“Uh, it says –”
“Please.” She snapped over her shoulder as she opened up a bedroom and pulled me inside.
With the door closed, I looked around. A bed was pressed against the corner with a crafting table. There was a creeper head displayed in the window here. With a shudder, I looked away.
“Can you tell me what is going on?” I asked her.
“So, John isn’t with you?”
“What? No. Why would he be with me?”
Ellie crossed her arms and sat down on the edge of the bed. She looked exhausted and blew a lock of hair out of the way of her face.
“John was talking about visiting the End City. I told him I didn’t want to go. No offense, but I went there when you went back and I don’t really want to see it again.”
“Yeah, I remember. You said it felt as if you were trapped down there.”
“Right. Anyway, so he was talking about going to see you and then the next morning, he was gone.”
“Why did he want to see me?” I asked her.
“He didn’t say. I just thought it was for a visit. We’ve been busy up here, working with King Liam and helping out in the village. No time for a visit.”
“I haven’t heard from him. I didn’t get any sort of message or anything.”
“Yeah, I thought it was off. John just leaving like that…well, you know John. He isn’t like that. I had been exploring the hills just in case he was out there somewhere. When I came back, the village was under attack.”
“Any idea who set up the attack?”
“No. But I can’t help but feel as if John disappearing and the wither skeletons attacking our home is somehow connected.” Ellie replied.
“So, what now? Any clues as to where John could be?”
“None. If he isn’t in the End City, then maybe he went to see King Liam. I don’t know. We have a portal here now installed to go to the King. But no one saw John use it.”
“He could have snuck through it.” I suggested.
“Yeah. But why? I’m going to talk to the King. Someone has to report this attack. Stay here. I’m going to go talk to the mayor.”
I nodded and Ellie moved past me, closing the door behind her as she went to go speak to the mayor. I looked around the room and then went over to the window. I could see the soldiers putting the fires out.
Where had John gone? Had someone taken him? Things had just gotten way more complicated. Someone had attacked this village. There was a lot going on and yet I had no answers.
Ellie was taking so long that I ended up pulling out my journal and writing in here as quickly as I could. Once again, I can’t help but feel as if this journal is important. I want to log everything that happens.
Ellie came back thirty minutes later. She had a tray of bread and milk.
“Wow, room service.” I joked and she rolled her eyes.
We ate quietly in the corner. Both of us were starving. Finally, after we finished dinner, Ellie leaned back in her chair.
“We leave for the King’s in the morning. We have to clean up and get some rest first. As much as I want to go now…”
“Mayor said no?”
She nodded, looking annoyed, “In any case, we can report to Liam about the attack and ask about John.”
“What if Liam hasn’t seen him?”
Ellie looked determined, “Then I’ll talk to Marketh.”
I looked up, surprised, “You’re going to talk to Marketh?”
Ellie’s father, Marketh, was a touchy subject for her. She knew that he wasn’t a good guy and that her mother had smuggled John and her out of the End City to protect them. For a long time, neither one of them knew who their father was. To find out it was Marketh, the man who wanted to cover the Over World in Ender Men, wasn’t exactly a great feeling.
Ellie usually pretended Marketh didn’t exist. It was John who always wrote about him in their letters. He had gone to see him a few times as if to try to understand why their father did what he did.
I hadn’t thought about going to see Marketh. Mostly it was because I wanted to forget about him. I didn’t like thinking about what he had done to the End City or what he had put everyone through. It was easier to just think about him sitting down there, locked away.
“John saw him last week. It’s a long shot but…” She shrugged and then stood up, clearly not wanting to discuss it any longer, “I’m going to bed. The mayor gave us the bedrooms up here so consider yourself lucky.”
I got up from the table as well, eager to take a shower and go to bed. Ellie walked over to the door and then stopped.
She looked over her shoulder, “Thanks for coming, Lana.”
Then Ellie was gone. With a yawn, I headed into the shower and then curled up into bed. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to sleep or not – but I was asleep in moments.
I woke up hours later to Ellie hovering over my face, waking me up. I mumbled something and sat up.
“Hurry up,” She snapped, “Seriously, get up. We have to go. Now.”
“What’s going on?”
“More wither skeletons are attacking. We have to go now before the portal is covered in them.”
Quickly, I got out of bed, grabbed my weapons and took off with Ellie. I thought we were going to go down the stairs and out the front door but Ellie had another idea. She opened the window and began to climb out of it.
“What are you doing?” I asked her.
“Shortcut. The portal is in the city hall. Across the street.” She called back to me as she began to climb down the side of the house.
I stuck my head out the window and looked around. I could see wither skeletons in the street. They were fighting the soldiers. Ahead of us was the city hall.
“Great.” I mumbled under my breath as I slipped out of the window and climbed after Ellie.
We both landed in the garden. We hurried towards city hall. Ellie and I both took down three wither skeletons on the way over. I couldn’t believe there was another attack on the village. Were other places being attacked? What about the End City?
