Valeria found herself in a strange, gray-colored space. The ground she was standing on was seemingly made out of countless cubic shapes that varied wildly in size and proportion. Some were as small as rice grains while others were as big as buildings, but the vast majority of them appeared to be about half a meter on all sides. They rose up and fell back into the ground all on their own, with a few flying off into the distance while others came down out of nowhere to take their place and slot themselves into the floor.
And yet, despite the differences between these shapes, they always seemed to fit together perfectly. It was as if a gigantic block-based puzzle was currently busy undoing, solving and rearranging itself all at once. Looking into the similarly gray colored sky and horizon in the distance, Valeria realized that they were all crawling and shifting. Although she could not be certain, she assumed that this was because the ‘sky’ and ‘horizon’ were actually a ceiling and a wall and were currently undergoing the same odd process as the floor. Which would mean she was in a gigantic chamber large enough to fit a whole city.
“Can’t say that something like this was unexpected,” she mused out loud, her words echoing slightly. “But this thing’s mind really is bland, huh?”
Valeria had used her Possession Skill to invade Boxxy’s mindscape, a sort of inner realm that all beings capable of thought possessed. Her mental avatar had assumed a form that was much like the lich’s physical body, except it was slightly transparent and seemingly made out of green gas. Her appearance greatly resembled what she looked like as a spectral Banshee a few months ago.
“Just gotta find the id and chain it down,” she mumbled while looking around the place.
She had to find and restrain the representation of Boxxy’s consciousness, its inner self. Doing so would give her control of the monster’s mind, as well as its body. It was something she’d done several times before, although this was her first attempt on a sentient monster.
“Over there, huh?”
Valeria spotted a golden, domed structure in the distance. It was the only noteworthy thing in this endlessly gray space, so it was the most likely place her target was hiding in. She approached it with a brisk walk, although the ever-changing terrain slowed her down somewhat. Of course, she had no idea why this place had such a bizarre appearance.
The people and creatures she had possessed until now had mindscapes that were related to something that was important to them. That elf she gained control over after breaking out of the dungeon had a mindscape that was composed of a lush forest with trees so tall that they seemed to go beyond the clouds. The wolf she tried to posses that other time had a mindscape that appeared to be a very small cave - most likely its den - with some half-eaten carcasses strewn about.
And yet this Mimic’s mind was this shapeless, indeterminate mass of blocks. It made perfect sense in some ways, but was completely illogical in most aspects. Then again the same could be said about Boxxy T. Morningwood as a whole. The fact its mindscape was this barren seemed to suggest it held very little in high regard, other than the weird structure Valeria was walking towards. She had guessed that the massive, barn-like building must be where the Mimic had hidden away all of its precious thoughts, wants and needs. If its ego was anywhere to be found, it would be in there, probably represented by a small child or a stack of meat - something inane and pitiful like that.
When Valeria reached the larger-than-life golden structure, she realized that it had no doors and no windows. The lack of an obvious entrance was vexing, but wouldn’t be enough to stop her. What sort of hostile takeover would this be if she came completely unprepared? She thrust her ectoplasmic hands forward, intending to phase through the gilded wall in front of her. Her fingertips had barely even touched the shiny surface before she got an almost overwhelming response from Boxxy’s subconscious.
An ear-splitting noise that was somewhere between a howl and a screech assaulted Valeria’s mental avatar, forcing her to recoil away from it.
“The hell was that?!”
The Mimic was supposed to be completely and totally incapacitated, right? Its Rank Up should have left it in a completely defenseless state, both physically and mentally. And yet it still somehow felt her presence and lashed out at her.
“Heh, of course it wouldn’t be that easy.”
She really should have expected at least some resistance. After all this completely incomprehensible monster was a Warlock capable of wielding Domination Magic. This meant that not only did it have the Mental Fortitude (MNT) Attribute, but that it was likely much stronger than her own. And judging from the strength of that reaction just now, the Mimic’s mind would probably be able to crush her possession attempt in an instant if it were awake. This monster’s mental strength was surprisingly intimidating, to say the least.
However, this was Valeria’s best bet of gaining back her freedom, so there’s no way she could give up this easily.
The lich had never loved, or even remotely liked Boxxy. As if a single fuck could overturn the grudge this undead being held towards her murderer. The mere thought of such a thing was laughable, to say the least. All that tentacle orgy did was sate her unnatural lust and allow her calm and calculating side to resurface. That was the reason for her slightly changed appearance, and not the Agent of Chaos Skill as Boxxy had mistakenly concluded.
But even if Valeria still wanted to get revenge on her murderer, she was unable to carry it out since her target held a position of power over her. Her phylactery had been seized, meaning her existence could easily be snuffed out if she showed the slightest sign of rebellion. That’s why she had silently made the decision to act the part of the suddenly infatuated and madly-in-love girl in an effort to gain the Mimic’s trust.
