Caught In The Headlights

Chapter One:

Alteration Block

The red, concrete gate opened as three heroes, of the New Order of the Stone, walked through it and right on into Beacon Town. A boy with brown hair in sword-breaker armor came to a stop. He placed his hands on his hips and turned to his friends with a wide smile on his face. "Well, we're finally here guys."

The two of his friends stared at Jesse and then exchanged looks with each other. They weren't stupid; they could see the nervousness and hesitation hiding behind those green eyes of his. The girl with two purple pig- tails decided to not bring it up and sighed in relief. "It's good to be back," Olivia said as she adjusted her googles perched at the top of her head. Her googles came with the gold and red armor that cover and protected her dark- brown skin; it was one of her favorites. "I can't wait until we see what the new festival is gonna be like. Our first Glaciercon ever."

The tall, muscular boy with black hair and a unibrow held one hand behind his head. "Good thing we got out of that ice- cave when we did. We would've been eaten alive if, Jesse, hadn't gotten that block in time."

Olive glanced back and forth between the two boys. "Yeah, after the extremes we went through to get that thing, that's the last time any of us is going to be a distraction for a polar bear."

The boy in black and gold armor turned to Jesse and his folded his arms. "You're the brave one, Jesse. We wouldn't have that block if you hadn't decided to go for it at the last minute." Axel swung his arms back as his voice almost came to a shout. "There were cubs all over that thing."

"I still say, overall, it was worth it though. Not only did we find the ice- cave, but we found the Alternation block too." Jesse looked down at the Alternation block in his hands. "Just wait until they get a look at this."

Heads shout up when they got interrupted by a voice, that emerged from one of fan- boys.

"They're back. You guys. They're back!"

One of the fan- girls turned to the fan- boy and pulled her arms together; she jumped up and down with excitement in her eyes. "Run. Tell everyone that our heroes have returned."

Jesse just stood there and stared at the crowd. He was not quite adjusted to the treatment yet and probably never will be. All at the same time, before Jesse knew it, a hand pushed him out of the way; the very one that belonged to Axel. Axel stood tall and folded his arms. "Yup. The Order of The Stone is back in town!"

Once Jesse gathered himself, he looked back at Axel with annoyed look on his face. This was limited due to the oncoming distractions.

"Ahhhh! Look, there they are!"

After that, another voice came that was standing next to the other fan- girl. "Ooh…Ooh I like Olivia's armor the best. Uh, wait, no, no, no, Axels."

This time Jesse spoke onward to the fans. "Thank you. Thank you, it's good to be back." Jesse couldn't believe all the changes that were made when they were gone. "Wow. Looks amazing you guys. You did an awesome job with the place."

"Yeah! Jesse, you're my favorite order member!"

A girl with brown hair and green eyes held one her hands in the air; she was waving a high- five with a singing voice. "Welcome back."

Jesse stood there for a minute, before he went to high- five her back. After that, she turned to her one of her friends. "See that!? Jesse high- fived me. Me." After that, she glanced down at her hand, and shook it. "It actually hurt a little bit. Wow." Without delay she fainted.

The Order walked on when another fan- girl came up to them; or in this case, up to Jesse. "Can I give you a hug?"

Jesse walked up to her and opened his arms in return. They hugged when another fan- girl came in with folded arms, and a bitter tone. "Step aside. If there's anyone he's gonna hug, it's going to be me."

The fan- girl finally slipped out of the hug, when she turned to the other fan- girl. "Oh yeah, well I'm Jesse's number one fan!"

"No, you're not. I am!"

"No. I am!"

That's when another fan- girl with brown- shoulder length hair, and golden- brown eyes walked up to them. The Order thought she was walking toward Jesse when, to their surprise, she stopped in front of Axel. The fan- girl stood there holding a batch of cookies tied in a small bag tied off with black, green, red, and white string. Feeling a bit awkward and out of place, red covered her face as she handed the batch of cookies to Axel. "I made these for you."

Axel looked at the cookies, and then pointed to himself. "Wow! Creeper and TNT shaped cookies. And look at that, they're all decorated, and everything. All right!" He looked back at the girl and pointed to himself. "And these are for me?"

The girl nodded shy.

Axel gazed at the cookies again. "Wow. Never gotten anything like this from a fan before?"

The fan- girl nodded; she stood there even more nervous than what she was before. "Well, actually…I was wondering if you would you like to join me during the festival?"

Axel stood there still with his eyes wide open from the unexpected gesture. "You- you mean like a date?"

The fan- girl nodded as she took a few steps closer. "Yeah… a date."

Axel looked up from bag of cookies as his eyes widened surprised, while he got looks from Olivia and Jesse. "Wow! A date, and cookies." After that, he shrugged aside in a way he was saying he was cool with it. "Uh…okay. Sure."

Her eyes widened as her voice came out with some excitement this time. "Really?"

Axel shrugged with one hand behind his head, when he let out a nervous sweat. "Yeah. I mean, sure. Why not?" He paused for a minute, when something about the girl came to him. "Uh… what's your name?"

