Data Dragon Danika - Chapter 25

Published at 28th of December 2018 08:30:55 AM
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Chapter 25

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"How did you know I'm trying to get past the frogs?" Danika asked as the large toad vanished over the edge of the well .

"I'm old, not deaf," Arthur snapped, in a hollow echoey voice from within the well . "Just be thankful she isn't sending you out to collect frogs teeth . "

'But weren't you sleeping?' Danika wondered silently, somehow she didn't actually dare to ask .

Her alarm for taking a break had gone off during her training but Danika had dismissed it, so now she logged out for a late lunch . She made up slices of cheese, bread and apple again, and while she ate them she pondered ZipZing's food supply .

Keeping her energy charging while she practiced spells used up a surprising quantity of food . Danika would bet that her character could easily surpass a hummingbird in consuming her own weight each day when she was leveling spells . An idea occurred to her, and she logged onto the forums to see if anyone had any data on her plant growth spell .

There was a LOT of data on both plant growth spells and the growth of various plants . Danika was startled to find that "Living Jade Empire" already had an entire community of gardeners and farmers . She hadn't really paid that much attention to what kinds of plants were surrounding her in the scenery of the game, but apparently it had an enormous catalog of relatively realistic plants and had attracted an entire subculture of gamers .

Danika felt as though she ought to be wearing a sweat drop emote on her head as she combed dozens of guides on growing fruits and vegetables in "Living Jade Empire" . Some of them even included game maps of where the plants were available for collection in the wild, and where the most fertile regions to buy land were . Danika realized that she didn't even know the name of the village that ZipZing was in .

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She had been building a small chart of possible plants when she found the spreadsheet built and maintained by Olea Flos . Not only did it include growth times, soils and yields, but it had links to both real world varieties and catalog pages for in game varieties . Danika was a little astounded by some of the digressions on soils and weather systems in the comments under the article on radishes, which could be grown in as little as 21 days even without growth spells .

ZipZing's plant growth spell turned out to be the most common and most versatile, there were others that could affect whole fields, but the one she'd learned in the beginner's vale was recommended by almost everyone . It leveled up much like her featherweight spell, where the first level of casting was actually the most powerful . The spell time lapsed the plant toward maturity starting at ½ and continued in sequence, the next level being ⅔, then ¾ and so forth . It had no effect on a plant that had already reached maturity, but could also target individual fruits and seeds .

When Danika returned to "Living Jade Empire", she zipped around the house and stopped at the window ledge and knocked . It wasn't a very loud sound, but the witch chuckled, which made the hat jiggle, and promptly said, "Come in, you must be ready for your next task . "

Danika nodded but asked, "What's the name of this village?"

The witch made a tsking noise, and replied, "The townsfolk will be sad to know a little novice is calling such an ancient town a village . This is Oliva, named after the oldest tree in the world . That very tree still grows on the low shale hill in the center of town . It's quite a famous view, and where you'll find the olives I need for your slippery oil . "

Danika asked curiously, "Is it ok to just take them?"

The witch chuckled again and said, "Certainly . The difficult part will be evading the wasps that feed on the pests that try to attack the tree . "

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Danika had a horrible premonition that she was about to be regarded as one of those pests . Before she headed out to the tree, she asked hopefully, "Do you have any advice?"

The hat tilted back far enough for Danika to see the old woman's grin as she replied, "Always wash between your toes and behind your ears, drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest," Danika rolled her eyes and the witch added, "and try not to let the wasps see you . "


The tree stood near Justin's tower, with its wide dark windows and pale stone . The tower was taller than the tree, but the tree's gnarled trunk was nearly as big around as the tower . Danika's earlier flight from his window had bypassed the little shale hill that stood as the town square .

The ancient tree made a pretty contrast with the pale shale that it tangled its roots into . Its silver green leaves stretched out from every branch like fingers reaching out to cup the sunlight . The traveling merchant stood in the shade below the tree .

The merchant looked up as Danika approached and greeted her warmly, "Hello ZipZing! I'm glad to see that you hatched safely . I see that you've already grown quite a bit!"

Danika blinked, and asked, "Have I?"

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The traveling merchant laughed cheerfully and pulled a mirror out of his pack and held it up for her . Her appearance wasn't as rounded as it had been right after hatching . The merchant said helpfully, "All it takes to grow well is plenty of food, rest, and exercise . "

Danika said doubtfully, "I have eaten quite a lot, and I've been pretty active, but I haven't really made time to rest yet?"

The merchant replied with amusement, "Oh? Didn't you only resume your adventures a few minutes ago?"

Danika blinked and then laughed, she had been logged out for the entire two hours of "night" while she ate her lunch and browsed information on plants . "Yes," she agreed happily . "Do you have any radish seeds for sale?" she asked hopefully .

"I do," he agreed promptly, "but where would you plant them? There are a lot of dangers waiting in the wilderness outside this village, and you don't own any garden or field of your own . "

Danika sighed, it had seemed like such a promising idea . She spent the last of the coins she had leftover from the slimes on replenishing her pouch of food instead .

The merchant asked, as she handed over the last coin, "Did you happen to save any of your eggshell? The shards are quite valuable . "

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Danika frowned and glanced toward Justin's tower . After a moment she shook her head . If her shell was valuable, she rather felt that it ought to belong to Quin anyway, since he'd spent such a sum on it .

"That's ok," the merchant said cheerfully, "there are many valuable resources in this area, such as rare butterflies, resinous woods, flower seeds, and frog's teeth . "

Danika eyed him doubtfully and questioned, "Frogs teeth?" She had thought the witch's toad had been suggesting something impossible to obtain .

"Indeed," he agreed seriously . "The large frogs in the swamps nearby are quite dangerous, but also popular because their teeth are large enough to collect easily . "

"Oh," she replied . "My next task is to collect olives though . "

The merchant turned and observed the tree for a moment before saying, "That seems a bit tricky, as the tree is still blooming and there are only a few tiny green ones developing already . " He didn't linger as long as he had in the beginner's vale, instead he set off after a few parting words . "Good luck, I'll see you again soon ZipZing . "

Danika observed the ancient tree with it's delicate white flowers and small green olive buds among the silvery leaves for awhile before approaching it .

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