Dean and Dad woke up the next morning at the same time as the villagers. Everyone was smiles, still happy from the night before. And the little one, a kid named Curtis, was very helpful in getting them situated, giving them large portions of raw beef for their troubles.
“Oh, it was no problem,” Dad said, trying to wave him off.
Dean growled at him from the rickety second floor awning of the farmhouse, though, and Dad took the meat, sharing it between the two of them.
And then they were off. Moving out into the hearty sunshine of another sunny Minecraft day the dynamic duo headed for Port City and caught glimpse of it within the hour.
The city looked quite busy today, the hustle and bustle of city life sending villagers shopping here and harvesting there. Hearty clinks and clanks sounded from where some of them were practicing crafts and making items for sale.
And when Dean lead them into the outskirts, villagers turned their heads and began to applaud.
“Hear, hear!” cried one.
“Well done!” cried another.
Dean and Dad felt a tremendous joy in their hearts. Despite the pixelation and the blockiness, it felt so real. And the farther they went into the city, the more villagers were there to congratulate them.
It all came to a conclusion, finally, when a figure they hadn’t met before put up her arms and called for the people to get back to work. With one last hurrah, they did so, leaving Dean and Dad to talk with her on their own.
“Ho there, heroes, and welcome. I am called Fiona the Fletcher, and I am the new deputy assistant regent under the leadership of Brian the Blacksmith,” she said. “How do you do?”
“I’m fine. And you?” Dean asked.
“Troubled, I’m afraid. See, Brian’s busy going over reports with the golem generals council. This second strike on Camp Hazington speaks of tremendous danger. If it were to fall to a determined enemy force, our capital would be essentially cut off from the rest of the Kingdom of Kanterberry Blockdom.”
“And so you think there is a bad guy out there, an evil leader, who is intentionally directing these raids and zombie attacks,” Dad said. His face looked grim. “You think someone is fighting a secret war against you!”
Fiona the Fletcher nodded. “That is what Brian and the golems are working out now. But, in the meantime, it means that I have a mission for you that is of the utmost importance.”
Dean hopped up and down, excited to have another quest so soon. Dad put a hand on his shoulder to calm him.
“Depends. I mean, we are here to help, but we just went through a lot to end that pillager outpost.”
Dean stopped hopping. “Oh, yeah. Give us our emeralds.”
Dad’s face dropped and he suddenly looked horrified. “Dean!” he said in the most exasperated of tones.
But Fiona laughed. “Yes, that is the right thing to say. I’m not offended. Weak kingdoms have stupid heroes, and heroes who don’t ask for their quest loot are stupid indeed. How else can you level up your equipment?”
Dad settled down, and Dean got back to hopping as 50 emeralds came their way. After collecting their loot, Fiona continued with her mission.
“What I need the two of you to do is collect 1280 sticks wooden blocks, 1280 blocks of stone, and 320 torches. Deposit them at Camp Hazington so that they might upgrade their defenses.”
Dean and Dad shared a look. That was a lot of collecting.
“And what is the quest reward?” Dean asked.
“If you finish this task, Brian and I can give you a certificate of citizenship. This certificate will grant you the ability to purchase homes and land inside of cities.”
Dad smiled but Dean looked dubious.
“We can already make our own homes, can’t we?”
“Yes,” Dad said. “But maybe we go to some place like the Colony of the Deep Dark where there isn’t any room to build, and we want a base there? I think being able to buy a home in any city in the kingdom is a good idea. And it sounds like the kingdom really needs our help on this.”
Dean looked around at the bustling city, at the tall sugarcane in front of the castle, the beautiful flowing water fountain on top of the hill, and a group of cute child villagers playing over by the water. He nodded.
“Yeah, I’m in. I don’t think it is that great of a quest prize, but these villagers are cool and they deserve our protection.”
A notification flashed over their vision. QUEST – UPGRADE CAMP HAZINGTON, it said. They thanked Fiona and they moved off.
The next couple of days were spent mining stone and chopping wood. Basing themselves at the camp in case of another attack, Dad would go out during the day to chop while Dean would go quarry stone from the nearest mountain. It was boring work, but the both of them kept thoughts of the villagers front and foremost in their minds.
And, thankfully, no boms attacked during that time. It was a hard day of work during the day, followed by a party with the villagers at night, then one last day of work.
Finally, near the end of the second day, they were ready. A chest had appeared on the outskirts of the camp, glowing with purple magic, a sign saying INSERT QUEST ITEMS HERE staked next to it. And both Dean and Dad were able to open it simultaneously.
They both fed their quest items into the box. It poofed away and everything slowed down, lagging to the point that they thought maybe the game had broken.
But it picked back up, the ground before them poofing away in a cloud of pixels. And when it was all done, a new Camp Hazington stood before them.
“That looks awesome!” Dean exclaimed.
The two of them stood and admired what their work had accomplished, then started the journey back to get their certificates. And to see if there were any more quests.