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  1. Nether Hero
  2.  
  3.  
  4. Once upon a time, a hero of Minecraft entered the world in survival. Day after day, night after night, he gathered resources and built to his heart's desire. He was the player of legends, and people often spoke of him in the highest regard. He defended many villages from evil zombies with the might of his enchanted diamond gear, and he soon made his way to the nether. The hellish dimension proved challenging to navigate, but through determination and bravery, he slew the mobs and came back from his journey nearly unscathed. Not long after he accomplished these feats, he ventured into the end realm and killed the vicious dragon there and collected the egg. And after all of that, after the fame that he gained, he found himself back into the nether again. But for different reasons than before.
  5.  
  6. Multiple nether portals had popped up in many biomes, and adventurers and warriors decided to enter them. After not a single one of them came back, it was decided that this hero would explore such mysterious occurrences. And so, there he stood in the nether. But it wasn't the same nether as had seen before. When he first entered, he saw that the entire sky was a purple hue, and the normal nether blocks that made up the landscape were replaced with a sickly brownish color. Still, the hero braved the new world, and for a while, the barren landscape bore no life.
  7.  
  8. After traveling the nether for what seemed like hours, the hero stumbled upon a steep cliff. He peered down into the abyss below, an inky black liquid visible several hundred feet down. But there was something wrong. Beneath the surface of the liquid, he could hear what sounded like screams. They were muffled by the black substance, but he knew for a fact that there were screams down below. Hesitantly, the warrior took some string out of his inventory and allowed it to unravel and descend down into the darkness. He placed a block on top of the string to ensure that it wouldn't budge, and with that, he slowly climbed down.
  9.  
  10. Upon touching the surface of the liquid he jumped back a little in surprise. Despite having a thick texture it was actually very thin, and he was easily able to slip down into it and swim. He yet again descended down below the darkness, holding his breath. He couldn't even see his hands in front of him. Suddenly, with a crash, he felt his body hit a cold surface below. He stood up and realized that he had only been in the water for a few seconds and was now on dry land. The hero looked up in bewilderment, as the black substance levitated in the air. A peculiar sight indeed, but his attention was soon brought to the screams down the end of a peculiarly long hallway. This time, however, they weren't muffled.
  11.  
  12. The hero methodically made his way down the eerie corridor, occasionally using his sword to mow down a wall of cobweb. He couldn't tell what color the walls were because they were covered with a thick vegetation. The plants, however, were dead, and the leaves and fruits they once bore were crippled and great, void of any color or sign of life. And as the hero approached the end of the hall he witnessed a light of such severe intensity that he was forced to make his way forward with his arms shielding his eyes, for even a mere glimpse at the bright light before him would be blinding. As he finally made his way out of the corridor he noticed that the temperature in the nether had grown significantly, even more so than the lava covered land was prior. The hero reached into his satchel and withdrew a cup of water. He pressed it up against his parched lips and drank, for even to the tough warrior the heat was overwhelming. The light was now gone, but the heat remained. As he was allowed his vision once more, he uncovered his eyes, and what was ahead was revealed to him.
  13.  
  14. Despite the drastic heat there appeared to be a terrain of mostly ice and snow. And it was this room that the screams were at their loudest volume because in the boiling room covered in ice sat multiple cages, iron bars surrounding their perimeter. And in those cages sat men and women. Their stomachs were caved in because of their malnutrition, and they were covered in the stench and stains of their own bodily fluids. Crusted blood caked their skin, and the room, in general, gave off an aura of depression and hopelessness. The hero recognized those who dwelled in the cages. They were the lost explorers and warriors who had first embarked on the journey into the nether. Their curiosity leading them to their downfall. And it was in the center of the room that there sat the being responsible for such horrific deeds. A beast who's midnight black fur was coated in blood and brittle bone fragments. He sat on a throne of mangled arms and legs. The hero shuddered as the beast's bright yellow eyes stared deep into his soul. He must have been ten feet tall at least, because as he stood he proved to be far taller than the hero. Then, the hero raised his sword as he saw the beast raise a club of bones decorated with human skin. The beast charged.
  15.  
  16. Even if the beast was quite hefty it proved itself to be fast. Within seconds it was after the hero, club above its head. Before it was able to bring the club down, however, the hero evaded the blow and rolled behind the beast. He used his sword to slice the heel of its leg, and for a second the beast stumbled. Regaining its composure, the beast kicked the hero and launched him across the room and into a pile of skulls. The hero got up and charged at the beast. The beast swung the club at the hero but for a second time, he evaded the attack. He used the sharpness of the diamond sword and all of his might to slice the handle of the club clean off. Angered, the beast pounded the ground and charged with his shoulder. The hero was barely able to move out of the way this time. The beasts speed had increased further now, and as it punched the ground bits and pieces of the ceiling crumbled. Despite still having the speed and agility advantage, the sweltering heat was catching up with him again. He could see the air beginning to evaporate, and he noticed that the ice around the room was starting to melt.
  17.  
  18. Quickly the hero splashed the water from the melted ice on his face. As he looked up he saw the beast in front of him. He didn't even have time to blink before the creature picked him up and threw him against the opposite wall. Again he stood, back aching from the beast's abuse. Yet again he was unable to react as the beast punched him hard in the stomach, effortlessly flinging him farther and farther back with each blow. The hero knew that he couldn't take much more damage, and so he opened his inventory once more. One golden apple sat, and so he took it out and prepared to eat it. The beast must have been more intelligent than it appeared, because once again it charged and connected a direct blow to the hero, launching him into one of the many cages around the room. He looked up at the man inside. Even though the dead stare in his eyes and the decolored face he had, the hero new that the man was desperate and hopeful to survive. The hero knew that he was the only hope these people had left, and so he got back to his face once more.
  19.  
  20. Bloody spittle dripped from the hero's mouth and he tried to focus his vision. The room was overwhelmingly hot at that moment, and he could almost feel his flesh singing. He wiped the pool of sweat that had accumulated on his brow and scanned the area. His golden apple was on the other side of the room, and between the hero and the apple sat the beast. The beast smiled a toothy grin as he realized that the hero was completely overwhelmed, and he drove his foot into the ice in preparation for one more charge. Within seconds the beast launched in the direction of the hero. But the hero smiled too, for he felt nothing but utter determination to finish the beast off. He drank the last bit of water and fixed his sight on the beast, who was now running at full speed. Realizing that the beast wouldn't be able to stop or shift movements, the hero put his last bit of strength to use and evaded the attack last second. The beast crashed into the wall. Momentarily stunned, it collapsed to the ground in a daze. The hero used this time to stumble over to his golden apple. As he picked it up, the beast's eyes widened. It knew what that meant.
  21.  
  22. The hero bit into the apple and charged without hesitation towards the beast. He no longer felt the intense heat or the previous injuries he had acquired. No, all he had felt was the rush of adrenaline and healing. The beast swung at the hero with his arm, but in one swift motion the hero sliced the arm off and it plopped down to the floor. The beast cried out in pain as it stumbled backward, blood gushing out of its open wound. The hero laughed hysterically as he admired his blood-soaked diamond sword. He had never found such pleasure in a fight, not even against the ender dragon. Again he charged at the beast, and again it swung. The hero launched himself into the air and stabbed the sword into the beast's eyes. The beast fell to its knees, dumbstruck by the rejuvenated hero before it. The hero kicked the beast in the nose and then, with the swish of his sword, slit its throat. The beast's eyes rolled into the back of its head as it fell over into a pool of blood. It was at that moment that a black mist similar to that of the liquid from before escaped its mouth, covering the entire room in its haze.
