Written by Lisra Felltome
It was another beautiful day, given to us by the great Patron. The sun was high in the sky, there were animals roaming the plains and forest. And I was waiting in the forest outside the gates of the supposedly legendary Diamond City, the capital of the great Diamond Kingdom. I knew he would come this way. Then, I would finally get to meet him face to face. I hugged my rabbit tightly with excitement. "I know this is the one, Danis. He has to be." I told him. Danis squirmed in my arms and I released him. Then, I heard the faint sound of footsteps, and I immediately signaled Danis to go into my inventory. I then climbed up the nearest hill and waited, covering my head in my green cloak to help me blend in. A moment later, he appeared. He was a brown-haired boy who looked to be around sixteen-close to my own age, with a dark grey shirt and brown pants. Covering his body was a purple cloak, though even through the cover I could see he had a muscular build as he carried himself with a serious, focused look. He seemed unaware of my presence as he continued to wander, no doubt heading down his own path and ready for when the world needed his help again. It was him. I was surprised to see him being trailed by an allay as well, as it hummed to itself. I smiled and called out to him. "Hey, you!" I called. Startled, the boy looked around for the voice that had called to him, clearly not expecting to be watched. "Up here!" I alerted to him. He looked up and I waved. As soon as his companion saw me, it flew to the shoulder of the boy, clearly nervous, which made sense. Allays were often scared of anyone aside from the one they had formed a connection with. "He-hello?" he replied, having a guarded expression on his face. "Hey, so you're him, aren't you? David? The hero?" I asked him. His face for a brief moment became alarmed before he immediately changed it to feigned confusion. "David? I don't know anyone by that name. And what do you mean a hero?" he asked. I shook my head, smiling even deeper. "Oh no, I see through your lies. I know you recognize that name, because it's yours. And you're the hero, the one who put an end to the Purge War and saw the defeat of the dark knight. You even prevented the war between the Nether and the Overworld." I told him. His face changed from fake confusion to defensiveness. "What's it to you?" he shot back. I lurched back in feigned shock at his defensiveness. "Oh nothing. It's just, I thought you might be more interested in me... considering that I'm the reason the piglins wanted war with humanity." I revealed to him. His eyes grew wide with shock. "You... No, you lie. How could you be responsible for a war?" he questioned. I continued to smile as I held my hand out. "Well, I have this special power-" I told him as I concentrated and willed the world to spawn in a clock and a lightning rod in my hand, "I can summon whatever I want. And by simply putting them together," I mashed the two together, creating something new, "I can create anything I want. Here, take this-" I then threw the new item down to him and he caught it in his hands. "It's a weather detector. It can tell when it's about to rain. Could be helpful, you never know." "Now for the spicy details. You see, I wanted there to be a war between the Nether and the Overworld. I wanted one because you are the one I've been looking for. So, it was pretty easy to convince one of the factions to enter the Nether to try and take land from the piglins, which pissed them off pretty good. My power is one that is considered to be very desirable by most." I explained. His face grew angry. "So, you were willing to throw our world into another war in which countless would lose their lives, just because you wanted to see me?" he growled. I held my hand up. "You make it sound so bad when you word it that way. But yes, David. That is what happened." I replied. "You realize that I have to take you into custody now, right? That's got to be illegal in many ways!" he said. I turned around. "Well, if you're going to get me, you got to catch me first, Mr. Hero!" I taunted as I ran ahead. I could hear him pursuing me as he let out a shout. And so we ran. I had my newest candidate focused on me, and I was determined to keep his attention. He kept pursuing me until the sun was setting. By then, the boy was exhausted and couldn't run anymore. I kept my distance, watching as he made a shelter to stay in for the night while the mobs roamed. Feeling the hunger in my stomach, my hand went through my inventory and pulled out some tasty watermelons that I munched on. They tasted just like the ones I used to eat back home, and I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. I felt confident in myself, as long as I hide within the leaf blocks of the trees on top of a few log blocks inside the tree, I was safe from most mobs. I positioned the leaves in a way that they would hold me in their embrace and felt my rabbit and slime companions peek out from my inventory. They then crawled onto my chest and relaxed. I held them in my arms, feeling myself beginning to doze off for the night. The next morning, I awoke to the cries of the chickens and stretched out, yawning loudly. My companions woke from my movement and played with each other for a moment before I guided them back into my inventory. Then, looking over at the shelter, I was just in time to see David emerging from it, looking tired. He must've been a slow waker, but I knew how to fix that. I jumped down from my resting place and called out to him. "Hey, you're looking pretty tired!" I shouted to