Having eaten its fill with animal carcasses from its storage, the Mimic then once again called forth its familiar. It let out a gurgle of “Suhnon Fanilier.”
Several rings made out of purple light sprang forth from the chest. Upon closer inspection, the rings weren’t solid, but actually made out of countless tiny runic symbols. The un-letters kept shifting, changing and orbiting around the Mimic. The circles slowly shrank, converging on a single point just half a meter in front of the Mimic. Over the 5 second duration of the Skill they tightened up into a small ball of light. And then on the 5 second mark, it exploded into light with a soft pang.
Proficiency level increased. Summon Familiar is now Level 3. INT +2. WIS +1. MNT +1.
In its place was Xera in her true form. Her shape was predominantly humanoid and about 170 centimeters tall. However, nobody would ever mistake her for a human. Her smooth skin was a light blue color while her waist-long, straight hair was a deep blue like a piece of the night sky. Her eyes glowed with a bright red light that gave off the feeling she was staring into one’s very soul. She had a fittingly gorgeous face with azure lips so soft and plump that it felt like a crime not to taste them.
The outfit she was wearing, if you can even call it that, was made out of blood-red leather. Her long legs were covered in high-heeled boots that went up to her smooth thighs. A triangular bikini-like garment hid her sensitive bits. Her arms had long detached sleeves that ran from her bicep all the way down to her wrist. Each one was attached to a silver ring on the succubus’s middle finger, covering the backside of her hands and leaving her palms and fingers uncovered. A choker encrusted with a single, sparkling gem was fitted around her neck. Her formidable breasts, each almost the size of her head, were held up by a risque, corset-like chest piece. It ran around her back and covered the front and underside of each boob with a triangular strip of leather. It wasn’t even properly connected at the front, leaving the valley of her cleavage completely exposed. The half-corset was clearly designed to push up and accentuate her already impressive cup size rather than serve any practical purpose.
Altogether, her wide hips, dangerously narrow waist and eye-catching mammaries gave her an undeniable hourglass-like figure. The gap between her thighs was wide enough to make her walk a natural hip-swaying gait that caused her plump rump and marshmallow-like boob-flesh to jiggle enticingly with every step. It was a body that truly had only one purpose - to enflame the lusts of men. Even her demonic features looked beautiful and alluring next to the spectacle that was her slutty body.
The two curved, golden, ram-like horns that jutted out from the sides of her head clearly declared her identity as a demon. Then there was the the long, black, spade-tipped tail that grew out of her lower spine. Most if impressive of all were the two bat-like wings attached to her upper back. They were a mix of deep red limbs and sky-blue membranes. They gave her a wingspan of over two meters which was more than enough to allow her to fly.
Floating unnaturally next to the demonic seductress was her staff - a long, black wooden shaft tipped with a half-circle staff head reminiscent of a hook. A purple crystal ball floated inside it, as if attached by invisible strings. This staff, much like the outfit she was wearing, were essentially an extension of her spirit. It wouldn’t be entirely wrong to call them a part of her conjured body.
Having been materialized in the waking world for the upteempth time, Xera immediately crossed her arms and pouted at her summoner.
“Jeez, Master! You know you didn’t have to actually go that far!”
The demoness protested to being devoured alive. It was a fact that, regardless of its methods or intentions, this chest had opened up a whole new world of pleasure for her. But she still refused to openly admit that she actually longed to be abused and hurt. The shattered remnants of her pride would not allow her to concede so easily. She would be a failure of a demon if some mortal had managed to dominate both her body and soul to such an extent.
“I know I messed up, but surely that, hnnnn, punishment was a bit much!”
She let out an unintentional moan when she recalled what had happened minutes ago. No matter how much her fractured pride tried to deny it, deep down she wanted more. Her Master was currently ignoring her with a cold attitude that seemed to somehow egg her on. Again, this wasn’t on purpose, the Mimic was simply busy. It was reviewing the Status Screen of its bonded familiar.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
Raising the Level of Summon Familiar from 2 to 3 did indeed increase her abilities across the board. Unlike beings born in the physical world, a demon’s strength relied entirely on how much MP was spent to summon it to this realm. For example, no matter how many times she killed things with Pyroclasm Spells, the related Mastery Skill would never raise. Likewise, her Job Levels would never progress on their own.
