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Flens Verpa and Flitch continued their journey to Three Rivers the next day. Verpa realized that he was being slowed by the dwelf’s awkward gait. Flitch did not so much walk as weave, wobbling on his ankles and seemingly constantly on the verge of spraining them. Verpa resolved to have him fitted for leg braces as soon as they got to the city. Flitch himself was used to the way he walked, so he moved his legs without much thinking about it. Instead, he focused on his stomach, trying to feel his new parasite moving within him (to his chagrin, he could not), and wondering if he’d finally get to be the one shitting worms. His cock hardened to where his balls started to ache and he could no longer bear the delicious urge, and so he told Verpa he needed to piss. Instead, he quickly masturbated, spraying a bush with sickly, sterile seed.

What he did not know was that Verpa was subtly watching. Verpa saw Flitch stroke himself to orgasm; the poor boy must have been unbearably excited to cum that fast. A quick dick was more than fine by Verpa; he liked to top, and he had a thing for people who couldn’t control themselves. If the boy’s bowels proved as leaky and excitable as his balls, he would be a fine traveling companion.

Three Rivers was not a particularly huge city, but it was definitely a city. The eponymous rivers ran through it, and there were many high bridges across them (high, to let barges through), with lifts for carts and livestock. Verpa dragged Flitch to a corsetmaker and had him measured for leg braces. The sum quoted horrified Flitch, but Verpa shrugged it off. Enabling Flitch to walk properly would save money, in the end. Next was the sort of clothier who sold ready-made and secondhand clothing cheap, and Flitch received two extra shirts, an extra pair of pants, and a knapsack to put them in. He could have leather gear after he had his leg braces and once they were sure he was done growing, Verpa said.

The boy now had enough clothing to do his laundry without going naked. Verpa left him at the inn, with strict instructions not to go anywhere or do anything, and went to go explore the microbial landscape of the trade city.

The well water contained the same old enteric strains, nothing significantly new. A privy by the west docks contained a strain of dysentery he hadn’t seen in this area before, but which was still familiar to him. There was a new strain of gonorrhea going around, what felt like a mutation of the one common to the area—“felt” being the closest word for his sense of the organism’s structure, or rather his reception of his worms’ sense of it—and Verpa acquired it during a very satisfying ten minutes in a fuckbooth too dark to see in. But there was nothing truly novel. Truth be told, Verpa was not very disappointed. It had been only a few months since his last visit, and with only two adult dickworms, he wasn’t very well equipped to control an unfamiliar organism. In fact, even his accustomed ones were trying to give him trouble; throughout the day, he’d had to tamp down low-grade fevers every so often with an effort of will. Normally he’d just ride out a spontaneous resurgence—it was the sort of thing that happened every few months, and he was used to it—but that would also mean shedding whatever was causing it, which could be several different organisms, and usually the ones most likely to try to proliferate were the most deadly. It would be just plain stupid to unleash a hemorrhagic fever in a temperate-climate town like Three Rivers, and not very much fun. Fever bleeding wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the stories always had it, and the death rates gave Verpa no satisfaction and caused a lot of nastiness. There was also Flitch to think about. His worm wasn’t yet acclimated to his system, and would never be quite as good as if it were engineered for his body. Verpa didn’t want to give it that difficult a test for a few weeks yet. They should start with diseases that didn’t kill anyone, anyway.

Flitch had been warned not to drink the water, so of course, he drank it. A lot of it. The only immediate result was needing to pee. He went to the privy, which was jammed way too close to the well, and sat on it. First he pissed, letting clear liquid out of his dick. Then he shat. It was solid, to his disappointment, stimulating his rim as it passed. But, that reminded him of Verpa’s penetration of him yesterday, and his teenage cock became quite stiff at the mere thought of it. Flitch stroked himself, thinking of Verpa’s massive, infested, and most certainly diseased penis, and of the comparatively fewer diseases in himself; the flux Verpa said he was still shedding, the worm and maybe some baby worms, and whatever lurked in the water he had just drunk. He imagined the pretty barmaid at the inn catching the flux from him and shitting herself, just splattering brown down her skirt as she poured beer for guests, not even realizing she was shitting as it pooled on the floor, and he came, splashing white on the privy floor. Flitch pulled up his pants and went back inside, waiting for Verpa.

He woke in the middle of the night, needing to shit. Flitch pulled out the chamber pot and sat over it, pleased to hear liquid spattering into it as he relaxed his anus. Unsurprisingly, the noise woke Verpa.

“You drank the water, didn’t you,” he said.

“Yeah,” admitted Flitch.

“That was stupid, since your worm’s still adjusting, but you’ll be fine. It’s a common enteric strain; I can smell it. Everyone has some; you’re only loose because it’s not one you’re used to.” Verpa spoke as if he were about to roll over and go back to sleep, but he was sitting up, one hand toying with his cock, as Flitch continued to release diarrhea into the chamber pot. Flitch was mostly concerned with emptying his bowels, but he was half-hard himself.

“How did you find out you were into this?” asked Flitch, between waves of liquid shit.

“Well,” said Verpa, considering. “I don’t suppose you’re sleeping much more tonight, anyway…”