Not that he wouldn't quadruple check anyway, but it was better to not add the opportunity for any other mistakes. Though, it would be a while before he'd even have all the required components. He had the berries now (thank you Juniper!), and had recently acquired a pair of mind crystals from the mysterious trader, but was sadly lacking in the magical crystal department. He had a whopping total of one, and he really needed to go mining again. It wasn't his favorite activity, especially since recovering from his illness, he had even less physical strength than before.
That wasn't too much an issue for gardening, at least. While it did take a little force to clip through the larger branches, it wasn't like swinging a pickaxe. As he'd expected, Juniper wasn't helping with this part, she didn't have any good slicing appendages, but was watching the growing pile of trimmed branches.
Was she concerned, he wondered, she was made of branches, after all. Or was it more like him watching a chicken dinner be prepared, sure they were both made of flesh, but watching the bird be prepared wasn't something that he found upsetting. More that it made him look forward to dinner, though some people didn't eat meat, and might have been more bothered.
Juniper seemed fine though, as he continued to trim off the excess branches. And there was a lot, the whole thing was an 'excess branch', really. Nerius was still working on getting the path cleared, he'd made progress, but the branches were getting thicker as he got further into the plant. Clipping them was doable, it just took more effort, and time. He'd known the plant was overgrown, but he hadn't realized it was this bad, it hadn't grown up anywhere near the path! It had just sprawled and sprawled until it had covered half of it.
But slowly, Nerius made it though the massive shrub. It looked a bit ugly now, with half the thing just chopped off, but at least he could walk along the path now. Maybe he could trim it up a bit more on the other sides, round it out and make it look less like half the plant was gone. But for now he'd take a break, and check on the evergreen.
She'd been watching him, and it was more that he didn't' want her to get bored and wander off, than really expecting more berries to be ready. Though it was possible, Juniper had spent a bit more time in the sun as she'd watched him work, and it was possible more were ready. Inspecting the tail, he could see there were still plenty of berries left, she'd sure produced a lot, and thankfully had so far been very willing to share them. Evergreens were a shy species, and some gardeners had issues with that.
Ripe berries, at that. As Nerius inspected the evergreen, Juniper gave her tail another good wiggle, and a few more berries fell to the snow. It wasn't as many as before, but Nerius was still pleased. "More? Well thank you," he gave the evergreen a friendly pet, and a pellet as a treat, before picking up the berries. They all looked good, fully ripe, and free of any blemishes or damage. He waited a little, watching Juniper, in case she had any more berries ready, but it didn't look like any more were ready at the moment.
He'd go back to dealing with that mess of a shrub again, or would, after he grabbed those mushrooms. There were several of the bright red fungus that had been growing beneath the branches, now visible after all the trimming. It was an odd time of year to find them, and it was possible that shrub had been sheltering them, and now that they had been exposed, it was better to pick them sooner than later.
While Nerius had been working, another little critter had wandered over. It had gotten warm enough for the leafscatter to come out of his den, and was watching as Nerius picked the mushrooms.
Nerius was finishing with the mushrooms, and when he looked up after setting the last in his harvest basket, he spotted the leafscatter. "Good morning," he told Russet, who scurried over on being noticed. He'd been friendly from the start, but if anything had gotten even more sociable after Nerius had spent more time with him. "Sorry I don't have any frosting," he did have some garden pellets, which he offered to the leafscatter. Russet accepted the treat, even if it wasn't as eagerly as he would have with something sweet.
While Russet had his snack, Nerius started trimming the edges of the shrub. There probably wasn't anything he could do to make it look great, too much of the inside of the plant was exposed, but rounding the edges would hopefully make it look not quite as bad.
Juniper wasn't overly interested in the leafscatter, he was a familiar sight around the garden, but she hadn't ever played or interacted with the smaller plant creature. The pile of trimmed branches was more interesting to her, and she walked over to the pile, and started sifting through the branches. She seemed more interested in the larger ones, but so far none of them had held her interest, and were discarded.
Nerius had continued working on rounding out the shrub, and it looked a little better. The sides were as round as he could get them, but there was no way he could reach the top. It was much taller than he was, and he didn't have anything to climb on to get up there. Besides, he was a bit tired of climbing right now. It still didn't look great, but at least he could walk along the path now, and the shrub was only one of many, many things that needed work.
He was considering what to work on next, when Russet chirped at him. Looking over to him, Nerius saw that the leafscatter had found some flowers. Like the mushrooms, they were probably some of the last of the season, it was getting to be properly winter by now. Nerius picked one of them, while Russet helped, digging up the other plant. "Thanks buddy," Nerius traded him a treat for the plant, and broke off the roots before adding it to the harvest basket.
