Prideful joy struck Sevyrn as she finally managed to pry that water crystal free from the rock around it and put it in to the gem pocket of her backpack along with the other two shinies that she had already found. That was going to look really good in her collection!
"Man I am so glad that I have you around, little guy. Whatcha think, can you sense out anywhere else that might be good? You did a great job last time." Hemi didn't understand a single word that was coming out of the human's mouth, but the wyrm did have instincts that lead him to where interesting finds might be... or towards his brethren. Who knew what all Hemi could possibly lead his girl to?
Confident in Hemi's abilities, Sevyrn followed the wyrm through the tunnel even as it started to thin, pushing her deeper than she had probably ever been before.
Being this deep in to the tunnels was anxiety inducing, especially considering Sevyrn only thought she probably knew how to get back to the main entrance. So far the pair hadn't branched off in to any side paths, but inevitably they were going to reach the point where Hemi would want to split off the main path. After all - how many people had been in these tunnels before? The main routes were mostly picked clean already, and she had simply gotten lucky that they had found a good spot so early on in the path.
As was her luck, just as she thought about the risk of splitting off from the main path, Hemi stopped in his tracks. His head swivelled to look down a much more cramped, stalactite covered tunnel. Please don't go down there, she prayed. Hemi didn't seem to know that Sevyrn was praying for him to stop looking over there and just bring her to a nice spot along the main path, because the wyrm insisted on making his way down the tunnel in quite a rush.
Rocks, rocks... so many rocks. "Who needs this many rocks, eh Hemi?" Sevyrn joked as she pushed more rubble out of the way. "I really hope that you've caught on to something new, I can't say I'm having fun being cramped like this."
Unsurprisingly, Hemi actually had caught on to something. The soft thrull of moving water came on slowly and grew closer and closer with every step that Sevyrn took down the dark, cramped tunnel and eventually she caught sight of something that she loved - an open cave awaited her. Hemi may not have hesitated but Sevyrn played on the safer side, standing at the opening to peer around and see if anything - or any creature - awaited her in there. The last thing that she wanted to do was piss off a sleeping mine-sweller and get hurt in the process.
The place seemed to be clear of any danger, though - and it seemed like a great place to make a stop.
It was time to settle in and get back to work. First thing first Sevyrn wanted to get that backpack off and give her back a stretch, then she needed a drink and a quick snack and she could get back to work with the soft gurgle of the underground river soothing her from the background. There seemed to be glowing fungus on the other side of the river faintly illuminating another tunnel system and maybe in another life she would have trusted the water and gone to check it out, but that wasn't this life and she was not going to be doing that. Hemi seemed pretty happy in this little cave, anyways.
"Alright, back to work bud. Got any idea what spot might get us some goodies, Hemi?" Perhaps she should teach the wyrm to search on command at some point? That would be an adventure for another day, though. She trusted the wyrm to follow its instincts and guide her in the right direction.
It would surely be a long afternoon but Sevyrn was okay with that - she'd come here with an intention and she was going to walk out of here with what she wanted even if it meant she spent the rest of the day here. Alright... first she needed to re-unpack the tools and... had she left her tweezers behind in the last cave they had stopped in? Panic settled in as she started to scramble through her bag, pushing things around and pulling things out until the moment that she saw what she was looking for and got pissed at herself for getting so worked up about it.
Note to self - get a proper carrying case for the brush and tweezer set. Maybe some bright orange ribbon to wrap around each small piece. That might help - maybe.
With everything now set up and the bout of panic behind her, it was time to get back to work. As the first swing of her pickaxe hit the wall, Hemi was still scouring the room. His little body moved quick, never seeming to be quite sure just where he wanted to be.
She spent probably fifteen minutes chopping at the cave wall with her pickaxe before her arms started to get tired, and she wondered how people could possibly do this for their entire living. She imagined that more industrialized processes were at play for people like that, though. Better tools, less energy-zapping equipment. In the span of fifteen minutes she had made quite the dent on the wall, though, and there was plenty of large chunks of stone and even more of the wall left open to her now and she could go through it more in-depth in hopes of finding something else to throw in to her backpack.
Interested in the human's chaos, Hemi had slithered over to his girl and started poking his head through the mess that laid on the ground. As much as he tended to mind his own, he also seemed to know when there was business to be done. She hoped that maybe his interest would mean that she had hit as good of a find as she had in the last location that they had stopped in.
