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223 2.4

 Although Melting Snow had the undeniable yearning to explore the cave that held unknown secrets waiting inside for him to discover, he restrained himself from doing so. He knew that this was unlike him; usually, if there was some adventure waiting in front of him, he would rush in headfirst without thinking.

This was precisely what he wanted to do, but he couldn't make himself do so. If someone he knew saw him right now, hesitating about going into an uncharted cave that could be hiding all sorts of fun mysteries, they would assume that he had matured.

With the way he was scolded by his cousin after the whole jellyfish video debacle, which was really stupid since it brought unneeded attention to their group, they would think that he had learned to think about the consequences of his actions first before doing anything stupid.

However, Melting Snow knew the real reason he was reluctant to go into the cavern wasn't because of any newfound maturity or anything of the sort. No, the reason was actually the exact opposite of that; it was because of his immaturity that he was hesitating to go in.

Inside the cave, it was completely pitch black, there wasn't a single light to be seen, and no matter how brave he was when it came to monsters, being in the dark, especially by himself, scared the bejesus out of him.

"I really need to try and rid myself of this fear. I can't keep being scared of the dark," Melting Snow muttered bravely, but as he stared into the cavern's blackness, his confidence disappeared as quickly as it came. "But not today."

He knew that he shouldn't allow this fear to keep hindering him like this, because who knows when there might be a time when it obstructs him when he is doing a quest. Not wanting that to ever happen, he promises himself that while he was here in Arkala, helping Drifting Cloud with his farm, he will try his best to get over it.

Melting Snow let out a small sigh, before looking regretfully at the cave entrance. He so dearly wanted to go in, but all he could do was open his interface and write down the coordinates of the cave, so he could tell Drifting Cloud it's location.

He already knew that the green-haired man would be happy to learn about him finding the fruit trees, but he would be ecstatic when he told him about the cave. Melting Snow couldn't wait to see the look on the older man's face when he hears about it.

Just thinking about it brought a big smile to Melting Snow's face, and because of that, he no longer felt sad about leaving the cave entrance. He knew he would be able to explore it later with his friend, which would be a lot more fun than doing it alone.

Disregarding the cave, for now, the boy turned around and surveyed his surroundings, while checking his position on the map.

From the looks of it, he had already thoroughly explored the entire western side of the farm, and it was only the eastern side that remained unsearched.

He was glad that he followed Drifting Cloud's example and upgraded his map to the point where Melting Snow could see the places where he had traveled already. He knew that if he ever lost track of the man on a quest, it would come in real handy.

After walking over to the area that had not been investigated yet, the boy took off into a sprint. He was determined to run normally this time without the use of his speed skill. He didn't want to take the chance of missing out on anything interesting he might come across along the way.

There might be another incredible find out there waiting for him to stumble upon it, and it would be a travesty if he was to miss it because everything appeared as a blur. And when he thought of an incredible find, he meant the farm animal that Drifting Cloud hinted at.

However, now that he has time to think about it, he had a feeling that the green-haired man might have been speculating to him about the things he might be able to find on the farm. It could have been that his excitement on finding some sort of cute farm animal made him miss the casual tone the man said it in.

'I'm such an idiot,' the furry-eared boy thought while facepalming mentally. 'Maybe I should give up on finding an animal out here. It's fine anyway, Drifting Cloud promised me a cow.'

Even though he said he gave up finding any animals, he still held onto a smidgen of hope that there might be one around. With the elephant ton of luck his friend had, he believed that Drifting Cloud's throwaway words could become real, and one might appear.

With that hopeful thought in his head, Melting Snow ran along the mountainside wall in a zigzag pattern. While doing so, he thoroughly checked his surroundings for any little thing that could be deemed relevant.

It had been 10-15 minutes now since he started running, the fruit trees were long behind him, and he was once more surrounded by the charred landscape. His hope was dwindling because he doubted that there would be anything alive here.

He kept a special eye out for any animals as he was running, but he didn't see any, not even a bird. Just as he was about to give up and activate his skill to zoom pass this area, he heard a strange sound coming from somewhere.

Meep!

As if lightning struck him, Melting Snow quickly halted in his tracks and began to look around the area frantically searching for what could have made that sound. He examined the field for what seemed like forever, but no matter where he looked, he couldn't find anything.

With drooping shoulders, Melting Snow finally gave up. Taking the sound as his mind playing tricks on him since he wanted to find a farm animal one so badly. Feeling a little desolate, Melting Snow was just about an inch away from activating his skill when he heard the noise again. That when he realized that the sound was coming from the mountain above him.

Meep!

Spinning on his heel, he looked up towards the mountainside, and to his surprise, a small fluffy white baby goat was standing on a cliff.

"I didn't even know that goats were able to climb," Melting Snow uttered in awe. Wondering how it was able to survive the fire and being by itself without its mother for all this time. But then he let the thought slide away since this was a game after all, and the impossible can become possible.

Feeling extremely excited about this new find, even more so than the cave one, the furry-eared boy couldn't wait to bring it back to show Drifting Cloud. Only to realize something, "How to get it down from there?"

Melting Snow didn't have the climbing skill yet, so he knew he wouldn't be able to just climb up there and grab it. And even if he could, he didn't have any of the stuff he needed to tame farm animals yet anyway.

Sighing sadly to himself, he knew he would have to wait to bring the baby goat back. Although he was upset he had to leave it behind, for now, he was still glad he was able to find any animal at all.

Opening up his interface, he marked down the goat's coordinates while feeling proud of himself for finding so many good things. He could hardly wait to tell the green-haired man about it.

Vibrating with happiness, Melting Snow activated his skill and quickly rushed back to where he left Drifting Cloud, making sure to continue looking out for stuff along the way.