“So,” said Paul, “I suppose congratulations are in order.”
The Mimic, who was once again forced into the humanoid shape of a small child now that it was back in this weird spirit realm, just smiled dumbly in response.
“What just happened?” it asked.
“You defeated the lich.”
The God of Probability gave it a technically correct, but utterly useless answer. For the briefest moment, Boxxy got a taste of its own medicine.
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out shortly.”
The three tailed iguana snapped its windows as per usual, which caused Boxxy to be enveloped by a bright light.
Congratulations, you are now a Level 25 Warlock! INT +50. MNT +50. END +50.
Proficiency level increased. Summon Familiar is now Level 7. INT +14. WIS +7. MNT +7.
Proficiency level increased. Power Overwhelming is now Level 6. INT +24.
Proficiency level increased. Demonology is now Level 6. WIS +2. MNT +2.
Proficiency level increased. Crystallize Magic is now Level 5. INT +10. WIS +10.
Congratulations, you are now a Level 12 Artificer. DEX +24. WIS +24. PER +24.
Proficiency level increased. Clockwork Expertise is now Level 3. DEX +6. PER +6.
Proficiency level increased. Explosives Handling is now Level 2. DEX +4. WIS +4.
Feat of strength performed! You have unlocked a new Perk: Hero of Chaos.
Proficiency level increased. Chaotic Disposition is now Level 1.
Proficiency level increased. Agent of Chaos is now Level 1.
Proficiency level increased. Essence Concealment is now Level 1.
Boxxy stood with its mouth agape for a good minute while its mind did what was essentially a reboot. Its newly restored mental capacity allowed it to once again look over the past 3 weeks of its life with a fresh set of eyes. The escape from its flying cage, Fizzy’s training, their journey through the woods and subsequent trek through the Blight, all up to the confrontation with the lich. It finally grasped that the shiny thing it took must have been what was sustaining the undead woman’s physical body, and that moving it into its pocket dimension somehow disarmed her.
It looked back at LaQuisha with a thoroughly enlightened look in its red eyes.
“All better?” she asked, more out of courtesy than general concern.
“Yeah… I think I understand now.”
“Good, then at least I won’t need to explain things. I hate giving away spoilers like that.”
This was the second time the Mimic had expressed genuine gratitude towards someone else.
“Don’t mention it,” said Theodore with a wave of his liver. “It all happened as expected, after all.”
“... You sound disappointed,” commented Boxxy.
Indeed, this bizarre divine being’s attitude thus far had been much less enthusiastic than their first meeting.
“I am a little disappointed, yes. Not at your continued survival, mind you, I was just hoping things would play out differently from what I predicted. The odds were overwhelmingly in your favor, even without that gnome being there.”
He had a point. In the end, Fizzy’s presence was little more than a convenience.
“If you knew I would succeed, then why send me at all?”
“Because, my newly-chosen Hero, a prediction is different from a prophecy. Even if the chance of failure is slim, it is always there. You would do well to remember that. No matter how good I am at reading between the lines, the little thing called free will remains an enigma wrapped in a mystery and shrouded by questions. Even to someone like me.”
“What’s an enigma? Is it tasty?”
The God of Chance failed to stifle a laugh, then erupted into a hearty laughter. It took him a while to calm down and recompose himself.
“Haah,” he sighed. “Sorry about that. I almost forgot who I was talking to. You probably don’t care about any of this, do you?”
“No, not really.”
Boxxy was only curious how come Kole was disappointed that it survived. Even if its thinking ability had been restored, it was still more or less a simpleton. A simple ‘because it was boring’ would have sufficed.
“That’s fine, I just have a habit of rambling on sometimes. Ignoring me really is for the best.”
“Okay. But can I try casting a Spell?”
Having its Status and knowledge restored was one thing, but it was eager to confirm its Spell-slinging abilities were back.
“Sure, go right ahead.”
The child-shaped monster held out a hand to the side and chanted its most basic Spell.