A familiar’s body was, essentially, the manifestation of the Warlock’s Summon Familiar Skill. Demons don’t actually have bodies in the Beyond, they were simply lent one by their summoner. So ultimately, their actions in this world helped raise their master’s Warlock Job and Summon Familiar Skill. As the master’s Skill and MP went up, so would the strength of the familiar.
Frankly speaking, a situation where a Level 13 Warlock summoned a Level 18 familiar was unthinkable - they just wouldn’t be able to have that much MP. However, considering her master had a total Level of 38, her being 20 Levels below was pitiful. Still, it was just enough to take down that dwarven Priest in less than a few seconds, despite the Level gap.
“Hey! Are you even listening to me?”
“Kleh?” grunted the Mimic. It wasn’t actually listening, no. It wondered what the hell this infernal woman wanted now.
“I still need to go get the gold, right?!”
It suddenly remembered she still had to collect her reward for ‘a job well done.’ It quickly gave her permission to do that through the thought-link. Xera sighed and began morphing her appearance. Much like her master, she could not assume a form that was hugely different from her own. But she could still adjust things like her proportions or the colors of her skin, eyes and hair. Even her fetishistic leather outfit started expanding and wiggling across her body as it took on the appearance of a blue robe. About three minutes later, ‘Xera the Succubus’ was replaced by ‘Xera the Witch.’
“I shall be off, Master. And please do not eat any more trees. We’re supposed to be laying low and I’d hate to see you discovered.”
The succubus then realized exactly what she had said and frantically tried to correct herself.
“D-don’t misunderstand! It’s not like I care whether you kick the bucket or not, okay?! I just don’t want to see a successful conspiracy turn to nothing because of your careless actions!”
The Mimic then questioned her about what buckets had to do with anything.
“Well it’s- Haah. Nevermind.” Xera dejectedly dropped her shoulders. She knew better than to try and explain things to that monster. Just making it properly grasp what the whole plan took almost an entire day.
Really, she thought to herself, how come I had to be saddled with an incompetent Master like that? Well, at least he lets me run around and do as I please while I’m in town, so I can’t complain too much.
Having cheered herself up a bit, Xera once again said goodbye to her Master and went off in the direction of the city. Left to its own devices, the Mimic mulled over what it should do next. It had gained 2 whole Warlock Levels when Xera killed that priest and about 1 and a half Mimic Levels from murdering the other three. It was a huge gain considering how little time the actual fighting took. The only other time it noticed a significant bump in its Job Levels was when it ended up intruding on another janther’s territory. This one was a bit weaker, so it was able to kill it with repeated applications of Mass Panic to disrupt its attacks. The beast seemed to build up some resistance to the magically-induced fear, but by that point it was already bleeding heavily.
And of course, Cadaver Absorption failed to gain anything useful. The Mimic was realizing exactly how lucky it had gotten with the Warlock Job. It must have consumed over 50 corpses so far, but it only got three minor successes for a total of 6 STR. Well, it did also get a ‘moderate success’ out of a goblin and absorbed a bit of Sword Mastery Proficiency, but the actual gain turned out to be only 3%. It seemed that Skills were really hard to raise beyond Level 5.
Still, it had a lot to look forward to in that regard. Its busy days in the forest had allowed it to unlock two new Restricted Skills.
Description: The shapeshifter’s intimate knowledge of its own body has allowed it to stockpile additional mass without affecting its mobility or appearance while improving its own regeneration.
Requirements: Level 20 Monster Job, Level 3 Shapeshift, STR 50, END 50
Activation Time: N/A
Effect: Increases body mass by 20% per Level of this Skill.
Increases automatic HP recovery by 10% per Level of this Skill.
This one was particularly useful. The additional mass was necessary raw material when performing large scale shapeshifting. For example, it could now manifest eight spider legs instead of six, allowing a greater degree of control over its movements and a noticeable increase in speed.
