To test their sharpness, to see if they had built up anything underneath. It had so, so many places left to visit. It was time to bring the human and his drake to all of them. They ventured down a dark, wide, winding tunnel. Kunzite still leading the way. Kadin kept up easily enough, flashlight pointed ahead of them. The familiar still kept an eye out for things on the ground, but for the most part it was looking for tunnels. Smaller tunnels, ones off to the side, ones that the human might have trouble fitting in. Those were the tunnels that were less ventured, the ones where less people had gone and more things could be found. Those were the tunnels it wanted them to go down, not that the human and the drake would know it yet. The drake, which Kadin was still carrying. Luckily the thing had calmed down some, likely because it was becoming used to the human. Kunzite hoped that now that Kadin's attention wasn't divided, more would be spent on the drake and less on it. It wanted to continue to focus on finding gems, as was its purpose and the whole point of being down here!
Kadin, for his part, didn't seem to mind following the familiar. He was probably supposed to be leading the way since they were in this strange place and he'd probably have to be able to find his way out of it again. But the whole entire point of having a mining familiar was that it'd help with the mining, right? So he didn't see any point in NOT letting it take the lead this time. Regardless, he was sure they would end up somewhere with stuff to mine eventually. He just had to make sure Kunzite didn't pull ahead of them. And maybe make sure Aodh didn't pitch a fit and make them delay. He looked down at the drake in his arms occasionally, almost surprised at how quiet he was being. Maybe the dark was finally catching up to him. Maybe he was just tired. They didn't have a long break, last time they were here, and Kadin had taken them all right back. It seemed like, while nothing else interesting was happening, Aodh was content enough to catch a nap in his arms while the familiar did whatever it was it wanted to do. Kadin certainly wasn't going to complain.
It was better to have a quiet, content drake than a drake that was causing issues. He had enough of those back at the kennel, he didn't want to deal with one in the mines, too. Gods. After Coyle had earned his dominance, Kek and Lucio had started bothering him. Somehow, one of "his" pets had found where he'd been storing his ribbons of telepathy. He'd been refusing to keep them on his person so it was only a matter of time before one pet or another discovered their hiding place. Once that happened, whoever it was had taken it upon itself to give all the respective owners of the ribbons the human half. Now the would not. Leave. Him. The. Fuck. Alone. Kek had been especially insistent lately. He didn't like Coyle having something over him, Kadin guessed, since he was still refusing the take the ribbon. He'd probably have to take him to the fighting pit just to get him to shut up eventually. He wasn't looking forward to it. He preferred being somewhere like here, to be honest, watching Kunzite and Aodh in the quiet mines. It was more peaceful down here and neither of THEM had ribbons.
Kunzite noticed that Kadin had started to lag behind. It paused, looking back and swirling in agitation, as the human lost himself in his thoughts for a moment. It swelled and shrunk, as if sighing, and went back to the human, swirling around his legs and body before looking him right in the face. He looked surprised. "Right. Sorry." Kunzite swelled some more, just to make sure Kadin had gotten the message, and then floated back down to the ground, going back to leading the way. THERE. He was following at a good pace again. It didn't know what had distracted him and it didn't care, as long as he was on the move. And not too soon at that. It finally found another tunnel, smaller than the one they were walking down now, and immediately went through it. This was was still tall enough for the human to stand in, but it wasn't wide enough for several, which was ok, but not perfect. Plenty of humans had probably been down here already. No matter, they just needed to keep going until they found a better tunnel. But it wouldn't mind searching this one for gems in the meantime, it could still find something.
Kadin continued following Kunzite down the tunnels. It was getting a little boring, to be honest, but the familiar was engaged so it didn't really fucking matter if Kadin was bored or not. Still, he couldn't help his eyes wander. The flashlight kept picking up faint gleaming here and there, but for the most part it just looked like there was some shine to some of the rocks around them. Until, eventually, he saw Kunzite stop in its tracks to swirl protectively around a crack in the wall. Kadin could see from the light of his torch some gleaming gems just before Kunzite fell on them, obviously pleased with himself. The human and the drake wandered over to see what the familiar had, admiring the gems it was protecting. "Good find." Kadin admitted, eyeing the gems curiously. "I take it you'll want to- yep. Hold onto them for now." He didn't even finish his sentence before Kunzite was off, continuing down the tunnel with the gems swirling in its body. Shaking his head, Kadin followed after to see where the familiar would take them next. This tunnel couldn't go on forever, although it was beginning to feel as if it did.
