They rowed and rowed through the night, seeing the wonders of the Minecraft Monarchies around them. This wasn’t just some stand up Minecraft-RPG mod wrapped up in the wonderful electronics of total immersion gaming.
This was a real world all of its own with so many little secrets and goings-ons happening around them every single day!
“What’s that?” asked Dad, pointed at the lights rising up from beneath the sea.
“Water temple maybe. Don’t want to get too close. Not now. We don’t have water breathing and we can’t see well in the dark.”
“What’s that?” asked Dad, pointing to the giant turtle floating by in the distance, an island complete with what looked to be coconut trees growing atop of its shell.
“Something new. I suggest we don’t go to that thing either.”
On and on Dad pointed and asked as they rowed through the sea, the moon rising over them then beginning its trek toward the other side. Soon they came to the mountain, a misshapen thing that they’d sometimes seen from far away back in Port City.
“Do you think there is anything there?” Dad asked.
Dean laughed. “Now I know why you sometimes get annoyed when I ask so many questions. I don’t know Dad! Maybe we could, I dunno, row clsoer and find out?”
Dad laughed right back. He was right. He did get annoyed sometimes. He didn’t mean too and he hadn’t really thought about how he was acting here. He nodded. Dean was right to snap on him.
“Right. Let’s do that. Looking at the glow of that lava, I feel like we might be right next to something huge. Maybe some more netherite armor?”
Dean’s eyes grew big. “Or maybe the helmet? Oh, yeah, that’d be awesome!” He threw himself into the oars, speeding them up. “Come to me, Nether items! We’ll be best friends forever!”
They rowed through, the ocean’s air saltier now than it had been before. The wind was picking up as well. Dad marveled at the realness of it all. He could hear dolphins swimming and jumping somewhere nearby. He could feel the grains of the oars in his hands — even if they didn’t quite look like they had any.
His eyes met with Dean’s.
“Yeah, me too,” Dean said, taking it all in.
They got closer and they slowed down, more wary now that they might be in range of skeletal archers. A massive water fall splashed down the side of the mountain, but beyond it and the magma, there was nothing of interest.
“Let’s just go around the mountain as much as we can. Maybe we just can’t see the good stuff yet,” Dad said. They paddled around, look it up and down for any clues as to a treasure or secret quest.
And although some of the gaps and holes in the mountain face looked suspicious, none of them warranted a full on investigation.
“Time to move on?” asked Dean.
Dad nodded. “Yeah, kid, time to move on.”
They paddeled away, still keeping an eye out for anything special. For a moment they thought they had found something in the ocean, and the two of them rowed in its direction.
But again Dean warned them away when they came into site. Anything underwater was a no go until they had the right equipment and potions.
They rowed until daybreak, their arms thankfully never getting tired and, honestly, the trip never getting boring. The ocean was alive with dolphins, fish, and octopi. The sky was bright with twinkling stars. And the gentle rock of the ocean lent a serene feeling to their journey.
“I could about just lay back and sleep here Dean,” Dad said after some time. “Maybe make a boat with a hammock to lay down in. And a grill to cook some meat on.”
“I wonder if the mod will let us make galleons. That would be awesome. Something huge where you could do all of those things and also have cannons and fight pirates.”
Dad cocked his head and smiled. “You know what? That would be super awesome. You should be a game developer. I bet with ideas like that you’d be top in the field.”
Daylight came and cast his red, then orange, then yellow rays over the sea. Spotting land on the horizon, Dean and Dad made their way over. And, soon, their eyes were wide as they stared at its beach . . .
There was a sunken ship! It had apparently crashed into the island. And as far as they could see, the only thing guarding it was a creeper who was ambling about the beach as if he were out for a morning run.
“There’s going to be a treasure chest inside,” Dean said. “There always is.”
“Heck yeah! Alright, let’s get close so I can kill that creeper with my harpoon,” Dad said.
“Trident,” Dean laughed, correcting him.
“Right, sorry. I knew that!” he laughed.
They moved in closer to the beach, Dad leveling the trident at the creeper. He counted under his breath. 3, 2, 1. And then he yelled his new catch phrase.
“Ba-bam-zo!” he screamed, smashing the creeper in the head. It knocked back while his trident returned to his hand, and he did it again. Dean and Dad watched as it died and faded away.
“Ba-bam-zo?” Dean asked, then sighed. Dad shrugged. They landed the craft and got out to check out the wreck. It was a wonderful sight.
“So much beautiful premade lumber!” Dad sighed.
“Treasure!” Dean moaned.
They slapped each other high-fives and felt the sand blocks crunch under their feet as they made their way over.
“I’m going to put my trident away and get my axe out, maybe start clearing away this wood.”
“Alright,” Dean said. “I’ll keep watch.”
Dad cleared away the wood, chopping down the blocks. Around them the wind picked up again like it had the night before, and they could taste humidity on the air. It felt so much like the real thing.
Well done Mojang programming team.
“We should hurry. If it starts raining while we are here, then the zombies and skeletons can come and drive us off,” Dad said. Dean stared at him and his axe pointedly.
“Oh, yeah, right. I guess that’s on me, huh,” Dad replied sheepishly. He doubled his efforts, chopping at the wooden blocks until he finally saw the chest.
“Eureka!” he yelled, and then he dived on in.
The chest was nice, but it wasn’t super special. We’d been expecting a pirate ship full of gold, or maybe a treasure map. But sadly this book seemed to have been one of the good guys. A boat that bought food from farmers to sell at nearby ports.
The chest was filled with food. Even ‘kimchi’. But nothing that sold for much. Still, Dad was happy to find it. It was exhilarating because it was the first time he’d ever found a ship in the game, and he was now hungry to find one that had a lot more.
Dad came back up and spilled the news to Dean. Then the two of them got back into their boats and paddled off.
Just in time for the rain to come.
And not long later, they found something strange in the distance. It looked like a giant standing on an island.
Dean and Dad met each other’s eyes.
“What is that thing now?” Dad asked.
“I, uh, I hope it’s a statue. I think we should get close and if it starts moving, we run.”
Dad raised an eyebrow and looked around at the ocean
“Row, I mean! If it starts moving we row!”
They rowed closer through the rain, feeling the liquid roll over them. In the real world it would be chilly and slimy, Dad felt. Ocean rains weren’t known for being pleasant.
But here, in the game, they were like a lukewarm shower. He sighed, enjoying it while it lasted.
Dean shook his head, bringing them closer. And there it was. It was a statue, a large one that looked like it was maybe built by a kindergardener. It had big dumb eyes and was super blocky. It was raising a torch with one arm, and it seemed to have the other arm outstretched and pointing, for whatever reason. But that could have just been a trick of its ridiculous contruction.
Dad said as much to Dean, who frowned. “I think we just found another quest, dad. I say we going in the direction that he’s pointing. If we do, we might just find some more magical items to play with!”