I told myself not to think about it right now and pushed it out of my head. I had to focus on the task at hand and nothing else.
We crossed the street and entered the grounds of city hall. It had been badly burned in the fires from yesterday.
“What if the portal is gone?” I asked Ellie as I took down a wither skeleton.
If it were gone, that would mean we would have to travel to get to Liam. That would take too long. Ellie didn’t answer. We burst into the city hall. It was empty. Quickly, we crossed the main room and Ellie yanked open a door to a hallway.
Down the hallway we went and then into another room. There we stopped. In front of the portal, which was luckily still together, was a wither skeleton. It turned to look at us and brandished a large sword.
This close, I equipped my own diamond sword. Ellie held back with her bow and looked at me.
“Guess he doesn’t want us to go through the portal,” I said.
Wither skeletons are always fast. They move quickly and attack hard. But, somehow, this wither skeleton seemed even faster. It darted forward and attacked with its sword. I managed to block it just in time but stumbled backwards. Ellie let an arrow fly but the wither skeleton was fast enough to block it with his own shield.
I kicked out with my legs. But it was like hitting iron. The wither skeleton’s legs barely felt my kick. Instead, it brought its sword down. I rolled out of the way as the sword smashed into the wooden flooring.
Ellie fired another arrow but the wither skeleton blocked this too. It was too fast. How in the world did it move so quickly? The other skeletons hadn’t been like this.
I scrambled to my feet and tried to attack again. This time it slammed its arm into me and sent me flying across the room. I crashed into the wall. For a few seconds, my vision blurred.
Ellie was grabbing something. With my vision blurred, I couldn’t tell what it was. The wither skeleton was coming towards me. I was trying to get to my feet, getting ready to ward off its attacks.
Then an arrow slammed into the skeleton. Almost instantly, it was covered in head to toe with ice. It slowed it down and had it stuck to the floor. I got to my feet and looked over at Ellie. Of course! I had forgotten completely about the magical vials she could use in her bow.
Wasting no more time, I struck out with my sword. I cut down the skeleton almost right away and it turned to ash and ice on my feet.
Ellie lowered her bow, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I think so, anyway.”
“Here.” She tossed me something – it was another vial and was a bright pink.
“What is this?”
“Something that John and I have been working on. Think of it as like a health potion. It should help you.”
“Geez, what have you guys been doing the past year?” I said, uncapping it and making sure it didn’t smell weird before drinking it.
Ellie watched me for a few seconds after I drank it and I looked back at her, “What?”
“Nothing. We’re still testing it and I wanted to see if you were going to faint or something.”
“Wow. Wonderful. Thank you.”
She ignored me and went over to the portal, making sure that it was okay. Then she took a step back from it and motioned for me to come over. I walked over.
“Alright. You want to go first?” Ellie asked me.
“Sure.” I lied – I hated going through these portals.
“Wonderful. Don’t overthink it.” She said and before I knew what she could mean by that, she was shoving me forward through the portal.
Everything swirled purple around me and I could feel that awful humming in my ears. After a few seconds, I was spit out of the portal. As always, I landed clumsily. At least this time I managed to stay upright.
A man looked up in alarm from his desk. The portal was in a different spot than last time I had tumbled through it. It seemed to be in someone’s office. The man got to his feet and hurried over as Ellie came through the portal.
I’m sure we made quite a sight. Both of us were dirty from the fight through the ruined city hall. I knew I was covered in dust and dirt from slamming against the wall. Ellie’s bow was glowing a bright blue from the vial she had put inside of it.
The man sputtered, “Ellie – what is this?”
“Hey, George,” She said casually, “There’s an issue back home. Wither skeleton attack and my brother is missing. Is the king around?”
The man, George, looked annoyed with her, “You can’t just ask for the king whenever you want. We’ve been through this.”
“Come on, George.” She leaned over and playfully hit him on the shoulder – leaving a streak of dirt on his clean shirt.
He looked down at it in horror. I glanced at Ellie and narrowed my eyes. She definitely wasn’t improving anything here.
“We’re friends, right?” She tried again.
“Can you pretend we are friends and get the king? My village is under attack and my brother is missing.” She snapped, losing her patience.
I looked over at George, “If not the king, then someone who can listen to us about the attack on the village.” I tried to smile but I think I just scared him more.
George scampered out of the room and Ellie sighed, “Such a pain.”
She went over and sat down in a chair, curling up in it. When she felt me staring at her, she opened her eye.
“Liam is going to take forever. The king moves slowly in everything. You should catch a nap. Or write in your little journal.”
I sat down on a couch. I wasn’t feeling that tired so writing felt like the best bet. Now that I am all caught up, all we can do is wait for Liam. It’s been at least an hour –
Later that night
Liam entered the room without warning. Ellie was curled up in the chair like a cat. She was even snoring a little. I woke her up quickly and she jolted awake, looking around. When she saw the king, she got to her feet and tried to curtsy.