And the mass of hissing darkness appeared and flew off into the distance before fizzling out of existence. Boxxy’s face lit up with a bright, slack jawed smile that was sweet enough to give people cavities. It giggled a bit and hopped around in its seat out of excitement.
“Say, Boxxy,” said Tim, interrupting its little celebration. “Do you mind casting that again?”
The Mimic nodded in response and let loose another Spell.
However, rather than flying off into the distance, it swerved unnaturally around and flew straight at Jack. It froze in mid-air, directly in front of him. It was as if time had stopped completely inside the space it occupied. Actually, there was a good chance that was exactly what had happened. Randy was, after all, a God. And this God was closely inspecting the frozen projectile from a number of angles.
“Huh. Well, what do you know, it really is like that after all,” he muttered.
“What is?” asked Boxxy. It felt like its work was being scrutinized somehow, so it was naturally interested in what this deity had to say.
“I always thought your Shadowbolts were a bit weird, but I wasn’t sure until I saw them just now.”
“Well, the shape is a bit off…”
Indeed, looking at the suspended Spell like this made it clear as day that the projectile itself was not, as one would expect, a sphere, but a small black cube.
“So?” asked the Mimic, completely unable to grasp the significance of that.
“So- Why is it in that shape?”
Boxxy simply shrugged its shoulders.
“I just casted it like normal.”
“Wait, don’t tell me - when you imagine gathering a mass of shadow and throwing it at people, what sort of mental image do you use?”
“Hah. A chest. Hahaha! I see, I see, so it was like that.”
“Is the shape bad?”
“No, not bad. It doesn’t actually have any negative impact on the Spell, so you don’t need to worry. It was just a bit strange to me, is all.”
“Anyway, I should probably send you back now.”
“... What should I do from now on?”
“Hm? Why are you asking me?”
“Aren’t you my boss now?”
“Why would I be?”
“That’s how this thing works, right? The Hero serves the God?”
“Fuck no! Where’s the fun in that?! If I tell you to go and do something, then that takes half the fun out of this thing! All that I expect from you is to be yourself and do what you please.”
It would seem that, ironically enough, the God of Chaos’s personal interference in a specific matter completely removed notions like chance, luck and coincidence from the situation. Knowing the outcome beforehand was probably the reason he seemed to be constantly bored.
“Then what about the lich?”
The Mimic had deduced that there was a good chance she might reappear the instant it took that gilded egg thing out of Storage. Heck, she might just go ahead and materialize inside its pocket dimension for all it knew.
“The whole reason I brought you two back together was because I was curious to see how you will handle her in the future, so do with her as you please. The same goes for that little Champion of mine.”
“You don’t mind if I kill her?”
“Not at all. I don’t particularly care if she survives since both her life and death are bound to be entertaining in their own ways.”
“Alright then, I’ll be sending you back now. I am eager to see what exciting things will come from that free will of yours!”
The child-sized monster disappeared from the white room in the next instant, back to the physical realm. Now that nobody was around to perceive him, the God of Chaos was finally able to stabilize his form. He simply stood there at that fake table for a while longer, quietly staring at the cubic Shadowbolt frozen in time.
“A chest, huh?” he mumbled to himself. “Shadowbolt.”
His own projectile of solid darkness appeared in the air above him, hanging frozen in time just like the Mimic’s. It was huge, gigantic even. So big it must have been over 40 meters wide. And, oddly enough, it too assumed the same, six-sided shape as Boxxy’s.
“Really can’t tell if it’s a dice or not without the markings, huh?”
After mumbling to nobody in particular once more, he forcibly dispersed the magic around him with a small smile. Coincidences like this were always enjoyable. He then turned his divine attention back to the war that was brewing. Of course he took a personal interest in it - the trigger for it was a byproduct of his Hero’s actions, after all. Needless to say, he was very much eager to see the results of that particular chain of events. He started analyzing all the millions upon millions of variables and factors involved in order to determine the most likely and least likely outcome. And when he was finished, he would root for the least likely result, no matter what it was.
