"Look, me and Rayna, we've been friends a long time. Each of us can usually tell if the other is stressed or is just normal, or like whether they're angry or just messing around..that kind of thing."
"Uh-huh?" Aria nodded, not seeing the point yet.
"But...the thing is, like, you know how normally you have a dream and it feels like you were there for five, ten minutes when you were asleep all night?"
"Yeah," Rayna nodded.
"I didn't get that.
"Maybe? I dunno."
"Well, it seems like it's worth a shot. Since probably there are some some magic classes that can use meditation to their advantage, there's gotta be a few teachers in town. We could look for some once we get back from this hunt."
"Uh, yeah, uh-huh. Like I told them, I didn't even know there was a town here."
"I'm guessing you're a nature draconian, then? You collect plants rather than gold or jewels?"
"Well, I guess that's right," she said, blinking a couple of times. "I brought some gifts to show I'm friendly!" Having retrieved the leaf basket from Nora, she held it out at the captain.
"F-farewell," said Nora.
She was right, but Mika hadn't actually thought about that. "Um...yeah, probably that."
"Well, it doesn't do that because of the magic involved," said the captain. "The problem is that it looks an awful lot like a place to summon demons, and people—even my guards—don't like the idea of that. Anyone who doesn't know a fair amount about this sort of thing is going to assume someone is setting up to attack the town with a demon army. And we can't not protect that side of town, you understand?"
"Yes," said Zack.
"Well, in light of the work you've done—especially today's work, not only the report on that castle but catching those thieves and discovering a powerful new ally for our town—I think I could arrange to give you a plot of land around the ritual site, and have a fence around the area and a house built there for you."
"Sure," she said, "it's a fairly big decision. Get back to me by midafternoon tomorrow. If your answer is no I will expect you to clean up the summoning site."
"Right, of course."
"W-well, I mean technically I d-didn't though?"
"Technically?" Mika shrugged, "but that doesn't work unless it's an actual bet with consequences. Anyway, I figured out the perfect thing on the way here. Sooo, follow me!" She started off down the street, the others following after.
"We have to do 'something embarassing'," said the psion. "Not so much her win as our loss," she added with a shrug.
Zack finished, "No." His ears were folded flat against his head and his arms were crossed.
"Oh come on, this is perfect!" said the witch, hopping up and down a bit. "It's kinda embarassing, yeah, but it's also private. We can rent a room just for us for an hour and talk about the house thing while we relax and get clean. Anyway, you lost a bet," she said, glaring up at him. "The only person who gets a choice in this is Nora."
The weaver shrugged. "T-to be honest, I've gotten used to f-feeling exposed. I'm b-barely even wearing anything to begin with."