I peer over the edge of the hill, trying not to be seen. The shadows are on my side, hiding me as the sun's light fades. The sun, they call it, the light in the sky, which is blue here for some reason. It's so beautiful, but it hurts to look at it. A lot of beautiful things are painful to look at. But not her. As long as she doesn't know I'm here, anyway. She does make me a bit sad though.
To be honest, I'm not quite sure what she is. She's more like me than a creeper or spider, for sure. Exotic, different, but just close enough… She's very pretty. I dare not tell the others. Who knows what they'd think? I have to keep this a secret. From everyone. From her, from them. She's small compared to me, and pale – closer to end stone than obsidian, but like almost everything in this world, she has color to her; she's not grey but… pink-brown. I don't even know how to describe it. It's a unique color. Like the villagers, but not quite the exact same color. She has hair like a wolf, not wispy end-matter like enderwomen, but so much longer than the hair of a wolf, and it's a different color from her body, like a sheep. It's shiny, like gold.
If I had to take a guess, I think she's what the zombies were a long time ago. The same kind of creature, I believe, that returned to the land only recently, the ones that live in villages. She was here before them, though. I can't be certain. Aside from her, assuming she is one, I've never seen a female villager, or at least nothing I'd recognize as female. I would think their females would be as ugly as their males: short, disproportionate, troll-like. But she isn't. Her face is more like an enderwoman. Her head isn't as awkwardly huge and squid-like as theirs, but more like my own head. She doesn't have the thick unibrow, nor the massive ugly nose – hers is small and delicate. She's also even smaller than they are, though not by much. Like them, she has short arms and legs, but for a creature of her height, it doesn't look too bad. Like a dwarf of some sort. Not awkward, just strange, unlike her male counterparts.
She doesn't seem to see them as kin. She doesn't live in a pack like they do, but on her own, in the middle of nowhere, in a large stone building. It's bigger than a dungeon but smaller than the ancient ender fortresses that link our world to hers. I can see through the windows. The inside is so colorful, like everything else in this world. I never grow tired of the colors. They're beautiful. It makes sense; they're a part of her world. She's beautiful too; it must rub off. At sunset – that's what they call it, when the sun, which moves, goes down over the edge of the world and the sky turns amazing colors before returning to its normal black – she stands atop the highest tower of the surface building and watches everything; that's why I need to hide. The wind goes through her hair and makes it shimmer – the wind, they call it, the moving air. She looks so lonely. Her only companion is a wolf. I don't blame her for not living with the others. They're primitive, dumb brutes. Hardly fit to accompany this divine creature. Yes, divine. She must be. How could she be anything but? An angel of war…
War… There was a time we could go near her without being hurt. As long as we didn't look at her, as long as she didn't look at us, as long as we didn't try to move anything near the surface fortress. There was a time when she wanted or needed nothing of ours, like the divine creature she must be. There was nothing of ours that she desired, for she had the world. A queen of a nation with no subjects. I should have taken my chance then. But I was too afraid. Perhaps I was right to be afraid. Now she hunts my kind. I don't know why. She hunts us like wolves hunt sheep. I've seen her. Like seeing a terrible accident I couldn't look away. So horrible, so beautiful, so bloody. He got away, of course. Teleported out of sight before she was distracted by a creeper. That was the best outcome. I didn't want either side to win that fight… I wonder if she does what she does out of malice, or some other reason? I wonder, does she feel guilty? Regretful?
Part of the reason I couldn't look away was that I've never seen anything fight like that. I've since seen her fight many things, and every time I am completely awestruck. She fights with tools she's made. A long, thin piece of metal, sharper than an ocelot's claws, is her primary weapon. It's so perverse, but so elegant. She wields it like it was a part of her. I have seen her fight off whole packs of creepers with nothing but that stick of metal, and emerge relatively unharmed. I have seen her cornered by zombies without a trace of fear in her eyes, so long as she had that metal thing. Her bravery is astonishing. I'm not even brave enough to let her catch a glimpse of me. Her other weapon is a bow, like the skeletons use. She's an incredible shot. Better than any skeleton I've ever seen, especially when she shoots from the top of her tower. I don't know why she doesn't use it more often. Perhaps she doesn't have many arrows. For some reason, she is more likely to charge at a skeleton with her metal thing than she is to shoot at it, but she's such an incredible warrior that she pulls it off every time.
She must have sharpened her skills by hunting. Such a shame that it should be so often directed at my kind. Even seeing her hunt my own kin, I have respect for her. She can sneak up on her prey so easily. The slightest sound, and she risks her life in the night to slay her target. It was almost me once. I thought perhaps I should finally try to talk to her. I took a rose – that's what they call it, the bright red plant that's so beautiful – to near her stone building. She heard my nervous sounds and got the metal thing, and I lost my nerve. Even if she hadn't gotten the metal stick, I think I would have lost my courage before she could come out of her building. I dropped the rose there and teleported far, far away. That's why I have to be perfectly silent when I go near her now. I've seen her go tense and alert at the slightest mutterings of my kind, and she inevitably tracks down the source unless he teleports into a cavern she doesn't know about or far into the horizon. I've seen her go outside in the middle of a moonless night to hunt skeletons and the like, when the others of her kind all go into their surface buildings. She is fearless, I'm sure.
She must be fearless. I've seen her go in the water. Actually, peering through the window, I think she's going to now. She keeps water inside her stronghold. This is the most fascinating of all. Bathing, they call it. Going into the water on purpose. I don't know why they do it. Or why they wear those rags, for that matter. It's so strange. It's like they're ashamed of their bodies. They try to hide their bodies from view with almost religious seriousness. That only adds to the twisted fascination of the ritual they call bathing. I look away as she takes the rags away from her body – she goes to such effort to conceal it, even when she thinks nobody is around to see, so it feels almost like I'm seeing something I shouldn't. I feel ashamed – I'm not worthy of seeing divine perfection. And besides, there must be some reason she doesn't want anything to see her body. There must be something wrong with looking. But I can't help it. The ritual is too fascinating. It's horrific, terrifying… awe-inspiring.
She goes into the water, completely unharmed. Completely immune. She must be divine. Can she walk into lava too? It's gut-wrenching, seeing her go into water on purpose. It's like seeing someone purposely trigger an arrow trap or jump into lava. But every time she does, it takes my breath away to see how she can be so calm and unharmed. As though the water is even pleasant to her. I've even seen her ingest water. I felt sick when I saw her do that. But rather than poisoning her, it almost seemed to refresh her. It's perverse and incredible. I once thought that only animals consumed water. Pigs, cows, the like. I'd never seen skeletons or zombies or anything else even vaguely resembling enderpeople do it. I thought it was just one of the distinctions between us and mere beasts. But like the wolf has a better sense of smell than we do, some animal traits are nothing short of amazing in other creatures. Her immunity to water certainly is.
I wish I knew the secrets of her divinity. How she can be so legendarily skilled, fearless, immune to water, everything. I wish I knew who and what she really is. I wish I knew why she's so different from the villagers. I wish I knew why she was here before them, and where she came from. I wish I could talk to her, ask her why she kills us for our crystal hearts. If I could, I'd give her mine. I think I might have already, in a sense…
Mostly I wish I could make her stop being so lonely.
Because I'm lonely too.