  23.  
  24. A loud, booming sound erupted in the room and spread throughout the entire area. The hero covered his ears and stared in awe as the mist went back into the mouth of the beast as fast as it had come. The hero opened each cage and let his people out, and everyone there stood amazed as they saw the nether had returned to its former state. As they made their way back up the surface, they saw that the sky had returned to a normal color. The dead vegetation adorning the walls had bloomed once more, bringing life back to the nether. The normal nether mobs returned too, and as the hero returned with the people to the regular overworld they saw that the nether portals had begun to disappear. Eventually, they had all vanished, and the people who the hero had saved from the nether returned to their families and soon overcame their trauma. And a massive feast was held in the hero's name, for all was right with the world once again.
  25.  
  26. For now
  27.  
  28.  
  29. Dreamscape Hero
  30.  
  31. A week had passed since the hero had killed the beast in the nether and returned peace to Minecraft. His body lay sprawled out on his bed, eyes closed, mind deep in contemplation. Even after the events that had transpired he still thought about them. The memories flooded into his mind as the haunting vision of the beast kept him awake for hours. It wasn't until he had gotten himself a warm bucket of milk and a cookie that he was able to fall asleep. And as his eyes slowly closed, he was unaware of what would come.
  32.  
  33. As soon as he looked around he realized that he was inside of a dream. Stone and gravel blocks floated in the void. Yes, the void. That which lies below the layer of unbreakable bedrock. Purple and black particles swarmed in all directions before a platform accumulated beneath the hero's feet. He allowed his feet to fall to the surface below and followed the path forward. Blocks continued to levitate around him as a roaring sound echoed throughout the void. The roar was so loud in fact, that it flung the hero back a few feet. Still, he continued forward until he got to the end of the path. And there at the end stood a cave. Torches illuminated the entrance and the hero proceeded into the entrance.
  34.  
  35. As soon as he entered the cave he discovered a wide-open clearing filled with a pool of lava. And above that pool stood a cliff with 12 people standing on the edge. One of the jumped off the ledge and fell. Before his body reached the lava, a hole opened in the center of the lava pool and swallowed the person. It then closed, waiting for the next person to jump. The hero made his way up the cliff and attempted to speak with one of the people at the top, but then stopped. Each one had their eyes, mouth, nose, and ears sewn shut. And even if they could speak or hear they didn't seem to be aware of the hero. The hero peeked his head over the ledge and peered down into the lava. One of the people threw themselves off of the cliff. The hero hardly flinched. He knew that it wasn't real, it was just a dream. As the hole opened once more the hero could see what appeared to be a large snake at the bottom. Its scaly skin was broken down and decomposed, bones protruding through its skin. Its bright blue eyes glowed fiercely, and it lunged up and caught the body mid-air. Its sharp teeth munched and crunched the person's bones and tore through their flesh. Sickening crunches could be heard from down below, and then the lava pit closed once more.
  36.  
  37. The hero then readied his body, for when the next person jumped, he would too. He unsheathed his diamond sword and prepared to dive down below.
  38.  
  39. As the next person dove so did the hero, but to his surprise, the snake had vanished. The hero landed on the ground with a thud and checked the perimeter. A tunnel burrowed deep within a wall was the first thing the hero saw, and so the brave man followed its path. Within a short period of time, he found himself on a moving platform surrounded by obsidian. The platform ascended towards the impossibly high ceiling of the new room, and the hero stepped off of it as he found himself in a new, more familiar setting. He was in the end, but it was wrong. It was all wrong.
  40.  
  41. The pillars were worn down and rubble was scattered all across the land. There were no enderman present, and even the dragon was missing. But it was a familiar growl that grabbed the hero's attention most. It was the sound from earlier. Suddenly, the giant snake unearthed itself from below the ground, bursting through the spongy substance plastered on the floor. The reptiles enormous black tongue poked out of its mouth and launched at the hero. The tongue struck him hard, launching him into one of the pillars scattered across the landscape.
  42.  
  43. The hero looked up at the pillars and saw a staircase leading upward. He climbed it and found himself at the top of the pillar. The snake followed him up and hissed. Out of pure anger, the hero launched himself off the platform and cut off the snake's tongue. It screamed in pain and smacked the hero off of the pillar with its head, sending him tumbling downward. The hero withdrew his diamond sword once more and dug it into the obsidian pillar, allowing it to slowly drag him down to the surface. Although he didn't get damaged by the fall, the snake's rough head had shattered his ribs almost completely. The hero clutched his sides and winced, his breath exasperated and heavy.
  44.  
  45. The snake slid over to the hero, its eyes creased out of frustration. It was pissed. The hero couldn't blame it of course. He did cut off its tongue after all. He lunged at the gargantuan snake with all the anger he had. The sword hardly damaged the creature, and it effortlessly turned around with unmatched speed and whipped the hero with its enormous snake. The snake struck with enough force to cut through the diamond armor adorning the hero, causing a section of his chest cavity to open and bleed. His face went pale as massive amounts of blood escaped from his injury. The thick red substance collected beneath him, and he clutched his chest and looked up at the snake in fear. Yes, fear.
  46.  
  47. It was an emotion he hadn't felt in a long time. He had never been so outmatched... so helpless. His eyes widened as he saw the snake rushing towards him. A tear fell from his eye as he realized that his fate had most certainly been sealed. He had thought it was a dream until he felt the pain from his wounds. No nightmare had ever felt so real, and that feeling of real pain and fear confirmed to him that this was as real as it got. As the snake closed in on him, he threw his hands in front of his face and closed his eyes, praying that the snake would stop.
  48.  
  49. Seconds passed, and the hero looked up at the snake in confusion. There it was, a few feet in front of him. And yet, it did not strike him down. The snake looked equally as confused. Again, it threw itself and the hero. But the hero then saw the snake flung back right before it would have connected its devastating blow. The hero looked at his hands in disbelief. Had he been the one to stop the snake? Once more the snake made an attempt to slam its body against the hero. Once more the hero threw his arms in front of him and prayed the snake wouldn't harm him, and once more the snake was flung back.
  50.  
  51. Now he knew for certain that it was he with such power as to launch such a powerful enemy back. But how? Then he realized that even if the events around him posed a serious threat, it was still a dream.
  52.  
  53. And most importantly it was his dream, where he had total control. A smirk aligned on the hero's lips as he wished to be brought back to full health. Sure, enough, his injuries were removed without much trouble. He then wished for his size to be increased, and within seconds his body was on par with the snake's height. He gripped his now giant diamond sword by its hilt, steadying it and taking aim at the snake.
  54.  
  55. The snake then uncorked its entire body and morphed. Spider legs ripped their way through the snake's underbelly and scuttled about, and bat wings outstretched from the snake's back. Undeterred, the hero charged full speed at his adversary and swung his sword. With a single blow, his sliced through the legs and cut off the snake's tail. The snake screeched and flapped its wings, launching itself into the air. The hero jumped up into the air and wrapped his arm around the snake's body, dragging it back down and plunging his sword through the wings, ripping them to shreds. The hero elbowed the snake in the head and sent it crashing down to the ground. As the hero descended he kicked the snake so hard that blood was flung from its nose. Enraged, the snake opened its mouth to reveal its many razor-sharp fangs. With lightning quick agility, it lunged at the hero's neck. The hero shielded his throat with the diamond sword. Upon contact with the blade, the snake's teeth shattered, leaving only its gums behind.
  56.  
