Leafy shuddered as she began to drive the pick deep within the wall. She had a bad feeling about what was about to happen, but that felt like pure paranoia. Her pick felt sturdier against the wall than the shovel had. Snap’s gaze was fixed steadily to her pick, watching intently as the girl worked. She pressed the tool further against the stone before pushing down harshly. She could here the crunch of rock grinding against rock as she moved, but the entire wall remained unphased to her assault. Leafy frowned for a moment, wondering if she needed to reassess her strategy or if her plan simply needed more labour to execute properly.
“I guess I’ll try it again.”
She drove the pick in as deep as she could before pressing forward with all her might. The rock began to move steadily before it broke cleanly from the wall as easily as if she had been opening a cardboard box.
The girl’s hands throbbed as the impact of the tool against the wall jolted up her fingertips. The sheer force of it nearly made her fumble and drop the pick onto the ground. Snap moved close to the large rock after it had settled against the ground. He sniffed at the rock, using his front feet to carefully check it over for any gems that might be attached to it. Leafy was glad that she didn’t have to check over any of these rocks herself since Snap had easily taken over that role. The job was rather tedious and when something was boring, Leafy found herself doing a worse job at it. Snap would easily find any gems that Leafy would be too careless to catch. Besides, she rather liked the destruction and mayhem that breaking stones from the wall could present to her. Yes she needed to be careful, but that didn’t make it boring.
Snap suddenly stopped his investigation of the fallen rock and trotted over towards Leafy. When she turned to look at him, he retreated back over towards the rock. Leafy decided he must have found something and followed him over. She leaned down and began a close inspection of the rock under the watchful eye of her halfbreed companion. It didn’t take her long to find the gem that Snap had spotted. Luckily, it hadn’t broken in the fall and was easy enough to pry from the rest of the stone. On closer inspection, Leafy could identify the new gem as a diamond. That was an extremely valuable find and she was glad that Snap had found it. She deposited the diamond in her backpack, shifting the straps around her shoulders as she tried to find the perfect spot to carry it. The weight distribution needed to be even across both of her shoulders.
Progress on the rock wall was slow going, but Leafy could see a few visual differences in the composition of the wall. There were some noticeable gaps that the girl could exploit further with her pick if she chose to. She shifted her pick in her hands until she felt the optimal position for it. Snap seemed disinterested in her for the moment, opting instead to sniff at the base of the wall. He used his small front claws to dig within the dirt, searching for something valuable. Aside from a stray mushroom, all of the things they had found would bring in a nice chunk of change. Leafy hoped that the dead-end tunnel they were currently in would continue to yield some nice finds. It felt nice to slow things down for a bit and focus on one area. Leafy decided that she would continue to chip away at the weakened part of the wall.
She wasn’t sure if she wanted to take down the entire wall in front of her. She seemed to be finding success in breaking off small chunks of the wall instead of trying to destroy it entirely. Snap appeared content to simply scuttle about the small space, digging through the dirt and calmly checking the fallen rocks for hidden gems.
“Make sure to keep some distance from the area I’m working,” she told Snap.
She checked the wall with her fingertips, trying to find any areas that would break away easily. When she found a spot where the rocks crumbled underneath the press of her fingers, she decided that she would start there. She drove the pick into the crevice and hardly had to move it before chunks of stone began to rain down on the ground. Snap dove out of the way as a wave of pebbles threatened to bury him.
“Well I did tell you to stand back,” Leafy commented.
Snap shook himself, not appearing too discouraged by the dirt that now coated his fur. He seemed almost excited to dig around in the additional debris. Leafy was glad that she wasn’t the one that would have to get down and dirty. She was confident that if there was anything to be found in the pile of dirt and stone, Snap would be the one to find it. She used the pick to break off another large chunk of granite. She made sure to angle it so that the stone didn’t land anywhere near Snap. She didn’t want to accidentally crush him. Leafy nudged the stone chunk with her foot, testing to see if it would break apart under her weight. It held steady, detracting from the space in the tunnel. Snap watched as she tapped the stone with her boot.
