In the depths of the Dryad’s Domain, a certain pair of demons were busy sharing some rather intimate relations while lazing about in an impromptu hot-tub. Well, it was actually closer to a small pond, as it had been roughly and hurriedly carved out of the wooden floor with Terrain Sculpting. Ambrosia had provided the green-tinted Waters of Life and Xera’s magical flames were keeping it pleasantly hot. As for the ‘intimate relations,’ they were not quite as satisfying as the succubus or Drea, her stalker partner, were expecting when they started this little experiment.
Xera was disappointed to learn that a stalker devouring her flesh did not bring her the same satisfaction as having Boxxy do it. The fact her beloved was not the one performing this act was part of the problem, but it was also because Drea was just too neat of an eater. She would typically slice off a leg or arm and enjoy munching on it while submerged almost completely underwater. While it was deliciously painful to have her flesh and bones severed, it sadly didn’t last long as the Waters of Life quickly healed the otherwise crippling injury in a flash. After all, a cut from a scythe healed much faster than a tear from two rows of jagged teeth.
Drea on the other hand greatly enjoyed Xera’s flavor. As expected of succubi, their bodies were indeed made to please people. Unfortunately, as a being born of mana, her flesh would not last long once separated from the main body. So while it was definitely as tasty as her Master made it seem on the Boxxy Show, it was dreadfully unfilling. For while the Mimic was content with savoring the taste of its favorite Snack, stalkers like Drea wanted to fill their bellies with the blood, guts and meat of their victims first, and the actual flavor was secondary.
Therefore, chewing such great-tasting meat in her mouth yet having it disappear from her stomach almost immediately was strangely frustrating for the spider-girl. It was like foreplay with no payoff, and left her with a feeling that could very well be described as ‘being blue-balled.’ Still, it was better than doing nothing at all, so she kept munching on her succulent flesh all the same.
That went on until the two demons’ Master decided to check up on them remotely. It first spoke to Drea, and then to Xera, which led to the succubus sharing some rather exciting news.
“The Master said it will be joining us for the bath.”
Drea threw her arms up in panic, tossing the half-eaten severed leg aside. She then started spinning and flailing around in a panic, splashing water everywhere.
“B-b-but why?!” she stammered. “A bath with the Boxxy T. Morningwood?! M-m-my heart’s not ready for this! Tktktktktk!”
“... We don’t even have those.”
“That’s not the point! I mean, Master will definitely want to s-s-s-sample me, right?!”
Now that Xera thought about it, it was rather strange that her Master didn’t taste-test its new familiar right away. Well, the fact it didn’t do so was probably indicative it had no intention of even trying.
“Actually no, I don’t think that’ll happen.”
“But what will I do if he t-t-tries me and finds my flavor displeasing?!”
“That’s what you’re worried about?!” asked Xera with a dumbfounded expression.
“Of course I am! I don’t want to sully his refined taste buds with anything foul! Spiders in general taste terrible, and I’m probably no different! Gah, if only I knew for sure! Tktktktktktk… Oh wait, I know!”
Drea unhesitantly ripped off her own leg and brought it up to her face while a new limb grew back to replace it almost immediately. The stalker’s relatively human-looking mouth opened unnaturally wide as if she had no lower jaw, revealing the many sharp, triangular teeth she normally kept hidden. Her maw was so wide that it looked big enough to eat a person’s head in two, maybe three bites. She then used that terrifying abyss to take a sizable bite out of her own thigh.
She then chewed on it.
“Pthooey!” she spat out, tossing the limb away in the process. “Bleh! I knew it! I’m disgusting! Now the Master will hate meeee! Uwaaaah!”
The succubus was left completely speechless. Not only did this bug just attempt self-cannibalism, but she also started wailing in despair over the thought her mortal master might dislike her. Was this really the behavior of a demon who was senior to her in both age and experience? Then again, it was highly likely that logic only applied to combat situations rather than interpersonal relations.