But, as it turned out, that was a bad move. She really should have known such things would not work on an inhuman monster like Boxxy, but there’s no way she could fault her past self for making that mistake. After all, not only was that monster surrounded by beautiful, scantily clad women, but its sexual technique was unlike anything the former whore had experienced. There was no doubt in her mind that it had taken all three of those girls over and over, especially with how eager that succubus was. It was the only explanation she could think of for its pointlessly exceptional skill at violating others.
The reason for this prowess was actually rather simple. Boxxy had, intentionally or not, been made witness to countless sessions of its familiars doing one another. Not to mention it had excellent anatomical knowledge of the human body. To say it was a virgin at the time would be technically correct, although to claim it was ignorant about sex would be a horrible mistake.
But Valeria didn’t know that. She had completely convinced herself that the Mimic was a lecherous, perverted creature that was looking to add another slut to its harem. So acting the part of one seemed like a good idea at the time. How was she supposed to know that the only reason it knew its way around a woman’s body so well was because mimics gotta mimic?! However, she was already too invested in her lie to back out of it by the time she realized her mistake. She couldn’t break off her infatuated persona without arousing suspicion, so she had to grin and bear it.
It’s not like she didn’t benefit greatly from her brief un-life of servitude though. That Mimic’s guidance had resulted in Valeria earning a lot of Levels very rapidly. She even got the benefit of that ridiculously powerful +10 All Attributes from the Grand Theft Arcana Perk. As good as it was to become more powerful, it didn’t sway her in her purpose one little bit. All undead wanted to take vengeance upon the living, and Valeria was hardly any different. The only way she would be able to forgive the animate chest for murdering her in cold blood was if it willingly allowed her to return the favor. Of course there’s no way it would ever agree to that, not to mention it literally held Valeria’s existence in the palm of its hand. Or rather, tongue. So the lich had to resort to feigning obedience until a good opportunity presented itself.
That was easier said than done, though. Having to call that hateful thing ‘darling’ just to maintain her facade made her incredibly disgusted with herself, to the point where she was sure she’d start violently vomiting out her insides if that was a function her body still possessed. At the very least that daily dose of ‘shapeshifting practice’ did wonders to alleviate her stress. Well, just because she was in a shitty situation didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy the little things. Besides, those sessions were one of the main reasons she was able to keep calm as much as she did. That stupid box really was too skilled at it for its own good.
But cracks still sometimes showed in her facade. Valeria was never a person with a lot of self control, so she was bound to slip up eventually. That’s when, much to her relief, she almost immediately heard talk of this creature preparing for its Rank Up. It was a process she was personally familiar with, having undergone a Rank Up herself a few months before. That’s how she was certain it would completely incapacitate Boxxy and leave it vulnerable, which made it the perfect time to strike.
Of course, that was easier said than done, for it still had those leashed guard dogs at its beck and call. That fiend was a meathead that she could run circles around all day, so she was hardly a threat. The real problem were the other two - the fire-spewing succubus and the pint-sized Paladin wielding holy magic. Both of those elements were natural enemies to the undead, making them extremely dangerous. She was confident she could take either one of them in single combat, but they were sure to attack her together if she tried anything.
But then again, she didn’t need to face them at all. She just had to gain control of the Mimic, order its familiars to turn that stupid golem into scrap and then forcibly dismiss the two demons. Watching those two obediently follow Boxxy’s orders had made her certain this way would work for sure. Then, once those nuisances were taken care of, she could force the monster to kill itself, retrieve her phylactery from its corpse and carry on with her un-life. Ideally she’d want to permanently keep control its body in order to pleasure herself as much as she wanted, but that monster was bound to force her out eventually. Which meant that when the time came to strike, she had to do so quickly and decisively.
And now that time, her time, had finally come.
Valeria’s mental avatar once again tried thrusting her hands into the gigantic golden wall before her. The violent screech from earlier came once again, but she grit her teeth and tried to push in further, only to have the response getting more and more intense. It didn’t take long for it to become unbearable and cause her to recoil once again.
“Damned monster!” she spat out once her attempt was repelled again. “Just how badly do you not want others to see what’s inside there?!”
“You have no idea, honey.”
The smooth, oddly melodic voice caused Valeria to turn around in a panic, but she didn’t see anything but a field of wriggling gray cubes.
“Up here, idiot.”
She threw her gaze upward and her jaw hung open in surprise. The mindscape’s ceiling had arranged itself into a slightly blocky version of Xera’s face. The succubus’s smug visage must have been hundreds of meters long and at least a kilometer away from Valeria’s perspective.
“You?! How?!” screamed the lich.
