The mallet wasn't exactly more precise, but Nadia thought that knocking the rock around the gems away would help to get at them easier. So, she went at it, chipping away at the exposed stone bit by bit. Phew. The tunnel felt awfully warm, despite being dark and somewhat of a distance under the surface. Or was that just because she was unfit?
Alex's tail quivered as he switched between watching the woman's process and snooping around in the rubble. Anything of interest? Hmm, no... the rocks didn't taste very nice, and weren't fun to slither between. Though, was that...? He hissed, nosing a pebble out of the way, to expose a handful of coloured gems.
"Are you alright...? Oh!" Nadia smiled as she stooped down to investigate. How pretty! She relinquished one to him as a reward. "I should have missed these without you, Alex. Thank you for the assistance."
The smaller gems were slotted away into her pack before Nadia went back to the wall. Now the stone was clearing, she could see the glimmer of something else - a green hue, if she wasn't mistaken. She was good at finding that particular colour, for some reason! Not that it bothered her, with her love of natural, earthy tones.
"I think this looks like jade," She mused. The majority of the surface of the gem was revealed within a short period of time, so it was more appropriate to switch to her chisel to cut it out. Hopefully the surrounding mineral wouldn't be too tough. "It matches your pretty shade, Alex."
Alex cared little for that. He was still enjoying the stone he'd gotten as a reward, and was all but ignoring the woman in the process. At least it wasn't out of malice. That would be a hurdle to jump!
The work was a bit awkward due to the angle. Next time, Nadia thought that she would bring along a bigger light source; trying to angle the beam of the flashlight while chiselling out a gem was a challenge. Still, persistence paid off, and soon enough the jade was loose enough to be dislodged from the wall.
How lovely! It wasn't immaculate, but the colour was beautiful, and she was delighted with her find. Alex stared up at her with a hopeful little hiss - she smiled down at him sympathetically.
"Not this time, friend, but perhaps next time," She told him, and reached a hand down to pat him on the head. The sensation was so strange, compared to the other companions she had. "Let's move on. Plenty still to see."
Her initial spat of luck had given her confidence. As they moved off along the tunnel, she hummed to herself.