"William and Friends"
"Operation: Rescue" Pt. 2
In a cave deep in the forest, a dark atmosphere was present despite the torches lit up to allow visibility in there. Bandits and rogues were patrolling all over the place, keeping watch for anything or anyone suspicious. Inside a large and dark cell were gathered about twenty people whom a couple of them were children. They were all terrified, anxious, hungry, thirsty, scared for their lives... The children were crying, their parents did their best to comfort and reassure them but it wasn't working...
"Mommy... I'm scared..." said a eight years old boy frightened.
"It's alright, my dear... Mom and dad are here for you..." said the mother with a comforting smile.
"Everything is gonna be alright..." said the father with the same comforting smile. However, it could still be sensed that they were scared for their lives and their children's.
"Silence in there!" shouted a bandit from outside the cell, knocking three times on the cell door to ask them to be quiet.
"Now now, Max. Take it easy with our guests here. We don't want to frighten them now, do we?" said an unpleasant voice from outside the cell.
The cell door opened, the hostages used their arms to cover their face when the faint light from the torches outside the cell came to blurry their vision. A bald man with a scar across his right eye, wearing a faded green shirt, a black cape, a spiked brown wristband on his left wrist, brown pants with a belt and black boots walked in the cell with his hands in his back. It was Mordius, the leader of the bandits. The latter looked at the frightened group of people and gave them an eerie smile.
"Hahaha, well lookie here... Ain't that a beautiful sight?" he said in a creepy tone. The hostages shivered in fear at the gaze of the cruel bandit leader. Mordius began to walk inside the sell back and forth and continued to speak, "I know what you're all thinking... 'Why is it happening to us? Is there any way out of here? Will they let us free one day? Or are they going to kill us?'". He chuckled and said, "It's nothing personal, you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately for you all, there's no way out. My men are patrolling all over the place and anyone who tries to escape will not go back to the cell 'unscathed'." Children wimpering were heard inside the call as the bandit leader kept talking, with their parents trying their best to reassure them and calm them down in vain.
Mordius eventually stopped walking, his back turned to the hostages. "Don't worry though. We're planning to let you all out... ONLY if your beloved king will pay the ransom we're planning to send him. His kingdom is rich, tons of gold and diamonds! Who wouldn't want such treasure?" he said before he stopped talking for a few seconds. "Heh... And of course... to answer your question 'will they kill us?'. Well... don't worry, we'll only kill you all if the king refuses to pay us..." he spoke in a threatening tone. "But you have nothing to fear... King Harold is a man of benevolence. I'm sure he'll be ready to sacrify his own goods to save his people..." he finished with an evil chuckle. The hostages felt slightly relived to hear that, but they were still shaking in fear.
Mordius turned to look at the hostages and what he said next almost broke their hope. "But, heh, we're not planning on sending him the message just yet... We still need a lot more people before we can consider doing it, so who know? It could take weeks... Months... Years... Only way to find out is to wait... Heheheh...". The hostages felt like crying all tears from their bodies. The cruel bandit leader just shattered their moral by saying it could take a lot of time until they gathered enough people before sending the ransom to the king. "In the meantime, enjoy your stay," said Mordius, bowing before the hostages like an actor does before their audience on a stage play. With that, the bandit leader walked out the cell while letting out an evil laugh and closed the door behind him.
"Keep a close eye on our guests here, Max, and if anyone is complaining, make sure to shut them up but keep them alive nonetheless," Mordius told the bandit guarding the cell door.
"Got it," said Max.
With that, Mordius left and went into a small room which contained a wooden desk with a wooden chair, a restone lamp with a lever to turn on and off the light, two large chests, and a large red bed. The bandit leader closed the door behind him, walked toward his desk and took a sit. There was a map on the desk showing the whole forest along with Asgarnia and other town and villages around. On the map was marked a red cross showing the spot of the bandits' hideout and arrows showing the different paths travellers would often take.
"Hmmm... So let's see what other paths I could hide my men to bring more people in..." Mordius said to himself as he looked closely around the map. However, he was interrupted when he heard someone knocking on the door. Mordius sighed in annoyance. 'I should remind myself about putting a sign on my door to tell my men to just go away when I'm busy...' he thought. He chose to ignore the knocking but the person knocked on the door again, louder this time. Mordius groaned in irritation.