"I'm Amber," After that, she turned back to the distraction behind her to see that it was her friends. "Uh, I'll be in the front when you're on stage, but I think I should go and see what they want."

Axel nodded to his date. "Okay. I'll see you when I'm up there."

They waved by to each as the Order continue to walk onwards. On their way, Olivia, sneaked a look over at Axel along with a smirk. "So, Axel, finally becoming a lady's man."

"Hey now…" Axel scowled at her. "…at least I have someone."

Just then, another fan girl, and a few friends of hers, ran up to Jesse with a camera within her hand. "Can we take a picture together with you guys?"

"All right. Sure thing," Jesse answered with a smile across his face.

"Yeah. Awesome. No sweat!" Axel said as he held different poses for the camera.

Olivia handed Axel a few awkward looks as she answered. "Sure. That would be great."

One of the girls waved her hand at everyone to join in. "All right everyone, gather up. Ready? Say Glaciercon."

Voices went out after that. "Glaciercon!" After a click and a flash, the picture was taken.

Olivia turned to Jesse. "Ready to head to the stage, and show them what we found?"

"Yup." Jesse waved them along with a side- nod. "Come on you guys."

###

Everyone gathered around the Beacon Town stage area as Olivia, Axel, and Jesse took their places. Jesse stepped forward, when he held up a new block they got back from Ice- Plain Spikes Crossing. "Is everyone ready for our Ice- Spike festival this year!?"

The ongoing cheering went on when arms were pumping, and signs were raised in the air. "Jesse! Jesse! Jesse!"

"That's right everyone, we brought this back for all of you," Jesse started as he held the Alteration Block in the air. "We're going to use it to keep building, and make every festival even bigger, better and even more awesome than the last." Jesse turned to his friends a moment before his eyes met the crowed again. "Couldn't have done it without my friends."

Olivia and Axel just waved and smiled at the crowed along with some undertone statements along the way. Olivia's voice went first. "Oh. You got that right."

Axel went along with Olivia with a joke of his own. "Don't forget about that bear now, Jesse."

Jesse glanced at the two in amusement and carried on with his speech after that. "So far, you guys have been doing a remarkable job on the Ice- Spike Festival this year. Now, thanks to this Alternation Block we can now use packed iced for our Ice- Spike building competition this year. What a way to bring a little something back from the Endercon building competition from all those years before. Can't wait until we see what we come up with tomorrow."

Jesse slammed down the Alteration Block as it made packed ice. "Team work makes the dream work."

Everyone watched in amazement. "Ohhh..." The wild crowed continues to cheer. "Jesse! Jesse! Jesse!"

The Order finally jumped off the stage to see what the rest of the town was like. As for Axel's date, she went back to her friends to tell them the good news.

###

A boy with short black hair, tan skin, and glasses run up to Jesse, Olivia, and Axel as soon as he caught site of them walking his way. He wore blue jeans and green and white jacket; in which covered up multiple tattoos on his arm. "Oh, I'm so glad you guys are back. I know, I know… the festival may seem to look great and all, but we still have a lot of problems. We still have a lot of stuff that needs to be done, and the festival starts tomorrow. How will we ever get done on time?" Radar first pointed over towards the different areas where each booth was. "The Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, and Latte Booth won't work together. The lines are to long for the curry, soups, and fried foods sections. The Snow Lantern booth is running out of supplies. The Gift Bag and Mystery Box booths are running out of ideas, and the Game booths aren't functioning properly." Radar walked toward another area as the others followed him. "Oh, and not only that, but the Sled Race is going into the Snowball Battlefield over there, and we had to combine the Ice- Spike Sculpture and Snow-Golem building competition together." Radar finally reached the spot he was looking for. "Last but not least." Radar kicked the lever and turned back to the group. "The firework display isn't working for the Candle Lit Pathways."

Despite all of Radar's complaints, they were nothing to Jesse. Jesse stared at the area in admiration. "Whoa. Wow. This is outstanding" At last Jesse pulled himself together and turned to Radar. "You've done an awesome job with the place." After that, he padded his back. "I'm proud of you, Radar."

Radar laughed in surprise and then sighed in relief when he heard the good remarks, despite all the problems.

Olivia turn to Radar astonished by the set- up herself. "Yeah. This is amazing set- up, Radar. I'm impressed, this must had taken a lot of work."

Axel walked up to Radar, wrapped one arm around him, and ruffled his hair. "This is pretty awesome! Let us hope that, that bear didn't follow, Jesse, all the way back home."

Jesse was about to comment when a voice came from behind Radar and placed on hand on his shoulder. "Oh yeah, he's been working really hard." Everyone soon saw short, blond hair boy wearing a leather jacket with an ocelot on it.

"Lukas!" Jesse and Olivia shouted.

"Hey, Lukas!" Axel waved.

"Hey guys," Lukas tapped Radar's back. "There's no need to overwork yourself okay."

Radar turned to Lukas like a soldier. "I'm working on it."