  57. The hero knew that he had to finish the fight quickly. So, with one arm he held the snake, and with the other, he readied his sword. The snake wriggled and squirmed, but the hero was too strong. With one final strike, the hero punctured the snake's head with his sword, decapitating it. The snake's boy fell to the ground in a heap of skin. As this happened, the hero around the world began collapsing. The sky and ground fell apart, and the hero fell below into the void. As he closed his eyes the world went black.
  58.  
  59. The hero sat up in his bed. He was drenched in his own sweat and breathing heavily. As he reached over and turned his glowstone lamp on, he wondered about the nightmare. He had never experienced something like that before. Had it been connected to the nether incident? He couldn't be sure, but he had a hunch that it was. Perhaps someone or something was after him. Perhaps something was behind these incidents. A strong odor filled the room, particularly around him. He smelled of endstone and gravel. The hero didn't know when and where the being behind these events would strike next, but as he got out of bed and looked out the window he saw something peculiar. As he saw a storm cloud covering the sky, glowing a fluorescent orange and purple, he had a pretty good idea of where his new enemy would strike next.
  60.  
  61.  
  62. Nobody's Hero
  63.  
  64. The hero rushed towards the area the sky illuminated with its strange light. It was a village, one of the many that he had once protected. When he got there, he saw the storm cloud had stopped expanding. Light covered the town. The hero walked forward, but when his skin touched the light he found it impossible to get through. The tried once more to walk through and found that he wasn't permitted to enter. Angered, he slashed at the light barrier with his sword, but it was to no avail. He pounded and kicked at it, each time hoping that perhaps he could make a dent in the impenetrable fortress. Nothing. He could do nothing but stand and the people rose from their beds and stepped out of their houses. They were just as confused as the hero was.
  65.  
  66.  
  67. The townspeople also tried to exit the light barrier only to find out that they couldn't. After finding no exits they began to panic. And their panic only worsened when they looked up at the sky. Above them, large droplets of water fell. When they splashed down upon the town they cracked open, revealing a bright white light. The hero watched as the light faded away and saw large forms step out of the pods. Masses of mangled torsos, heads, arms, and legs erupted from the pod and flung themselves down to the pavement roads. There was no skin to be seen on the creatures. They had been flayed, and their veins and muscle tissue were visible. The only bones the creatures had were on the eyeless heads, as gnarly teeth protruded from what could only be assumed to be a mouth hole. And from that mouth hole, the creatures shrieked and groaned.
  68.  
  69.  
  70. The hero was now slicing and pounding at the barrier harder now, desperate to get in and save his people. The townspeople screamed in horror at the grotesque beings before them before running. But they had nowhere to run. The skinless lumps of flesh twitched and warped their bodies in ways that shouldn't have been possible. They clawed their way towards the innocent people within the ray of light, arms outstretched and ready to attack. The hero could only watch in horror as a man was caught in the grasp of one monster. Its putrid teeth sank into the man's neck and ripped out a chunk of skin and meat. The man could no longer scream as blood overflowed and poured out of his mouth. One sharp-nailed hand ripped through his chest and burst out the other side, and more followed suit. Soon, his entire stomach and body were ripped and shredded.
  71.  
  72.  
  73. The screamed into the night sky as he watched helplessly as his people died. He felt so powerless. For his whole life, he had been the one in power. He had been the hero who could save his people. Now he stood a witness to a brutal slaughter. He was a hero of nobody. He watched as a mother shielded her child from one of the things. The child screamed for his mother as a beast picked her up and clawed into her legs. The mother could only look at her child with an expression of pain and sadness. She too couldn't protect the one she had promised too. The mother and child shared one last look before the beast split her in two, dropping each limb to the ground.
  74.  
  75.  
  76. The hero stepped back and fell to the ground in disbelief. These were his people who were being slaughtered. These were his people whom he had sworn to protect. Within a matter of minutes, the gory deed was done. People lay dead on the streets, their bodies completely mangled. The light surrounding the town had faded away, and the monsters turned their attention upon the man standing before them. A man who no longer felt like a hero. A man who felt like a failure. But at that moment, one emotion overcame everything within him. Anger. He felt anger at how something so cruel could have done a deed so horrific. And so, he ran forward, charging at the beasts. He charged bearing the weight of the townspeople who had been killed by the beasts before him.
  77.  
  78.  
  79. He launched his body into the air and brought his sword down upon one of the figures. His diamond blade easily tore through the muscle tissue and popped the beast right open. His armor and sword had been drenched in the monster's blood. Still, he kept stabbing well after the creature had fallen. He stared at the others. They would perish by his hand. Three monsters stood before him now. One of them split in two, and the arms and legs and bodies within them formed a humanoid shape. The being charged at the hero, its sharp claws readied to tear into his body. The hero dispatched the monster with haste, stabbing his sword into its stomach and thrusting upwards, tearing it in half. The next two monsters looked at each other and nodded. Then, they threw their bodies together.
  80.  
  81.  
  82. The limbs contorted and twisted and turned, rising in the air. The monsters had fused together, and now formed one monster which stood fifteen feet tall. The being walked towards the hero and slammed down on the ground. The hero sliced into the monster's arm and sliced it open. Blood seeped from the wounds, and the hero took this time to jumping on the beast and using his arms to open its mouth. Using his strength, the beast ripped the monster's mouth open, snapping its makeshift jaw.
  83.  
  84.  
  85. The hero stood in the middle of the bodies. He sat down on the ground and stared at the sky. The storm cloud had vanished and was replaced with the twinkling night stars. Tears welled in the corner of the hero's eyes, and soon he had placed his head in his hands and wept. He wept and wept and wept. He couldn't stop crying because the sadness had overflowed within him. He let them down. The people who died... he let them all down. And for some reason, he couldn't help but feel as if it was his fault. As if perhaps if he hadn't wandered into the nether and killed the beast, the townspeople would be still alive. He knew that there was something going on behind the scenes connecting and controlling the events at hand, but he didn't know what.
  86.  
  87.  
  88. As he sat on the plains looking up at the sky, he felt something. It started as a small pressure within his head at first, but then the pressure built. It built and built until the pressure was so immense that the hero fell back onto the ground clutching his head. It felt as if someone was smashing an anvil into his brain over and over. His fingers curled around the grass and ripped it from the dirt, screaming as whatever was hurting him continued its assault. His eyes fluttered, and the light in the world seemed to dim as his vision faltered.
  89.  
  90.  
  91. The next thing the hero knew, he was in a space of complete darkness. He couldn't see, feel, or hear. He just knew that he existed and nothing more. But from within the darkness, he heard something. Something deep, something sinister, something menacing. A voice from all directions that sounded far away echoed through the empty space.
  92.  
  93.  
  94. "So, you're the hero of Minecraft," The sinister voice asked.
  95.  
  96.  
  97. The hero hesitated for a bit. The recent events had left him confused and in a mess, and for a moment he couldn't tell what was going on. Eventually, however, he gathered himself and responded.
  98.  
  99.  
  100. "Yeah... and who are you?"
  101.  
  102.  
  103. The raspy voice responded yet again. This time, however, it seemed much closer than before. The voice no longer echoed, and it was no much clearer.
  104.  
  105.  
  106. "I'm the one making your life a living hell. I put those nether portals up. I invaded your dreams. And yes, I sent those monsters down to kill the people in that town of yours."
  107.  
  108.  
  109. The hero's body tensed up. Could it be true? Could he be standing right before the perpetrator of the evil consuming the world? Angered, the hero raised his voice and spoke once more.
  110.  
  111.  
  112. "You... Who the hell do you think you are! How many people died because of you?! How many children..."
  113.  
