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“What a pretty name,” said Ibai. “Why are you in here all by yourself?”
Emiliana lowered her brow at him. “Shouldn’t you know that already?”
“Mm. Probably. But I don’t. Do you know what is going on outside?”
“Some kind of battle.”
“Right. It’s dangerous. You shouldn’t be here. So why are you?”
“...I’m being held prisoner.”
“Prisoner? Why? Did you do something wrong?”
“Oh, so like a hostage, then?”
“I suppose so, yes.”
“Well, that seems pretty unfair. Not to mention boring.”
She only squinted at him.
Ibai laughed suddenly. “I understand! Not being allowed to leave! You can’t possibly know how much I sympathize with you! By the way, what’s wrong with your face?”
Emiliana chose not to answer that.
“Oh, I bet you’re a servant, aren’t you? You’re one of those super-rare mucus users I heard about, right? Do you fight using snot bubbles? Could you show me?”
“Er, I think you mean mutation users...”
“Do I? Well, that sounds way less cool. Hey, where’s your reaper?”
“I don’t know, actually. She’s being kept somewhere else.”
“Oh, should we go find her, then? I bet I know where she is. Ooh, and then we could all go on an adventure together!”
Emiliana hesitated again. “What do you mean by adventure?”
“I don’t know. That’s how adventures work, right?”
“Sounds like a plan!” He grabbed her hand and teleported them both into the next room. They appeared in midair, having to fall a few inches before touching the floor again, and Emiliana ended up stumbling forward.
“What in the world was that?!”
“But--all that--?! What was all that stuff that flashed by?! All those lights!”
“Oh, those?” A beat passed, and then he gave a lame shrug. “Anyway, let’s keep going. It’ll take a couple more jumps to reach the dungeon.”
They teleported once more, three floors down this time. Another troupe of armed strangers with reapers was right there to greet them.
‘It’s an aberration!’
‘It’s got an Elroy!’
And they vanished behind a muddy curtain. When they reappeared, there was no light, and Ibai had to fumble around in the dark for a bit before finding the switch on the wall.
The ceiling lit up in intervals, revealing a long, arching corridor full of musty prison cells, all wrought from ancient rock and steel but still airtight even to this day.