Juniper wasn't paying attention to either of them, and was still going through the pile of branches, inspecting them, then tossing aside, before she finally found a particularly large, sturdy one.
There weren't a whole lot of the flowers, and with Russet's help, it didn't take long to gather them all. The little leafscatter liked to try to help, though it wasn't always successful. That seemed to be all of them that were growing, nestled under a tree. There could have been more, buried under the snow, but those would be dead and squashed. Still, it had been more than he'd expected to find in this weather, though really, who knew what the previous owner had planted, and some of it might very well have been winter crops.
But for now, he'd go back to working on cleaning up the garden, that was not the only overgrown shrub or bush in the garden, and there was plenty for him to work on. Nerius still had the nippers handy, and trimming was an easier thing to do even in this weather. Trying to pull weeds out of frozen ground wouldn't be very effective.
Juniper was looking over the large branch she found, it was taller than she was, and rather sturdy, and had to be from the inside of the shrub. She wasn't picky about where in the plant it came from, just that it could make a nice staff.
There were plenty of overgrown plants to choose from, and Nerius picked the closest one that was growing out onto the path. He might make a full sweep later, getting the pathway all clear was a good starting project, but for now he was keeping an eye on the plant critters with him.
Russet was watching him, but there wasn't really anything a leafscatter could help with when it came to trimming shrubs. If anything, he was getting in the way, as he'd climbed up into the shrub Nerius was trying to work on. Nerius didn't want to trim him in mistake, and picked up the leafscatter, "Come here you," and set Russet on his shoulder. It wasn't ideal, but it was better than having him in with the branches that Nerius was trying to cut.
Juniper still had her branch, and had started pulling off the smaller offshoots, which would get in the way of actually holding it. It was slow going, she didn't have any tools, clippers would have made her job a lot easier, but all she had were her hands. At least she didn't have to worry about splinters, her branch like arms were much more solid than soft human skin.
This second shrub wasn't nearly as bad at the first had been, and it only took Nerius a few minutes to clear off the offending branches. There was another, particularly bad one a little further along the path, which he would have liked to get to. Juniper was still occupied here though, more interested in the branch pile than him at the moment, and he wanted to keep an eye on her. He'd gotten a good harvest so far, but he still didn't want to miss anymore shed berries.
He had enough for, well, years, unless he paid someone else to hack off a piece of their soul. That actually was a possibility, there had to be people in the city wanting a quick buck that badly. The ritual itself wasn't that complicated, it was the reagents that were harder to come by. The main issue would be making sure the person didn't run off with the reagents, or the finished node.
Russet hadn't gone anywhere at least, and was still perched on Nerius' shoulder. He'd had to scurry around a bit, to keep his balance, as trimming the shrub meant Nerius had to move his arms, which made for a less than steady perch.
And that made Nerius think that maybe trimming the shrubs wasn't the best thing to work on right now. There were plenty of things that needed work, but the issue was most of it was covered in snow. There were weeds everywhere, but he couldn't see them under a foot of snow, and it was impossible to tell where the ground cover was alive or dead. ...Except for those vines over there. It had grown around a tree trunk, not an evergreen, but it was completely dead, and still hanging onto the trunk.
It was also near enough he could keep an eye on Juniper, who was working away at her new staff. She'd pulled off all off the smaller branches, or at least, the ones she wanted to get rid of, there were still a few decorating the top. Now she was working on removing the bark, which wasn't the easiest task when her fingers were made of similar material.
Seeing that she wouldn't be going anywhere soon, Nerius set Russet down on top a large rock, after brushing the snow off. It would still be cold, but at least the little critter wouldn't be buried over his head in snow, like he had in frosting.
Nerius suspected he'd rather be placed in the frosting, leafscatters naturally ate nuts and berries, but he'd sure liked the sugary stuff in the mansion. He hadn't been the only one. But in any case, he didn't protest in being set on the rock, and Nerius was able to turn his attention back to the dead vines.
It would be easiest to clip them at the base first, he would have liked to pull up the roots as well, but the ground was frozen too solid for that. it would still be fine, it wasn't like weeds that he wanted to make sure was dead. So, he started clipping at the base, the vines were thick, but dry and brittle, and not too hard to cut. They also peeled off the tree without much effort, Nerius considered cutting it again, so he didn't have to manage one massive vine, but he didn't have a way of reaching very high, and could possibly just yank it off the tree if he had the whole vine.