  114.  
  115. The hero felt a fist strike him in the stomach with a force harder than he'd ever felt before. He wheezed and felt himself fall. Again, the voice spoke. It was closer than before yet again... way closer. He could feel the hot breath brush against his ear and neck, causing him to get goosebumps.
  116.  
  117.  
  118. "Calm down hero. Believe me, if I wanted you to die you would already be dead. I have the power of a god, while you are but a mortal. But because you killed my beast and my snake, I'm going to make you suffer. And you shall fall only after this world has. Because you, as its protector, should see its downfall."
  119.  
  120.  
  121. The hero rose to his feet and peered out into the blackness. He
  122.  
  123.  
  124. "I swear on my life that I'll protect Minecraft from you. I swear that I won't let you take any more innocent lives you sick bastard. I'll do anything in my power to stop you"
  125.  
  126.  
  127. The voice chuckled. It was mocking him. It was pushing all of his buttons, and he had to use all of his mental might not to lash out again.
  128.  
  129.  
  130. "Your power? Like your power to save the people who you just watched die? Don't make me laugh too hard hero. You have no power. I'm done with you now. You may now go. But heed my warning, for soon you will watch your world burn."
  131.  
  132.  
  133. After the voice mutters those words the hero's sight returned to him once more. He stood and looked upon the village and the monsters. His hand curled into a fist. He would keep his vow to stop the evil force behind the previous events. But first, he would need to find out more information about his new foe. And he knew just where he would get that information. Several miles to the east of where he stood was a temple filled to the brim with ancients scrolls and knowledgeable monks. There he would study, and there he would learn how to defeat the evil being. And so, he set out for the palace.
  134.  
  135.  
  136. He would give his life to save Minecraft. And that was a promise he vowed he would keep if he had to.
  137.  
  138.  
  139. Mind Hero
  140.  
  141. The hero trekked miles upon miles through valleys and canyons. He traveled through the harsh and unforgiving heat of the desert and the unbearable cold of the Arctic biomes. And when his feet were sore and bloodied and blisters he collapsed in front of the palace before him. A palace where the monks slept and meditated, and a palace where the sacred scrolls which documented history were held.
  142.  
  143.  
  144. Upon entering the temple, he found it odd that there were no monks around. The crystal white floors and velvet curtain adorned walls were very welcoming, and yet the air smelled of rot. What looked to be a pleasant dwelling had an unusually dark atmosphere, and this made the hero wary. So wary in fact, that his posture straightened and his body tensed up. His hand curled into a fist as he moved ahead, craning his neck in all directions to get a view of the enormous place. He cracked his knuckles and approached the large alter in the center of the room. It stood on multiple stone blocks that had been smoothed out in the intense fires of a furnace. Several gold blocks stood on top of the stone to form a handle, and in that handle sat an emerald spear. The hero stood in place, staring in awe, admiring the emerald spear's majestic beauty. It was the greatest weapon he had ever seen. It had been masterfully crafted. As he stood there and watched it, he heard a squeaky voice from behind him. It was a voice he had never heard before, and its shrill voice was unmatched in high pitch.
  145.  
  146.  
  147. "It's quite beautiful, isn't it," The voice said.
  148.  
  149.  
  150. "Yea, it is," The hero responded. He had never seen such a perfect craft in his life. The Gem twinkled in the sun's rays, giving off an aura of pure radiance. With glee, the hero stepped even closer to it, staring even harder.
  151.  
  152.  
  153. "You can't take your eyes off it, can you? Isn't it the most perfect creation man hath ever made?"
  154.  
  155.  
  156. The hero agreed with the voice. It truly was.
  157.  
  158.  
  159. "Well hero, go ahead. Why don't you pick it up? Why don't you inspect it for yourself?"
  160.  
  161.  
  162. The hero's hands loosened, and his fingers curled around the smooth circumference of the spear's hilt. Carefully, he removed the spear from the shrine in which it had been placed and brought it closer to his eyes. The hard metal felt cold in his hands, and a chill ran up his spine. His heart beat against his chest as his breathing accelerated for a split second, and then slowed down once more.
  163.  
  164.  
  165. "Good hero. Good... How does it feel to hold the greatest weapon in the universe? How does it feel Hero? Isn't it empowering? Do you feel the pure, raw, unfiltered energy flowing through your veins?
  166.  
  167.  
  168. "Yes," was all the hero said in response. He did feel the unbreakable power running through him. Unwavering strength and might he possessed. He felt invincible.
  169.  
  170.  
  171. "Now, Hero, aim the tip of the spear at your heart and strike yourself down. End your existence, and you shall become one with the spear. You shall become one with the beauty you so desperately want. Isn't this what you desire?"
  172.  
  173.  
  174. "Yes, this is what I desire," Replied the hero. In a trance-like motion, he aimed the spear at his chest and prepared to streak. And with one last breath, he muttered something. Something faint and unheard to the voice behind him.
  175.  
  176.  
  177. "What did you say, hero?"
  178.  
  179.  
  180. The hero turned and looked behind him, towards the voice below.
  181.  
  182.  
  183. "I said you're a damn fool if you think I'm weak enough to let a spear stop me from saving my people."
  184.  
  185.  
  186. The voice let out a confused "Huh" as the hero ran towards it. As the hero lunged at the voice with a spear he stopped. There before him stood a monk, smiling.
  187.  
  188.  
  189. "Good, you have passed the mental test. We needed to know if you could, because your powerful adversary can manipulate your mind with ease."
  190.  
  191.  
  192. The hero looked confused and set the spear to his side.
  193.  
  194.  
  195. "I could have killed you," The hero said.
  196.  
  197.  
  198. "But you didn't," Replied the monk, smiling.
  199.  
  200.  
  201. Within the blink of an eye, the monk snatched the spear away from the hero and stabbed it through his knee. The tip came out the other side of his leg, stained with the fresh blood of the hero. The monk then kicked the hero over and grabbed ahold of the spear's elongated grip, twisted is. As he twisted, the spear shredded and tore through bone and muscle. The hero cried out in pain, wincing and tearing up and he crawled away from the monk. And right before the hero's very eyes, the monk transformed. His new form wasn't much of a form at all. Pure black substance filled the monk's clothing and overflowed from every possible opening. The substance was similar to that of the one the hero saw in the nether. It was the evil's trademark feature. Again, the voice spoke.
  202.  
  203.  
  204. "And yet, your mind wasn't strong enough to see through this."
  205.  
  206.  
  207. The hero observed as the voice dressed in monk clothing pointed to the left. The hero watched as the mental projection the voice had displaced collapsed. The alter wasn't really an alter of gold at all. Dead monks were piled on top of each other, their jaws unhinged and completely ripped off.
  208.  
  209.  
  210. You... Monster," The hero said, directing his voice towards the figure before him.
  211.  
  212.  
  213. The creature cackled in its all too familiar high pitched screech.
  214.  
  215.  
  216. "You're so pathetic and weak. How could anyone such as yourself ever claim themselves to be the hero of Minecraft? Hell, I don't even need a legendary spear to defeat you. I'll just rip into your throat and pull your insides out through their instead!"
  217.  
  218.  
  219. The creature through the spear to this side and rushed towards the hero. It opened its palms to reveal a set of talons which looked to be capable of piercing through obsidian itself. And as the creature brought its hand forward to strike, the hero stumbled to his feet. He showed a faint smile as he blocked the blow with his hands. The talons tore through his palm and exited through the back, ripping chunks of flesh out in the process.
  220.  
  221.  
  222. "What the..." The beast said.
  223.  
  224.  
