Eyes wide open, Xenko sat up and sensed a disturbance in the air, he looked around and spotted no others in sight.
It was a pleasant room the light of day pouring from the windows, before a cloaked figure came through the doorway.
It was Nyathearai the Seer, she faced over to the wolf,
“You must be awake, I can hear your rustling you know...”
“Wh-what happened, he grunted turning his face away in shame.”
Nyathearai walked over to the bed and sat on the edge playing with an empty vial,
“Some form of darkness sprouted from you wolf.”
“I’m not sure what it was, but it seemed to madden your demeanor.”
“Whatever it was my theory is on that faceless freak.”
Xenko rested his pawlike hand onto his head and could only make out bits of his faded memory, he lowered his head and closed his eyes.
Xenko turned himself and tried to get out of the bed, Nyathearai quickly coming to his aid as he began to stumble out.
“You should take it easy, whatever happened to you, you’ve been out for days you hard headed wolf.”
“Quite the few.”
Nyathearai nodded her head and helped Xenko back onto the bed.
Xenko began to feel a strain in his mind and his vision began to blur, in the corner of the room he saw a black blocky figure with glowing purple eyes.
He quickly gasped as the vision faded away,
He screamed at the top of his lungs.
Nyathearai backed away slowly; she then began to scan around the room with her senses, but nothing was appearing in her mind’s eye.
“There’s no one else here Xenko…”
She appeared worried and it seemed Xenko’s madness was only worsening.
Xenko froze for a second before returning to a calmer state with a sigh,
“You should rest now wolf, there’s much we have to prepare here Domiduf has kindly granted us his block navy in the coming war.”
Nyathearai petted the wolf and sat up to leave the room.
Xenko laid back into the bed and looked up at the ceiling remembering the last bit of his encounter with the black figure.
Xenko closed his eyes and opened them once more, he saw a fading black presence hovering right above his face.
Sunbucks was strolling down the pathway, making heads or tails out of the map for the path Sam had sent him on, suddenly a shock went up Sunbucks’ spine.
He felt something strange in the air he turned back to face the path he had come down along.
“What…what was that?”
He scratched his head in question, but thought nothing of it as he continued down the pathway.
The path became long and winding and a few days have passed since his short stay in Ice Cream Stand.
He began to have thoughts about his little robot friend Beepboop, and during his haze of daydreaming Douglas began to make clacking noises with his hooves.
Sunbucks broke free from the daze and noticed the dirt pathway had become stone.
He looked ahead and saw the pathway of stone becoming a form of paved smooth stone.
“C’mon Douglas I think we’re heading the right way.”
Sunbucks smiled and ushered Douglas forward, on the horizon he came upon a view of the large city.
“I still wonder…”
Sunbucks pondered for a moment Sam’s words.
“I need you to find something”
“What am I looking for?”
“You’ll know when you find it my dear friend.”
Sunbucks closed his eyes and thought carefully, he knew that this is the city of his parent’s origins.
“Maybe Sam wants me to get the families help… if that’s even possible at this point.”
He remembered his passed mother’s smile.
Sunbucks opened his eyes and smiled a warm feeling deep down his body,
“Not all of them could be bad... I’m sure someone will help us.”
Sunbucks pressed on into the urban jungle that they called Mega City Zero.
Sunbucks rode into the city, but it laid empty.
The streets felt much sorrow and emptiness, Sunbucks looked around and could not find a soul.
“Something’s not right here…”
He scratched his sunny chin and rode in further into the heart of the city.
He came upon a grand opening in the center of the city, two large mansions separated by a large vast garden and fountain.
Sunbucks marveled at the construction and foliage.
He looked at the mansions and saw a symbol of a Sun and a symbol of a Cup on the respective homes.
“Ah... This must be it.”
A sudden barrage of straw like needles came falling from the sky, Sunbucks reacted quickly enough pulling out the magic stick and creating a light barrier for Douglas and himself.
A regal appearing figure landed nearby, holding the weapon straws between each digit.
Sunbucks lowered the barrier as the dust settled hopping quickly from his mount and patting Douglas to flee.