“You underestimate a Cerulean Succubus, honey,” said the gigantic Xera. “Peeking inside other people’s heads is one of my specialties you know ~♪!”
“But- How are you able to invade this thing’s mind?! Weren’t you demons forbidden from taking hostile action against your master?!”
“Oh my, invading? I would never do such a tasteless thing ~♪! Simply looking around never hurt anybody you know ~♪!”
The succubus’s cheerful visage turned deadly serious in the next instant.
“Besides, I am following my Master’s orders. Which is to say I am protecting it from an upstart little cunt who does not know her rightful place.”
“Humpf,” scoffed Valeria. “You’re out of your element, bitch! I’m capable of completely suffocating your precious master’s will, whereas the only thing you can do is toy with dreams and memory. None of that is going to affect me!”
“See, you have a point there. As The Walking Dick likes to say, mindfuck-y magic does not work on the undead such as yourself. However, it is possible to mindfuck someone by proxy. Allow me to demonstrate.”
The huge, gray room suddenly sprang to life. Thousands of cubes flew out of the walls, floor and ceiling like a swarm of giant insects. They silently and expertly started combining into various complex shapes while also cycling through a multitude of colors. Valeria suddenly found herself standing on the floor of what appeared to be a basement. It was oddly familiar, similar to the one in that tower where she had hidden her phylactery. Only with three major differences.
Firstly, this one was well-stocked, and torches were lit. Secondly, there were a total of three people in this scene. Well, two people and a chest suspended inside a cage. And thirdly, her relatively tiny size made her feel like an ant, or a mosquito. The cage, the chest, the grizzled old man and the black-haired woman were all the size of mountains from her perspective. Looking around in a panic, the spectral lich realized that the large, slightly misshapen building she was trying to break into had up and disappeared somewhere.
“I hope you enjoy this one,” came Xera’s voice from somewhere. “I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. For me, that is.”
That’s when the blocky scene around her started moving.
“Interesting,” said the titanic shape of the old man. “Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah bring it back to headquarters blah blah blah blah blah blah details blah. Blah blah blah blah blah Arcaneum blah blah.”
“What… is this?” mumbled Valeria, unable to comprehend what was going on.
The giant man turned his attention to the woman next to him. Now that the lich actually bothered to pay attention to both of them, she noticed a really odd discrepancy. The man’s face and body were perfectly constructed and entirely lifelike, yet the woman was… not. It’s like her body was composed of large bricks rather than skin and hair, giving her an extremely undefined and rather unflattering figure.
“Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Zone, get rid of blah blah Jobs.”
“Blah blah blah blah Warlock Job blah?”
“Blah blah. Blah blah blah memory blah. Do it blah.”
The cubic woman then stepped inside the cage with the suspended chest that had a face sticking out of it. Numerous tentacles sprang out of the chest and attempted to accost the woman, but to no avail. She then put what Valeria assumed was her hand onto the chest’s lid and spoke three words.
“Job Removal: Warlock.”
The scene turned a violent red. The entire mindscape started vibrating and shuffling wildly while an incredibly sharp screech filled Valeria’s consciousness. Next thing she knew, the lich was on her hands and knees, panting heavily. The room around her had returned to its neutral gray state, and the building-sized lump of gold had reappeared in front of her.
“Haah, haah, haah! What the hell, haah, was that?! Haah!”
“This is just one of my Master’s memories.”
Xera’s giant face had reappeared on the distant ceiling.
“Seems the associated trauma had caused it to become somewhat repressed and garbled, but it remembered pain pretty well, wouldn’t you say?”
Her face turned positively melancholic as she continued to speak.
“Ah, that was a terrible moment for me as well. To be separated from Master so unjustly, truly a horrifying experience. That was hardly the first or the last, though. In fact, I think I should share some more with you. Here, how about… this one!”
The lich was then made to go through an extremely detailed recollection of Boxxy battling the Fleshmaiden. Intense pain reverberated through the room every time the yet-unnamed-Mimic had received a wound from the agile monster it was fighting. The final Spell it threw at her using all of its MP carried over the feeling of exhaustion that made it impossible for Valeria’s projected self to even stand up.
“That was a good fight, wasn’t it?” said the succubus as if narrating. “A pity I could not do more, but I like to think I helped in my own way. I was pretty instrumental for this next one though!”
Next came the memory of the Mimic holing up in the ground just as the Calamity was going off in the distance. It accurately relayed the sensations of that city-scale explosion washing over the Mimic right onto Valeria, who could do little but breathe heavily under the strain. Even if it was imagined or remembered pain, that still made it very real to the woman who had invaded this place.
“Oh, I know! How about this one! It’s very recent so it’s still fresh ~♪!”
