“Uhm, Master?” said Xera with more than a hint of worry in her voice. “Are you sure you want to be-”
“Be quiet! I’m busy!”
Boxxy really did not have the luxury to converse with a Snack right now. This was its first time making occult sigils and it needed to focus. Even if the Demonology Skill provided the knowledge of how these sigils should look like, actually drawing them turned out to be a surprisingly difficult task. Especially when using thick, sticky troll blood as the paint and the uneven, grassy ground of the forest as the canvas. At least it had a decent brush, courtesy of the ransacked caravan from a few days ago.
First it made the 4 and a half meter wide circle of blood, which was pretty straightforward. Then it stuck a wooden stake right in the middle, tied Xera to it and smeared her face with yet more blood. Then it had to draw four rather large symbols on the ground. They were quite squiggly and complicated, and messing up even once meant that it would have to create the ritual site from scratch.
Kora was doing her best to simply watch the Mimic work without uttering a peep. It was easier said than done.
Laughter welled up every time she glanced at the ‘pure maiden’ tied to the stake and she had to try her best to keep quiet, lest her master tie her up instead. She wasn’t quite sure what this ritual was supposed to do, but at the very least it was bound to be interesting. Especially considering how messed up the preparation was. Xera was thinking much the same, although she wasn’t looking forward to the ceremony as much. Mostly because she had a feeling something profoundly stupid was about to take place, with her as the center.
Boxxy kept preparing for the ritual for about 10 more minutes before it was done. The patterns it drew on the ground matched perfectly with those depicted by the Demonology Skill, so it looked like this part of the preparation was done. All that was left to speak out the incantation and kill the sacrifice. The incantation itself was rather long and had a bunch of difficult words, but at least it was confident that it could stab someone through the heart without missing.
Boxxy remembered demons didn’t actually have hearts. It understandably felt a bit cheated - all that hard work and it was all for naught. Stupid demons, they should’ve told it sooner they didn’t have hearts! Of course, it completely ignored the fact that it never even asked them and just one-sidedly decided it was their fault. Ah, but there might be a way around this.
“Snack, can you grow a heart inside your body?”
Xera was a shapeshifter much like the Mimic, so she should be capable of doing at least that much, right?
“No, Master. My shapeshifting only affects my outside appearance.”
“... So can you grow one on the outside?”
“Umm… Maybe? I’ve never tried…”
“Then try it now!”
The succubus, who had her hands and feet tied behind her back against the wooden pole, looked down at her breasts. Well, she was trying to look at her stomach, but that was kind of impossible considering the sheer size of her cleavage. A small red pimple sprouted out of her tummy and grew rapidly in size until it became a sort of messy lump. It seemed that the succubus was struggling to replicate the organ in question.
“No no, that’s wrong,” said Boxxy after a while. One of its tongue tentacles extended out until the moist tip was right in front of Xera’s face. It then grew out slowly and steadily to form a perfect replica of a standard human heart.
“Make one like this.”
“Uhm… can you do that again?”
Xera spent the next half hour carefully mimicking the Mimic until she was able to replicate the vital organ to a satisfying degree. Honestly, she was a little irked that her master was better than her at this stuff, but it couldn’t be helped. Hearts were one of its favorite snacks while Xera had never really seen one.
“Good,” said Boxxy after confirming her external heart was in order. It was even beating, though it only pumped air. “Okay, now be quiet and stand still.”
Next came the verbal part. It would be rather difficult to pronounce these words under normal circumstances, so the Mimic’s giant lipless mouth was bound to mess it up. Thankfully, it already had just the solution to that problem. The pseudo-Xera made her appearance yet again, forcing the succubus to stare ‘herself’ right in the eye with no option of turning away or objecting. The Mimic moved closer to the original and stopped so close to her that their nipples were almost touching. Of course, it didn’t help that the albino Xera was stark naked, either.
Kora was watching this scene from outside the circle with an odd look on her face. Of course she had seen that half-human, half-box, half-spider form multiple times until now, but this was the first time she had seen it so close to the original. It really was a perfect replication of Xera’s face and body, if one ignored the coloration. The odd sight consequently brought up the thought of her fucking not one, but two succubi at once, followed by a rather questionable reaction.