Juniper was peeling away at the bark, and had already gotten a small pile of it beneath the branch. It came off in large strips, possibly because it was so freshly cut, and the evergreen was making decent progress.
He would cut off the smaller offshoots, Nerius decided. Those were clinging to the tree, and made the vine not want to come loose. They wouldn't help pull it off the tree, so he clipped those off, peeling them the rest of the way off the tree, and dropping them in a pile on the ground.
...Or on Russet. The leafscatter was trying to help again, and had scurried over to the pile of cut vines, and it resulted in more getting dropped on him. It didn't harm him, the dead bits of vine were too small and brittle, but still, Nerius didn't want to dump dead vines on him. So he scooped up the leafscatter again, "You really want to help, don't you." Sometimes he actually was... and sometimes he just ended up getting in the way. This was very much the latter case currently.
Still working on her own project, which Russet wasn't helping or in the way of, Juniper just finished peeling the last of the bark from the branch. It was the same sort of staff all evergreens had, though hers was currently much paler than they usually were, with an almost white wood. It would likely darken with time, but for now it was a strong contrast against her old staff.
The good news was, Nerius was almost done peeling off the vine. He had a bit more of the offshoots to remove, but overall it was getting to feel quite loosely attached to the tree. He set Russet on his shoulder again, which still wasn't very out of the way, but at least he didn't have to move as much as he had with trimming the shrub.
After a little more work, Nerius figured he had enough of the offshoots trimmed, and could pull the rest of the vine off the tree. The first tug shook it loose a little, but it didn't fall. His second try was more successful, and when he gave the vine a good pull, it came free of the tree, the loose end falling to the ground, and making it look like Nerius was holding a very strange whip.
Having finished her staff, Juniper was ready to give it a test, which she did by walking over to Nerius. He glanced over at the evergreen, and noticed the difference in the branch she was holding. "So that's what you were doing." It hindsight, it shouldn't have been unexpected, evergreens had to get those staves from somewhere, and it wasn't the local shop.
Twilight-Claw: Hey Ridelys, I still got a Sarane Fidelity Egg if your interested in trading your Green Drake for it, you'd have another shot in trying for it then.
May 31, 2020 1:11:44 GMT -6
Ridelys: If you can barter someone else's champion voucher off them for a gold hen, I'm happy with that too. XD \ Otherwise, I'm open to hearing offers.
May 30, 2020 21:19:39 GMT -6
Aster: Hey, if you don't want that green drake, I'd be happy to offer on him :U Alas, I don't have a gold hen either
May 30, 2020 21:18:03 GMT -6
Ridelys: Well, like I said, I'd have to get lucky.
May 30, 2020 21:13:55 GMT -6
Ridelys: I have a feeling its going to be a long one unless I get lucky.
May 30, 2020 18:19:31 GMT -6
Riku: Good luck with your golden egg hunt, BD! <3
May 30, 2020 15:40:20 GMT -6
Jack: Thanks for the notice!
May 28, 2020 10:05:26 GMT -6
Darky: Heads up: there's a chance you might notice Trepuldra images having loading issues on June 3rd, for about 3h. No need to panic, Veebimajutus just notified there's going to be some scheduled maintenance, is all x3
May 28, 2020 10:05:06 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: right??? i was really hoping i could find one of those pachee before the season was out.
May 26, 2020 18:51:32 GMT -6
Fanged: Oh wow that's an awesome garden find FF
May 26, 2020 18:13:26 GMT -6
Riku: Oh how perfect! I woke up wanting to post (unexpected, but yay) and saw I had a reply. <3 Meant to be.
May 26, 2020 6:40:43 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I really, really love all the updates that have come~! <3
May 24, 2020 2:12:37 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: np!!! I hope y'all like it!
May 23, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -6
Riku: What an awesome update, staff! Thanks for that! <3
May 23, 2020 12:06:52 GMT -6
Jack: All have been found!
May 23, 2020 9:53:27 GMT -6
Jack: Might want to be on the lookout for anything... odd
May 22, 2020 23:51:22 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah it’s definitely a coincidence but wow did it work out well for us! XD
May 22, 2020 6:43:27 GMT -6
Silver: I'm pretty sure that was just a coincidence, but it sure feels lucky!
May 22, 2020 2:07:09 GMT -6
Riku: So did you guys make this hosting switch perfectly RIGHT before pb broke? >.< Thaz crazy. It’s a huge relief and I’m very glad we’ve come to this. <3
May 22, 2020 1:41:01 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: It’s free up to a certain number of GB, which we haven’t hit yet.
May 21, 2020 6:46:33 GMT -6