After all, stalkers were socially awkward loners that were never seen by mortals under normal circumstances. That matron of theirs was a prime example, but also an extreme case. While Overlord Liusolra hated being seen by everyone and everything, the rest of her species didn’t particularly mind being in the company of other demons. Well, they didn’t exactly like it, but they didn’t outright hate it either.
“Now there’s no way in the Beyond he will like meee-heee!”
But this was the first time Xera had seen or even heard of one of them outright sob. Something about this stalker’s odd behavior suddenly clicked inside the succubus’s mind. It would seem Drea’s declaration of being in love with Boxxy was genuine, and not just her species’ misguided gluttony. The fact she referred to the obviously genderless creature as ‘he’ and ‘him’ betrayed she completely saw the Mimic as an actual love interest. Well, perhaps ‘love’ was too strong a word, as she was acting almost completely like a young maiden who was about to meet a prince she’d only seen from afar. No wonder she was so stiff and twitchy during their first contact. That outburst of hers was weird, even by stalker standards.
Bottom line was, what Drea desired was to be accepted by Boxxy. Which was a much better alternative than her plotting to devour Xera’s Master. Therefore, the succubus thought she might as well try and nurture that feeling. If this spider-girl could be made into a truly loyal servant, then that would only increase Boxxy’s chances of survival.
And the reason Xera would go out of her way to do something like that was simple. Even if that monster was incapable of showing genuine affection towards another living being, that did not necessarily mean it would always be this way. It was maturing at an incredibly rapid rate, both intellectually and emotionally. Which meant that there was, as the God of Chaos would put it, a ‘non-zero chance’ of that monster eventually answering her feelings, provided it lived long enough. Therefore, the best she could do right now was quietly support her beloved from the shadows. Which included making sure this naive spider-girl with a screw loose remained just as delusional as she currently was.
“There, there, it’s okay, sweetie,” said Xera with a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “Taste isn’t everything the Master cares about.”
“R-R-Really?” asked Drea in between her half-sobs, half-cries. “Th-then there’s a chance he’ll like me anyway?!”
“Of course. You just have to make yourself seem ‘shiny’ enough.”
“Oh! Like that tiny Paladin?!”
“No, dearie, not quite as literally as that.”
Her carapace had some potential in that regard, but she had no hope of matching the luster of Fizzy’s mithril frame. Even Xera had to admit that golem looked absolutely fabulous.
“You just need to make yourself useful and help the Master’s treasure hoard grow,” she clarified. “If you do that, then it will be sure to think of you as useful rather than a nuisance.”
The stalker’s eyes suddenly went wide as she realized something.
“I see, I see! Of course, there was that method as well! As expected of the Master, he really thought of everything! Thanks so much for the talk, Snack! You’re the bestktktktktk!”
Drea suddenly lunged forward and wrapped her arms around Xera. She then planted a big, fat kiss on the startled succubus’s lips. Well, a ‘kiss’ in stalker terms. In reality she bit the lower half of Xera’s face clean off, but neither of them particularly minded it.
Once the two calmed down a bit, the succubus proceeded to thoroughly instruct the newcomer in how to best serve Boxxy and anticipate its wishes. Even if it got smarter and better at expressing itself lately, it incessantly referred to things as either ‘tasty’ or ‘shiny’ whenever it wasn’t in character. Well, Drea didn’t need much schooling on that as she apparently never missed a single episode of the Boxxy Show, but she did have some misconceptions.
Apparently most demons, her included, believed the Mimic had a thing for large-breasted females, although that was hardly surprising considering the company it kept. What was surprising, however, was the fact that its catgirl act was so good that it completely fooled a significant number of viewers into thinking its displays of affection towards Rowana were genuine. Being told the truth of things only made Drea’s opinion of her new Master soar even higher. Not only was it hiding in plain sight, but it was doing so in a way she had no hope of pulling off. Realizing it was spinning its own web of lies and deceit all this time made her eyes almost literally sparkle in admiration.