"What?!" he asked annoyed, turning his head toward the door.
"One of our men is back, he has something important to tell you, boss," said the person on the other side of the door.
"I'm busy right now, so just tell him to go away!" ordered Mordius.
An unaudible conversation was heard from the other side of the door before the person spoke again. "He says it's very important and it cannot wait, boss."
Mordius groaned and said, "Fine... I'm coming out." 'It better be important...' he thought angrily. He got up from his sit and walked toward the door. He opened it and closed it behind him. Before him was the same bandit who had encountered Mike, Wilrus, and Zef in the forest, he was with two other bandits; one of the two was the one who spoke to Mordius through the door. The bandit looked exhausted and was panting as he had ran for a long distance without stopping for a break. Mordius crossed his arms and glared at him.
"Well, I'm listening Hank. What are these so-called 'important' news?" asked Mordius irritated.
"Boss... I've got some... bad news..." the exhausted bandit, Hank, said as he tried to catch his breath.
"What's that?" asked Mordius displeased to hear one of his men coming back with bad news.
"We've... encoutered three people... in the forest..." said Hank, breathing less hard than before.
"Yeah? So what?" asked Mordius.
"We... tried to capture them but..." continued Hank as he was trying to finish catching up his breath.
"But what? You tried to capture them but what?!" Mordius asked, now growing impatient.
The bandit finished catching up his breath and could finally tell his boss what happened. "We tried to capture them but... they tricked us with a fake deal and they attacked us... Ralph and the others are dead. I'm the only one who survived...". Mordius felt shock and anger rising inside his body after hearing the news of his deceased men. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists.
"Ralph is dead...?" asked one of the two other bandits in shock.
"How is that even possible? The guy was tough as nails and he had at least twenty men with him!" said the other one shocked as well.
"Shut! UP!" Mordius suddenly snapped, causing the two bandits to flinch and become quiet. The bandit leader looked at Hank like he was ready to tear him apart at any moment, causing the bandit to flinch and tremble in fear. "You're lying! With about twenty men under his command, there's no way he could've gotten killed! This has to be one of your dumb excuses to just slip away from your work, right?!" Mordius accused him angrily.
"N-No b-boss...! I'm telling the truth, I saw it all! I swear!" begged Hank. "The bearded guy with the eyepatch threw an axe at Ralph killing him, then the other guy with the rifle started shooting at us, and then there was also this talking zombie and-!"
"Hang on, what did you say?" Mordius interrupted him as the description of the three individuals caught his attention.
"The bearded guy with the eyepatch threw an axe at Ralph killing him, then-" Hank repeated but Mordius interrupted him.
"I don't care what they did! You said there was a bearded guy with an eyepatch, a guy with a rifle and a talking zombie?" asked Mordius. Hank quickly nodded. "Did the bearded guy have a diamond axe and was wearing black and red shirt?" he asked again. Hank nodded again. "Did the guy with the rifle have a ponytail, a poncho, and was his rifle equipped with a bayonet?" Hank nodded once again. "And was the talking zombie wearing a red t-shirt?" Hank nodded again.
Mordius' eyes narrowed in pure anger. He knew who were these three: he remembered meeting the innocent zombie with a blacksmith and another zombie when he tried to rob them on their way to Carnas, he remembered meeting the handsome mercenary who shot and killed most of his men, forcing them to flee, and he remembered the psychopathic berserk whom he and his remaining men tried to kill as revenge after mistaking him for the blacksmith they saw, but the psychopath killed his remaining men and was about to kill Mordius too but decided to let him go after the latter told him which way went the blacksmith who turned out to be his twin brother. It was them... the same group that killed his men... the same group that humiliated him and forced him to give up on his criminal activities near Carnas and start all over again in this hideout near Asgarnia, the capital of King Harold's kingdom...
"Wilrus, Mike, and Zef... And I bet William and Ted are around as well..." Mordius muttered bitterly. "They've humiliated me... killed my men... I had to start all over again here because of them!". The three other bandits flinched as their leader spoke with anger and pure hatred. "I've even heard they had killed Herobrine and were now considered heroes. Business became even harder now that Herobrine is gone..." he continued bitterly.
The bandit leader took a deep breath to calm himself down. "No matter, I have more important business to attend to anyway," he said. "They don't know where we are so I'm not gonna worry about them. I'll just have to place my men somewhere else, that's all."