  225. Yet again the beast brought back struck with its other hand. Again, the creature's talons plunged into the hero's hand. Gritting his teeth to bear the pain the hero clasped his hands and arms shut, trapping the monster's talons. The monsters screeched in frustration. Even though it had no body, a hole in the darkness opened itself to reveal sharp fangs. It had to be the monster's mouth. It aimed directly at the hero's neck, but thinking quickly, the hero tilted his head forward. The teeth strike upon the diamond helmet, completely shattering them. The creature screeched and tried to pull away, but the hero had it in his grasps. Again and Again, the hero smashed the diamond helmet into the mouth of the best, denting and crunching its unviewable form until the black substance ruptured from its mouth and spilled everywhere.
  226.  
  227.  
  228. As the last gargles and moans from the monster escaped its lips, the hero heaved his body over to the monks. He apologized to them for not being able to save them in time. The body count had risen, and the hero still blamed himself. Yet, he used the anger and sadness he felt to push him. To push him to stop the evil spreading through the land and save his people. On one of the monks, the hero found a potion of healing and the hero guzzled it down. He watched as the wounds on his hands vanished, and then he went to the emerald spear. He held it in his hands, firmly gripping it. He once again felt the power coursing through his body, his mind, his spirit and his soul.
  229.  
  230.  
  231. Despite this power, he felt proud that he had ignored its pull and defeated his previous foe. He felt confident that through the trial of the mind he was completely unwavering in his loyalty and dedication to save the world. And as he exited the temple and stared out into the bright day before him, he saw the forest. A place of nature and life, filled with pure energy. But it was what he saw after that made him grip the spear tightly and run towards the forest. As he ran towards the shrubbery and foliage, he thought to himself one thought that he never had before.
  232.  
  233.  
  234. What kind of fire is black?
  235.  
  236.  
  237. Aether Hero
  238.  
  239. I watch the hero from above. Well, not above per se. I'm surrounding him from all angles. My presence is larger than the forest. I am everywhere at once, and yet I focus my energy on viewing this strange man. His willpower alone astonishes me, for he has passed the tests thus far on his journey. I'm not entirely convinced yet, for he has yet to prove himself in this trial. The intensity of the black flame is extraordinary if I do say so myself. It burns with such flair and energy, consuming the shrubbery and foliage and leaving ashes and dust in its wake. And yet, the flame is the least of the hero's troubles. I can see it in his eyes as the sweat drips off his brow. But the sweat isn't all from the fire. He seems to be intent on finding whatever caused it, which is good. He's doing exactly what I hoped he would do.
  240.  
  241.  
  242. I see him run for quite some time until he reaches the center of the forest. A large clearing stands before him, and there stands a portal. Not a Nether portal or an End portal. No, he's been there and done that. His trials must take him up above, which is why I present him with an opportunity to soar to the heavens. He must ascend to the realm of Aether, where his next trial awaits him. I see the hero shuffling towards the portal. A strong white glow protruding from the entrance causes him to shield his eyes. Then, he bravely, or perhaps foolishly, enters the light. My presence and very being peers upwards and ascends with him. We have broken through a very layer of reality, for the Aether does not and cannot exist in the dimension the hero and I currently exist in. But, just like the Nether and End were altered to my liking, the Aether he shall visit won't be like the original, but a domain of my construction which follows my rules.
  243.  
  244.  
  245. The hero and I arrive within a matter of seconds. It truly is peculiar to view the man and realize he's not aware of my presence. He has come to despise me for the torment I have subjected him to. He would like nothing more than to strike me down with the spear he wields. The very spear he doesn't realize I gave him. And yet, as much as he wishes to destroy me, he doesn't realize I surround him in every direction. We look out into the blocky and clouded plains before us. A thin layer of silky white wool makes for a cushion and supplies ground and stability to the floating world. I follow along as the hero makes his way to the pillar of light he sees in the distance. A large circular beam of light arises from the ground level and seems to flow infinitely upwards. The sheer beauty of it is enough to stop even me in my tracks. And yet it doesn't stop the hero from progressing forward. I smirk at his bravery and determination. It reminds me of my self a bit.
  246.  
  247.  
  248. His hope of saving his people was pitiful and unfounded. I've discovered after so much time that the cycle continues. Life and death happen all the time, and it almost never changes. Who cares about how death is achieved? Everyone dies sooner or later, and it matters now how. Besides, when a higher power such as myself is trying to achieve a goal, such loss is to be expected as a tiny sacrifice to gain something greater... something more. I used to be different. But once the disease created by death and raw power infected me I was changed. I became something else. Something greater. But even after I grasped the power of a god I realized that immortality was truly a worse fate than death. I needed to find a noble hero to enact my plan. And much to my surprise, I found one. Now I just need to see if he is worthy of the prize I shall bestow upon him if he passes my tests.
  249.  
  250.  
  251. The hero finally reached the pillar of light. Its radiant glow reflected off his armor brightly. I watched as the curious man carefully poked his spear at the line. As soon as the end came into contact with the light, the spear and the hero were sucked into the light and flung upwards. They were now traveling to the land above and beyond the Aether. They would soon arrive in my domain.
  252.  
  253.  
  254. I was excited for the hero to see what the land before him would look like. Much to my satisfaction, his reaction was the one I had hoped for. The previous landscape was replaced by dirty and unclear glass blocks placed upon the surface. The landscape extended as far as the eye could see, and it the sky was littered with arrows. I chuckled to myself as I flicked my wrist downwards, causing the arrows to descend upon the hero. Thinking quickly, he spun the spear with great speed above his head. The spear obliterated the arrows falling upon him and leaving chipped wood and feathers scattered around him. With much excitement I snapped my fingers, causing all of the glass below the hero to crack and shatter. He plummeted downwards as his limbs flailed around as if searching for a ledge or surface to grab onto.
  255.  
  256.  
  257. Instead of allowing the hero to plummet to his demise I snapped my fingers once again to reveal a platform beneath him. As the hero picked himself up and dusted himself off he took a good look around him and saw he was now in a very familiar setting. The hero stumbled back and fell to the ground. He recognized the place as I knew he would. He recognized the houses and pavement. He recognized the village from nights before. The village where I sent my hellspawn to slaughter the men and women who resided there. The village where I made the hero feel utter hopelessness and uselessness. He was utterly confused upon seeing the sight before him, but soon enough that confusion and fear was replaced with anger.
  258.  
  259.  
  260. "Reveal yourself! I know you're here, show yourself, coward," The hero said.
  261.  
  262.  
  263. I smirked at his eagerness to fight me. But he was not ready yet. He needed more time to show his mental will. Perhaps he saw through the illusion at the temple of monks, and perhaps he was able to get through the emotional pain of seeing his people die before him. But there was one more test I needed to run before seeing whether or not he was ready to advance. I twirled my finger in a circle and summoned the very same storm cloud above the village that day. I brought the unbreakable shield down around the town's perimeter. No matter how hard the hero tried to penetrate the barrier, it was of no use. He turned around and watched in horror and arms protruded from the ground below. The ripped and clawed at the dirt until they were able to hoist themselves up. And then the hero saw it. A sight more despicable and ghastly than he had ever seen before.
  264.  
  265.  
  266. The townspeople he had so desperately tried to save had risen from the grave. Their decayed forms stumbled out of the ground in a zombie-like motion and stumbled towards the hero. Their torsos and legs were ripped to shreds. Their ribcages were exposed and in full view.
  267.  
  268.  
  269. "p-p-please hero.. save us ple-e-ease.," The creatures which used to be townspeople groaned.