“I have the weirdest boner right now,” she said to nobody in particular.
Boxxy ignored her completely since it was busy mentally preparing itself. Once it felt confident enough to start, it coughed a few times to clear its newly made throat and started speaking with a clear, crisp voice.
“Praesent gravida at ipsum in cursus. Phasellus urna ipsum, maximus et velit vel, sodales pharetra purus.”
A cold gust of air swept through the ritual site.
“Maecenas varius dui vel enim finibus consequat. Morbi id cursus libero.”
The wind started twisting and spinning around, just outside the circle of blood. The dust and sand it kicked up made it seem like there was a miniature tornado with Xera in the center.
“Donec scelerisque ligula non odio vulputate blandit. Cras lacinia elit at massa bibendum feugiat.”
Boxxy’s voice seemed to grow deeper with each spoken word and seemed to echo unnaturally throughout the area. Almost as if a second voice was speaking alongside the Mimic.
“Sed congue vulputate faucibus. Fusce tincidunt commodo nibh quis elementum.”
The four bloody sigils on the ground started boiling and hissing, releasing a thin red vapor that got swept up in the bizarre air current.
“Maecenas at ante ut dui semper varius. Cras condimentum euismod lorem id egestas.”
Boxxy raised an iron dagger above its head, gripping it with both arms. The red smog started flowing towards it, seeping into the pure-white metal and tainting it with a bright crimson sheen.
“Aliquam mollis, sem quis viverra egestas, mauris nulla porta odio, in euismod nisl sapien sit amet justo.”
Once it had absorbed it all, the dagger started vigorously draining the Mimic’s MP. It started glowing brighter and brighter as it absorbed every last drop of Boxxy’s MP within the span of a few seconds.
“Sed ornare dolor erat! Quis placerat augue dignissim et!”
The Mimic slowly lowered the mana-imbued weapon and pointed it at the external heart of its familiar.
“Praesent ultricies Nagnamor!”
Uttering the final three words, it thrust the dagger forward, piercing the succubus’s heart completely.
“Wait!” screamed Kora in a panic. “Did you just say Nagnamor?!”
But it was too late, whatever the fiend was trying to say got lost completely in the wailing and screaming of the succubus. A bright red light poured out of her wound, as well as her eyes and mouth as she gave voice to her suffering. Her bound body started rising gradually in the air, uprooting the wooden stake she was tied to and lifting it along with the rest of her. She reached an altitude of about 4 meters while the light pouring out of her kept growing in intensity until it rivaled the sun.
The earth shook, the winds blew, the trees caught fire and the clouds ran away. It all ended abruptly when Xera’s body exploded with a white flash and a huge bang. The shockwave was almost as strong as a Dark Explosion, only it covered a much wider area. Both Boxxy and Kora were thrown back and tumbled along the ground for several meters. When the Mimic regained its footing, it immediately turned its attention to the source of the explosion.
Xera was gone. In her place was a 7 meter tall humanoid creature. It had massive black goat hooves for feet, with thick, gray fur covering its legs up to its knees. Chalk-black metal greaves covered its thighs, adorned with what appeared to be countless skulls. Its gauntlets, bracers, shoulder pads and chestplate all had that same macabre design. A long, relatively thin tail protruded from its rear and ended in a tuft of gray hair, much like a lion’s. A pair of gigantic wings much like Xera’s sprouted from its back.
Its head was a wide, flaming skull that had a protruding snout and jaws filled with sharp teeth. Overall, the head looked more like a dragon than a human. One thick, short horn adorned the tip of its snout while two more protruded outwards from the back of its head, curving in towards each other as if to form a giant circle of pitch-black bone. The unquenchable flames that poured out of its nostrils, eyes, mouth and the back of its head threatened to burn this world to ashes.
And most terrifying of all was the gigantic glaive it held in one hand. A single swing from that weapon was enough to cut down dozens of men. Four blood-red sigils - exactly the same as the ones the Mimic had drawn earlier - adorned the length of the blade, emitting an ominous-looking crimson fog.
