It circled around more of the spikes. There really were a lot of them. It especially studied their bases to see if they had been formed on top of anything interesting. There wasn't much of not, however. There must have been a reason why whoever was here before had ignored them in favor of the other alcove that they had finally built. It was time to move on from this part and look somewhere else. It was becoming very clear that it would find nothing here.
Kadin was sure to check him over every time he had a near miss and he kept praising him every time he was successful. Once he was absolutely certain Aodh could dodge any rock he saw coming, it was time for the next part.
Kadin walked away. Aodh, confused, and not knowing what else to do, followed after him. Kadin went over to Kunzite to see what the familiar was up to. But really, he was watching Aodh. Once Aodh was distracted, he gently tossed a rock towards him. The hatchling yelped when he head it clatter to the ground near him, jumping out of the way, training kicking in. He was getting better at this!
Instead, it moved more towards the center of the room. Now that it was looking, it seemed like the room dipped in the further it went. It was curious about that, how the floor seemed to go down and down and down. It wasn't a sharp enough incline to really be obvious unless you looked for it.
He hissed in distress and anger at the direction it had come in, which was Kadin, but Kadin acted like he didn't know what happened. Still, he gave him a treat for avoiding the rock. "Good job! You didn't even see that one coming." After that, he kept waiting for Aodh to become distracted and then he'd tossed another rock at him. Just like before, he started out not aiming to hit. He just wanted Aodh to get used to moving out of the way. At first, Aodh would only move after he heard the rock hit the ground. But, over time, he started to almost sense the rocks coming and what direction they were coming from, just like before. Kadin continued to praise him and give him treats for every rock dodged. Only when he was successfully dodging rocks that were actually aimed at him would he call this training complete.
Or unless you dropped something, probably. Maybe someone had dropped something down it? It was probably worth checking it out and so it did, going further into the center of the room. Kunzite could practically sense when it finally made it to the center. There was just something about the feeling of it, the slope, and maybe a big hint was another puddle of water that it found. It couldn't help but wonder if there had been more water before.
Once Kadin was satisfied with the drake's ability to dodge rocks, it was probably time for him to teach it something more lethal. He wanted to make sure that it could defend itself, especially since, if it was like any of the other drakes he was working with, it would want to be able to fight in the pit. With a sigh, Kadin longed for the days of being able to just play with baby dragons and not teach them how to kill another beast. He walked over to Aodh and scratched him under the chin. How was he going to teach this one?
Kadin dug around in his bags and eventually found what he was looking for. An old leather jacket, just a simple brown one.
There were mineral deposits on the side of the bank that might hint to something like that. It examined those first and foremost, wanting to be sure there weren't any gems hiding underneath. But there were only spikes here and there, gleaming micha in the rocks themselves, and nothing for it to add to its shadows. That was disappointed, no doubt, but there was more to this venture at this point than just gems. It felts as if it might be on the verge of discovering something.
He'd found it in the kennels and one point and figured that it'd come in handy eventually. Like right now. He held it up to Aodh and let him examine it. At first, the little drake just eyed it as if it was going to be thrown at him next. Then, he got more curious. He chews on the sleeves a bit and, liking the taste, started to claw at jacket, only to startle when Kadin said, "Good! Good Rend, Aodh! Good Rend!"
And the human gave him a treat. Weird. Aodh eyed Kadin for a moment, worried he'd grown another head. But there wasn't much noise from the human after that, so Aodh went back to examining the jacket.
So it kept going, circling the new water it had found. This one didn't look deep, either, but looked could be deceiving. It examined the pool, poking at the water it saw, and going into the shallows carefully. It needed to be on the look out for sudden drop offs. Those could spell death if it couldn't get out in time. It loved the mines and wanted to keep exploring forever so it could not die here, not when it still had a purpose.
He bit one of the sleeves and growled, tugging at it hard. That didn't produce any results. Instead, he lifted himself up onto his hind paws and started tearing at it with his claws next. "Good! Rend, Aodh."
Kadin praised him again and gave him more treats, which Aodh accepted, still puzzled. But Kadin, once again, didn't do anything when he just stared at him. After a while of just sitting there, waiting for more treats to appear, Aodh got bored and lifted his clawed to rake right down the jacket. "Rend! Rend Aodh!"