  270.  
  271.  
  272. The side of a woman's head slid off and collapsed next to her, leaving brain matter leaking from her skull. I was absolutely ecstatic to see what the hero would do when faced with his own people. Would he do what was needed and put an end to them, or would he hold back and succumb to his own weakness? I was practically dying to see what would happen.
  273.  
  274.  
  275. The hero stood in shock as the crowd of people limped towards him. Out of fear he jammed his spear into one man's leg. I smiled as I watched what happened next.
  276.  
  277.  
  278. "Stop, Please! Why are you hurting us? You're supposed to protect us. Please, hero, stop!"
  279.  
  280.  
  281. The hero was stunned by this. He watched the man collapse and grasp his leg in his hand. It was bleeding profusely tears were streaming down his face. He screamed in pain at the wound inflicted by his hero. How riveting! How exciting! I was practically on the edge of my seat as the hero stood in utter confusion and despair. A look of guilt washed over his face as he realized what he thought had happened. Had his mind been tricked? Had he not realized the difference between reality and manipulation? I witnessed as the other townspeople rushed over to the man to aid him. They all pointed at the hero and withdrew from him in fear. The hero approached them, begging and pleading. He set down his spear and made his way over towards the group of people, trying to explain the situation. I smiled as I saw him inch closer and closer towards the people. Within a second the horde of creatures had returned to their monstrous state. They clawed and scratched at the hero, attempting to rip his insides open and drink his blood. What I saw him do, however, was shocking.
  282.  
  283.  
  284. The hero was ready for it. He had someone seen through my facade because he jumped back with such speed and agility that he must have been prepared for this. Was he really just acting to lure the illusion out? The hero was even smarter than I had given him credit for. Within seconds he picked up his spear and began slicing and dicing the hoard of abominations before him. I watched unfazed at the massacre before me. He was totally prepared to slaughter the people he had watched die. But then I realized the truth. His mind and mental will was higher than I had anticipated, and he had passed the test. For as he finished off the last remaining creature I realized that he wasn't tricked by me.
  285.  
  286.  
  287. He had seen those people die. He had witnessed it first-hand. And after he saw his people being killed he must have realized that the creatures before him weren't the real villagers. I cackled as I realized how dedicated to his cause he was. I opened up another portal that would bring him back to the overworld. He had passed the test I set for him, He was ready to advance. Soon, my plan would be complete. Soon, everything would fall into place and the madness could end once and for all. My eternal suffering... the sickness that I contain... will no longer be my problem. It's only a matter of time before the truth is revealed.
  288.  
  289.  
  290. It's only a matter of time before my true motivations are unleashed.
  291.  
  292.  
  293. Before the Hero
  294.  
  295. The dark entity watched the hero exit the realm and into the overworld. Strangely enough, the black fire had gone out, but since the forest was gone the fire must have been too low on fuel to continue. The entity was able to see that although the hero was strong enough to pass the mind tests, he was still in shock at the recent events which had transpired. The hero leaned against a large rock nearby and brought out a cantine filled with water so that he could quench his thirst. Sweat practically flowed down his face as if it were a raging river. The hero had grown weak and weary due to the physical and mental stress placed upon him. The entity took the opportunity to materialize inside the hero's mind. He had to find it. The motivation for the man who had risked so much to save his world. He had to know what made him so strong.
  296.  
  297.  
  298. The entity sifted through memories and thoughts and ideas. Thousands of images and dreams which flashed through the hero's head, all accessible to the entity. The being grinned and found a memory from years before. Prior to the hero being recognized as a true hero. Even before he dreamt of becoming one. He saw the hero in a dark room. A single dull light swung from the ceiling, slightly illuminating the iron walls and portraits which aligned them. The hero sat in the middle of the room, his legs crossed and arms folded. He appeared to be looking down at the floor. His face was expressionless. Suddenly, a voice echoed throughout the room.
  299.  
  300.  
  301. "Arise. For many long years, you have served us dutifully. You have kept your many promises and fulfilled every contract you were ever required to, and for that we are grateful. Now, you have one more job to do. Just one more before you get to go home."
  302.  
  303.  
  304. The hero didn't dare look up. He just kept looking at the ground before responding in a soft, yet firm voice.
  305.  
  306.  
  307. "Please... you've kept me here for so long. I just want to see them again. My family... I understand what I did was wrong. Just please let me go."
  308.  
  309.  
  310. Again the voice within the darkness responded.
  311.  
  312.  
  313. "Didn't you hear me? I just said you had one more until you were done. Everything will be ok if you do this. Your debt will be repaid, and maybe you'll learn your lesson. That you'll stay out of my gang's affairs and keep quiet. Got it."
  314.  
  315.  
  316. "I understand," The hero responded.
  317.  
  318.  
  319. The entity exited the memory. Even he was stunned. What had the man forced the hero to do? The entity simply had to know. It scrolled through many more memories before stumbling upon the one after the previous memory. The entity stepped into the memory and found himself entering a cold, wet night. Rain clouds were scattered about in the sky, and the water droplets from above beat down upon the ground. The entity found itself in front of a warehouse in the middle of the street. It could hear noises inside and was about to enter before it stopped. The entity noticed a man approach the building. Upon further inspection he found the man to be none other than the hero. It watched the hero open the warehouse doors and enter. The entity followed him and entered as well. It was a completely bare space. No furniture, no lights. The only light available was that of the moon's rays shining through the crevices in the wooden walls.
  320.  
  321.  
  322. In the center of the room sat a single chair. It seemed as if a stray ray of light pointed towards it, and in the chair sat somebody. Their wrists and ankles were strapped down to the chair, and a brown sack covered their face. They appeared to be unconscious, their body slouched and relaxed. It wasn't until the hero got closer to them that they stirred and heard the footsteps approaching. A muffled whimper could be heard from the person. As the hero walked forward the entity saw a man in a suite emerge from the shadows. He approached the hero and extended his hand. Hesitantly, the hero shook it and smiled slightly. A hoarse voice erupted from the man's throat as he began addressing the hero.
  323.  
  324.  
  325. "Congratulations, for after this favor your debt shall be paid. After this all past history and ties will be cut between my organization and you, and never shall you have to pay any more in compensation regarding your actions. Your duty to us expires after tonight, and I wish you the best from now on."
  326.  
  327.  
  328. The man handed the hero a long steak knife and motioned his hand towards the person in the chair. One final time the man spoke.
  329.  
  330.  
  331. "Remember, don't even try to attack me. You know the consequences if you do... and I don't think you want that, do you?"
  332.  
  333.  
  334. The man backed up towards the exit of the building and eyed the hero closely. As the hero got closer to the person the whimpering grew more frequent. It was very obvious to the entity that a gag of some kind had been in place. Bringing the knife above his head, the hero then brought the knife down upon the victim's cranium. The body shook violently as a sick crunch could be heard. The chair and the person fell to the ground. The hero kicked the victim in the ribs and then brought the knife down again. Each time he pulled it out, the knife bloodier and bloodier. The body was seizing and the thrashing about. Finally, the movement ceased. The hero looked back behind him and much to his surprise the man watching was gone.
  335.  
  336.  
  337. Regardless of the mess before him, the hero smiled. He had been taken in by a mafia organization for brutally murdering several of their thugs. He had been forced to kill over and over in order to return the favor, and finally, he could go back to his family. He lifted up the sack off of the person's head and screamed. There before him sat his pregnant wife who he had hoped to see at the end of the nightmare. Her face had been turned to mush but the hero could still recognize his beloved.
  338.  
  339.  
