Haix had never been fishing before. At least, not in the way that the soft-skins did when they had described the act, the rod and the wheel mounted on it fairly new to her. The tool was new to her, but the books she had pored over while looking for information on the city’s aquatic life had suggested it was ancient to the soft-skins. Another book claiming to be exclusively about the act of fishing had explained how to use the rod, warning of how the line could snap, informing the reader how to prevent it by letting the fish tire itself out rather than fighting to pull it in, even suggesting different bait and lures for attracting specific fish.
With the new knowledge in mind, and the new equipment on her back, she had set out with the houluh Tin to the river for both of them to learn something about fishing. ((Fishing-Start)) 1
The style she intended to teach to Tin was an extremely simplified version that she had known before. The houluh could not use any of the tools she carried any more than she could fly.
But first, she looked for the best possible spot for fishing for the both of them. They walked along the river that fed the docks for a little while, but there were far too many soft-skins cluttering it for her tastes. That combined with the depth of the water and the random hooks drifting through it promised to create more than a few problems for Tin. The houluh would likely end up catching nothing but hooks in her body and mouth, forcing Haix to waste time cutting them out of her and dealing with huffing soft-skins.
So they walked, Tin sometimes shying away from the reeds and splashes coming from the river, Haix making the effort to walk as close to them as possible and calling the houluh to stay by her side. 2
They passed more than a few runoffs, but most were dry patches of differently colored dirt, their mouths too high for the river to reach. Patches of vegetation sprung up on some of them, the plants still small and suggesting that the water had not flowed that way for less than a year. She wondered how long it would take until it flooded the paths again.
Of the ones that had water running to them, most contained but a trickle, browning plants on either side of the path that had the trickle at its center. These interested the houluh the most, and Haix stopped to let the creature sniff around them, wondering what manner of creatures in the soft-skin hive made this river their home. Considering she had never heard tales of wild pliathor terrorizing the docks or swarms of sharp toothed fish chewing soft-skins and their beasts down to the bone, she doubted any of them would be that interesting. 3
That was bad for her wish to hunt, but good for fishing. The houluh at least would benefit from not being drowned by some unseen beast posing as weeds when Tin was sent out to help fish.
A few deeper channels were found, but she could hear the voices of those who claimed them further down their streams, and those were ignored, Haix and the houluh trudging back to the river. Then, after failing many times to find a fishing spot both unoccupied by soft-skin fisherman and useful for both styled of fishing to be done that day, they found a shallow stream branching off from the rest.
The depth was slight, only deep enough in the very middle to allow the houluh to swim and yet still shallow enough there that she could simply walk if her head was held high. It was wide as well, the depth in the middle gradually tapering away to a depth at the banks that barely covered the houluh’s paws. 4
At least, she believed the comparison was an apt on, the houluh keeping her paws dry as the pair walked along the shore. The steam continued on for a small distance, curving and twisting along its short length until they reached a spot that widened further in an asymmetrical shape. The supplies were laid out on the shore, the buckets in which she hoped to place more than a few captured fish readied and taken to the edge of the water. She called Tin over as she knelt by the water, scooping up water into the buckets and lugging them over to the rest of the supplies.
The houluh followed Haix as she did so, Tin wagging her tail slowly as the houluh tried to figure out what was going on that day, They had not run or swam yet as they had done in the days previous, and this new area was nothing like the grassy lawns of the park. ((Tin-16.0)) 5
Haix looked over the assorted supplies, the pretty lures that hid wicked hooks, the bait ranging from squirming worms to long dead fish, the weights, the boots and the bobbers, all the fancy things she had traded a creature for, and reached for the long necked net. Better that she start with something simpler, something that she would not waste as she tried to get a feeling for the things that dwelled her. And something that would not harm Tin during the training.
To start, she looked down at the completely dry houluh, noting how Tin stopped short of the shallow water as they reached it, even as she stepped into it herself. Haix made her way to the deepest part of the pond, tapping the end of the handle against the ground to find it hard stone, staring down at the clear water as she tried to make out if there was even a single fish currently swimming in it. Failing to find one, she called to Tin, ordering the houluh to swim. 6
The houluh hopped her way over to Haix, each little jump as if she expected she could avoid getting wet if only she jumped to the right spot and did not hold still long enough for the water to get her. The trail of splashes she made amused Haix, then brought a new thought to her mind as the houluh paddled closer.
She bent her legs in the water, back curling forwards as she ran her hands over her legs and tail, feeling for anything that might be less scaly and more a bloated tube of flesh. Feeling nothing out of the ordinary and seeing nothing either as she craned her head for a better look, she turned her attention back to the paddling houluh. After running her hands over the smaller creatures body, lifting Tin up at one point for a better look before dropping her with a splash back into the water, Haix was satisfied. 7
The bed of the stream in the shallow portions had been covered in thousands of rocks, no clouding patches of mud swirling into the water when she or the houluh had made their way through it, and the movement of the stream in the middle would hopefully drag any leeches far from the fishing spot. The creatures she remembered from her old home were vicious and tenacious little things, at least they were little until they had been attached for a while, and she half-expected to discover the city had a variant that could drain the blood from a body within a beat of the heart. Not finding any such parasite attached to either of them was a good sign.
Oblivious to such things, the houluh paddled in the water beside Haix, occasionally dipping her back end even lower in the water to stand and brace against the slight current. Then, after a pat from Haix, the pair left the deep portion of the water. 8
Haix waded out of the center of the stream until she returned to the much shallower water of the sides, and began poking around at the ground for any patches of mud. Said soft patches could contain the leeches or any number of other creatures hiding within them, but the pebbles she shifted to the side were often just above more pebbles and stones of various sizes. A few green plants pokes up from underneath them, but she was forced to set aside the net on the shore to move the rocks with her hands to find their soil.