him, quickly catching his attention as a scowl covered his face once more. "Aren't you supposed to catch me and toss me into jail?" "Lady, that's exactly what I'm going to do! You might as well make it easier for yourself." he demanded, his face filled with determination, and I scoffed. "Where's the fun in letting you get me that easily? I much prefer the chase! Makes things more exciting!" I told him with a coy smile, and he had a hint of a blush for a moment. I had a feeling he interpreted my words in a different way, and I smiled smugly as I turned my back to him. He seemed to fancy me-I could have some fun with this. "Come and get me, Mr. Hero!" I taunted him. "I want to see that determination of yours!" Just then, I felt my hood get lifted off my head as something yanked me back. I fell onto the ground with a grunt and turned back to him. He held a fishing rod in his hand and began to sprint at me. Oh, that's the way you're going to play it, huh? I thought to myself, Two can play at that game... I reached into my inventory and tossed a heavy pearl coated in spikes in front of him, where he quickly tripped over it with a grunt of pain. Then, I immediately got back to my feet and continued to sprint, using the trees for cover as he yelled in frustration. The chase continued for a while. He nearly trapped me in a stone corner of a mountain, but I managed to use my fire staff to grab onto a leaf block and pulled myself up, then climbed up the mountain. There were also a few times when he tried to use his fishing rod to snag me, but I was able to avoid getting knocked off balance and even ended up pulling the fishing rod out of his hands towards the end. When his allay got involved, that was when I had a harder time. It would try to fumble my moves, whether by grabbing onto my hood and pulling me back or by tripping me. A lot of times I had to resort to jumping into a tree to stay hidden or to dodge his grasp, though if I lingered too long I would be at risk of being knocked out of the tree by the allay. This boy was certainly a good tracker, I only needed to nudge him in the right direction to find me a couple times, and when he found me he was pretty good at staying on my trail. He and his allay also worked pretty well as a team. By the end of the day, he was exhausted once again and I hid in a tree surrounded by visually appealing rocky cliffs with a waterfall nearby. I watched as he built a new shelter from the wood he chopped from the trees. Then, he lit it up with a few torches and stepped inside, disappearing behind the door along with the blue pixie. Feeling at ease for the first time all day, my hands dropped my hood back down to let my hair free. I fed on a loaf of bread and steak, then felt the hunger in my body vanish. The food slowly began to replenish the tons of energy I had spent on the chase today. My feet felt sore, but I toughed it out. There were going to be more days of this. We were still some distance away from where I wanted to take him. My companions once again left my inventory and back onto my chest where they slept. Feeling the exhaustion on my eyes, I leaned back on the soft leaves and felt myself drifting off into slumber. In the morning, I awoke to a sudden feeling of something huge crashing into my side and instantly cried out in shock. I lost balance and started falling from the tree. Immediately, I reached my arm out, grabbing the log block just in time, but felt a heavy weight on my leg. I struggled to carry it and looked down to see David grasping my leg while dangling in the air, that determined look in his eyes still. I grunted with effort. "Let go!" I shouted. He shook his head, pulling harder. He was trying to get me to fall out of the tree. I clutched the tree as hard as I could with both hands, but he pulled himself up further and then surged down, causing the weight of his body to increase significantly as I cried out in shock. My grip on the tree came loose, as David and I tumbled down onto the ground. When I came to, I was on top of him and he was beginning to get up. I quickly got up first and then grabbed ahold of his shoulder, lifting him to his feet and shoving him to the wall in anger, pressing the side of his head against the stone as I held his arm with it. "That wasn't very nice of you... What kind of hero knocks a lady out of a tree in her sleep?" I said with a scowl as he struggled against my grip. Suddenly, his other arm came and hit me on my head and I was stunned by the attack. I was turned around and slammed against the stone wall. As I came out of my daze, I noticed that both my arms were pinned by his own. He had me in his grasp and I was trapped. He looked pretty angry too. I could see his allay cheering him on as he held me in place. I looked straight into his resolute green eyes and pushed my previous anger down. "Look, David, I really like you, but this is a little too much too fast, don't you think?" I told him in a soft voice with my smile. His expression changed to a stunned look as his face began to flush. "What?" he stammered in a slightly panicked voice and that was when I brought my knee up right between his legs-the weak spot of any boy, earning a heavy grunt of pain as he let go of me and began to clutch his crotch. I then pushed him down and gained distance between us as I laughed at him. His allay cried out in anger as it rushed to help the boy rise to his feet. "Boys always seem to fall for that one! You want to catch me, you're going to have to be more clever than that, Mr. Hero!" I hollered at him as I moved, chuckling as I quickly gathering Danis and Squishy, bringing them back into my inventory. I then lifted my hood back up to conceal my face. As soon as David was up, I continued to run. He ran after me, and I could tell he was especially furious after that stunt that I pulled. I climbed up the trees, choosing to stay above them whenever possible, since he kept trying to use his fishing rod to pull me back whenever I was on the ground, and he knew how to cast it. The rest of the day consisted of me dodging his and his allay's attempts to catch me left and right, though I knew more of what to expect from the allay and could predict its movements more easily. Nighttime arrived, but he still kept pursuing me, to my surprise. I decided to take this as an opportunity to see just how capable a warrior he really was and would guide him towards mobs when I saw them. He took out zombies and spiders with his iron sword, using techniques that amazed me, such as when a spider lunged at him and he rolled under to stab it in its abdomen and flung it away. He would use a shield against skeletons, effectively taking them down with ease. As for creepers, he'd simply swung his sword strong enough to decapitate them, or sprint at them and attack them before kicking them away until the creepers fell. Truly, he was a skilled warrior, and I could see that his time in the Purge War had taught him well in swordplay. Eventually, David became too exhausted though, and he ended up collapsing on the ground. The allay lowered itself down to him and began to call to him, clearly concerned for the warrior's safety. "Oh boy..." I muttered to myself as I looked around to see where monsters were. Thankfully, there were only a few creepers and skeletons I could see, and none of them were close enough to see the fallen warrior. I jumped down from the tree and approached him. The allay noticed me and flew in between us, holding its arms outstretched as it tried to prevent me from getting closer to him. "Relax, little one. I'm not gonna hurt him." I assured the glowing spirit. It looked unsure. I brushed past the little creature with little effort, it was pretty light after all. I turned David over to see he had passed out and went to feel his vitals. His heart was still beating, though he had clearly pushed himself to his limits. He would certainly be killed out here if mobs stumbled upon him, so I went ahead and dug up a bunch of dirt, and then built a little hut for him to stay in during the night. A few zombies tried to interrupt my progress, but I put a quick and easy end to them with my fire staff, being careful not to miss any fire charges and light the forest ablaze. When I was done, I placed David inside the hut, then placed down a door for him, allowing his little blue friend to go into the shelter to join him. His hut complete and David safe and sound, I went ahead and climbed up into a tree to rest for the night, making sure that this one didn't have any cliffs or other surfaces that could be reached by David. I lowered my hood to let my hair back out and helped myself to some steak and watermelons. We were close to the jungle, I could feel it. Once we arrived, we would see if David truly was the one. Excitement filled my mind, but also trepidation. I was concerned that he might not be, but I was certain he was. He seemed to truly fill all the qualifications. Knowing that I would need to rest up and preserve my energy, I fell asleep once more. The next day, I awoke to chickens signaling the rise of the sun and let out a yawn. Then, looking at the hut, I noticed David and the allay were outside, looking around. He was probably looking for me. I decided to go ahead and greet him. Pulling my hood back up, I jumped down from the tree, already planning my escape. "Hello Mr. Hero." I told him as he spotted me. "Did you have a nice sleep?" I noticed that his face wasn't covered in a scowl this time, but rather a look of caution. "That was you who rescued me... Why?" he asked, his voice guarded. "Well, it's simple. You're the hero. And if the hero were to lose his life, then who would be there for when the world needs saving?" I pointed out. He was silent. "I don't mean any harm to you, David, well... any real harm anyways. I'm here to guide you." "What are you guiding me to? Why would I trust you?" he asked. "I need you to trust me David. I want the best for the one. It is my people's purpose that we assist the one however we can." I promised him. "And I need you to come with me to my people." He looked conflicted as he looked over at his allay. "I've had bad experiences with trusting people I don't really know..." he mumbled. I put a smile on my face and made myself as non-threatening as I could. "Fine... I'll give you a chance. But I'm not going to forget what you did." I nodded. "That's fine. Just come with me and we'll help you, Mr. Hero." I promised. Now that we weren't at odds anymore, I went to the direction of home, with David and his blue friend following close behind me. Squishy came out of my inventory to get accustomed to the allay, soon followed by Danis, who was more nervous about David. They even approached the allay and began to interact with it, although the allay was too shy to reciprocate for much of the time. I kept the confident smile on my face as we went along. A few moments later, I could finally see the beginning of the jungle I had been born in. I gasped in happiness and sped up my trek, running over to the woods with David trailing me. The look on his face told me that he had never seen a jungle biome before as he gazed in disbelief at the massive trees. "Here we are! This is my home!" I exclaimed as I twirled around on top of a giant bush. I looked back at David and could see a slight smile on his face. "Well, you look happy." I noted. "I was just remembering a friend. That's all." he replied, his smile fading fast and quickly replaced with a passive scowl. I pondered what kind of friends someone like him could have. "Well, it's not much farther from here. Keep going." I informed and we continued deeper into the dense jungle. The sun was beginning to set when we finally reached it. A settlement at the heart of the jungle. Within it, I could see the people inside their huts, all located on the branches of jungle trees up above. Memories came flashing back as I remembered the day that I left the village had been very emotional for me. It was my people, the clan of the Sapia. And in the middle of the village, there was the Elder sitting in her throne with her attendants. "We're here." I turned to him, he was in awe of the settlement, as well as the wildlife itself. He watched a colony of ocelots running through the village as parrots flew overhead, letting out calls that sounded like the ocelots. "Now, just follow my lead, and be respectful towards the Elder. Got it?" I said with a closed-eye smile. "Sure." he replied, his voice tense. The two of us approached the Elder's podium, and she noticed us. She took special interest in seeing the allay companion that David had brought with him. "Lorekeeper Lisra has returned to us. It is wonderful to see you again, my great-granddaughter." she said with a smile. I smiled back. "It's been a while, Elder. I've brought someone that I believe to be the one we have been looking for." I told her and gestured to David. "This boy has done many things across the world. I am sure he wishes to tell you of them." I guided David over to stand before the Elder. He looked around uncomfortably before the Elder spoke up, a complete contrast to how he had behaved with me. Whereas before he had been confident and collected, now he looked awkward and nervous. "Young man, what is your name?" she asked. David shifted uncomfortably before answering. "Um... my name is David. David Stonefield." he responded. The Elder nodded. "David Stonefield... Tell me your background." she requested. "My background? Oh... well, what can I say? I was born in Blockfield Village, a place pretty far from here I think. But it was destroyed during the Purge War... I grew up and was raised by my parents, Joseph and Maria." He continued, "When I was nine, a Wither attacked my home village. I went with my friends to try and find a way to stop it, and we ended up traveling to Diamond City, where we encountered my dad. He uh... he also set out to try and stop the Wither. We went and found out that the man responsible for the Wither was my dad's brother, Lucian. So, my dad put an end to his plot and I tried to help him. He defeated the Wither as well." David explained. "After that, we went back home. My dad began training me how to fight, and I became stronger because of it." His face dropped, as though he were remembering something sad. "Then, years later, the whole war happened. Blockfield Village was attacked... and my mother... she..." He straightened himself. "So, my dad took us and we fled Blockfield, being pursued by the illagers. But we managed to get away from them. He took us to many different places to aid in the war effort, until eventually we went to invade the head fortress of the illagers. I..." His face scrunched up in sadness. "I ended up losing my best friend and my dad in that attack, but we defeated the maniac behind the Purge War, which was Lucian, who had survived after my dad stopped him." He then looked over to the allay with a small smile. "On the bright side, I came across this guy in one of the illager outposts, and we became good friends after it was all over." He continued again after a moment of pause. "But uh, after the war... I was distraught. I uh... I was picked up by my sister, Natalia, and she took care of me for a long time. We went our own way for a while. Then one day, I was ambushed by one of my father's old teammates, a dark knight named George who wielded a magic black sword, and he, uh, well he used a magical block to turn me into a spider. Natalia realized what happened to me and then she and I set out to find another of Dad's old teammates..." He paused for a moment to collect his thoughts. "It took a while, but we found her and convinced her to help us." He stopped again in order to remember more details, then spoke again. "I think after that, we were attacked by a group of griefers, but we managed to escape-more on them later, I think. Uh, we set out for a structure known as the Tower of the Aether and eventually arrived. After the whole trouble of climbing the tower, we encountered George at the top, and he ended up creating a machine I think he called a Command Block and somehow turned himself into an enderdragon. So, we um, we had to fight him to keep him away from the command block and defeated him. After that, my sister killed him and used the block to restore me to my original self." He paused again. David seemed to have difficulty speaking in general. "The temple started to collapse, and there was a pair of wings that George had used to fly up the tower. I... I didn't want my sister to be in danger anymore by being with me, so I took the wings and left them, trusting that they would be able to get away in time with the command block. After that, I don't really know what happened to them, and it's continued to bother me since..." Another pause from him to think. "I just set out on my own, and it stayed that way. Then, several months later, I was uh summoned by the Queen of the Diamond Kingdom herself. I went ahead and met with her, and she..." He looked over to me with a scowl. I knew what he was about to say and smiled weakly. "So, she uh, said that the piglins of the Nether were aiming to start a war against humanity. And, since the nations were still recovering from the Purge War, she wanted me to go into the Nether and stop it with whatever means necessary. So that's um... that's what I set out to do." He thought some more. "I headed into the Nether and was caught by the piglins and tossed into a prison, where I just so happened to encounter one of the griefers that had tried to capture me several months before. We ended up working together to rescue the rest of her crew, and then went our separate ways as I headed out to the headquarters of the leader of the piglin. I snuck my way through his castle and appeared before him. I... well, I managed to talk him out of starting a war." He continued to think before going on. "He decided that his... initial impression of humans were berrypicked, and told me that there would be no war as long as humans stopped coming into the Nether and trying to colonize their world. I uh, I went ahead and promised and went all the way back to the Queen to tell her his terms, and she accepted them. After that, I headed out of Diamond City, and that was when I encountered her." he said, pointing to me. "That's everything that happened." The Elder was deep in thought for a moment before speaking. "You have truly been through a lot. You have faced hardships every step of the way, it seems. It would appear that you have struggles with the demons that haunt your soul." she told him. He looked down. "The Purge War had a horrible impact on you on a personal level, and you must've changed as a person because of it. For one as young as you, it is truly sad to see one go through this." She held out her hands and a lump of coal appeared in it. She then willed a diamond to form in the other. "But a diamond can only be generated when coal is crushed hard enough. Though I don't believe you have quite become a diamond yet, I believe you can achieve that status." She then willed the two to return back into base coding as they vanished from her hands. "There is also the matter of the allay that seems to have taken you on as its master." she pointed out. David looked back at the allay, who shared a look with him. "Allays are very rarely ever seen by humans. But they are drawn to kind and generous souls. And no doubt this one sees that in you." she explained. "It is very telling the type of person one is when they have an allay as a companion." David, seemingly flattered, rubbed the back of his head as he looked down. The Elder's face became serious once more. "All of that out of the way now, it is time to see if you truly are the one... I will commune with the Patron and find out the truth." She closed her eyes and began to meditate. David looked back at me for a moment and I tried to look confident. In truth, I was nervous. I wanted to believe that my mission had been accomplished, but that would only be true if the Patron willed it as such. And there was a massively high chance he wouldn't, if the multiple generations of lorekeepers that were unable to find the one was anything to go off of. The sun was beginning to rise before she finally opened her eyes, and a look of disbelief covered her face. "He is. He is the one!" she gasped. My heart skipped a beat and my mouth hung open. The Elder's attendants' eyes widened despite having been trained to show no emotion. "Dear Notch, we have found the one true hero... finally..." "I... I..." I stammered and sunk to my knees. "I did it... I really found him." Tears began to form in the Elder's eyes as she looked back to David, who surprisingly looked undeterred as though he had already knew it. "David, your path has been set by the Patron. You will have to go to the temple designed to test the hero of prophecy. Lisra will be your guide." she informed, then looked over to me. "Lisra, you are the first lorekeeper in seven generations to bring forth a hero of legend. You must be the one who will guide him forth in his path. Bring him to the temple and then help him through. Then, come back here." I nodded, still in disbelief that my intuition had proven true where so many of others' had not. She looked to her attendants. "It is time for him to receive the mark of the hero." One of them nodded and moved towards David, pulling out a golden yellow dye and covering the corners of their arms. "Stay still. Close your eyes." the attendant ordered him. David did as he asked and closed his eyes. The attendant rubbed the corners of his arms across his eyes and above his nose, marking him with yellow dye that embedded itself into his skin. "You may open them." David nodded and opened them as the Elder spoke up. "These tattoos will be enough for any friend of the Sapia, as well as any Sapia agents that you may encounter on your path, to recognize you as the chosen hero. They will offer you their aid. David, the life you have lived and the life you will continue to live has all been in accordance to the design of the Patron. He has been testing you from the very beginning, seeing if you truly have what it takes to be his champion. Now he has chosen you. You must not let him down, lest the whole world suffer for it." David nodded in response, a serious look in his eyes. "Now, go." David turned back to me and I readied myself for the journey ahead. Then, we headed off.