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[F01/21-PP] Working the Fields <<Nature's Treasures>>

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ID# 150010 results: Battle: 7 Craft: 5 Loot: 4 MOB: 2

No Materials Found.

Results:
2 [T1 Materials]
13 [T3 Materials]

"I had no idea." Snow tilted her head and looked out toward the deep blue glow of the lake.

"Hard to imagine a fishing line able to handle pulling out an old, sunken chest." She giggled a bit. "Well, it is a game after all."

Snow resumed kicking her feet. She let her eyes drift around the cavern while Shield fished. She only knew how to spear fish because the game permitted it as a primitive gathering function. In the future, she would like to learn a more relaxing version like Shield's. The prospect of good equipment hung in the back of her mind. At her current state, she couldn't use the really good gear, but maybe when she joined the others on the front lines, fishing would come in handy.

She let out a breath through pursed lips, unable to find anything to catch her attention. Her mind shifted to Shield's earlier words: meeting everyone. 

Packing a day bag? Like... a sleep over? 

She began imagining a massive guild hall. Tapestries and fine furniture. A massive dining hall lined with plates and delicious foo--

"Hey, Shield. Do you have a favorite kind of sushi roll or fish? Did you eat sushi often outside of here?"

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150021 results: Craft: 10 [3 Materials found]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 28
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"Heh, not as often as I would have liked," Shield said, giving a little shrug. "But I enjoyed it when I had it. I was a bit of a barbarian with my tastes though. I referred Philadelphia rolls and sweet potato tempura. I am not ashamed of my tastes, though I feel like refined sushi connoisseurs would look down on me for liking things made with cream cheese and essentially fancy sweet potato fries." He gave a little ironic chuckle as he thought about the look a real sushi chef might make when reading off his order. "When it came to more refined things though, well marbled salmon is second to none. Indescribably mellow and smooth, delicate in flavor, and compliments the seasoning in the rice very nicely."

As he went on speaking about fish, he felt a pull on his line, and a strong one at that. He dug in his heels, not letting himself budge an inch, and battled the fish back to the shore. Another of the large, fatty fish from before plopped up on shore, though smaller than the first he had caught, and he gave another little chuckle. "Well speak of the devil fish and he shall appear, right?"

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150229 results: Battle: 10 Craft: 6 Loot: 14 MOB: 4

+1 [T1 Materials] Found!

Totals:
2 [T1 Materials]
14 [T3 Materials]

That’s not barbaric,” Snow laughed. “I’m not a fan of cream cheese in general, or on my rolls honestly. But  a lot of people love cream cheese.

She watched him shore another fish. Of their time on the 21st floor, Snow learned Shield’s prowess with a fishing rod. If he cast his hook, chances were something would bite. Compared to the measly pickings she found, his fish were three to four times the useful material than her haul.

”I do love salmon. You really can’t go wrong with a perfectly marbled cut. Are you a wasabi or no wasabi man?”

Snow personally preferred a light bite of wasabi. It was traditional recipe to include wasabi between the fish and the rice when making nigiri. If you could afford it, real wasabi was best, but because finding it was so rare, Snow stuck to the colored horseradish imitation. While she let her mind drift, Snow’s attention fell on a small trout-looking fish near the shore line. 

She looked up to Shield as he peacefully waited for something to bite his line. Then she looked back to the fish. She loosed Sif’s Needle from her back and slid carefully off her seat. She snuck up the the shore line spear high. The fish luckily didn’t notice and gave Snow time to quickly thrust through it. She pulled it from the water and turned to Shield proudly.

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150232 results: Craft: 9 [3 Materials found]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 31
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"I enjoy wasabi, and don't even mind a good nose-burning now and then," he said with a little half smirk. "Wakes you up a bit so you can enjoy the food more." He finished handling his last catch and storing away the ingredients before retrieving his fishing pole. "That said, I tend to try to trust the chef's judgment on how a piece of sushi is seasoned." He baited his hook and felt back for the handle, careful not to drop the end as he did so. With a swing back and a flick forward, she cast out his line again. "Chef's take great pride in the balance of their food, and adding condiments like extra soy sauce or wasabi is taken as an insult that they didn't season their food properly. That, and you miss a lot of subtlety to the balance of the rice."

"That said, I'll sometimes sneak a dip into some soy sauce or sneak on some extra wasabi just so each bite isn't the same," he admitted with a shrug. As he did so, his line began to rapidly feed from his reel, and he had to grab the crank to stop it. Rolling the reel back, he managed to haul his reluctant catch back to shore and left it to flap on the ground until it surrendered.

