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Papa, mama, I'm sorry. Your daughter has become a cannibal. Then again, I'm not a human right now, so that shouldn't have been cannibalism, right?

To be honest, it was a sensation unlike any I've felt before. Having a man inside me for the first time was a little scary at the beginning, but it started to feel really good soon after. When I pulled him out after his essence melted into me, it felt really hot inside.

"For my cute child, I left only the best parts. That was a self-proclaimed human king who dared to challenge me at my gates yesterday." When the Maou-sama notices my satisfaction - despite the fact that I have no face, and therefore, no facial expressions - she comments.

Thank you Maou-mama!

Pfft- wait, what?!

I would do a spit take if only I had a mouth.

It would appear that I just ate a king. So what was that elf's head? Don't tell me it belonged to the elven queen?

"Although I have to admit, the elven queen was unlike anything I have tasted before. Next time I shall leave some for you." She continues.

Argh! Don't answer as if you read my mind!

Really, eating their leaders will only draw the wrath of the humans and elves. Well, considering we're quite obviously the demon folk, they already see us as their bitter enemies. But the king's head looked quite young, so I have to wonder about how humanity works in this world. All the monarchs I know from my world are old and appear to refuse to die and pass on the torch. Same for politicians.

I have so many questions popping up in my head, but for now, I'll just go with the flow. I mean, this is a dream, and I'll wake up soon, right? Right! I've never had such a lucid dream! Everything feels so real!

Yes, I still believe this is all just a dream from which I'll wake up any second now.

I'm just a normal high school student - one not even especially good at my studies, with my only redeeming feature being that I'm great at running - so if someone were to tell me that this is my new reality, I think I'd break down crying.

"Now that you had your first conscious meal, what do you say about taking on a form that will cost fewer maids their sanity?" The demon queen asks when I finish taking the stuffed and baked torso into my body. This one also belonged to the king, considering its physique.

Stuffed with what, you ask? What other than the organs already in it?

By taking on another form, I assume our kind can shapeshift. In other words, we must be doppelgangers, or however the fantasy race that can copy other people's looks and abilities are called in works of fiction. Now that I consider it, I'm quite excited at the prospect of learning how to change my appearance. I could turn into all kinds of things that I had imagined I wanted to look like before, including changing into a more delicate and ladylike girl.

"There are two ways for us Crawling Chaos to change form." She begins to explain.

Crawling Chaos? It feels like I've heard of something similar before. I think it was a certain Outer God in moe girl form.

"The first is through consumption. It will get dissolved inside us, and the information contained in their flesh will enable us to replicate their physical bodies perfectly." And my beautiful mother's shape changes into the equally beautiful elven queen she ate earlier. I look at where her supple cleavage was only moments ago and notice the lack thereof. So elves have such pitiful appearances in this world? Or was it only this particular individual?

Wait, doesn't this pattern lead to her expecting me to change into the human king next?

"Now you try it. Transform into the one you just consumed."

I knew it!

But I can't betray her expectant eyes, especially when she looks like a cute elf. I stand up and focus my mind, go into myself and draw on whatever I can grasp, finally taking hold of a strangely clear image before my eyes. It's that of the male human's body before it was chopped up and made into my meal.

And it's naked.

Ah, wait!

But it's already too late. I come to my senses and look down at my hands. They are human ones. Then I look further down and see a thing dangling between my legs.

Oh, my!

"Great, you did it." The demon queen is back in her previous appearance. She looks me up and down, her eyes stopping at my groin for a split second longer than anywhere else. "Now, the other method is a little more difficult and requires some imagination, as not all the information is as readily available as it is with something we consume."

With this, her body changes into a copy of mine. That is to say, she is now a handsome but rather muscular man, wearing a revealing dress. Before the image burns itself into my mind, she quickly morphs back into her previous self.

"I do not have any interest in the male form unless it is absolutely necessary." Her expression shows that she didn't like doing that, and I agree doubly in that matter. You shouldn't transform into a man when you're wearing a silken dress that reveals more than it hides, and I don't really like this appearance myself, it just feels wrong. "Then, please do it."

I decide to try and morph into my own actual appearance. Even though I'm obviously familiar with the female body, I can't visualize any other than my own to the degree that I could replicate it from memory. The image is quite clear, but once again, I realize my mistake too late.

Now I stand in front of a bunch of strangers in my original appearance, wearing nothing but my birthday suit.

"That is incredible. I expected you to copy one of the servants or me, but you created an appearance from imagination alone." Looking at me in prideful astonishment, Maou-mama praises me.

"Thank you, eheheh..." I answer with a shy smile.

Wait, I have a mouth, I can talk! And I just spoke in this language that isn't Japanese, even though I wasn't able to get a basic grasp of English in school. Am I a genius?

"Oh my, you already learned how to speak?" Widening her eyes, she looks amazed.

Crap. I shouldn't be able to speak yet? Am I an idiot?

"You are so gifted! Then we shall get to your training as soon as possible." It appears that it didn't cause reason for concern or even suspicion, and I breathe an internal sigh of relief.

Training? Will I have to wear a heavy turtle shell on my back and do all kinds of activities with it on? Or maybe learn to focus my inner energies to walk up trees and conjure balls of electricity from my hands?

