Was Void…cleaning? Bee stood there in shock. Watching as the all-powerful demon made graceful sweeps across the floor, covering every inch. Where it passed every speck of dust, every bit of debris floated off the floor in a large radius around him and entered his maw as Void consumed it. Left in his wake were only spotless pieces of hardwood floor and clean bits of trim. Along with… nothing else, actually. The only things that remained were things that should be there, like chairs, carpet, and rugs. For some reason, it left those alone. When it was done, everything below about 6 inches off the ground was sparkling clean and spotless. This was bizarre. She just couldn't think of any other way to describe it. Why would this being that everything ran from, act as a simple janitor? What was it trying to tell her?
Her heart sank. It might be trying to tell her that it liked a clean environment and her job was to be, once again, a maid.
This was actually rather disappointing. Some part of Bee, as much as she feared Void, had looked forward to being the minion of some all-powerful magic being that crushed all in its wake. It would be a nice change in her life, something interesting. But if it just wanted her to be a maid, what changed? Sure she might be terrified for her life all the time, but she was still cleaning. She supposed there was no one around to use the toilets but her. But that made it even more pointless. If no one is here to use the castle, why bother cleaning it? As disappointed as she was, the whole fear-of-death-or-eternal-torment thing put it in perspective. Not wanting her soul to be consumed, she figured she'd give it a try and see what happened.
As Void finished cleaning, it made to exit the room. Bee stepped aside, allowing him to pass. Without pausing, Void beeped at her softly, encouraging her to follow. That was something else she was starting to get used to; those unearthly screams sounded only half as terrifying now. Bee figured that they might be the only ways Void could communicate, in which case she had to get used to them. For something that had such power, it was starting to become a lot less intimidating. The more time she spent around it, the more she noticed the complete absence of any threatening behavior. This was making her start to think something was not as it seemed. Void moved down the hallway a little, skipping a few doors before opening one. It went inside, and she followed him this time rather than standing outside.
The demon paused for a couple seconds spinning in a circle twice, then began the same procedure as it had in the previous room. Moving in purposeful lines that seemed to trace the floor plan and clean up everything it neared. Bee was starting to get the idea.
Wary of the consequences of not assisting, she looked for a way to help. There really wasn't much more she could do than Void (she would not call him Spot, even in her head) was able to. There was no way she could improve the cleaning of the floor beyond his suction, even with stone or wood polish. A broom left significantly more debris behind. However, it was clear where the demon wasn't paying attention. Anything above a couple feet off the floor was getting no attention and becoming dusty. With an idea, Bee hobbled into the room using the hat stand to steady herself. She took the sleeve of her uniform and ran it along the mantle over the fireplace. It was filthy. She moved next to Void's path. In front of Void, she shook out her sleeve to put the dust in front of its maw.
Void gobbled it up without hesitation, chirping at her again. Choosing to take that as a sign of approval, Bee continued doing so until the mantle was clean. Looking at her grimy sleeve, she thought she might need to get some tools for this, or else she would get unpleasant rather quickly.
“Honored master, may I humbly beg leave of you to get some cleaning tools?”
Maybe she was speaking way too humbly, but it was better to err on caution's side.
As Bee started making her way toward her old friend, the broom closet, she began to think she might have made a mistake. The presence of Void had totally driven the knowledge from her mind that there were probably dozens of minor demons running around the castle. And if what she read was to be believed, more and more prominent monsters would emerge as time passed. As much as she wouldn't like to admit it, Void's presence was probably the only thing keeping her safe. It seems the demons respected its strength enough to leave him alone and not even try to lay claim to things that were already his.
But now she was wandering about alone. Should she go back? She had already committed to retrieving these supplies. What would it think if she failed at such a simple task? Would it take her uselessness as a reason to discard her? Taking stock of her location, Bee realized she was already halfway there; the cleaning closet wasn't too far away. She might as well finish this up. Though thinking back, she'd already been saved by Void twice. Would it even bother the third time?
“Ashes, I'm an idiot.” She muttered to herself as she continued to hobble along. Her pace was significantly faster than it had been, even a few hours ago. The healing ointment was maybe numbing her pain, but her leg felt more stable. She still leaned on the hat stand, but she figured she might be able to walk properly in a few hours.
The human left me for some supplies. This was kind of her. I likely wouldn't be able to use any of them. I don't think my arm could hold or operate a spray bottle. But maybe some more powerful cleaning liquids could be compatible with my mop. I hope she gets back soon. It won't take me much longer to finish cleaning this room, and I feel bad about leaving without letting her know, as she did ask for my assistance.