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150243 results: Battle: 10 Craft: 8 Loot: 13 MOB: 6

+1 [T3 Materials] Found

Totals:
2 [T1 Materials]
15 [T3 Materials]

 

Snow made a brief pout before she submitted her catch to her inventory. She nested her spear to her back and this time, decided to plop right next to the water's edge. Her fingers summoned the menus and thumbed over to her equipment. Her greaves disappeared with the press of a button and her bare feet slid into the water. Surprisingly for a cave, the water warmed her to the touch instead of chilling her to the core. Given the warm atmosphere of the cavern, it made sense. No wonder the fish got so big here. 

"I like soy sauce a lot," she added. "Honestly, I would offend many chefs. I'll always eat a few pieces without soy to get the genuine flavor, but I'm dunking after that. If it's nigiri, however, I do try to be nice and dip fish side only."

Snow wriggled her toes while she spoke and noticed some more bubbles near the water's edge. She dug down, careful not to get snapped at, and pulled out another mussel looking shellfish. 

"What food do you miss most from the top-side?"

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150253 results: Craft: 9 [3 Materials found]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 34
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"That's a little difficult to say," Shield said, setting up his line and tackle for another cast. "Probably just simple comfort foods," he said, though in all honesty he was trying not to think too much about it. Thinking about those kinds of things was something he didn't do around others. "What about you then?" he said, kind of blatantly turning the question around without giving a proper answer.

He threw his line out to the water, watching as the bobber sailed and landed rather unceremoniously in the water a ways out from the shore. He took his seat again, keeping his eyes forward for the moment as he slowly reeled in his line. Before it had made it half way back, the bobber sank out of sight and he felt a firm pull that bent his fishing pole over. He pulled back against it and fought his catch the rest of the way into shore. Once there, it fell apart into three separate cuts of fish.

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150268 results: Battle: 1 Craft: 10 Loot: 3 MOB: 5

No Materials Found!

Totals:
2 [T1 Materials]
15 [T3 Materials]

"Hmm..." The sound was meant more for his reply than pondering her own. At least she knew what kind of sushi he liked and how he liked it. 

"Well, I really grew accustomed to Eastern foods. I love savory and umami flavors. I love the taste of seaweed and I really miss those little rice crackers wrapped in nori with a soy glaze. So good." Snow's mouth began to water at the thought of it. She missed all the snacks they used to buy at the convenience stores near the college. Shopping the daily discounts and clearance items were her favorite because she could try new things on the cheap.

"On a quiet day off, my honest favorite is a bowl of steamed rice with either miso soup over the top of just some hot tea and soy. Garnished with arame seaweed, toasted sesame, and nori sprinkles. If it was early enough, I'd add an egg."

Snow squirmed in her spot as she thought about it. She really missed the casual mornings and lazy days. It was nice when she could just start the rice cooker in the morning and chop away at it throughout the day.

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150281 results: Craft: 7 [2 Materials found]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 36
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"You know, most people don't talk about the outside world," Shield said, casually. "We don't tell people our IRL names, and we don't talk about home." He wound up his fishing rod and cast out into the shallows. "It's not that it bothers me when people do," it did, but he had a practiced way of keeping his features indifferent that had served him very well in his past life. "It's just the way you talk about it, you seem to not realize some people might not be okay with that. I feel like it's kinder to be up-front and let you know just so you don't accidentally upset someone someday."

His line gave a tug, but since he had only cast a little ways out, it was practically just a matter of lifting the fish out of the water more than it was properly reeling it in from all the way across the lake. "You seem like a very polite kind of person, and I doubt you would ever intentionally upset someone, so. You know." He didn't really complete the thought. He knew from earlier than Snow was a sensitive kind of person, but it was for that exact reason that he knew she'd kick herself all the harder if she believed she had done something to actually harm someone. "Don't worry. It's not a big deal. I just thought I'd say something so you'd know."

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150282 results: Battle: 3 Craft: 2 Loot: 6 MOB: 3

No Materials Found!

Totals:
2 [T1 Materials]
15 [T3 Materials]

Denial. That word came to the forefront of Snow's mind. When Shield turned the conversation on its back, Snow knew she made an error. Life inside the halfway houses differed from the front lines. In the Town of Beginnings, the children and people like her simply could not embrace the facade of this new world. For Snow, this was her first foray into an online game. Net etiquette eluded her. In a way, she was both herself and some fantasy warrior. Hearing Shield, it sounded as though others buried the real world in the back of their minds. Denial.

However, in that denial, they found solace. Those players coped with the loss, the anxiety, and the fear by burying it all into a new world. Smell, sight, touch, taste, sound... although digital, is it any more fake or real than the surface world?