Mordius turned around to open the door and go back in his room, but Hank interrupted him. "Uhh, actually... They know where we are..." said Hank with hesitation, knowing exactly how his boss would react. Upon hearing this, Mordius stopped dead in his track and slowly turned around to face him. The bandit gulped as he saw the anger and rage showing up again in his leader's expression.
"What. Did you. Say?" Mordius asked through gritted teeth, feeling his blood boil again.
"They... They found a map on one of our dead guys..." explained Hank as sweat began to roll down his forehead. "T-They know everything now... Our plan... The localisation of our hideout and the paths where we stay hidden to ambush people..." Hank began trembling as Mordius's breath grew heavier. He looked like he was going to explode at any seconds. "They..." Hank gulped. "They also know you're h-here, b-boss..." That was the final straw...
'Ohh no...' thought the two other bandits, knowing how their boss was going to react.
"You worthless MAGGOT!!!" Mordius snapped in pure anger. Hank and the two bandits flinched at his outburst. "You let them have our map?!! You're WORTHLESS!!! What the hell do I even pay you for, you incompetent vermin?!"
"B-Boss, p-p-please...! Y-You have to hear me out...! They... They took us by surprise and... and they were too fast and-" begged Hank.
"SHUT UP! I don't wanna hear ANY of your excuses!!!" Mordius interrupted him angrily. "You had one job... ONE job...! Your incompetence has costed Ralph's and a bunch of my men's lives! Worst of all: they know where we are and they'll probably inform the king about our position! My plan is RUINED and we're DOOMED because of you!!!"
"I... I..." Hank tried to say something in his defence but fear prevented him from doing so.
"Look at you... You're nothing but a pathetic coward... I have no use for the likes of you..." said Mordius bitterly before he looked at the two other bandits. "Men, kill him!" he ordered. The two bandits looked at him shocked, but they knew they had to obey so they pulled out their stone swords and started approaching the now-shocked and frightened Hank.
"W-Wha...? No wait...! I can redeem myself! I can fix my mistake!" Hank begged, but Mordius refused to listen to him and before he knew it, the two other bandits began slashing him numerous times with their swords. Mordius watched coldly and mercilessly as Hank screamed in pain. His scream could be heard throughout the cave, attracting the attention of the other patrolling bandits and even the hostages who were shaking and sobbing from within their cell. After a few seconds, Hank's screams ceased and his dead body fell to the ground and dispawned, leaving only his inventory on the ground. The two bandits looked sadly at Hank's inventory, they felt bad for killing their comrade even though they were ordered to. Mordius, on the other hand, showed no regret in ordering one of his men's death.
"Take what's left of his inventory and put them in the chests. Also tell the others to gather all of our stuff up, round up the hostages and reinforce the guard at the cave entrance. We're gonna have to leave and find a quieter place. Chop-chop!" ordered Mordius. The two bandits nodded, picked Hank's inventory up and ran to give Mordius' orders to the others.
Mordius went back into his room, closing the door behind him. He sighed in frustration and said to himself as he walked toward his desk, "Once again William and his group of maggots came to ruin everything. Now I have to start my plan all over again... I'm gonna have to get rid of these nuisances someday..." He stopped in front of his desk and looked at his map. "If I could somehow know where they live, I could send my men to deal with them," he said to himself, clenching his fist. "But for now, I have other matters at hand..." he said as he went to open one of his chest and started to gather his stuff up.
Meanwhile, Mike, Wilrus, and Zef came back home. They explained to William and Ted what happened in the forest on their way back and Mike gave William the map found in one of the bandits' inventory. After hearing the mercenary's explanations and reading the map, William decided the whole group should immediately go to the castle at Asgarnia to inform the king about the situation and set out to do so. Upon their arrival, the guards at the castle entrance asked the reason of their presence. William told them they needed to quickly see the king as it was important. One of the guards informed King Harold of the group's visit and the king allowed them in.
When entering the throne room, they saw King Harold sitting on his throne, waiting for them. Zef offered a cookie to the king but the latter kindly refused. Then William explained the situation and handed the map Wilrus had found over for the king to read.
"Hmmm... So these are the paths where the bandits ambush people... and that's where their hideout is..." said King Harold as he read the map. "So you're saying Mordius is the one behind all this?"