There was now a sizable hole in the wall where the large stone had been wedged in. There wasn’t anything of interest hidden behind where the stone had been, but the surrounding area should be weak enough that she should be able to easily take down a few more large rocks. Snap had settled himself on top of the fallen rock, using it as a perch to better see what Leafy was doing. The girl was using one hand to break crumbling bits of stone free from the wall. The wall didn’t appear to be particularly sturdy with how easily she was able to remove large amounts of stone. It made her slightly wary about the stability of the tunnel, but she would keep an eye out for any signs of collapse. If she left now, she might miss out on a valuable stash of gems. She would continue to work here for the moment.
Embedded in the wall was a lapis gem. Leafy found it while she was scanning the wall to make sure no dangerous cracks threatened the integrity of the entire structure. She would need to extract it carefully to ensure that the gem wasn’t damaged. She could angle to pick and lightly pull if the rocks surrounding it were loose enough. Snap perked up as the girl ran her fingers across the surface of the lapis gem. He could see now that she had found something interesting. The lapis was simple enough to remove from the wall. She had already loosened the stone around it well enough that it broke cleanly when she pried it free with her fingers. She placed the gem in her bag after a brief inspection. She wanted to work on the wall more and spending too much time scrutinizing her finds would prevent her from working further.
Leafy was unsure that the tunnel wall would yield much more in the way of treasure. Perhaps it was time to think about bringing the whole thing down and seeing if there was an entrance past the wall. She could continue to use the pick, but she would need to be more strategic in the areas she attacked. Snap stalked closer to the wall, his eyes darting back and forth as he scanned the wall for any gems. When he couldn’t find anything obvious, he stepped back and allowed Leafy to take over. The girl began to check for the weak spots that were close to her height. She didn’t want to take the entire wall down. She wanted to create an opening that would be large enough for her to fit through. Of course, that would depend on there being a tunnel blocked off by the wall. She would need to find out.
It seemed like the smart move to check first that there was something hidden behind the wall. She would first pick a spot and dig through it to ensure there was open space present. Snap decided to help out by digging around the base of the wall, searching for any openings that he might be able to squeeze through. At least that’s what Leafy hoped he was doing. She hadn’t exactly instructed him to actually perform any specific task.
“You keep doing whatever you’re doing. I think it’s helping,” she told Snap.
Leafy decided that it would be easiest to work in the hole she had already started in the wall. It should take too much to widen it further. She grabbed her pick and began to tap it against the stones lining the edge of the hole. She could start by trying to collapse some of the outer structure.
Snap lined himself so that he was working to the left of Leafy, though he remained much closer to the ground. Leafy made sure that he would be out of danger if she accidentally dropped any large rocks in his direction. She had her gaze set on one of the larger rocks that lined the edge of the space she had opened up. If she could remove that one, it would hopefully knock loose some of the dirt closer to the interior of the hole. She used one of her hands to stabilize the rock as she drove her pick underneath it. The rock felt like it would take a few good yanks before it would break free. She started by wiggling to pick back and forth, trying to loosen the dirt surrounding it. The action was met with a steady stream of dirt rushing rapidly to the ground below.
Leafy nudged Snap with her boot as she tried to direct him back a safe distance. He could resume his exploring once she had freed this rock. The girl had realized that if she positioned her pick optimally, it would require less force on her part to leverage the chisel to break the rock away from the wall. She didn’t quite know what that position was just yet. That part would take a little trial and error on her part. She pushed harshly against the pick as she tried to force it through gap near the underside of the rock. It took a few attempts, but she managed to drive it in fairly deep. She pressed her right hand against the tunnel wall and used her left hand to grip the pick’s handle. She braced herself as she began to lift the pick upwards, using it as a lever to break the rock free from the wall.
There could be heard a sort of strange noise, almost like a metronome but much faster, coming down the hallway. The creature had been planning to bring these gems back to it's nest, but it didn't really expect there to be anything down this shaft! The creature nearly dropped it's gems in shock; it was used to much larger creatures harassing it when it was seen. The Karzik seemed to hesitate for a moment, unsure of whether to drop the stones in shock or try to turn back. The large eyes on it's face were probably quite unsettling... Not that the karzik would have thought about that. Whatever the strange beings were that were in this shaft; it seemed that one of them was doing... Something, to the wall. There was another being here too, though it seemed pretty foreign; it also felt a little like it belonged here too. How peculiar!