“WHO DARES CALL UPON ME?!” it roared, spewing lava-like drool from its mouth.
The creature- no, the demon looked around for the one who performed the ritual, but the only things around were a bewildered pit fiend, a barrel of blood and a wooden box.
Boxxy had fucked up. The knowledge from Demonology stated this ritual would temporarily bring forth an unbound demon from the Beyond, but it said nothing to Boxxy about it being this fucking terrifying! Therefore, it tried its absolute best to chest like it had never chested before!
“WAS IT YOU, INSECT?!”
However, it was all for naught. The giant demon completely disregarded the trembling fiend and pointed its massive weapon directly at the Mimic. Fighting this thing? Bad idea. Running away? Nope, not gonna happen considering the difference in size. Sitting and hoping the big fiery scary thing went away? That was just denying reality. So the flabbergasted Mimic did the only thing it could think of. The same thing many of its victims had done.
“Yes, it was me. Please don’t kill me.”
That’s right, it would beg and grovel for its life.
“HAH! HAHAHAHAHA! IT IS GOOD THAT YOU KNOW YOUR PLACE! TELL ME, LITTLE BUG, WHAT DID YOU HOPE TO GAIN FROM THIS COMUNION?!”
“Um, get stronger?”
“AH! SO YOU’RE AFTER POWER, HUUUH!?”
“I SEE! YOU SOUGHT TO MAKE MY STRENGTH INTO YOUR OWN, DID YOU?!”
“Well no, I just-”
The demon screamed with a voice that seemed to extend to the far reaches of both heaven and earth.
“YOU FACE NAGNAMOR! OVERLORD OF THE FLAMING LEGION!”
“Is that so?”
The Mimic replied with a casual tone that was completely ill-fitting with the situation. It seemed to realize something that completely calmed it down.
“TRIFLING BOX! YOUR ARROGANCE WILL BE YOUR UNDOING!”
Nagnamor raised his glaive with both arms and prepared to strike down the upstart chest. The Mimic had no hope of survival if that house-sized weapon hit it head on. It was dead meat however one looked at it!
The mass of steel moved so fast it seemed to vanish from its old position and appear just centimeters away from the Mimic’s faux-wood shell. The wind pressure of the strike alone was powerful enough to knock over and uproot several trees in the surrounding area.
Yet Boxxy was perfectly unharmed.
Nagnamor stared dumbly at it. The flames in his eye sockets flickered a few times as if it was blinking in disbelief. He raised his weapon and once more swung down with all his might, but the result was pretty much the same. The third time did not pan out so well either.
“Sit down,” commanded the Mimic.
“DO NOT PRESUME TO GIVE ME-”
Nagnamor’s gigantic ass met the ground with a massive impact that caused a small tremor to travel through the ground. He did it completely involuntarily, as if it wasn’t his own body.
The giant demon’s massive armored fist then made impact with his own skull, sending plumes of flames scattering about. He quickly shook his head to recover a bit from the blow.
The second blow made his jawbone crack.
And the third one broke off the horn on his snout.
“IM… POSSIBLE…” he muttered.
The Offering to Nagnamor was not that of a life, but a host. A physical body which the powerful demon could possess in order to manifest itself in the physical realm. He would always appear in his true form and at the height of his power, but the amount of time he could maintain this transformation depended entirely on how much MP was used during the ritual. The mana that Boxxy provided as the summoner was enough to allow the Overlord to maintain his physical form for 3, maybe 4 minutes.
So then, what happens if the body he possessed was contractually bound to serve someone? Indeed, the Mimic realized two simple things. First of all, it had been talking to this ‘Overlord’ though the thought-link it shared with its familiars. Not only that, but the notification that Xera had been banished never actually appeared. Trying to view her Status simply showed a screen with garbled nonsense and unknown symbols, but that wasn’t of particular concern.
Because the physical form of Xerababadubuth L’okrelaila had been taken over and transformed by Nagnamor, Overlord of the Flaming Legion. It was technically still the same body.
“I own you.”
And the stipulations of the summoning contract still applied to it.