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Borg said:
Let’s buy a pot of oil in case we need to refill our old lantern. Let’s also get a roc feather; we’re unlikely to find such a feather anywhere else on our travels, and at minimum it’ll be a cool souvenir.
Considering that you may not always be able to catch a lantern bug in time, you decide to spend the last of your gemstones on some lantern oil, just in case.
You trade 5 Gemstones for Pot of Lantern Oil.
Moonflower: “I’ll take two of these feathers! Maybe they got some magic properties.”
Shopkeeper: “Thank you, ponies! Come back when you have more gemsss, yes?”
You bid farewell to the shopkeeper, and resume your westward travels.
After walking for a while longer, the jade treetops of the Everfree Forest finally come into view. Soon, your hooves meet with soft grass once more, marking the end of Rambling Rock Ridge’s reach.
You follow the outskirts of the woodlands until a road leads you into the forest proper. Then, you continue past a fork in the road, and make your way back out at the northern edge.
As you approach the wooden rope bridge, you chance upon Apple Basket having just crossed it. He waves at the two of you from a distance, and you meet him halfway.
Apple Basket: “Howdy! Glad to see you both made it back all fine and dandy.”
You nod, and return the feeling. You tell Apple Basket that you have the wild blue yarrow, and ask him how he fared.
Apple Basket: “I got the sun’s tear right here. Oh, and I figured I’d grab y’all some lunch while I was in town. Hungry?”
At the mention of food, breakfast suddenly feels further away. You and Moonflower accept some fresh veggie salad sandwiches, and after repaying the colt with some grateful hugs and nuzzles, you eagerly begin to eat.
Apple Basket: “I gotta say, these parts sure ain’t what I’m used to. It’s all woods back home, save some fields on the farm, so walkin’ through grasslands as far as the eye can see felt like a whole new experience. And I never got lost, either!”
Moonflower: “Yuh uh! Forests are kinda like mazes sometimes, ‘cause you can’t see super far, and everythin’ looks the same. I get turned around all the time!”
You agree, and suggest that ribbons can be helpful to mark pathways when there aren’t any other landmarks you can use to keep track of where you are. Then, you ask Apple Basket how dealing with the sun bees went.
Apple Basket: “Thankfully, they didn’t make much of a fuss. I brought ‘em a cup o’ nectar from one of the local farms, and the queen was happy to trade it for a piece of their honeycomb. How ’bout you gals?”
You recount your mostly uneventful excursion into the mountains, and mention your encounter with the diamond dogs — and how you seem to be losing your touch.
Apple Basket: “Uh… well, it could’a been worse, right? If anything, you got a knack for gettin’ outta trouble.”
Moonflower: “I think maybe it’s better this way! Those dogs were kinda big. I dunno if I could’a helped you deal with ’em. Heehee…”
You swallow the last bite of your sandwich, and feel satiated.
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