"Come with me." Gesturing for me to follow her, the demon queen goes ahead and walks towards the door I entered the hall through. The other maids stay behind and begin to clean up after our breakfast.

I'm reluctant to walk through the castle while naked, especially while I'm in my human form. I gathered from the fact that Maou-mama didn't change her outfit while morphing into different appearances means that actual clothes can't be created from our bodies, but I guess a simulated skintight outfit works. Like body paint?

Thus, I visualize my school's sports uniform, which consists of a white shirt and dark blue bloomers. This should be much better now, but in reality, I'm still naked.

Huh, isn't this actually worse?

Am I some kind of pervert? Everyone will know that I'm actually naked since I did this transformation in plain sight. Well, at least I had the presence of mind not to include my name tag. Otherwise, it would really look like I'm working at a questionable establishment.

Though somehow I can't help but feel excited... I'm really a pervert, aren't I?

"Are those clothes? That is quite curious." The demon queen looks me up and down with a finger on her chin. She doesn't seem to be bothered by the knowledge that I'm actually naked, and I feel like an idiot for over-thinking this.

Then again, this transformation is a stroke of genius, if I may say so myself. I removed some features of the human anatomy, such as the important parts on my chest and down below. From my own point of view, I can say that it's a great disguise, though I don't know about anyone else looking at it.

I look around to take in all the sights of the castle as we walk through its interiors. From the lengths of the hallways and the large windows in some of them, I can tell that this place is huge. I'm sure I would get lost in it easily if I were alone, but that just makes it so much more of a miracle that I found the dining hall where I was supposed to go on my first try.

We walk down several flights of stairs, and the windows have disappeared. This must be underground now, most likely part of the dungeons. Don't tell me training involves me fighting against some captured humans or something like that? But I can't find it in me to ask where exactly I'm being taken. Not like I can just refuse even if it's somewhere I don't want to go.

Finally, we come upon a heavy metal door at the end of a hallway. Pushing it open effortlessly with a single hand, the demon queen leads me into a small antechamber directly connected to a large circular room with bare stone walls. The circular portion is elevated by two steps, which somehow makes me think that it's missing another door right there.

When I walk up these two steps and look around, I find that there are cuts and claw marks in the walls. Either a battle between people with weapons took place here, or a thrashing beast with sharp claws was confined in this room. Considering this looks like a small underground ring where people are forced to fight to their death against monsters or each other, both explanations seem very likely.

"Now, step up into the circle, my child." Maou-mama's voice sounds gentle as she gestures for me to stand in the center of the room. I somehow can't help but think that she can be trusted.

When I walk up the two steps and look down, I realize that there are markings on the ground which remind me of something I've seen hundreds of times in fantasy games: This is a magic circle. So this must be a teleportation circle or something like that.

"Concentrate. If you do not, you may get torn to pieces." I hear from behind me when I reach the center.

I understand, mama. I just need to concen-

What?!

In the next moment, before I can turn to her and see what kind of expression the demon queen has on her face, the magic circle begins to glow blue, and I feel an unseen force tugging at every fiber of my being. Then my surroundings disappear and are replaced by a stream of violently flashing lights, inside which my body seems to be thrown around helplessly, like a wet cloth inside a washing machine.

It feels like I'm being torn apart!

"Riiip."

That sound just now doesn't bode well.

Wait, that came from my body! I just lost my arms! Come back to meeee!!! Ah, they disappeared into the light.

Waaah, it feels like I'm being pulled apart by my waist!

Ah, my lower body is gone, too.

Now I'm floating in space, only a limbless torso with a head. And somehow, I don't feel any pain. Did I die? Is this the end of my dream?

Yes, I still believe this is only a strange dream, and I'll wake up either when my alarm clock rings, or when I die in here. Like in that movie about a group diving into a person's dreams. Though in that one you wouldn't wake up when you died, you would go deeper and be trapped forever.

Well, that was only a movie, and this here is reali- no wait, it's not.

With a splat, I land on solid ground face-first, and I feel my previously pristine seventeen-year-old Japanese high school girl face changing into something that needs to be hidden with mosaic - again.

The fact that I'm still alive is a testament to the fact that a Crawling Chaos must not worry about injuries or even loss of limbs. Even impacting on the ground face first caused it to turn into an unsightly mess, but it consolidated into a solid form immediately again. That's mighty convenient, especially when considering that I can't feel any sort of discomfort in this form, which is what makes people wake up from dreams most of the time. I guess I'll be stuck here for a while longer.

I morph into a humanoid form using the mass I have, but since I lost half my body, only a loli version comes out. And I'm in a white t-shirt and bloomers, which are practically nothing more than body paint. If I were a character in a certain thin book, a van would drive up now and some sweaty, balding ota-

Let's not go there...

Finally, I stand up on my two short legs and look around. It seems that I'm in a forest. I already suspected it, but that magic circle was a teleportation circle. But when I look down, there is none under my feet, only dirt, and dead leaves.

In other words, this was a one-way trip? Was I just abandoned in the woods under the guise of training?

Um, mama?

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Meakashi

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