“Who are you?!” Sunbucks demanded.
The figure stood silent and began to lunge.
Xenko gasped, quickly lifting himself from the bed.
Holding onto his head as a searing pain began to burn into his mind.
“Find me? Find me. Find me… Find... me…”
“WHAT IS THIS?!”
He screamed in agony while sludge of darkness starting to melt from his body.
Nyathearai quickly ran into the room followed by Creeperkitty, Treekeeper and Roflspam.
They all gasped at Xenko, Nyathearai quickly trying to put up an absorbing ritual to ease the pains.
Nyathearai’s eye cover began to tear apart on one side.
“It’s much worse than before!”
She exclaimed, Xenko soon knocking her away.
Xenko urged himself up and off the bed stumbling and trying to escape the room.
Treekeeper attempting to keep the wolf pacified,
“We are your friends Xenko! We’re trying to help you!”
Treekeeper exclaimed uses all of his tree might to knock the wolf back down.
Creeperkitty started to push the behind of Treekeeper in order to help followed by Roflspam.
Even with all the help nothing was enough to stop Xenko, as he knocked everyone away with a large swipe that left a trail of dark cloud as he motioned.
“I MUST FIND… IT.”
Xenko exclaimed in his enraged state as he ran out the room knocking away all the block guards as he fled.
Domiduf came running to the room gazing upon the injured party,
He looked down the hall seeing the ravaged hallway.
“This is much worse then I feared…”
Domiduf quickly aided Nyathearai up, while Treekeepeer scratched his branchy head,
“Worse then you feared...? What do you mean Benevolent King…”
Treekeeper asked in question.
“The Dark Heart of block lands.”
Domiduf lowered his head…
“The Dark Heart?”
Creeperkitty skittered close to Domiduf, Domiduf then slowly reaching down and petting her head.
“Yes the Dark Heart. It’s a very old presence here in these lands, some say in legend it created these very grounds we tread upon. Many years ago, these legends we knew of were true. We found the Dark Heart and we kept it hidden away and with enough restriction to keep its influence from the hearts of my men.”
“But something is amiss, somehow Xenko is severely affected by this influence, how I wonder.”
“What exactly is the dark heart?”
“A carapace of its former glory, even without its true being within the carapace it exerts a large amount of dark influence a certain sickness.”
Domiduf wielded his diamond blade and turned to the doorway,
“We must find him, before he finds it!”
Nyathearai sat on the ground facing the bed as the rest spoke, her robes tattered.
She raised a hand to her face and slowly an image began to appear to her.
It was her paw hand, still blurry and faded, but it began to clear and her eyes glowed with the light of the shimmering moon.
“Nya! We must go, we have to find him!”
Treekeeper spoke out.
Nyathearai quickly picked herself up and covered her head with her hood.
“I know exactly where he’s going.”
Domiduf exclaimed as he ran out the room, the rest following behind.
Sunbucks blocked the regal looking figure, his capped head and his smirk irked him.
“Why’re you attacking me?”
“You’re that abomination they call... Sunbucks no? The filthy amalgam of my dearly beloved sister and that wretch Happy Sun.”
The regal figure clashed weapons with Sunbucks.
“You..You must be my mother’s sibling! Soy Starbuck!”
Sunbucks exclaimed and light slashed the Starbuck away.
“Head of the Starbuck Family indeed.”
“Hey Hey Hey, don’t think a Starbuck is going to take away the honor of destroying the abomination, you filthy Starbuck!”
A tall robed figure with a large orange Sun head came from behind walking up slowly with Douglas slung over his shoulder.
Sunbucks gazed at the tall Sun from over his shoulder,
“This..This must be the head of the Sun Family… Nova Sun…”
Sunbucks quietly muttered to himself.
“What was that abomination?! A freak that my little brother conceived with that filthy Starbuck! You’re mine!”
Douglas kicked the head of Nova Sun and broke free running down the nearby alley to hide.
Sunbucks looked both ways as they both readied to lunge.