Finally, it seemed, they came to an end to the tunnel. Much to Kunzite's disappointment, it didn't end in smaller tunnels, but rather into a large canyon with stalactites and stalagmites scattered throughout. Kadin couldn't be more pleased, he'd been hoping for just such a space, but Kunzite looked in despair. It wanted deep dark places in the earth no one had been! Not.. this. Whatever this was supposed to be. It sulked around on the ground for a while before moving on to explore, sure there must be something to find down here.
Kadin, meanwhile, put down his sarane. "Alright, little guy. You watched Chiara learn this, kinda, but it's time that you learn it, too. It'll come in handy later." He picked up a stone, eyeing the hatchling with some hesitation. "I won't hurt you, but I will piss you off pretty soon."
With that, Kadin took a step back and gently tossed the rock towards Aodh's tail. With a hiss of surprise, Aodh moved his tail out of the way and went to growl at Kadin, only for the human to interrupt him by giving him a treat. "Good! Good boy, Aodh." Kadin said enthusiastically, probably trying to make up for throwing a rock at the sarane.
They were stopping. Perfect. That was sarcasm. Kunzite was getting really sick of all these stops! It wanted to keep going, but clearly no one shared its passion for gems. Sulking a bit, it started to circle the room to see if it could find anything around the edges. It didn't even have a hatchling to bother it this time, it was only left to wander around and hope that it felt something by chance. Actually, that was pretty good, wasn't it? It didn't have to baby sit!
"This'll probably get worse before it gets better." Kadin mused. The hatchling was utterly baffled why he'd thrown a rock at it and THEN gave it a treat. Trying not to think too much about it, Kadin tossed another rock at the drake's tail. With another hiss of surprise, Aodh moved it out of the way and growling at Kadin. "Good job!" Kadin encouraged before he could get too pissed off at him. "Good Aodh, here you go." And he got another treat.
Humans were so WEIRD.
Kadin tossed another rock at the hatchling's tail. It moved it out of the way, even though the rock didn't really come close to it.
Plus Kunzite also got to watch Kadin throw rocks at a hatchling again. There was something about the simple joys in life. It kept half an eye on what Kadin and the hatchling were doing while it continued on its search for gems. It found out very quickly that while this room was large and very much a cavern, it had many little out coves here and there that made it seem as if it were made up of many smaller rooms at the same time.
It was the principal of the thing. Aodh accepted his treat, despite being terribly confused about why he was getting it. Kadin gave him more praise and all that, but then he kept throwing rocks at him. Kadin kept throwing rocks at his tail until he was moving out of the way every time, almost before Kadin even threw it. He was still hissing and pretty pissed off about the treatment, but he wasn't getting hit and that was... fine. Kadin also kept giving him treats every time he moved, so that was good incentive too. Still, he wasn't pleased about the treatment! Not at all! Even though the treats were pretty tasty and all he had to do was move his tail to get them.
This was fascinating! Kunzite wondered if the rooms were caused because of humans digging or if they were natural. He explored the first one he came across in detail, looking all over to see if he could see what made it up. There weren't any gems immediately obvious, but it was certain there were some pick marks here and there. That was disappointing, to say the least, but it could contain its disappointment enough to continue exploring. It had gems to find.
Once Aodh had moving his tail out of the way down, Kadin moved on to the next part. This time he aimed at his wings. He was planning to go from the easiest to dodge with to the most difficult to dodge with. His tail, Aodh could just move out of the way. His wings were the same story, he just needed to flatten them or flutter them apart or to the side. Kadin started out with aiming just above his wings. He didn't want to hit him, after all. Every time Aodh moved out of the way, Kadin gave him praise and a treat. If he didn't move, Kadin didn't do anything. He only focused on the positive.
It moved on to the next room and searched that one, too. It was right next to the other one, practically overlapping it. There were more pointed rocks blocking its view in this one, less worn down by time or mining. This room didn't seem to have any marks. It suspected that this one was natural and maybe the natural wear had exposed a vein of something that humans had taken advantage of. It was disappointed! IT wanted to be the one to discover gems here, but a human already had.