The lich’s green face drew pale as she recognized the scene that had taken place less than a day before, where Boxxy unhesitantly carved out its own MLG. The pain that was then broadcasted to the unfortunate lich was so thorough, so devastating that she almost felt herself break apart.
“Had enough yet, honey? I can re-play that one over and over as much as you want, you know ~♪! Ah, but you know what they say, variety is the spice of life ~♪!”
It was then followed by the time Boxxy cut away the mana-sealing restraints to escape from Edward’s cage, and Valeria once again felt its pain reverberate and seep into her as if it was her own.
“You… Haah, haah… You won’t stop me so easily!” insisted Valeria. “It doesn’t matter how many times you do that, you will not succeed! Torment me all you want, but you still cannot force me out without a Priest ritual, and you know it!”
“Force you out? That’s not what I’m doing here.”
“I’m merely having a bit of fun. You know how say torture exists solely for the torturer’s sake.”
The succubus then showed an extremely lecherous smile.
“Besides, I get to feel Master’s painful memories too. They’re quite, hmmmm, exquisite ~♪!”
“So what, do you plan to keep distracting me until your Master wakes up? That’s a pretty pathetic strategy you have there.”
The lecherous smile turned into a wide shit-eating grin.
“You know I can just crush your phylactery at any given moment, right?”
“As if! That thing is inside your master’s body! None of you lapdogs can dig it out without this fucking box’s permission! Not even that insufferable gnome!”
“See, that’s where you’re wrong, honey. The master doesn’t have your precious gilded egg. I do.”
“Yeah right! Nice bluff! You think I wouldn’t notice if you were carrying around something like that?!”
“Fufufufufu. I knew full well you’d be trying something fishy during the Rank Up, which is why I made some arrangements. Here, let me show you.”
The mindscape warped once again. It showed the inside of the labyrinth, and Boxxy and Xera standing next to each other.
“Master, I think you should let me hang onto Nasty’s phylactery,” said the giant representation of the succubus.
“Why?” asked the extra-large Mimic.
“It might break if you keep it inside your body while it undergoes massive changes. Wouldn’t want that, right?”
“That’s a good point. Here, take it.”
Boxxy took out the gilded egg-shaped phylactery from its mouth and handed it to Xera. However, the succubus did not accept it right away.
“Master, I will need your assistance in order to hide it from her. She might get some weird ideas if she saw me carrying it around.”
“I see. Then the usual place?”
Xera turned herself around, knelt down on the ground and presented her ass to the chest. Her versatile spaded tail then removed her lower garment, exposing her slightly damp nether lips and tight asshole to the cool night air. Boxxy then proceeded to roughly shove the phylactery into the succubus’s anus. The demoness moaned and squealed in pleasure as her rectum distended to truly inhuman size in order to accept the 10 centimeter wide object.
Valeria watched in abject horror as her soul’s vessel was used as an oversized butt-plug. The memory was positioned in such a way that she got front row seats to the show, too. Once the last of the priceless object had disappeared somewhere inside Xera’s butt, the succubus looked over her shoulder with a face twisted by pleasure.
“Thanksh, Mashteeer!” she slurred her words. “You’re the beeeesht!”
The scene faded away into gray nothingness after a few seconds.
“Do you understand now? Your shitty little soul is firmly lodged deep inside my shit-chute. Right. Where. It. Be. Longs.”
“You… sick, twisted, evil, conniving bitch!” spat out Valeria.
“Flattery will get you nowhere, honey. Or should I say, darling? Ah hahahahaha!”
The lich collapsed on her knees. Her little rebellion had been over it even began.
“In any event,” continued Xera, “I think I’ve had enough fun for now. I should really not disturb my Master’s Rank Up anymore. So, goodbye Nasty thing. I shall be sure to wipe your pitiful existence from my memory.”
Her face disappeared from the ceiling. A second later, Valeria felt a sharp pain wash over her, rolling in from somewhere far away. Her projected self then split apart like a puff of smoke, leaving nothing of herself behind. The lich called Valeria Vortena had finally been sent to her eternal rest.
Boxxy’s mindscape remained entirely undisturbed at her passing. Its many cubes continued idly sliding in and out of its walls, floor and ceiling as if nothing had happened, their owner blissfully unaware of what had just transpired. Truthfully speaking, Valeria’s little coup had been doomed from the start, even without the succubus’s interference. The large golden building she tried to penetrate was actually the very thing she was looking for. If she had looked at it from a distance, or maybe at a different angle, she might have realized how truly futile her efforts were.
Because the only noticeable thing in that vapid and depressingly empty mindscape was a gigantic gilded treasure chest - the representation of the Mimic’s own sense of self-worth. Massive, solid, unflinching, pointlessly shiny and tightly closed off.
As expected of a selfish, stubborn monster that only truly cared about itself.