His comment made Lukas laugh as he walked up to Jesse with his book. "When you have the time, you have to tell me everything."

Axel, Olivia, and Jesse exchanged looks with each other, before they overheard Axel. "Oh, don't we have a story for you. We've got man- eating bears and everything."

Olivia pointed to the other side of town. "But for now, I wouldn't mind taking a closer look at those ice- sculpture and snow- golem builds over there."

Jesse, Lukas, Axel, and Radar looked over where Olivia was pointing at when, this time, they've overheard Jesse. "Sounds like a good idea. Let's go."

They all walked on over to see a man with blond-brown hair, a beard, and an eye patch that covered his bad eye. He was wearing a blue vest, black gloves, black shoes, and white pants with brown and blue strips. Described as Majestic. There was another friend next to him; someone known as a villager. The villager had on a green hat that came with a white feather, and gold belt that came with his cartographer ware all together. Each group waved to each other as they joined up together.

Jack glanced at Nurm, and then turned to Jesse. "Ah. Hey, it's Jesse."

A smile grew on Jesse's face; he was excited to get too finally see the rest of his friends again. "Hey Jack." After that, he turned to turn Nurm. "Hey Nurm."

Nurm answered back in the langue that the villagers used. "Ahrum."

Wondering eyes finally caught onto the ice- spike sculpture and snow- golem builds. Jesse glanced at Jack, but then looked back at the sculpture and builds again. "So, what you do call this one?"

Jack cleared his throat before he changed his stance in more of a staging position. "I call this one The Frozen Cyclone of Doom.

Nurm turned to Jack shaking his head. "Err. Err. Err. Err."

Jack lowered his voice to Nurm. "Oh, come on, Nurm, it's a cool name."

Axel folded his arms and nodded his head in agreement. "That is a pretty cool name."

Olivia turned to Jack as she pointed to the ice- spike sculpture. It was a tall, abstract design that shrilled like stairs made up of ice, packed ice, snow, and water elevators to make sure, whatever was in it, to swirl. "Not that it's not a cool build, but why build that?"

Jack turned to Olivia. "The question is, Olivia, who wouldn't want to build this?"

Axel turned to Jesse. "Here's a thought, why won't you try to build that bear that we saw; so, when people come up and ask you want inspired you to do it, you'll have a story to tell them."

Before Jesse got a chance to comment back, they all heard another voice headed their way. "I think the question is, who would ever wanna build something as original as that. The ice- spike build that Luna and I made is the one that's going to win for sure."

The three of them turned around to the voice to see a blond hair girl with black brows, and green eyes. She was wearing a purple and grey dress along with a white scarf and ear piece by her ear. "Stella!"

Jack pointed at Stella's build. "Yeah, sure it will." After that, he took a few steps up to Stella. "What are you gonna do, try to eliminate me from the competition with that? Pa. Try all you want, but you won't get though the Builder of Kryos Mountains of The North.

Everyone saw Stella's lama- fountain that she made using snow, ice, packed ice, water, and now to mention the lights that came with it. That's when they all heard Stella's laughter. "I will if I have too."

Jesse turned to Stella. "Stella, don't you have your own festival to worry about."

Olivia came to Jesse's side. "Yeah, didn't you say something about making your own snow- festival this year before we left?"

"The snow festival in Champion City is already done. If anything, it's you guys that are lagging behind; why else would I be here to help out."

A voice from the past appeared not to far from them. "She's even got people from the under— I mean in my world to start up their own festival."

Jesse, Olivia, and Axel turned to the last person they expected to see there. There appeared black eyes, red hair, a grey shirt, blue pants, and red and white sneakers. "Romeo!?"

Jesse stood there in shock as his mouth almost hung open in disbelief. "What are you doing here, Romeo?"

Lukas turned to Jesse and shrugged. "He stopped by and offered to help out."

Romeo pointed to the block in Jesse's hands. "Is that the Alternation block."

Jesse held the block away from him with a warning look. "No Romeo?"

Romeo holds hands out. "I just want to take a look at it."

Jesse's eyes came to narrow as he shook his head. "You are looking at it. Doesn't mean I'm gonna hand it over to you."

Romeo looked at the group as he drew his hands back. "Trust me, if I had wanted to make havoc, I would've done it by now."

Out of nowhere, a scream traveled across Beacon Town. The group looked up in concern. Axel starched his head confused. "Now what's going on?"

Group looked directly back at Romeo. "Romeo!"

Romeo pointed to himself. "It wasn't me this time." After that, he turned his head and pointed to where the scream came from. "If you want havoc…it's over there."

Jesse, Olivia, Axel, and Radar finally made it to the place where the scream was coming from. Not only did they hear the scream, but now they were hearing complaints coming from all over. And yet, they didn't need anyone to explain to them what was going on as they saw the problem clearly for themselves. "IVOR!"

Ivor looked away from the complaining crowed over to the shouting voices. "Oh, Jesse, Olivia, Axel…you're back."

Jesse placed one hand on his head and shook it with a long sigh. "Ivor?"