As Aodh got used to the rocks being aimed at his wings, Kadin started throwing to actually hit his wings. He didn't want to hit Aodh, but he didn't want him to get too used to it, either. Once the drake was successfully dodging everything aimed at his wings, he could move on to the next part.
Next, He started aiming at Aodh's front legs next. He'd followed a similar formula with Chiara, too. Easy first, then up the difficulty. At first, he only threw the rocks so that they'd bounce in front of Aodh. Aodh hissed and sputtered, startled, but he got out of the way. Every time Aodh moved out of the way, Kadin gave him praise and a treat.
Still, perhaps there was something they overlooked. They were no familiar! It avoided the part of the room that had obviously been picked over already and instead focused on the other parts. It especially paid attention to the rocks sticking out from the floor. Perhaps mineral build up would have caused something interesting to happen there. There was no way to know but to look for it and there was little else that would bring it pleasure but to search.
Once Aodh seemed to be on the look out for dodging the rocks aimed at his feet, Kadin started throwing to actually hit his feet. Now that Aodh was aware of how he had to move, it was safe to actually aim for him with less danger of actually hitting him. Once Aodh could successfully dodge those rocks, too, they could move on to the next part. Kadin didn't want to push him before he was ready. He was only a little drake, after all. Aodh still didn't look happy with the exercise at all, but he was learning and getting treats out of it.
Once Aodh had mastered dodging with his front feet, Kadin moved on to his back feet.
It explored high and low, not having much luck. Until, finally, it came across a small puddle of water right in the middle of the small alcove. Now THIS was interesting! The spikes all over were formed from water dripping. It seemed as if a lot of it fell down here. It explored the water, poking around here and there, curious how deep it went. If it was just from droplets, it couldn't be too far, wouldn't you think? But as it poked its head into the water, it couldn't see the bottom.
This one was a little more tricky. His front feet were easy since he could stand up or just take a step back. His back feet were closer to the center of his body, so he had to move more of his body in order to dodge. The first time Kadin threw a rock towards him, he jumped straight up in the air and hissed like a cat splashed with water. Kadin laughed and gave him a lot of treats for that one. It was a good move, even if he looked so damned pissed off to do it. Kadin kept tossing the rocks at his feet, watching carefully as he moved them out of the way.
Hmm. Probably shouldn't make the human step on that. ... Probably still wanted to. Kunzite idly looked over to see what the human and the drake were working on. Still boring rock stuff. It didn't even get the appeal of all those rocks. They were junk! Not even worth picking up and taking home. But Kadin kept going after them and... throwing them at the drake. Yeah. That was still amusing. But not as interesting as looking for gems. Kunzite refocused on the water, certain that it would be able to find something if it just looked hard enough.
Like the other times, he didn't aim to hit him at first. But as Aodh got more comfortable with the movement, he started aiming more and more for his feet. And then even his body. Aodh took it all with stride, which was pleasing, even if he was pissed about it the whole time. Now would probably be time for the next part.
Once Kadin was satisfied Aodh could dodge without getting hit on his hind in, he started throwing rocks randomly at all parts of his body. With an indignant yelp, Aodh started dodging them. Kadin was only throwing them slowly so he could get used to seeing what direction the rocks were coming in.
The water was likely too deep for it to swim. It had a hard time in the water. It was easy to travel through the air, its body was made for it. But the water was almost like a living thing, solid and unforgiving for its ethereal flesh. It poked its head in a few more times, trying to stretch down as far as it could go, but it was no use. It couldn't see the bottom and the treasures likely hiding there. Resigned, it moved on to looking somewhere else.
Once again, he didn't want to actually hit the hatchling. And he kept giving him treats and praise every time he was successful. But he really needed him getting used to not knowing where the rocks were coming from. If he could dodge them from all directions, he'd have much better success at avoiding getting hurt when he actually had to fight. Kadin kept this up until Aodh was dodge all of the rocks he threw at him. He even started throwing them faster and harder. But he worked him up so slowly that the most Aodh got was just a graze on a leg or a wing while he moved away.