Liam sighed, “Ellie, please. We all know you aren’t one for proper protocol.”
“I thought I’m supposed to curtsey. John told me.” She said.
I got to my feet and did a quick bow to Liam. I hadn’t seen him since everything had been going on with his brother, Marketh.
“Lana,” He said in surprise, “I wasn’t expecting to see you here. How is Gareth?”
“He’s good, Your Majesty. Ruling the End City fairly.”
“What brings the two of you here today? George said something about an attack…”
Together, Ellie and I told him what happened. When we finished, Liam was looking at us very seriously.
“I want to speak to Marketh,” Ellie said, “John came to see him recently, right?”
“Yes, he did.”
“Did he say anything? Anything at all about leaving or Marketh telling him something?” She asked.
“No, not that I can recall. Are you sure you want to speak to him?” Liam asked, “I mean…”
We all knew what he was thinking. Ellie hadn’t ever gone to speak to her dad before. In moments like these, I forget that the king is technically her uncle. There is a tenderness to his words as if he doesn’t want her to get hurt.
“John is missing,” She said, “I need to speak to him.”
“Alright. I’ll have you guys taken to see him. Are you sure you don’t want to eat or something first?”
Ellie shook her head, “Afterwards. Thanks.”
We were taken out of the room and down the hallway. The castle looked the same as the last time I was here. The time before that, I had been chased around by guards. Even now, if I saw a guard glance at me, I could feel my muscles tighten. I guess some instincts don’t ever go away.
Liam had to go because he had another council meeting. I swear, the only thing the king does is sit in meetings. In any case, we were taken down to the dungeon by two guards. I could tell Ellie was nervous. She was trying to hide it. I don’t think anyone else would have noticed but since I know her so well, I could tell.
She glanced at me and shrugged as if to tell me not to be concerned. Down in the dungeon, there were torches along the walls. I didn’t see anything in the cells although I didn’t look very closely. The entire area smelled musty and damp. It was cold down here too.
We stopped in front of a large door. The guard unlocked it with a gold key and we stepped inside. This area of the dungeon was a bit nicer – although that wasn’t saying much. It didn’t smell as badly and the cells were a lot larger. When we were almost at the end of the hallway, the guard stopped.
“He’s in the last cell.” He said to us.
Ellie looked uncomfortable so I walked down the rest of the hallway first. I didn’t want her to feel pressured to follow me so I tried to give her a thumbs up. All she did was scowl at me and follow me.
We stopped in front of Marketh’s cell. This was honestly the last person on the planet I felt like speaking to. This was a man who had allowed Ender Men to attack the End City. The same man who had wanted to take over the Over World.
He was sitting up in his bed, reading a book. His hair had gotten so long that it went down to his waist. He had a big bushy beard. Marketh looked like a hermit now – which I guess he sort of was.
“Marketh, you have visitors!” The guard exclaimed, snapping him out of his reading.
When he looked up and saw them, I could see the surprise cross his face. He shut his book and slipped off of the bed. Ellie took a step away from the bars of the cell as he walked over.
“Ellie…what a nice surprise,” Then he glanced at me, “You, not so much.”
“Likewise.” I replied coolly.
“Don’t get excited,” Ellie said and even though she had looked nervous, her voice was as strong as steel, “I’m here to ask you about my brother.”
“What about him?”
“When did you last speak to him?”
“Last week,” Marketh replied smoothly, “He had come to see me. He gave me the book that I am reading.”
“What did the two of you talk about?”
“What is this about? Has something happened with John?”
“Don’t pretend you’re innocent,” Ellie snapped, losing her cool, “Tell me what the two of you talked about.”
“Nothing interesting, I’m afraid. He asked questions about his mother.”
I couldn’t help but stare at Marketh and try to figure out if he was lying. I didn’t trust him, no matter what he said. John missing and the attack on the village…there was a lot going on here. Marketh had wanted to rule the Over World. What would have stopped him from trying something even locked up in a cell?
“What about our mother?” Ellie asked.
Marketh wrapped his fingers around the bars of the cell and smiled, “You haven’t come to see me once, Ellie. I’m your father.”
“Hardly. Our mother smuggled us out of the End City to get away from you. She did that to save us from you. On top of that, you try to take over the Over World and the End. So tell me what you said to John.”
“You’re a lot like her. Your mother, I mean. Determined. Stubborn.”
“Don’t talk about my mother. Tell me about John.”
Marketh looked annoyed that Ellie wasn’t going to fall for his bait and went, “I told him about your mother. When he came here three days ago, it was the only thing that he wanted to talk about. I can tell you the same things I told him, if you like.” He smiled.
But something caught my attention and I held my hand, “Wait. You said he came last week to see you and now you are saying three days ago.”
Marketh’s eyes turned to land on me. The corner of his mouth twitched but he didn’t reply.
“I can just check visitor records,” I said, taking a step back, “That will clear this up, I think.”