"Oh, come on, Jesse, packed ice doesn't melt." He stepped up closer to Jesse. "Don't I get the right to build my own sculpture just like anyone else? You should know that I want nothing then to have an ice- spike sculpture with lots of lava pouring off it!"

"Yeah, until that lava reaches one of our snow- golem builds," said one of the residences.

"Yeah, not all of our builds are made out of packed ice!" shouted the other resident.

Jesse folded his arms, rolled his eyes, and shook his head with a long sigh. "We've been through this already, Ivor. Just place something protective around it, so it doesn't ruin anyone else's build or sculpture." The next sound of his voice was convincing, yet his eyes were secretly pleading. "You can find a creative way to do that, can't you?"

Ivor sighed, still angry about the whole situation. "Fine." After that, he turned away as he grumbled under his breath. "It's not as if they're being told to change their sculptures."

Jesse, Olivia, Axel finally left with Radar, as Radar took them around town. During this time, they met up with other residences of the town, and not to mention fixing a few of the problems Radar mentioned to them before.

#

Two branched arms popped out from behind the wall when a cold- white face appeared from behind. Just from under his top- hat, two coal eyes peered, grey brows furrowed, and coal- lips turned neutral. Deep- seeded anger risen in his voice. "Well, there they are." The snowman shoved his head forward for a better look. "Just look at all of them… pouring all of themselves all over him." He gripped the wall tighter. "Can't survive one day without their hero, can they?" He tossed his face aside and spat out in disgust. "Ugh… it's pathetic." When he turned back, his eyes finally landed on Jesse, and Jesse alone. The tense look of his face lightened up with sad eyes, and that trademark, hopeful grin. He sighed and leaned his head against the side of the wall he was looking over. "Jesse."

He turned his back and slid down the other side of the wall. He looked down at his smooth, wooden ends of his branches when those coal lips turn into a frown. (What do I have to be a snow golem for? It's not as if I mind being a snow- golem, and all… but was it so damn hard for Romeo to give me a human form… or at least give me the chance to turn into a human form? That would make things a lot less complicated.) He glanced back towards the group as his scowled. "I'll show them." After that, the snowman drifted off in thought.

FLASHBACK

The snowman came to when he saw snow- golems all around the area though the holes of the pumpkin that was covering his head. There were standing ones, walking ones, and not too many more piled up all over the ground. The place was a mess of snow blocks, pumpkins, coal, and clothes. Within the next minute, the snowman saw shears that shredded through the pumpkin that was on his head. Right after, he saw someone of black and red as they stepped back and clapped their hands. A black top- hat, lapis blue vest, ice- blue bow- tie all appeared on the snowman; as well as a packed- ice block that took place of the bottom snow block. Unable to hear him, the snowman saw him say something but remained unfazed.

"Ha- ha! That should do it?" The mysterious figure placed on hand under his chin. "Umm…let's see here." After that, he walked around the snowman. "First of all, you need a voice." He came to a stop and pointed at the snowman. "And not to mention a brain with that voice." He folded his arms and dropped his head to the side. "But how am I going to do that?" He turned to the snowman before he started walking around him again. "Even so, I can't have a mindless snow- golem throwing snowballs at mobs all day." He shrugged. "It would be useless." A few thoughts from the sea temple he had made came to him when he decided to build off from his other ideas. "I'll have to base you off me." He closed his eyes. "All right here goes nothing." This time, he clapped hands, and made another copy of himself into the snowman. (Well, I shouldn't make you exactly like me; otherwise my plan will never work.) At last, he added clap after clap for every configuration and tweak he made for the snowman.

An awareness finally came to the snowman that he hadn't had before. He looked down at the outfit he was wearing and saw the ice block from under him and noticed that both of his arms were sticks. One of his brows raised as he frowned. (I feel different somehow. I look different. Did I just get taller? Why am I suddenly having these thoughts?) "What's all this?" (Wait… my mouth is moving, and I hear sounds coming out from it.) After that, the snowman looked right at the mysterious fellow. "Who are you?" Showing him stick arms. "What did you do to me?"

He stepped back and cringed with a scrunched-up face the moment he heard the snowman's voice. (Ugh…his voice isn't coming out right. This isn't how it's supposed to be. Ugh…what am I doing wrong?" He paced back and forth while he looked down in deep focus. (My powers don't seem to be reaching him like they should. In fact, they're just barely getting in there. Perhaps I made too many changes.) He turned to the snowman. (No matter. I can work with this. I'll just have to make more adjustments along the way.) Breaking his pace, he walked up toward him. "Now, now, there's no reason to worry. I was the one that built you after all. If anything, I was the one that brought you to life." He pointed to himself. "You can call me, Romeo, by the way."

"Look at me," The snowman looked directly at Romeo, and pointed to himself with one of his arms. "I'm a snow- golem."

Romeo placed one hand on his hip and leaned his head aside. "Well, of course you are." Without delay, he propped his other hand under his chin. "Though, you wouldn't think so, because you're me…" Romeo's eyes drifted over towards the side followed by a small shrug. "…in a sense that is."