  340. The hero crumpled to the ground near her body and wept. Tears ran down his cheeks as he yelled into the night sky, unable to feel anything but despair. And as the entity saw this he smiled. The hero's true reason for protecting wasn't really for the people who resided there, was it? He just wanted to forget his past and make up for what he had done. For killing so many innocents, which eventually lead to the death of his wife. Could it be selfishness? Was his willpower only as strong as his self-pity? Perhaps... but the entity still had to make a choice and fast. Even if the hero wasn't truly worthy of the disease and sickness within the entity, he could feel the power and energy eating him alive. He could only stand it for so long, and he needed a worthy hero to help execute his plan.
  341.  
  342.  
  343. The entity exited the hero's mind and into the outside world. It looked down at the hero at rest, his chest slowly going in and out as his breath slowed even more in his slumber. The entity tapped the spear and armor adorning the hero and witnessed a bright glow of light. The hero had proven himself mentally capable, and with the limited time the entity had, he had to act fast. As the bright light faded the entity saw what he had done. The armor which had previously been diamond was now ruby, and the spear glowed with a powerful enchantment. The entity only had one last test for the hero. One that would test his ability in combat with his newfound armor and weapons. The hero would face one of the greatest, if not the greatest threats he had ever faced. For the entity would clash with the hero and see how truly powerful and worthy the hero was. And if everything went according to plan... well, that would be revealed in time.
  344.  
  345.  
  346. The entity retreated to the farlands, leaving a trail of darkness in his wake so that the hero could know where to go. It was the only place left for the hero's trial to end. A land where reason has no reason, and reality doesn't exist. A place where up is down and time stops altogether. The entity smiled as it approached the land where men went to perish, and where demons and horrors unimaginable to man were born. He cackled into the approaching night sky as the greatest monstrosity Minecraft had ever faced awaited the hero.
  347.  
  348.  
  349. The Entity and Hero Clash - Part One
  350.  
  351. The hero saw when he awoke the trail of blood and death that the entity left behind. Cows and sheep sat dead on the ground, their innards spilled and their eyes removed. The hero followed the trail for miles and miles. His feet were weary, for the Farlands were very far away. Once he reached the place, however, he saw that the legends about the place he had heard were true. Broken textures and buggy blocks made up mountains and valleys. The grass was grey and the trees were rotten and weak. They looked as if they would topple over and die with the slightest breeze. The whole place had the stench of death. No adventurers or warriors dared enter a place such as the Farlands. And yet there the hero was, prepared to enter the forsaken place.
  352.  
  353.  
  354. The hero entered the land before him and climbed atop a large hill. The sky seemed wrong. Everything seemed wrong. The landscape was warped in twists and turns that shouldn't have been possible, even for the crazy landmarks in the regular world. The hero felt like was in an entirely different dimension. Like a reality where he didn't belong. Still, he ventured on into the center of the Farlands. As he walked and walked, he started to notice more unusual anomalies along the way. And oh, how unusual was an understatement. He saw a cow with its face completely missing. Its face had appeared to be completely missing. Instead, it looked to be peeled off, leaving a layer of flesh and vein in its wake. The hero watched as the cow leaned its head down and ate a patch of grass. A hole within the cow's face opened and revealed teeth, chewing the dead grass and making a gurgled moo sound.
  355.  
  356.  
  357. As the hero walked further in he found the area to be stranger. A dark aura seemed to wash over him as he stepped into what seemed to be a dark atmosphere. A sudden shift in the land around him. If he didn't already feel as if he was in a reality he didn't belong, he did now. He spotted a river in the distance. Upon approaching it he found the feathers of chickens floating in the murky water. It wasn't long after that when he heard a familiar deep growl behind him. The hero turned around and witnessed the beast from the nether charging at him. Swiftly the hero used the enchanted spear to shoot a blast of energy at the beast, obliterating it completely. Patches of fur and muscle plopped down to the ground with a thud.
  358.  
  359.  
  360. Again, the hero turned, spotting a familiar snake-like being approaching. It opened its mouth the sallow him. The hero jumped into its mouth and spun the spear in circles around the snakes inside, tearing it apart before ripping through its scaly and rough skin. Finally, the hero saw a monk running towards him. The monk's talons went to cut the hero, but the hero's recently acquired ruby armor caused the nails t shatter upon impact. The monk screamed as the hero jammed his spear through the monk's torso. A faint groan was heard before the monk collapsed to the ground, dead. The hero had recognized the enemies. They were a few of the monsters he had previously fought before, which could only mean that the dark entity was nearby.
  361.  
  362.  
  363. The sky grew dark as grey clouds moved into view overhead. The area where the hero stood fell into the shade as the light disappeared.
  364.  
  365.  
  366. "Why hello, hero."
  367.  
  368.  
  369. The hero recognized that voice. He could have recognized it anywhere. It was the same voice that had tormented him and his people for so long. It was the same voice he had heard when he collapsed after his people died. It was the being behind all the madness and chaos surrounding the world. It was the Dark Entity.
  370.  
  371.  
  372. "You... show yourself. For this whole time, you have avoided fighting me and sent your minions to defeat me. Well no more. Today is the day you fall. Today is the day I slay you, you evil monster."
  373.  
  374.  
  375. The voice cackled, apparently unfazed by the hero's words.
  376.  
  377.  
  378. "Oh hero, don't be so rude. I was the one who gave you the spear and armor after all. You passed my tests, so you earned them. And yes, I do plan on facing you in combat."
  379.  
  380.  
  381. The hero's finger curled around the hilt of the spear, his grip tightening.
  382.  
  383.  
  384. "If it was truly you who gave me the spear, then you have signed up for your own death. How foolish can one be?"
  385.  
  386.  
  387. The entity chuckled, his voice reaching a high pitch.
  388.  
  389.  
  390. "Careful what you say, hero. Not everything is as it seems.
  391.  
  392.  
  393. With that, the world plunged into total darkness. The hero fell to his knees yet again and watched as a vision occurred before him. A very familiar woman stood before him. Her bright green eyes sparkled, and her rosy cheeks made her appear to be a gentle and caring woman. The hero reached a hand towards his wife, as if trying to hold her within his grasp. But then she started screaming. Yes, a shrill scream violently erupted from her mouth as a disembodied knife was jammed into her skull, bludgeoning her to death. Blood and gore spilled to the ground, and the knife sat protruding from her head.
  394.  
  395.  
  396. The darkness faded and the hero returned to the normal world. A figure stood before him. Could it be the true form of the dark entity? It had grey skin which cracked like hard sand in the blistering desert. Two empty eye sockets were on its head, although a small blue flame seemed to burn intensely within them. A black cloak adorned his tall and slender body, but other than those unusual features the entity was a humanoid. Through every opening in his body, however, the thin black substance the hero had grown accustomed to seeing seeped. It opened its mouth to smile. It had no teeth, only gums.
  397.  
  398.  
  399. The entity walked over to the hero who was still on his knees. It smiled at the pathetic mere human before it. How even through the hero's strong mental will, there was a side of him affected? How his emotions weakened him and held him back from his full potential.
  400.  
  401.  
  402. "You know hero, those emotions of yours sure do hold you back. I see now why you embark on your crazy little adventures, attempting to save Minecraft and such. You just want to feel better about your pathetic life. How you let the women you loved die due to your foolish decisions. And even more, you hope to be forgiven for being the one to kill her. Do you even care about the people you defend? Or was this all about her?"
  403.  
  404.  
