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"Master, the bugs are still here!" Alexia exclaimed as her barefoot bore down on a fleeing figure, sliding across the smooth wooden floors and adding a second long smear mere centimetres from the first.


"How was that meant to be helpful again?" Myri asked. Her complexion looked a bit better after having some time to get over the anxiety falling onto her shoulders.


"I don't know," Alexia shrugged, "I just figured a teleportation spell would've swept all the alive things away, right?"


"You're not wrong." Myri nodded. "After sitting in during Masters lectures, I'm glad to see at least something made its way into that thick head of yours."


"Please, don't remind me." Alexia's face warped in disgust, thinking back to all the time she spent close next to that thing. "So, what do you think it did?"


"I still don't know; I'm at a loss," Myri said as she checked the residual mana left in the air for a second time. If Myri were blind, she would be none the wiser and continue to assume the room was full of people, yet because she wasn't, she knew all too well that the only living things around them were the bugs Alexia found and themselves. The fact that there were so many bugs made her skin crawl. She definitely wasn't going to sleep alone tonight, and tomorrow she'd voice her concerns about staying in such an unhygienic inn to the party.


"So, what now then?" Alexia asked as her panty-clad form plopped down hard on a nearby seat, unknowingly obliterating another bug.


"We..." Myri paused and took in a deep breath before forcing herself to continue, "We could contact Master... I think both of us, you especially, are way out of our depth regarding this matter."


"Why do you always poke fun at my intelligence?" Alexia asked as she took a swig of a nearby ale mug.


"... no reason." Myri looked away to hide her sick expression. The table Alexia was at had a big pile of food on it, enough for about six adventurers at least. Usually, that wouldn't be an issue, except that the plates she was digging into had quite a few bugs swarming it. When she looked back again, she saw a spoonful of mashed potatoes disappear past Alexia's lips, which after looking at her, formed a frown.


"No, seriously. What is it?" Alexia pressured Myri for an answer this time.


"How.. can you eat that?" Myri cracked, finally pointing at the plate of food covered in moving black dots.


"Oh..." it finally clicked for Alexia why Myri was acting so strange, "As far as I can tell, these things are just mana-bugs." Alexia started to explain. "Mana-bugs are just mana, same as me."


"So you just ignore the 'bug' part?" Myri cringed as she watched another spoonful disappear.


"Pretty much." Alexia wiped her lips with the nearby handkerchief, "This food is heaven compared to what I was served in the military under my dad, though."


"I can't believe I never thought to ask this, but how old are you?" Myri asked Alexia, blushing with light shame.


"Before or after?" Alexia narrowed her eyes.


"B-Befor-" "-Twenty-nine," Alexia interrupted Myri's nervous response and broke into a big taunting grin.


"...I hate you." Myri's blush reached the shade of a simple fireball spell. She felt so stupid falling for Alexia's antics again.


"Enough to not want to sleep together tonight?" Alexia asked teasingly. Myri violently shook her head side to side as she gazed fearfully at the group of nearby mana-bugs grouping on the floor. She wasn't going to ask why Alexia knew that, but any amount of teasing would be worth avoiding a bed full of insects.


"Welp," Alexia suddenly stood up, intentionally stepping on that same group of insects, snuffing them all out in an instant. "Ready for bed? I'm guessing tomorrow is going to be a long day." She asked Myri.


"Yeah..." Myri's face grew solemn, "Let's go rest."

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