Snowman lifted his brow towards Romeo. "So, I'm supposed to be…you?"

Romeo placed his hand behind his head and glanced away. He shrugged as his foot shifted in place. "Yeah…something like that. I'm still working on it." Romeo turned back the snowman and steps towards him with a hand pointed to him. "As for you… you're one of my aliases. For this plan to work I need a disguise to hide behind; so, I had to make you as different as I can. All things considered, you're not just a snow- golem, but you're an edited copy of me now; simply put: another version of myself."

"Why a snow- golem?" The snowman brows shifted as he lifted his arms aside of him; he shook his head in a slight motion. "Like you couldn't have picked me to appear as anything else?"

"I had to pick a friendly mob. One that would appeal people," Romeo leaned in toward the snowman with narrowed eyes, elevated brows, and spoke in such a way that would assure the snowman of what he was implying. "Everyone likes snowman, right?" Romeo pulled back and turned around with a shrug as he held one hand back by his shoulder. "Besides, it's easier dealing with the friendlies."

"Why?" One of the snowman's brows lifted with a neutral face expression. "What's this all about?"

Romeo turned back around to the snowman. "Why?" He cleared his throat and waved for the snowman to follow him. "Ah, yes. Fallow me." The snowman fallowed alongside Romeo when they were by one of the walls of Beacon Town. In fact, it the same wall the snowman was currently at, at the time.) Romeo pointed over into Beacon Town. "You see that group over there?"

"Yes."

"You see that guy that's with them?"

Deep laughter came from the snowman. "Oh. Oh. Oh. I do."

"That's Jesse. The Hero in Residence of Beacon Town."

The grey brows of the snowman lifted as his grin grew. He held his branches together and danced in excitement. "Ha- ha…he's Adorable."

"Ador-" Romeo placed his fist on his temple and shook his head with his eyes closed. "-oh, for the love of-" After that, he let go and pointed at the snowman. "No. No…No. No. No. No." He tossed his head back with an agonizing face expression, and a small, exasperated sigh. "Ugh…what's wrong with you!?" He clenched his hands into fist, and then threw one of his arms down by his side. "You're not supposed to think he's adorable; you're supposed to find a way to get rid of him!" Romeo glanced skyward and shook his head once more. "I didn't create you, so you can…ugh…" After that, he pointed at the snowman again. "Don't forget who made you. Don't give me a reason to make me take your powers away… or you'll never see, Jesse, again." A small smirk left Romeo. "Come what may, I'm sure you wouldn't like your powers being taken away." Romeo turned away. (Ugh…this isn't working out as I planned. He defiantly needs more tweaking.)

The snowman's brows narrowed inward as a neutral- like frown appeared on his face. "You can't get rid of me that easily if you need me for this plan of yours." The snowman head shifted down towards the side. "After all, you put so much work into creating me; I'm sure you wouldn't want to start all over again."

Romeo stopped and turned to see that very expression on the snowman's face. His anger turned into cynical laughter. "Ha! Ha! Ha!" He held his stomach with his hands, before he took one of them and pointed them directly at the snowman. "You should see the look on your face! Do you hear yourself?" He paused for a minute for the snowman to figure it out, but his silence didn't hold for long. "If you hadn't notice-," Romeo turned back around the other way, and held up both of his back palms at each side of him. "-it's impossible." Romeo, still in the same stance, closed his eyes with a shrug, and shook his head afterwards. "There's no way, Jesse, will ever think of you that way." Without changing his position, he dropped his arms aside him with another shrug. "After all, you're just a snowman." Romeo finally turned back around to the snowman. "I mean, look at all those human friends of his he rather be spending time with instead of going out with a snowman like you. Everyone will think he's crazy." Romeo titled his head toward the town; his eyes still on the snowman. As you can see, Jesse, holds quiet the reputation. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate, Jesse, their hero, to ditch them for a snowman of all things."

The snowman looked down at his figure and branches with that sadden look. The very sadden look that turned into a look of disgusted anger. Sure, he wasn't thrilled that Romeo chose a snow- golem as an alias of all things, but there was only one thing that bothered him even more. His brow twitched. "Friends?" Snowman turned his head over towards where the others were standing at. His brows sharpened downward. "Those losers?"

Romeo heard it. He wouldn't have missed a little comment like that from the snowman for the world. A dark grin grew on his face as he smirked. (Got him) "Why, yes." Romeo pointed out towards the area as his lids fold half-way, and his voice went dry. "Not much a fan myself." With a slight turn of his head, Romeo's curved back towards the snowman. "I'm curious to see what would happen to their town, to their hero, if something were to happen. He paced back and forth as he shifted different glances every now and then back at the snowman. "Ultimately, the whole point of making my challenges is to challenge the great next hero's. After I heard about the original order of the stone, and wither storm, and the old- builders, I thought it was time to see if the Hero of Beacon Town can handle-" He pointed to himself. "-someone like me." Romeo walked up to the snowman. "Of course, Jesse can't go at them alone." Then he drew closer near the snowman and waged his finger. No. No. No." Without delay, he drew back out as he spoke. "After all, it wouldn't be much a challenge without those companions of his." After that, Romeo stepped out backwards in a slow pace, until he came to a stop. "Now, I already have some innovative ideas for my new challenge, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. Overall, I can't complete the finishing touches without you."