Snow fell dreadfully silent and still. Another word crossed her mind.

Respect.

Her stomach soured. She felt nauseous. What if her carelessness in talking about the real world caused those people to relapse? Like hearing or seeing things that reminded her of Daire, what if her forwardness spun others into panic and pain. The thought of her causing harm with something so trivial as small talk weighed heavily on her. And now, she struggled for a reply.

"Oh..." What else would she say? The boundary had been crossed already. What now? 

"I never thought of that..." She truly had not. To her, the only driving force was getting out and reclaiming some semblance of the life she felt lost. Even if they did succeed, nothing would be the same. The thought of going back to exactly before was an unobtainable dream. An ever driving goal with no finish line.

"How awful..." The words lipped out from her internal monologue. Directed at her own actions, Snow balled up and hugged her knees. She hurt for everyone. She hurt for the people she may have already offended. She hurt for the people she would offend one day. Most of all, she hurt for the people who suffered in silence. How could she every help them? How could those wounds ever heal?

Only destroying Aincrad could free everyone from that internal purgatory. Free them from a life of denial and twisted acceptance. Free them from complete isolation of existing under the facade of being a character in a game.

What if some of them never wanted to leave?

Snow stayed silent as Shield fished. Despite his statement of not being bothered, she felt her actions already transgressed acceptance. They had only met today after all. 

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150307 results: Craft: 1 [Nothin]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 36
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

Shield could tell from the silence that his reminder had done exactly what he had hoped it would not do. However, for the moment, there wasn't much that could be done. This was one of those moments that they were just going to have to ride out. Even if they had been closer and it would have been appropriate to offer her some kind of comfort, Shield was hardly good at knowing how to handle such matters. He cast out his line, but almost as if the fish did not want to get involved, they were refusing to bite. Shield let the silence stretch out for a little while, giving Snow a chance to get her feet under her.

"It's not your fault," Shield said. He knew that was a message that would not be easily accepted. He needed to do better. "Even if the thing that you did broke the 'taboo,' that taboo isn't your fault. We shouldn't have to monitor what we do and say so closely. That fault lies with Kayaba Akihiko and nobody else. Any actions that happened in this game, while bearing some personal responsibility, cannot be put entirely on the transgressors, because they were put in an unfair situation to begin with."

This was a hard point to sell, especially to someone who, from what Shield had so far gathered, led with her heart as much as her head. Even if the words were true, it wouldn't make the feelings behind the hurt just go away. "Japanese customs of never speaking what's really on your mind or mentioning things that might upset or embarrass someone are... unhelpful... in the end. Humans are social beings, and we need to be able to share and relate. It's not wrong to want that." He turned his head further away from her, knowing how his resting-stone-face would likely make her feel. "This game is... isolating. In some sense, we have to fight that in order to keep from going off the deep end."

"And food just seems like such an innocent, safe subject," he said, shaking his head. Still, even as he said so, he knew the potential such talk had. The discussion of food was almost always tied to the memories of sharing it and who and where and when you last ate said food. He could hardly think about it himself without memories coming back. He remembered birthdays and family gatherings, times when not only had they all been safe and sound outside of SAO, but the whole family had been together then.

Taste and smell... they say they're the strongest senses tied to memory... 

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150310 results: Battle: 7 Craft: 2 Loot: 8 MOB: 5

No Materials Found!

Totals:
2 [T1 Materials]
15 [T3 Materials]

"It's okay." She spoke the words softly with humility. It wasn't okay.

She hugged her knees tighter. His words helped to calm her self punishment, but she knew apologies would never suffice. She had to be better. Actions always spoke louder than words which she still struggled to find. Her limited experiences afforded her a small pool to draw from in conversation. A year's worth in game versus the nineteen prior. Would she regale him of her cowardice in the room she once shared with three others? Talk to him about comforting children half her age that didn't understand why they couldn't see their parents?

She buried her face in her knees.

I have to be better. There's no point beating yourself up over it, Alyssa. Just don't do it again.

"Hey Shield?" she asked after what seemed an eternal pause. "Could we just talk more about the guild?"

Her voice came out muffled as she spoke into her lap. She still needed a moment to forgive herself. He came here with her to talk about his guild. Snow figured that would stay a safe topic of conversation.

"Tell me more about the others. How you met."

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150322 results: Craft: 9 [3 Materials found]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 39
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"Of course," he said, throwing out his next cast and sitting back further on his makeshift seat. "Well, let's start with the leaders. Mari I met while fishing for Easter eggs, actually. I had heard her name and knew of her reputation, and since I'm probably one of the hardest to kill on the front lines, I figured if anyone was in a good position to stick around safely and get answers, it was me. So I asked her to account for herself, and..." he gestured casually with his hand. "It all made sense - why it all happened. We just talked it out, and then we ended up running a ton of quests together since then."