It was easy enough, hammering down larger rocks. It was her chiselwork that really needed some more experience, though. Every time that she held the chisel in hand she was afraid that she was going to miss it entirely when she brought the hammer over to tap it. Sure, she wasn't putting a lot of strength in to the taps - didn't want to break a potential hidden shiny, after all - but the fear was there. Hammer slips? Hand gets screwed at least for the day. Chisel slips? She imagined that she could do quite the damage to her own hand or thigh if it slipped with enough force right in to her skin. The tip of her pickaxe straight to her shin....
It was a bad habit, always preparing for the worst. The mines weren't the kind of place where one would want to be naive, though. If she were to end up one-handed or injured in here, she could have quite the problem trying to get back out. Because of that, Sevyrn was always incredibly careful as she did her work. Hemi made the job a little bit easier for her, too - he had a habit of picking up rocks that he didn't like in his mouth and then tossing them away from the rest of the debris so that he could get at whatever he was really looking for.
Sevyrn didn't notice the little shimmer of red poking out from within the rubble at first. No, she was still too busy cleaning up and looking through what was left. That was okay, though - the carnelian wouldn't be going anywhere. While Sevyrn might not have noticed it yet, Hemi had and he definitely would not let it be going anywhere other than straight home with him and Sevyrn.
By the time that she had decided that she wanted a water break, Sevyrn still had not found the pretty little gem. Hemi was not happy with that at all - as she sat down he started to slither around and bug her with all his might. It was... rather strange to the young woman, actually.
"Buddy, I just want a drink. What's going on?" When Hemi picked through the rock rubble and brought the little red gem over to Sevyrn in his mouth she realized what she had missed.
"You're so good at this, Hem," Sevyrn praised as she tried to take the carnelian out of his mouth. Hemi was reluctant to let go of it, however. As soon as her fingers approached his face he lurched back, striking a defensive posture and for the sake of her own fingers Sevyrn had to relent. The last thing she needed was to lose a digit right now, after all.
Aiming to come off as less aggressive, Sevyrn then placed her hand palm up and open close to the ground, below Hemi's face. "Why don't you give me that, buddy? It still needs to be cleaned up a bit, and then I can let you guard it until we leave as long as you promise not to lose it."
That wyrm still just did not want to let it go... maybe he would feel more giving in a couple minute's time. Sev needed to finish up her drink anyways.
Eventually Sevyrn was able to finally coax the gem away from the hematite wyrm, and luckily that happened before she had gotten back to work on mining. She was able to stay sitting - rather uncomfortably and on rather hard ground - as she took her tools to the carnelian and gave it a quick clean up, prying bits of rock for it and then brushing the stone dust off of it. When she was done with it and ready to hand it back to Hemi just like she had promised, the wyrm was already busy with other things.
He seemed to be pretty interested in another spot, now. Closer to where the cave's river entered the open stone room, the wyrm investigated - reared to stretch his body high up, like he was interested in something about Sevyrn's waist level. After popping the gem in to her bag with the rest of her finds, Sev hauled her pickaxe over her shoulder and walked towards the new spot. "What is it, Hem?" She asked.
Whatever the wyrm was so interested in, it was time for Sevyrn to get back to work. She had already done well today, but there was still time for more to be done... and more room for rewards in her backpack. The day wasn't done with until she had a full haul to come home with.
Mining was fairly routine, though. Chip through stone until you found something interesting, clean it off, repeat. Luckily there was the gentle ambiance of the cave's slow river to break the monotony, a peaceful background noise that Sevyrn found rather calming.
After she got comfortable and sure that she was ready to start, she brought her pickaxe down against the stone - and then again, and then again. Pick, check the rubble, take any shinies that might be in there, repeat. Even if it could get boring at times, there was no better way to spend a day that she had nothing else to do.
Once done with the heavy work, picking stone free from the wall, it was time for something a little less muscle intensive. In the dim light and with all the stone and dust, it was hard to see if anything had been found either in the wall or now on the ground. That was something that Hemi came in handy for - the boy had a nose for the shinier. Sevyrn was kind of concerned with how disinterest the wyrm seemed to be, though. He'd been interested in this spot earlier, but now he couldn't seem to care about it at all.
"Whatcha think, buddy?" She asked as he snubbed his nose to the rubble. "Maybe somewhere else, then? We can move after i check this out a bit more, okay?" After that it was time to start sifting through the remnants of the stone wall in hopes of locating something nice.