Aodh tore his claws down to the bottom and Kadin gave him MORE treats. Huh. This wasn't such a bad deal. It could do this.
So it used caution while exploring the water. The water that did not move, but for the slight ripples it caused on the surface. It could almost swear that it could see gems gleaming on the bottom the deeper it went, but it knew better than most that micah could trick anyone who didn't know better. The gleaming could just be stones streaked through with the reflective substances, as were the mineral deposits and the waters closer to the shore.
If only his claws weren't so weak that he only left a tiny scratch.Experimentally, he bit at the jacket, growling and tugging on it. Nothing. Then, he picked up his claws and did the same thing again, trying to tear into it. "Rend, Aodh! Good Rend!"
Kadin said enthusiastically, giving him treats again. Aodh had a feeling he was on to something. He raked his claws down the jacket again. "Rend! Good Rend, Aodh!"
Kadin said yet again, giving him treats. This time, Kadin didn't wait for him to claw the jacket himself, but instead said right then and there, "Rend, Aodh!"
Aodh was way ahead of him. He tore his claws into the jacket, growing viciously. He could do this!
It went further and further, but at a certain point it was worried about being able to make it back. That was when it found it. Another drop off that looked just as deep as the puddle it found before. It swirled around it, sticking its head into the depths, but fear of becoming submerged kept it from exploring this one as much as it had the last. This was dangerous and it would not kill itself just exploring some water. Water wasn't even gems!
One good thing about this? Working his claws on the leather was sure helping to sharpen them! He tore through it more this time, much to his own please. Kadin praised him a LOT that time and gave him ever MORE treats, which he was super pleased with himself about.
"Rend, Aodh!" Kadin side again, still holding the mostly intact jacket up to him. This time, Aodh was determined. He clawed viciously at the jacket, snarling something fierce, and kept to it until the only thing left of it was the shoulders that Kadin was holding on to. "Good! Good Rend, Aodh, great job!" Kadin gave him even more treats, seemingly very pleased about his progress, as he should be.
Swirling in displeasure, Kunzite slowly left the water. It didn't want to keep searching in there, not when it would be tempted to do something dangerous. It wasn't worth it. Instead, it decided that it was time to check in on the human and the small drake. Surely they had to be doing something interesting. It wandered over to them, curious about what they might be up to, but also trying to make it seem as if it was just looking for gems in the area and wasn't checking in with them.
Aodh was GREAT at this tearing stuff apart business!
Kadin decided that he could use one more final test. He put away the torn up jacket and walked over to one of the stalagmites coming up off the ground. Pointing at it, he said, "Aodh, Rend!"
Hoping the drake would get the memo.
Aodh tilted his head. A rock was a lot different than a leather jacket, even if it was a pointy rock. But by now he knew what that word meant! And he LOVED tearing up stuff! With a tiny roar, the sarane came over to rake his claws down the stone. Growling and grunting with effort, he put his back into it until he was able to put some pretty impressive rends in the stone, especially for a little guy! Not bad.
"I think it's time for a break." Kadin said with a shake of his head, smiling at Aodh and Kunzite, once he noticed it lurking nearby. He and the drake had done a lot of work and he made sure that Aodh got plenty of chin scratches and treats for his great work. The little guy was growing up so fast, pretty soon he'd be an absolute force to be reckoned with and probably try to eat Kadin in the process. While he still could, he scooped the drake up in his arms, grinning at its indignant squawk, and walked over to his familiar.
"Anything you wanna show me?" He asked, looking down at Kunzite. He was a bit surprised the familiar wasn't presenting him with gems or something, but he wasn't too worried about it. He was sure that there was plenty to still find around here and Kunzite was the one to do it. The familiar seemed to look up at him with its swirling, bright eyes, before it expanded and shrunk in what Kadin was coming to recognize as its shrug. It turned around to go back the way it had come from, leading him further into the cavern.