The snowman lifted his brow at somewhat at a lost. "Challenge? Gifts?"

"These challenges I have created are a gift to Jesse. Once Jesse sees what I can build he'll wanna join me in no time. They always come runin. Maybe except for Xara and Fred, but that's a story for another day." The excitement in his voice soon went up and down like a minecart- coaster. "They're perfect for any Hero; don't see how any of them could resist. "It's simple." Romeo pulled out a clock. "For this challenge, all they have to do is find this clock; however, they'll have to pass a few obstacles along the way by going through my Icy Palace of Despair." Romeo pointed toward the location. "Whoever finds the clock first wins the challenge and becomes worthy enough to become my champion. The winner gets to become my champion and become an admin, like me. The losers, on the other hand, well…let's just say that they'll be able to get to live at my sunshine institute for a very, very, very long time."

Snowman turned to Romeo as he folded his branches. "Something tells me it's not gonna be that easy."

"If he passes his first challenge, then he'll be able to make it through my Icy Palace of Despair." Romeo aimed his hand directly at the snowman. "That's where you come in. Once everything in in place here's what I want you to do. What I need, is for you to accompany Jesse and his friends, and bring them to the Icy Palace of Despair. Once, if they arrive, I need you to guide them through it, and make sure things run-" Romeo's voice rolled into a cunning tone, but his face showed signs of annoyance. "smoothly."

Romeo rotated toward the side, before he let out a long sigh. "Of course, that goes without saying, Jesse, isn't the type to just up and go through this without a reason." Thereafter, he turned back to the snowman, and shrugged aside. "So, you'll have to give him a reason. You'll have to find a way to distract the town." By this point, Romeo's arms went all over trying to give the snowman some examples. "Make a snowstorm. Send mobs. Make his friends disappear; that is his weakness after all. I don't really care what you do; just do something." After that, Romeo pulled out a clock. "I'll even give you a little bribe to start with." In subsequence, he handed the golden clock and handed it to the snowman. "You can lure them with this." The snowman studied the clock in his hand as he continued to listen to Romeo. "During the challenge, I need you to convince them that you're the admin…me. Romeo pointed to himself, yet again, and finally added one last thing. "I'll also need you to report to me about everything that happens when I'm not there."

Snowman glanced away from the clock toward Jesse's friends, before he turned to Romeo again with an angry stare and a sour face. "I have to accompany those losers too?"

Romeo held himself back for a moment from the snowman's comment. (That again?) Romeo's eyes came to a close when he dropped his head and his first reached his temple. He let out a long sigh, and then looked back up at the snowman. "Think of it this way." He started to walk around snowman again. "This will be the perfect time for you to get rid of the rest of those losers and have, Jesse, all to yourself." Romeo raised a driving brow to the snowman, but his words more cunning. "You do want to see Jesse again, don't you?" Before the snowman had a chance to respond, Romeo continued onward. "After all, once Jesse finds the gantlet and puts it on, you'll be able to teleport to him at all times. That's just one of main functions of the gantlet."

The snowman's brows raised making his eyes widen. "Really?"

"Why, of course you're connected to the gantlet. And if Jesse finds the gantlet and puts it on, then you'll be connected with Jesse. After that, Romeo dropped his head and let out a small acceptable, but disappointed sigh. "Ugh...try not to get to attached to that crush of yours." Right after that, he picked his head back up and shrugged aside. "After all, how could they ever believe that you're the admin if you act like that around Jesse and the others?"

AT SEA TEMPLE FLASHBACK

Romeo and the snowman appeared inside a long hallway within the sea temple. The snowman looked around at the colossal prismarine statues standing in a row on both sides of the hallway. "So, this is it, ye?"

Romeo turned and walked backwards with his arms out. "Oh. Oh. Oh. Yes. If you want to play with Jesse in my Icy Palace of Despair, Jesse will have to pass this test first.

One by one the colossal, prismarine statues came alive; their eyes' lit up with an intense green glow as their heads' moved along with them. The snowman noticed this as he pointed to the one in nearest to him. "Another one of your creations I take it?"

Romeo spread his arms out towards the statues. "They all, more or less become me with my powers and all."

The snowman lifted one of his arms and aimed it toward himself. "Then how come I'm not like that- like one of them?"

Romeo used one of his arms and pointed it at the snowman. "By extension, you are. I just gave you a diverse set of powers compared to the others." Romeo shrugged. "Besides one of those colossi will appear as one of the admins that I'll be using in Jesse's test."