It’s tongues could also stretch out farther and strike with a bit of extra force.
The downside was that lugging that extra mass around consumed more energy and made the Mimic hungrier as a whole. That wasn’t a problem though, this forest was basically an all-you-can-eat buffet for this particular chest. Not to mention that eating a whole lot at once was the main way of raising this Skill’s Levels.
Next was the Warlock Skill the Mimic had unlocked earlier today.
Description: The Warlock becomes a bastion of arcane might
Requirements: Level 10 Warlock, Ruin Mastery, INT 60
Activation Time: Instant
Cost: 20 MP
Effect: Ruin Spells will cost 400% more MP.
Ruin Spells will be 200% more effective.
The Ruin Spell effectiveness multiplier will increase by an additional 20% per Level of this Skill.
The effects of this Skill will last 20 seconds.
Most Caster Jobs treated MP as a valuable resource that had to be used sparingly. Their magic was not unlike a candle that burned slowly and steadily. But Warlocks were different. Their magic was like a rocket - brief, but blindingly brilliant. It was well suited to the Mimic’s ambush-focused hunting patterns. Being able to settle fights in the first hit was the essence of Assassination.
However, there was a problem. The Skill was literally ‘blindingly brilliant.’ Activating it surrounded the Mimic with an aura of arcane energies that crackled around it like lightning. It was so flashy and noisy that it easily overwhelmed the effects of Stealth. There was no way it could successfully trigger Assassination under such conditions. Ultimately it was a Skill meant for finishing a fight rather than starting it, but the Mimic failed to realize that when it picked it.
Still, what’s done is done. Besides, it still looked like it would be good to use this in situations where its ambush failed and it had to fight back. It could burn through its mana in one or two spells and get a head start on its opponent before moving in to finish it off with melee attacks. It would certainly be more useful than Projectile Mastery.
Description: A measure of your ability to handle hand-thrown weapons
Activation Time: N/A
Effect: Increases damage dealt with hand-thrown weapons by 10% per Level of this Skill.
This was pretty much identical to other Mastery Skills. It would seem that, in addition to the straight up power boost, these Mastery Skills also raised the Mimic’s understanding of a specific weapon or school of magic. How to grip them, how to slash with them or, in the case of magic, how to properly chant and focus when casting Spells. It would be more accurate to say that this imparted knowledge was the true reason behind the increase in offensive power.
As for this particular Skill, the Mimic had gotten it after playing around with the spears it had looted off those guards back in the cave. It was convinced they could be a powerful ranged attack, so it ended up practicing with them. It even managed to improve its dreadful aim every time the Mastery Skill went up in Level.
Then it realized that it could just use magic if it wanted to attack at range and completely abandoned the endeavor. Even if it could gain some Attributes from it, it would much rather focus on its Mimicry and Warlock-ery. Using throwing weapons and chanting magic at the same time was also quite impossible. Trying to do so would result in the Mimic biting its own tentacles off by accident, not to mention it lacked the concentration to properly aim both of them at the same time. So it gave up on Projectile Mastery. What would be the point in training up a Skill that had little to no practical use?
This monster had stumbled onto the simple truth that, as tasty as Attribute gains were, attaining a few high Level Skills and Jobs was ultimately better than having a lot of low-leveled ones. Even if an adventurer had multiple combat-related Jobs like, for example, a Ranger, a Rogue, a Warrior and a Priest at the same time, they could never actually use those all at once. How can one simultaneously block with a shield and shoot a bow? Or sneak around and ambush things while they were busy chanting healing Spells? It was simply impossible, like trying to turn one’s head left and right simultaneously.
Not to mention that the Attributes were mostly exclusive. A Warrior’s Attribute gains that focused on STR and END would be pretty useless for a Ranger which needed AGI, PER and DEX. And while both of those had some overlap with the Rogue Job, that was an occupation that relied on completely different Skills. Oh sure, ultimately it was possible to master all of those Jobs at once, but people did not have that sort of lifespan available. In a world where quality was significantly more important than quantity, it was vital to focus one’s training and become a specialist. Jack-of-all adventurers were, quite simply put, useless past Level 50. A deep pond was many times more dangerous than a knee-deep ocean, after all.