The first thing they came to was what looked like a lake, but was probably more of a pond. Kadin whistled at the view, wondering how far and how deep it was. He carefully tested the water with one foot, relieved that it was shallow at the edge. Still, he wasn't dressed to take an accidental swim if his luck was bad. And he didn't want to leave Aodh alone on the shore while he explored. So he turned to the familiar and asked, "Is there anything around here? The water is cool, but I'm not dressed to explore it that much."
Kunzite just stayed there on the edge of the water, seeming to look out over it. Kadin couldn't get a read on its thoughts, but it must have been having a lot of them because it was a while before it moved. It hovered further over into the cave, into an alcove that Kadin hadn't seen before. There were a lot of mites and cites around here, pointing this way and that, and meeting in some places. Kadin sure didn't want to be the unlucky person to fall on any of them, knowing that that would not be an end he'd wish on anyone.
Kadin had left for a little while, but pretty soon he was back with his familiar and another pet. Kunzite had been pretty disgruntled to leave in the first place but it couldn't be helped. His drake had outgrown the need to be shown around in the mines and Kadin wasn't going to stand around down there just watching the familiar wade around in the water. Now that they were back, it should be easy enough for them to get started and find the same place where they had been before. But, as always, there’s more troubles to take care of. For one, the new pup that Kadin had with him did not know its name so he would have to spend some time working on that with it.
They were finally back. Kunzite wasn't sure what they reason was that they left in the first place, but regardless, it wasn't pleased about it. It had not wanted to go, but the human had seemed determined to go elsewhere once he was done messing around with the small drake. The drake whom, as Kunzite would understand it, was no longer small. Not that it was any of its concern.
Kunzite would most likely be upset about that, but sometimes you just have to deals with stuff like that when you came with the human to the mines. Kadin carried the pup into the mines since it seem to be kind afraid of the darkness. Who knows why? It’s not like he was bringing a celestial puppy into the pitch black mines. Regardless, Lux calmed down once it seem to see that there wasn’t anything dangerous down there.
He really should have brought a leash. But it wasn't like there were many places a pup could wander to in a long tunnel like this one so Kadin tried not to worry about it. Plus, Lux would probably follow the light, right? Er. Hopefully.
Regardless, they were back, and it was time to gather more gems. It moved around the entrance to the minds, impatient with the human for them to begin already, but he was taking his time with a small creature in his arms. This one did not seem has hardy as the sarane before and it had misgivings as to whether or not it was suited to be down here, not that the human ever cared about its misgivings before.
Anyway. Kadin continued walking through the mines, following Kunzite's impatient trail, until they were out of sight from the entrance. He decided that around here was probably good enough to start working on some training for Lux. The pup had been with him for two quests, but didn't even know his name yet! It was best to fix that now. Kadin crouched down, ignoring the angry swirling that was Kunzite, this time, and not his imagination, and said to the puppy, "Lux!"
Lux was staying in the light, but that did not mean that it had to pay attention to Kadin. Quite the opposite, really.
There were so many interesting smells down here in the mines!
Not that it ever tried to communicate its misgivings to begin with. The human seemed content enough that it stayed close and did not wander. He did not bother to check to see if it had more to contribute than a base looking for gems and it did not see fit to try and change his mind. The current arrangement was acceptable. It searched the mines and he carried its prizes, keeping them save and allowing it to hoard all that it wanted back home.
In fact, it could happily spend all its time just wandering here and there, not paying attention to much of anything but its nose. Ooo! Other creatures had been here, how exciting!
There was nothing more interesting than trying to figure out what those creatures were!
"Damn it, I know I've told you your name before. LUX, look!"
In fact- wait, what was that smell! Lux turned towards the human that kept making noise, nose working hard.
"Good! Good Lux!" He sounded relieved, but all Lux had its eyes for ward the treat in his hands. It gobbled it up greedily, licking the human's fingers for any crumbs it might have missed. It LOVED treats! That was what it had been smelling!
What would really be useful would be for the human to bring another familiar. One larger than it that could carry even more gems. The joint effort would benefit them all greatly. Then again, it did not like the idea of having to fight with another of its kind over gems that it wanted to keep for itself. They could be so picky, so greedy, and it did not want its own nature reflected back on itself.