They went through another hallway filled with smaller prismarine statures to another set of doors. They walked in when Romeo came to a stop. The snowman looked around the room to see floating water, guardians, and obsidian cages. "And what's this place supposed to be exactly?"

"This is my challenge room. It's to see whose worthy enough for the structure block. During this test, Jesse's goal is to reach the treasure room and obtain one of those structure blocks within -," Romeo then re- directed his arm over toward the guardians swimming within the floating water. "-while trying to get past them."

The snowman slightly turned his head toward Romeo. "And if they don't?"

Romeo turned to the snowman and shrugged. "They die. It's as simple as that."

The snowman pointed up at the obsidian cages. "Are you sure they work?"

"Well, of course," Romeo eyes drifted away from the snowman to the cages he was pointing to. "They've already been used by a group of losers before; they didn't know what they were getting themselves into." Romeo rolled his eyes over back towards the snowman "In fact, that's when they'll met "Vos", or should I say me disguised as Vos."

"If you're going to be there anyway, why not just do this yourself?" The snowman's brows came to a narrow before the snowman pointed at himself. "What's the point of making me then?"

Romeo turned away from the obsidian cages and faced the snowman. "If, Jesse, goes through my Icy Palace of Despair, I'll be too busy being, Vos, -his companion-at the time. So, they'll need another admin to fill the spot…" Romeo pointed directly at the snowman. "…that would be you." Romeo placed his arm down and turned around; he took one last look behind him. "All in all, it's going to take the both of us to make this work.

(Can't take the chance to let him lock me up in one of those cages, otherwise I would never get to see, Jesse.) The snowman smirked. "Let's just see how well these traps of yours work, ye?" After that, he clapped his hands entrapping Romeo in one of the cages.

"Woah. Hey, what's going on?" That's when Romeo finally realized what the snowman had done. "What was that for?"

The snowman's arms wavered out in front of him. "Well, I guess it can't be helped, but that's what you would do in this situation. After all, it's either me or you, right?"

"Why you? Get me out of here?" An embodied voice called out afterwards.

The snowman placed his hands on his hips as he narrowed up toward the obsidian cage. "Give me one good reason why I should?"

"Get me out of here, or your powers are gone!"

The snowman leaned back as he let out some laughter. "Oh! Oh! Oh! I'll be long out of here, before that happens. At least this way, you can't take him away from me while you're in there. And I can finally meet, Jesse, for myself. I can deal with his "companions" from there."

"I – I can't believe this. After all the changes I made, and you're still attached to Jesse!?"

"Did you really think that changing things was going to work. Maybe if you weren't so sloppy this wouldn't have happened."

Romeo (ugh…now he's just playing games. Can't do much of anything from in here, and I can't stop my creation, because I'm going to need him later. He's still planning to meet with Jesse- that's more than enough for me.) "Okay. Fine then. But these challenges must go on."

"Oh, don't worry about that. I got it all under control."

FLASHBACK END

A sound from the other side of the wall had shook the snowman's thoughts. The moment the snowman turned he jumped with a small gasp from the unexpected sight of Nurm. "Huh." (Great, if he sees me then they'll all know that I'm here.) With one last clap he disappeared.

Nurm scanned the area in wonder. "Erm?" After that, he left and joined up with the others.

#

Nurm came back to the group when he saw Jack wave to him with a big smile. "Hey Nurm! You'll never guess who just arrived."

Nurm turned to see a girl with pale skin and auburn hair. She was in a dark blue shirt, black shorts, and boots, and wearing a turquoise bandana. Endless arms wrapped around her; the girl held one of her free arms out to him. "Oh, hey Nurm! Come on over here."

Nurm jumped into the hug. "Nuurrm!"

Voices scattered among the hug.

"How have you been?"

"Where did you go?"

"We missed you."

Petra looked up, and as she felt her voice drop. "So, Stella, is here-" After that, her voice came to a pause when she handed a glance back at Jesse. "- and Romeo? Gee, just how long was I gone for?"

Jesse folded his arms and glanced over towards Romeo. "Oh, don't worry about him…he's been- behaving himself."

Romeo narrowed over at Jesse. "Very funny, Jesse."

Stella scowled before she walked right up to Petra with a bitter resentment in her voice. "Well, never knew it was so great to get a visit from you; nice seeing you here too, Petra."

Before either Petra or Stella knew it, they saw Lukas there in between them. "Now, now, now you two, there's no reason to fight. We don't need another year where Beacon Town is in ruins again."

Lukas words brought Petra back from the argument when the site of Beacon Town had caught her attention once again. "Yeah… I see that Beacon Town is still all in one piece. So, what's going on here?"

Jesse placed his hands on his hips as a proud smile grew on his face. "Ice- Spike festival."

A happy grin appeared on Petra's face; she was impressed by the changes for the festival. "Ah, cool. Glad I didn't miss out on it."

The moment Jesse's words reached Nurm's ears, Nurm recalled what he saw before as he turned to Jack and pointed toward the wall, and the outskirts of Beacon Town. "Mur merr mer mer mer."