"That's what it looks like. Mike, Wilrus, and Zef heard them mention his name. We know him, he and his men attacked us once," said William.
"I've heard of him... I had reports saying that he and his men were causing trouble around Carnas a few months ago, but he hasn't been seen ever since Herobrine planned to invade us," said King Harold.
"He lost a lot of men after we ran into them, but it looks like he took a moment to recruit more men and plan his next move..." said William.
"We heard them talk about having captured people. Sounds like they're keeping them as hostages in their hideout. We don't know how many they have yet nor if they're still alive, but the cross on the map seems to be the place they're in," said Mike.
"There were reports of people gone missing. I wasn't sure yet if it was linked to the attacks in the forest, but it does seem that way..." said King Harold.
"Yeah, and I don't think they made them come to just play cards. Sounds like they have something big on their mind," said Mike.
William nodded and said, "Yes, the sooner we can get them out the better."
"I see... Thank you for the information, you all. I will send a few troops there to deal with the bandits and free the hostages at once," said King Harold as he got up from his seat.
"Hold on, Your Majesty," said William, stopping the king in his tracks and causing him to sit back in his throne. "If they see soldiers coming at them, they will surely execute the hostages right on the spot. If I may suggest, it would be wiser to make an alternative approach."
The king put his hand on his chin and thought for a second. "Hmm... You make a good point. So what do you suggest?" he asked.
"We can sneak into their hideout undetected. This way we can free the hostages, secure a way out and take them to safety, then your troops can come and arrest any bandits they find. Hopefully we can also catch Mordius and stop him for good," explained William.
"The place will probably be heavily guarded though. It would be good to know more about the hideout, the amount of guards and the room where the hostages are being held captive to be more prepared for this. We won't get a second chance at this," said Ted.
Wilrus slapped his fist against his other hand and said with an evil grin, "Well, that's simple! We just kill anyone on sight, get the hostages out and then blow the whole place up!"
"Of course you'd say that," said Ted as he rolled his eyes.
"Well, that wouldn't be very wise, Wilrus. If they hear any commotion inside, they'll know something is not right and will execute the hostages," said Mike.
"Well, if we're fast and sneaky enough they won't get a chance to do it," said Wilrus, trying to back up his suggestion.
"We don't know how big their base is, Wilrus. We can't take any chances like this, we need a more subtle approach," said William.
"Besides, I doubt "sneaky" is your strong suit, Wilrus," said Ted with an unamused look.
"If you truly think that, you don't know me, dead head," said Wilrus with a creepy grin. Everyone looked at him creeped out by the look on his face.
"Do we really have to kill these men though? I know they're bad but..." asked Zef worried.
"We'll have to if necessary, Zef..." Ted answered with a sad sigh. He knew Zef didn't like to resort to violence, but he knew they'll have no choice if things go wrong. Zef looked down in disappointment.
William put his hand on his chin and thought for a second. "Hmmm... Actually, I think I might have an idea on how to do this without having to deal with the bandits ourselves," he said with a smile.
"Huh?" asked Zef in curiosity. Everyone else looked at William with the same curious look on their faces.
"If we can figure out which room they keep the hostages in, we can just go around the entrance of the base, find the right spot on the surface and then dig one hole down to the room. We can set ladders on the way down and we can use that a way to escape with the hostages. If two or three bandits are around, we can just knock them out and tie them up," explained William.
"It's not a bad idea actually," said Mike as he put his hand on his chin.
"Yeah, that could work," said Ted.
"That's a great idea! Maybe we won't have to see any scary bandits at all!" Zef said in excitement.
Wilrus groaned in annoyance and asked, "But where's the fun in all this if there's no one to kill at all?". Ted rolled his eyes at him, while William gave him an unamused look.
"Our job is to free the hostages, Wilrus, and that's it. Nothing more, nothing less," William said sternly.
"Tch..." muttered Wilrus, crossing his arms and looking at the ground with an annoyed look on his face.
"If you're going to do that, you're gonna need a plan of the hideout to know where to dig and where to find another exit in case things go wrong," said King Harold. "Were you able to get one from one of the bandits you've killed?"
"Nah, we only found the map of their ambush places," said Mike.
"Yeah, and I don't think we can take the risk of trying to fetch one from them, because it might raise suspicion among them, and they might just up and leave with the hostages to somewhere else," added Ted.