Boxxy returned to its body in the tower’s basement safe and sound. It quickly opened up its Storage and spit out Fizzy. The gnome was thankfully still alive, but she hadn’t regained consciousness yet. Simply leaving her like this was dangerous as she could die to the Blight, so it also took out a healing potion and fed it to her. Her green eyes shot open as she gasped for air in the next instant.
She looked around in a panic, but calmed down after realizing the Mimic must have beaten that lich. Well, either that or it ran away.
“D-did you win?!”
Of course it did, she thought to herself. As if some corpse-lady would be able to stop that thing.
“S-So the Quest is done?”
The gnome swallowed audibly.
“Then wh-what happens now?”
“I have to call Carl.”
“Oh- Okay. Then what do I n-n-n-need to do?!”
“You just sit there and be quiet.”
“Yes, Boxxy! Whatever you say, Boxxy!”
It mind-dialed Demons ‘R’ Us as per usual. It had tried doing so several times over the past few weeks, but to no avail. That particular feature was part of the Summon Familiar Skill rather than Demonology, after all. And now that it once again had it, it got an actual response, though not the one it wanted.
“We’re sorry, the number you are trying to reach is currently busy. Please try again later.”
A strangely monotonous female voice answered, followed by a strange beeping tone it hadn’t heard before. That was odd.
Ah, now it sort of understood. It would seem Carl was trying to call it at the same time. Oh well, these things happen.
“Boxxyyyyy!” came Carl’s familiar, clearly excited voice. “That was one hell of a battle just now! The look on that undead whore’s face when you swallowed her phylactery was fucking priceless!”
“... You saw that?”
“Well yeah, how could I not?”
The Mimic was under the distinct impression that demons were unable to peer into the physical realm from the Beyond. So how come Carl supposedly ‘saw’ it fight the lich?
“... You mean you didn’t know? About the broadcasts, I mean?”
“Are broadcasts tasty?”
“Okay, guess you didn’t. Uhm, wow, okay. Look, that’s not important right now. I’m actually calling you about your severed contracts. As I understand it, that whole Job Removal thing happened against your will, correct?”
“And you wish to re-establish the previously voided contracts?”
“Super, just needed some confirmation. Gimme a second here.”
*Tak tak takatakatakatak tak tak*
“There, done. Your familiars are all set up and ready for you. Feel free to summon them at any time.”
“That was fast,” remarked Boxxy.
“Well, I sorta got everything ready in advance. No reason to keep the boss’s Hero waiting, you know?”
That demon did fast, efficient work as usual. As expected of a seasoned professional.
“I see. Thanks, Carl.”
“Hey, no problem buddy. Is there anything else you need?”
“Understood. I’ll be here if you need me. Goodbye.”
And now, without further ado, Boxxy finally activated the nostalgic Summon Familiar Skill. Fizzy was more than a little startled by this. From her perspective, she just watched the Mimic sit perfectly still for a minute or two before concentric circles of ever-shifting demonic runes started appearing around it. This was her first time witnessing a summoning, so she had little idea what was going on. But still, she knew better than to interrupt Boxxy for no good reason. That bad habit of hers was just one more thing that had been systematically beaten out of her.
The sudden lightshow dispersed after ten seconds, leaving behind the shape of a woman standing a few meters to the side. One with humongous breasts, blue skin and hair, golden curved horns, huge bat-like wings, skimpy red leather outfit and a spaded tail that sprouted from just above her plush backside.
Xera’s shining red eyes stared disdainfully at the gnome for a moment, as if looking at a piece of horse dung on the side of the road. How dare this inferior creature receive her beloved master’s affections all this time? That’s right, beloved. The succubus had been doing a lot of soul-searching these past three weeks. Well, there isn’t much else to do in the Beyond, really. And, much to her surprise, she found out that she sorely missed being by her master’s side. That monster was a violent, abusive, selfish prick that that completely saw her as a thing rather than a person, and she had grown immensely fond of it because of that. She hesitated to call this strange sensation something silly like ‘love’ at first. A succubus in love? What sort of absurd fairy tale was that? However, the crushing loneliness she felt after having her contract forcefully terminated left very little doubt in her mind.
