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The sharp black rock dug into his tiny, already scarred, palms. His pink hands were already covered in that sticky red substance.

They always seemed to be.

He was lost. He had been for so long. It must have been months since they kicked him out of the bastion. Being 'different' from the others was a problem. The other piglins his age were much bigger, their appearance different as well.

At first, they were happy. He did well with a sword, excelled in combat. It was part of the piglin way.

His parent, a brute, was happy about this. It meant there was someone to follow in his footsteps. 

The brute was caring. So much compared to the other piglins in their bastion. Especially for a brute- the main defenders of a bastion.

Maybe that was why they threw him out when his brute wasn't at the front gates. Instead late in the evening.

One of the other piglins led him to the front gate, holding his hand, showing him outside.

They lived on the edge of a basalt delta and a crimson forest. It was a beautiful sight. There was the ash-like substance falling from the sky and the mushroom lights not too far from it.

The older piglin had taken his golden necklace (a gift from his brute) and thrown it ahead.

It fell to the ground, emitting a loud clink, bringing his attention to it. There was a small soft pat on his back that also pushed him forward slightly.

There was a soft snort: go.

With an excited squeal, he ran over to the piece of jewelry. He stopped it into his tiny hands, gently running a finger over the small shaped piece of quarts.

He wasn't sure why the other piglin threw it. Maybe it was something they did with the older piglins.

He wasn't too sure.

Still kneeling, he clipped it back around his neck and stood. He looked back at the bastion.

The piglin who had led him out here stood at the gates, arms crossed, a bored expression on their face. They didn't seem too happy.

Did he do something wrong?

He took a few steps forward, hooves clicking against the black stone. He looked up at them, head tilted.

They let out a few displeased snorts.

Oh.

They didn't want him?

Did his brute not want him??

Did he anger brute?

Once again, he walked forward, only for the piglin to growl and bare its teeth.

He flinched, taken back by the sudden aggression. He didn't understand.

Once again he was pushed back, shoed off.

Then he tried again, only to fail. It was the same outcome.

He ran into the crimson forest, scared.

Maybe his brute would come and get him, clear it all up. This had to be a mistake, he didn't do anything wrong. Brute even praised him! It was a misunderstanding. It had to be.

But it wasn't.

A bit later, he heard the worried snorts of his brute. He came out of his hiding hole in the nether rack to see him.

The brute sat on the ground, setting a small bag beside him. Brute smiled, beckoning him forward. He complied.

Brute held him. He was warm.

But then he let go, holding him by the shoulders and pushing the cloth bag into his hands.

Brute oinked, explaining it to him.

They were kicking him out, he was 'banished.' He was a 'runt' or a 'hybrid', and apparently those were bad. Him being a runt made him a liability, a weakness. The members of the bastion did not wish to waste resources on him.

He didn't want to leave, and brute didn't want him to either. But he had to, or that's what he was told.

Eventually, the older piglin had to go. Brute helped him slide on the cloth backpack and then shoved a golden sword into his tiny hands.

sword!

He heard a small grunt and felt the hoofed hands in his pink hair.

Then he left.

He was alone.

That brought him back to where he was now. It had been a few months since they threw him out. The food Brute had given him had run out.

The basalt deltas were huge.

Even with the occasional mushroom forest between, or a soulsand valley, the land was hard to traverse.

He seemed to stick out a lot which attracted unneeded attention from the aggressive mobs.

It turned out other piglins weren't as kind compared to the ones from his home.

The few months he had spent away allowed some of his hybrid features to become more prominent. He didn't fit in with the others anymore.

It seemed to anger the other piglins for some odd reason, he wasn't sure.

But they chased him off.

He didn't even do anything. Didn't steal or fight anyone. Just tried to trade. He thought it would have worked, even if he knew it would not.

Instead, he was met with low growls and pointed swords.

He glanced behind him, seeing the group of piglins still staring.

There wasn't anywhere else to go. To the side was a soulsand valley, but those were full of skeletons and they were dangerous. Not his thing.

But over there-

In a little cavern, there was a soft purple glow. Something he hadn't seen before.

He looked around before walking over to it.

Inside stood a tall, rocky hole in the wall with a swirly purple "mist."

A portal! These were in books! Brute had told him about these! Dangerous, but led to a new world.

Hesitantly, he put his hand in it.

No difference.

So he decided to just walk in!

Suddenly it got loud, the red around him seemed to fade.