"Hmm... You're right..." said William. He thought for a second and then an idea came to his mind, "Actually, I think I know who can help us with this." Everyone looked at him intrigued.
"Really? Who?" asked Mike.
William turned to face his group and said, "You said Elliot is an inventor and a redstone master, right? Maybe he has a device or two that can help us with this?"
"What? The nerd? Really?" Wilrus asked as he put a hand on his hip and raised an eyebrow.
"He's the only lead we have, Wilrus," said William with a serious look.
"I'm not complaining. That just means I'll be able to see that egg-thrower again," said Wilrus with an evil grin, referring to Elliot's friend Dave.
"Wilrus... I already told you it's all in the past now. Don't go threatening them again please, we really need their help," William said sternly.
"Eh, I won't," Wilrus said with a shrug, much to everyone's surprise. "Besides, I already made my point with them." His brother and friends looked at him wondering what he meant, but it didn't look like he was going to say more about it so they chose to shrug it off for now.
William turned around to face the king again. "Then we will go pay a visit to Elliot and see if he can help us," he said. The king nodded.
"Very well then. Come talk to me once you've spoken with this inventor. I'll be waiting here in the throne room, I'll inform the guards to grant you free passage in the castle," said King Harold.
"Of course, Your Majesty," said William with a nod.
"Here, if you want to show your friend the location of the bandits' hideout," said King Harold as he handed over the map. William took it and put it in his invetory.
"Thank you, Your Majesty. We'll see you again later," William said as he bowed. His friends did the same (Wilrus simply looked at them first, then only shrugged before doing the same). The king nodded at them.
The group turned around and left the throne room. The king watched them leave, and once they were out of sight he put a hand on his face. He felt worried and stressed at the same time.
'I hope they'll be able to get something useful from this inventor. I cannot allow myself to let those bandits keep tormenting my people...' he thought with a sad look, his hand still on his face.
Suddenly, the king felt a presence materialize on his right side. He sighed knowing exactly who it was...
"A group of bandits causing trouble to your people, I see," said the figure. King Harold recognized the same voice of the one who used to be his friend a long time ago and turned against him to realize his own ambition... The one who died and was brought back to life, and became to Lord of the Nether to raise a powerful army against his kingdom... He could never forget those white glowing eyes...
"Herobrine..." said the king.
After his second death, Herobrine's spirit had been visiting him a few times whenever he was alone and something big happened. Everytime, the deceased lord would remind him to be careful about being not too merciful towards his enemies and not show any signs of weakness in front of his people, much to the benevolent king's annoyance.
Herobrine still wore the same dark blue t-shirt, dark blue jeans, dark grey shoes, and his black hood with his ripped cape. His eyes were still glowing white. However, his appearance was slightly transparent since he was now just a spirit, also the fatal wound William had inflicted him was visible on his chest.
"So tell me, Harold... What do you plan to do with Mordius and his men once you've caught them?" asked Herobrine. He was facing the entrance of the throne room, not looking at the benevolent king, simply staring right in front of him with both hands behind his back and the same serious look he always had. No matter the situation, Herobrine never smiles; only frowning or keeping a serious expression whether he was pleased or displeased with anything or anyone. The only time he had ever smiled was when he gave his last breath after William injured him and spoke with him, convincing the fallen lord of the strength of King Harold's rule and people through a united kingdom led by benevolence.
"I'm not sure yet... I guess I'll send them to jail once I've stopped them..." King Harold said with a sigh. He expected Herobrine to say that he shouldn't show any mercy to the bandits and simply kill them all to prevent them from causing more trouble in the future. However, the deceased lord simply nodded and kept quiet, much to King Harold's surprise. The two of them remained quiet until Herobrine spoke again.
"Just remember that you can't spare everyone. If the person cannot be redeemed and will cause trouble later on, then they're not worth the risk of being kept alive," said Herobrine, still not looking at him.
"That's what I did with Cyrus after your first death..." said King Harold.
Cyrus was the strongest and most feared warrior in the land. He used to serve under King David, who was King Harold's father, as his bodyguard when he was still ruling the land. Cyrus was an arrogant warrior who was always looking for a fight with someone worthy of his might. After King David's death, he served under King Harold for a short amount of time before Herobrine approached him and convinced him to join him in conquering the land. When Herobrine was killed for the first time, Cyrus was captured and revealed that he was unhappy with King Harold's rule as he found him 'too nice and weak'. Realizing that Cyrus would betray him again if he allowed him to live, he decided to execute him to prevent him from being a threat to his kingdom again, even if he didn't like it.