“Wait,” Marketh said as I turned around, “Fine. It was three days ago. John was here three days ago.”
“You liar!” Ellie exclaimed, “Tell me what is going on!”
“Why tell you when I can show you?” Marketh said and then he was smiling, “John came here three days ago, it’s true. He even left to go back home. What happened after that isn’t any of my concern, right? I can only see outside of this cell. For now, anyway.”
“Are you trying to tell me you’re going to escape?” I asked him.
But Marketh had apparently said all he wanted to say. He turned around and went onto his bed, picking up the book.
“Tell me what you meant by you will show us!” Ellie yelled, slamming her hands against the bars, “Tell me what you did to my brother!”
“Guard, we’re done here.” Marketh said.
We were led away from the cell with more questions than answers.
After telling Liam what Marketh had said, we were shown to our rooms for the night. My room connected to Ellie’s. After we ate dinner and cleaned up, I could hear her pacing in her room.
I opened the door that connected our rooms and looked at her. She was pacing in front of the window and looked lost in thought.
“Did you tell Liam what Marketh had said?”
“Yes. He confirmed John had been here three days ago. We checked the books. Why lie? What did Marketh mean by saying he would show us?”
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t put it past him to have something to do with John vanishing though. We just have to figure out what he could mean.”
“He could mean anything,” Ellie grumbled, “I don’t like this. None of it. I feel as if…maybe I made a mistake going down to talk to him.”
Ellie had stopped pacing and was looking out the window to the courtyard below, “I don’t know. I just feel as if I stepped into a trap or something.”
The truth was that Ellie could be right. It could be a trap. Marketh was cunning and not afraid of trying something crazy. Even though we had told Liam about what he had said, what if that was what Marketh had wanted?
The mind games were making me tired. I told Ellie I was going to bed. It didn’t take long to fall asleep. With everything that had been going on, I was exhausted. I fell asleep in seconds.
When I woke up, I could tell instantly that something was wrong. It was still dark outside. Moonlight poured in through the windows that I had forgotten to shut. The door to Ellie’s room was swung wide open but I didn’t see her in her bed.
As I propped myself up, rubbing sleep from my eyes, I could hear something else too. It was a sort of ringing noise. It was familiar to me although I couldn’t pinpoint why I knew it. I got out of bed.
“Ellie?” I called out but there was no answer.
I went over to the window and opened the blinds, looking down into the courtyard. It was there I realized what the ringing noise was. It was steel on steel clanging. There were skeletons in the courtyard below me. The king’s men were fighting them back, trying to get rid of them.
Somehow, the castle was under attack and Ellie wasn’t here.
Quickly, I grabbed my things and dressed for battle. I had two thoughts: Marketh was behind this and I had to find Ellie.
I yanked opened the door out into the hallway. The torches had been put out and the entire hallway was dark. The sounds of battle were muffled over here. There was no sign of anyone.
Making sure I had my bow ready, even though I wasn’t as good as Ellie, I took off down the hallway. Throwing caution to the wind, I kept calling for her. Maybe she had gotten pinned down by a battle somewhere. I knew a skeleton could come out and attack me but I was willing to risk it for Ellie.
When I got to the staircase, there had been no sign of her. I could hear fighting on the floor below me. Had Ellie gone downstairs? This whole thing felt wrong. How had skeletons gotten into the castle? This place was supposed to be the most protected spot in the Over World. How could this be?
Knowing Ellie wasn’t on this floor, I took off downstairs. I ran into my first skeleton as I got to the floor below me. A guard was overwhelmed by three skeletons. The fourth had seen me and was hurrying over.
These weren’t wither skeletons, I noticed with a sense of relief. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about them moving quickly. They would be easier to take down. I fired my arrow at the skeleton that was running towards me. It crumbled into ash quickly.
I then fired two more arrows to help out the guard that had gotten pinned down. With one skeleton left, he took care of it easily with his sword. Then he turned to look at me.
“Are you okay?” I asked him.
“Yes, thanks. What about you?”
“Fine but I was asleep. My friend is missing. What is going on here?”
The guard took off his helm. I saw he wasn’t much older than I was. He wiped the sweat from above his eyes as he looked at me.
“You must be Lana, right?” When I nodded, he pointed to himself, “I’m Ian. Everything was normal until about fifteen minutes ago. Skeletons just started pouring into the castle. We have no idea how they got past our defensives. Communication is down. We are in the dark.”
“Did you see Ellie around here? My friend, I mean.”
“The king’s niece?” Ian shook his head, “Haven’t seen her. Why don’t we stick together and see what we can find out? I’m trying to get to the throne room.”
I agreed. Better to travel with someone than be by myself. Together, we went down the stairs. There were a few more skeletons on the staircase but we took them down easily. Once we got down to the main floor, the full chaos seemed to hit us in the face.
