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Aishin didn't switch to his full motion console after announcing that he'd arrived and was getting ready for bed. Danika couldn't guess if that meant he wasn't sleeping at home or if he was just that tired. He entered the space in the little pebble she carried for a bit, before rejoining her once he was in bed.

Just about the time that she was ready to give up for the night and go sleep, they spotted one of the ugliest creatures she'd ever seen, including the Slugmin. Long spidery fingers probed the wood it clung to. At least until it turned to blink at them and revealed it's cute face framed by large furry ears and flicked its fluffy tail.

It's hands were still incredibly creepy though. Her animal identification skill verified that this was the Aye-Aye lemur species she sought. She zipped forward, but the lemur evaded her neatly.

Despite being bigger than any lemur she'd ever seen it was quite agile and quick. She cast her invisibility and tried again. The lemur seemed to be able to see her just as well as ever and dodged her again.

Aishin darted in the direction that she seemed to be chasing it, and used his silent movement. The lemur paid him no attention. Danika couldn't tell if it were just focusing on her or if Aishin wasn't detectable to it. She let her invisibility end and the lemur blinked and then focused on her even more intently. She cast her light cantrip and spread the particles out in a net and moved them toward it. It retreated into Aishin's hands and Danika darted forward and huffed her dragon breath into its face.

Aishin broke his silence by asking doubtfully, "Don't tell me that this is the really cute creature that we were hunting."

Danika shrugged helplessly and nodded. "It actually is fairly cute if you don't look at its hands?" she said doubtfully.

"If you say so," he agreed blandly.

They both logged out to sleep after the un-piratical Aye-Aye lemur had had a few strands of its fur stolen by a greedy little dragon.

--

In the morning Danika looked up the species while she ate. There were so few of them left in the world that each one had a name and its own little biography. They were just as weird and kind of creepy in real life as they were in the game though. They apparently shared the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. The birds seemed much more ordinary and efficient to her.

Most of the sixth, including Danika, spent the day reworking the expansion and all its built in potential quest lines into more streamlined frameworks. ZipZing spent much of the day in her garden practicing, and both the fairy dragon and her pet firefly gained skill levels. Hikaru learned another of her skills too.

When she logged in to play that evening, Danika returned to Fogton, to meet up with Shrubbery and Kit. Ryullusion was there too when Danika arrived. Aishin and his bandmates finished early and joined them before they got started, so they split into three parties to work on the guild quests.

The little redheaded genie Saaki, and the dark haired elven bard Ryullusion, took the mission to remove squirrels from an attic. Shrubbery, Kit, and Edwardian borrowed ZipZing's pebble and took the mission to deliver a hundred kegs of mead to a remote village that didn't have a portal, leaving ZipZing and Aishin to work on finding a good place for the retiree who wanted to fish and farm in peace.

Danika said worriedly after they left, "I hope Saaki won't just burn the roof off."

Aishin just grinned at her, which wasn't reassuring. He was playing on his console though, so his voice sounded normal when he said teasingly, "I'm pretty certain that that would get rid of any pesky squirrels."

She rolled her eyes at him, and then she explained her thoughts about having the would be farmer raise something like the giant snails they'd hunted before. "If he built a sturdy enough walled space with enough food for a while inside, I think he could safely spend as much time as he wanted fishing? And they don't seem like they'd be as high maintenance as a wool producing animal? What do you think?"

"No idea, but you make it sound plausible? If we find a good place for that and he doesn't want it should we get it for the guild?" Aishin questioned.

"I don't know, we really need to save up to buy one of the buildings beside Shrubbery's garden," Danika said doubtfully.

"People keep informing me that you have to invest what you have in productive things in order to build up enough money to make more money out of it though," Aishin told her laughingly.

"Are your investments not doing well?" she questioned nosily.

"Fine as far as I'm aware," he assured her. "But since Edwardian is going to be our treasurer in another week or so of guild quests, he's been doing research and lecturing the rest of us. Bystander's usually suddenly have a lot to add to the conversation after they hear a bit of that."

His face looked as amused as his voice said he was, and Danika thought that she was going to miss being able to see his expressions sometimes while Underneath was on tour.

"It sounds like he's really putting a lot of effort into it, I thought MatchlessMinion just said that we needed someone to hold the title?" Danika commented questioningly.

Aishin shrugged and told her cheerfully, "It's not bad for him to learn about investing, or for him to share what he's learning though. Even if the game doesn't need it, it won't hurt to know more about what the people handling our real investments are up to."

"True," she agreed.

--

They were passing through Fogton again on their way north this time, when the elf accosted them. He was a tall beautiful blonde in flamboyant blue, and rather unusually, a Jade Hand, one of the priests serving the Jade Emperor and specializing in healing.

As soon as he saw them he called out happily, "Hey, ZipZing! Add me to your party!"

"Um," Danika replied blankly. Then she realized that his name was in the color that only her friends were. She struggled to remember who Magna Silvam might be. One of the people she worked with, she was fairly certain.

Aishin stepped forward and said blandly, "Only women can join my party."

Danika stared at the back of his head for a moment and then zipped forward, landed on his shoulder, and whispered into his ear, "Hey! What are you talking about? Since when?"

Magna Silvam frowned and repeated as though he could hear her, "Since when? But who cares, just add me to your guild instead then ZipZing."

Danika glanced worriedly at Aishin, who hadn't made any explanation yet, and back at Magna Silvam.

"She doesn't seem to know you," Aishin replied instead.

"I'm pretty sure he's one of the people I work with," Danika admitted nervously.

"Oooh, she really doesn't know," Magna Silvam agreed laughingly. He grinned at her and instructed, "Add me anyway, it'll be fun, and I could use a break."

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About the author

gusdefrog

Bio: I'm not actually a frog... but frogs are cool! They have tiny little hands! And some frogs can even fly (glide)! ...and my name isn't actually Gus, but I've been wearing it long enough that it is?

Since beginning to lose my vision, I've been writing to replace the creating I used to do as drawing and painting.

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redria7 @redria7 ago

There are ways to make friends with coworkers outside of work.

This is not one of them.

Intentions aside, it’s just creepy...

DragonWyrm @DragonWyrm ago

It's one of her bosses. Isn't It?

Punster lv1 @Punster lv1 ago

Thanks for the chapter

dan @dan ago

it's me, it's me! the scam, now available online. order now, scammers are limited. <-- that's my thought on mystery elf.

Arcturus @Arcturus ago

The trollish, somewhat exuberant, and slightly awkward behavior is making me think of Lin Hao for some reason....