|There's even the creeper, right where I remembered it.|
"Oh, you're back, are you? Had lots of fun in the other world, did you?"
I glared at him. "I ran into... difficulties."
"I did warn you," he said, with an knowing horsey look on his pixellated face. "Out of curiosity, was it the tigers?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
I mounted back into the saddle, and we set off northward.
|Good old Boxter.|
There was the mountain we'd stayed in last night, and which I'd seen in the parallel universe. Instead of being covered in snakes, it was covered in safe, harmless pigs. We circled around to the right-hand side of the mountain, where the landscape looked more gradual.
"So, did you find a pegasus?" Boxter asked as we climbed.
"I didn't even see a single horse," I said glumly.
"Well, did you at least see a zebra? You can't find a pegasus without one of those."
"What? Why would I need a zebra?"
"Well, if I remember correctly, in that universe, you've got to tame a zebra first. And a regular horse as well. And if they, um, get along, there will be a baby eventually."
"A pegasus comes from breeding a zebra and a horse?"
"No, no, that would be silly," Boxter said. "Obviously that pairing results in a zorse."
"What do I do with the zorse? Can they fly?"
"Of course not. Well, not unless you give one an Essence of Darkness."
"What's an Essence of Darkness?"
"It's made from an Ender Eye, a Heart of Darkness, and a potion bottle. You mean to tell me that you went into the other world without knowing all this? Expecting to just come across a pegasus?"
"... yeah. What's an Ender Eye?"
"The eye of an Enderman."
"Let me guess: they're fearsome and rare."
"Yeah. They teleport."
"Yikes. And the Heart of Darkness?"
"You get that by battling a bathorse at night underground."
"Fearsome and rare?"
"Ok, supposing I got this Essence of Darkness thing made... what would I do with it and the zebra horse thingy?"
"You'd give it to the zorse, and it'd transform into a bathorse."
"Wait, I thought I had to kill the bathorse."
"You did. Now you have to tame one. They fly at least - you'd like that."
"So there's no pegasus in the other world, only bathorses?"
"There are pegasus. To get one, next you have to fly the bathorse up above the clouds."
"And then it becomes a pegasus?"
"No, then you have to give it an Essence of Light."
"How do I craft an Essence of Light?"
"From an Essence of Darkness, an Essence of Undead, and an Essence of Fire."
I laughed hollowly, and nearly drove us off a cliff. At the last minute we swerved from the ledge - was that a dungeon down there? This sandy landscape sure was geometric and difficult to navigate, and I was going to have some trouble getting down off of this mountain. Oh. It was the same mountain we'd been on earlier, and in trying to find a safe path down, I'd gradually turned away from northward.
Feeling quite dumb, I tried to remember how we got down off the mountain last time. I took a wrong turn, and we ended up teetering on a narrow ledge with steep dropoffs on both sides.
|And once again, I forgot till now about the strategy of trying to collapse the sand-mountain to make a more gradual slope.|
I panicked, and we ended up falling off the ledge - fortunately, toward the water side. We landed in the water, but took a lot of falling damage. I'm not sure whether this means that water doesn't cushion a human-horse combo from falling damage, or that I'd only managed to mostly fall in the water. But it looked like falling into water was unfortunately a strategy I couldn't rely on in the future.
Hauling out of the water, I dismounted to eat a health-restoring pork chop. Then I continued around the side of the mountain, and - yep, there was the portal. This was right back where we'd left earlier today. How embarrassing. But it was getting toward nighttime, and I knew that at least there'd be a ready-made shelter waiting in the side of that mountain.
Arriving at the cave, I prepared to dismount, and -
to dismount, and -
to dis... where was Boxter? I had only just now noticed that I wasn't currently riding a horse. Kind of an odd mistake to make, I know.
|Oh, look. A portal.|
Now very worried, I retraced my steps. What had happened? Had Boxter slipped away at some point? Had a lion eaten him out from under me?
Finally I found him in the valley where I'd stopped to eat a pork chop. "Clip clop, clip clop," he said, making coconut-shell-clomping motions. "Forget something?"
"Shut up," I said, and climbed in the saddle.
|Words fail me.|
There was the usual go-round at the entrance to the cave, where I attempted to ride Boxter into the cave over a two-block-high barrier, only to remember that when I'd built the cave, I'd failed to make the entrance high enough, and earlier had the exact same problem. After a slight bit of head-bonking damage, a remodel of the cave entrance, and a quick race to beat Boxter to the entrance of the cave (this time I manage to block it off ahead of him), we were both safely in the cave for the night, and not a moment too soon.
|At this point, I was not yet breathing a sigh of relief... still have to block up the rest of the entrance. But at least now Boxter can't go racing off into the moonlight.|
"Don't you want to know how to make an Essence of Undead and an Essence of Fire?" Boxter asked.
"...Okay. We've got all night. How do you make an Essence of Undead?"
"You need rotten flesh and a Heart of Undead."
"Rotten flesh is from...?"
"Zombies drop rotten flesh in the new world."
"Instead of feathers? How random. And what drops a Heart of Undead?"
"Undead horse. They're fearsome and -"
"Rare. Got it. And Essence of Fire?"
"For that, you need flame and a Heart of Fire."
"Heart of Fire is from...?"
"Nightmare flaming scary horse. Found in the Nether."
"Fearsome and rare?"
"I actually don't know, on that score. But you'll have some trouble getting flame."
"Why? Don't I just need a flint and tinder?"
"Close. You need to defeat a fire ogre."
"What on earth is a fire ogre?"
"Big smashy guy who can bash his way through stone."
"I think I met one of th-"
"And then he sets the stone on fire."
"...Okay, you know what? I'm not going back to that other universe. Ever. There are pegasus here - I've seen one, and I have faith that they still exist. And an endless journey into the north still sounds more doable than that crazy scavenger hunt through the depths of the caves and the fires of the Nether."
"Don't you want to hear how to actually capture a pegasus in the other world? You just need four more flames, and a diamond, and some gold..."
I climbed back down into the mine I'd built on the previous night, and continued digging my way toward the bottom of the earth. Toward dawn, I found a small clump of coal blocks, and I don't want to know exactly how many because I have a sad feeling they'd not make up for the coal I used in all the torches.
|Welp, back to the mines.|
Daylight came at last, and we were greeted by the sight of a cow dangling its udders in front of the window. Sigh. I'm never going to be the big-time, fearless kind of Minecraft player who battles Endermans and giant flame ogres and rides bathorses into battle. I'm the kind of Minecrafter who forgets whether or not they're actually riding a horse at the moment, and who gets moo-ned by cows.