There were skeletons everywhere. The battle reminded me of the attack on the village. The guards had better weapons and were more skilled which was good for us. Even so, every time a skeleton was taken down, it felt as if another one popped up in its place.
I tried calling for Ellie but my voice was swallowed up in the noise. I scanned the crowd for her but didn’t see her. Ian was pointing me to the hallway that led to the throne room. The king would be in there. Maybe Ellie was with the king? That would make sense, after all, with everything going on.
As Ian and I cut through the battle to get to the throne room, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I paused and turned around, trying to figure out what had gotten my attention.
Through the windows, I saw Ellie. She was being dragged away by skeletons. She didn’t have her bow and was kicking her legs against the grass, trying to break free. Without saying anything to Ian, I pushed past him and went running out into the courtyard. I hear Ian yell after me but I didn’t stop.
I slammed through the doors into the courtyard. There was more of the battle here, spilling out into the castle and across the grass. In the center of the courtyard, a portal was opening. I had no idea where it was going to take Ellie but I had to get to her before she was pulled through it.
“Ellie!” I cried out.
She heard me. Her head snapped up as her eyes landed on me. She yelled something at me but I couldn’t understand her. I took off into the battle, switching to my sword and shield. As I took down skeletons, someone fired an arrow into one in front of me. I glanced behind me and saw that Ian was giving me coverage.
But no matter how hard I tried to get to Ellie, it was as if she was always a little out of reach. As she got closer to the portal, I tried to pick up my pace. But I could tell I wasn’t going to get to her in time.
Ellie yelled something else at me but again, I didn’t hear it. As the skeletons took her to the portal, I cried out her name. Then the skeletons tossed her into the portal. I watched it swallow her up. In an instant she was gone.
I stopped running. It was as if the battle had stopped. In slow motion, coming around the corner, was Marketh. He was wearing golden robes and holding a staff. He was going over to the portal. When he saw me, he grinned.
This is what he had meant by showing us. He did have something to do with all of this – some terrible plan he was now putting into motion. Marketh was walking over to the portal as the battle raged.
I snapped out of my fog and took off at a run again. Maybe I could get to him in time – if I just ran faster – if I could just –
But he grinned at me and stepped through the portal. In a second, he was gone. The portal closed behind him. I tripped and hit the muddy ground. I could feel someone helping me up. The skeletons were turning around as if they had done their job. They were leaving, I realized, as Ian got me to my feet. Marketh’s first step of his plan was finished.
All I could do was wonder if we had fallen into his trap.
After the skeletons left and the portal was closed, King Liam tried to get groups organized. Some were sent out into the town to make sure everyone was okay. Others were sent out through the castle to make sure there was nothing else hidden.
Ian took me to the king, where I learned that the reason Ian could get so close to the throne is because he was part of the King’s Guard. Relieved at having at least a little good luck, I thanked Ian before filling in Liam. I was sure if I hadn’t had Ian help me get to the king, it would have taken a lot longer to get to him and tell him what had happened.
When I finished, Liam looked horrified and went, “This is my fault. I should have locked up Marketh somewhere. Instead, I locked him up in the castle and now he is back to his old tricks.”
“I feel like we have so many questions and no answers. Where did he take Ellie and John? How did he escape? What was that portal?” I was rambling but I couldn’t help it – I couldn’t believe all of this was happening again.
“Lana, you need to get back home.” Liam said to me.
I protested, “What? I can’t. Not now.”
“No, listen to me. If he attacked here, where would he go next?”
My eyes widened as I realized what he was saying, “The End City.”
I got to my feet. My heart was thumping in my chest. Liam was right. If Marketh attacked here, then of course he’d go after Gareth, his other brother.
“Wait, let me go with you.” Ian spoke up.
“What?” I asked.
“You shouldn’t go there alone. Your Majesty, let me go with Lana. That way I can report to you what is going on down there.”
Liam nodded, giving his agreement. I yanked Ian along with me. If Ian really wanted to come along, then I wasn’t going to stop him. I didn’t care who came along. I needed to get back home now.
We took off at a jog, down the hallway, through the guards and towards the portal to take me back to the End City. George, the man who had been sitting at the desk before, looked up.
“I heard about Ellie. Do you know where she could have been taken?”
“No, but we have to go back to the End City right now.” I said.
“I’ve never been through one of these portals.” Ian said, hesitating in front of it.
I yanked him forward and then pushed myself through the portal before he could say anything else. The humming noise filled my ears but this time I didn’t close my eyes. I wanted to be ready for whatever was going to be on the other side of things.
Ian wasn’t used to the portals so we both fell onto the ground together. Very graceful. I looked up, not sure what I was going to see.
The city was quiet. Well, to be fair, the city is normally very quiet. Unlike the hustle and bustle of the Over World, we tend to keep to ourselves down here. But even this was a sort of eerie silence that covered the city.
Getting to my feet, I hurried down the steps and went into the city. Ian trailed after me. He was a bit slower than I was. He had never been here before and was taking everything in. When I entered the main street of the city, I looked around.
