In truth… we never made it to that village…
Once free of the forest, we were met with a kind of modded, semi-arid badlands. The sun had largely baked the ground into orangish dirt blocks. Trees, acacia I believe, were unsurprisingly scarce, more so than the patches of normal grass, but perhaps on par with instances of quicksand, annoyingly, which was a shade darker than regular sand, though it could take a second or two to make the distinction (a second too late in some instances).
It wasn’t long before it came into view, something that would very much change our fate…
… It was a second village, situated on and around an elevated hill. The primary gravel pathway, which the buildings were mostly built along, followed a simple rectangular layout. From the point of view in which where we entered was the lower left corner, a delightfully surprised Amnesty and I passed by a few underused farm plots on our way up to the lowest level of the settlement proper.
Geographically, the township lended itself to being traversed clockwise, as a jagged 7 to 10 high rock face at our immediate right separated us from the upper level. There was a crop plot at its foot, one that would not only see my rise up the social ranks through the gratuitous raising of ever popular watermelons, but also one over which I’d eventually fashion a rudimentary ramp that would conveniently bridge the two sections of the village together.
Granted, the lower and upper levels did meet near the other end of the settlement. However I was spurred in favor of my ramp solution both because I had built mine and Amnesty’s first house in front of it, eager to take full advantage and because, until then, it was immediately apparent that, shear drop off notwithstanding, it was the village spanning custom for pedestrians to jump off from the cliff to get down while, at the same time, others would crowd against the same cliff in their fruitless attempts at getting back up. Regrettably, my efforts were only somewhat successful at remedying the situation, with at best half of potential jumpers/loiterers taking my safer route.
Our new neighbors were pleasant enough, from what little time I spent actually interacting with them beyond positive conditioning and delicious bribery. This was in contrast with Amnesty who, at the first signs of morning, the start of the sun’s routine climb and the blunt forced slams and cracks of opened doors and daily commuter legs, would swiftly depart from our admittedly modest house after a just as brief greeting. I believed it for the best that she get acquainted with the local people of this village in the middle of nowhere, which I took the liberty of naming Napaca, if only because of its consonants. I, on the other hand, was much too busy improving the village’s overall infrastructure on top of the usual chores of farming, ranching and mining.
It was tiring work, the kind that ate away at my personal allowance of daylight. At the sun’s descent, I’d immediately rush to the house to sleep, lest otherworldly creatures, modded and unmodded, spawn in and destroy what I had fought so long to find. There was only ever one solution I could come up with to permanently protect any town: a stone wall. With at least 2 block high defenses at the perimeter and plenty of light sources, the village would be practically immune to attack, which I prefered considering how I put little to no faith in MCA guards ever since, during another lifetime, I found them pathing into a nearby well from which there was no escape since they refused to follow me out of it. It was terrible at the time, but in hindsight, I’m inclined to think it was for the better.
Before the wall could be completed, however, I believed I owed my daughter something that I’d been putting off for a while. She was just about fully grown and I could tell that she was looking forward to having a house of her own. Though all things considered, I may be putting the matter in overly civil terms.
I couldn’t blame Amnesty for acting the way she did towards me. How could I? In every way that mattered, she was my daughter. It didn’t even matter if she thought of me as her father or not. I had already come this far because of her. And I was more than willing to save the world for her. But in the end, simply assuring her safety wasn’t enough anymore. I needed her to be happy also.
I built her house on the hillside. Embedded into the rock mass, her abode featured stone brick stairs leading up to her own wood porch and twin doors opening to her personal, spacious, well furnished living quarters. I hadn’t intended to stray from the default houses’ one room motif. But I did provide Amnesty with a bed, a table set and a bit of room left over.
It was the beginning of the rest of her life. That is what it must have felt like for my girl anyway. Nevertheless, I couldn’t rest easy until my wall was complete, which became true in a literal sense near the end of its construction, as I tended to linger passed my self imposed curfew.
When a creeper eventually decided to take advantage of my lack of concentration… I only had myself to blame…
I survived the explosion, my iron armor just able to prevent the crater I found myself in from being an open grave. But I was pretty much dead already. With an inordinate number of zombies on approach and skeletons shooting me as I endeavored to climb out of the hole, escape was very much impossible. What could I do except fight until the inevitable happened? At the enthusiastic trampling on the part of a rotting dead horse, I was sentenced to the Minecraft death screen.
I could only imagine the battle that then ensued: the forces of darkness easily slipping past the unfinished wall to meet the guards of Napaca alongside my daughter, who was always arrayed in iron level gear.
I was playing in Hardcore mode.
I knew very well that I couldn’t watch over Amnesty forever. That was why I needed to find Napaca, to ensure the things I couldn’t give her.
Some days, I wonder what became of her and the village. Did she survive? Did Napaca survive? If she lived, what would she do now, in a world without me? Would she stay and rebuild? Or would she leave this place and find happiness elsewhere? Or perhaps, it would soon be time for her to save the world…
No matter the case, the world I left behind is one of the best I’ve experienced just by virtue of Amnesty being a part of it.
Not bad for someone who wasn’t her real dad…
My precious Amnesty. May we meet again…