Solved: Underbrush

After being cooped up at home for so long, I was finally ready to go exploring. Going on a cruise seemed like the perfect plan – ride the ocean waves and visit another part of the country. Although I needed to prepare myself for the long journey, I could not wait to go!

I started preparing for the journey by picking up some of the latest technology and getting a self-defense lesson at the local dojo. I am pretty fortunate to live in a bustling city. Since the company has its headquarters right here, I always get some nice discounts.

I then headed over to a nearby town to see my friends off, passing the local daycare along the way. Some kids by the pool suggested that I buy a nice bike to travel quickly from point to point. It was a pretty expensive purchase, but I sure did speed everywhere. I even jumped over ledges like a sweet BMXer. So cool!

I stopped by the old abandoned power plant to try and find some hidden treasure. Not much luck – it took a hard swim to reach the plant and most of the stuff I found was fake junk. Pity I could not find anything – my bike light was basically useless when I tried to go through the really dark tunnel. It seems like every time I took a step, all of the bats in the cave would freak out from my light and flap in my face. I came out of the tunnel and saw the big memorial tower in the distance, even though it took me a while to actually get to the town it was in. I did not want to stay long because that place freaks me out so much, so I hurried back home. I was ready to go on my cruise!

Once I had rested up, I biked to the port city with ticket in hand. However, just when I reached the docks, my mother called me. Since this was the first overseas trip I had ever done, she insisted that I go pay my respects to my ancestors before leaving. When I protested that I had just visited that town, she just asked me rhetorically who had control of my bank account. Sighing, I biked along the bridge back to the creepy old town. At least the weather was beautiful. I could totally see myself fishing off of the dock with some nice flute music in the background.

It took me a while to find the right gravesite, but after pushing through Shinto priestesses for a solid 15 minutes, I found the right headstone, lit my incense and bolted back to the port city. What a lot of work for a simple cruise!

I soon settled down in that other region, having fun studying at the local academy and praying with the monks. However, once another long break rolled around, I felt another itch for exploration. I decided to spend my break by taking the scenic route to the big city, even though a direct path had already been cleared out.

First, I stopped by the old ruins that were right by my host city. I like to try and puzzle out what those weird hieroglyphics could possibly be saying. After doing some fishing on the small bridge, I headed into that spooky cave. Even though there were plenty of other hikers in that cave, I seemed to be the only one who heard those strange dinosaur-like noises echoing from deep within the cavern. Maybe there really is something down there?

When I emerged from the cave, I arrived at a quaint little rural town. Even though they have a shiny new hospital with all of the latest medical equipment, most of the town still seems to be ignoring the progress of technology. The townsfolk still use well water, harvest acorns and rely on charcoal to heat their homes. I then pressed on through the surrounding woods, pushing past all of the knee-high bushes blocking the way.

When I finally got back onto paved roads, I immediately saw the big city with its brand new radio tower. Time to party! I have never seen such a bustling metropolis in all my life. Even though there was supposedly shady business all around, I saw none of this dark underbelly and had a blast gambling at the casino, checking out the construction of the new train station and even got a new haircut!

However, all good times must come to an end. My Mom soon called me, complaining that she did not fund my cruise just so I could spend all my money in a big flashy city. When I pointed out that she spends my money on decorative dolls all the time, she furiously demanded that I go right back to my studies now. Frustrated, I darted through the nearby bug-infested park and went straight back to the academy.

I figured that my mom was heckling me so much because she missed me, so I decided to catch up with the folks. My mom was so surprised to see me and even invited Doc to dinner. We had a great time rambling about old times.

While we were talking, my mom told me about this new fossil exhibit over at the museum. Even though it was a couple of towns away, she insisted that it was simply amazing and encouraged me to go check it out. In the morning, I set out for the museum. Man, walking out of my hometown really reminds me of the days of my youth! Even with the help of nostalgia, I still got a little lost in the woods on my way to the museum. I thought I saw this massive bird in one of the trees and it really freaked me out. It did not help that this grouchy old man delayed me and kept trying to teach me common sense stuff. Someone clearly missed his coffee this morning.

When I finally arrived at the museum, it turned out the exhibit was super lame. I am still not quite sure what space and moon rocks have to do with fossils, but ok. One of the scientists did give me a free amber souvenir, though, which more than made up for the steep entrance fee.

Today was the day of the big annual bike race! We all lined up at the top of the big bridge and raced down to the bottom. It is a pretty crazy race - since the bridge slopes downhill, once you get going, there is really no stopping. When I showed up, there were a bunch of bikers already there, and I could tell they judged me for my bike. Still, I did pretty well - I got in the top 10!

When I got to the bottom, I was too worn out to go back the way I came, so I figured that I would spend the day at the wildlife preserve. It was pretty amazing- there were some incredible animals there, the kind you only hear about in stories. No pets were allowed on the preserve, but the warden let me fish, and the ponds there are stocked with all varieties of fish! A lot of parents brought their kids to the preserve, but they really need to learn how to control their children- some of them threw food at the animals, while even worse kids threw rocks at the poor things. I also saw a pair of gold dentures in one of the exhibits, which I am sure one of those bratty kids threw.