There was no one here.
Together, Ian and I went into every shop in an attempt to find people but there was no one to find. It was as if everyone in the city had been snatched up. That included Josh. I sat down on the curb after we spent thirty minutes looking.
The city was so quiet that it felt smothering like a blanket. Ian sat down next to me but didn’t say anything. What could you say about everyone in a city vanishing?
Finally, I spoke, “What Marketh did at the castle…it wasn’t just his escape. It was a distraction too. I bet at the same time he was escaping; he was taking everyone out of the city too.”
“He didn’t want me in the city, did he?” I said, “That’s why he took John. A distraction. He knew Ellie would reach out for me. I led her right to Marketh to take her. Now he has both of them and my entire city. And Josh.”
“You can’t blame yourself. You had no idea he was planning something like this. No one did. He literally escaped from the castle! No one has ever done that. We don’t have all the answers yet.”
“I don’t know what to do.” I admitted, feeling lost.
Ian fell silent and was looking around the city as if a clue would pop out at us. Then he got to his feet.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“We were looking for people, not clues. Let’s check the city again for clues. Where is your leader? Maybe something in his house can help us.”
“I’ll take you to our council hall. We don’t have a castle or anything down here.” I said, getting to my feet.
We cut through the city. In the silence, our steps sounded very loud. We walked up the stairs to the council hall. I wasn’t expecting to find anything. I guess I was feeling a bit beaten down. I couldn’t help but still blame myself for all of this.
“Marketh took a portal out of the castle. What do you bet he opened up one here to pull everyone through?”
“It would have had to be a few of them,” I said, “One portal wouldn’t have been enough.”
“We didn’t see any signs of portals, did we? Usually the ground looks a bit scorched wherever one opened up.”
That was true. We hadn’t seen any signs of a portal and we also hadn’t seen any scorched ground. I stopped in front of the front doors of the council hall. The door was swung open.
We stepped inside. I was half expecting wither skeletons or something to attack us but there was nothing. The hall was usually neat and orderly but everything was knocked over. There were signs of fighting. This was the first time we had seen something like this in the city. Every other place looked untouched.
“Well, this is something at least.” I mumbled as we took another step inside.
“Yeah, the rest of the city didn’t show any signs of battle.” Ian said as we walked through the council.
Even with the signs of battle, there was no sign of anyone else in the building. I wandered down the hallway that led to Gareth’s room and stopped. Instead of his room, the entire back section of the building had been destroyed. It was as if a giant foot had stepped into the back half of the building. I could see directly outside from here.
He was there in an instant with his sword drawn, probably thinking I was under attack or something. But he stopped in his tracks and his mouth opened.
“What is this?” He finally said.
As I walked forward, I could feel glass and small rocks crunch underneath my shoes. I had no answers. What could have crushed only the back of the council building? I was about to tell Ian that I didn’t know when the sounds underneath my feet suddenly changed.
I looked down. My feet had landed in a small puddle of water. I looked up, following the puddle with my eyes and saw that the ruined section of the building had puddles of water throughout it.
“Water?” Ian asked, leaning over and touching it with his fingertips to make sure, “That’s odd.”
“No scorch marks,” I mumbled, “But water. This has to be where the portal opened.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. It must have been a massive portal. I mean, just giant. It crushed this half of the building, after all. The portal opened and everyone was almost sucked inside.”
“Yeah, but why water? What is it from?” Ian asked.
I crouched and ran my fingers over one of the puddles. My mind was trying to work through the puzzle. It felt as if I had the answer but it was just out of my reach. Marketh had created a portal so large, my entire city was sucked inside of it. Where could he have taken them that was secluded and also would have resulted in creating these puddles?
“A water temple.” I said suddenly.
Ian frowned, “A water temple?”
“That’s right. A water temple. Having them underwater would mean they were hidden. It would mean it would be harder to find them. That’s why there are these puddles instead of scorch marks.”
“A water temple? I thought these were just stories.” Ian exclaimed.
“Most of the stories are true.” I said with a sigh, thinking of the Ender Dragon I had fought previously.
“So, what now? How do we find a water temple? The oceans are large. There really isn’t a way to narrow the search down.”
“Look for portal fragments. If we can find even just one, we can toss it in the portal we came through. That would change where the portal will take us when we step through it.”
“Wait, you’re just going to barge into the water temple? We don’t know what will be on the other end.”
“Nothing good. But Marketh won’t be expecting me. He thinks he covered his tracks perfectly but we are so close to figuring it out. If you don’t want to come along, go back to the king. But I’m doing this.”
Ian groaned and sighed, “No. No, I’m coming. I mean, I am going to regret this but I’ll come along with you.”
“Great. Come on. Let’s try to find a portal piece.”
That ended up being easier said than done. We combed through the wreckage of the building but didn’t find anything that was a portal piece. Had Marketh made sure to have his skeletons clear up the portal pieces? A portal of this size would be full of all sorts of energy. Fragments would break off all the time.