Jack leaned in closer. "What was that, Nurm?" Jack was soon pulled back with a look of surprise due to the news Nurm had given him. "You said you saw a snowman?"

Petra held out the back of her palms over towards the rest of Beacon Town. "Well, of course he did. I mean, take a look around."

Axel folded his arms as his gazed on the group. "Oh yeah, you've got people building snow- golems left and right, because of the contest this year."

Jack to Nurm. "You've seen plenty of snow- golems before, why is it so different this time?"

Nurm lowered his head and shook it; he decided to drop the topic. "urm…"

Some more stories were exchange stories, when Olivia looked around at the group with an idea of her own. "So, I was thinking… maybe this year we should build a little something together as a group, using the alternation block. It doesn't have to be for the contest; just, you know, something to celebrate Petra's return."

Petra turned to Olivia. "That's a good idea Olivia. I can't remember the last time we all did something together that didn't involve the world being destroyed." That's when Petra recalled something else Olivia had mentioned. "…wait a minute…Alteration block?"

Jesse pulled out Alternation block out of his inventory and handed it to her. "Here. Take a look for yourself."

Petra flipped the alternation black in every which way in her hands. "Ah, cool. What does it do? Where did you get It? How does it work?"

Jesse was about to answer when they all overhead a voice as they saw Radar pointing toward the broken fireworks display area. "That's great and all, but can we take care this mess first?"

Jesse closed his eyes and nodded with a grin. "That we can Radar. That we can."

The group walked to different areas collecting items they'll need to fix the current problems that Radar had mention to them. Petra turned to Jesse, Olivia, and Axel. "So, you three went on an adventure without me."

"Well, Jesse, didn't want to go at first, but you know how Ivor is," Lukas said as he starched the back of his head.

Jesse looked out towards nearby residence. "Well, I couldn't just leave them there to fix up the town after everything that had happened."

Lukas walked up next to Jesse as his eyes traveled toward Petra. "We decided not to go, until things calmed down."

Olivia shrugged aside with a nervous look on her face. "We didn't mean not to invite you…you just weren't there."

Petra held up her hands. "Just kidding, but too bad I had to miss out on it though. What did you guys find? Where is Ivor, by the way? Haven't seen him since I've came back."

Jesse narrowed his eyes aside where Ivor was. "Oh, he's taking care of some festive things."

Petra turn to see Ivor, and still maddened citizens. After that, Petra just shook her head. "Ivor on his lava, huh?"

Voice sigh. "Yeah."

It was a short walk up to the next area, when Ivor looked up from his build. (Great, now what do they wan—) Then he caught the sight of Petra, when he realized why they had come back. "Oh. Petra!"

"Hey, Ivor. Long time, no see."

"So, you're back?"

"Uh- yeah. Nice sculpture. What is that supposed to be?"

Ivor was about to tell her what he was building an ice- volcano, when negative thoughts from earlier had hit him. He lowered his brow at Jesse as he grumbled onward. "Better than what it looks now."

"Look, we know you're still bitter from this morning, but we decided to work on a group project together to celebrate Petra's return. So, are you gonna come join us?" Jesse asked with a convening yet entreating tone in his voice.

Ivor looked back over his sculpture at the group, mainly Jesse. "Can I use lava?"

The team turned to each other with sort of different expressions on how to answer. "Uh…"

Petra laughed. "Sure, Ivor…but only under my conditions."

Ivor eyed them. "Okay. Sure. I get it. You wouldn't want to have lava running your sculpture."

Lukas pointed to the area where the group was planning on building their ice sculpture build. "It's your sculpture too, Ivor; I'm sure you wouldn't want it ruined. Besides this might help you get some more ideas for your own sculpture."

Ivor turned to his sculpture when a disappointing look appeared on his face. He let out a small sigh. "I suppose I can finish this later."

"Great! I'll get Amber," Axel then turned to the rest of the group with a pause. "You guys don't mind, do you?"

Those, who were there at the time gave Axel gesture of nods and other indicators. Petra blinked confused at the time. "Wait, whose Amber?"

"Axel's date for the Glaciercon tomorrow," Lukas answered without going further into it.

It was one surprise after another for Petra. "Wait, Axel, has a date.? Since when? Why didn't you guys say anything sooner? Where is she anyway? How comes she's not here?"

Olivia turned to Petra. "Don't worry, Petra, you'll get to meet her when we're building our ice sculpture."

After the current messes have been addressed, they, including Amber, started on their ice sculpture build together. Everyone took one last look at the ice/lava sculpture of Mrs. Butter, before they head off to gather some food and eat out at Jesse's place. After Jesse's friends left, he headed upstairs for some sleep. Once Jesse opened the door to his room, a few loose string- lights had called to him. Jesse opened his window to fix them when one of the snow golems, who was roaming around his back yard, had caught his attention. A few seconds past when Jesse shut his window. Just like the lights, his head fell, and his eyes came to a close fallowed by a tired sigh. "If only things had been different." After that, he collapsed onto his bed and drifted off to sleep.