Nova Sun and Soy Starbuck both charged at Sunbucks, he quickly jumped into the air as the two head of houses struck each other.
“GETTING IN MY WAY AREN’T WE STARBUCK!”
Nova yelled at the top of his lungs as he pressed his iron fist into the straw blades of Soy.
“More like the filth of Suns getting in the way of the Starbucks once more!”
Soy swiped his blades to knock the large Sun away.
Sunbucks quickly ran off in the direction of Douglas, quickly hiding himself into the pathway.
He sighed and breathed deep.
“Man.. they really do hate each other… but it’s so… illogical.”
Sunbucks checked his corner as the head of houses were still fighting.
“It’s as if once they get started they don’t even care about me.”
A whisper came from the dark corner of an adjacent corridor.
“Come come, it’s safe down here”
A hooded figure came from the shadows for a brief moment, motioning Sunbucks down into the dark pathway.
“Who are you?”
The figure lowered its hood and revealed a strange sort of machine with lit up headlight eyes and a grill like mouth. A code appeared on its faceplate and it read, J-1936.
Xenko stumbled down a set of stairs leading into the basement of the large castle.
His fading vision made it difficult to see in the darkness, but suddenly a flash of purple flickered and torches lined down the corridor began to light one by one.
A whisper rang through the hallways that spiraled endlessly as Xenko kept himself up against the walls slowly moving his way down.
Xenko slid his body along the cold stone that seemed to give him breath the further he went down into the darkness.
He coughed and gagged heavily as the sludge of black came spewing from his lips.
“If you want to grow stronger, you need me.”
The whisper grew louder almost over his shoulder, but he did not turn.
He stood still for a moment then continued on his steps becoming normal his coughs receding as he hurried to the bottom leaving a trail of black.
“Closer… you’re almost there.”
Xenko stopped in his tracks, and the voices ceased.
He gazed upon a large black festering eyeball and there were many chains attached, leading up to each wall in the large room.
Xenko stepped closer and the gaze followed Xenko as he took each step.
The room grew silent as a deafening tone took over Xenko’s hearing.
Xenko dropped to his knees right before the large black eye, closing his eyes and turning his chin down.
“Wh-… whats happening to me…”
Xenko thought in his mind.
Nyathearai, Treekeeper, Roflspam, and Creeperkitty led by Domiduf came into the chamber.
They found Xenko on his knees before the large eye, the eye shifted its gaze to the group and fear started to set into the heroes.
Roflspam grasped at her head tin.
“The Dark Heart of Block Lands!”
“It’s too late…”
“He is mine.”
The group looked around the room as voices echoed throughout the room, the large eye began to ooze into liquid and swarm into Xenko.
Domiduf’s eyes widened and quickly charged forward with the intent to stop the liquid.
Xenko, stood up slowly and in a blink of an eye, stopped Domiduf’s blade.
Xenko’s body started to become infected with black, as the chains fell and disintegrated.
In Xenko’s hand a large black mass that appeared like a festering gavel stopping Domiduf’s blade.
Xenko opened his eyes and a terror inducing purple glow emanated forth.
Sunbucks followed the machine down the steps to the Undercity of Mega City Zero.
He looked around the corridors and pillars that kept the city standing from beneath.
“Where are you taking me?”
Sunbucks for a moment felt a chilling presence as they crossed a long hallway, he looked down the hall for a moment.
He saw tentacles sprouting from the dark and coming right towards him without warning.
Sunbucks braces himself, but a moment passed and nothing was there.
“Are you coming?”
“Y-yeah, just saw something not sure if it was real or not.”
Sunbucks returned his gaze forward looking behind his shoulder briefly to see the hallway fade in the distance as they walked further into the heart of the Undercity.
They came upon a brightly lit room with many strange creatures ranging from food to machines running about like a small civilization.
“What’s going on here machine?”
Sunbucks questioned stopping in his tracks.
J-1936 replied lowering its cloak hood.
“Safe from who?”
Sunbucks tilted his head.
J-1936 motioned the shapes of a Sun and Starbuck with its tires.