Marketh had tried a similar trick the last time he had been focused on controlling the world. He had opened up an incredibly large portal in the End with the hopes of sending Ender Men and the Ender Dragon through it. Afterwards, we had spent ages cleaning up fragments from the portal.
“They are little black looking rocks.” I said for the millionth time, trying not to get frustrated.
“Lana, I know. I’m looking. Doesn’t help that the stones you guys build with look just like the portal fragments.” Ian grumbled, probably regretting wanting to come along.
After another hour of this, Ian finally stood up and shook his head, “We need to take a break.” When I started to protest, he shook his head again, “Lana. Come on. You need to rest. You’re over thinking this and you need to relax.”
He was right even though I didn’t want to admit it. I stood up and we left the council building. We went back to my own house. After what had happened a year ago, Gareth had made sure we were out of the orphanage and had our own places to live. It was just a reminder how Josh was gone with the rest of the city.
Ian and I were both quiet. I was too tired to talk much. Afterwards, Ian got some blankets and pillows and curled up on the floor in a bed he had made. I should be sleeping too but instead I am writing in here.
I can’t help but feel frustrated. I know that Marketh has taken the people to a water temple. It makes sense and matches up with the water on the floor and the fact he’d want to hide everyone in a large area. Even so, how am I supposed to get there if I can’t find a fragment of the portal?
Had Marketh really gotten all of the portal pieces? Ian is right. The portal pieces look exactly like the rocks we used to build down here.
I shook Ian awake. He was totally out of it and was staring at me as if I had lost my mind.
“I figured it out.” I said quickly and then took off out of the house.
“Lana, hold up!” Ian said, stumbling to his feet and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
I couldn’t wait though. I had figured it out! If I had only realized what Ian had said earlier about the rocks, I would have figured it out over an hour ago. I took off and run down the empty streets and back into the council building.
“Lana! Geez, you can run fast!” Ian said, panting.
“Yeah, thanks to Josh.” I said and he just looked at me in confusion.
I crouched back down and moved some rubble out of the way. When Ian had said the rocks and portal fragments looked similar, it hadn’t clicked. Now, however, it did. This entire time we had been looking at what we had thought were rocks of the building. But it had been portal fragments this entire time!
I snatched up a handful of the fragments and quickly explained what was going on to Ian. His eyes widened in excitement as we took off out of the council building and back towards the portal we had come through.
Once we were standing in front of it, I looked over at him and asked, “Are you ready? As soon as I throw these pieces in, we have to jump through. We have no idea what we are going to be jumping into.”
“Knowing our luck, we’ll land right in the middle of the ocean.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time.” I grumbled, remembering the first time Marketh had sent me through a portal.
“Alright. Let’s do this.” Ian nodded.
I tossed the pieces into the portal. It shimmered and glowed brightly before settling back into its normal purple color. I took a step forward but Ian pulled me backwards.
“Let me go first. Just in case.”
“Are you sure?”
He nodded and then went over to the portal. Then he stepped through it and was gone. I stared at the shimmering portal and held my breath – just in case I landed underwater.
I had no idea where I was going to end up but I knew I needed to go through here. I needed to find my people, Josh, John and Ellie. Whatever Marketh was planning, I would stop him again.
I stepped through the portal.
About the Author
Mark Mulle is a passionate Minecraft gamer who writes game guides, short stories, and novels about the Minecraft universe. He has been exploring, building, and fighting in the game ever since its launch, and he often uses in-game experiences for inspiration on creating the best fiction for fellow fans of the game. He works as a professional writer and splits his time between gaming, reading, and storytelling, three hobbies and lifelong passions that he attributes to a love of roleplaying, a pursuit of challenging new perspectives, and a visceral enjoyment the vast worlds that imagination has to offer. His favorite thing to do, after a long day of creating worlds both on and off the online gaming community, is to relax with his dog, Herobrine, and to unwind with a good book. His favorite authors include Stephen King, Richard A. Knaak, George R. R. Martin, and R. A. Salvatore, whose fantasy works he grew up reading or is currently reading. Just like in Minecraft, Mark always strives to level up, so to speak, so that he can improve his skills and continue to surprise his audience. He prefers to play massive multiplayer online games but often spends time in those games fighting monsters one on one and going solo against the toughest mobs and bosses he can manage to topple. In every game, his signature character build is a male who focuses mostly on crafting weapons and enchanting, and in every battle, he always brings a one hander sword and a shield with as much magical attributes as he can pour into them. Because he always plays alone, he likes to use his game guides to share all the secrets and knowledge he gains, and who know—he may have snuck some information into his fiction as well. Keep an eye out for his next book!