"Baldur, I've known forever," he said, giving a little half smirk. "His was the first shop I entered when I started working my way up the ladder. We always had a good rapport, and over the time we spent pushing the lines and running quests, we just became mutual old souls that understood the responsibility we bore for the younger players." His line gave a firm tug, and he stood to reel it back in, giving him more stability to continue. "Oikawa I haven't known for long, but he is a close friend of Baldur's from long ago, and we've gotten along well. He maybe needs to get a little more serious sometimes, but levity isn't..." he paused as he pulled his catch out of the water. "...it's a good thing, I suppose."

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150593 results: Battle: 8 Craft: 4 Loot: 18 MOB: 9

2 [T3 Materials] Found!

Totals:
2 [T1 Materials]
17 [T3 Materials]

"I see." She kept her responses short. 

Snow took a deep breath. Her face emerged from the safety of her knees and the peeked over them to the still pool. The faint ripples from Shield's constant casting reflected all the ambient light like a false aurora borealis across the jagged ceiling. Her placid expression cracked a brief smile. The girl relaxed her legs and her feet slipped beneath the warm water again. She watched as the slight ripples finally made it to shore and ended at her ankles.

She tried to think of what to add to the conversation but felt silenced. Snow really just wanted someone to confide in. Her usual self just let it all out. She knew it wasn't the best way to meet people or get to know them. Perhaps some kind of nervous habit she had? But she looked at water's edge quietly.

Just stick to the guild. Keep this as a learning experience. There will be other days. You have to make new memories now, Alyssa. Old life or not, this is now. This is where you are.

Snow felt something on her hand and noticed another small crab and its friend raise their claws to her. There was no pain in SAO. They couldn't do anything to her. Snow turned her attention back to the water. She could pry them off her hands later. For now, she'd quietly listen to Shield talk about the guild. She would meet them one day. Why not learn some things to break the ice with?

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150598 results: Craft: 4 [Nothin]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 39
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

Shield left a little air in the conversation as he checked his bait and lined up his next cast. His hook landed a little further out than it had on some of his previous casts. He decided to take his time reeling it in. In the course of that, Snow maintained her silence.

She needs a little more time, I would guess. That's fine.

"As far as the others who are members," he went on, trying to go down the list and not miss anyone, "Beat is a spearman on the front lines with me. We were rivals in another game who came to SAO to settle our scores, but we became friends here. Calrex I met on the fifth floor. We ran a quest together and then he fell through the ground into a dungeon," he let out a little chuckle at the memory. "Seul... he's a bit quiet. We've run quests before, but I think he's become pretty reclusive. Still, he came to us because he heard about our aims and asked to join. Shye literally ran into me and then tagged along on a few quests, and that was kinda that."

He finished bringing in his line, still no sign of fish or chests. Frowning a little, he began seeing to a snarly in the end of his line, certain it had nothing to do with his luck, but still determined to not let it remain tangled.

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150641 results: Battle: 5 Craft: 12 Loot: 6 MOB: 6

No Materials Found!

Totals:
2 [T1 Materials]
17 [T3 Materials]

One of the names Shield mentioned rang a bell. She met Mari, she fought Calrex, he hadn't mentioned how he met Galilea yet, but another name sounded familiar. She scrunched her brows and searched her memories. The name... the name... The memory of her first meeting the other Blood Oath members came to mind. Mac, Opal, Mack, Seul...  

"Wait..." Snow perked up a little. "Did you say Seul?"

She felt her hand get increasingly numb and turned to the two crabs having a hay day with her hand. She plucked them off one by one and squeezed them until they surrendered their lives into useful ingredients. Snow puffed her cheeks in irritation and rubbed at her hand until the feeling returned. She held out her hand and watched the patches of exposed red polygons mend over. Then, directed her attention back at Shield.

"I met him before," Snow mentioned. "We never really talked, but I remember him. He's alive! Thank goodness..."

Snow exhaled a breath of relief. Until then, she thought all the former members of the Blood Oath dead or missing. She never added Seul officially to her friend's list, but she remembered his presence at the few gatherings she attended. If he was alive, maybe some of the others were still around. The sense of brooding and self defeat took a back burner. At the moment, she was just glad.

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150776 results: Craft: 3 [Nothing]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 39
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"I did, yes," Shield said, giving her a reassuring nod. "He is very much alive and well. ID'ed some good equipment for him in my shop using some of the easter items. He and I helped each other out, actually," he said throwing his line back into the water. "He hadn't had time to do much gathering, and my habit of fishing had landed me more than I could do anything with. So we did some trading and made out pretty well, I'd say." He gave a tug on his line to see if it would do anything different. No response.