“They have terrorized the citizens with their feud for many years, many grown so sick of it that they have all escaped to the underbelly of the city for safety. Their feud has destroyed so much on the upper levels of the city it is no longer safe to tread beyond. They call you abomination, you have a head of a Sun and a body of a Starbuck, yet you are not.”
J-1936 scanned up Sunbucks DNA makeup.
They walked to the courtyard with a single beam of light touching the flower in the center.
The beautiful sight reminded Sunbucks of home as he gazed upon the flower.
“Why do you all hide?”
“Why not rebel or kick them all out? I’ve seen their hatred before stretched so far to be rid of me.“
“I do not know…”
The machine replied,
“We are happy here.”
Sunbucks looked around, he saw happiness and kindness all around him, but something felt strange.
The air didn’t sit right to him, but he didn’t give it a second thought.
Sunbucks motioned towards the flower and sat in the sunlight getting a refreshing feeling as he sat.
He sighed and closed his eyes in meditation to rethink the words of Sam.
He knew exactly what Sam said, but it became vague the more he thought about it.
Did he need the help of THESE citizens he pondered in his mind?
Sunbucks shook his head opening an eye only to see J-1936 had been observing still.
Strange he thought, the eerie feeling of being watched set in once again, he could not focus.
“I think I should go back above ground.”
Sunbucks tested the machine, but J-1936 didn’t reply.
He began to walk back the way they came and started to notice that all the citizens were missing.
Emptiness, he could not shake the feeling pressing down upon him.
The machine began to follow as Sunbucks walked away, slowly at first then gradually it became a run to escape the gaze of the machine.
Sunbucks quickly made it down the hallway from where he came to the adjacent hallway quickly running down the other path to where he saw the illusion.
He made his way down the halls and came upon a large bleak corridor, he stepped down the stairs and looked upon the ceiling as a large eyeball came down with a slew of tentacles.
“Hello there sonny, are you lost?”
An old weak voice called out from the eyeball.
Sunbucks was in shock, and quickly raised the stick with a light spell, the room lit up and the black mass receded into the darkness.
“Now that isn’t nice… didn’t anyone tell you to respect your elders?”
The voice echoed throughout.
Sunbucks looked around and found not a trace, suddenly from behind the machine grabbed Sunbucks.
“H-hey! Let go!!”
Sunbucks exclaimed as J-1936 captured him.
“Good work my creation… now be a good machine and destroy that thing.”
Sunbucks squirmed and before J-1936 could dispose of him, Douglas rode in and rammed the machine away.
Sunbucks gasped for air and gasped onto Douglas,
“Douglas go now!!”
He held tight as the tentacles began to fire from the ceiling destroying the walls of the corridor.
Douglas ran and dodged around the room until an opening revealed in the wall.
Douglas mooed and quickly hopped through the opening as the room caved in from the destruction.
The tentacle creature screamed in agony, climbing itself out of the room to the grounds above.
Sunbucks and Douglas landed on piles and mountains of coins and treasures.
He looked behind as the stones blocked off the hole they came through.
Sunbucks turned his head back into the riches,
“Is... this what Sam sent me here for?”
Sunbucks pondered again,
Sunbucks picked up a coin and they all appeared to have the symbol of the Suns engraved onto them.
He looked atop one of the mountains and saw something that didn’t seem to fit the illustrious sheen of all the treasures below.
A small hammer or a gavel even he thought to himself as he climbed up the coins, Douglas following slowly behind.
Sunbucks picked up the gavel, it appeared rusted over and a symbol of a cat was engraved on the side.
“What’s this I wonder…?”
He murmured as he curiously gazed upon it, a shimmer in his eyes as a similar vision of the universe in the dream during his stay at the Donor Kingdom.
“This… This must be it.”
Xenko slashed and Domiduf deflected the blow with his blade, damaging his diamond blade severely.
Domiduf jumped back, Treekeeper redied himself and Nyathearai started an incantation.
Roflspam and Creeperkitty readied themselves also, they all lunged at Xenko at the same time.
“Xenko! You can’t stop all of us!!!!”
Xenko opened his eyes, breathing in deep.