"I remember him. I didn't trust him but his strength was impressive, which is why I hired him when I rose an army against you. I would've disposed of him if I was victorious," said Herobrine. King Harold looked at him in shock.
"So... you used him to try and defeat me?" asked the benevolent king.
"I did. You probably think of me as a monster who used to kill anyone who stood in my way and used talented people to realize my own ambition. I understand why of course," said Herobrine. He finally looked at King Harold and continued talking, "However, if I were to kill everyone who stood in my way there would've been no one left in the land, but that's not what I wanted because that would be a waste of talent. Besides, you can't rule a land without its people. Don't you agree?"
"I do..." said King Harold as he looked down. Maybe Herobrine wasn't as bad as he thought...
Herobrine turned his head away from the king and looked in front of him again. "Besides, there were some talented fighters I treasured and wanted to keep by my side if I had become the ruler of Minecraftia... Argon, for example. Skilled, loyal, and with a sense of honor. And also, Wilrus," he said.
"William's twin brother?" asked King Harold.
"Yes. He sure is unhinged and unpredictable, but he is strong, talented and loyal. I could sense that in him and that's why I hired him when my troops captured him," explained Herobrine. "I also wanted William to join my cause, but he refused because he believed in your way to rule. And as you know, he ended up being the one responsible for my downfall. Along with a few others..."
"Who?" King Harold asked him with a curious look.
Herobrine ignored his questions and simply said, "All I'm saying is: be careful about who you can and cannot trust, Harold. Just my advice."
The benevolent king figured that Herobrine didn't want to talk about it, so he decided to drop the question. The two of them remained quiet for a few seconds once more. Then King Harold decided to ask a question.
"Herobrine... Have you turned against me because you didn't think I was worthy of ruling the land?" he asked. Herobrine looked at him for a second before going back to looking in front of him.
"I didn't think you weren't worthy, I simply thought you were only following your emotions to rule. You cannot afford to do that, it shows weakness that can be exploited by bandits, criminals or other warlords to do whatever they want. A ruler must be above mere emotions to maintain order in their kingdom," explained Herobrine. King Harold nodded in understanding. "But that's only half the reason I did that. I also wanted to conquer the land for myself and create a new world on my design. It was my ambition driving me and for that I was ready to do whatever it takes to achieve it, so I still would've attacked you no matter what."
"I see..." said King Harold.
"Do I regret what I did? No. In the end, William made me understand the strength behind your way to rule and lead the people. So Harold..." Herobrine said before he turned to face King Harold. "Prove me that he was right about you! Show me that you can keep your kingdom safe and lead the people the right way!"
King Harold gulped, but he made a determined look and said, "I will." Herobrine nodded and turned back to face the entrance of the throne room again.
"In that case, I'm going to take my leave. I'll see you again soon, old friend. Do not disappoint me," said Herobrine.
Right after he said that, Herobrine began fading away until he fully disappeared, leaving the benevolent king sitting alone in the throne room. King Harold looked at the spot where Herobrine's spirit was in disbelief and shock, he had learned more about his former friend's intentions back when he was still alive. He then looked at the ground, taking a minute to think about what Herobrine just told him.
'He's right. If I want to keep my kingdom safe, I must be able to make hard decisions. I must be careful about who I can and can't trust... Nonetheless, I will continue to rule with benevolence while being careful about the choices I make. No matter what, I will never be the tyrant my father was,' thought King Harold with confidence.
Meanwhile, William and his group were walking through Asgarnia to find Elliot's place and hopefully get him to help them. While they were walking, William was rubbing his left ear again. He hoped it would heal very soon so he wouldn't have to worry about the risk of noise damaging his ear anymore.
"You okay, William? The town isn't too noisy for you?" Mike asked concerned.
"It's fine, Mike. My ear just acts up a little bit sometimes, but it's not as bad as before," William said with a reassuring.
"Sounds painful... and kinda scary..." said Zef nervously, wiggling his fingers together.
"It's beyond what you'd expect, Zef. I'm just glad I didn't my lose my hearing or worse," said William.