As soon as he stepped out, he was hit by a wave of nausea along with the sudden temperature change. He stumbled, hand slipping from the rocky frame.

His knees fell into a crunchy white laying on the ground. What was it? What was any of it?

The sudden change was a lot for him. It was overwhelming.

He released a shaky breath, watching a weird puff of 'smoke' escape from his mouth.

What was this?

They were never told of this place. Only not to go through this portal, which he did. Apparently... this was what it led to?

He focused his attention back up, to the white powder falling from the sky. It was much like the ash from the nether, but it didn't burn.

A strong wave of wind rushed past him, swirling his hair around, ruffling his tattered clothes.

Maybe there was a spare pair of clothes in his pack from brute?

He missed him.

The piglin sighed, pushing that thought aside. There were low chances of him seeing brute again. It had already been too long.

Standing up, he brushed himself off, briefly looking around.

The faint purple of the portal seemed to illuminate his surroundings, barely. It was dark. Soft groans were in the distance along with faint clinking. New sounds.

It was all new.

He wasn't sure if the dark was safe. Was it always like this? Was it always not hot? Were there monsters?

Too many questions, too much he didn't know.

Shakily, he reached into his pack, pulling out the golden sword.

It had lost its shine months ago while slowly becoming dull. At some point, it would become useless, but it held too much value. A reminder of home.

He held it firmly in his hands, taking slow, quiet, steps forward.

Were there any settlements around? Any place to go?

Would they accept him?

He sighed.

After a few hours of aimlessly walking, the sky began to lighten...

No sky roof? Huh.

With that brought slightly warmer temperatures, somewhat ceasing his shaking.

Distracted, he didn't notice the low hiss from behind, only to be thrown forward back into the white powder.

A tiny squeal slipped between his lips, shocked. It hurt. It seemed like a ghast, whatever that was. Didn't burn as much, or at least in the fire way.

He rolled onto his back, looking back up. To the side sat weird, large mushroom-like plants, except just the stem? Seemed bare.

Could've been normal.

It was a new dimension, that meant new terrain, much of he didn't know.

He stood, groaning at the pain from the blast.

Pain.

Suddenly there was a soft swoosh and a slight crunch.

He turned, facing a tall, somewhat cloaked figure. They wore green, the same color as the ground and... gold hair.

The man knelt in front of him, slowly pushing his hands out, speaking something.

His tone was soft, gentle. He didn't seem intimidating, but maybe that's how creatures here hunted. This thing had wings, something he had seen in only books.

The piglin took a few steps forward, stumbling slightly. He raised his hand and reached for the thin pieces of gold-

Only for it to not be gold.

It felt much like the hair on his head, just a gold color and really shiny.

He frowned, disappointed.

When he brought his hand back there was suddenly a hand wrapped around it.

He jumped, yanking his arm out of the loose grip, falling back into the snow. Then growled, telling this guy to back off.

He seemed to get the idea.

The winged man sighed and reached into his backpack. After a moment he pulled out golden carrots...

Golden carrots were a bit harder to come across, a rare treat at home. They were pretty, shiny, and gold!

It was a surprise when the carrot was set in front of him. He looked up to the man, tilting his head. The other nodded and pointed at it.

He leaned forward, reaching out to the carrot while maintaining eye contact before snatching it.

The shiny vegetable was held between his hands. He took a bite, teeth going through the thin metal easily.

A second later there was another carrot laying in the snow which he stuffed in his pack. Better to save it for later.

Then there was a quiet 'hmmm' from the other before he pointed at himself, "Phil."

What?

The blond must have noticed his confusion, he repeated it, "Phil, that's my name."

"...vil." He mumbled, voice hoarse.

"Phil, ff-ill."

He lifted his hand, pointing at the man, "Phil."

Phil nodded, a smile on his face, "Yes!"

Then 'Phil' pointed at him.

He shook his head. In the bastions, they didn't really have names. Sometimes they were referred to by a certain rank, or not addressed specifically. It was strange, but it was how things worked.

Phil nodded, looking at him for a moment before laying his hand out in front of him, "Well I guess that's something we can figure out. No idea if you uh, understand me... but we can work on that too I guess. It's cold, there's a storm coming. Would be best if we get you out of here, if I'm right, you're not used to the cold."

He grabbed Phil's hand, 'agreeing: to whatever he said.

Phil stood up and carefully pulled him to his feet.

The two began walking, slowly, to the unknown destination. Maybe it was a village or Phil's bastion. Wherever things here resided.

"And we're off..." He heard Phil mumble.