Tin did not linger in the water. The moment Haix had moved from the center, calling the houluh with her, the houluh had swam and then walked back to the shore, shaking off as much water as she could. Tin then watched Haix from the dry earth, tilting her head to the side as she did. 9
Her curiosity at how deep the stones were stacks was forgotten upon looking back to the houluh, Tin making no effort to hop into the water and investigate. Haix had hoped to let the runt sniff around the pool and chase things on her own, with the command word being thrown in after the houluh had shown interest in the action. But she instead was being watched by Tin from the shore, the runt not even bothering to hop into the water to see what Haix was doing beneath its surface. It seemed as though the houluh had no interest in fishing on her own.
With that in mind, Haix walked out of the water to the sack, snagging her net along the way. From the supplies she selected a pouch of treats and a few small hide balls free of hair. She had taught the houluh to hunt successfully, so fishing would likely be more of the same. 10 ((Tin-17.0))
Tin’s interest in the stream on its own had been negligible, the houluh instead choosing to sniff along the edges as Haix had returned to the supplies. She followed a few of the scents she found there, most disappearing into the water and her nose being unable to pick up the smallest trace as she sniffed the air above it. When she pressed her nose closer to the water in hopes of catching the scent, all she had gotten was a nose-ful of water that made her sneeze and snort. Haix glanced up from the supplies to see what had happened, seeing the houluh stagger back from the edge of the water. She left the supplies to look Tin over, the houluh thanking her with a wag and dropping into an invitation to play, but Haix ignored her and went back to finish the prep work.
A little lonely, Tin followed another scent, this one leading to a foul smelling plant that made her sneeze more than the water had. 11
The hide balls were fragile things that would not stand up to the movement of that water and would have been useless to use as bait to catch fish. Each had a flap on the back that would wiggle about enticingly, something that Haix would only hope would prove to both mimic that of real fish and convince Tin to go after it. A bucket was dumped out, the water surging to rejoin the pond, and the hide balls and pouch of treats dropped into it.
She made her way back to the water near Tin’s first sneezing fit, the one that she had briefly though heralded the arrival of the expected leeches. Crouching, she called to get the houluh’s attention, pulling a treat out of the bucket to wave around in the air, the other hand holding the net like a staff. She did not expect to see any fish in the pond yet, not after her check had failed to find anything livelier than weeds, but it would prove useful if something came to interrupt the training. 12
The houluh eagerly rushed back to Haix, once again stopping just short of the water. The net was not spared a second look by the runt as the treat caught her attention, and she yipped excitedly as Haix brought it lower. Tin rushed in with a splash as the treat dropped easily within reach of her mouth, then watched as it dipped below the water. She lowered her head to snap up the treat, but recoiled the instant her snout touched the water. She gave herself a shake, then tried a second time, this time flinching back with a yip.
She hopped around the treat, alternately ducking in to try to get it only to be repulsed by the water and barking at it. Haix would only repeat the new command and lifted it closer to the surface after a series of failures. Finally, when the tension of the water above the treat was about to break from it being lifted higher, Tin snapped up the treat. 13
After the praise and pats, the houluh retreated to the edge of the water again. Another treat was produced, this one held at roughly the same depth as the first had been when Tin had nabbed it, and the command was made. It only took the houluh two lunges this time before she got the treat. A glance around the pond as she gave the houluh a few pats revealed nothing beyond the moving water, so Haix returned her attention to the houluh.
The next treat was gotten instantly after the order was given, Tin apparently having figured out that the treat was close enough to the surface to simply plunge her snout in and grab it. The houluh still darted back to the shore after each treat and pat, but, when it came to fishing, it did not matter if she stayed in the water after nabbing the fish. It might even be a better idea not to linger and risk whatever predators hid within it. 14
Zenjesi: Hey Silv - how do you pronounce Kodakai?
Nov 17, 2023 18:23:56 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Not to mention the baby mosca with wolf skin from Elvye and the sparkling owl of Xentus. <3
Nov 14, 2023 10:27:52 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like the Donnor one not just with looks FF, but the description, funny as heck.
Nov 14, 2023 10:26:27 GMT -6
Zenjesi: yours both made me laugh, FF! They're very expressive
Nov 13, 2023 21:57:46 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Woooow Twilight, I love that witch drawing!!! :0 It's so pretty! And Zenjesi I think Spectral is my favorite out of yours lol. Just looks happy to be included. and silver now i wanna know which pets youd pick for the other legendary beasts. XD
Nov 13, 2023 21:37:45 GMT -6
Silver: Ah I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it! I love everyone's drawings they're all so cute. ;o;
Nov 13, 2023 17:31:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like that one as well yeah, loved the old nootnoot image from quest prizes, so that one went perfectly with that particular costume being based around it. X3
Nov 13, 2023 15:23:13 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: The jewelry on tail or at the head definitely tends to be their most recognizable feature for a Mosca, and sadly their pharaoh chin piece as well. XD
Nov 13, 2023 15:21:07 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Your peanut costume is hilarious and adorable too!
Nov 13, 2023 15:14:29 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Yes you're correct! I guess I did a decent enough job with the drawing!
Nov 13, 2023 15:05:27 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: It still looks good on Synkka. She is a shaman Mosca I'm guessing? Its mostly the tail that makes me think of it.
Nov 13, 2023 15:00:42 GMT -6
Zenjesi: I definitely like Spectral's the most too! I sort of cheated by drawing Synkka with a cloak because I do not know how to draw feathered wings, haha ^^'
Nov 13, 2023 13:45:15 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Which one do you like the most out of the three you made?
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:48 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that compliment! Though I know with the water it doesn't look entirely great, I love the latter one I made the most.
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:30 GMT -6