After a few more walking, they reached Elliot and Dave's house. William moved forward and pressed a button on the side of the door, they heard the sound of a bell coming from inside as he did so.
"Who's there?" asked an echoing voice. The group jumped and looked around when they heard it. William winced in pain as he quickly covered his ear with his hand, he looked up and saw some sort of camera on the wall right above the door staring down at him, next to it was some sort of loudspeaker. "Oh, William? Hey, what's up!" asked the voice in the speaker.
"Elliot, is that you?" asked William, still holding his ear.
"Yes! Quite impressive, right? I came up with this camera system to see who's ringing at my door without having to get up from my seat," beamed Elliot's voice.
"It sure is impressive!" said William impressed. He could hear Elliot's voice chuckle from the speaker. "It's a bit loud though, and my ear... Well, you know..."
"Oh yeah, that's right. Sorry about that... I'll turn the volume of the speaker down," said Elliot. There was a pause, then he started speaking again. "Better?" This time, the voice was low enough for William's ear to handle.
"Yeah, thanks Elliot," said William with a smile, as he let go of his ear.
"So what brings you here?" asked Elliot.
"We need your help with something, it's very important," said William.
"Oh alright, we'll talk inside then. Come in!" said Elliot.
After that, the group heard a clicking sound coming from the door, and it slightly opened on its own. William looked behind at his friends who were as intrigued as he was. He looked back at the door and pushed it open. The group entered the house and ended up in a room which appeared to be the living room. They looked around but didn't see anyone in the room. Shortly after, they saw a door at the end of the room open and saw Elliot walk in the room. The latter smiled at them.
"Hey guys," Elliot greeted them.
"Hey Elliot," said William with a smile.
"Hey," Mike and Ted both said one after the other.
"Hi!" said Zef with a friendly smile, waving his arm at Elliot.
"Hey nerd," said Wilrus with a mischevious grin.
"Yeah, good to see you too, Wilrus," said Elliot sarcastically. At this point, Elliot wasn't afraid of Wilrus anymore since the incident in the mines happened. After every insults Wilrus threw at him, the latter was just more annoying to him than anything else.
"Hey, I know you can't get enough of me already, goggles," Wilrus said with a mischevious smile. Elliot rolled his eyes at him.
"If you say so..." he said. "So what can I do for y'all?"
Before William can answer, they heard another door open. Everyone turned their heads towards it and saw Dave walking in the room.
"Hey Elliot! So who was it-" said Dave, but he stopped talking when he saw Wilrus among the group. His eyes widened in fear, remembering the near-death experience the eyepatched psychopath gave him.
Wilrus looked at him and gave him a creepy grin. "Hellooo there, Daveyyy," he said in a creepy tone. Dave gulped and started shaking in fear.
"U-Uh... I... uh... I have something important to do! Can't stay! Bye guys!" Dave said very quickly before he ran and jumped through a window, breaking the glass into pieces. Once he was outside, the group could see him run away from the house, screaming like a girl. Everyone, except for Wilrus, looked at the broken window in confusion and shock. Their attention turned to Wilrus who raised an eyebrow at them.
"What? I only said 'hi'!" said Wilrus innocently.
Elliot sighed and said, "Guess I'll have to put some glass back on... So what did you need my help for?"
William explained the situation to Elliot: when Mike, Wilrus and Zef got attacked by the bandits, hearing about the hostages, finding the map, talking to the king and coming up with a plan to free the hostages.
"...And that's the whole story," said William as he finished his explanation.
"I see. That's worrying indeed..." said Elliot, nodding in understanding.
"Yeah, you said you've created a few devices," said William. "Do you have anything that could help us?"
Elliot thought for a second and smiled. "Luckily, I do," he said.
"Really?" asked William, his eyes widening.
"Sure, it's in my secret lab. We'll head there," Elliot said as he pulled out a strange device with a red button on it. He pressed it and the sound of pistons being activated could be heard nearby. After a second, the wall opened, revealing a small room made of iron blocks with two buttons on the wall.
"This elevator will take us there," said Elliot as he walked in the small room he called an 'elevator'. William and his friends were looking at him in awe, they've never seen such an ingenious system before.
"That's so cool!" said Zef in excitement.