The echoes of his name faded into nothingness as he looked around his surroundings, nothing.
A deep dark void of nothingness surrounded Xenko, but it didn’t suffocate him.
He returned his gaze forward and saw before him a long tall black blocky creature with burning people eyes.
“You... I found you.”
“Indeed you have.”
The creature spoke back and began to take steps closer to Xenko.
Xenko could not move.
“Unfortunately my gracious landlord, this is the end of you.”
The creature spoke.
“What are you talking about?!”
Xenko growled once more.
“The End of you, your body belongs to me now. I am your... latent power”
“You haven’t wondered what has made YOU special for all these many years you’ve carried me?”
Xenko grew confused, still trying to move himself as the creature inched closer.
“Carried you, what do you mean?!”
“I am you, the darkness within you. Dormant at first, but don’t you remember my voice in the very moments you crawled out of the dark reaches of this world?”
Xenko could remember only fragments of his becoming.
“So what?! You can’t take me!”
“Is that so?”
The creature raised a hand out and formed a black gavel, the cold burning steel placed right before Xenko’s face.
Xenko leaned back as he flinched,
“What... are you?”
“I am you, I am the Enderman.”
The group clashed with Xenko in the outside world, Roflspam and Creeperkitty were blown away by the impact, but Treekeepert and Domiduf kept the pressure on Xenko.
“Don’t give him a chance to swing that weapon!”
“Put him on the defensive permanently!!”
Xenko slammed the black hammer into the ground causing a minor earthquake, causing Domiduf to lose his footing.
Treekeeper catched him just in time to leap out of the way from Xenko’s following slam.
“That was close…”
He turned his gaze upon Xenko once more, but a black shell began to form around his being.
It began to appear not as Xenko no longer, changing his very form and being.
“Get that out of my face!”
Xenko screamed, as the Enderman complied.
“Indeed this would be no challenge to take your body without resistance.”
“How about a duel to see who the landlord becomes and who becomes the tenant.”
The Enderman formed a similar gavel and threw it to Xenko.
Xenko fell to his knees and motioned his hand towards the gavel, feeling the cold black steel in his palm.
“So sure of yourself, even if you are me.”
Xenko lifted his head up and lunged toward the Enderman swinging the gavel.
The Enderman quickly deflects the blow with ease and takes a step forward swinging in elegant fashion countering every blow Xenko could throw.
“You forget, I am your greater power here in the Inner Void.”
The Enderman spoke as it echoed throughout.
Xenko tried to deflect as much as he could as the Enderman became aggressive in his blows, eventually striking Xenko on the chest and knocking him away.
Xenko landed harshly and crashed into the ground.
The Enderman stepped closer and put his foot on the other gavel and crushed it.
“Ah… so I was right, you’re not worthy of my power. I should be the new Landlord now.”
Xenko tried to pick himself up and even with his damaged body was able to move forward, reaching for the gavel in the Enderman’s hand.
He coughed black blood and breathed heavily as the Enderman stood there with a cool demeanor.
“I… Won’t Let You…”
Sunbucks looked up at the ceiling and noticed a light beaming down upon the vault of coins and riches.
“C’mon Douglas I think I found us a way out!”
He climbed upon Douglas and activated the Rainbow Wings Douglas had learned previous, flapping itself out through the opening.
Sunbucks crashed through the ceiling and landed in the great hall of the Suns, the banners and treatments adorned with the symbol of the Sun.
Loud crashing noises began to emanate from the outside as screaming could be heard.
Sunbucks sheathed away the rusted gavel and quickly made his way to the doors opening them quickly only to see a mass panic of both homes running wild.
In the center of the madness he spotted the two heads of families fighting against machines spilling out from underground and a large tentacle monster causing chaos in the center of the garden.
“Douglas stay here... I have to do something!”
Sunbucks unsheathed the magic stick and raced into the center, shielding Suns and Starbuck alike from the machines and tentacles going mad.
He quickly raced to the center, but was grabbed by J-1936.
“You again?! Why are you helping this... THING?!”