Xera then turned her attention away from the tiny harlot and towards the object of her twisted affections. The harsh look on her face vanished instantly, replaced by a soft, almost demure expression. Her eyes instantly lit up and her smiling lip quivered a bit.
“M-Master?” she asked in a shaky voice.
“Yes?” answered Boxxy through the extremely convenient telepathic link.
She practically cried for joy as she leapt head first at the Mimic with arms wide opens, as if she wanted to hug the wooden chest. Overcome with a fuzzy, nostalgic feeling, Boxxy also moved to accept her embrace. Which meant that it opened its massive maw and closed it around her upper body. The sharp teeth sank into her soft flesh as it started mercilessly gnawing and chewing on her. The succubus shuddered immensely from the long-awaited stimulation. Pain instantly turned to pleasure as she reveled in the intense sensations only Boxxy T. Morningwood could give her. She creamed herself 4 whole times before her physical body died under the strain. A new personal record for the masochistic slut.
Boxxy was left quite satisfied as well. Its Snack seemed to have somehow gotten even tastier while it was away.
“Uhm, B-Boxxy?” spoke up Fizzy. “Wh-who was that?”
“That was Snack.”
“Ah… I see…”
The gnome’s eyes became unfocused as realization hit her. She only asked because she recognized the succubus’s face. After all, it was the exact same face Boxxy made at her whenever it spoke. She was obviously one of its summoned familiars that she had heard about, probably the same one that tampered with her memory. With a nickname like Snack, it became painfully obvious what her function was. For the briefest moment, Fizzy found herself sympathizing with the demoness.
However, when Xera was re-summoned a minute later, she did not have a look of apprehension, fear or anger that Fizzy was expecting. She showed up sporting a thoroughly content smile and actually appeared to be in an excellent mood. As if getting eaten was exactly what she wanted. Come to think of it, wasn’t there a lot of clear liquid flowing down her thighs while she was being ripped limb from limb? The perceptive gnome immediately put two and two together and simply gave up. She felt incredibly silly for showing sympathy for this clearly perverted demon.
The two of them sat in total silence as Boxxy waited for its MP to recover.
Well, almost total silence. The Blight still had ahold of Fizzy, so she still had to heal herself every few minutes. Xera’s demonic constitution on the other hand was able to completely repel the magical disease and fight off any negative effects. Which was a good thing, because her body was much weaker than even Fizzy’s. After about 10 minutes, it repeated the summoning and called forth Kora.
The well toned, 250-centimeter tall red-skinned fiend appeared already sporting a gigantic toothy grin. She completely disregarded the tiny Paladin and raised both of her right arms in the air as a sort of greeting.
“Yo Boss!” she said, clearly pleased at being back in the physical realm. “Good to see you’re alive and kicking!”
“Me too,” answered the Mimic in good humor.
“Man, am I ever glad to be back here. I was seriously dreading losing you as a master, you know!”
This statement reflected her genuine feelings on the matter. Much like Xera, she too had also grown attached to Boxxy. Unlike the succubus, however, the nature of her feelings was purely platonic. She just found it incredibly amusing to be around this thing. Sure there were some rough spots like the boring-ass guard duty, being forced to pull a heavy cart or being used as a target for the Mimic’s violent experiments, but that was overshadowed by the sheer amount of fun she had. The number of things she got to smash on a daily basis would make her the envy of all her peers. Especially when one of the things she found herself regularly smashing was the tight asshole of a succubus who was practically begging to be dicked to death.
Speaking of which-
“Boss, requesting permission to fuck the succubus in the ass!”