The group proceeded to follow Elliot in the elevator and all stood in there. The inventor pressed the button with an arrow pointing down, making the doors close. Suddenly, the group felt the elevator moving down, startling them all except Elliot.
"Don't worry, it's normal. The elevator is taking us down in the underground where my lab is," reassured Elliot. This seemed enough to calm the group down.
After a few seconds, the elevator stopped and the doors opened, revealing another room which the group assumed to be Elliot's lab.
"Here we are. Off we go," said Elliot as he walked out of the elevator. The others followed after.
"Okay, I gotta admit all this nerdy stuff is impressive for once," said Wilrus, surprising his friends.
"That's the first time I heard you say you're actually impressed by something," said Ted as he smirked at him.
"Well, that's the first and the last time, dead head!" said Wilrus, crossing his arms and looking away.
"Whatever, cyclops," Ted said as he rolled his eyes.
Elliot walked in front of the group and said, "Welcome to my secret lab, guys."
William and the others looked all around the lab in awe. The walls were made of iron blocks while the ground was made of stone, there were tables with a few brewing stands on them. There were crafting tables, furnaces and cauldrons against the wall. There were double chests arranged together, each of them had a sign for each types of items such as 'ingots', 'seeds', 'food', 'monster loot', and so on. Hoppers seemed to be connecting the ceiling to the chests. At the end of the room was a large screen on the wall, along with a panel with a few controls on it and a chair in front of it.
"Awesome...!" Zef whispered as he jumped up and down in excitement with both hands on his mouth to hide an uncontrollable grin.
"Now guys, as I said before, this lab is top secret," Elliot said with a serious look. "I don't want anyone else to know about its existence. I'm showing you guys, because I trust you. Can I count on you to keep it a secret?"
"You can count on us, Elliot. We won't say a thing," said William with a reassuring nod.
"Eh, not that this 'lab' of yours seems interesting anyway. So okay," said Wilrus with a shrug.
Elliot nodded at them. "Alright then, I'll show you all my new baby: the FlyerMC-2000," said Elliot.
"Wow, very creative," said Wilrus sarcastically.
"Shut up and listen, Wilrus," William said annoyed by Wilrus' attitude. The eyepatched psychopath rolled his eyes but did as he was told anyway.
"Ahem. So I created this gadget to fly around places and survey the area. There's a camera on it I connected to the screen to watch from the flyer's point of view," explained Elliot. "With that, we should be able to easily get pass the bandits and scout the whole base for you to see how tight the security is and where the hostages are located."
"That's quite impressive, Elliot," said William impressed. "But won't the bandits see it?"
Elliot smiled and said, "That's where the invisibility feature comes in."
"Come again?" asked Mike.
"I installed a feature on the flyer that makes it invisible to everyone's eyes. The motor is also quiet, so the bandits won't hear it either," explained Elliot. "Once we get inside the hideout, I'll analyse each room and scan them to make a plan of the place. I'll also set the coordinates of the exact room where the hostages are and save them in this electronic tablet," he said, pulling out the tablet in question.
"Well, that's... pretty amazing," Ted said with an impressed look.
"Yeah, it's just what we need," William said with a smile.
"The flyer runs on battery though, and the invisibility feature will consume it even faster. We're gonna have to do this quickly," explained Elliot. "But we should be able to do everything we need and get the gadget back to the house before it runs out of battery."
"Alright, then let's do it. The people held in there needs our help," William said with a determined look. Elliot nodded at him.
"Okay. I'll turn on the screen and activate the flyer from there," said Elliot as he went to sit at the chair in front of the big screen and connected the eletronic tablet to the control panel. Everyone followed him and gathered around him to watch the screen.
Once in place, Elliot began using the control panel. The screen turned on, showing a redstone logo on it. After two seconds, the screen showed a message asking for a password, and Elliot proceeded to type it on the keyboard. The group couldn't see the password since it only showed dots which added up and followed each others on the screen as Elliot typed it. It seemed to be a security feature so that no one else could see what the password was.
The screen showed 'Correct password', followed by 'Welcome Elliot'. Next, it showed a menu with different features and Elliot selected 'FlyerMC-2000'. The screen showed 'Connecting to FlyerMC-2000... Please wait...'. After a few more seconds, the screen finally showed 'Connection successful. Activating FlyerMC-2000...'.
Elliot smiled and said with a determined look, "Alright, here we go..."
To be continued...