Sighing, he began reeling in once again, beginning to wonder if something had impacted his luck lately. As much as he was a man of numbers and probability, this was getting to be a bit of an anomaly finding so little actual treasure. While it was not the only good thing to come from fishing, it was certainly the thing that he was most concerned with whenever he was out gathering.

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150800 results: Battle: 1 Craft: 8 Loot: 11 MOB: 5

+1 [T3 Materials] Found!

Results:
2 [T1 Materials]
18 [T3 Materials]

Hearing about Seul helped alleviate some of Snow's emotional discomfort. Her actual discomfort was a different story. Snow shifted her position a little bit and felt something rough underneath her. She lifted up her rear and found an odd, pointed rock peaking through the smooth pebbles of the shore. She plucked it out from under her to examine the iridescent color and brittle, jagged ends. She had seen a stone similar to it before in a shop. She couldn't remember the name, but it was pretty enough to keep. She added it to her haul for the day before nestling herself back into place. 

Feeling better, Snow leaned back and got herself more comfortable again. Her mind searched for subjects of conversation that would be appropriate given the epiphany earlier. She stared up at the hanging stalactites to ponder. Then, a decent subject came to mind.

"So, Shield. What has been your favorite floor so far?" she asked. The third floor is where Snow made home, but the mystery and beauty of this floor easily made top five.

@Shield

Edited by Snow

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Fishing - ID# 150811 results: Craft: 10 [3 Materials found]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 42
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"In all honesty, I've spent so much time here doing exactly this that I'd have to pick this one," Shield said, gesturing around the the walls of the cavern, illuminated with the iridescent crystals and fungi that covered the walls and ceiling. "I'm sure as soon as a similar quest appears on a higher floor, that will quickly replace this as my favorite, but for now, it's just got too much value for the purposes of loot grinding and for peace and quiet in general that I can't think of anything preferable over this." He cast his line out into the water once again.

Not that you would know from the rotten luck I've had so far today.

It wasn't long at all before he felt a pull on his line, and Shield began to reel in his catch. This was a fairly large one. He could tell by the power he had to put behind his cranking on the line in order to make any distance. Still, as he suspected, when it plopped up on the shore, it was not of the largest, most prized variety, and it certainly was not a chest.

Edited by Shield

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ID# 150914 results: Battle: 9 Craft: 9 Loot: 12 MOB: 2

+1 [T3 Materials] Found!

Results:
2 [T1 Materials]
19 [T3 Materials]

"It really is a pretty floor," Snow admitted. "Maybe when I reach a higher level, I might come visit more often."

Her feet moved slowly in the geothermal pool. The warm water felt fantastic. Were Shield not desperately trying to fish, she might have decided to go for a swim. Then again, stripping down to swim attire might be a bit much for a first outing; with the guild leader no less. She smiled and blushed at her silent thoughts. Daire would certainly be the devil's advocate were she here.

In her thoughts, Snow felt something crawling on her ankle. One of those small snails from earlier decided to use her as a viewing point for the rest of the pool. Thankful that this time she wasn't trying to sit on it, Snow booped it into her inventory for use later in her kitchen.

"I do have to say this is a magical place. Were you to bring someone here on a date, I'm sure you would earn some brownie points." Her head tilted in thought. "Buuuttt... that would also mean sharing your secret fishing spot with someone. It's important to have your get away spots."

Edited by Snow

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Searching for Chest - ID# 150923 results: Loot: 18+9=27 [Chest found]

Total Loot:

T1 Materials: 6
T3 Materials: 42
Col: 3,150
Perfect Armor/Shields: [149537a]
Rare Consumables: [149537b] [149537c]

"Oh, this isn't so much of a secret spot," Shield said, sighing. "You should have seen this area during the Easter event. Sometimes me sharing my fishing hole with up to three other players." As he thought about it, he actually smiled a little, thinking back to that specific instance. "That, actually, was the conversation that started moving Jacob's Ladder forward, and where we came up with the name."

Shield reeled in his line and set down his pole, stretching his shoulders out a few times. "Let's see what riches lie outside of the waters." He began casting about for areas that could conceal something of interest, looking over the various rock formations. One in particular caught his eye. At the foot of one of the larger naturally occurring columns, there was a gap there between the column itself and the wall that seemed like prime hunting real estate. He jogged over, peering into the darkness there. His earring blazed to life, glowing with a warm golden glow and casting light onto none other than a chest.

Edited by Shield

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