That was hardly the main reason she felt attracted to it, though. The way Boxxy hunted focused on ambushing, murdering and then eating up its prey without giving it a chance to fight back. And on the rare occasions that ambushing its target failed, it would wear it down by striking from multiple angles and using any means available to keep it confused and off-balance the entire time. It behaved so much like a stalker, that at some point Drea stopped thinking of it as a box with legs and instead completely saw it as a spider with a chest-shaped thorax. Not to mention that those imitation limbs that served as its prefered mode of transportation were, in her own words, ‘incredibly handsome.’ The fact that it was also the Progenitor’s chosen Hero was merely icing on the cake.
The stalker then spent the next few minutes psyching herself up. This time, she would greet it properly. She would appeal her value and walk by its side with pride.
And yet all that motivation and determination disappeared the instant Boxxy actually arrived, as Drea bolted up to the nearby cavern wall and skittered away at full speed. In the end, she could not work up the courage to present herself before her Master unless she was ordered to. Not that the Mimic in question had any intention of doing that anyway. Much like Xera had deduced, it had already anticipated she would taste horrible. Not only was she part spider, but also a demon. And every single demon that Boxxy had taken a bite of had terrible flavor. Well, except for Snack, which was why it was here in the first place.
Since it had already dined on a small group of homeless elves, it didn’t have any of Drea’s conundrums regarding the fullness of its stomach and gladly feasted on the ever-regenerating succubus’s body. Unlike the spider-girl, it did so viciously and violently, tearing off huge parts of her with the jagged, misaligned teeth of a Mimic. This finally gave Xera the satisfaction she had been craving for, as it had been far too long since her Master abused her properly. The agony of having her bones violently crushed and her flesh forcefully ripped apart by Boxxy was what she truly craved, and she was finally getting an extra-sized helping of it.
The Mimic also found this prolonged ‘snack time’ to be considerably better than usual. The fact it could keep eating its favorite Snack seemingly without end was greatly enjoyable, not to mention strangely relaxing. Was that latter part due to the effects of the lukewarm, demon-blood-stained Waters of Life? Baths being relaxing generally made sense from a human or elven point of view, but Boxxy never saw it as anything more than a chore. Perhaps this situation merely proved that even tedious things like baths were enjoyable if one had the right person Snack to share them with. Well, it could do without Claws staring intently at it from the far end of the chamber. Come to think of it, it was perhaps time to put the stalker to work.
In the following days, Boxxy ordered Drea to follow it around town during the daytime. She was told to keep herself out of sight while the Mimic played around with the elves under the guise of Keira. It served as both a test of just how good her hiding abilities were, and also as insurance. It was good to have her on hand in case Boxxy wanted something or someone to disappear instantly and without a trace. Well, such a thing wasn’t likely to happen in these relatively peaceful streets, but the spider-girl was still more than a little overjoyed at the prospect.
Stalkers gotta stalk, after all. It was something Boxxy completely understood and sympathized with. And unlike her previous masters, it wholeheartedly encouraged that behavior.
In the past, Drea would usually only be called out to fight monsters or to help cut through some magical barrier or obstacle. Actual tracking and assassination assignments, which were her favorite, were quite rare. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have devious, ill-meaning masters in the past that needed people disappeared, though. In fact, there were quite a few of those, but such shady characters either didn’t live long or were smart enough not to trust a demon with something as tricky and incriminating as assassination.
A familiar’s actions were largely recognized as their master’s responsibility, meaning the person who was contracted to the demon would take the blame for any of their wrongdoings. That was why Drea had always sought out ways to subvert her master’s will and leave behind evidence that pointed towards them as the one who ordered the assassination. They would then be captured, tried or outright executed, depending on which side of the law got to them first. That was the general plan that most stalkers tried to enact in order to free themselves from their contract and run wild in the mortal realm. Unfortunately for them, it had a very low success rate, as even someone like Drea had successfully managed to break away only once, but it did let her roam free for almost 70 years before she got sent back to the Beyond.
This time was different, however. Even if some of her previous masters were complete scumbags that thought nothing of their fellow men, none of them could hope to match up to the pure brutality, ruthlessness, appetite and awesomeness of Boxxy T. Morningwood. Watching it completely fool and bedazzle those people was endlessly enthralling. The way the Mimic freely communicated with those it saw as nothing more than food was truly awe-inspiring. It honestly made the stalker a little bit envious of how confidently it spouted an endless stream of lies and bullshit, as she would never be able to do something like that.
And just when she thought she couldn’t like for her Master even more, Boxxy gave Drea her standing orders regarding her night duties.
They involved helping Ambrosia out with her endless pest problems. Although those termites were a Hylt tree’s greatest enemy, they were hardly the only vermin around. The gigantic tree’s canopy was a place very few elves ever visited due to how impractical and remote it was. That vast sea of leaves and branches had therefore been allowed to thrive and develop completely undisturbed by civilization, and had become its own ecosystem. And it quite literally crawled with all manner of annoying vermin that Ambrosia couldn’t quite get out of her literal and figurative hair.
Her grievanced included Tri-Horned Beetles, Crimson Cicadas, Armored Caterpillars and other over-sized insectoid monsters that steadily chipped away at her bark, drank up her sap and feasted on her leaves and fruits. However, such things grew back rapidly due to the Hylt tree’s nearly limitless vitality, so the amount of damage those bugs did was incomparable to the threat of an out-of-control termite infestation. Not to mention they had natural predators in the form of the gigantic, eagle-like birds called Rocs that kept their numbers in check. In reality, their presence was an annoyance at best, so the dryad mostly ignored them. At least until Boxxy asked whether it was okay to sweep all of them away, to which she eagerly agreed. In fact, even those birds were not blameless in her eyes, as they often broke off bits of her branches and foliage in order to make their nests.
It was thus that the gluttonous Drea was unleashed upon this high-altitude biome. She mercilessly hunted and ate every single insect she came across, devouring them with great gusto. Even the Rocs easily succumbed to her poison and webs and were turned into her meal. The dryad even offered the demon to avail herself of the copious amounts of sickeningly-sweet, overripe fruit that hung from her topmost branches. Stalkers were not what one might call picky eaters, unlike a certain Mimic-turned-Doppelganger, so the spider-girl eagerly scarfed those down as well.
All things said and done, Drea’s nightly feeding frenzies were the stuff of legends, her appetite easily surpassing even that of her gluttonous Master. She still took Xera’s advice to heart and set aside much of the juiciest Roc meat as a present to Boxxy, but even then the amount of food she devoured was many times her own weight. In fact, it was far too much, even by stalker standards, as it was no longer just a matter of her own enjoyment. Well, she did find joy in the act of stuffing her face, but the main reason she did that so vehemently was because it was a necessary step towards fulfilling her Master’s wishes.
A stalker’s seemingly bottomless pit of a stomach did actually digest everything deposited inside it. It actually did so at a very rapid rate, although it wasn’t because it was necessary to sustain the demon’s body. The extracted nutrients would instead be stored up and then used to produce a type of enchanted spider thread that was different from the one Drea used against Xera, and was something Boxxy knew about well in advance due to the high Level of its Demonology Skill.
This special lavender-colored thread would not fade with the passage of time and was actually a very valuable material. While incredibly flammable in its raw form, that drawback went away once it was properly processed and woven into a fabric that was unimaginatively called Demon Silk. It was a sturdy, stain-resistant cloth that was easily susceptible to enchantments, and was mostly used to make high-quality adventurer gear such as cloaks, pouches and robes, not to mention extravagant clothes and other luxury items. Although Drea herself lacked the ability to make anything other than webs, she could still produce rolls of silken thread that could be sold at a good price.
The reason it was expensive was that, even though all stalkers could make it, they were a relatively uncommon choice of familiar. Not to mention that it was also normally quite difficult to feed them to the extent where they could produce it at a constant rate. Even then they would be loathe to do so, as their pride as demons would not allow them to demean themselves into serving as silk factories. Actually, that was putting it mildly. In truth, those demons hated it so much that some of them would willingly break off the contract, despite the penalties that came with performing such an act.
However, Drea’s situation was different. Not only would she willingly make silk for her Master, but the ample supply of food in Ambrosia’s canopy meant she could make as much of the stuff as Boxxy wanted. The problem was that the Mimic currently lacked a secure way of selling it off, but it still wanted to stockpile as much as possible. Which, incidentally, was a lot.
There was also the very real chance of the stalker’s overzealous hunting might drive all those creatures out of their environment, which would be a huge problem. Not because she’d run out of food, though. There were 11 more ancient Hylt trees in Azurvale, and each had its own dryad with her own set of pest problems. It was highly unlikely any of them would refuse Boxxy’s offer of free pest control should it come to that. However, forcing the miniature ecosystem in their tallest branches to collapse ran the risk of saddling Boxxy with yet another instance of Taboo courtesy of Zephyra, the Goddess of Rain and patron of travelers and explorers.
As for the demon doing all the actual work, she almost literally couldn’t be happier, as her new life was shaping up to be pure bliss. She got to watch her beloved Master spin a web of lies and deceit from afar during the day, ate outrageous amounts of varied and delicious foods at night, and even had a way to make herself valuable, or ‘shiny’ to the target of her affections. Her Master even allowed her to use her regular thread to build a nest for herself within Ambrosia’s canopy.
Her new ‘home’ rapidly grew large enough to be considered a mansion, although she didn’t make it with practicality in mind. She just wanted to have a place she could call her own, somewhere she could laze about and peacefully digest her meal while producing her thread. It really was not her intention to capture and ensnare wandering prey. Granted, that did end up happening anyway, though Drea wasn’t about to complain about the free food. Ambrosia was perfectly fine with it too, as the stalker’s webs did not inconvenience her in the slightest. In fact, some small part of her was quite pleased with her new, oversized ‘hair ornament.’
All things said and done, the newest addition to Boxxy’s little house of monsters fit in surprisingly well. She diligently performed her duties and seemed to get along with both Snack and Ambrosia. In fact, it sometimes found the three of them chatting about something or other during idle periods, although the stalker would immediately vacate the area when she realized Boxxy was nearby.
Even Fizzy had taken an odd liking to the spider girl, despite the two never making eye contact or even speaking. The exotic silk Drea produced seemed to have ignited the spark of inspiration within the golem Artificer, and she set out to design and build a machine that could weave it into a fabric all on its own. This was an idea that Boxxy found very tasty, as selling cloth rather than loose strands was bound to be much more profitable. It therefore ordered the stalker to assist Fizzy with any and all requests she might have in that regard.
That particular conversation took place yesterday, and it was now the night of the third day after the contract with Claws had been made. The Mimic had traded places with Xera, putting her on Rowana-sitting duty while it filled up on the delicious ‘gifts’ left behind by the stalker. While not quite as tasty as elves or humans, the huge pile of prime Roc meat dripping with blood made for a very satisfying meal. If things carried on this way, then it wouldn’t even need to enact that ‘fast food’ plan it came up with. To say things were working out better than expected would be a huge understatement.
That’s when the Mimic had a sudden, worrying thought.
Actually, haven’t things been going too well lately?
There was that incident with the Taboo Skill, as well as the slight turbulence surrounding Minic’s sudden appearance, but both of those were resolved quickly and to a highly satisfying degree. And if the Mimic’s experience told it anything, it was that the proverbial excrement was about to be hit by a Typhoon Spell.
“Oh no you don’t!”
Fizzy’s voice suddenly rang out from the side, almost as if on cue-
-followed immediately by Kora’s angry shout.
Its dinner thoroughly interrupted, the animate chest stood up from its spot and went over to see what all the fuss was about, and it saw the gnome standing firmly between Claws and Arms.
Fizzy was in a combat stance, gripping onto her signature wrench with both hands and sporting and absolutely livid expression on her shiny face. The yellow-green light emanating from her weapon as well as the similarly glowing halo above her head signified she had activated her Divine Wrath Skill, which had the formidable effect of making her look even more dazzling than usual. Oh right, it also did some unimportant things like massively boosting her damage and healing output, but that was besides the point.
The fiend on the other hand, was curled up on the floor with her face on the wooden ground and her ass in the air. She seemed to be in a huge deal of pain, judging from her groans and how she was using all four of her arms to clutch at her lower body. It was quite obvious Fizzy had just hit her with all her might, and the reason for that seemed to be the third person on the scene.
Claws was currently crouching down on the ground, doing her absolute best to hide behind the much smaller Paladin. Even the six scythes attaches to her back were wrapped around her front, as if to shield her from something. She looked like she was in the process of producing her silk when she was rudely interrupted by a certain someone.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!” shouted Fizzy.
“Ghhhrrrrgh! You tiny bitch!” growled the doubled-over fiend. “If it wasn’t for the Boss’s orders I’d turn you into scrap!”
“Try me, balls-for-brains!” taunted the golem. “I’m different from how I was back in that forest! I’ll shove this wrench so far up your ass it’ll pop out of your mouth!”
Boxxy decided it was time to intervene, otherwise it wouldn’t be able to enjoy its midnight meal in peace.
“Okay, what’s going on here?”
All three of its servants turned to stare at the creature that brought them together in the first place.
“Claws, you stay right there,” it ordered, preventing the stalker from running off like she usually did.
“Grr! Ain’t nothing, boss!” insisted Arms. “I was just doing my thing when this psycho-”
“Your thing is the fucking problem here, shitnugget!” shouted Fizzy.
“Be quiet!” commanded Boxxy. “Nobody speak unless spoken to!”
It really didn’t want or need any of this drama. It just wanted to get to the bottom of it, put an end to it and then get back to its meal. And the most efficient way of handling it was to take it one step at a time.
“Arms, why are you on the ground?”
“That little cunt just hit me in the dick!”
It would seem even Kora, who could handle the pain of losing a limb or having a violent box chew on her head like it was nothing, was not exempt from attacks to the groin. That was why her member was normally hidden inside her body in the first place. In other words, she had it out for some reason.
“Fizzy, why did you hit her in the dick?”
“Well, I asked the new girl to show me how she normally handled and produced that silk of hers since I needed a reference for my machine. And then this moron came striding in and interrupted the demonstration with her raging boner!”
Boxxy glanced over at Claws who was nodding nervously like her head was about to fall off. The Mimic was then able to rapidly piece together what had transpired.
Claws could currently produce two types of spider thread. The white, temporary one she used in combat and the lavender, permanent one necessary to weave Demon Silk. The former shot out of her limbs at will and was made entirely through magic. The latter, which demanded nutrients and was much closer to that of an actual spider, was produced by spinnerets inside her body that were vastly different from the ones in her hands and feet.
Normally those would be located inside a spider’s bulbous abdomen, and the silk itself would come out of a small opening at the end of it. However, Claws lacked such a body part, mostly due to her subspecies as Hornet Stalker. Yet she could still produce thread like a regular spider. Which meant that, much to her embarrassment, the orifice that secreted said thread was placed firmly between her buttcheeks. So Arms, who randomly saw her ‘demonstration’ of the process, suddenly realized that Claws did indeed have a hole back there.
And in true fiend fashion, tried to stick her dick in it.
“That’s my silk hole!” shouted the golem in clear disapproval, followed by the stalker’s ceaseless, embarrassment-fueled chittering.