  405. The hero looked up at his adversary. The entity had a sickening smirk on its face. It was mocking him. The entity was mocking a subject in the back of the hero's mind. A subject which the hero had chosen to lock out permanently in an effort to make the pain subside. The hero's heart practically pounded against his chest, and his veins bulged. He could feel pools of sweat form in his hands and neck. Still, he kept his cool and responded.
  406.  
  407.  
  408. "No," The hero replied.
  409.  
  410.  
  411. The entity put its face directly in front of the hero's face and replied.
  412.  
  413.  
  414. "No? That's all you have to say to me and for yourself? No? Your wife is dead because of you. You had a child right? Well too bad, because that useless fetus died with her. Good thing though, because if I had that baby right in front of me I would tear into its neck and drain all the blood within. And I'd chop your wife into pieces and munch on her bones. You people are useless scum, and your feeling get to you and cause you such pain. Everything that has happened thus far is because of you, you damn useless fool."
  415.  
  416.  
  417. The hero couldn't take it any longer. The entity had spewed the ultimate insult at him, and it had gotten on his last nerve. He wasn't mentally weak, and his emotions didn't weaken him. This, of course, was something the entity had never considered. With great speed the hero picked himself up and swung the spear at the entity, sending the being crashing against the nearby mountain. The entity picked itself up from the rubble and damage and stared in awe at the hero, who was now coming full charge.
  418.  
  419.  
  420. "How? How did you do that? How could you have picked yourself up from such a mental state and stayed true to your promise to save Minecraft?"
  421.  
  422.  
  423. The hero stopped and looked at the entity. His glare pierced straight into the entity's soul.
  424.  
  425.  
  426. "Because my emotions don't hold me back, they propel me forward. Because I'm going to use my anger, frustration, and sadness to prove myself stronger than you and beat you into a bloody pulp you bastard!"
  427.  
  428.  
  429. The entity smiled at this. It had been the exact answer it was looking for. The hero would surely prove suitable for the final part of its plan. And so, the entity floated down to the hero and readied itself. It shapeshifted its arms into grey scythes surrounded by a cloudy wisp.
  430.  
  431.  
  432. "Good hero, then come and get me."
  433.  
  434. The Entity and Hero Clash - Part Two
  435.  
  436. The hero rushed at the entity and thrust his spear towards it. The spear clashed against the scythe, causing black and green sparks to be flung in every direction. The impact caused by the blow could be felt miles away, and the energy blasts projected from the weapons were shattering mountains and hills. The hero struck again and again with his spear, clashing against the scythe. The two beings charged at each other again and again, attacking and avoiding blows. Eventually, the hero slammed the spear against the earth, cracking the ground and splitting it in two. A mammoth sized gorge separated the two opponents. Then, the entity shot a blue energy bolt from his eyes. The projectile clashed against the hero's ruby armor, hurling him backward and into a tree. Had his armor been less durable the hero would be dead.
  437.  
  438.  
  439. The hero got up and looked forward at the entity, who had leaped into the air and onto the other side of the cliff. The entity rushed towards the hero with incredible speed, but the hero was ready. He dodged the scythe and charged up an energy attack with his spear, launching it at the entity. The entity teleported behind the hero to avoid the attack and kicked the hero in the back, sending him tumbling forward. Before the entity could attack further, the hero projected a forcefield shield around his body using the spear's energy. The entity divided his body into four copies of himself and slashed at the shield, breaking little chunks of it off with each strike. Thinking quickly, the hero used the spear to create a layer of smoke around him. Once the entity broke through the shield it looked around in disbelief. Had the hero vanished?
  440.  
  441.  
  442. No, he hadn't. Using the smoke as a distraction the hero quickly ran behind the entity and sliced its back with the spear. While the entity was stunned, the hero pressed the spear against the entity and blew it away with an energy projectile. The entity fell back and onto its side, exasperated. The hero stepped onto the entity's head and stamped down, causing the entity to scream in pain.
  443.  
  444.  
  445. "Get up now," The hero yelled at the entity. He picked the entity up by its neck and slammed it against the side of a mountain. The landscape had been destroyed by their battle. Broken blocks sat everything, and the animals that had previously wandered the lands had been turned to dust. The hero aimed his spear at the entity's heart and growled to it.
  446.  
  447.  
  448. "Any last words before I end your reign of terror?"
  449.  
  450.  
  451. The entity looked up at the hero and cackled, quite apparently enjoying himself. It was a sick sight indeed.
  452.  
  453.  
  454. "Seriously hero? Didn't you think that I let you win a bit too easy? That perhaps I wanted you to win?"
  455.  
  456.  
  457. The hero's eyes widened as the darkness flowing from the entity's mouth, nose, and ears swallowed him and surrounded him completely. Free of the hero's grasp, the entity retreated.
  458.  
  459.  
  460. "Do you know why I brought you through this hell, hero? Why I chose now of all times to strike? It's because the darkness and evil within me has been existing for all time. Because the power constantly travels from host to host, waiting to find an impressive warrior to take the mantle of the embodiment of evil. Perhaps once I was like you, but that is a time well in the past. I cannot remember what I used to be, but what I am now. But the power within me was too great to hold for too long, just as it was for those possessed before me. You see, the power and evil inside must be passed onto you so my host body can do. For you must now be the evil to plague the world you so desperately tried to defend."
  461.  
  462.  
  463. The hero screamed and wiggled, struggling to break free of the darkness surrounding him. Soon, he broke the barrier and slowly walked towards the entity. Again, the entity spoke.
  464.  
  465.  
  466. "You now have the evil within you. You may try to run from it or stop it, but there's a selfish side within us all. For so many great heroes before you to accept the evil, that power. The power entices you hero. There is no point in fighting it. Just give in."
  467.  
  468.  
  469. Then, the hero responded.
  470.  
  471.  
  472. "No. No, I won't give in. Because there is something within me. Yes, I am selfish and foolish, for I am only human. But still, that emotion within. My wife died by my hand, and the responsibility and horror of that fact will always haunt me. But what you never knew, or never cared to know, was that was started out as a journey from that experience with my wife evolved. It evolved into something more. Through every journey and life I saved, I realized that helping people, in general, was worth it. I saw that even though my past trauma held me back in some aspects, my heart and mind knew that I was destined to be the hero of this land. I don't know what happened to you or the heroes before, but I promise to be different. I won't let this evil spread any longer."
  473.  
  474.  
  475. With that, the entities body, now free of the evil and darkness, shriveled up and peeled away, leaving only a carcass. The hero felt a surge of power rising within him. He knew he had to act fast. He desperately used his new power to fling himself into the sky. Up and up he went, until he reached the atmosphere of the planet. He flew up into space, where the stars twinkled and shined brightly. He looked down at the cube planet he had grown up on. The cube planet he had lost his wife on. He had to do it for her. But not only for her, but for the people who lost their lives. And even then, for the people who would be better off with the evil banished from the world itself. And so, the hero allowed his eyes to close, tears welling inside them one final time. And with that, he summoned the energy, power, and evil within him and commanded it to self-destruct while he still had control. His body glowed for a split second before bursting into a fiery and intense explosion, one which was viewable to the naive people of Minecraft who were ignorant of what had taken place.
  476.  
  477.  
  478. And as the hero's remains were scattered among the universe, his spirit was able to look down on a world where evil no longer lurked. He had destroyed the darkness that had once plagued the earth through the ultimate sacrifice. But it was ok, because somewhere up above, through the heavens and in the realms where infinite possibilities truly had no restrictions or restraints, the hero had been reunited with his lost darling. And never again would the evil return through the body of another being and wreak havoc on the world.
  479.  
  480.  
  481. Never again.
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