It only took another 30 seconds for me to finish the bedroom, so I went out into the hall to find her. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out which direction she had gone. So I just started cleaning the hallway while I waited. I had already covered it yesterday, but I might as well get a head start. Back and forth I went. Still, I admired the floor; it was impossible not to. However, I was becoming used to it. Would I miss its fine detail and craftsmanship when my training concluded; and I went back home? I think I would. I have to be careful not to get too spoiled. Maybe there'll be some spots in this castle I won't like cleaning as much. Or perhaps I can figure out a good way to fix up floors - that might be interesting. Maybe there'll be some mutation that can improve, not just the cleaning aspects. Maybe, I can learn to do some repairs. Or is that too far outside of my mandate?
Either way, I thought about what I wanted to teach next. There were so many options. Now that I felt she had gotten the basics down in the last couple of bedrooms, we didn't need to do every single bedroom together. Add that she was taking to it quite well. She was cleaning areas out of my reach too. I really appreciated that. It also made me realize that humans had so many options for cleaning. Teaching her the fundamentals and an appreciation for the art was definitely the way to go. Perhaps I should show her some of my favorite rooms. I could take her to the room with the pleasant rug. The large room with the marble floors that I first appeared in. And, of course, my favorite room with the obsidian flooring. I couldn't wait to see the look on her face when she saw how beautiful that was. Maybe she could help me do something about that statue inside. I hoped to move it somewhere else. It doesn't fit in that room. I know this isn't my place, and I don't have much to say about the interior decorating policy. But if they won't see sense, I might have to take matters into my own hands.
Yes, I think I will do it that way. We will start with the more mundane rooms, then work our way up to my favorites.
I'm not sure how long I was cleaning the hallway. I had made decent progress, but I had fallen into my meditative cleaning state. Though unlike normal I didn't come out of it because I finished - no, the human surprised me. She came running around the corner of the hall. Well, I say running but it was more like a fast hobble using her cane. She did look significantly faster than she was only a few hours ago. But I still really have to look into getting her some repairs. As soon as she saw me she looked appropriately happy. I waited to get some pats for approval since I had cleaned not only the room, but also the hallway. Unless she wanted to help clean the hallway. Maybe she doesn't know how to do that. Maybe I messed up. Should I have waited? I think I should have waited, shouldn't I?
Oh well, I guess there are other hallways to show her. She can't be that upset, can she?
Apparently, I was wrong and she was very upset. I received precisely zero pats and all she did was come and sit behind me on the floor. Soon I found out why. Right behind her came another one of those ape-looking mess makers. Where she had limped around the corner this thing flew, its claws struggled to get purchase on the granite floor and it actually slammed into the wall trying to make the turn, but it didn't slow it down that much. Now, this just wasn't acceptable. I understand if she liked to play with mess makers but this human didn't seem to be having much fun. If she doesn't like the mess maker here I will remove it for her.
Bee barely made it around the corner in time. The minor demon was right on her heels. So stupid. Why did I let my pride get in the way?
Once Bee saw Void, she actually relaxed a little. Quickly sliding behind it, she felt cowardly relying on its protection. Bee had got in position, putting Void between her and the oncoming danger. Then she saw it come around the corner. Void didn't seem concerned, didn't do its alien screeching screaming/chirping noise.
It simply rolled forward. Bee felt the wind tug her clothes as Void closed in with the demon. She wasn't sure if the ape-demon hadn't recognized the difference in strength or maybe it was rebellious. Either way, it charged at the small black shape, fist raised high as if to crush it. When it got close enough to feel Void's power, it looked like it was having second thoughts. It was too late as it couldn't get enough traction on the slick floors to stop its momentum and suction pulled it into Void's orbit.
Bee watched as the third magical creature disappeared inside Void without any issues. She blinked as an experience notification appeared in the corner of her vision. A large chunk - not as much as she would expect for an assist against a minor demon, especially when she was level one. But still a sizable amount. Maybe the level of who Bee was assisting offset the experience gained? Or it was how little she had done?
Either way, she was grateful for the demon's help. She paused for a second; was Void really even a demon? The system didn't think so, and Void transcended all limitations of demons that she was aware of. It did come from a demon-summoning ritual, but maybe it had hijacked that somehow? Bee didn’t know enough about how possible that was. Having finished its snack, Void turned to face her. It let out a beep in a softer tone than it typically used. Bee quickly scrambled to her feet, putting all her weight on her good foot. On the bright side, it seemed she did not need her crutch to stand. However, it still was not easy to move around without it, and she had dropped it when the demon scared her. Uncertain of what to do, Bee gave her best attempt at a curtsy to Void.