“I am program-med---eawfwee156678”
Sunbucks saw an opening and smacked the machine unconscious, he looked around once more as the eyeball section was being fought with by the head of households.
Sunbucks quickly ran towards the eyeball and is grabbed by the tentacles.
The grip on Sunbucks is tight, almost knocking the breath out of him.
He noticed Nova Sun and Soy Starbuck get knocked away, the eyeball turning its gaze to Sunbucks.
“YOU AGAIN IS IT SONNY? DON’T YOU LEARN?”
Sunbucks raised his stick and bolted a beam of light into the eye, but the stick is knocked away by another tentacle.
Sunbucks screamed in agony as he was swung around and constricted, slamming into the ground repeatedly until he passed out.
Time began to slow down, as he vision blurred and the pain melted away.
Enderman watched on as Xenko pathetically collapsed before him.
Xenko’s hand finally rested on the handle of the gavel as the Enderman leaned down and whispered.
“You’re finished landlord.”
Sunbucks and Xenko could hear a deaf voice, it kept asking,
“Call on me.”
“Call out, Release me.”
“What is my name?”
“BURN, VOIDSEAR!” “WAKE, MEOWNIR!”
Xenko stood upside down and oppositely Sunbucks stood right-side up.
The two could see each other in the inner universe.
An explosion of burning purple flames exploded forth from the gavel causing Enderman to jump back in retreat.
The Enderman looked at his arm, completely torn away from the flames as he moved his gaze back onto Xenko.
Xenko stood tall and proud, the burning flames a blaze on him as he held the gavel, which had changed shape.
“Stay in the darkness, where my memories are.”
Xenko charged forth in a blazing purple trail and struck Enderman with one final blow.
The Enderman, stood still under the blow of Voidsear, a large gaping hole left in its body.
“I guess you’re still the landlord eh…”
“What a pain to be a tenant to you…”
It began to disintegrate into the void.
Sunbucks formed into a pure ball of light and the rusted gavel in his hand started to shimmer with intense light.
The golden metal sheen could be seen by both families as they gazed in awe.
The machines began to fall one by one and the tentacle beast flinched at the sight of the gavel.
Sunbucks motioned a slash and a beam of light struck the beast, tearing it asunder once and for all.
Sunbucks then floated down slowly, the light that surrounded him slowly evaporating as the two family members gazed upon him.
“Meownir..! It’s Meownir!!”
“He was worthy?! That... That abomination?!”
Sunbucks looked around and back to the gavel in his hand, it had taken a new form and shape and glowed with a warming embrace.
“This… must be what Sam asked me to find…”
Sunbucks looked into the sky and smiled.
He then felt a dark air being lifted from the city, the citizens began to come out from hiding and the families slowly began to change attitude as if their minds had been darkened by the presence that has now been banished.
Nova Sun and Soy Starbuck both walked to Sunbucks and bowed.
“Abo-… Ab… A… hero of both families…”
Nova Sun stuttered as his memory began to fade.
“You saved the city, and you have our thanks I’m slowly starting to forget why we had ever wanted to destroy you… or why we had ever fought to begin with.”
Soy Starbuck looked to his side at Nova.
Sunbucks felt confused at the reactions,
“So you don’t want to kill me?”
Nova Sun hummed,
“In fact no we don’t, and… to think a mixed breed would wield the power of Meownir, how exciting!”
He began to pat Sunbucks on the back knocking him over, Sunbucks severely confused.
The black shelled figure almost completely covered up Xenko’s original body, but suddenly before firing a large burning sphere at the group it began to scream in pain.
Treekeeper stared at the creature as the black mass surrounding Xenko’s body began to crack.
Xenko’s body stood back and the black shards began to crack down like glass.
The gavel like mass slowly revealing Voidsear as it chipped away.
Nyathearai ran up to Xenko,
Treekeeper tried to stop Nyathearai.
Nyathearai felt something hit her on the head, but it was just a soft tap of two digits from Xenko.
Xenko collapsed onto Nyathearai and she tried to keep him up.
The gavel fell to his side with a light metal clang.