Even the Mimic was vaguely aware of that fact. Even though its familiar was created with a Level that was below 20, her magic already seemed close in potency to that of the Mimic with a Level of 38. The only reason it was able to bring out this much power in the first place was because its Main Job and two of its Skills - Cadaver Absorption and Biomass - provided a boost to all Attributes, which included INT. Much like how STR would improve all melee attacks, INT would improve the effectiveness of all Spells. Right now the Mimic had INT that was more or less standard for a Level 20-ish Warlock with proper magic-related Skills.
It would still continue to use Cadaver Absorption as much as possible, though. Doing that could still give the Mimic free Attributes, Skills and Job Levels without having to spend time on actually training them. And so, after considering what it would do in the future, it decided to focus on improving its current Jobs and Skills rather than seek out new ones.
Speaking of which, it had reached Level 25 in its Mimic Job during that last fight. It opened its Status Screen and was greeted with two unknowns. One was the MAX next to the Mimic Job. The other was the (+) sign next to its Species of Mimic (Lesser). And the (+) next to its Job was not there. Did the Status Screen not show up properly and misplaced the ever-important (+)? The Mimic opened and closed its Status several times, but it always came up the same. It was again stumped. Trying to Inspect the (+) sign did nothing, and inspecting its Species was equally useless.
A low-class shape-shifting monster that exists only in dungeons. Mimics hunt by ambushing careless adventurers. They can be born in the form of treasure chests, walls, floors, doors or furniture. Even though they can change their appearance at will, they cannot change the shape they were born with.
The species is divided into two variants - Lesser and Greater. The main difference between them is that Greater Mimics are far more cunning and resilient than their Lesser kin.
This was trivia the monster already knew. So, desperately running out of options, it decided to ask for help. At least now, it had someone it could actually ask for help.
Xera was making her way through the forest when she felt a slight tugging sensation on the back of her head. It meant that her summoner wished to communicate with her.
“What is it, Master?” she inquired through the thought-link.
The chest replied it wanted to know what the thingie on the other thing was for. Also, how come the thingie was on that thingie instead of the other thingie? And, perchance, was that thingie delicious?
The succubus let out a sigh. ‘Conversations’ with that moron always ended up being more or less like that.
“Master, I have no idea what you’re trying to say.”
There was a short pause. Then her master’s Status splashed into her consciousness like a boulder into a puddle. She let out a reflexive “What the fuck?!” at the sudden influx of information. It caught her completely off guard, causing her to blank out for a few seconds. She then tripped on an exposed root and fell flat on her face, smashing her forehead against a rock in the process.
You have suffered blunt trauma. HP -19.
Even at a distance, that monster still managed to make her suffer. She wondered if her master was perhaps one of those idiot savants, only instead of maths or painting, it was unnaturally proficient in the art of tormenting others.
That same master impatiently asked her again about the ‘thingie.’ She got up and rubbed her forehead, wiping the trickle of blood away in the process. After turning her attention to the Mimic’s Status, she immediately realized what it was trying to say.
“Master, try chanting Rank Up,” she sent back.
“Rank. Tasty?” came the fragmented reply.
“Just do it!”
“Orders. Me. Snack. You.”
The Mimic kindly reminded the uppity familiar of her position.
“Haah,” sighed Xera. She had briefly forgotten two important things in the heat of the moment. The first thing was that her master regarded everything good or beneficial as ‘tasty.’ And the second was that, when presented with a stupid question, she had to give an equally stupid answer.
“Sorry, Master. Yes, rank is tasty.”
Overjoyed at this revelation, the Mimic immediately chanted “Rank Ukh!”
Rank Up - Mimic (Lesser)
The Requirements have been met. Do you wish to Rank Up?
The master agreed with its Familiar. This did in fact look delicious. And so, it eagerly chose ‘Yes,’ then blacked out.