Xera’s already smiling face practically lit up at Kora’s enthusiastic words. Well, just because she admitted to having feelings for her master didn’t mean she suddenly stopped enjoying a good pounding. Fizzy’s eyes, on the other hand, went wide in surprise. She wasn’t quite sure how that would work out between two clearly female demons and found herself being morbidly curious about it. Well, such curiosity would undoubtedly dissipate when she inevitably found out about Kora’s third leg.
However, it would seem that particular event would have to wait.
“First we find a place with tastier air.”
Just because it was able to fight off the degenerative effects of the Blight didn’t mean it didn’t feel its effects. Even if it only amounted to a vague feeling of lethargy and tiredness, unpleasant things were unpleasant. Therefore, it swiftly mobilized its demons and pet Paladin, then set out into the night. Boxxy once again found itself beset by hundreds of undead as it made its way through the barren, dying land. However, this time it had Kora and Xera to do all the work. The succubus’s magical flame incinerated everything in their path while the fiend stomped anything that managed to get past into a bloody paste.
Fizzy was simply glad her role had been reduced to that of a healer who simply had to follow behind and support them as she saw fit. It was a far less taxing job than what she went through during the afternoon. She barely even had to do anything other than carry a torch and sometimes heal herself, both of which were for her own benefit.
However, she didn’t let herself calm down too much. The unsettling glances she got from those two demons sent chills down her spine. One of them looked at her like a piece of trash, while the other seemed to be sizing her up as if she was planning to devour her. The poor gnome wasn’t quite sure which one she should be more worried about.
As for Boxxy, it simply followed in the trail of destruction left behind by its newly reinstated familiars. It took this opportunity to review its Status. Everything appeared to be back where it was. It felt like it had maybe lost a bit of proficiency, but the all-important Job and Skills were indeed all there, so it really couldn’t complain about it. After confirming for the upteempth time that everything seemed to be in order, it finally turned its attention to the new things it had acquired.
Hero of Chaos
Description: The harbinger of chaos and confusion.
Requirements: Officially recognized by the Goddess of Coincidence
Effects: Grants the Chaotic Disposition, Agent of Chaos and Essence Concealment Skills.
So, the Perk itself seemed to be little more than a fancy title that granted a bunch of Skills, but all of them were a bit odd. For starters, they didn’t seem to give any sort of Attribute bonus. Then there was the fact that their maximum Level appeared to be 1. Still, that God called Willy had said that there was a good chance Boxxy would find them tasty, so it inspected them with some anticipation.
Description: Under the divine protection of the God of Probability
Requirements: Hero of Chaos
Activation Time: N/A
Effects: Casting a Spell or activating a Skill will sometimes produce a random magical effect.
This Skill may not be triggered more than once every 60 seconds.
This first one was… incredibly vague, to say the least. Still, Boxxy was quite eager to see how it worked, so it started firing Shadowbolts into the night sky, one after the other. This naturally drew the attention of the three women it was traveling with. They stared curiously at the spell-slinging chest until, on the 6th Shadowbolt, something happened.
Chaotic energies swirl around you. Your body has turned pink for 1 minute.
And indeed, just as the message said, the Mimic’s predominantly brown faux-wood skin turned a bright neon pink that put that gnome’s pigtails to shame.
“Pfu! Puhahaha! What the fuuuck?! Aaah hahahahaha!”
Kora erupted in roaring laughter. As expected, there was never a dull moment as long as her master was around. Xera and Fizzy, on the other hand, tried their hardest not to follow her example. The former was doing so out of respect, the latter due to the fear.
Boxxy was more than a little disturbed at this development. It wasn’t a fan of pink. It was the most un-stealthy color imaginable, after all. It attempted to forcibly change its pigmentation, but the effect of the Chaotic Disposition Skill proved to be much stronger than Shapeshift. What was with this pointlessly powerful effect?! Well, it was only temporary anyway. The Mimic gave up on trying to change the thing it had no control over and moved onto the next Skill.
Agent of Chaos
Description: Complex machinations converge to a single act of power
Requirements: Hero of Chaos
Activation Time: N/A
Effects: Your actions will have more profound consequences.
Increases the effectiveness of the LCK Attribute by 10%.
This one was even less clear on what it did. Oh sure, it boosted the effects of the LCK Attribute, but those have always been incredibly vague to begin with. Rather than being useful, it gave Boxxy a rather ominous feeling. That bored God of Rounding Errors probably forced this bizarre Skill on it so that things would get more interesting. And ‘more interesting’ didn’t necessarily mean good things for the holder of the Skill.
Actually the same could be said of the first Skill as well. If the effect was truly random, then it wasn’t a stretch to assume that it might cause something bad to happen. Or it might be something unexpectedly beneficial. In the end, only time would tell if these Skills were tasty or not. No wonder Willy gave Boxxy only a 62% chance that the Mimic would find being his Hero to its liking.
And the majority of that estimate seemed to stem from the last Skill in the list was awarded with.
Description: Being a Hero sometimes requires a certain degree of subtlety
Requirements: Hero (Any)
Type: Toggled (OFF)
Activation Time: N/A
Effects: Presents a fake Status Screen when inspected with Appraisal.
Divine minds can see through the illusion.
With this, Boxxy should finally be able to do the things it had been unable to do. It would also have a much easier time of blending in with civilized society. Oddly enough, this one seemed to be a Skill that all Heroes had access to, not just Boxxy. Well, it’s not like the Mimic really cared about other people anyway and was simply overjoyed to have it. It promptly activated the Skill and was presented with a plethora of menus and options. Apparently it had to decide what would go on this fake Status Screen beforehand. It spent the better part of an hour exploring what it could and couldn’t do with it.
You are no longer afflicted with Blight. Automatic HP recovery has returned to normal.
The sudden notification made Boxxy tear its attention away from the fake Status Screen that it had been having fun with. Right now it claimed the monster was actually a dwarf woman named Enrico Rodriguez de la Butts with an apparent age of 950 fish.
Looking at its surroundings, the Mimic noted that the barren, dead ground was steadily giving way to the more familiar mountain terrain. It would seem that departing the tower had proved to be much easier than reaching it. Well, it didn’t have to stop and wait for Fizzy to catch her breath after every battle, so that much was expected. Once it made sure the group was truly away from the undead-infested part of the mountain, it instructed everyone to stop and rest until dawn inside a shallow cave in the side of a random cliff.
Having finally gotten permission to rest, the gnome collapsed on the spot and instantly fell asleep. She slept like the rock she was laying face-down on, not even registering the indecent sounds of two demons fucking just outside the cave. Her body had learned the hard way that prolonged exposure to Blight was an immensely draining experience. It was truly a miracle she was able to push herself to this extent without falling into a coma.
Boxxy as well found itself unreasonably drained by the Blight. It was a bit early for its weekly dose of sleep, but it still felt quite sleepy. Therefore, it sat down next to the gnome and also drifted off while thinking what to do from now on. It really wanted to get revenge on that fucker Edward for daring to mess with what belonged to it, but that was a rather unrealistic goal. For now, it would focus on doing the things it could do.
Which meant it would take a nap, and then check on that lich to see if she could be... persuaded to work for it.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
|Name||Boxxy T. Morningwood||Name||Value||Name||Value||Name||Level||Progress|
|Biomass||7||36%||Crystallize Magic||5||70%||Sword Mastery||7||53%|
|Natural Armor||9||47%||Clockwork Expertise||3||85%||Projectile Mastery||6||77%|
|Metal Mimicry||7||50%||Explosives Handling||2||10%||Dagger Mastery||10||MAX|
|Mend Flesh||6||21%||Chaotic Disposition||1||MAX||Ruin Mastery||8||48%|
|Adaptive Defense||2||10%||Agent of Chaos||1||MAX||Domination Mastery||6||32%|
|Acid Spray||7||39%||Essence Concealment||1||MAX||Shield Mastery||6||33%|