Other books by this author
Please visit your favorite eBook retailer to discover other books by Mark Mulle
Diary of a Brave Iron Golem
Book 1: The Village Protector
Book 2: Attacked by the Wither
Diary of Jake and His Zombie Pigman
Book 1: The Creature from the Nether
Book 2: The Spiders Show the Way
The White Eyed Ghost’s Promise
Book 1: Herobrine Lives
Book 2: Herobrine’s Manor
Diary of a Hero Zombie
Book 1: Herobrine’s Gauntlet
Book 2: The Cult of Herobrine
Book 3: Into the Nether Portal
Diary of Erik Enderman
Book 1: Block Thief
Book 2: Adventures with Steve
Book 3: The Legend of the Endermen’s Treasure
Diary of a Valiant Wolf
Book 1: Steve’s Wolves
Book 2: Zombie Horde
Book 3: Defeating the Dragon
Diary of a Mob – Bony the Skeleton,
Book 1: Where the Block is My Bow?
Book 2: Where the Block is My Dad?
Diary of a Mob – Sebastian the Gutsy Sheep
Book 1: No Ordinary Sheep
Book 2: Sebastian Seeks Revenge
Rise of the Wither, Book 1: New Danger
Books in the Carnival of Doom series
Book One: The Angry Ghost
Book Two: To the Nether Portal
Book Three: Trapped
Books in the Diary of a Crafty Player Series
Book One: Blocky World
Book Two: The Fort Keepers
Book Three: The Search for the Dragon
Diary of Reg the Villager,
Book One: In Search of the Creative Mode
Book Two: Nether Here Nor There
Book Three: The Wolfdog and the Dragon
Diary of Steve the Explorer, The Cube World Chronicles
Book One: The Unknown Enemy
Book Two: Diary of the Curious Creeper
Book Three: Diary of an Enderman, the Game Keeper
Diary of Steve the Adventurer,
Book One: In the Lair of Herobrine
Book Two: To the Nether Portal
Diary of a Zombie Hunter,
Book One: The Zombie Specialist
Book Two: Zombie or Griefers
Book Three: The Captain of Overwatch
Diary of a Mob – Rowley the Rabbit,
Book One: The Runaway Rabbit
Books in the Diary of an Adventurous Creeper Series
Book One: Creeper Chronicles
Book Two: Journey to the End
Book Three: Dragon Savior
Books in the Adventures Through the Over World Trilogy
Book One: Creeping Transformation
Book Two: Steven and the Island of Bones
Book Three: The Zoo in Jericho City
The Quest: The Untold Story of Steve Trilogy
Book One: The Tale of a Hero
Book Two: The Unfinished Game
Book Three: The Endings and Beginnings of a Legend
The Obsidian Chronicles Trilogy
The Obsidian Chronicles, Book One: Ender Rain
The Obsidian Chronicles, Book Two: Hell and Back
The Obsidian Chronicles, Book Three: Of Dragons and Demons
The Doppelganger Trilogy
The Doppelganger, Book One: Steve’s Chance
The Doppelganger, Book Two: Steve vs. Herobrine
The Doppelganger, Book Three: The Ender Dragon Reborn
The Cult Trilogy
The Cult, Part One
The Cult, Part Two
The Cult, Part Three
The Legend: The Mystery of Herobrine Trilogy
Book One: The Start of the Quest
Book Two: The Truth about the Myth
Book Three: Herobrine versus the World
The Dragon’s Mountain Trilogy
Book One: Attacked by the Griefers
Book Two: The Hidden Village
Book Three: The White Mobs
The Temple of Destruction Trilogy
Book One: The Lost Treasures
Book Two: The Curse
Book Three: Notch versus Herobrine
Books in The Enemy’s Revenge Trilogy
Book One: Ghost Sightings
Book Two: Kidnapped
Book Three: To The End World
Attack of the Overworld Trilogy
Book One: Finding Herobrine
Book Two: Finding Steve
Book Three: The Final Mine
GENRE: Childrenâ€™s Adventure (An Unofficial Minecraft Book for Kids Ages 9 - 12 (Preteen) Book 4: An Old Enemy After Lana saved her city and the Over World from Marketh, a man bent on controlling both worlds with his Ender Men army, the only thing she wants to do is relax. Her plans are ruined, however, when she receives a letter that her friend, John, has gone missing. When Lana goes to meet with his sister, Ellie, to find the details, she finds herself sucked into another fight for her people and her city. Ellie doesnâ€™t know where her brother has gone but she is determined to find out where he went. She is suspicious of Marketh â€“ and an attack on her village makes her even more suspicious. Unsure what the plot is, Lana comes to realize that even though Marketh has been locked up, he is pulling the strings from his cell. Teaming up with Ian, a member of King Liamâ€™s guards, the two must unravel the plot and discover how to stop Marketh â€“ before he leads everyone to a place that might be impossible to reach. Authorâ€™s Note: This short story is for your reading pleasure. The characters in this "Minecraft Adventure Series" such as Steve, Endermen, Creeper or Herobrine...etc are based on the Minecraft Game coming from Minecraft Â®/TM & Â© 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch