Chapter 12 – Going up

Less than two minutes later, five boats and their passengers are making their way towards the chunk pillar in the middle of the sea.

“Alright, so do we have everything useful we need?” Silver asks for confirmation. Granted, he was the one who looted the base and distributed the items, but still.
“Everything except one thing,” Martin responds.
“What would that be?”
“The Superhero.”

Greenmushroom paddles his boat ahead a bit faster to get closer to Silver and Martin.
“The Superhero is still on the server right? Why don’t we just contact him in the chat?”
“Because,” Silver begins, but then gets a puzzled look. “Actually, I have no idea considering that should still work. Martin?”
“Because I totally know what I’m doing,” Martin responds. His face is a bit unsure though, but that’s just because he doesn’t like to give promises. He hopes that he knows what he’s doing.

“Well he’s missing out on all the fun,” Sharon claims with a smile. The anger from before all gone with the knowledge of that this adventure just got more amazing by having to scale a tower made out of pieces of the land.

They reach a piece of flatland that has a massive column of rock with caves in it balancing on a few trees. A couple of spiders have spawned in the darkness under the other chunk and as the party gets closer, they move in to attack.

Combat in Minecraft is fairly simple, even with added AI and more fluid movement, so it doesn’t take long to defeat the spiders, even though some of the spider’s tackles hit.

Greenmushroom quickly stakes out the area with a few torches to prevent more spiders from spawning.

“Just so you know, enemies don’t spawn within 24 blocks, and a chunk is only 16 by 16,” Silver informs, but Greenmushroom insists on being safe than sorry. That and that it’s easier to see with light.

“How does the trees not get crushed?” Sharon wonders and looks up to the chunk above. You’d think she’d be more worried as she’s standing right below it as well as all the other chunks that the Endermen have stacked.
“As I said before: only sand and gravel is affected by gravity. You could chop down the trees and the entire tower would float,” Silver answers.
“Can we not do that?” Martin nervously asks. He doesn’t want to put physics on the test on the off chance that the thing would actually fall on them. The thought of climbing hundreds of meters up without any real safety doesn’t comfort him either.

“So I’d imagine we’ll have to go through the caves to reach the top?” Ashling asks. Strangely enough there isn’t much sound coming from the caves. A light is emitted from the cave though.
“It’s either that or climb the outside using the blocks we have, and we don’t have nearly enough blocks for that. If only we could do a montage,” Silver ponders.

Sharon is already climbing one of the lower trees to reach the entrance to one of the tunnels. “Come on people! We are wasting daylight!”

Silver makes a dirt staircase to the tunnel and reaches it before Sharon does.
“Show off…” she grumbles.

“Montage, away!” Silver shouts, fully knowing that it’s not possible, but it’s still pretty funny to shout.

*

After traversing the lava filled tunnels, they make it to the surface again, with yet another chunk resting on it. This time, the chunk seems to be held up by nothing else than a piece of a hill.

Reaching and entering the next chunk would be no problem, except that some spiders appear from the caves and attacks. However, the group is getting a good hang on the game and kill the spiders without any problem.

*

Halfway up the strange tower, it’s now early evening, and they are walking on a tunnel twisting upwards whose left side was unfortunately in another chunk when it was pulled away. Martin is scared for his life, but tries to comfort himself that ‘it’s just a game’.

Suddenly, an arrow flies out and hits Sharon, knocking her off the tower. Ashling is quick to dispatch the skeleton who shot the arrow by throwing it off as well.

It’s revealed that Sharon managed to grab a hold of an indent in the tower and it doesn’t take long to dig a staircase to her.

*

After a long while, the characters dig away the last few blocks that separates them from the top of the tower, having decided to dig a staircase in the middle of the tower the last chunk, just in case.

Silver, being the one who dug the staircase, jumps out of the hole. “There we go! We’re up!”
Ashling sits down on a grass block. “Finally. Climbing this thing took forever.”
“It barely felt like a minute to me,” Greenmushroom says.
“Guys! The stronghold!” Sharon excitedly says and points at the stronghold before them. It’s not like she needed to point it out, as the stronghold is much bigger than the chunk, and so only the entrance rests at the top and the rest of the hold sticks out from the chunk.

“Heh, it kinda reminds me of the plateau in the Land,” Martin says to take his mind off that the place doesn’t have any safety rails. It fails.

Sharon drags Martin up from the staircase, as it looked like he was intending on staying there. “No point staying here, we made it!”

“So, what can we expect from the stronghold? Traps? Enemies?” Ashling asks Silver while looking towards the structure in question.
“No traps, but weird door placements, if anything,” Silver answers. “Maybe a couple of monsters though, if the torches are gone. Actually, there will probably be monsters regardless.”

Sharon is about to step into the ‘entrance’ which is actually the hole that was dug out earlier. Silver stops her. “Hang on one second! Who has the Eye of Enders?”

Greenmushroom waves. “That would be me.”
They had decided it would be best if Greenmushroom carried the things around as he’s the shortest and can therefore get away easier than the others.

“Are we ready now?” Sharon impatiently asks. She really wants to check out the stronghold ever since she heard of it.
“Almost, how’s everyone’s hunger bars doing?” Silver asks.

Ashling quickly gobbles up a piece of bread. “Full,” he says. Everyone else seems to be good with their bars.

“Alright, now we can go,” Silver smiles, but Sharon is already in before he manages to finish the sentence. It doesn’t take long before she runs out as fast as she had entered. Her face is a bit pale.
“Endermen,” she says.

And so the party goes on a killing spree with well-placed buckets of water, combo attacks and other engine abusing techniques to plough through the horde of Endermen that stands before them.

Sharon is bravely leading the way even though she’s not sure of where the portal they are searching are, but she knows her ruins and finds the most efficient route to travel. Silver and Ashling takes on most of the Endermen while Greenmushroom and Martin knocks away the ones that get too close.

By the time they reach the portal room they have managed to collect quite the amount of Ender Pearls. Strangely enough, the few Endermen that weren’t killed stay away from entering the room.

“Why won’t they follow?” Sharon wonders. Silver shakes his head. “No idea.”
“Hey look! The portal!” Ashling has walked up a few stairs in the middle of the room. Over a pool of lava hangs a four by four block frame made out of white stone. There are sockets on the top of the blocks.

“Quick, throw me the Ender Pearls you guys got,” Greenmushroom urges Silver and Ashling. Martin is still looking at the Endermen, who are growling back, but doesn’t show any signs of attacking or getting closer. Greenmushroom promptly starts to craft more Eye of Ender as soon as he gets the pearls by combining them with the Blaze Powder from the Nether.

“Hang on… there’s something we’re forgetting,” Silver then says.
“Hm?” Ashling wonders. “What could that be?”

“Ew! Shoo,” Sharon suddenly cries out and whacks a small silvery bug-thing that had appeared. Silver turns around and his eyes go wide as he realises the horror that has now been unleashed.

“Silverfish!” he shouts. Martin flinches.
Suddenly, one of the blocks in the wall disappears and is replaced by another silverfish. Sharon can’t help but attack them again, prompting more to spawn and more and more blocks disappearing.

“Stop attacking! They only spawn more!” Silver panicky shouts at Sharon and brings up some dirt blocks for everyone to stand on and to block off the silverfish from reaching.
“Get that portal open!”

A block disappears beneath Ashling and he falls, but manages to grab on to the floor. The silverfish that spawned doesn’t have the same luck and falls hundreds of meters.

Greenmushroom slides his way up the stairs and quickly places the Eye of Ender in the slots of the frame. When he places the last one, the space inside of the frame is filled by a black, starry liquid.

“Alright! It’s open! What next?” Greenmushroom tells the others, who are desperately trying to fight off the silverfish. Luckily silverfish doesn’t do any real damage, but they always spawn more when hurt and each new spawned takes away a bit of ground to stand on.

“Jump in! Just jump in!” Silver shouts back, trying to make his own way up the now almost non-existent set of stairs. Meanwhile, Sharon helps Ashling up before the block he’s clinging to also disappears. Martin is right behind Silver.

Greenmushroom takes another look at the strange substance that makes up the actual portal to The End before jumping in. Silver throws himself into the portal and disappears with Greenmushroom. Martin stands on the portal frame, knowing that the silverfish can’t break out from it and urges Sharon and Ashling to hurry up.

The silverfish seems to go overdrive on spawning and doesn’t even care if they get hurt or not. One by one, the blocks of the stronghold disappears and is replaced by a silverfish. The Endermen makes eerie noises resembling laughs and teleports away.

Ashling quickly runs up the last two blocks of the stairs before they are converted and jumps in. Sharon has to climb up.

“This is awesome!” she says before jumping in, dragging Martin with her.

The End awaits.

Next chapter

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